TikTok is the latest social media app to gain popularity among teens. It is unique and it poses a particular challenge for marketers across the web. Usually, most affiliates are well versed in advertising to older or more mature audiences. However, TikTok's userbase is nothing like this. The users are teens and young adults, which means that you need to approach them in a specific way compared to older audiences.
What Is TikTok And What Makes It Different From Other Platforms?
TikTok is a multimedia platform that allows users to create short videos. It was known as Musical.ly, but the company merged with Bytedance in 2017 and rebranded itself. The new company's goal was clear: target a young demographic. This was done by developing a separate social media app for them that would be intuitive and easy to use.
TikTok has managed to accomplish its goals and attract teens to the platform. 50% of its users are under the age of 24, and they have an even higher percentage of female subscribers than males. TikTok boasts over 1 billion active monthly users. With such a huge user base, advertisers are taking notice of this huge opportunity. The company gained some notoriety when former US President Donald J. Trump threatened to shut the platform down due to a trade war with China. Luckily for the platform users, nothing happened and the move resulted in some extra PR for TikTok instead.
What makes TikTok different from other platforms is its focus on short content video. Young people love sharing dances, memes, funny content, and much more on the platform. This type of content is much easier to spread, and this is likely why TikTok has been such a success.
TikTok uses algorithms to show users content they may like. The system is based on their preferences and previous activity. TikTok creates a specific user profile that they use to collect data on you. This enables advertisers to reach the right audience through targeting options. As a result, many companies are taking advantage of TikTok's active and young userbase.
What Should Marketers Know About TikTok?
TikTok is a new platform that grew rapidly. Due to this, it has some unique things that marketers need to know about it.
TikTok is full of content that focuses on entertainment and humor. Due to this, most ads will be seen as out of place or annoying to users. To minimize this effect, it's important not to focus on promoting products too hard with ads.
Videos turn more viral on TikTok than on other platforms due to the short video format. This makes content creators more influential than usual. Creators that promote products get more attention than they would on other services. This is why it's important to find influencers and content creators. Your brand can collaborate with them to grow awareness among TikTok users.
The interface of TikTok makes it difficult to search for specific videos or users. This makes tracking your growth tough at times. Solve this by using relevant hashtags that are popular with other platforms as well.
60% of TikTok's userbase is female which means targeting males may be a bad idea for some campaigns. Try to go after general interests and hobbies that appeal to different genders. Good examples of this include ones like sports and fashion.
Brands should know that TikTok is quite popular among celebrities and influencers. They often collaborate on the platform and create viral content. This means that paying stars for ads or even partnering with them may not be worth it. TikTok's users see many influencer ads daily, so they are hard to convince.
The platform is still growing and evolving. Advertisers should watch the situation as it changes and adjust their marketing plan.
What Are TikTok's Ad Guidelines?
The company is very mindful of its users' safety, especially when it comes to advertising. To ensure that no inappropriate ads are seen, TikTok has specific requirements for all creatives.
All ads must include the following:
The advertiser's contact information
A view-count on each ad
Clear labels that say "promoted" or "sponsored"
These requirements make sure that users are well-informed about what they're seeing. They also prevent any controversial ads from appearing on TikTok. As with any guidelines, they are subject to change in the feature. So you always need to stay in the loop on the newest developments.
TikTok's ad guidelines for influencers vary as well and there are many ways to work around them. For example, some marketers advertise on TikTok through YouTube videos. They upload the videos to the platform instead of creating ads on TikTok itself. This method is common among bloggers who need more reach than TikTok's videos provide. Marketers often contact creators that they want to join in their campaigns. They offer them money or items to promote specific things. Inform yourself about the creator and how he can impact your marketing efforts.
What Do TikTok Ads Look Like?
TikTok ads are generally similar in style to the videos on the platform. but there are a few differences. Ads might have high production values and licensed music because they're meant to be appealing to users. They also have clear calls to action at the beginning or end of them so that people know what to do after watching.
There are a few types of ads users see on TikTok:
In-stream ads are video ads that marketers create and upload to their accounts. They're meant for a general audience and don't usually have any relevance to the user viewing them. They can still be successful if done right. In-stream ads appear on people's discover page, which is where users land when they open TikTok. Marketers often include multiple videos in one ad. It gives viewers more variety in how they present their brand. This keeps encouraging them to watch even after the first few seconds of an ad.
Top View Ads
These appear at the top of users’ feeds. They are the first thing that users see upon opening the app. Top View ads are a surefire way of getting your ad seen by a lot of people.
Branded hashtags are sponsored hashtags. They encourage users to view and create content for specific hashtags. These are often used by big brands to promote their brand and spread awareness.
AR effects are a big part of TikTok, so it’s no wonder that advertisers can pay to promote their custom effects.
These work similarly to regular promoted posts on other platforms. They are designed to spread organically and fit into the rest of the platform as much as possible.
Influencer posts are videos that average users or influencers upload to their profiles. The idea behind it is to spread awareness about a product or service to their audience. If done right, these can have high engagement rates. This is an unofficial way of marketing so there are no real prices or rules that apply to this form of advertising.
For video ads, the aspect ratio should always be 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9 (though 9:16 is recommended).
Duration should be from 5 to 60 seconds
File size, less than 500 MB
Supported formats include MP4, MPEG, MOV, and AVI.
Descriptions can hold up to 100 characters
Emojis and symbols are allowed, even encouraged
While creating these types of ads, marketers should keep the target audience in mind at all times. Creating the right content for your brand's existing fans may not always work. Many young people are fickle when it comes to their favorite influencers. Things they like one day might bore them the next. Marketers should use relevant hashtags to make their ads easier for users to find. This is especially true if they're targeting a global audience instead of focusing on a specific country.
Some Keys Things You Should Know When Advertising On TikTok
Vertical video is a must, the whole platform is based on it!
Keep things short and simple, nobody will watch longer ads on TikTok
Stand out with your visuals, TikTok is all about first impressions
Put the most important information in the center, the bottom and sides of the screen are often obscured by UI elements
TikTok is an incredible platform that advertisers should start using right away. It is the best platform to target younger people and most of them engage often with ads and content. The biggest problem is that older advertisers don't know how to approach younger audiences.
If done properly. advertising on TikTok can be incredibly lucrative. All in all, you can't know exactly how well TikTok will work for you until you try!
Have you run TikTok Ads? What are your key takeaways from running them? Share your experience with us in the comments below!
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