As a Zillenial, I was super against downloading TikTok because I didn’t want to fall into the category of being a stereotypical GenZer. However, after my housemate taught me how to Renegade and then with quarantine happening, my boredom got the best of me and I downloaded the app to learn more TikTok dances. After realizing it is much more than just a place to show off your moves, I have become a daily user and consume art, animal, dance, DIY, and even frog TikTok. The beauty is that there are endless unique communities and content niches within the platform, so believe me when I say it is nearly impossible for a user to ever get bored.
Regardless of how popular the platform has become, many advertisers are hesitant to advertise their brand on TikTok because of three general assumptions:
The truth is, Tik Tok is a great advertising platform. So in this post, I’m going to debunk these three myths by providing 9 data-backed reasons you should be advertising on TikTok!
It is no secret that most of the content creators on TikTok are GenZ, but a common misconception about TikTok is that every user is between the ages of 16 and 24. While 41% of users do fall into this age range, this means that 59% of the platform is made up of users from the Millenial, GenX, and even Baby Boomer generations (my 60 year old father is on the app—hi dad!).
In fact, within the past 18 months, the number of US adult TikTok users has grown 5.5 times, receiving more downloads within Q1 2020 than any other app ever during the same time span (likely due to the spread of COVID-19 and quarantine, but 5.5 times is still impressive).
Most of the ads that I see on my TikTok are for ecommerce, streaming service, and app downloads, usually wanting me to take some sort of action like go to their website or start a free trial. And as you know, there are streaming services, apps, and other platforms and products for all ages and walks of life. Emily True, one of our Account Managers at WordStream who is a Millennial, also sees ads on TikTok for products in line with the lifestyle of her generation. “I see a lot of eCommerce and lifestyle ads on TikTok,” True says. “Some ads are from my favorite clothing brands, and I tend to see a lot of electronics and tech accessories too.”
As you can see, there is a very apparent opportunity to advertise to the GenZ demographic on TikTok if your brand matches that demographic. However, with 59% of users being 25+ along with the unique communities within it, there is opportunity to reach countless other niches, age groups, and other specific demographics by advertising on TikTok.
Source: @heididamelio on TikTok
Many brands, especially small businesses, don’t think it’s worth the time and money to be advertising on TikTok, thinking it’s too difficult to set up campaigns, create authentic and engaging video content, and keep track of yet another platform’s data. In reality, it isn’t that hard to set up a TikTok campaign, and there are many other resources to help you get started.
And if you were worried about not having the budget for advertising on TikTok, fear no more! TikTok is helping small businesses advertise on their platform through their relief program, Back to Business, which is providing $100M in ad credits for advertisers worldwide. Their goal is to help small businesses who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and get them back to business. Eligible businesses can claim a one-time ad credit worth $300 USD to be used by the end of 2020.
Advertisers who utilize this program will have access to self-serving advertising features such as creative tools, flexible budgets, performance targeting, and business accounts. They will also have the ability to potentially reach millions of users worldwide and create meaningful brand content that shows creativity and drives engagement.
This TikTok ad placement is the best, unmissable spot. Similar to Top of Page for PPC, your ad will show as the first video when a user opens TikTok, capturing their attention right away.
Source: @HollisterCo on TikTok
Similar to TopView, this is a full screen static or dynamic display, delivering strong visual impact. Think of these ads as similar to non-skippable Youtube ads or bumper ads. Like TopView, this ad often shows right when a user opens TikTok but with no ability to like or comment. Best practice is to use this format along with other formats available to give you the widest and deepest reach.
Source: @HBOMax on TikTok
Tell brand stories like a TikTok pro by integrating content in a user’s For You Page (FYP). These ads give the ability for users to like, comment, share, follow, and shoot videos within the same TikTok sound.
Source: @Bumble on TikTok
Engagement format that taps into user passion for creation and expression for strong brand awareness with a level of engagement that goes beyond a click. Gives users the ability to participate and create content around your campaign theme.
Source: @bliss on TikTok
These creators (influencers, celebrities, bloggers, and athletes) use TikTok to share their perspectives, recipes, families, dance moves, and other aspects of their daily lives. But unlike Instagram which uses heavy editing, professional studio lighting, makeup, and camera work, the idea on TikTok is to share experiences in the raw. This makes for more relatable and genuine content.
Many influencers like Charli D’aMelio and Addison Rae have been discovered through TikTok and have gained tens of millions of followers within the past year, not to mention forged many business partnerships very early in their careers.
Sources: @jlo and @officialreesetiktok on TikTok
Pro tip: TikTok users are savvy, knowing when they are being marketed to, so make smart decisions about who you partner with and how you deliver your promotions. Work directly with content creators to align on a message and a format that will resonate with both your and their fan base, and at the same time produce real business results. TikTok assists in creating these partnerships through their data by matching brands with the best possible influencer.
Source: @javierr on TikTok
Influencers aren’t the only ones who can drive trends. Anyone and everyone can participate in trends and have the opportunity to have their video go viral on the FYP, including your brand! Making video ads that are based on daily trends increases their relevancy and likelihood to show on someone’s feed because it allows for frequent content rhythm, instant relevance, and continual discovery.
Another great way to use TikTok to increase brand awareness is by going live. You can learn how to go live on TikTok here.
The common misconception for many is that TikTok is just another app that takes up more screen time. The benefit of this increased screen time is that the usage of TikTok is on an upward trend, which is a solid opportunity for advertisers to reach a group of engaged consumers.
Here’s the monthly TikTok app user engagement in the US from October 2019 to March 2020 (in average minutes per visitor), thanks to Statista:
Because of the variety of content on TikTok, there is something for everyone. Whether you are a clothing brand, an app, a service, transportation company, restaurant, in the music industry, or anyone who wants to increase visibility for their products and services, there is a place for you on TikTok. Advertisers have neverending trends to capitalize on for the highest reach like TikTok’s daily and dynamic trends, popular music, TikTok Live, hashtag challenges, trending dances, Stitches, and even duets.
Something unique about advertising on TikTok is that it is authenticity-driven. In comparison to Instagram, where users tend to show off their best selves, TikTok encourages users to be their authentic selves, allowing people to broadcast their style, daily lives, talents, pets, stories, and creations while having the opportunity of going viral. Participating in TikTok’s authenticity, rather than mimicking it, will drive your brand to success. Your business has the ability to increase awareness and showcase your products and services to users who have never heard of you before; and with the right messaging, increase engagement too.
Now you might be saying, can’t I just do video marketing on Facebook on Instagram? Well, the answer is yes, but because TikTok’s medium is solely video, advertisers have the ability to connect with users through the use of sound. With Facebook and Instagram, advertisers are usually limited to static images or short videos, and the average user is less likely to turn on sound when viewing an ad on these platforms. I’d encourage brands to use popular songs or sounds that are trending on TikTok so the ad feels native to the viewer.
The reality is that TikTok is only going to grow more from here. With new updates to its site, TikTok has taken over traditional forms of social media and created a new wave of creativity among people of all ages. Hopefully this post helped to debunk some of the common myths surrounding this new and growing platform, and has you excited to start showing off your brand and creativity by advertising on TikTok!
Anne is the digital marketing and sales enablement intern for WordStream, where she uses her analytical mindset to audit PPC accounts and identify opportunities for improvement in sales processes. In her free time she loves to read, spend time outdoors, and travel.
See other posts by Anne Kunsman
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