If your audience is primarily Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok is a great place to advertise. As the
latest mobile-first platform that’s allowing businesses to reach a massive audience, its users are
highly engaged. How engaged? According to Backlinko, the average TikTok user in the U.S. is
on the social platform for more than 30 minutes a day. And with an average session time of
more than 10 minutes, this is a prime opportunity for businesses to engage with a captive
audience – and generate significant results.
Why is TikTok such a valuable platform for marketers?
Over 800 million people use TikTok every month, making it the world’s fastest growing social
media platform. And about 70% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24. If that’s
your target demographic, running advertising and influencer marketing campaigns on this social
network are a no-brainer.
With an ads platform that’s still relatively young, much of the content is user-created and the
costs are still lower compared to Facebook or Google ad buys. Businesses can take advantage
of a lower barrier to entry – on both basic ad cost and video-production cost. On the flip side,
you’ll need to get creative to get the most out of your ad spend.
Before diving in and setting up your first TikTok campaign, there are a few additional
considerations to make. Any ad campaign is an investment, so make sure you’re going to get an
ROI before you get started.
Here’s what you need to know before you start an advertising campaign on TikTok.
Is your product or service the right fit for TikTok Ads?
Not all brands are going to be the best fit here. Businesses that are highly visual – fashion, food,
lifestyle and beauty brands, for example – usually perform better than B2B brands, which usually
have sales content that is far more complicated or text-heavy.
But that doesn’t mean that B2B companies can’t win here. To succeed with TikTok, regardless of
industry, you need to create a highly creative campaign that will appeal to users’ emotions and
sense of humor. Tap into what they’re already interested in – like pets, food or tech.
Even industries that are typically viewed as ‘less-than-flashy’, like banking or insurance or
enterprise software, have an opportunity to reframe their products and services in a way that’s
fun and unexpected.
TikTok rewards creative content
TikTok is growing so fast because it’s doing something different from other social media
platforms. It encourages people to express themselves in a more authentic, in-the-moment way.
People who watch these videos are more inclined to share them with others, making TikTok the
perfect tool for marketing your products and services.
The challenge is that TikTok is incredibly noisy, with hundreds of millions of videos being
uploaded every day. To stand out, you need to find a way to make your ads creative and
entertaining, so that they can grab people’s attention.
Here are some ways you can do this:
● Defy expectations. What do consumers think they know about your industry? How can
you present your business in a way that flips that on its head?
● Go niche. Don’t try to appeal to everyone – narrow down your audience and look for a
specific niche of users you want to reach. For example, you might want to target only
teenagers who live in a specific country or city. The ability to micro-target users can help
you to find an audience that is much more receptive to your message and brand.
● Go off-topic. Don’t limit your creativity to topics within your particular industry. Have fun
with memes, holidays, your teams’ interests. Show the faces behind the brand and
connect with a new audience in a meaningful way – even if it’s silly.
Influencer/Brand Takeover collaborations
Influencers can help get the word out about your brand on TikTok and increase its visibility in the
process. Be strategic with how you approach these influencers, though. Many of them have
strict guidelines that they require their sponsors to follow. Be sure to read over these guidelines
before contacting them with your proposal so that you can avoid any hiccups.
There can be huge benefits to pursuing these types of campaign collaborations. You’ll be
introduced to their audience – but you’ll also earn ‘trust through association’. By aligning your
brand with an influencer, they’re telling their audiences that your product or service is worth their
time and money.
Influencer campaigns can fast track your brand awareness, but it’s smart to experiment with
TikTok before diving into one. First, gain a clear idea of who your audience is, what content
they’re already engaging with and who they trust.
Track Success with your TiKTok Ads Campaign
Know your campaign goals before getting started. Whether you want to increase brand
awareness or drive new sales, tracking ad performance is an important piece of the puzzle. By
regularly checking in with your metrics, you’ll know when something isn’t working and adjust
Does video production quality matter?
This is one area of video campaigns that scare off a lot of would-be marketers. Historically,
video production has been an expensive endeavor requiring the hiring of a full crew and hours
invested in production and editing. Without deep pockets, it can be difficult – even impossible –
for small businesses and start-ups to adopt video in their marketing efforts.
The good news is that money is no longer a barrier to entry. In fact, the more Hollywood-quality
your ad is, the less likely it will be viewed as authentic. TikTok is about sharing your experiences
in a fun and light-hearted way – and the vast majority of content is filmed on a smartphone.
That said, you don’t have to make a video yourself — there are social marketing agencies that
specialize in creating TikTok ads.
Know your TikTok ad types
There are several different types of TikTok ads, each with their own pros and cons. For today,
we’ll focus on three of the most popular for businesses – TikTok’s In-Feed Ads, Top View Ads
and Spark Ads.
● In-Feed Ads
Shown inside the user’s ‘For You’ page, In-Feed ads blend into the user’s existing feed.
They’ll be seeing your ad while scrolling between videos from the accounts they already
follow. In-feed ads are excellent for engagement, since users can interact, comment and
share your ads with their followers.
● Top View Ads
A Top View ad is a branded 60-second vertical video spot — similar to Snapchat’s
Discovery format — that users see when they open the app. This type of ad will appear
at the top of your audience’s For You feed to grab their attention right away, but it will
only play sound if they tap on it.
● Spark Ads
Spark Ads offer marketers the ability to use organic posts or a TikTok creator’s organic
posts to drive greater brand awareness and engagement. This is an ideal choice if you
already have a library of existing content. (Because this ad format relies on content that’s
already created, it’s easier and faster to kick off a campaign.) Like other ad types, Spark
Ads drive excellent engagement, allowing users to comment, share and like posts. With
one tap, users can visit a brand’s profile, and marketers can include a CTA on their post
to drive conversions.
Overall, the best way to make TikTok ads work for your business is to plan carefully and to
create a clear strategy around your campaign. We believe that running a TikTok ad campaign
can be useful for businesses in achieving their goals – if it’s applied correctly. From minding the
ad format options, to providing high quality images and videos (and actually interacting with
users), a little forethought, creativity, and intentionality can go a long way. And hopefully, if you
decide TikTok is right for you, it can go even further.