The Do’s and Don’ts of TikTok Advertising

/ Thoughtspace - Social

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

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