TikTok has taken over. What began as just another social media network has skyrocketed to platform fame, pulling content creators along with it.
Marketers, ever keen to find eyeballs on the internet, were no doubt pleased when TikTok made advertising available in early 2019. “I think for many B2B advertisers, there was a cautious approach to TikTok,” notes Adele Todd, Head of PPC at Somebody Digital. “They needed to make sure it was a worthwhile investment, not just another fad. But with the number of users now sitting at over a billion, even B2Bs are likely to reach their audience on this platform.”
What is TikTok advertising?
TikTok advertising is a powerful tool for brands looking to tap into this extensive and engaged global audience. It offers a new way to connect with consumers.
There are several ways to advertise on TikTok. Brands can create their own channels and upload videos that users can engage with, or they can use 'In-Feed Ads' that appear organically as users scroll through their 'For You' feed. Another option is 'Brand Takeovers', where an ad appears as soon as a user opens the app, offering immediate and significant exposure.
The true power of TikTok advertising, however, lies in its ability to leverage user-generated content and viral trends to gain brand visibility.
Why TikTok rocks
Many users are addicted to the social media app, with competitors like Meta struggling to keep up. But there’s a good reason why advertising on TikTok could be a plausible option. “Besides the substantial, as we’ve already mentioned, the platform has a very high engagement level because of its tailored content,” notes Adele.
And it’s not just the content that is tailored. When ads are personalised to an audience’s preferences and behaviours, they tend to perform well on the app. “With TikTok’s advanced targeting tools and custom audience setup, it can be easy to find people who need to hear your messaging. Plus, with the current bidding set up, budgeting and setting limits on your spend is a good option for smaller businesses who are thrifty when it comes to display ads.”
New formats, higher engagement
Just this month, TikTok announced that it will begin experimenting with longer format videos, up to 30 minutes for select users (read, the popular kids). This move, while clearly designed to challenge YouTube head-on, presents marketers with yet another chance to increase completion and engagement rates.
“Stats show that in-stream ads on long-form videos have a higher engagement rate,” Adele agrees, “so for advertisers on TikTok, this could be an exciting experiment in increasing both advertising spend and potentially conversions.”
Still, it’s not for everyone.
Adele flags that between the evolving algorithm and content saturation, sometimes TikTok won’t yield the kind of results an advertiser may want.
“Like any platform, TikTok has its pros and cons,” notes Adele. “For many businesses, it’s not the right space for their brand, and that’s just fine.” As long as providers like Google and LinkedIn continue to drive the right results, it may not be time to make the move to TikTok just yet.
Are you looking for insight into optimising your paid media campaigns or a TikTok advertising agency? Why not chat with Adele or one of our experts?
TikTok Advertising FAQS
How do TikTok ads work?
TikTok ads operate in a manner similar to other social media platforms, offering a dynamic and interactive way for brands and creators to reach their target audience. Here's how they work:
Choosing Ad Type: TikTok provides various ad formats like In-Feed Ads, TopView Ads, Brand Takeover Ads, Branded Effects, Branded Hashtag Challenges, and more. Advertisers can select the ad type that aligns best with their marketing objectives.
Targeting: TikTok allows advertisers to target viewers based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This ensures that the ads reach the most relevant audience.
Bidding: Similar to Facebook and Instagram, TikTok operates on a bidding system for ad slots. Advertisers enter their bid amount during the ad creation process.
Creating and Running Ads: Advertisers create their ads using TikTok's creative tools or upload their prepared content. Once the ad is created and the budget is set, it starts running on the platform.
Performance Tracking: Advertisers can monitor the performance of their ads through the TikTok Ads Manager. It provides metrics like impressions, clicks, engagement rate, etc., helping advertisers understand how well their ads are performing.
Ad Rotation: Advertisers are advised to run multiple ads simultaneously, sharing the budget among them. TikTok then promotes the best-performing ad, optimizing the campaign's effectiveness.
What types of businesses can benefit from TikTok advertising?
TikTok advertising is versatile, catering to diverse industries such as fashion, beauty, fitness, and entertainment. Its primary audience of Gen Z and Millennials makes it an ideal platform for businesses targeting younger demographics.
Can I target specific audiences with my TikTok ads?
Yes, TikTok's advanced targeting capabilities allow advertisers to reach specific user groups based on factors like age, gender, location, and interests, ensuring your ads resonate with the right audience.
What are the types of TikTok ads?
TikTok offers a variety of ad formats to help businesses reach their target audience effectively. These include:
In-Feed Ads: These ads appear as users scroll through their "For You" page. They can be up to 60 seconds long and play with sound on, offering a full-screen immersive experience.
TopView Ads: Building on the concept of Brand Takeovers, TopView Ads are the first thing users see when they open the app. They provide three seconds of full-screen, sound-on creative display, ensuring maximum reach.
Brand Takeover Ads: Full-screen ads that appear when users first open the TikTok app. They can be images, videos, or GIFs and provide high exposure.
Branded Effects: This allows brands to create 2D, 3D, or AR effects that users can incorporate into their own videos, promoting interactive engagement.
Branded Hashtag Challenge: Brands can sponsor a hashtag challenge to encourage user-generated content. This increases brand exposure and engagement within the TikTok community.
Branded Hashtag Challenge Plus: An extension of the Branded Hashtag Challenge, it includes a shopping feature to drive direct sales from the challenge page.
Remember, the choice of ad format depends on your campaign objective and target audience. By understanding these different ad formats, businesses can leverage TikTok's unique platform to engage with users in creative and interactive ways.
Is there a way to monitor my TikTok ad performance?
Yes, TikTok offers an Ads Manager tool that provides comprehensive analytics, allowing advertisers to track the performance of their ads in realtime and adjust strategies accordingly.
What's the minimum budget requirement for TikTok advertising?
The minimum budget for a TikTok advertising campaign is $500, with a minimum ad group budget of $50. However, actual costs may vary depending on various factors such as ad format, audience targeting, and campaign duration.
What are best practices for TikTok advertising?
Think TikTok-First: Craft your brand messages in a way that aligns with the platform's creative and authentic vibe.
Use Trends as Storytelling Templates: Engage with the TikTok community by leveraging popular trends and challenges in your ads.
Capture Attention Quickly: The first 3 seconds of your ad are crucial. Make sure to grab the viewer's attention right from the start.
Adhere to Image and Video Specs: Ensure your ads comply with TikTok's media specifications for optimal display and performance.
Update Ads Frequently: Keep your content fresh and relevant by updating your ads often.
Strategic Use of Hashtags: Utilize popular and relevant hashtags to boost the visibility and discoverability of your ads.
Prioritize Vertical Videos: Opt for vertical video format for a more immersive and engaging user experience.
Start with an Impactful Visual: Begin your video with a compelling visual to captivate viewers instantly.
Balance Entertainment and Promotion: Create content that both entertains users and promotes your brand effectively.
Enrich Content Using TikTok Tools: Leverage TikTok's creative tools like filters, effects, and music to enrich your ad content.