How Small Businesses Can Leverage TikTok in 2023

There’s a common misconception that content creators must pull out all of the stops in order to go viral on TikTok including the use of heavy filters, fancy cars, and houses. Even worse, TikTok dances.

Fortunately, we’re not asking you to sacrifice your dignity.

I was inspired to write after watching a talk on Global Marketing Day by Semrush, “How Small Businesses Leverage Tiktok.”

Small businesses in particular feel this pressure as creating a brand story and message is integral to a company’s marketing success; the ability to resonate with its target audience.

Newsflash: the most popular TikTok content creators are rather simplistic – and somewhat formulaic – in their approach. Some creators are even innovating their creative process with the use of new technology as well.

With that said, let’s dig into how marketing content creators utilize tried and true methods without the high production value and expand their business’s presence on the platform beyond their wildest dreams.

Quality Content is Both Fun & Educational

We live in a caffeine-dominated world. Coffee has become a culture in and of itself; an art form if you will, fueled by experimentation and ingenuity. This doesn’t even need to be said since the likes of Starbucks and Tim Hortons have accumulated fandoms of their own. 

Caitlin Campbell, the specialty coffee connoisseur behind Street Brew Coffee understands the chokehold both caffeine and brief instructional videos have among internet users and decided to bank on it, sharing her passion and expertise with the world. 

Campbell started off slow, accumulating several thousand views sharing videos that incorporate coffee preparation techniques, recipes, and even interesting fun facts (sidenote: did you know there’s coffee made out of poop? Barf.)

Through sheer consistency, Caitlin managed to hit one million views within three months of debuting her account. But more importantly, she provided quality and informative content without using any of the ritz. Another thing to note is that posting regularly allows you to gauge what content sticks with your viewers.


Lets make a Key Lime Pie inspired latte! Anyone else love key ime pie? I was so excited to make a coffee that tasted like a delicious key lime pie #coffee #coffeetok #icedlatte

♬ Here With Me – d4vd

Quality Content is Engaging (and Sometimes Niche)

Now talk about a niche. On the topic of narrowed down and unique content, Pierce Woodard, a typical teen who started on TikTok making clips of himself hanging out with friends and living his best life struck gold in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.


Website for the rings will be up in a few days 🥳🤣 check my insta for more updates!

♬ Put your records on – Pierce

Like almost everyone else who took the opportunity to reignite their hobbies or sought out new ones, Woodard dug through a box of antique Buddha spoons and repurposed them into rings.

His new endeavor caught fire, which led to a demand for his products, which in turn began selling out fast.

His business Brand Pierre, caught the attention of influencers and public figures, including rapper Drake whom Woodward collaborated to create rings to promote his independent record label, OVO, or October’s Very Own.

Even after reaching massive success, Woodward continues to advertise his products in the zaniest ways.

This leads us to our next lesson: engaging with your viewers. Pretty much all social media platforms allow content creators to engage with their fans with likes and comments but TikTok takes this one step further and allows you to directly reply to comments with a video response.


The nostalgia I got from making this monkey ring was crazy! 🐒💍 Do you remember these things?? #brandpierre #ringguy #handmade

♬ original sound – Pierce

Woodward interacts with his viewers by fulfilling their outrageous requests of creating rings from the most obscure objects including monkeys in a barrel, iPhones, bowling balls, and even Monopoly game pieces.

Quality Content Tells a Story

Small businesses don’t have to engage in viewer comments or requests to that extent but at the very least, give them some insight into your company’s mission, values, history, business practices, and production process.

The Asian fusion food brand Omsom does that well. Concocted by Vietnamese sisters, Kim and Vanessa Pham, they aim to not only share authentic and easy-to-prepare Asian flavors with the world but to also dispel misconceptions about Asian cultural and culinary practices.

As a matter of fact, the name of their brand roughly translates to rowdy and rambunctious, which describes the sisters’ energetic disposition growing up – and is exemplified in their branding and packaging. As such, they chose to reclaim the word, diminishing the quiet and submissive stereotype commonly applied to East Asian women.


Why does the “ethnic” aisle still exist? 🤔

♬ sonido original – Omsom

The sisters successfully connect with their target audience by sharing fun and zesty recipes, and educational videos on various aspects of Asian cuisine (Sidenote: MSG actually isn’t bad for you after all), and they score big on the relatability factor with humorous homages to their Asian upbringing. Omsom’s content is a culmination of sentimental stories and anecdotes about their heritage.

Creating Quality Content Doesn’t Have to be a Chore

Now that we got that out of the way, creating social media content on a regular basis can be a strenuous task, even more so if you’re a small business owner or staff. More often than not, you’ll be doing some preparation behind the scenes rather than winging it, and that includes writing scripts.

Writing scripts is uncharted territory for a lot of content creators, but luckily there are tools that can give you an edge. In our last entry, we explained how AI text tools such as ChatGPT can help creators generate ideas and text which still need the human touch to fine-tune.

So there you have it!

Creating quality TikTok content is easier than it seems. If you have a passion or strong company backstory/mission that translates to engaging content that intrigues your viewers paired with help from AI tools to aid you in routinely producing material, you are well on your way. Happy creating!

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