It’s been just about a year since TikTok’s ad management platform launched. If there were any skeptics about TikTok’s potential as an online advertising platform, this past year’s growth has dispelled all doubts.
So you know TikTok deserves a piece of your marketing. But why invest resources and budget into a TikTok strategy, other than because everyone else is doing it?
Read on for eight compelling reasons and ad features that will give you the confidence to pursue TikTok or to double down, if you are already live on TikTok.
1. TikTok’s Superior User Engagement
While many tout TikTok’s fast-growing user base, it is the high user engagement that is truly noteworthy.
According to TikTok, the average TikTok user spends 87 minutes per day (as of April 2021) on the platform. That is a colossal amount of time that brands can tap into.
Furthermore, TikTok’s content is highly interactive. Not only do brands get a captive audience, but these users truly interact with the content they see as opposed to passively watching it.
Unlike YouTube, Facebook, or Pinterest where users primarily watch a video, TikTok’s growing list of features invites users to contribute their creative touch to the content they are consuming.
Snapchat does come close to TikTok in interactivity, with its lens offering. However, 52% of TikTok users do not use Snapchat. That’s a significant audience that, if not advertised to via TikTok, would not be reached otherwise.
2. Ecommerce Capabilities
While best known for its awareness and engagement solutions, TikTok is determined to offer marketers a suite of full-funnel offerings.
At the end of last year, TikTok launched a partnership with Shopify which has now grown to 15 countries.
This new functionality allows Shopify merchants to access the TikTok For Business Ads Manager without leaving the Shopify dashboard.
Strategically, this is a big benefit to ecommerce businesses. It allows them to reach prospective customers early in their decision-making journey when they are researching on TikTok, while also seamlessly driving them to a conversion point thanks to Shopify.
From an execution standpoint, the capability is also attractive thanks to these four features.
Unified Campaign Planning
Shopify merchants can plan TikTok campaigns, target TikTok audiences, and track results all in one place.
Scalable Creative Tools
TikTok’s powerful creative tools are integrated into the capability allowing merchants a scalable way to create engaging ads, without needing to invest in extra development resources.
“Turn-Key Pixel Tracking”
Shopify now allows its merchants to link their TikTok Pixel with a single step simplifying conversion tracking.
Retargeting Using Hashed Customer Data
Shopify merchants can now retarget audiences and more accurately track TikTok ad conversions by leveraging customer data, all while maintaining user privacy thanks to the data being hashed.
3. Brand Effects
Set your ads apart by layering in Brand Effects. Similar to lenses on Snapchat, this is an AR feature for video overlays.
However, it is specifically designed to highlight brand-specific elements.
The most intuitive applications are for CPG, retail, and entertainment verticals, but this flexible feature can be well adapted to others as well such as travel or automotive.
Tapping into users’ affinity for self-expression, this is just the feature to use for ensuring a high level of engagement, brand recall, and the likelihood of your content getting shared.
4. Catalog Ads
Use TikTok’s catalog ads to display a variety of products in your ads.
If you are not a retailer with a multitude of product versions or SKUs, this is still a worthwhile format to consider, even if you have just a couple of products. There are four reasons for that:
- Generating tailored videos for each of the products.
- Leveraging automated rules to customize your product details.
- Capability to house key information about products directly within TikTok’s Ads Manager.
- Creating specific sets for each product.
5. Spark Ads
Launched earlier this summer, Spark Ads is one of TikTok’s newest ad formats. Unlike other formats that require advertisers to create their own video content, this format does not — it leverages organic social content.
Spark Ads allow brands to sponsor organic content. Instead of having to create new content and research to what extent it will go viral, brands can sponsor content that already exists and has proven itself by having gained momentum.
While this solution does not target audiences across their entire research journey, being the best fit for mid or upper funnel audiences, it is still a great weapon for your marketing arsenal.
Spark Ads create synergy between organic and paid social channels. It also accomplishes a quick-to-market advantage thanks to not needing to develop custom content which often entails costly delays.
6. Hashtag Challenges
If done right, a hashtag challenge can work wonders for your brand.
Aside from capturing a large audience and driving high engagement, there is the meaningful benefit of embedding your brand within the prevailing culture by leveraging hashtags which are viewed as the more natural form of interaction on social media.
The ongoing snowball effect of hashtag use often lasts well after the challenge is formally over, sometimes going on for weeks.
Be forewarned, however, that several considerations are key to success with a TikTok hashtag challenge:
A Significant Budget of $150,000
Unfortunately, this is currently a TikTok requirement without flexibility on the amount.
Keep the Hashtag Product-Focused
To ensure users will keep supporting your brand and the original purpose is not forgotten, it is key to include the brand name and to focus content on the product’s benefits.
Be careful to not make the content too dry or salesy, but do ensure users remember the product’s core feature(s).
The More Intuitive the Spelling the Better
Avoid overly creative abbreviations, symbol or number substitutions, and anything that someone who is not a brand insider may not immediately recognize.
Hashtags need to catch on instantly and be as easy as possible on the typing. A single typo can tank your sizable investment or take the hashtag in an unpredictable direction. Going for something less innovative but more predictable is safer.
Avoid Using Date or Month References
To maximize the hashtag’s shelflife, don’t use references that can become dated. No one will want to use a hashtag mentioning May in June.
While many causes are celebrated over a period of time (e.g., Mother’s Day is often associated with activities leading up to as well as after the actual day), choosing a hashtag that is more thematic will garner more momentum (mothers in general vs Mother’s Day specifically, for example).
Reinforce Your TikTok Channels Across Other Platforms
When your challenge runs, don’t forget to support it across other social media and your marketing efforts at large. Most users are present across multiple platforms and will benefit from being reminded to use the hashtag wherever they are
Don’t Shy Away From Influencer Support
Especially if your TikTok or general social media following is not that strong, it is worth investing in influencer support to ensure the hashtag challenge launches as strongly as possible.
Yes, this means paying even more on top of the already sizable minimum. However, that can well make a difference between a hashtag challenge taking off vs catching on much slower.
7. Auction Insights
Finally, after your campaign launches, be sure to check out TikTok’s auction insights.
It’s a valuable analysis portal showing different views of campaign performance with a range of graphs and different metrics to guide optimization opportunities.
To locate this space, navigate to View Data within the Campaign level of the TikTok Ads Manager.
8. Growing Adoption with Older Users
One possible argument against advertising on TikTok is that its user base skews very young, with its purchasing power on the low side compared to other social media platforms. After all, 59% of TikTok users are 24 or younger.
Believe it or not, TikTok’s fastest-growing segments are older. This is much the same as what we saw with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and virtually every social media platform at a similar stage.
According to TikTok, its fastest-growing age demographics are 25-34 and 35+.
From January 2021 to April 2021, as a share of overall monthly active users:
- The segment of 25 to 34-year-olds grew 22% to 24%.
- The segment of 35+ increased 19% to 25%.
Be part of TikTok’s growth and spice up your digital strategy with its most engaging, innovative solutions!
As with all channels and platforms in digital marketing, there is some advantage to being early to the table. While competitors are focused elsewhere, you can use the powerful features and benefits above to engage a new audience and build your business.