How to catapult your brand with TikTok Advertising
When it comes to paid social media advertising, TikTok is becoming hard to ignore. Regardless of your company size or budget, the video-first platform offers huge potential to reach your target audience. Despite its vast reach, brands have been slow to adopt the platform, but that’s likely to change now as it continues to open up new advertising opportunities. With a first mover advantage very much for the taking, TikTok should feature in every paid social plan.
Although launched back in 2016, TikTok has gained rapid momentum over the past year, reaching 100 million users in Europe. A favourite with Gen Z, TikTok content spreads faster and more efficiently than any other social media platform, catapulting brands like Chipotle, e.l.f Cosmetics and Guess into viral status.
And now Danish brands can get in on the action. Having previously been by invite only, TikTok opened its Ads Manager in Denmark late last year, suddenly making it possible for brands to advertise on the platform at a much lower cost of entry. The Ads Manager expanded to Sweden just last month, now making it possible to buy ads across the Nordics at the touch of just a few buttons.
In close collaboration with TikTok, digital agency Dept worked closely with its clients preparing for the launch: “TikTok is the most exciting advertising opportunity for brands at the moment who are seeking to efficiently reach their key audiences in a new and innovative way, “ explains Lasse Rasmussen, Managing Director at Dept. “It’s incredible to see TikTok already showing growth month over month.”
Reach your key demographics
Adding TikTok to your multi-channel marketing strategy requires understanding what demographic it will reach, and what role it will play in your customer journey. Although once considered to be an app only for teenagers, TikTok has a core user base of 18 to 24 year olds, and also has a significant reach of the 25 to 34 demographic. This positions TikTok as a key channel in reaching two of the most digitally savvy, biggest spending demographics; it’s estimated that Gen Z’s direct and indirect spending power is in excess of $143 billion. And with over 90% of users visiting the app multiple times a day and scrolling for more than an hour, there’s a huge opportunity to reach users and drive brand awareness.
“We have gathered a lot of knowledge from working with the platform for quite some time now and have built up a deep understanding of its different dynamics. In running our first large-scale brand awareness campaign on TikTok for our client SteelSeries earlier this year, we saw the majority of the budget was spent against this key 18-24 demographic, and not against the platform’s youngest demographic of 13-17 as some may have expected,” says Paige Richards, Paid Social Lead at Dept.
TikTok has developed its Ads Manager quickly, building out its self-service capabilities to compete with Facebook and other digital advertising platforms. It supports various campaign objectives up and down the funnel, ranging from reach and video views to website conversions. It has standard gender, age, and location demographic targeting, and more advanced interest and behavior-based targeting. This allows brands to target users based on their interests and the videos and creators they’ve interacted with on TikTok.
Standard ads run in TikTok’s main feed and are full-screen vertical, auto-play and sound-on, ranging from 5 to 60 seconds in length. They feature the same engagement opportunities as any other video on TikTok, allowing users to like, comment on or share them. They also support a call to action button and website URL. TikTok also offers higher-impact, more custom ad formats including its Branded Hashtag Challenge and TopView, its version of a homepage takeover.
“TikTok has quickly secured itself as a vital piece of our upper-funnel campaigns,” states Richards. “As a video-first platform, we have seen TikTok deliver quality video views at an extremely efficient cost per view. For SteelSeries, TikTok drove video views of a similar length as Facebook, but at a 70% lower cost per view. We also continue to see impressively high engagement levels on our videos, indicating users are happily interacting with both paid and organic content on the platform. TikTok is also poised to drive success at the lower-funnel; its pixel can track standard web events including purchases, and can be used to optimise campaigns.”
How to succeed
One of the biggest concerns brands tend to have when expanding to a new platform is around creating assets. Although many may be of the opinion that new and fresh material is needed for TikTok, so long you’re already creating video assets for Instagram Stories, there is no need to produce more assets to get started. There is also no need to start producing funny or silly videos if that isn’t part of your brand ethos; be true to your brand and reuse, reuse, reuse.
Richards explains the approach SteelSeries took for its TikTok content: “We wanted to launch with the ‘right’ content, so we tested various types of videos: a more standard 15 second product launch film; a short 6 second social-first video; and a video that was first produced for the organic TikTok page. What we learned is that all three types of content were successful in driving video views and clicks, signifying that there’s not one right way to do TikTok. What’s important is to just try it and see what works for your brand.”
Brand Partnerships Manager at TikTok, Niklas Wallgren adds: “TikTok consists of tons of communities, sub-cultures and cohorts where brands can participate and truly become a part of the conversation. TikTok users are here to discover, so do not hesitate as a brand to join in on trends, collaborate with creators and engage with the audience.”
Why you should act now
TikTok boasts one of the lowest costs of entry of all digital advertising platforms, with an astonishingly low cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) that is only expected to increase as more brands discover the ease and potential of TikTok ads. With the current CPM, it’s possible to reach half of the one million Danes on TikTok with circa 6K DKK in ad spend.
Timing is everything; because TikTok is still growing and competition within the ads auction is not as high as on other platforms, it is an affordable advertising option. Therefore, there’s a clear advantage in including TikTok in your branding strategy as soon as possible. Not just to stretch your social budget further, but also to grab the spotlight and take the stage now. You won’t regret it.