TikTok is creating an inclusive culture of influence – it’s time you include yourself and your business.

With an algorithm that maximizes discoverability, TikTok is equalizing opportunities for brand exposure and engagement. And, it works. Creating TikToks and interacting with viewers as a brand personality is becoming a huge part of marketing, press and presence for small businesses.

73% of users report feeling a deeper connection to brands they interact with on TikTok versus other apps. The unique style of the platform makes viewers feel like they get to “know” a brand, and that’s in large part because of the content brands make.  

At the TikTok Small Business Workshop hosted by the 2022 TEDCO Tech Fair, the resounding advice for business users was “make TikToks, not ads.” In this vein, brands should not post videos advertising a product or service – instead, they have to sell what viewers are buying: entertainment and earnest engagement.  

Brands are expected to contribute equally to the culture. Businesses on the platform are side by side with creators. In this way, they are competing, collaborating and creating content alongside average and exceptional TikTokers. Businesses are at the liberty of the trends and techniques valued by viewers.  

Market to the mobile. Videos must be vertical, at a 9:16 aspect ratio, to achieve high engagement. Viewers don’t like to see content that has been pulled off other platforms, as it will appear if the video is horizontal or not filling the entire screen.  

Make some noise. TikToks do well with voice-overs, songs and trending audios. Various noises are often layered atop each other and complimented by on-screen captioning. TikTok makes it easy with an extensive library of popular music and voice-over sounds. TikToks branded to or making use of trending audios do very well on the app – so pay attention to what’s popping! 

Mold your message. Emphasize your message or tell your entire story with on-screen captions. This engrosses your viewer in more types of mediums and makes the material more accessible. Captions are easily created in the app’s editing tools.

Manage your minutes. The optimal duration for a TikTok is 21-34 seconds – never go below 10 seconds! This is because the completion rate of videos is what moves the algorithm, so you want viewers to be able to finish your videos and even watch them again. Editing tools exist within the app, so you can do all the work right there.

Make your mark! Pick up the camera and shoot. The best content is not the stuff that’s highly produced – it’s the stuff that’s authentic to you and your brand. Check out some ideas for tapping into that authenticity and the narrative you have to share with some recently trending templates for small businesses: 

Concept  Visual  Audio 
Day in the Life of a “your job title” 


Vlog footage of your day, on-screen audio captions  Voice over + background trending audio 
Small Business Problems  Single shot of you working w/ on-screen captions describing problems OR video of each problem w/ on-screen captions describing  Pennies from Heaven by Louis Prima (trending audio for this trend) 
I really like corn   Something you love about your small business w/ on-screen captions coordinating to the audio and replacing corn with the thing you love  I really corn audio 

 If none of these spark your creativity, jump on the app and discover what trends and techniques that speak to you and your brand. TikTok offers support to businesses, accessible through tiktok.com/business and impact.tiktok.com.


Most importantly, lead with authenticity. When you share what you love, you’re sure to attract the people that love it too. Happy TikTok-ing!

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