A solid social media strategy will be an essential part of your marketing approach if you want your brand to succeed. However, TikTok can be an intimidating and confusing platform from a business standpoint. Many of the most common TikTok content ideas revolve around dancing and entertainment, which don’t align with many companies’ styles.

Fortunately, there are still ways you can effectively use TikTok to promote your business. For example, by partnering with influencers or seeking out relevant hashtags, you can craft content that aligns with your company and products.

In this guide, we’ll look at TikTok content ideas and the trending content categories and hashtags. We’ll also discuss why TikTok is so popular, and how you can use it as part of your marketing strategy. Let’s get started!

Table of contents:

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a popular video-based social media platform. Users (also known as “TikTokers”) record and upload their personal videos in different categories and watch other people’s content. It is an open platform where you do not need to be friends with a TikTok member to view their content or start following them.

The TikTok homepage gives a hint to which TikTok content ideas work best

The platform was originally a competitor of Musical.ly, and belonged to the Chinese company Bytedance[1]. However, in 2018, Bytedance decided to migrate Musical.ly users to an upgraded version of TikTok and focus solely on the latter platform. Both apps originally focused on singing and dancing, but now TikTok has expanded and hosts content in a wide variety of categories – from pranks to practical life advice.

TikTok is an exceedingly popular platform, and its popularity is growing. It has had more than 2 billion downloads to date, with 315 million downloads in the first quarter of 2020 and 850 million downloads in the entire year[2]. These statistics make it the most downloaded app in 2020, followed by WhatsApp with 600 million downloads[3] during the entirety of 2020.

From a demographics perspective, TikTok is most popular in the United States among users aged 10-19[4]. However, it is increasing in popularity in the older age ranges and has a significant user base aged 20-29. In addition, most TikTok members live in the Asia Pacific region[5], with rapid growth in North and South America.

Why is TikTok so popular?

What has made TikTok so popular so quickly? We can attribute some of its success to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the initial months, users were suddenly spending more time at home started watching more short-form videos, and sought out accessible content with high-quality visuals and storytelling tactics[6].

As a general trend, we can also see that mobile device users spend increasingly more time on video, games, and social apps[7]. TikTok fulfills two of these categories and provides a platform for entertainment and social connection. So at least for now, it continues to outperform competing apps and enables personal expression.

How does TikTok work?

When you log into TikTok, you encounter a front page with videos from the people you follow:

The TikTok mobile front page

As a new user, you receive recommendations for interesting accounts that are popular in your geographical region.

You can see more videos by scrolling down the page or navigating to Discover:

The TikTok discover page is full of TikTok content ideas that resonate with audiences.

This page shows trending hashtags, effects, and sounds, including the most popular videos in each category.

With an account, you can interact with videos by watching, liking, commenting on, or sharing them:

A TikTok video on a mobile device.

On mobile devices, you can record videos directly and upload them.

You can access this feature by tapping on the (+) at the bottom of the screen.

In this mode, you can choose your video length (anywhere from 15 seconds to three minutes).

You can also flip your camera, adjust the video speed, and add effects such as filters.

Once you find a TikTok content idea you like taking a new video directly from your phone

Overall, TikTok has a simple interface with user-friendly navigation, which further contributes to its success.

What are the best-performing TikTok content ideas? (5 categories)

If you want to use this platform to promote your business, there are a few TikTok content ideas that you should consider focusing your efforts on. Let’s look at five of the most popular and beneficial options.

1. Entertainment videos

Entertainment is the most popular category on TikTok, with more than 14 billion total hashtag views. It is a diverse classification that covers everything from music to humorous content:

TikTok entertainment tag landing page

As a general category separate from the hashtag, entertainment received more than 535 billion views by mid-2020[8]. Therefore, there is a large market of users who regularly consume this video content.

Entertainment may seem like a tough category to crack if you want to use TikTok for business. However, there is ample opportunity to use affiliate marketing in these videos by reaching out to TikTok entertainment influencers with loyal audiences.

You can create affiliate links for your products and pass them along to the TikTok users. Then, every time one of their followers clicks on the link and makes a purchase, the influencer receives a commission on the sale.

Partnering with influencers in this way is beneficial because they already have established audiences. If you were to promote your own products from scratch, it would take a significant time investment to build a trustworthy reputation with your existing followers and attract new ones. If you find a TikTok influencer you would like to connect with, you can send them a direct message via the app.

2. Dance videos

TikTok started as a singing and dancing platform, and dance is still one of the most popular categories. The hashtag has more than 300 billion views, and dancing videos consistently rank in the trending topics:

TikTok dance tag landing page

Dance isn’t the most obvious category to choose to promote your business. Unless you offer entertainment or fitness services, it may seem a little unusual. However, dance TikTokers are some of the most popular users[9] on the platform. Therefore, you can create partnerships where influencers market your products during dance routines.

For example, if your business creates clothing, accessories, or other wearable goods, you could contact popular TikTok users to wear these products during one of their routines. If you market any other physical product like furniture or art, it could be in the background of the video. You can also create your own dance videos and showcase your products, especially if you already have a significant TikTok following.

3. Lifehacks

The lifehacks hashtag covers tips and tricks from almost any category you can imagine. For example, TikTok users share their advice on everything from how to properly squeeze lemons to how to fly more comfortably in economy class:

TikTok life hacks tag landing page

The #lifehacks category has more than 36 billion views. Many of the hacks are comedic or trivial, but there are also opportunities to share meaningful advice.

For example, you could share small strategies that you use to maximize the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your social media pages, or community management strategies that your business employs to stand out in its field. The key is to think about what makes your site or company different from others and what unique advice you can offer. Using a little creativity, you could create impactful videos that drive interest in your business and accumulate more followers.

These lifehacks videos are usually short and snappy. TikTok currently enables you to create videos that are a maximum of three minutes in length, so you won’t have too much time to expand on your ideas or give examples. This means you’ll want to think carefully about how you can present your content simply and entertainingly. You may even like to break up any tips into a series of short videos that TikTok users can watch separately or consecutively.

4. #learnontiktok

#learnontiktok is a hashtag that covers educational and informative content. You can find accounts that explain various topics in this category, including scientific concepts, historical events, and personal finance tips. The idea of #learnontiktok is that users discover valuable content that can educate them further and increase their general knowledge.

TikTok learnontiktok tag landing page

It is a popular hashtag category that has attracted more than 124 billion views so far. The content on #learnontiktok is also incredibly diverse, so it creates an opportunity to zone in on what your business or site can offer to users.

These videos tend to be longer than the #lifehacks category, so you could expand your existing content and offer more detailed tutorials. For example, you could explain in greater detail how to create a small business from scratch.

Remember that TikTok is a visual platform, so it may not be enough to simply present your content. By introducing visual elements and music with your explanations, you can reach viewers who are interested in your company and its products or services.

5. #2018vs2021

#2018vs2021 is a hashtag where users use humor to contrast their past and current selves. The purpose of these videos is to show how much TikTok members have changed and grown within the last few years.

TikTok 2018vs2021 tag landing page

#2018vs2021 is a recently trending topic, so it has a slightly smaller reach of 450 million views. However, as we are still in the middle of 2021, there remains plenty of time to jump on the trend. That means you can take advantage of it while the hashtag is still topical.

Even though many of the #2018vs2021 videos are comical, there is an opportunity to use the hashtag to showcase your business and website. For example, you could show off key milestones in your development that make your company different from three years ago. Additionally, you could highlight new products or improvements to your previous product range.

You might like to consider keeping your videos lighthearted to fit in with many videos in this tag category. Still, there’s no reason why you can’t celebrate serious business developments in this format.


TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide, and it’s continuously growing. Some categories, like entertainment and dance, are always popular. However, there are also changing trends that you can take advantage of as part of your marketing strategy.

You can use some of these TikTok content ideas to promote your site or business:

  1. Use affiliate marketing to partner with influencers in the entertainment category.
  2. Partner with influencers to promote your products in the dance category.
  3. Use lifehacks and advice videos to provide insights on business and your company.
  4. Showcase your business expertise with #learnontiktok.
  5. Use the #2018vs2021 tag to showcase significant changes in your business’ growth.

What TikTok content ideas are you most excited to try? Let us know in the comments section below!

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By John Hughes

John is a self-taught WordPress designer and developer. He has been working with the CMS for over a decade, and has experience operating as a freelancer and as part of an agency. He’s dabbled in everything from accessible design to website security. Plus, he has extensive knowledge of online business topics like affiliate marketing.

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