TikTok Shop isn't for every brand

If you're considering TikTok Shop right now here's what you need to know.

Hey, it's Ashley!

Welcome to The TikTok Marketer, a weekly newsletter, where I share with you 3 actionable growth tactics that will help you scale on TikTok.

Today we’ll cover:

1️⃣ TikTok Shop isn't right for every brand

2️⃣ What England vs Belgium Taught me about TikTok

3️⃣ Brand of the week - Smackin’

TikTok Shop isn't right for every brand…

TikTok Shop is currently making waves, drawing significant attention from brands eager to leverage this opportunity.

However, it's crucial to recognize that TikTok Shop might not be the ideal platform for every brand at this moment. This isn't about brands that are outright prohibited from using TikTok Shop, but rather those that may lack the necessary foundation to effectively engage with it.

To reap the rewards, TikTok Shop requires a considerable investment of time and resources. Observing brands that achieve sales of “one million a month” on TikTok could lead one to mistakenly believe such success is attainable within just a few months.

In reality, these achievements are often the result of long-term efforts by brands that have spent significant time building a solid content foundation and cultivating an audience, thereby facilitating buzz generation with minimal effort.

Having a well-thought-out strategy is essential. In the past, brands could rely on a handful of affiliates to promote their products. Due to TikTok's algorithm favoring TikTok Shop content, these affiliates could generate hundreds of thousands of views, leading to rapid sales and products selling out overnight.

However, the landscape is shifting. Creators who once easily garnered views and achieved substantial weekly earnings are becoming increasingly rare. This shift is due to TikTok's renewed focus on rewarding high-quality content over mere product promotion, necessitating a more strategic approach from brands.

To navigate this evolving platform, thinking outside the box is vital. One effective strategy involves focusing on TikTok ads directed towards TikTok Shop, which has proven highly successful.

This strategy entails generating a pool of affiliates, from which the most effective ones are selected for ad campaigns. Concurrently, investing in advertising for your own organic content and creating shoppable-style ads can enhance this effort, forming a comprehensive marketing flywheel.

TikTok Shop is the strategy of the moment, yet the platform's rapid changes demand constant adaptation, testing, learning, and optimization for scaling.

Implementing this strategy requires dedication and effort, which is why brands venturing into TikTok Shop should either allocate in-house resources to manage their TikTok Shop channel or consider outsourcing to freelancers or agencies.

👉 Before you read on:

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What I learned from England vs Belgium

While watching England vs. Belgium match end in a 2-2 draw at Wembley, it wasn't the match itself that captured my attention, but a half-time TV ad from TikTok.

This ad, showcasing TikTok as a search platform, featured an individual seeking to improve his golf swing and turning to TikTok for instructional content to achieve his goals.

This observation sparked a realization: TikTok's increasing promotion of its search functionality presents an ideal opportunity for brands to diversify their content strategy.

Rather than focusing solely on product promotion, imagine the impact of dedicating 10-20% of content to educating users on topics related to the brand’s niche.

For instance, a snack brand could enlighten its audience about the health benefits of certain ingredients, adding value beyond mere product advertisement.

This approach is likely to yield long-term benefits, as demonstrated by my own experience. A casual search for "Best coffee in Soho" on TikTok led me to discover a new coffee shop, illustrating the potential of TikTok as a discovery platform.

Me searching TikTok and finding this great coffee spot

Brands that pivot towards creating educational content that meets users' search queries can enhance their visibility and relevance on TikTok. This strategy, akin to optimizing for TikTok SEO, capitalizes on users' high intent for specific content, potentially steering them towards your product or service as a solution, and ultimately, to becoming customers.

TikTok Brand of the Week - SMACKIN’

Smackin is currently dominating the TikTok scene, having successfully tapped into a niche and audience that significantly benefit their brand. Their success isn't limited to TikTok alone; they're making waves across various social media platforms.

With over 532,000 followers on TikTok and recently surpassing the 125,000-follower milestone on YouTube, their content strategy is resonating with a wide audience.

The secret to their success lies in the production of high-quality, organic content that captivates viewers.

This content strategy has not only garnered a substantial following but also created a strong demand for their products in retail spaces, with consumers eagerly awaiting the chance to purchase them in stores.

Smackin's approach is straightforward yet remarkably effective. They visit baseball training facilities, wait for players to finish their sessions, and then offer them samples of their sunflower seeds to capture genuine reactions.


Do you like sunflower seeds?

This simple tactic of engaging directly with their audience and showcasing real responses to their product has proven to be a powerful method in building hype and authenticity around their brand.

Considering Smackin's successful strategy, it prompts a reflective question for other brands:

How could you apply a similar, straightforward approach tailored to your brand's unique qualities?

Think about the simplicity and authenticity of Smackin's approach—direct engagement with the audience through genuine interactions and reactions. This method not only showcases the product in a natural setting but also builds an authentic connection with potential customers.

Identify your brand's equivalent of a "baseball training arena"—a place where your target audience naturally congregates or expresses interest. Then, consider what your "sunflower seeds" could be: the product or aspect of your service you're most excited to share and receive feedback on.

The key lies in finding an engaging, authentic way to introduce your product to potential customers, capturing their honest reactions and building content around these genuine moments.

By adopting a strategy that emphasizes direct engagement and authenticity, you have the opportunity to create a strong community around your brand, similar to Smackin's success. Tailor this approach to fit your brand's identity and audience's preferences, and you could see your brand not only resonate deeply with your audience but also significantly enhance your presence across social media platforms.

Until next week

Stay great

Ashley ✌️

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  3. Get your FREE How to Dominate TikTok Shop workbook which is exactly what we do to scale brands to $100k a month on the platform.

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