Is it time to advertise on TikTok?

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Guess paid ad on TikTok, brand awareness "inmydenim" campaign

You may not yet have succumbed to the allure of TikTok’s addictive, never-ending feed, but you know someone who has or you’ve seen a viral TikTok or two. TikTok will hit 1.2 billion active users this year, and according to AppAnnie, TikTok surpassed Facebook in hours spent on the app in 2020. That’s even more impressive considering that TikTok videos are 60 seconds long max.

With growth like that, brands have begun to pay attention. Many dream of TikTok success on the scale of Ocean Spray, driven by this now legendary video. If you’re considering paid media on TikTok, ask: 

Who am I trying to reach? 

Like Snapchat, TikTok reaches a younger audience: 41% of users are between 16-24. For brands with higher price points, TikTok users may have less disposable income than the older audiences on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. But for brands looking to build a relationship with the next generation and impress them, TikTok has competitive CPCs, scale, and the potential for authenticity. Although TikTok’s ad platform is even younger than its audience, it now offers interest targeting based on the types of videos users view as well as standard demo, geo, and device targeting. According to TikTok, viewers are more engaged on their platform than on any other similar platform, spending 413 seconds per session compared to 329 on Facebook and 80 on Snapchat.

Do I have the right creative for the platform?

The best ads feel native to the platform and look like good TikToks: short, fun, and less produced. One of TikTok’s best ad campaigns last year was #MyRoots for Black History Month in the UK, which emphasized authentic content with a memorable hashtag and reached nearly 288 million views. Repurposing viral audio can boost the laughs too. While advertisers often cannot leverage copyrighted music, TikTok is a volume-on platform and audio clips from vulgar voicemails to simple soundbytes can be made hilarious with the right video.

What’s my goal?

Are you trying to increase awareness? Build love for your brand? Drive immediate sales? Brands are using TikTok to successfully hit all of these goals, but direct selling is newer. TikTok is rolling out more robust infrastructure to help advertisers drive sales, including new shoppable formats where users can visit retail sites in app (QVC for Gen Z?). 

As other platforms begin to replicate its features, it remains to be seen whether TikTok will retain its hypergrowth as a social medium. If it’s not yet clear whether TikTok will deliver value for your brand, testing at smaller investment levels hedges for this risk.

Is it time to advertise on TikTok?

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Guess paid ad on TikTok, brand awareness "inmydenim" campaign

You may not yet have succumbed to the allure of TikTok’s addictive, never-ending feed, but you know someone who has or you’ve seen a viral TikTok or two. TikTok will hit 1.2 billion active users this year, and according to AppAnnie, TikTok surpassed Facebook in hours spent on the app in 2020. That’s even more impressive considering that TikTok videos are 60 seconds long max.

With growth like that, brands have begun to pay attention. Many dream of TikTok success on the scale of Ocean Spray, driven by this now legendary video. If you’re considering paid media on TikTok, ask: 

Who am I trying to reach? 

Like Snapchat, TikTok reaches a younger audience: 41% of users are between 16-24. For brands with higher price points, TikTok users may have less disposable income than the older audiences on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. But for brands looking to build a relationship with the next generation and impress them, TikTok has competitive CPCs, scale, and the potential for authenticity. Although TikTok’s ad platform is even younger than its audience, it now offers interest targeting based on the types of videos users view as well as standard demo, geo, and device targeting. According to TikTok, viewers are more engaged on their platform than on any other similar platform, spending 413 seconds per session compared to 329 on Facebook and 80 on Snapchat.

Do I have the right creative for the platform?

The best ads feel native to the platform and look like good TikToks: short, fun, and less produced. One of TikTok’s best ad campaigns last year was #MyRoots for Black History Month in the UK, which emphasized authentic content with a memorable hashtag and reached nearly 288 million views. Repurposing viral audio can boost the laughs too. While advertisers often cannot leverage copyrighted music, TikTok is a volume-on platform and audio clips from vulgar voicemails to simple soundbytes can be made hilarious with the right video.

What’s my goal?

Are you trying to increase awareness? Build love for your brand? Drive immediate sales? Brands are using TikTok to successfully hit all of these goals, but direct selling is newer. TikTok is rolling out more robust infrastructure to help advertisers drive sales, including new shoppable formats where users can visit retail sites in app (QVC for Gen Z?). 

As other platforms begin to replicate its features, it remains to be seen whether TikTok will retain its hypergrowth as a social medium. If it’s not yet clear whether TikTok will deliver value for your brand, testing at smaller investment levels hedges for this risk.

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