Five Ways TikTok Can Help Grow Your Business

By: Danielle Gazda

The use of video content is a proven method of advertisement. Commercials have enticed audiences to try new products, visit new places, and make countless purchases in the decades since they first appeared on television. Now, video has become the best way to market products, services, and yourself on social media platforms, as well. Static visuals can be well crafted and beautiful, but short video content is what younger generations want to see more and more.

At the moment, no one does this better than TikTok. As Instagram, Facebook, and the rest try to catch up, TikTok has quite the monopoly on enticing, shareable, bite-sized video content. Vine, for those who remember it, was essentially an early version of this. However, it was rarely used for marketing purposes, yet it showed what kind of communities could be built. If your product or service is geared toward a younger audience, then TikTok is where you want to be.

Here Are Five Ways to Make TikTok Work for Your Business:

1. Post Genuine, Less Commercialized Content

Obviously, the goal is advertising and getting your business out there, but you shouldn’t be doing that in your company’s everyday posts. Audiences don’t want to feel like a product is being forced on them. Content should be fun and laid-back, and not always focused on a product or service. Show the people who work for your company. Show behind-the-scenes glimpses of how your product is made. And show your workspace and office — audiences want to know that there are real people behind companies nowadays.

2. Stay On Top of Trends

A great way to get TikTok to organically boost your content is by creating content that has the potential to go viral. Participating in popular trends can be a great way to do this. But you certainly don’t want to go viral for the wrong reasons, so know when to skip a trend and leave it to the influencers.

3. Posting Product/Service Content

Of course, you’ll need to post some product/service content so your audience knows what they’re buying. Videos can be a great tool to show off a product, answer frequently asked customer questions, do demonstrations, provide tips, and more. The goal is not only to make your product stand out but for the video to be interesting. It’s very easy for audiences to simply keep scrolling and move on, so think carefully about your opening visuals and audio.

4. Partner With Influencers

Working with influencers can seem almost necessary to get your business better known, and in a lot of cases, it’s true. Influencers can have enormous reach. If even a small percentage of their audience follows up and views your brand, that can mean hundreds of people with their eyes on your product. Working with influencers can be expensive, though, so if you’re a small business, you can initially reach out to smaller influencers who may be willing to post in return for free products instead of an actual fee. You can find creators to work with at TikTok Creator Marketplace.

5. Let’s Talk About Advertising

Now, down to advertising on TikTok. TikTok offers six forms of advertising: In-Feed Ads, Spark Ads, TopView Ads, Brand Takeover Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads, and Branded Effect Ads. Learn more about each of these ad types from this article at the Later blog. Each advertising option offers unique opportunities to engage with your audience and expand it. Some may work better than others for your brand depending on how you think you can best reach your audience.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, TikTok continues to be the way of the future. Start your TikTok business account today with the help of the 270M Team. Visit our website, or email us at info@thisis270m.com.

Mindful Social Media Posting Habits

Written By: Danielle Gazda

Social media can sometimes be tricky to navigate. It’s particularly important to be mindful when posting about months or holidays such as Pride Month or Black History Month. You don’t want to appear to be pandering to a group by suddenly making inclusive posts or changing your brand’s logo to be “on-theme.” 

There are a significant number of memes about companies that suddenly become friendly to the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month as their imagery explodes with rainbow colors. Even if your brand is well-intentioned, it may come across as manipulative and capitalistic. The same is also said when horrific events, such as mass shootings or police brutality, are featured prominently on news outlets. Numerous companies will feature blacked-out solidarity posts or send out empty statements of sadness and consolation.

To be a good brand on social media, you need to be consistent, conscientious, and aware. Below are a few tips for doing this with your own brand’s social media posts.

Inclusive Imagery

Throughout the year, your brand should strive to continuously include imagery that contains a diverse cast of models. It’s important to promote inclusivity. It follows a modern trend in organic posting of allowing audiences to see themselves in your posts. The representation of minority ethnic groups, LGBTQIA+ individuals, as well as plus-size and disabled models are massively important. Be conscious of who you include whether you’re setting up your own photo shoots or using stock imagery.

Employee Participation

Include your employees in the decision-making process for posts about potentially sensitive topics. This will boost company morale and help to ensure you’re getting everything right. Facilitate company-wide conversations about what you should be doing for Black History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Pride Month, and more. Your own diverse team members are your greatest asset.

Avoid Stereotypes/Cliches

Your employees can also be invaluable by helping you avoid using language or imagery that may be offensive. It’s true that you can’t please everyone, but you can avoid glaringly obvious issues by being cautious, curious, and mindful.

Transparency

Always be deliberate with posts showing support, and be transparent in your intentions. Targeting is a part of creating ads and enticing people to purchase your product or service, but there can be a fine line. Continue to steer away from harmful stereotypes. Some decisions regarding targeting may be specific to what your company offers and represents.

Activism

Even after making claims of inclusivity, diversity, and solidarity, companies may not take a genuine stand or make an effort toward actively benefiting the groups represented in their ads and posts. Part of being an open and welcoming brand is to put your money where your mouth is. Larger companies can donate to charities and organizations. Smaller businesses can set up fundraisers or promote awareness campaigns for organizations. However, both should start closer to home. Ensure that your work environments are safe, inclusive spaces that are stocked with resources for your employees.

Being an advocate and an ally for multiple groups is necessary nowadays. It should also be what you want to do and what you want your brand to be a part of. This does not mean your content should bombard your audience with “Look at how inclusive we are!” Part of being a trustworthy business is knowing when to use your platform to raise your voice and when to step back and allow the individual communities to speak up on their own — potentially using your platform to do so.

For more digital media marketing information and tips, subscribe to the 270M newsletter and read previous blogs. If you’re interested in taking your digital marketing to the next level, contact us at info@thisis270m.com.

The Importance of Investing in Imagery for Your Brand

By: Danielle Gazda


Imagery often gets overlooked in the whirlwind of tasks involved in starting a new business. The focus is on designing a logo, setting up your website, and other more immediate needs. People sometimes fill their website with basic images of their products on a white or solid-color background, and then… that’s it.

In the world of social media e-commerce, creative and unique imagery is essential. Marketing on social media is founded on sharing unique and creative photos and videos that will entice customers to learn more and purchase.

Your company should set aside a budget to have a photo and video shoot roughly every three to six months. For photography, this is to keep the imagery fresh by trying new configurations and pairings and diversifying models. For videography, this is to explain new concepts, answer common questions, and demonstrate your product. There may be some differences depending on whether you’re selling clothes or food or CBD products, etc., but the same basic principles will apply. 

Make sure you keep these concepts in mind when shooting:

Positioning

Photographing your products in different positions can be a lifesaver when you run out of unique images or want a certain setting that you don’t already have photographed. Using a variety of different positions and angles will make it easier for your graphic designers to create the desired look in their photo editing software while keeping everything looking as realistic as possible.

Varied Groupings

You may never think of putting two or more products together in an image, but there may come a time when you want to do it. The main way to approach this is to arrange products by categories. For example, if you sell clothes, you could create two image categories: one that displays your entire shirt collection, and another that shows pairings of shirts. And don’t forget sets that go together, such as a shirt, pants, and shoe combination. This could be useful for planning an outfit post or putting pieces together for a giveaway.

Lifestyle Images/Videos

Basic model photos and videos sometimes won’t be enough for your audience. Be sure to create imagery that shows your products in a natural and organic setting. These include: a group of friends hanging out together, a family around a table, or someone walking down the street. Whatever your product is, create scenarios that your customers may actually find themselves in once they own your product.

Answering Questions

For many companies, consistently coming up with topics for videos can be trickier than creating static imagery. Some good places to start, aside from lifestyle videos, are product demonstrations, explanations, and answering FAQs. These three categories are fundamental if your company is new and you are trying to generate brand awareness. Having a knowledgeable person talk through your products or give a demonstration are great ways to show people why they should buy from you.

These tips are not just for new businesses, they will work for pre-existing ones, as well. Social media posts can become stale to audiences if the imagery isn’t refreshed every once in a while. Social media teams and graphic designers can be extremely skillful when it comes to reaching and communicating with an audience, but if you want truly unique content for your social media channels, regularly setting up photo and video shoots will make a world of difference.

If you’re interested in finding a photographer or videographer for your brand, we can help you. Contact us through our website, or send us an email at info@thisis270m.com.

Affiliate Marketing for Long-Term Partnerships

Written by: Danielle Gazda

The more places potential customers can see your brand the better. For most companies, this means advertising on multiple social media platforms in addition to Google and various online publications. 

But there is another way to look at it.

The more people that help you promote your company or product the better. To this end, some brands enter into partnerships with influencers to increase their visibility. Affiliate marketing offers yet another way to advertise with a partner, whether they are an influencer, blogger, microsite, or large media site.

So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a kind of mutually beneficial business relationship. 

Here’s the breakdown:

  • You provide a trackable link for your affiliate partner to share on their social pages, website, blog, etc.
    • These trackable links can be created on affiliate platforms such as ShareASale and AWIN.
  • Any customer who visits your website/page through the affiliate link will be associated with it.
  • If the customer completes a purchase and the purchase is verified, you pay your affiliate partner a commission based on an agreed-upon percentage.

How Is This Different From Influencer Marketing?

The most common way to bring a partner to your digital marketing team is by working with social media influencers. These types of partnerships are usually one-time paid transactions, i.e., you pay the influencer to share a product on their social channels and that’s the end of it. Some companies also opt to send influencers their product with no strings attached, and influencers will only share it with their audience if they like it and think their audience will, as well. 

Affiliate marketing, however, is typically a long-term partnership with an influencer or company. The link you provide can live on your partner’s blog or website for as long as they choose to partner with you. This can create a steady passive audience as people find themselves on a partner blog or website and then on yours. The partnership can also be an active one. If the individual or company you partner with is on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, they can plug your brand from time to time for their more engaged followers to see.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Driving Traffic and Reach

The primary hope is that affiliate marketing will drive traffic to your website from new and previously unknown customers. New customers should mean an increase in purchases and an ever-growing audience as they tell their friends and family about your brand. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner who is an influencer with a huge following then you’ll be set. 

Create Your Terms

Commissions average from 5% to 30% of a purchase — it really depends on what your brand is comfortable with, especially if you’re a small business trying to gain exposure. Just be prepared to negotiate.

If you’re partnering with an influencer who primarily posts on Instagram or TikTok, you can also negotiate how often they share your brand’s products. This could be once a month or a set number of days per year. Remember that your partner will be motivated by the idea of receiving passive income, so there’s a real opportunity for reaching many new customers.

Can Small Businesses Benefit from Affiliate Marketing?

Small businesses may not be comfortable paying commissions since every penny can make a difference for them. But affiliate marketing can still be an effective method of promotion for smaller companies. A good strategy here is to consider partnering with a small business in a field similar to yours—perhaps even without the commission, at first. You can provide one another with an affiliate link and share new followers and customers. 

The Takeaway

Affiliate marketing is a great way to advertise your business and get consistent exposure. A fruitful partnership can help you reach an audience that might never have otherwise found your brand.

Use Social Media E-Commerce to Boost Your Business

Written by: Danielle Gazda

E-commerce in social media apps has come a long way in the last couple of years. Online shopping in this form was inevitable, but it developed much more quickly than most people expected. The pandemic forced people to stay in their homes and created a demand for more ways to shop online — it also opened a range of possibilities for retailers.

Based on Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends of recent years, online shopping is becoming more and more popular. Making purchases is even easier now that people can shop directly in commonly used social media apps.

Meta’s apps, Instagram and Facebook, have been at the forefront of e-commerce. Facebook even had a leg up with its Marketplace feature, which allowed any individual to sell products or resell items. Instagram and Facebook Shops, however, are more geared toward businesses. Thanks to algorithms that look at what customers are interested in, these shops have helped small businesses gain followers and sales, with or without paid advertising.

Your business can create e-commerce shops today!

Instagram & Facebook

Since these apps are both part of Meta, their commerce policies, community guidelines, and fees are the same. Setting up a shop on either platform is free and done primarily through the Commerce Manager on your company’s Facebook page. 

When you set up your e-commerce shop, you will choose whether your customers will check out through the apps or if they will be sent to your website. There are pros and cons to both.

The major pro to in-app checkout is that customers will be more likely to complete a purchase. As people are pulled to websites outside of an app, often they stop and don’t buy. Even if they do browse the website, they are less likely to complete a purchase than if they could just buy through Instagram or Facebook.

The con is that there are fees involved with choosing to do checkout through Facebook and Instagram. While the fees are not ridiculously high, you may want to reduce any money loss if you have a small business. Whichever app a purchase is made in, Meta gets 5% of the total purchase per shipment. There is also an established flat fee of 40 cents if a purchase is $8 or less. (These fees are being waived through June 30, 2022, to help small businesses post-pandemic. It is unknown if this will be extended.)

It is also important to know Meta’s Commerce Policies and Community Guidelines about what businesses are permitted to sell through the apps. There are some restrictions. As an example, companies that sell CBD or marijuana-related products will not be able to sell through the apps.

TikTok & Pinterest

TikTok is in the e-commerce game with its shopping feature now available in most countries. It also presents the option of in-app checkout or website checkout. Fees of 1% to 5% could apply, which seems to be based on where the buyer is located. It would be safe to assume that the standard is 5%, as it is with Instagram and Facebook. If you choose not to create a shop on TikTok, you can still provide a link to your website in your bio.T

Pinterest does not have in-app purchases but is still extremely popular with shoppers. You can link to items or your website directly in the Pins you make. Many people peruse Pinterest for inspiration, and with a business account, you can tag up to 25 items in a single Pin. This is extremely popular for fashion and furniture/homeware sites because you can tag each individual item that you think customers can buy.

The Takeaway

Choosing to set up e-commerce shops in popular social media apps is a great idea. It generates more exposure, allows you to tag products directly in your posts, and provides an in-app catalog for potential customers to browse without leaving the app. Whether you choose to do checkout within the apps or through your website, you’ll still be on the right track. You can also pair shops with paid advertising or boosted organic content. This may be beneficial to help garner that early exposure — but do it sparingly so you don’t spread your budget too thin.

E-commerce is the way of the future. So get your foot in the door now.


Contact us to help you get started on your e-commerce journey.