First coming into existence as Muiscal.ly in 2014 before transforming into TikTok in 2018, the app has risen from strength to strength and now has over 1 billion people in over 150 countries using it each month (as of January 2022), and its audience is expected to keep growing as older generations have started to migrate to the platform.
As the app has become one of the world’s most popular social media platforms for curating and sharing content, it has also become a valuable platform for businesses to advertise on. With its high levels of engagement and potential for reaching new audiences and building brand awareness, TikTok’s advertising platform offers businesses a number of ways in which they can very effectively capture the attentions of Millennials and Gen Z.
TikTok has developed their advertising interface to tap into the platform’s very active and engaged audience, who reportedly spend approximately 80 minutes per day on the app. Various studies have shown that users retain 95% of a message when received via video, and TikTik allows you to incorporate video easily into your marketing strategy. The various ad formats available on TikTok encourage user engagement by incorporating fun videos, filters, challenges and more into marketing campaigns, which inspire user-generated content (UGC) to be created. The great thing about these ad formats is that they’re simple to use, allowing advertisers to be creative and fun without the need for professional videography or editing.
A common misperception about the app’s users, and why most businesses don’t want to touch TikTok is that they are predominantly a young demographic aged 16-24. However, only 41% of this age group make up TikTok’s audience, leaving 59% who are over 25. Overlooking TikTok as an extension of your marketing strategy could mean that you’re missing out on huge potential for increasing traffic, sales and revenue. Plus, past social media trends have shown that the younger demographic typically adopt new social media platforms and catapult them into popularity before older age groups begin to migrate over. With this in mind, it’s definitely worth taking advantage of TikTok whilst it’s still relatively new and reap its benefits before A) it becomes oversaturated with hundreds of brands and businesses all trying to capture the same audience and B) it becomes too commercialised, as we’ve already seen happen with Facebook and Instagram.
At the moment the platform supports organic content, so it’s highly beneficial to take advantage of this while TikTok is still in its infancy as it gives everyone equal opportunity, which works in your favour if you’re a business – big or small. For example, you could have no followers and no views but still have the potential to become viral overnight from one video. This is because TikTok’s algorithm shows users content based on their behaviour, as opposed to the accounts they follow, allowing you to generate a significant organic reach.
With the introduction of Reels on Instagram, largely to go toe-to-toe with TikTok, it looks like the world of short-form video is here to stay for a while, so it is definitely worthwhile investing some time into creating video content whilst it’s at the height of its popularity and before it gets overshadowed by the next trend that everyone needs to adapt to. For tips on how you can use video to show off your brand, click here.
TikTok may still be relatively new on the scene, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in advertising potential. If anything, if you’re not using TikTok you’re missing out on the chance to tap into a very large, engaged audience. With a handful of advertising options available for brands to utilise to their advantage, there’s ample opportunity to benefit from TikTok’s very large, engaged audience. We’ve broken down the various ad formats for you below:
If you’ve been on TikTok, then you’ll have no doubt seen in-feed ads as you scroll through the video stream on your homepage. As these ads blend in with the organic content you’re viewing, they’re a less disruptive way for brands to reach their target audience. However, this means there is the potential for them to be overlooked as users can easily scroll past them, meaning it’s essential your content immediately grabs your audience’s attention. Users can also like, comment, share and interact with in-feed ads, making it ideal for increasing brand recognition, as your levels of reach and engagement.
Top-View ads are a bit more invasive than in-feed ads, as these are full-screen, auto-play 60 second videos that appear at the top of a user’s feed 5 seconds after they open up the app.
TikTok states that this ad format is 67% more effective in driving sales and ranks first on the platform in terms of engagement, which makes it perfect for building brand awareness and generating a high level of impressions and interactions. You can also include a CTA, which is a great opportunity for converting your TikTok reach to website traffic.
Brand Takeover ads are very similar to Top View ads, except they appear as soon as the app is opened, taking over the screen for a couple of seconds before switching to a skippable in-feed ad. This ad type can also show up on a user’s ‘For You’ feed as static images, GIFs or videos. You can also attach an internal or external link to your ad, which is extremely useful if you want to direct traffic to your brand’s website or if you want to increase reach and engagement on your TikTok account.
Only one brand can take over a specific category per day, giving you pride of place over your competitors and providing you with the utmost exposure. Because of this, Brand Takeovers are one of TikTok’s more expensive options for driving brand awareness and conversions.
Since rising to popularity, TikTok has become a breeding ground for user-generated content (UGC), which are typically at the centre of new trends. Knowing brands can benefit from UGC, TikTok have created the Branded Hashtag Challenge – an advertising option where brands can partner up with TikTok advertising representatives to create a sponsored TikTok challenge, whereby brands can start new trends and encourage TikTok users to become active participants in brand campaigns and building brand awareness.
Making use of Augmented Reality (AR) technology, Branded Effects allows brands to create custom filters, stickers and other effects that, much like the Branded Hashtag Challenge, enables users to use for their own content whilst simultaneously sharing your brand’s name.
Ads using Branded Effects can last for up to 10 days, giving you ample opportunity to make the most of your advertising spend and increase brand exposure.
Advertising on TikTok is not as scary as it first seems and is actually fairly simple once you’ve created your TikTok advertising account. And don’t worry… you don’t need to start re-creating the trending dances any time soon (unless you want to)! If you’re familiar with the Google or Facebook advertising platforms, TikTok’s is broken down in the same steps: Account, Campaign, Ad Groups and Ads.
Head over to TikTok ads manager and sign up for a new account. Once you’ve signed up, your account will be ready to start creating a new ad campaign.
Once you’re inside your account, navigate over to the ‘Dashboard’ within the TikTok ads manager and click ‘Create Ad’. From here, you can determine your advertising objective and daily or lifetime budget for your new campaign.
You can also create a split test to see what works best for your brand.
Now you’ve set up your TikTok ad campaign, you’ll now need to establish the finer details of your campaign within the Ad Group. This includes: promotion type, ad placement, creative type, targeting, budget and schedule, and bidding and optimisation.
Now your campaign is all set up, you can start creating your ad! TikTok lets you upload videos or images. If you choose to upload images, the platform will automatically turn them into a video.
From here, you will then need to enter your add copy and call to action and you’re done! If you want to increase enquiries, you can create an ‘Instant Form’ within your ad, which will open when someone interacts with your ad.
Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, click ‘Submit’ and just like that, you’ve set up your first TikTok ad!
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