TikTok Marketing in Singapore: A Complete Guide

TikTok Marketing in Singapore Complete Guide

As a marketer, you probably think that the social media landscape has hit its saturation point. Hold it. What if I told you that there’s a new app that has clocked 800 million active users globally. Wait, what if I told you that the same app has in no time managed to outsmart better-known apps such as Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn? It there was such an app, I’m sure you’d want to know more.

In short, all I’m saying is that there’s a new kid on the block. Lately, one app that seems to have thrown the globe into a trance is TikTok.  What many people cannot tell you is how this app has managed to ‘silence’ highly acclaimed competitors such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

Although TikTok has a highly engaged user-base in Singapore, it’s not your average plug and play resource. Surprisingly, TikTok comes with a wonderful group of users. This demographic is eccentric, highly discerning, and particular. Even though this is the case, there are numerous success stories from a marketing perspective.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a blooming social media mobile app that has enlisted a massive global following with users concentrating around video content. Surprisingly, TikTok seems to be a darling of Gen Z users. The platform has become the go-to platform for viral entertainment content, lip-sync videos, and hashtag challenges, to name a few.

TikTokers-the lighter name for TikTok users, can shot short videos, edit them, incorporate effects, and showcase them for other TikTok users. On the platform, content creators can leverage category-specific hashtags that help them to be found by users who don’t follow them.

In Singapore, TikTok comes with light content. Think about sassy, comic content that used to appear on Twitter’s video resource; Vine. The popular genres on TikTok range from funny skits, lip-syncs how-to, and cringe videos.

TikTok’s brief history dates back to 2016. It’s ByteDance that first developed it only this time it was a chines version known as Douyin. Later in 2017, the firm created TikTok-the global version. What accelerated TikTok’s popularity was the acquisition of Music.ly; a social media platform that enabled users to create lip-sync videos of popular songs.

From nowhere, TikTok has proven its potential by becoming one of the world’s most sought after and downloaded apps. Despite its appeal hovering around the massive gen Z demographic, discerning marketers are lining up TikTok to marshal their marketing efforts into the future.

Quick TikTok App Facts

So you’re itching to put TikTok to work before you do (if you’re not aged 13-24) here’s a quick primer.

  • Many of the videos are 15 seconds nod, but you can create minute long videos, but you’ll have to classify them as stories.
  • Users can upload longer videos that were recorded on third-party apps or devices.
  • The majority of its users are in the 13-26 age bracket, and females tend to love it more.
  • Previously, TikTok was purely a music app, but the content range has broadened to include comedians, influencers, chefs, and conventional Youtubers.
  • Users can leverage live content and use platform tools such as filters and effects to make the experience savvier.
  • A viewer doesn’t have to follow a TikTok account. Users can hit the discover feature and browse the most popular videos of the day. A TikToker can search for a video depending on a given topic of interest.
  • Lately, TikTok presents ad offers for marketers who want to leverage the app to sell or promote their products or services.
  • Brands are now inking up with dedicated TikTok influencers to advertise their brands.

Navigating TikTok

Navigating TikTok after downloading it should be easy. The features and functions are almost the same on other social media platforms. When you open TikTok, you’ll discover leads to the following five pages.


Home opens two feeds: Following” and “For You”

“Following” leads you to videos of accounts that are following

“For You” directs you to trending videos and additional clips that TikTok thinks you need to watch based on your usage data.


Discover feed shows you the TikTok videos that come with a trending hashtag. Also, the feed allows you to enter search keywords to find users, hashtags, and videos. Also, the discover page has a scan button that opens a viewfinder that allows you to check a user’s TikCode. This helps you to find others quickly.

Create video

Create Video simply ushers you to the recording platform. This is where you capture your videos. It’s here where you set recording speed, add beauty effects, filters and play around with other effects. Also, the Create Video page lets you upload videos and photos to edit or share.


Inbox displays the activity around the videos you’ve shared publicly. It’s possible to filter them according to comments or mentions. The drop-down menu at the top does it. Click the envelope icon at the corner if you want to access your private messages.


Me is the public profile that you and others can view. You can privatise parts of this feed. Your likes or pubic videos are accessible to all. Also, the page shows who has followed you, who you follow, all likes, favourite clips, and your linked social media profiles from Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube.

Getting Started With TikTok Videos

One of the draws that make TikTok tick is that users can film skits, dances, or lip sync performances. The length is 15 seconds by default though there’s the leeway to connect multiple 60-second videos even those filmed outside the app. Additionally, there’s the duet affair where you can split a screen and partner with a user to reply to a video. It’s not over yet since you can add your voice and I sync to another TikTokers video

Creating TikTok videos

If you’re ready to create your first video, it’s easy. You need to click on the Create Video icon that bears a +sign at the bottom. Press “record” and you can capture. Sounds easy? It may seem so, but there is a lot of work to be done. Want to know how? Go ahead and scour YouTube tutorials on the TikTok video creation process.

The good news is that you can shoot your video and save it as a draft that you can edit and post after. Don’t be discouraged since you have a helpful resource that is the TikTok’s Support hub.

Can You Make TikTok Videos Cheaply?

The answer is yes. Renowned TikTok enthusiasts have demonstrated that you don’t need five-figure budgets to create viral-like videos/photos for the platform. Yes, it’s hard to become a success on social media. That shouldn’t discourage you. Here are some hacks.

Get a Tripod

Don’t splurge on those professional camera tripods. A cheap phone tripod will do it can cost $20-$25. It allows you to shoot stable frames and pictures

Working Light

Professional light kits can cost hundreds of dollars. But a $25 work light from a local store can do a job as good as the professional light. If the light is too harsh, you can improvise anyway.

A Photo-editing App

The variety of photo and video editing apps will blow your mind. In fact, you don’t have to pay for them. The free features will make your photos and videos lovable.

TikTok Video Takeaways

Truth be told, TikTok seems a bit restricted as an app. But you already know it’s the fastest marketing tool into the hearts of the younger demographic. Check out these TikTok video experimentation takeaways.

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  1. Never ignore the special effects. Your followers expect to see the zest in the videos.
  2. Mashup music and video- If you won’t, make sure that the background isn’t grave silent.
  3. Always capture some videos with multiple shots. It injects life and interest into the clip
  4. Don’t dampen your videos. Bring out the humour if you expect the viral effect
  5. If it’s a challenge video, go for trendy hashtags. Include relevant hashtags in the caption to amplify your chances of getting found.
  6. Don’t jump in blindly. Check what other brands are doing with the videos. It will polish your creativity.

What Categories of Videos Can You Post on TikTok?

You’ve noted that TikTok videos are capped at the 15th second by default. It shouldn’t bother you. What the app restricts in time pays it back with diversity. That is to say, you can shoot videos as far as your imagination can allow. This is what makes users create more engaging and fun clips.

You can post any video on TikTok, but make sure that music is part of it. Oh, you don’t know how to play an instrument? Not to worry. If you know where the top trends are, you can use the attest songs to flavour your videos.

Advertisement videos

For ad videos, the berth of what you can post is equally extensive. Remember, TikToks or TikTok videos are a bite version of what you see on YouTube. That said, you only need to put your creativity to work. You can create tutorials, promotional or entertaining ad videos.

What Type of Content Works Well on TikTok?

In some ways, TikTok mimics YouTube. The meat is in the videos that users share. The more engaging and fun, the more they resonate with the users. The only difference is the short and vertical nature of TikTok videos.


Self-produced videos perform excellently on TikTok. Original acoustics can do better than alternate versions of popular songs. Even though they won’t deliver promotional messages like cover versions, they still have the potential.


Non-music videos are all over TikTok. They are comic in nature. Others showcase beauty hacks, cookery, and fashion. Sports and cringe videos are equally performers in the app. Examples of cringe and cookery Tiktoks include:


Simply put, the condemning mistake you can make on TikTok is relying on content that is outright traditional. Never force a rigid script on your influencer. Its ad-libbed storytelling at its best. Remember, you can’t game the users. If an influencer strays from the relaxed storytelling style, followers will know, and it won’t end well.

TikTok Marketing in Singapore: Why Is It Effective?

Finding the right following on TikTok is like hitting the marketing jackpot. The competition is less, and you can interact with your target audience personally. But there are more reasons why TikTok marketing fits your Singaporean brand.

800 Million TikTok Users

TikTok’s user base is phenomenal. You have over 800 million global users at your disposal. Singapore and the APAC region claim 36% of this. The daily active users on the platform rival the numbers on Facebook and Instagram. That said, you cannot dispute TikTok’s untapped potential for marketers.

Language Diversity

TikTok relies on a single language. Wrong. The truth is that it’s one of the leading social media apps that is available in over 39 global languages. Not only can you average it for your local business, but you can communicate the same to 39 other global tribes.

A Growing Fan Base

Mention TikTok and the Gen Z picture comes to mind. On one end, the young demographic that associates with the app is growing exponentially. On the other hand, the demographics between 29-39 that use TikTok are increasing too.

Benefits of TikTok Marketing

Raises Brand Awareness

Like other social media platforms, TikTok guarantees enhanced brand awareness. With a bigger audience base, your brand can take it as an opportunity to augment your potential. You can deploy valuable content through TikTok to generate more leads.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Can TikTok help you to draw organic traffic to your site? Think of it this way. Posting captivating products or services videos and then, attach a catchy CTA at the end. Not only does it drive the numbers, but it increases your search ranking.

Engage With Customers

Remember, we said that the TikTok algorithm runs like a personalised recommendation engine. That means that leveraging viral-like videos that show up on user feeds will bring the customers to you. If you’re consistent, you can engage with new customers daily.

Establish a Brand Voice

Although TikTok builds a unique brand voice, you cannot escape the fact you need unique videos and ads to hack it. Content on this platform takes a relaxed approach. Your funny videos tell followers that you’re fun yet professional to associate with.

Leverage Local Creators

TikTok enjoys a vast following down to your locality. Let’s say those local creators are your local influencers. If your business wants to leverage the app’s potential, you don’t have to hunt for influencers from the other side of the globe.

Own Branded Marketing Channel

TikTok allows businesses to create a verified marketing channel. Once it’s confirmed, you can use it to promote qualitative business videos. You can use video stories to promote using partnerships.

TikTok Ads

Do you know that TikTok launched its ad platform-TikTok ads? And voila. You can now leverage these ads the same way you’ll do on Facebook. Given they are new on the bock, you can tell they face less competition. TikTok ads are the best for a product/serve launch.

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Is TikTok The Next Frontier of Social Media Marketing?

You can say it’s early to call it, but you and I know TikTok is here to stay. Let’s talk from a digital marketing perspective. Is it not possible to leverage TikTok to reinforce your SEO ranking? You only need a captivating TikTok profile, fully optimised for SEO to reach out to thousands of active users. To optimise your profile, the trick is simple-post consistently.

Look at it this way, TikTok attracts diverse followership with people from varying backgrounds and status. The app’s addictive features attract celebrities, influencers and the ordinary me and you. As such, you cannot ignore the fact that marketers will leverage the app to drive SEO and social media marketing benefits

Talking about Singapore, TikTok has become the go-to entertainment and business engagement hub during the Covid era. Influencers, work from home citizens, and marketers have leveraged the app to deliver quality content and engagements. You can say it’s the new normal.

Even as the pandemic ravaged economic activities in lockdown times, business may have continued, as usual, thanks to the growing popularity of TikTok. In fact, the circuit breaker measures can be attributed to the rise of the app. Then, it’s obvious that social media marketing might never be the same as long as TikTok thrives.

Remember, the average Gen Z demographic in Singapore isn’t any different. They are cynical about any form of marketing that mimics conventional marketing. You cannot ignore that this demographic will spend at least 52 minutes on TikTok daily. Then think about one of them being a superstar who plays the role of an influencer for your brand.

Do You Need TikTok Marketing in Singapore?

Yes, because it’s super versatile, and no, it’s too early to discern whether TikTok will be big in terms of marketing.

For now, what you need when deciding whether TikTok is your marketing wingman is to evaluate whether your target audience, company, or niche is in tune.

Any Singaporean company looking to sell to Gen Z will definitely make a kill. Fortunately, there are fewer companies that are selling on TikTok, and you might get noticed if you’re using the right TikTok strategy.

Additionally, video marketers who want to stand out are poised to carry the day. There’s no debating that TikTok is invariably a video marketing platform with a touch of oomph. Your video can go viral anytime.

What to Consider When Choosing TikTok for Marketing in Singapore?

Marketing dictates the use of Social media, given the ever-increasing user base. But does that apply with TikTok as well? To get it right, here are some considerations.


Before you plunge in, consider whether your target audience falls into a category that’s in favour with Gen Z. if your target is to sell to the 16-24 age bracket, smile, the app got you covered. If you’re targeting people aged between 36-56, you might want to rethink your move.

The Allure

Do you think your brand can gain by connecting with the TikTok audience? You know that TikTok is the new gem in the Singaporean digital marketing space. But, stop and assess whether the risks and the energy you put in is worth the ROI.


What if I told you that you have to cede some control to the TikTok community for your brand to benefit? Then, you need to check whether you’re comfortable letting influencers run it their own way. It’s unlike traditional marketing where your brand calls the shots over messaging. You need to consider that before setting up a challenge.

Influencer Input

Check whether you’ll need to deploy influencers? If so, do you know the right ‘troop” of influencers that can make the kind of impact you’re looking for? Always make sure the influencers are conversant and experienced in your niche. Remember, being unoriginal could mean doom for you and the influencer. There has to be perfect harmony.

Brand Outlook

TikTok isn’t the average marketing app. Firstly, you need to be trendy and upbeat. Also, you need to be sure that videos and music are the perfect means to amplify your brand. Think of Redbull and its daredevil stunts on TikTok.  The #givesyouwings hashtag is an absolute winner.

How Can Your Singapore Business Exploit TikTok?

Like many other businesses, there are three main ways you can turn to market on TikTok. These include:

  1. Creating their own channel and uploading their videos through the private channel
  2. Incorporating influencers to promote content to a broader audience
  3. Leveraging TikTok ads-though it’s a pretty new option, TikTok ads have latent potential

To make the most out of TikTok marketing, many brands are resorting to a mix of their own channels and influencer outfits.

It’s AI-Driven and Personalised

What’s the other draw to TikTok as a budding marketing tool? TikTok users in Singapore can achieve the viral effect even if they’re not influencers or widely known celebrities. What contributes to such an effect? Well, TikTok comes with an algorithmic framework. This means that the one-time user can post and go viral.

To break it into simple terms, TikTok comes with an algorithm that runs like a personalised recommendation engine. The algorithm indexes content based on what is popular and what users like.

But before you write it off, it’s crucial to customise pages that serve your unique business interests. If you want to plunge in for marketing purposes, you need to know that content isn’t prioritised according to follower counts. Content relevance is ranked based on a creator’s capacity to leverage trends while remaining independent.

How to Promote Your Brand Through TikTok Advertising

If you want your brand to be found by your target demographics, here are some TikTok ad options you can try.

In-feed Native Ads

Do you know how Instagram full-screen stories work and feel in advertising? Then, it’s the same way that TikTok in-feed native ads work. They present you with the option to include website likes and order buttons in-ad. This lets users land on the page directly. Ad usage here can be tracked using click-through rates, engagements, impressions or total views.

Hashtag Challenge Ads

These ads lead a user to an exact banner ad that in turn leads them to the page with the rules and terms of a given challenge. The banner in question is on the ‘Discover’ page, and the type of user content determines it. It’s easy to measure using banner views, amount of user-generated content, number of views and clicks, among others.

Brand takeover ads

These are the Ads that commandeer the app as soon as you open the app. They take over the screen for a few seconds before ushering you into the In-Feed Video ad. It’s a distinct form of TikTok ads where GIFs, short clips or photos preamble the brands landing page. Ad categories here are exclusive and can only feature one brand in a day. These ads are user friendly and can be tracked using click rates, unique reaches or impressions.

Hashtag Challenges

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You know how hashtags brew storms on Twitter? On TikTok, they help to trigger audiences while sending organic messages. They’re non-sponsored and can turn your marketing efforts into an instant success. Hashtags appear on the Discover page, and the right influencer can work wonders on your behalf.

User-generated Content

This is probably the most engaging and highly accessible TikTok advertising modes. User participation promotes a brand’s causes with tools that allow users to post content/ideas around trending topics. User-generated content has the potential to go viral if users have their way.

Proven TikTok Marketing Tips for Your Business

Use Appropriate Hashtags

Hashtags are at the heart of TikTok search. Always go for trending hashtags to amplify your videos. Appropriate hashtags will broaden your content reach and attract more followers.

Follow Current TikTok Trends

Trends move fast on TikTok. You know you don’t want to be left behind. This means you need to be alert and create videos that resonate with the trending topics. Remember, you’ll need to make your video unique instead of copying everybody else.

Integrate TikTok Influencers

TikTok influencers however young can be as controversial and influential like any mainstream celebrity or figure. Consider establishing productive relationships with individuals who can “cast a spell” over your prospects.

Comments on Your Posts and respond

Consistent and reciprocal user engagement work wonders on TikTok. Don’t just post and sit back. Remember, TikTok indexes comments by the number of likes they receive. Also, you’ll find it meaningful if you avoid those bland comments.

Exploit TikTok Effects

Do you have an idea of the volume of videos shared on the app daily? Then, it tells you that you need to do it creatively to be found. There is a reason why the app provides an array of effects and filters; use them to capture users.

Create captivating Videos with Clear Descriptions

TikTok videos can be 15 or 60 seconds. You have a limited span to get your message across. Be clear and concise. Visual appeal is easy to achieve if there is a clear description of what your video is all about. Remember, great descriptions leads to appropriate indexing and better SEO ranking.

TikTok Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

TikTok is more than a buzz as we speak. You could be jockeying new TikTok strategies to beat the competition. But in your blinded rush, you could stumble and make grave mistakes. Here are some mistakes to know and avoid.

Recommending the Wrong Products

You know how cynical the TikTok audience can be. They’re under 26 years of age. Please note that they’re particular about the products/services that fit their preferences and age. If you miss this step, you’re bound to fail.

Posting Lacklustre Videos

TikTok is a fun and carefree platform. Nobody wants to see dull presentation style videos you got 60 seconds to showcase, and you’d better be fun and easy. Always check why some videos are popular and work your creativity from there.

Going Salesy on TikTok

Being salesy on social media is an absolute turnoff. You cannot afford to do that on TikTok. Doing so, albeit cleverly will lead to TikTokers avoiding your content in the future.

Ignoring the Music

Have you forgotten that the app originated from the Musical.ly platform? Gen Z has a high affinity for music, even if it’s a plain but entertaining background track. Ignoring the music spells doom for your videos.

Ignoring Special Effects

In the same light, videos that lack the allure of TikTok effects are bound to fail. How could you not know how to apply those face filters and motion effects?

How to Effectively Work With TikTok Influencers

In Singapore and the world over, brands have experienced immense success working with TikTok influencers. Who else would you be working with? But to consolidate such success, you’ll need to let influencers of the leash and build productive relationships. Here are steps that guarantee the success of partnering with a TikTok influencer.

Know your Audience

Simply, you cannot succeed with a TikTok influencer if you barely know your audience. It pays to identify the alternate brands and other influencers that your target audience associates with.

Choose the Influencers Meticulously

You cannot afford to choose a TikTok influencer blindly. Don’t be blinded by the likes and the view. In fact, you don’t have to go for top gun influencers. Those not-so-very prominent influencers who are well versed with your content needs and the audience will work the magic.

Understand How TikTok Works

Is TikTok like any other social media app? You bet not. Being a video content-driven platform, it’s crucial to know how it works. Also, take time to think through how your video content fits into the lives of your audience and their pain points.

Give Influencers Freedom

TikTok rewards creativity. As soon as you find the relevant influencer(s), give them the wiggle room they need to execute. If you’re breathing down their neck, you’ll constrict their creativity, remember, you don’t have to cede your authority. It pays to have a playbook to guide the process.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.

July 23, 2020

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