TikTok for Brands

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06 MIN.

How to Sell on TikTok (a 2022 Step by Step Guide)

If you are not reaching out to your target audience on TikTok, you are missing out on many opportunities to increase brand awareness and drive sales to your business.



How to Sell on TikTok (a 2022 Step by Step Guide)

Every day millions of users are using TikTok to discover new brands and products to buy. In fact, 58% of TikTok users say that they discover new products and brands on the platform. So if you are not reaching out to your target audience on TikTok, you are missing out on many opportunities to increase brand awareness and drive sales to your business.

Ready to get your products in front of more people? Look no further. In this guide, we will see actionable tips to help you sell on TikTok. 

Let's get started. 

Set up a business account

Before you start selling on TikTok, you’ll need to set up a business account. Personal TikTok accounts do not have access to the TikTok Shopping tag that allows sellers to display products on their page.

Here’s how to switch from a personal to a business TikTok account:

  • Tap the three bars at the upper right corner of your profile page
  • Click on Settings and privacy
  • Select Manage account then tap on Switch to Business Account
  • Finally, choose the category that best describes your business. 

There are many pros to a TikTok Business account. Here are the main three:

Access to TikTok Shop. This allows you to create a storefront directly on TikTok where you can display all of your products. Your followers can browse through your products and easily make purchases without ever having to leave the app. 

To set up your TikTok Shop, go to the TikTok Seller Center to sign up. 

After you have finished the signup process; uploaded the necessary documents, added your first products, and linked your bank account, you can then start selling on TikTok. And from the Seller Center, you can manage your shop inventory, orders, customer service, creator partnerships, and promotions.

Access to TikTok’s Business Suite. The business suite gives you access to

  • TikTok analytics
  • TikTok ads
  • TikTok’s commercial music library of over 1 million commercially licensed songs and sounds
  • A Creative Hub that offers business account users guidance on trending content and best practices to help them grow on TikTok. 

You can connect to an SMM tool: TikTok business accounts allow users to connect their profile to a social media management tool like Iconsquare. 

With Iconosquare, you can manage your TikTok account and the other social media channels you use in one dashboard. You can build a content calendar, schedule content, and monitor the performance of your marketing strategies. 

Optimize your TikTok profile

After you switch to a business account, the first step is to optimize your TikTok profile. Your profile is the first place potential customers will look at after they come across your content. So, it is important that it grabs their attention.

When setting your profile, ensure to make it recognizable. If your brand already has a presence on other social media platforms, use the same profile photo, account name, and username. This will make it easy for your existing fans to find you on the platform. 

You should also ensure that your TikTok bio describes your brand and what you are offering. TikTok allows only 80 characters, so make the bio short and captivating. You can even include CTAs in your bio to tell your audience what action to take after reading it. For instance, CTAs can be used to direct viewers to your shop or to promote discount codes.

TikTok also allows users to add a link to their profile. Use this to direct traffic to web pages you want to promote. This can be a URL to a landing page for capturing leads or the sales page for the product you are promoting.

Connect your e-commerce shop to your account

If you use an ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, you can connect your store to your TikTok account. Doing this will allow your products to be displayed in the shopping tab on your profile so your customers can make purchases without having to leave the platform. 

Here are the details on how to connect two of the most popular ecommerce platforms:

How to connect Shopify to TikTok

  • First, install the TikTok app on the Shopify App Store. 
  • After installation, connect your TikTok Business Account to your Shopify store
  • A TikTok business dashboard will appear after you have connected your TikTok business account to the store. 
  • You will control the TikTok Business Account from the business dashboard. 

How to connect BigCommerce to TikTok

  • From the Channel Manager section, under Ads and social, install the TikTok for Business app.
  • Next, connect and authorize your TikTok business account. 
  • Then install the TikTok pixel on your BigCommerce storefront
  • Finally, sync your BigCommerce product catalog to your TikTok profile. This is what allows the selected products on your ecommerce store to be added to the shopping tab on your profile.

Currently, TikTok integrates with BigCommerce, Shopify, Square, Ecwid, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce. But if you don't use any of the platforms, you can manually create product catalogs directly in the TikTok Seller Center. 

Run TikTok ads

Reports from TikTok show that the platform has a significant impact on customer purchase journeys. In fact,  44% of TikTok users say they have discovered something on the platform that they immediately went out to buy.

These stats show that TikTok is an effective platform for driving sales. And if you want to quickly drive sales on the platforms, the best way to do this is by running ads. TikTok ads are the fastest way to increase your brand’s reach on the platform especially when you have a low following. 

Here is how you can promote posts on TikTok:

  • Go to your profile and click the three dashes in the top right corner of your screen.
  • Then go to settings, tap Creator Tools, and then click Promote.
  • Under the Promotions page, select the video that you want to promote. Note that video ads cannot contain copyrighted music.
  • Choose your ad goal. This can be ‘followers’, ‘visits’, or ‘views’. If you want to drive sales, the recommended ad goal is ‘visits’. So people who view your ad will be prompted to visit the linked website. You will also be able to choose a call-to-action button such as Shop Now.
  • Choose the audience you want to reach. You can select Automatic or Custom. 
  • Finally, define your budget duration and add your payment information. After this, tap Start Promotion and your ad will kick off. 

Also, before you start running ads, it’s good to know the ad formats at your disposal. And since TikTok requires a minimum daily budget of 50 USD, you want to make sure that you are using the most effective format for your ad campaign. 

Here are the three key TikTok ad formats you can use:

#1. In-Feed video:  This tiktok ad format can be 15-60 seconds long and it is shown to users as they scroll through their For You page. Apart from the CTA button on in-feed video ads, it's indistinguishable from normal organic content. Users can comment, like, and share the video ads. The ad format is best for small businesses without a huge budget.

Example (LANCÔME)

To help launch their latest perfume, Idole Aura, Lancôme ran an ad to raise awareness and drive sales in Portugal. They ran a 6-second video where they encouraged their audience to request a sample of their new perfume for free. 

After running the ad campaign for 11 days, they generated a lot of positive audience sentiments. And not only did the ad drive thousands of users to the sample order page on their website, but Lancôme also recorded a conversion rate of 12.24%.

#2. TopView: This is the most expensive TikTok ad placement. In the 4th quarter of 2021, Bloomberg reported that TikTok charged up to $2 million a day for TopView ads. 

TopView ads are featured full-screen 5-60 seconds videos that appear at the top of the For You page when the user first opens the app. TopView ads are best if you want to boost brand awareness because a high number of impressions are guaranteed. 

Example (BOSS)

During the launch of their special Christmas collection, BOSS used a global branded hashtag challenge to help spread awareness for their outfits. The hashtag used was #MerryBOSSmass. BOSS’ audience were encouraged to share videos of themselves showing off their festive outfits. And to ensure that their audience participated in the challenge, they ran TopView and In-Feed Ads to promote the videos that creators were making. 

BOSS’s main objective was to launch its latest collection to a younger audience. And the ad was a success. The results show that both the BOSS brand and its latest collection had significant levels of Gen Z exposure. This is no surprise since over 300,000 creators participated in the challenge. The campaign also received almost three billion video views.

#3. Brand Takeover: Brand Takeover ads pop up on the user’s screen as soon as they open up the app. The ad lasts for a few seconds on the fullscreen before it changes to an In-Feed video ad. Takeover ads can appear as gifs, videos, images, and clickable links. They are effective in increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to landing pages. 


Balenciaga launched two Takeover ads to promote their brand in the UK and Italian markets. Its objective was to raise awareness with a new audience. The video ad showcased their products and after playing full-screen for five seconds led viewers to a landing page. 

The ad was a success as the campaign saw over 23 million impressions across France, Italy, and the UK. Balenciaga also recorded over 4.5M clicks to their landing page

There are other ad formats like branded hashtag challenges and branded effects. These ad formats are effective in helping brands generate user-generated content and brand awareness.

TikTok is also currently testing another ad format called Collection Ads.

According to TikTok, “Collection Ads is an ad format that enables people to seamlessly find, discover and browse products in a full-screen mobile experience. When you publish Collection Ads, you will create an ad that leads to an Instant Gallery Page - where people can explore a curated collection of your products.”

Partner with influencers

Influencer marketing can help you drive sales on TikTok. Influencers have built a solid reputation on the platform and already have a strong relationship with your target audience. By partnering with them, you can get your product in front of a lot of potential customers. 

The key thing when working with influencers on TikTok is to choose the ones with audiences that are interested in the product or service that you are selling. It's best practice to choose quality over quantity of followers.

You also don’t need a huge budget to work with influencers. Smaller brands can work with nano and micro-influencers (accounts with less than 5000 and 20,000 followers). And along with being considerably cheaper, micro-influencers offer the potential for a higher ROI. Research from Klear shows that micro-influencers get 47% more engagement on sponsored posts than macro-influencers. 

There are a couple of ways you can find influencers to work with. You can manually do your research, work with an influencer agency like Upfluence, or use the TikTok creator marketplace. 

What is the TikTok Creator Marketplace?

TikTok Creator Marketplace is the official platform where brands can collaborate with creators on both reward-based and paid campaigns. It is currently available in 24 countries

Brands can filter creators to work with based on the location of the influencer, the type of content the creator shares, the creator's audience reach, and average views. 

Tip: Work with influencers that have enabled ecommerce anchors. Ecommerce anchors allow the creator to include links in their bios and posts. This feature is very useful in boosting conversions and driving sales. After the influencer promotes your product, their audience can easily click on the links in their bios and posts to make the purchase. 

Here is an example of how to work with influencers from Mucinex. 

@jaydencroes Don’t let a cold limit your fun this holiday! I am #TooSickToBeSick 😎🔥 #Mucinex #Sponsored ♬ #TooSickToBeSick - Join The Challenge

In 2019, Mucinex collaborated with four TikTok influencers to promote its product ahead of the flu season. The influencers started a Halloween-themed campaign where they shared videos of themselves waking up looking like zombies. They then used Mucinex and not long after they were well and ready to have fun. 

A hashtag challenge – #TooSickToBeSick – was started to encourage other TikTokers to create videos. 

The collaboration shows that with the right promotional strategy you can sell any product on TikTok. Mucinex is an over-the-counter medicine product but still saw success with influencer marketing. They only had to ensure that the influencers they worked with didn't break any laws related to promoting medical products. 

Take advantage of user-generated content

Encouraging your audience to create TikTok videos related to your product and then sharing them on your account is a good way to boost sales. 

UGC is a very effective sales tool. Reports show that 92% of customers will look at recommendations and reviews from other customers before making a purchase decision. And when compared to other marketing strategies, UGC holds its weight. For instance, a Stackla survey reveals that consumers find UGC 9.8x more impactful than influencer content when making purchase decisions. 

The best part is that it is very easy to get started with UGC marketing. If you already have a solid customer base, there is a good chance that your audience is already creating content about your brand. Your job is to find these videos, curate the best ones, and share them on your account. 

You can also create branded hashtag challenges, then encourage your customers to share videos using that hashtag. Or you can run a contest asking customers to create videos about them using your product for a chance to win a prize. 

Create engaging content

An effective way to drive sales on TikTok is to create engaging content that encourages your followers to interact with your brand. If your target audience isn’t watching your videos, it will be difficult for you to make any sales. So, we will look at some tiktok ideas to help you create engaging content

#1. Share short tutorials

You want to get your audience interested in your products? Share short tutorials showcasing how to use them. 

Be creative and show your audience the different ways they can get the most out of your brand’s product or service.

#2. Share lifehack videos

When possible, share lifehack videos related to your brand. For example, Elf Cosmetics shared a life hack for applying eyeliner using their eyeliner pencils. 

@elfyeah @Dev makes it look so easy 😩 👑 #elfcosmetics ♬ original sound - elfyeah

Also, when accompanied by funny commentary and catchy music, lifehack videos are very engaging. They usually have a lot of comments, likes, and shares. 

#3. Be creative when showing off your product

When sharing videos promoting your product, give your audience reasons to want to make a purchase. Your videos should create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) among viewers. For example, Spikeball shared a fun video of its customers playing with their product. The video looked fun and customers who enjoy outdoor games will most likely check out their profile.


What a vibey, vibey rally 🤩

♬ original sound - Spikeball Inc.

Here is another good example of how to show off your product from Vessi:

@vessi The Everyday Move's are officially LIVE 🙌 Designed to get you moving. #everydaymove #vessi #vessifootwear #nomorewetsocks #waterproofshoes #fyp ♬ original sound - Vessi

Vessi used a high-quality 3D rendering to show off the cool features of their new footwear.

#4. Have fun with lip-sync videos

Lip-sync videos are very popular on TikTok. You can lip-sync to viral funny sound clips and use your captions to give context to the video. Check out this good example from Vessi:

To use a funny sound, just tap on the sound’s name at the bottom of the screen. Then click on the ‘Use this sound’ prompt. 

#5. Participate in trending challenges

Hopping on trending challenges can help increase your brand’s reach. For example, Reebok participated in the Pen and Cup challenge. The challenge involved people saying they were going to do something and then throwing a pen at a cup. If the pen entered the cup, the person had to follow through on what they said they would do.

These ideas will come in handy when creating content for TikTok. 

But note that sharing engaging content is just one half of the puzzle. It's important that you post consistently. 

To get the most out of TikTok, you need to have a consistent posting schedule. Posting consistently allows you to boost your brand's recognizability. Remember, out of sight equals out of mind. People will forget about your brand if they don't regularly see content from you.

With Iconosquare, you get access to a content calendar that you can use to plan your TikTok content weeks ahead. 

And along with posting consistently, you should share content when your audience is most active online. Doing this will ensure that your videos receive maximum engagement.

But when is the right time to post on TikTok? Check out this in-depth guide we've written on the best time to post on TikTok

Ready to start selling on TikTok? 

Use the tips and ideas in this article to create a solid marketing strategy to help you drive sales on the platform.  Learn more about how businesses can effectively get the most out of TikTok.

the writer


Copywriter @Iconosquare

Hi! I'm Marvellous, huge fan of Iconosquare as a product, and determined to help experienced social media marketers thrive in the various aspects of their career.


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