Interested in TikTok advertising campaigns? That’s no surprise to us. When you consider the massive influence it has on purchasing decisions and behaviors or the incredible time spent on the platform each day, most brands should at least consider having some presence on TikTok.
After reigning as the most downloaded app globally for multiple years, TikTok’s global ad revenue is expected to reach $15 billion in 2023, per a WARC Media report – despite the legal privacy battles and active bans taking place.
So, What Type of Brands Should Advertise on TikTok?
Beauty, clothing, and food and beverage brands are natural fits for TikTok. Users are able to directly see these products in use, in real time. This reduces the risk of physically investing in and trying out a new product, and builds consumer excitement around new offerings.
Other industries – from healthcare to travel to sports to finance and technology – can also thrive on TikTok. Why? Because short-form video allows the user to go on a journey. They can visually see travel destinations first hand, view highlights from a sporting event, or hear directly how a product or service changed someone’s life for the better. That can be very persuasive.
At Coegi, we’ve also seen unprecedented success with higher education brands using TikTok to reach college students. You can view one of our case studies here.
Ultimately, TikTok advertising should be considered for nearly every brand. But be sure to check platform guidelines and restrictions, especially for regulated industries and sensitive audience groups.
The 8 Most Important Elements for a Successful TikTok Advertising Strategy
TikTok advertising provides a unique opportunity to engage with potential customers in a highly authentic way. However, strategies that have proven successful on other social platforms won’t necessarily shine on TikTok. It’s important to understand how to adapt your approach to messaging and content to cater to the platform.
Use these eight key elements to craft a successful TikTok advertising strategy:
#1 – Define your purpose for advertising on TikTok
Enter TikTok with a clear understanding of why your brand is there.
- Know what you want to tell consumers
- Understand what they value and are interested in
- Learn what kind of messaging they are receptive to
Without these things in mind, your message may be miscommunicated or lost (the TikTok algorithm can be unforgiving).
#2 – Partner with relevant creators to build trust
Creators are a priceless resource when it comes to reaching your audience authentically on TikTok. Also, contrary to popular belief, influencer marketing can also drive lower-funnel results, be accessible for all budgets, and be useful for any industry vertical. Micro and nano influencers are especially important on TikTok to boost your brand affinity within niche sub-cultures.
Some of the core benefits of partnering with TikTok creators include:
- Finding engaged followers in specific interest groups
- Extending organic reach
- Learning from their individual platform expertise and trend knowledge
- Highlighting native-appearing content creation
Check out Coegi’s influencer marketing guide for tips on finding the best creator partners for your brand.
#3 – Keep creative content casual
Nothing turns users away from a TikTok ad quicker than disruptive ads that feel out of place and display a blatant lack of understanding of trends. The brands driving positive engagement on TikTok are creating sponsored content that looks and feels organic. This is why, per Statista, “Almost 15% of TikTok users struggle to distinguish between advertising and other content.”
Following these tips from TikTok on creating authentic branded content:
- Go lo-fi (avoid glossiness)
- Shoot vertical and hi-res
- Feature real people
- Use sound
- Use TikTok-specific editing techniques
- Have a narrative
- Adopt category and vertical norms
In summary, design creatives to seamlessly fit into the ‘For You’ page – don’t be afraid to embrace trends, use humor, or insert your brand into the latest trending sounds or challenges.
#4 – Encourage audience participation to build community
Authentic community participation is mandatory on TikTok. Brands that only post ads and are not effectively engaging with their audience are missing out on a key benefit of the platform.
TikTok actively promotes the use of user-generated content (UGC) for brand/creator collaborations. In 2023, they added the ‘Branded Mission’ crowdsourcing platform which enables brands to request UGC submissions from creators to then select and use for TikTok ad campaigns.
Lean into community-building on TikTok by:
- Devoting time to stay in touch with the platform and observe patterns and trends
- Crafting genuine, on-brand replies to user comments, even looking to these comments to inspire future content
- Being approachable as possible to establish a brand rapport
#5 – Test and learn to refine your TikTok advertising strategy
Dive into TikTok Business Analytics to track which type of content performs best. This is especially useful when trying new tactics or A/B testing messaging to determine what works and what doesn’t. Play around with the style, format, and timing of posts to see which combinations gain the most engagement.
You should also use audience analytics to understand who your content is reaching. TikTok’s targeting parameters are relatively broad, so this data can provide a better view of who is actually seeing and engaging with your brand.
#6 – Find your TikTok niche
TikTok’s algorithm is an infamous and mysterious formula that serves content to a user based on their interests and previous engagements. If an individual likes, shares and comments on videos about parenting and gardening, for instance, they’ll continue to see content around those topics of interest.
TikTok suggests, “Embrace communities and their subcultures—that’s where true inspiration lives. 76% of users say they like it when brands are a part of special interest groups on TikTok.” There are endless sub-cultures such as “book tok”, “mom tok” and “gym tok” which brands can tap into.