10 Tiktok Marketing Strategies For Retailers: Proven Growth Plan

  • 12 min read

TikTok is without a doubt a powerful platform for retailers to showcase their products and connect with a younger demographic. 

In this article, we'll explore 10 proven TikTok marketing strategies that can fuel growth for retailers. Let's dive in and discover how you can leverage this dynamic platform to propel your retail business forward.

  • TikTok marketing includes tactics to increase brand awareness, advertise, sell products, collect feedback and much more.
  • TikTok marketing strategies can be implemented through 3 main areas: paid ads, influencer marketing and original content.
  • Before you start working on your strategies, focus on creating your TikTok Business account, identifying your target audience, creating a content plan, collecting product data for advertising (product feed) and researching your competitors.

What is TikTok marketing?

TikTok marketing is the practice that involves leveraging the TikTok platform and its content to promote a brand, products, and/or services to TikTok users. 

This can include tactics aiming to: 

  • increase brand awareness
  • advertise 
  • sell products and services
  • gather feedback from customers and audiences
  • and more!

TikTok marketing is becoming increasingly important for businesses of all sizes that are present on TikTok, allowing them to achieve big results and connect with their target audiences in new and engaging ways.


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What is TikTok Marketing strategy?

TikTok marketing strategy is the plan on how to tactically utilize the popular social media platform TikTok to promote brands and interact with potential customers using a variety of content formats. There are three primary areas where marketers can take advantage of TikTok using different strategies.

Paid ads

Through TikTok For Business, brands can run in-feed ads, create branded hashtags, and develop video effects. Brands of all sizes are gravitating toward TikTok to create entertaining ads and engaging campaigns that resonate with users. 

The bidding/auction model for ad payment provides flexibility to advertisers, while the potential for high engagement rates and access to new audiences make TikTok ads an attractive option.

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Influencer marketing

Collaborating with influencers who have a deep understanding of the platform can be highly effective. These influencers can translate brand messages into engaging and creative content that resonates with their dedicated community. This form of marketing opens up new audiences, elevates brand awareness, and boosts engagement rates.

Original content

While TikTok users appreciate original content, marketers don't always need to spend extensive time devising the next viral trend. Often, the best-performing TikToks are those that replicate or recreate existing trends. By exploring the app, identifying popular trends, and finding ways to align your brand with relatable and enjoyable videos, you can craft relevant and authentic content that resonates with your target audience.

TikTok marketing leverages the potential of this short-form video platform by utilizing influencer partnerships, original and relatable content, and paid ads to connect with potential customers, enhance brand awareness, and drive engagement. 


Source: Linkedin


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Benefits of marketing on TikTok

Considering whether to integrate another social media platform into your overall marketing strategy, particularly one as demanding as TikTok? Let's explore three key advantages of engaging in TikTok marketing.

Product discovery

TikTok serves as a platform where users actively seek out products, with 49% reporting purchases prompted by brand features on the app. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has gained substantial traction, as users proudly exhibit items they acquired solely because they discovered them on TikTok. 

For businesses aiming to enhance sales through social media marketing, TikTok presents an excellent avenue. The platform is the third most popular social commerce channel and overall one of the most important sales channels for retailers in recent years.

Enhanced potential for viral content

While a separate feed allows users to view content from accounts they follow, the For You page is designed to facilitate content discovery for users. TikTok's algorithm puts the emphasis on content discovery rather than exclusively showcasing content from connections. 

Consequently, TikTok offers brands a distinctive opportunity to reach a broader audience compared to other platforms. By capturing the attention of individuals interested in their content, brands can accumulate more followers and increase the likelihood of securing sales.

Influencer marketing opportunities

Influencer marketing thrives on TikTok, simplifying the process for brands to attract new prospects within their target demographic. 

TikTok influencers often operate within specific industries and have big audiences. They hold the potential to achieve significant reach also due to the algorithm's flexibility. This translates to increased value for the influencer budget, enabling brands to extend their reach to more consumers and establish robust influencer relationships.


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TikTok marketing strategy: first steps

Before you start implementing very specific and action-oriented tactics and strategies on TikTok, you need to take some steps to lay the groundwork.

Set up you TikTok Business Account

The process of establishing a TikTok business account is a fundamental initial step in leveraging the platform's marketing capabilities.

  1. Download the TikTok app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and proceed to register using your email, phone number, or social media account.
  2. Upon creating a basic account, navigate to your profile, tap on the three-dot icon located in the top right corner, choose Manage account, and then opt for Switch to Business account.
  3. Next, you will be prompted to designate your business industry. Select the category that aligns with your business, as this assists TikTok in tailoring your experience and providing pertinent insights.
  4. Complete your profile details, including your business name, bio, and website. Your bio serves as an opportunity to make a compelling first impression, so ensure it effectively conveys your business's nature and the type of content viewers can anticipate.
  5. Utilize your logo or another relevant image associated with your business as your profile picture to maintain brand consistency.

Identify your audience

Before even deciding to try to sell on TikTok, it's essential to determine whether your target audience is active on this platform. With over a billion global active users, the likelihood is high. However, conducting thorough research on your specific target audience is crucial to ensure TikTok aligns with your marketing goals.

While TikTok is often associated with a younger demographic, it's noteworthy that around 32% of its global active users fall within the 25-34 age range.


Source: Statista


Every retailer should understand the necessity of tailoring a campaign to its audience. Without an in-depth understanding of the target demographic, efforts can be blind attempts.


But do you truly understand your audience?


Delving deeper into what motivates your potential customers, their preferences, and the type of content that resonates with them is crucial for a successful strategy. Encompassing their characteristics, interests, and platform interactions, serves as the foundation for shaping your content strategy and crafting compelling videos.


Various methods for researching your target demographic include:

  • exploring demographics to ascertain age, location, and gender
  • employing surveys and polls to gather insights
  • identifying audience interests aligned with TikTok's content personalization
  • monitoring brand mentions and relevant discussions
  • using TikTok Analytics to follow demographics and engagement trends

Research your competitors

While not everything is a competition, marketing on TikTok undeniably is. If your competitors are active on TikTok, your absence could mean you're missing out on valuable opportunities. If they are not present, TikTok can offer a chance to establish a competitive advantage.

Regardless of your competitors' TikTok presence, it's beneficial to analyze three to five similar brands or organizations to understand their activities. Using the S.W.O.T. framework can help identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Since TikTok is creator-centric, considering influencers who specialize in your field should also be part of this analysis.

Prepare your content plan

Understanding the types of content that resonate well on any platform is vital in crafting a successful content strategy. TikTok is known for its entertaining and engaging content, distinguishing itself from platforms that are better suited for professional or serious content. Even weighty subjects on TikTok often take on a lighthearted and humorous approach.

Consistency in content can positively impact sales performance. You should establish a consistent content strategy with defining your brand's tone and voice, aiming to create authentic content aligned with your brand while also harmonizing with TikTok's tone.

Key steps to achieve content consistency include defining your brand voice, exploring various content types on TikTok, such as dance challenges, educational content, and behind-the-scenes glimpses, experimenting to determine the most effective content for your brand and audience, developing a content calendar, and more.


Source: TikTok

Take advantage of TikTok advertising

Every effective TikTok marketing plan for retailers includes paid advertising. Sharing brand awareness won’t bring you sales.

In 2020, due to the growing demand for TikTok ads, the platform introduced TikTok for Business. This feature allows users to create and run ads using product feeds as well as various creative tools.

It's important to understand the different types of TikTok ads available, such as:

  • Catalog Listing Ads
  • In-Feed ads
  • Brand Takeover ads
  • TopView adstik
  • Branded Hashtag Challenges
  • more

Each type serves a unique purpose, and you should choose based on your specific goals.

TikTok offers advanced targeting options, allowing you to reach specific demographics, user interests, or behaviors. Well-targeted ads are more likely to generate higher engagement and better ROI.


TikTok Catalog Listings Ads | TikTok


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10 best TikTok strategies for retailers

We've broken down the big marketing plan for TikTok into 10 strategies, and we'll explain each tactic one at a time.

1. Adjust your targeting

TikTok provides a diverse set of detailed, data-informed targeting choices, but this doesn't always imply that you should exclusively concentrate on smaller audience segments.

The best solution is to begin by utilizing broad targeting and then refine.

Commencing with broad audience targeting presents an excellent opportunity to collect performance insights that can drive your campaigns and significantly enhance conversion of  valuable customers.

It all boils down to the TikTok algorithm. Upon launching a new TikTok campaign, the algorithm enters a so-called learning Phase. Throughout this period, the algorithm exposes various audiences to your ads, gathering data on which users are most likely to engage and convert. While your CPA may fluctuate in the initial days, it will stabilize rapidly as the learning phase advances.


TikTok Interests targeting | TikTok

2. Work with A/B testing

A/B testing is a reliable method for enhancing your TikTok marketing performance and boosting conversion rates.

Through a consistent, data-informed testing approach, you can pinpoint the most effective aspects of your current TikTok marketing campaigns while eliminating inefficient tactics. Furthermore, A/B testing allows you to uncover new audiences and strategies that drive valuable conversions.

On TikTok, numerous variables can be split tested, such as ad formats, audience targeting, CTAs, creative assets, ad copy, and bidding tactics. Given the dynamic nature of TikTok's marketing landscape, A/B testing empowers you to adapt to evolving trends and audience behaviors, ensuring that your strategy remains optimized for maximizing conversions.

Moreover, some A/B tests on TikTok can be created directly through the TikTok Ads Manager. Some others require you to use additional tools.

For example, if you want to focus on TikTok Shopping ads, it would be beneficial to test titles. Third-party catalog management tools provide this type of testing option.


A/B product testing titles | DataFeedWatch  

3. Use hashtags in your TikTok campaigns

Similar to many other social media platforms, TikTok users utilize hashtags to categorize their videos and search for content based on specific topics. By clicking on the "Discover" magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen, users can access a list of videos organized by trending TikTok hashtags.

Some advantages for brands using TikTok hashtags include expanding the reach of your content, identifying competitors, increasing your follower count.

While it's important to include relevant hashtags on your videos, it's advisable to steer clear of overly popular generic hashtags. Using such hashtags may cause your videos to get lost in a deluge of content. Instead, it's better to have your videos stand out within slightly less popular categories. Just like in all marketing efforts, the goal is to make your videos visible to those most relevant to your campaign, so the focus should not solely be on popular hashtags.


Source: Hubspot

4. Collaborate with TikTok influencers

TikTok influencer marketing involves businesses collaborating with content creators to endorse their brand. This collaboration typically entails a mutual agreement where influencers receive compensation, goods, or valuable services in exchange for creating promotional content. For instance, a kitchen brand might compensate a foodie influencer to create and share a TikTok video featuring their blender.

Influencer marketing can also manifest in subtler forms, such as product placements within a creator's video.

The TikTok influencer industry has experienced remarkable growth in the past years and is expected to reach a record global valuation of $24 billion in 2024. Most marketers consider influencer marketing to be highly effective for brand promotion.


TikTok influencers | TikTok


Partnering with influencers can significantly enhance your brand's presence and credibility on TikTok. By collaborating with the right influencers, you can access authentic and compelling content that deeply resonates with your target audience.

It's essential to recognize that finding the ideal match for your brand can be challenging, and thorough research is crucial before engaging with a content creator.

Influencers come in various categories based on their follower numbers, such as nano, micro, macro, and mega. If working with major influencers isn't feasible within your budget, partnering with micro-influencers is advised. 

5. Use custom audiences on TikTok

Leveraging Custom Audiences can significantly enhance performance and elevate your conversion rates, often better than standard TikTok audiences.

TikTok Custom Audiences are tailored segments created using your proprietary data, enabling you to target prospective customers already familiar with your brand, website, or products for TikTok advertising purposes.

Given that Custom Audiences have already demonstrated interest in your offerings, they are considerably more inclined to engage and convert. This presents an excellent opportunity to implement highly effective retargeting strategies that bolster sales and reduce acquisition costs, thereby boosting your conversion rate.


Custom audiences | TikTok


There are various types of Custom Audiences on TikTok. You can target existing customers by uploading your own customer files to TikTok, retarget users who have previously engaged with your ad campaigns, completed specific actions on your website (& app), engaged with your TikTok account or organic content & more.

If you observe strong performance with Custom Audiences, you can also take advantage of Lookalike Audiences to broaden your reach while maintaining a focus on precise targeting. 

6. Campaign optimizations

Ensure you are always on the lookout for chances to enhance your TikTok ads, eliminate ineffective approaches, and experiment with new strategies.

Consistent improvements are crucial for boosting performance over time, so becoming familiar with the TikTok Ads Manager is extremely important. If you're unable to pinpoint the most effective ad types or target audiences driving conversions, refining your strategy and enhancing ROI will be challenging.


The performance of your TikTok campaign is often closely correlated with the quality of your product feed. Stay focused on core metrics (e.g. conversions, CPA), systematically check the quality of your product feed and optimize!


Feed review | DataFeedWatch


It's also essential to allow the TikTok algorithm time to test, learn, and optimize whenever you launch a new campaign. Although it may be tempting to intervene when performance fluctuates, implementing optimizations is much easier when the algorithm has gathered conversion data and identified profitable audiences.


7. Create a balance between paid and organic content

While paid media undoubtedly holds a significant role in TikTok marketing, the impact of organic content should not be underestimated. Social media content is a free marketing tool which, with a paid media campaign, can extend your reach and establish a robust marketing strategy conducive to sustained growth.

It's important to aim to produce a variety of content that entertains and educates your audience about your brand.

According to a survey conducted by Forbes, 81% of respondents acknowledged that social media posts and recommendations from their family and friends greatly influenced their purchasing decisions. 

The primary objective of your content strategy should revolve around crafting genuine, compelling content that not only reflects your brand's voice but also resonates with your target audience. Organic content enables direct engagement with your audience, allowing them to comment, like, and share your content while enabling your personalized responses. 

While paid campaigns may facilitate rapid and extensive reach, organic content fosters a long-term, sustainable following that converts effectively. Striking a balance between these approaches can amplify your reach and nurture sustainable growth.

8. Follow TikTok trends

Embracing TikTok trends can be a powerful marketing strategy for retailers looking to connect with a younger, highly engaged audience. 

By keeping up to date with the latest viral challenges, dances and memes, retailers can add relevance to their content and harness the platform's contagious energy. 

This approach not only humanizes the brand, but also demonstrates its ability to remain current and relatable. Furthermore, participating in TikTok trends can improve visibility, promote community engagement and increase organic reach. 


Source: TikTok


Regularly monitor your 'For You' page and watch trending videos to remain abreast of the platform's latest buzz, as well as 'Discover' page to identify trending hashtags and sounds.

Engage in challenges that align with your brand and marketing objectives. Integrate popular songs into your TikTok videos and, most importantly, embrace the freedom to experiment. Consider initiating your own trend or challenge, as its adoption can significantly elevate your brand's visibility.

9. Track results of TikTok advertising

Once you've formulated your TikTok marketing strategy and executed your campaign, the subsequent pivotal phase involves reporting. It's essential to assess the effectiveness of your efforts, and the primary means of achieving this is through analyzing the available data in TikTok Ad Manager.

When evaluating whether your campaign has effectively met its objectives, several crucial metrics should be taken into account:

Utilize TikTok Analytics: This feature enables you to monitor your profile's performance, content engagement, and follower insights. Consistently reviewing these metrics can provide valuable insights into the efficacy of your strategy, highlighting areas for adjustment.

Track key metrics: Concentrate on the key metrics that align with your specific goals. For instance, if the aim is to drive sales and revenue, closely monitor metrics such as click-through rates, add-to-carts, product views or product purchases..

Monitor campaign performance: Whether you're conducting ad campaigns or collaborating with influencers, it's crucial to track their performance. This involves not only observing direct engagement metrics but also gauging their impact on your overall TikTok performance and business outcomes, such as website traffic or sales.

Utilize external tracking tools: Depending on your requirements, you may consider employing external analytics tools for more comprehensive tracking and reporting. These tools offer the capability to monitor various aspects, ranging from hashtag performance to competitor analysis, providing deeper insights beyond the native TikTok analytics.

10. Leverage the platform's interactive ad formats

When considering TikTok ad strategies, it's advisable to also consider using the platform's interactive ad formats, such as polls, AR effects, and gamified experiences. By incorporating these elements into your ad campaigns, you can create engaging and immersive experiences that capture users' attention and drive interaction with your brand. This approach can lead to more meaningful and memorable user engagement, ultimately contributing to the success of your TikTok advertising efforts.

One of the most interesting forms for showcasing your products on tikTok is product demonstrations. This strategy can captivate potential customers by providing them with a clear understanding of how the product works and how it can benefit them.

This approach aims to engage potential customers by providing a comprehensive understanding of the product's functionality and its potential benefits. To effectively execute this strategy, it is important to utilize high-quality visual content, emphasize the unique value propositions of the product, demonstrate its practical application in real-life scenarios, incorporate engaging storytelling elements, and conclude with a clear call to action.


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Real TikTok marketing strategy examples

Here are three examples of real companies that have implemented a successful TikTok strategy. Get inspired!


The Mexican restaurant chain gained a big following with 1.7 million followers and 3.8 million likes. Chipotle’s success started with the #ChipotleLidFlip Challenge, with over 100,000 people trying it. When TikTok introduced its Ads platform, Chipotle took part in Branded Hashtag Challenges, teaming up with popular Creators to boost awareness. Their #GuacDance challenge brought in over 250,000 videos and 430 million video starts in just six days. This led to a jump in guacamole sales, with over 800,000 units sold on National Guacamole Day.

Later, Chipotle went virtual on Roblox for their Boorito Halloween event. By using the #Boorito hashtag on TikTok, they got over 4.2 billion views.

They reopened their Roblox store for National Burrito Day and promoted it through TikTok videos.

Allied Irish Banks group (AIB)

The Allied Irish Banks group, a prominent Irish financial services provider with a global presence, has leveraged TikTok's platform to promote their virtual festival series and online account platforms through branded content. 

AIB strategically utilized top view ads and various In-feed Ad series to capture the attention of their intended audience. These ads also integrated CTA links directing users to AIB websites for additional information, such as details on opening accounts. Impressively, the campaign yielded outstanding results, generating over 2.13 million impressions, 40,000 clicks, and an impressive 94,000 engagements, surpassing their projected KPIs by 87%.

Liquid IV

Liquid IV, in collaboration with Tinuiti, employed an "always-engaged" approach on TikTok, utilizing a blend of standard In-Feed Ads and Spark Ads to connect with TikTok users. By partnering with influential creators like Kristen Tellez and Sydney Bast, the brand effectively conveyed its story in a manner unique to TikTok, ultimately experiencing a significant surge in expenditure and witnessing a 48% rise in ROAS from from quarter to quarter. 

Spark Ads, a native ad format enabling brands to enhance the organic content of other creators as In-Feed Ads, played a pivotal role in this strategy. This initiative aimed to engage TikTok users in promoting environmental consciousness while emphasizing the importance of staying hydrated.


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In conclusion, these proven TikTok marketing strategies offer a solid growth plan for retailers aiming to elevate their brand presence and drive sales on the platform. By leveraging the algorithm, creating engaging content, collaborating with influencers, and embracing TikTok's advertising options, retailers can tap into a high-value audience and enhance brand visibility. 

We encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and let us know how these strategies have impacted your retail marketing efforts on TikTok.

Read also:

TikTok Advertising Guide 2024

How to Sell Shopify Products on TikTok: The Ultimate Guide

TikTok Live Shopping: How to Start for Maximum Sales?

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