Welcome! To the strange new realm of dancing teenagers, never-ending reel content and that strange TikTok lady’s voice. It all seems very scary but it’s very doable and can even be fun.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is the newest kid on the block in the social media landscape. First launching in China in September 2016, it was originally known as Douyin, a short-form video sharing platform. It rapidly grew internationally and was rebranded as TikTok, and hit a significant milestone in September 2021 when it hit 1 billion users.
The platform is based around videos that are 15 seconds in length but can be combined for longer-form videos. Users engage with videos by liking, commenting and sharing videos. The platform uses AI to curate content for each user based on their interests and previous engagement. This has proven to be very effective as the average time spent on the app is 45 minutes a day!
Who uses Tiktok?
- TikTok is available in over 150 countries and 39 languages.
- Its most popular demographic is Gen Z with 63% of its users under 30 years.
- Women make up 59% of its user base.
Should you advertise on TikTok?
At current, Tiktok is largely ignored by marketers and therefore less competitive in terms of vying for users attention. Only 9% of marketers are using the platform and 68% do not intend to use it in the next year. In other words, getting on TikTok could be the answer to staying ahead of your competitors. If your target audience is from 18-34 years it is an ideal platform to access your customers. These users are highly engaged and the ad formats available in TikTok encourage enormous engagement. The content is so diverse that there is an audience for every business’s products or services in a variety of advertising formats.
The only downside is that the cost per click is higher in comparison to Facebook and Snapchat. Not only will this increase your ad spend. It will also cause experimenting to be costly.
There are five different TikTok ad formats:
1. In-Feed Ads:
In-feed ads are short-form videos that are displayed in the native news feed on users ‘For You’ page. They blend well with the TikTok feed. Users can like, comment, share and interact with these.
2. Branded Hashtag Ads:
This ad challenges users to record themselves performing something like a choreographed dance or something in line with a product and posting it with a defined hashtag. The ad appears on top of the discovery page and leads to a page with other videos from the same hashtag challenge.
3. Branded Effect Ads:
This ad type allows businesses to create custom filters, stickers, and lenses that users can add to their videos. Branded effects are available for 10 days.
4. Top View Ads:
Similar to the brand takeovers, Top View ads display on the full screen. They appear at the top of the ‘For You’ feed when TikTok is first open and can last up to 60 seconds.
5. TikTok Brand Takeover Ads:
As the name suggests, these ads allow brands to take over the full screen when users open their app. Videos are 3-5 seconds long and will also show up in the ‘For You’ feed. This can include a website link or clickable hashtag.
Setting up a standard In-Feed ad:
In-feed ads tend to get the best results for small businesses. Other ad types are typically only available to those with large advertising budgets.
To set up the in-feeds ad, you will need to create a TikTok ads account. Then select “Create an Ad”. After going through the sign-up process you will need to wait for TikTok to review your application before can create an ad. In-feed ads follow the same formats as regular content. TikTok recommends that ads run between 9 and 15 seconds.
You’ll be asked to set up your advertising objective, then you’ll have access to relevant features to the objective.
The options for targeting are interesting as not only do you have interest based targeting, which is similar to Facebook ads, but you can also choose ‘Behavioral Targeting’ which allows you to target users based on their behaviours on TikTok within the last 7 or 15 days. It also allows for ‘customer audience’ and ‘lookalike audience’ targeting.
When it comes to the actual ad creation, TikTok has a helpful “Inspiration” section on their website. This offers examples of some successful ads which can show you how to create a winning campaign.
The Bottom Line
TikTok is unlike other social media platforms and therefore requires some time to get used to it. But if you master ‘The TikTok’ you will have less competition as the learning curve has been a deterrent to marketers. If you are targeting a younger, international audience that is highly engaged, it could result in great returns for the time invested in learning about the platform. Just remember to be authentic, try following trends and have fun with it.