This article will focus on social media marketing and how to build and manage an ad campaign. It’s designed to help you decipher whether TikTok is appropriate for your business, and how to get started with this sudden video-sharing online phenomenon.
Our social media specialist hates to admit it, but initially she was among the group of people actively against having yet another social platform to contend with. TikTok?! What is this. But after watching just short of one hundred videos of dance makeovers, 300 clips of pets doing sport, 26 cool patterns in paint, and 7000 shots of people throwing balls into cups from ridiculous distances – she’s sold.
Our social media master pursued some proper research too.
After downloading the official TikTok app, she looked more into the technical side of the platform, reviewing the demographics it had potential to appeal to. The importance and potential of this unique social media channel was immediately clear – and so was the strategy she could apply to particular products and services for clients open to advertising on it.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. It’s a video-sharing platform, in the same category as YouTube, where you can create short 15 second videos. The app offers users a variety of editing options, including sound bites, song demos, special filters and effects to add to their short clip. Content can be uploaded straight from your mobile, and the reach of TikTok is currently across 154 countries.
Currently, over 1.6 million Australians (according to the latest Roy Morgan Data) already use TikTok.
This social media platform is about connectivity, user-experience, authenticity and reaching your audience in a fun and creative way. Doesn’t this sound exactly like the kind of content we all need right now (and always!). Just take a glimpse of the TikTok for Good campaign to see all the amazing content coming from millions upon millions of individuals throughout the world right now, themed around animal welfare, education and climate change.
What can a business do on TikTok?
Video content is the central experience of TikTok. You can create clever videos based on your brand, product or service and watch relevant short videos related to your industry to get inspiration from what others are doing in this space. The video you produce can be uploaded or you can create it within the app itself.
TikTok’s in-app video production features include:
- Stop and start recording
- Filter and special effect tools
- Live streaming
- Time effects
- Split screen
- Green screen
- …and much more!
What free (organic) opportunities are on TikTok?
If you want to be successful on TikTok as a user, it’s all about being authentic! And this means using organic content that you have produced in-house, which isn’t perfect but it is real.
Before downloading and starting your social media marketing adventure using TikTok for the first time, it’s best to consider your brand’s overall strategy. Consider what’s trending right now, but also tailor your creative content to suit your brand image. This could include educating viewers on your product or service in a genuine way.
When producing organic TikTok content, you should look at what #hashtags are trending and create posts shaped around those popular hashtags. To see what hashtags are trending, visit their ‘Discover’ page, as it will dissect the latest trending hashtags for you.
According to Pentos, Tiktok is a great platform to get greater reach beyond other channels, as it extends further than Instagram due to the nature of its scrolling and automatic play functionality — it’s addictive.
TikTok also makes it easier for users to create a conversation and for viewers to get to know a brand better through organic content.
Like most social media platforms, it’s extremely important to engage with your audience and not simply publish broadcast-only content. Read and respond to your comments. Take note of what your viewers are interested in. Start mentioning other accounts either through replying or commenting on other videos. Interaction is the key to getting noticed.
5 Brands taking on TikTok
In our research, we’ve spotted these 5 popular brand accounts offering quite different styles of video content. Watch them in the following links for a better idea of what you can do creatively as a brand on TikTok…
@eliottbrownMy Grandpa’s smile at the end ##tiktok♬ Ymca – Party City
@nbaDancing into the weekend like… ##fridayfeeling ##weekendvibes♬ U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
@gymsharkTag a friend that supports you like this @beccasillsfit ##gymshark ##foryou ##clapchallenge♬ Calabria 2007 (Radio Mix) – Enur, Natasja
@crocsJust Crocin’ with our peeps ✌️ ##PEEPSxCROCS available now in Crocs retail stores!♬ original sound – crocs
@sephoraWe’re celebrating ##NationalLipstickDay What are you wearing?♬ original sound – sephora
Check your Social Media Analytics
As a business you should constantly check your analytics data across all social media to pinpoint what’s working, and what’s flagging. Keep an eye on trends, what style of video is performing best, where geographically your viewers are, plus what time of day they are online engaging with your brand. All this information and insight will help your business get better at nailing its organic posting strategy.
What paid opportunities are on TikTok?
Ad Campaign potential
Similar to Youtube, you can create 15 – 30 second long videos showcasing a value proposition, while also making the content engaging. Building a TikTok Ad through its Business Manager functionality is also very similar to Facebook Ads, so you have to bid for your spot on the target user’s feed.
Consider these growth trends and insights to inform your paid ad campaign:
- 41% of TikTok Users are aged between 16-24 years old
- In-feed native TikTok Ads operate in a similar way to Facebook
- TikTok has over 500 million active users on the platform (half of Instagrams 1 billion active users).
Ad Campaign drawbacks
Like any marketing channel, there are some boxes that are not ticked by TikTok. The main ones you need to be aware of as a business includes only targeting users at state level locations and age targeting is only available in segments.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, TikTok advertising can be quite costly compared to Facebook and Instagram.
TikTok ads start at $10 per CPM (cost per 1000 views). Also, they require you to spend a minimum of $500 on a campaign if you run it for a month. So you clearly aren’t going to use professional TikTok ads for a cheap and cheerful viral marketing campaign!
Ad Campaign build
Building TikTok Ads is very much the same as Facebook, but has less objective options. You are also able to create Lookalike Audiences (again, just like on Facebook), to target new audiences that resemble your ideal customer.
Basically, there are 4 different TikTok Ad campaign formats:
1. In-feed video Ads
Gain exposure. Incite action in users. Several different CTA types can be used such as website links or app downloads.
2. Brand Takeover
Image, GIF or video ads that allow one brand to dominate a specific topic for the day.
3. Hashtag Challenges
Create sponsored hashtags to encourage user-generated content, engage users and attract influencers.
4. Branded Lens
Create 2D or 3D lenses that users can try out for themselves.
Essential TikTok Research – Useful links
When you want to get started on TikTok, do you homework first to ensure you are complying with the necessary rules as a business advertising to this audience. We’ve included below some of the most valuable and insightful links for you to further explore adapting this social channel to your brand.
- Ads Manager
- TikTok Advertising Policies – Industry Entry
- TikTok Ads Program Terms
- TikTok Ads Platform Payment Terms
- Tik Tok: Should you be advertising on it?
- The Pros and Cons of TikTok Advertising
Recommendations directly from TikTok
Focus on content creation
- Vertical videos for a full-screen immersive experience
- Keep video length less than 20 seconds to catch eyeballs
- 3 creatives in an Ad Group to limit ad frequency and repetition
- Update Ad creative weekly
Aggressively bid to start with
If setting up a conversion campaign, TikTok recommends bidding 20%~30% higher than the expected CPA. This ensures the new campaigns attract enough traffic volume, and the algorithm can learn and target the audience most likely to convert.
Balance your targeting
If your target audience is very niche, use demographic targeting. In all other cases, avoid applying multiple targeting in the same Ad Group. Don’t narrow down the target audience pool, but leave it TikTok’s AI-powered algorithm.
Should you use TikTok for marketing?
To answer this for you, the questions that you really need to ask first are:
- Are your desired audience millennials?
- Is your product or service geographically limited?
- Is your budget limiting and inflexible?
If you answered “yes” then “no, no” – this social media app is perfect for you to advertise on! However, you still have to consider how you’ll optimise a campaign for your specific business. How will you reach your goal? What are the key characteristics of your audience?
TikTok is a fast growing advertising platform, so if they review their targeting options it would definitely be promising for many businesses to utilise as part of their marketing strategy.