Is TikTok Marketing Right for Your Print Business?

an influencer making a product marketing video for tiktok

“TikTok is just a fad for kids. Kids don’t buy print, so I shouldn’t waste my time thinking about TikTok.” ~ Old-fashioned printing company executive

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

First of all, TikTok may or may not be appropriate for your print business, but if it isn’t, the reason is NOT that this platform is just for kids. There are definitely print buyers looking for print-related video content on this platform.

There are currently over 800 million active TikTok users worldwide. In 2023, 75 percent of TikTok users are adults over 20 years old. More than 50 percent are over 30. Millennials today comprise more than half of all business buyers in the U.S. More than 60 percent of millennials have considered starting their own business – and most business owners need print.

So if you’re a printer in 2023, it’s time to dismiss any bias or misperception you may have against the idea that TikTok users are not print buyers (current or future).

As a short-form video marketing platform (i.e., videos under 60 seconds long), TikTok presents a compelling opportunity for printers to engage with a growing and valuable audience looking for inspiration and information. So should your print business have a marketing presence on TikTok? Maybe, maybe not. If you have just one idea for a video and you hope it will go viral and that you’ll get customers from it, then No, don’t bother. But if you are also using other marketing platforms and you are following a cohesive strategy of branding, messaging, and calls to action, then Yes, you should probably also include TikTok in your media strategy in some form.

With those thoughts established, what should your TikTok marketing strategy include?

Align Your TikToks With Your Brand Strategy

TikTok content is predominantly lighthearted in nature. Your TikToks (videos) don’t have to be funny, but it helps if they are fun. They don’t have to be goofy, but it helps if they are visually attention-grabbing. If it appears that you are trying too hard to be funny, you can miss the mark. If the tone of your TikTok doesn’t match the voice of your brand, your viewers and customers can be confused or just turned off. Follow a content strategy that feels right to you and your brand voice, even if your TikToks end up leaning more toward the conservative side.

Set Clear Objectives

For most printing companies, the primary goals of a TikTok campaign should probably be around building brand awareness rather than generating direct revenue. Incremental sales growth will come after your audience knows and likes your brand.

Consider that most potential print buyers are not likely on TikTok actively looking for a new supplier. More likely, they may search TikTok for keywords like printing or printers, but probably to see which print service providers are on TikTok and which have any interesting, informative, or entertaining messages to share. Videos and accounts that meet one or more of these criteria get watched, followed, and shared with others.

As followership grows, trust in your brand increases – and then sales follow. The bottom line: Don’t expect a measurable short-term ROI from your TikTok strategy.

Create Authentic Content

Unlike other video platforms in which professionally produced content wins, TikTok values authenticity. Users appreciate raw, real, and relatable content. Instead of a slick ad, think of fun, engaging videos that showcase your brand’s personality. When possible, and if it makes sense, use your own employees, your own equipment in your own production environment, and even your own customers and print jobs in your TikToks. I know, this last one is a tough one, but authenticity wins. Try to make it as real as possible.

Invest in TikTok Ads

TikTok offers various advertising tactics to target users based on demographics, location, and interests. Options include:

  • In-Feed Ads: These appear in between user videos as you scroll through the ‘For You’ page.
  • TopView Ads: These are longer-form ads that appear when a user first opens the app.
  • Brand Takeovers: This lets you take over TikTok for a day, allowing users to see your images, GIFs, and videos.

Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC)

One of the most powerful aspects of TikTok marketing is UGC. Encourage users to create content related to your brand or products. Not only can this increase engagement, but it also provides you with great content to be potentially reshared or repurposed.

Track and Optimize

Like all marketing campaigns, tracking performance is important. Monitor key metrics like views, engagement rate, click-through rate, and conversions. TikTok’s Pro Account offers analytics that can give insights into your campaign’s performance. Use this data to adjust and optimize your strategy.

Engage and Interact

Don’t just post videos. Engage with your followers, reply to comments, and participate in conversations. This fosters a sense of community and can help amplify your brand presence on the platform.

As you can see, TikTok marketing can help your business achieve a blend of creativity and engagement to reach new potential print buyers. With its ever-growing user base and unique content format, TikTok is a platform that printers should not ignore. Dive in, experiment, and have fun while doing it. If you want some outside support, consider talking to a marketing company with expertise in print.

On another note: Would you like a free digital marketing assessment of your printing business and an analysis of your closest competitors? Send me an email at and I’ll be happy to show you how your brand sizes up to your competition!


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David Murphy Nvent Marketing author at Print Media CentrDavid Murphy is the founder and CEO of Nvent Marketing, a marketing agency specializing in digital marketing for the print industry. David has 30+ years of experience in the graphics and document print production industry. He has served as a board member and advisor to print organizations and associations including Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), Print Industries of America (PIA), Association for Print Technologies (APTECH), and Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation (EDSF). David was also awarded the Idealliance Soderstrom Society Award for Print Industry Leadership. David can be reached at ​