6 Tactics To Grow a Private Label Brand With TikTok Marketing in 2022

TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users and was the most visited website in 2021. 

With its explosive growth, no marketer can afford to ignore this social media platform. However, many still believe TikTok is a platform for dancing teenagers when in reality, the older demographics have started to move their attention away from Instagram and Facebook.

TikTok marketing can be a perfect opportunity for an eCommerce business as there is still relatively little competition compared to other matured platforms. For private label sellers and DTC brands, it can be a goldmine.

This guide will give you evidence-based and tested tactics on how to grow your private label brand using TikTok.

How TikTok works

Let’s quickly go over how the platform works for those who didn’t give TikTok a chance.

TikTok is a video-only platform where users scroll through videos presented in their feed. The length of a video is between 15 seconds and 3 minutes and it’s shown based on a powerful algorithm that considers the user’s past interactions with other videos. Although scientists agree that TikTok is bad for attention span, as a marketer you have just a few seconds to capture the users’ attention. The higher the video’s view percentage and rewatch rate, the higher the chance of it going viral.

The algorithm is exceptional at keeping people glued to the app, as the average user spends 45 minutes per day scrolling through videos. Because of its virality characteristics, videos can get millions of free views in a matter of days.

The video editor is an essential part of the app as it gives users the ability to create entertaining and unique videos quickly. The background music feature resulted in millions of dancing videos.

When it comes to interaction, users can like, comment, share videos, and send private messages.

As of right now, engagement scores and organic reach are high, as it was the case with every platform in its infancy. This is typical for every new social media platform on the rise that strives to attract new users in a short period of time. That’s why we recommend you give TikTok a try before the eventual organic reach decline.

Why TikTok for eCommerce?

By 2025, social commerce is predicted to grow to $80 billion in the US alone. If you are concerned that most users are too young without enough spending power, then you’ll be pleased to know that 38% of US users are above 30.

With its recent integration partnerships with Shopify, WooCommerce and Square, TikTok is bringing users the experience of shopping directly through the app. Merchants are able to tag products in organic posts so users can click and shop without leaving the app.

Hashtags such as #AmazonFinds and #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt attract millions of daily views.

According to a survey from 2020, two-thirds of the users were inspired to shop even though they were planning to buy anything.

This brings us to…

What products work on TikTok

Unlike on Instagram and Facebook, not every product is suitable for TikTok.

TikTok is an entertainment-first network. Meaning, that the majority of people don’t come to watch long-form educational videos. Although this might change in the future.

Products that perform well are the ones that have the “WOW factor”. If you can present a product in a way for a user to stop scrolling and pay attention, then you might have a chance for a viral win. Boring marketing angles and well-polished professional product presentations won’t get you anywhere.

Also, what works well for brand awareness and connection with an audience are behind-the-scenes videos and real customer reviews. Here you can find a list of DTC brands that create great content and do well on TikTok’s organic side.

Before you start with content production, we recommend that you dedicate a week or two to using the app, to understand and get the feel for what type of content performs the best. You’ll discover that the best brand accounts don’t feel like brand accounts at all.

Tip #1 – UGC is king

UGC stands for User Generated Content.

Users don’t respond well to videos that don’t look native to the platform. No matter if you create organic posts or paid ad campaigns, make sure to create them from a customer perspective. Videos that attract millions of views and go viral showcase products as if the user recorded them.

To get your feet wet with TikTok, you are better off just taking your most exciting and best-selling product and shooting “low-budget” videos using various “scroll-stopping” marketing angles, instead of investing thousands into professional video production.

If you think you have a boring product and don’t have enough marketing angles to record, then look at this brand.

For supplements or clothing, behind the scenes, production processes, before and after customer reviews work like a charm.

Keep in mind that users want to be entertained and informed, not sold to. When creating a video, don’t just worry about the hook. While the hook should encourage users to watch further, the ultimate goal is for them to engage and share the video.

It’s a nonformal and fun platform, so treat it like one and you’ll be on your way to a good start.

Tip #2 – Expand product line

So you are in a boring niche and think TikTok isn’t for you?

As a private label seller, your ultimate goal is to expand the line of products so you can cross-sell to existing customers and increase the lifetime value of a customer. So why not add an exciting product to your portfolio?

TikTok can be a great “top of the funnel” platform for increasing discoverability, brand awareness and adding new customers to a sales funnel.

Example: Let’s say you are in the furniture niche crushing it with Google SEO, but you don’t have any exciting products that would be worth your time on TikTok. This brand sells a product in the furniture niche with a wow factor and got millions of views on just a couple of SKUs.

Tip #3 – Partnerships

The fastest and most predictable way to grow on social media is by riding the wave of those who have done it already. To significantly increase audience reach from day one, partner with relevant content creators and influential persons who have more followers than you.

If you type #AmazonFinds you’ll find many faceless accounts promoting products on Amazon through their affiliate program. For most product types that perform well on TikTok, they receive 3% of the selling price, which is embarrassingly low. This leaves a lot of room for custom affiliate partnerships.

To find the right content creator that might help you with growth, simply use TikTok’s search bar. Once you find an account that might be suitable, send a friendly message with a partnership proposal.

Establishing a partnership can be a numbers game, so it might take a while until someone takes you up on your suggestion.

Tip #4 – Virality hooks

Virality is the secret to having success on TikTok. Having a viral video will dramatically decrease ad costs and increase organic reach.

The success depends on the first 3 seconds of the video. That is why you need to use hooks to encourage people to watch and engage.

Here are some eCommerce related hooks that worked for us:

  • Watch this if you hate (pain point)
  • No (pain point #1), no (pain point #2), use (product name)
  • Y’all need this ASAP
  • Are you doing ____ but still not seeing results
  • Who knew (pain point) can be so (benefit)
  • How to never be (pain point) again
  • I’m obsessed with my new (product name)

Another tip that works well is to answer comments in a video. Also, before and after videos and giveaways tend to perform great with eCommerce products.

Like I mentioned above, if your product is boring, then explore other brands with boring products that have cracked the code to producing creative marketing angles or expand your product line into more exciting sub-niches.

When it comes to video production, avoid monotony in every possible way, as well as static frames and backgrounds. Add dynamic music, change frames every couple of seconds, increase voice speed and remove any pauses.

Millions of views mean nothing if you aren’t able to effectively convert viewers into customers. That’s why it’s important to include a clear call to action throughout each video. It can be as simple as telling them to click the link in the bio or to engage and provide further steps in the comments section.

Tip #5 – Location matters

TikTok recommends videos to users that are in the same geo-location as the account from which you are managing it. So if you want to reach a US audience, don’t post from France. The algorithm will automatically recommend the content to France-based users. Once they start to pick up and watch the video, it will snowball to more viewers from France.

We’ve tested this on several accounts and whenever we post from a different country, we struggle to reach our target audience. This is an issue with organic content but not with paid ads.

The solution is either to hire an account manager physically located in a country where your target audience is or to rent a virtual private server (VPS).

Tip #6 – TikTok Ads

TikTok’s paid advertising platform is another great way to promote your private label brand.

Create a business account here to start with paid ads. Keep in mind that not every country is eligible to register for a business account. In case your country is not on the list, reach out to us to see if we could provide you with agency account access.

The advantage of their advertising platform is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time building an audience. Your campaign could be up and running in less than 24 hours.

Types of available ad formats:

  • In-feed ads
  • Branded hashtags
  • Top View ads
  • Branded effects
  • Brand Takeover

The most popular format is the in-feed ad, which brings the best results for small businesses.

Here you can find inspiration from other advertisers.

If you don’t have your targeting narrowed down, we recommend starting with a broad audience and letting it run for several days. TikTok’s algorithm will give you insights and data to narrow down the targeting further. Then you can create similar audiences that have the same characteristics as the initial audience. Before narrowing down the targeting, make sure to test several broad targeting interests and behaviors related to your product.

Another important tip is to make sure your conversion event works properly. This javascript code fires up whenever a specific event occurs (add to cart, purchase, etc.). You can use TikTok’s pixel helper to check if it’s implemented properly. We highly recommend that when you don’t just track purchase conversions but top-of-the-funnel events as well, such as Add to Carts. This will help TikTok’s AI algorithm learn faster as TOFU events occur more often than purchase conversion events, which will ultimately help to faster tweak and optimize ad campaigns.

You must constantly launch new ad creatives to avoid ad fatigue. There are no set and forget campaigns that will serve you for months. You have to come up with new angles and creatives and launch them regularly. TikTok wants ads to appear like native content, so make sure to follow the UGC and Virality hooks guidelines that we mentioned above.

TIP: If you have a blog or an eCommerce store that gets traffic, add the TikTok pixel immediately. This will give you a head start, as when you decide to start advertising, you will already have a narrowed down audience.

Conclusion

TikTok is a phenomenal promotion channel to add to your marketing mix. For private label and DTC brands, it’s crucial to have an omnichannel presence to increase brand awareness and branded search queries on Google.

TikTok is nothing like we’ve ever seen before, that’s why many marketers find it difficult to grasp. It withstood the uncertain early stages and crossed a billion-user mark, so it’s definitely here to stay.

We are excited about the upcoming changes, especially how it’s going to evolve with its search feature and advertising program.

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