A woman seen in profile sits at a light wood desk and speaks to a smartphone mounted on a tripod. The woman appears to be explaining something as she gestures with both hands. Thick binders are stacked elsewhere on the desk and in block shelves mounted on the wall.
Although TikTok's users skew younger, the app's increasing popularity is attracting users of all ages, so your business can find an audience no matter what demographics it serves. — Getty Images/fizkes

With 1 billion monthly active users as of late 2021, TikTok is steadily increasing in popularity. Many small businesses have begun to adopt this short-form, audio-driven video creation platform as a means of engaging with their customers.

If you’re looking to expand your audience reach through this widely used social media channel, here’s how to create TikTok videos for your small business.

Create a TikTok business account

To post content on TikTok, you’ll need to have a business account. Download and open the TikTok app on your device. Create an account using your email or your Google, Twitter, or Facebook account. In the “Edit Profile” section of the app, add your company profile picture and write a brief bio about your product and services. Finally, click on the three dots in the corner and select the “Manage Account” menu. From there you can select “Switch to Pro Account” and change your account from “Creator” to “Business.”

[Read more: 5 Tips For a Killer Small Business TikTok Strategy]

Determine your target audience

TikTok is often thought of as a platform for teens and young adults, with the largest share of its users being under the age of 24. However, the app has become increasingly mainstream, with a wide range of demographics using it to share videos. As you first begin to develop your TikTok strategy, think about who you’re looking to engage with. Do you want to expand your reach to a younger demographic? Or do you want to create a stronger presence with your existing customers? The audience you’re looking to reach will determine the type of content you create and post.

Brainstorm ideas for your content

Once you’ve created an account, familiarize yourself with the platform before filming and posting anything. While there is no “right” type of content, getting a feel for the app and seeing how your competitors are using it will help you determine the best way to engage your audience.

Like any good content marketing strategy, it’s wise to consider what types of TikTok content will be most appealing and valuable to your audience. Instead of trying to make a hard sales pitch, showcase your expertise with educational videos or give them a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life at your company.

When you use hashtags, TikTok’s algorithm can better place your content on other users’ “For You” page.

Set goals for your business’s TikTok

After you’ve gained a familiarity with the app, start determining your goals. TikTok recommends videos to users based on its algorithm. This system is unique to each user, so it may take some time for your business to gain any traction. Because of this, your initial TikTok goals should be about output over metrics. Focus on posting consistent, high-quality content before you worry about how many views your posts are getting.

[Read more: How to Monetize TikTok]

Start recording and editing

When you have an idea of what type of content you want to create, it’s time to start recording. Be sure your video quality is solid. Most smartphones have the ability to record high-definition video. When you’re recording, make sure everything is in-frame and well-lit. If you’re using the audio from the recording, make sure it is clean, clear, and at an optimal volume level.

Part of the appeal of TikTok is the editing options the app offers. Users can add music, sound effects, text, and visual filters to their videos to ensure the final product really pops.

Publish with the right hashtags

Just like with Twitter and Instagram, using hashtags in your posts is important to gain viewers. Using hashtags makes your videos easier to find for users who aren’t already following you. When you use hashtags, TikTok’s algorithm can better place your content on other users’ “For You” page. There is no limit to the number of hashtags you can use; however, TikTok limits captions to 100 characters, so they have to fit within that space.

Interact with your audience and observe feedback

As with any social media platform, your level of growth is largely dependent on how well you engage with your audience. Respond to comments and questions that users post on your video, and comment and like content on other accounts. You can even engage directly with your audience by hosting interactive livestreams and making content with them through “Duets,” a feature that allows users to create side-by-side videos with each other.

[Read more: TikTok for Small Business: Tips from Business Creators]

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