Is TikTok an effective marketing tool?
Most don’t know that TikTok is not only for making trendy videos but can also be used for advertising. Read along to know how to utilize a growing platform to market their brand.
As of 2020, TikTok is available in over 150 markets worldwide and is available in 39 different languages. The statistics show that TikTok has more than 500 million users (monthly active users) around the world (Business of Apps, 2020). And it is growing exponentially. It has surpassed Twitter and Snapchat in terms of popularity and is less saturated with ads than its older counterparts (i.e., Musical.ly). This portrays that TikTok is continually trying to improve the user experience, which indicates a strong potential for growth in monthly active users.
TikTok allows users to create, edit, and share 15-second videos. The users can apply in-built filters, effects, and music from the TikTok library. This has created an abundance of trending videos and has truly shaken up the marketing world with its unparalleled virality.
Considering the growth in popularity, in early 2019, TikTok rolled out a beta version of its ads offering. Since they launched, big brands such as Nike, Apple Music, and Grubhub have jumped on the TikTok train to promote their products in unique, visually compelling, and viral campaigns.
TikTok offers advanced targeting and unique ad creation features that differentiate TikTok Ads from its predecessors. TikTok Ads’ functionalities are quite similar to Facebook Ads but are tweaked a little to match its unique audience and nature. Using these options effectively can help brands tap into one of the most lucrative pools of users because TikTok users show high engagement rates.
However, TikTok ads may not be ideal for all businesses. There are two questions that you need to ask yourself before determining if TikTok ads are relevant for your business or not.
Do I Have the Budget for TikTok Ads?
Big brands such as Nike, Apple Music, and Grubhub have jumped on the TikTok train and made it look so swift to drive significant impressions and engagement. However, in reality, TikTok ads may be less affordable for startups and small businesses. This is because TikTok Ads is new and rare, thus come at a premium cost. The costs start at an average of $10 per CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) and allow a maximum total budget of $300,000 for large campaigns. TikTok’s primary audience at the moment is the high-profile audience since TikTok campaigns require a minimum investment of $500. Hence, TikTok may not be the right platform for you if you’re looking for affordable and predictable advertising options.
What Is My Target Market Demographic?
TikTok prominently targets Generation Z, with 66% of its users being younger than 30 (41% are ages 16-24) (Social Media Examiner, 2020). Therefore, the platform is ideal for those brands that target the younger generations. If your target market is the older audience, it may not be a suitable platform to market your brand.
How Can Brands Use TikTok?
TikTok provides the facility to market your brand on the platform. There are mainly three ways that you can market on TikTok:
- Brands can create their own channel and upload relevant videos through the channel
- Brands can collaborate with influencers to spread the content to a much larger audience, more effectively
- Brands can pay to advertise on TikTok (similar to Facebook Ads)
Brands usually use a combination of these strategies based on their channel and audience. We listed down a few strategies below that your brand can use to successfully establish a brand presence in TikTok.
Challenges are an essential feature of the TikTok community. The active users of TikTok love taking up challenges and making videos based on them. Your brand can also create a hashtag challenge, where the challenges are given a #-tag name (i.e., #kikichallenge). The purpose of this is to make it memorable and easy to find on the platform.
Brands can team up with influencers or use their own channel to promote the challenge and make it viral, encouraging users to participate. This can attract a substantial audience to the brand’s page, improving its presence on TikTok.
This is where brands use their TikTok channel or seek influencers’ help to encourage their followers and users to create user-generated content (UGC), which supports the brand in some manner.
Gen Z loves the full immersive experience, so they do not spend time watching TV because it is too much of a passive experience. Gen Z prefers being engaged and involved. Therefore, if your brand can find a way to encourage customers, users, and followers to share videos of themselves using or interacting with the brand’s products in some way, your brand is likely to score large on TikTok in terms of brand recognition and improved engagement.
Traditional Influencer Marketing
As we have repeatedly mentioned, brands can seek influencers’ help on TikTok to promote their brand to their followers and a larger audience. The influencer marketing technique remains similar like on any other platform such as YouTube. If your product suits the influencer’s audience, the TikTok influencer campaign is bound to succeed. In most cases, it is better to leave the content creation to the influencer since they know what their audience likes most.
The key to influencer marketing success is to set appropriate SMART goals and target a specific part of the purchase funnel (awareness, interest, consideration, conversion, and post-conversion). The young influences of TikTok need to remain authentic and transparent to their followers for influencer marketing to succeed.
TikTok advertising is still new, and continual improvements are being made to make the platform available for people to advertise with ease. There are mainly three ad types that advertisers can use on TikTok:
- Brand Takeovers – A brand takeover ad will appear instantly when a user opens TikTok. The ad can be linked to an internal or external link, redirecting users to the linked landing page. Currently, this ad type is limited to one advertisement per day.
- In-Feed Ads – In-Feed ads are native ads placed either at the bottom of organic TikTok videos or in the feed as part of the video queue, depending on the product type. These ads can also redirect the user to a website, app, or external/internal landing page.
- Hashtag Challenges – Hashtag challenges can be run as a sponsored hashtag challenge that encourages users to share content on TikTok on your brand’s behalf. In general, hashtag challenges last for 6 days.
TikTok advertising is still new. Therefore, there isn’t a substantial market, like Facebook and YouTube yet. However, TikTok is becoming more and more popular with time. With the increasing potential, it is suggested that brands targeting the younger generation and have the budget, you should establish a presence on TikTok now to reap long term benefits once the platform matures like its competitors.