Organic TikTok VS Paid and How To Use Both

TikTok has absolutely exploded in popularity within the last few years. While many people use TikTok to create and share fun and entertaining videos, businesses have also started to use the platform to promote their products and services. In general, there are two different approaches to using TikTok for business: organic and paid. As a UGC ad agency, you might be surprised by our take in this blog…

Organic TikTok is all about building and nurturing a community. This means creating content that resonates with your target audience and engaging with them in a genuine and authentic way. This is done through a variety of means, such as posting entertaining videos, responding to comments, and running challenges or contests. The goal of organic TikTok is to create a sense of community and connection with your followers, rather than just selling to them.

On the other hand, paid TikTok is all about hard selling. This typically involves running paid advertisements on the platform that are designed to grab people’s attention and convince them to buy your product or service. These ads are highly targeted, allowing you to reach specific segments of your target audience. The goal of paid TikTok is to drive sales and generate revenue, rather than build community and connection.

How Can Organic and Paid TikTok Work Together?

While organic and paid TikTok may seem like two distinct and separate approaches, they can actually be used together in a complementary way. By using organic TikTok to build and nurture a community, you can create a group of loyal followers who are more likely to engage with and respond to your paid ads. This can help increase the effectiveness of your paid TikTok campaigns and ultimately drive more sales.

For example, let’s say you run a clothing brand and want to use TikTok to promote your products. You could start by creating organic content that showcases your clothing and how it can be worn in different ways. This could include videos of people showing off the clothes in a GRWM, how-to styling videos, a realistic try-on haul, and other entertaining, real-life concepts. It’s tempting (and easy) to want to just use the quick trending sounds and lipsync to them. Although this might get you some quick, viral wins, you could potentially dilute the quality of your following and lose out on the brand/community-building piece that converts followers to customers if this is what carries your account entirely.

It’s vital that an organic account is built on not just trending sounds but also content that can vet and nurture current and potential customers. What attracts the masses is not necessarily going to be something that is specific and attracts people who have high intent to buy from you.

Popularity does not equal profitability.

Here are some other things to do to find success on TikTok organically:

  • Make sure your profile is set up and optimized—meaning everything is filled out. Try to keep your handle consistent with all of your other social channels for discoverability.
  • Add a CTA, connect your other channels, and add your website link if you have at least 1000 followers
  • Identify your content strategy and main themes. Some of our top performers are POVs (the text is scroll-stopping and it’s typically relatable, shocking, or funny), comment responses, and, of course, trending audios.
  • Actually use the app! And source inspiration as you come across it. To win on TikTok, you have to be on TikTok (or at least partner with someone who does)

Which Should I Start With—Organic or Paid TikToks?

Some brands start with organic TikTok BEFORE paid—since organic TikTok is essentially free to start on aside from the time and energy it takes you to create and manage. Then, once they’re ready to scale up, they start paid ads.

But we also have clients that were only running paid ads first and then wanted to expand into organic—knowing it further supports paid efforts by increasing online presence, social proof, and building community and trust. We also love the evergreen aspect of organic. It’s not uncommon to see a video from months ago still getting reach and still performing. Just like anything in marketing, there’s no right or wrong for how to approach it or one, single way to get results. It’s about consistency and strategy to ensure ALL content and marketing efforts are working together to take your brand to the next level.

So, it’s less about organic OR paid TikTok and more about what your immediate goals are. If you want to create a community, build awareness, and build more meaningful relationships with clients and prospects, organic is going to be your best bet. If you’re looking to go for “quicker wins” and direct selling, paid ads can get the job done.

Our advice is to use the two together so you can attract new customers through paid and nurture them through organic.

Don’t have the capacity or expertise to navigate TikTok alone? You’re in the right spot for a TikTok marketing agency. Get started here.

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