Is TikTok Advertising a Good Marketing Investment Idea?

AdsRunner clients often ask us whether TikTok advertising works and if they should leverage this medium. If so, how they should invest their marketing budget in a TikTok marketing strategy?

It has to be said that in the early days, when TikTok was gaining more popularity, some marketing agencies, including ours, remained somewhat sceptical about its potential for advertising for a while and whether this social media platform, apparently for younger audiences, could be used effectively in a marketing funnel.  However, setting scepticism to aside, we put it to test and it didn’t take us long to be proven wrong.

TikTok certainly isn’t a good marketing fit for all businesses and brands, but It’s definitely an important sales channel and platform, when it comes to reaching the younger demographics, especially for consumer brands seeking to reach younger audiences.

Check Out TikTok’s Numbers

Advertisers simply cannot ignore the fact that a staggering 1 billion videos are viewed on TikTok every day, according to the business training consultancy, Oberlo.  Young people love the immediacy of this platform.  Video remains one of the most powerful medium for sharing messages, infotainment and fun.

In September 2021, TikTok surpassed 1 billion monthly active users globally, allowing us marketers to reach 825 million users aged 18 and above around the world by running ads on this dynamic and growing channel.  Pause a moment, to let that big number sink in, especially if like us, you have been cynical about the power of this go-to social for younger people.

Sure, many TikTok users may not have significant disposable income themselves, given that around 63% of the users are aged between 10 and 29, but a significant number of those will be aspirant youngsters, just starting out in their careers and splurging their early wage packets, or at the very least, be influencing their friends and family in their spending habits.

When it comes to understanding usage generally, the average daily time spent on TikTok’s platform, their users rank second, after Facebook with over 31 minutes screen time over a one day period. Another interesting phenomena is that this platform is dominated by female users, who, it seems,  lead in constituting 60% of all TikTok users.  

These numbers are not only mind-blowing in themselves, but are also some promising stats for businesses and organisations to consider when trying to decide if they should advertise on TikTok.  In our clients’ experiences, this highly entertaining social media site offers endless advertising opportunities for B2C businesses and brands, seeking to meet customers where they are. 

How to Advertise on TikTok

In many ways, TikTok ads structure follows the same principles of Facebook and Instagram, both in terms of advertising tools offered in the Ads Manager functionality and options and the Top of the Funnel (ToFu) to Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu) structure.

Of course, If you are not after a sophisticated setup, you can simply promote an existing post from your downloaded TikTok app.  Next, select a goal, such as getting more video views, website visits or followers. Then, you dive deeper into targeting ‘audience segments’, selecting your audience’s gender, age and interest.  This is an important step in the process; you need to identify who wants what you offer and how they want it, whether that be in: size, colour, price, or fast delivery.  Finally, set your budget and off you go!

If you are familiar with social media marketing and your TikTok marketing strategy is one among others, you will want to look at a more sophisticated setup.   AdsRunner strongly recommend sticking with a more advanced setup through the TikTok Ads Manager options as this enables you to really get into the detail of what different audiences want from you.  By monitoring your stat’s you can better get to understand preferences and cross-selling via other channels in a more affordable way.

TikTok Ad Set Up in Simple Steps

Summarising TikTok ad set up in simple steps, then…

  1. You have to setup your TikTok Business Manager and Ad Account,
  2. Install the TikTok’s Pixel on your website
  3. Create a TikTok product Catalogue by uploading your products inventory from a well-organised, detailed data source
  4. Choose a campaign objective, such as: Maximising Traffic, Lead Generation or Conversions into sales or other explicit goal (subscribing to newsletters, etc.)
  5. Select your placement type. Here you choose where you want your ads to show up. At first, we suggest you to stick with the TikTok platform only
  6. Define and Include your exact targeted audience: Location, Gender, Age, Language
  7. Choose from the available user interest and behaviour based groups
  8. Set your daily budget or a lifetime budget for the campaign.
  9. Determine whether your Ads will run continuously, or at specific times
  10. Decide on your bidding strategy, i.e. Lowest Cost, Bid Cap, or Cost Cap 
  11. Make sure your Ads Identity is connected to your brand’s TikTok Profile
  12. Decide on your ad formats, such as single video, multiple images, or collection Ads
  13. Upload your Ad creatives, adding your call-to-action caption, so your viewer knows exactly what step to take next
  14. Hit ‘Submit’ to launch your first TikTok marketing campaign.

A full guide on how to use the TikTok ads can be found on TikTok Business Help Center

The Importance of Getting Your Content and Creative Right

When it comes to TikTok Ads, having the right content can make a huge difference on returns on marketing investment.   It’s vital to understand that the majority of the users are on this platform for entertainment.  In fact it’s no surprise that the top 3 categories by hashtag views are: Entertainment, Dance and Pranks.  Altogether this type of content had a staggering 795 Billion Views as of July 2020. Hence, it’s important to make your content fit in with that ethos and for the content you share to look natural and authentic to this platform’s audience expectations.

Running overly commercial ads will not get you very far with younger audiences on this  platform.  Younger audiences are more open and authentic and look for that in others.  Be aware also that what works on other social media platforms will not necessarily work on TikTok.

TikTok users have their own way of communication and media generation, which is why people spend so much time there to begin with. It’s original, innovative and fun.  Hence, it’s important to understand the trends in younger audiences’ tastes and to produce media that suits your targeted audience. Not putting in the time to explore this platform and watch what works for the key influencers could mean you might miss out on a lot of views and a lack of understanding of this niche risks never getting it to work for you… That, of course, can get costly, as well as disheartening.

Our TikTok Ads Management Services

Used correctly, TikTok can offer you a great opportunity to grow your business by reaching your younger demographic groups and getting them to engage with your brand in a fun and creative way.

TikTok offers the opportunity to tap into a younger audience, who if you generate loyalty means they could be with your for life.  Because of this potential life-long customer loyalty, it will likely be one of the key aspects of your wider marketing funnel.  Don’t be fooled that just because it’s a fun social media site, you can throw stuff out there and that it will delight those young people looking to be entertained.  Young people have grown up on social media and their tastes can be highly sophisticated.  Any marketing strategy needs to be done correctly, which requires preparatory analysis and detailed planning.

TikTok could also sit nicely within your retargeting strategies, where you do not necessarily have to be investing in prospecting new customers, but where you are keeping your existing customer base engaged on this platform.

Whether your aim is to increase awareness of your offering, your brand, increase your following, find new customers, promote your application, generate leads or drive sales, TikTok advertising could be a great option for you, when operated wisely in how you communicate.

TikTok offers so much longer term upside, AdsRunner highly recommend you take this fun marketing channel seriously…  If your brand is a little more traditional, or what you offer does not automatically seem to shout ‘fun’ we can help you connect with TikTok users creatively in ways that will surprise you and your audiences, entertain, as well as move this platforms users closer to you and that all important conversion you are looking for. TikTok is full of surprises. Let us show you what this energetic media can do for you.