How to Market on TikTok with No Budget

Published on 8th of August 2023

Everyone has to start somewhere. If you’re beginning to transition your brand from dream to reality, you’ll need to create a marketing strategy. But when you’re just getting off the ground, you may not have much of a budget—or any budget at all.

But you don’t have to wait until you have a big pool of funds to get started. There are techniques you can use to help you get your marketing off the ground at no cost. If you’re short on dollars, invest a little time in these tips to get your brand going today.

Start By Switching to a TikTok Business Account

man sitting beside table holding silver iPhone 7 Plus

Your first step is to switch to a Business TikTok account. Making the switch allows you to have greater access to analytics tools. You’ll also be able to include additional information on your account page that’ll help you funnel those visits into follows and customers.

To switch to a Business account if you already have a regular account, you’ll need to:

  • Open your app and head to your profile page
  • Tap the menu in the top right corner
  • Go to Settings and Privacy, then go to Manage Account
  • Choose Switch to Business, then choose your business category

In addition to access to follower insights and analytics, having a business account will help you later when you have a budget for running TikTok ads. You’ll also get to add contact info and a website link. Finally, you’ll get access to TikTok’s Business Creator Hub and all the tools there. When you’re on a budget, free is your friend.

Do Some Homework

eyeglasses on book beside laptop

Do some research on TikTok, and take plenty of notes. Begin by exploring competitors within your niche. You can check out your most successful competitors and the techniques they use. In addition, look at the hashtags other brands are using within your niche since you’ll want to include those niche hashtags with your content.

Look at the content that your competitors are creating. You don’t have to copy them exactly, and it’s essential to have your own look and feel. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a note of what is working for them. When you’re just beginning to create content and build your brand, chances are it’ll be hit or miss for a while. But you can increase your chances of going viral if you’re putting out more easily discoverable content.

Apps Help You Make Better Content

If you’re new to TikTok, or you’ve made personal videos and want to bring some polish to your professional videos, then a third-party app can be the difference-maker. Several apps offer some limited tools in their free versions.

While the paid versions and plans will offer a more comprehensive array of tools, there are a few free tools out there that will definitely give you a leg up if you’re starting with no budget. Here are a few winners:

  • Canva: Canva offers tons of templates and tools that will help you create polished and professional videos. There’s even a free online TikTok video maker available. Once you’ve gotten your brand off the ground, you can explore the other benefits and tools that Canva Pro offers.
  • Celebian: You can create fantastic content and still struggle to get likes and followers. It can be challenging to master the TikTok algorithms. But Celebian offers a free likes and followers trial, so you can see how this service works. And with packages as low as $1.49, you can get a lot of bang for your buck.
  • Buffer: You can get many features with a free Buffer account. Buffer lets you schedule your posts, customize them for each social media channel, and will also work with other apps like Canva. With the free version, you won’t get access to their analytics, and you’re limited in the number of posts you can store. But it’s a great way to get going, and you can upgrade later.

Make It Easier for People to Find You

woman wearing eyeglasses

As you’re creating and testing your content to see what works and watching your analytics, you also want to be doing everything you can to be findable. While the budget might not be big enough for targeted or spark ads, you can do a few things to increase your visibility.

Make sure you include the following elements:

  • Hashtags: Ensure you include niche hashtags so your potential audience can easily navigate to you. You don’t want to overwhelm people with dozens of hashtags, but ensuring you have at least three to five in each post will increase your chances of visibility.
  • Audio: Audio is one of the core elements of a TikTok video, and you don’t want to make your content without it. You may notice a lot of videos using the same trending audio. There’s nothing wrong with using trending audio. Even if you choose to create your own audio, always include something with each video.
  • Influencers: It can be challenging to work with influencers in the beginning if you’re on a tight budget. But you may be able to work out an affiliate marketing relationship where the influencer can get credit for sales they’ve referred. Another way to work with influencers on a budget is to exchange the product for an honest review. And many brands will create a custom discount code that the influencer can offer their followers as further incentive to shop with you.

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention

Being on a tight budget can actually be a good thing. You may find creative and out-of-the-box ways to make the most of the tools at hand. And don’t forget that TikTok offers tons of ways for you to add interest to your content, with effects, stickers, and more. Try things out and monitor what gets you more views and engagement. And the more you watch your analytics, the better idea you’ll have of what works, when, and with whom. Keep at it, and eventually, the growth will happen.

What are you waiting for? Get started marketing your brand on TikTok today.