The Do’s and Don’ts of TikTok Advertising

As new social media platforms roll into our day to day lives, it is important to understand their marketing powers and which audiences fit best with your brand. TikTok is the newest social media platform that has really captured the attention of individuals globally. Tiktok’s popularity has accelerated within the past couple of years, and advertisers want the opportunity to present their brand on a platform that has generated TikTok has reached a total lifetime user spending of 300 million U.S. dollars, has about 1 billion monthly active users since February 2021, and an engagement rate of 18% – higher than any other social platform.  TikTok provides a huge opportunity for brands to not only introduce their brand but drive incremental conversions.

TikTok is known for its authentic, personalized, funny, and relatable content. Many brands use this tactic to show their brand’s personality and connect with their customers on a more personal level. True, Millennials and their younger peers in Generation Z are tired of ads. In fact, many of them use ad blockers when they browse. But since engagement on TikTok is so high, advertisers are in the unique position to promote consumer advocacy rather than pure marketing strategy. This way, “you build brand awareness with an audience that talks about you because they’re genuinely impressed.” Although many brands are mainly focused on reaching younger demographics on TikTok, 53% are aged 30+ – leaving a large reach for brands not going for the typical Gen-Z audience. 

How to create successful TikTok ads

TikTok is a place for authenticity and personality – differentiating from a majority of social platforms in which highly-produced and staged ads perform better. Brands should strive to make their advertising blend in on TikTok, making for a seamless user experience and minimizing disruption of content viewership. The ad should not look like a typical ad seen on other platforms because it will be scrolled past quickly. However, if it uses trending audio, popular dances, or tells a funny quick story,  it is more likely to catch the attention of this unique audience. Here are some topics to utilize while creating ads for TikTok:

  1. Get comfortable with comedy – Find a way to show the personality of your brand through relatable funny content. This could be of your product/service or of your company culture. 
  2. Show how your brand can be a #lifehack – Your brand’s main goal is to make people’s lives easier, more efficient, and/or more enjoyable.  Find that #lifehack your brand offers, and present it to your audiences in a quick video story. Overall, this hashtag has 35.5B views – allowing for a huge increase in reach for your brand (learn more here).
  3. Bust a move – People love to show off their dance moves on TikTok. Use dance to keep up with trends and utilize popular audio at the same time. One example of a powerful brand deal was the partnership of Charli D’Amelio and P&G #distancedance at the beginning of the pandemic, which generated over 8B views (P&G).
  4. Utilize trending audio – Audio is a necessity on TikTok for a high performing ad. 88% of TikTok users said that sound is essential to the TikTok experience, and ads with sound-on are 2.2x better at increasing brand awareness. Brands can amplify their voice by creating an original audio clip or utilizing existing trending audio. E.L.F. Cosmetics commissioned a song for their TikTok campaign “Eyes Lips Face” and collaborated with influencers to aid in the promotion. The #eyeslipsface hashtag has been used in over 3.8B videos created by TikTok users.
  5. Find Your Niche – TikTok’s powerful algorithm, which is based on videos users watched, liked or shared, allows users to be served content that is extremely relevant to them. Understanding and reaching niche markets through TikTok can be a great way for advertisers to get their content in front of audiences who will appreciate it and engage or convert the most. 
  6. Don’t Shy Away from Activism – TikTok is a very popular platform for spreading awareness on social issues.  According to Reach3Insights, nearly 77% of TikTok users say that the app has helped them learn more about social justice and politics. As an advertiser, it is important to be sensitive to the social issues that are discussed on the platform. 

TikTok is a great platform to show your brand in a new authentic light. As such, the best way to reach these demographics is to create genuine ads that to blend in with content users are already viewing. Because of this, it is important that advertisers remain up-to-date on the latest TikTok trends so they can advertise in a way that does not seem invasive or out of place. Advertisers can do this by taking some time to scroll through the For You Page and finding the niche audiences they are looking for, then creating ads that fit the trends.  As previously mentioned, when creating a TikTok ad, remember to look out for trends in comedy, life hacks, dancing, social justice or audio – depending on what you think your audience will respond best to. A little effort to understand your audience’s interests can go a long way on TikTok, and always keep in mind that authenticity and personality are key. 

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Written By: Julia Read and Rachel Vibbert, Social Media Specialists

3 Key Steps To Maximizing Your Marketing Campaign’s Success

When developing a robust marketing campaign strategy, there are many different components to consider to drive success. For example, who is your target audience, where do they spend their time, what do they care about, when are they most engaged, etc. The common denominator of all those questions is the consumer. Without substantial understanding of the persona you are reaching and what makes them tick, your marketing strategy is destined to fail to meet goals and expectations. The best way to ensure your campaign reaches the identified goals and KPIs is to take an audience-first approach. Place the consumer at the center of the strategy and base your choices in data targeting and media mix on those individuals.

Finding your ideal audience

Sometimes it is challenging to know who the “ideal audience” is. It often involves a lot of considerations such as customer lifetime value and advocacy. However, while often a substantial time investment, it is the most critical step in having a successful marketing campaign strategy. Here are some tips to better understanding your current customers and prospective consumers:

  • Analyze your first party data: What makes your core customers similar and how can you use those learnings to find new prospects, and looking at historical quantitative and qualitative data to understand who your “best” customers are to-date
  • Review Google Analytics data to reveal key insights: By looking at data cuts such as demographics, interests, and geos, your brand can gain some insight into who is your current customer and ways you can use targeting to build on that customer base
  • Place a pixel on your site: By placing a pixel on your website, you can go a step further than what is viewable on Google Analytics and understand where your audience is highly indexing in terms of behaviors, interests, and demographics
  • Use audience research tools: By tapping into audience research tools that are panel-based, you can better understand consumer thoughts, opinions, and decisions that are informing behavioral trends

Maximizing campaign success through placements

Identifying the right channels to place your media should be a balance of what your business objectives are along with the scale of your audience on those platforms. If the goal is to truly get in front of as many people as possible in a high-traffic area, then perhaps billboards are the best investment. However, if there is a need to have a more targeted approach with cost-efficiency metrics to optimize against, understand creative performance that is moving the needle, and gain insight into your top performing audiences, digital is likely the way to go. Now, whether you choose video, social, display, or search depends on your goals, though having a full-funnel strategy is almost always the ideal way to help guide the consumer journey.

Cutting through the clutter with the ideal message

Consumers are confronted with thousands of ads a day, which makes it easy for them to ignore. So how do brands make an impact? For many, the answer is personalization. Personalization can mean a lot of different things, and can be accomplished in a way that is effective without feeling invasive. Personalization can include aligning copy and messaging to:

  • Your audience’s interests
  • The time of the day for the consumer
  • The location of the consumer
  • The consumer’s stage of life
  • The consumer’s demographics
  • Where the consumer is in their journey (just learning about the brand vs. being familiar with the brand and nearing conversion)

It’s also important to consider what is distinctive and relevant. Distinct brand assets are consistent sensory & semantic cues (i.e. colors, logos, taglines, jingles, etc.) that makes it easier for consumers to identify your brand and recall the selling points associated with it. Yet, understanding the components of a creative that are creating the most impact requires analysis, which can involve A/B testing various messages, imagery, and CTAs, or even conducting a panel-based survey to hear first-hand what consumers like and dislike about your assets. Brand growth truly occurs when marketers understand and leverage their distinctive brand assets effectively to build mental availability with the consumer.

Determining marketing campaign success

Evaluating whether your marketing campaign was a success depends on your definition. Coegi always aligns the campaign measurement strategy to business goals; however, how granular the measurement insights are dependent on client expectations. If the goal was awareness, some brands feel satisfied by hitting an ideal reach and frequency thus using media metrics will be sufficient. However, if a brand wants to show an incremental life in unaided brand awareness, that will require an advanced measurement strategy.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is to prioritize the data that matters most to your business and not get distracted by vanity metrics that do not answer the question of whether you achieved your company goals.


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