7 Things to Consider Before Advertising on TikTok

Yes, we know that nothing screams “originality” more than a headline starting with: *magical number* things to do, consider, pray to or avoid like the plague… in 2020. But try looking at this from another perspective – stats and data are the driving force behind every marketer and we are well-aware that nothing will boost your CTR quite like a headline containing numbers. And we all want (need, demand) love and attention. So given this little list of facts, we are simply torn between using successful strategies and staying original.

Another perspective (we’re all about lists here) to consider is this one: if the title disappointed you a little or a little too much, then it is aaall uphill for you from now on.

So, without any further ad-oh, let’s talk TikTok.

TikTok Gif

TikTok has been on everyone’s lips for quite some time now for a
number of reasons (more lists):

  1. It boasts an astronomical number of monthly active users (800 million) and downloads – reaching 2 billion downloads at the end of April, a milestone that came only five months after it surpassed 1.5 billion downloads.
  2. It’s everywhere. From TV, billboards, to in-app and google play ads (targeting the existing users, as well), TikTok has been profusely using every medium to expand its reach and brand awareness.
  3. Last, but not least: it literally is a lip-syncing app.

With great exposure came great responsibility and an even greater excitement from companies around the world at the possibility of getting their product in front of a fourth of the world’s population.

We are no exception. And after having done our homework and setting up an advertising account, here are some things we have learned and deem useful for anyone planning to start advertising on TikTok.

(Finally. The List. The Reason we are all here.)

1. You don’t need a TikTok account

You can make use of certain TikTok ads, like In-feed Diversion, without having built an account and a follower base. The ad will simply direct the user to your landing page or app.

2. You don’t have to do a little dance or show your face

Unlike other social platforms, TikTok doesn’t provide a traditional feed, where the user can scroll and see multiple pieces of content at the same time – therefore, granting the advertisers more of the users’ attention and multiple shots at capturing their interest before the ad gets sent into the swiped-up limbo forever. The platform serves, instead, one piece of content on the screen per swipe.

This is why it is crucial that the ads must blend in with the original content – the original content being short-form videos, usually of people dancing or lip-syncing, but far from limited to that. The “far from limited to that” category is your ticket to success if your product or service can’t be described with a dance. You may choose to present your product as a first-person experience, like this:

You may want to use animations if you find them engaging enough or your product falls into that category by default:

You might even consider using fragments of videos you’ve shot before or for previous campaigns. As long as they efficiently deliver your message to the user, your possibilities are endless.

3. 61% of TikTok users would buy your advertised product

According to a 2019 survey by Global Web Index, 61% of TikTok users usually tend to buy brands they see advertised. Out of the 22,915 TikTok members aged 16-64 that participated in the survey, 52% have also claimed that they would buy a product to be part of the community built around it – rendering the TikTok hashtag challenges all the more appealing for advertisers.

4. 1 in 6 Brits will be a TikTok user by 2022

One in seven Brits will be a TikTok user in the next year. And by 2022, 1 in 6 Brits will be using TikTok – thus exposing any friendly gathering of more than 6 people to potential TikTok immortalization.

TikTok was forecasted to reach over 10 million users by the year 2021, but that number may be greater if we factor in the increase in social media usage due to the lockdown.

5. 1 in 4 TikTok users is older than 24

If your products or services are intended for or sell better among the older generations, you would still not want to leave TikTok out of your marketing strategy. It is true that TikTok’s target audience constitutes people aged between 16 and 25, but this is not enough a deterrent in case of such a seemingly ubiquitous platform.

With a share of 9% among the UK smartphone users covered by TikTok so far, that means leaving out… 24.5% (adults over 24) x 0.0.9 x 0.59 (UK smartphone users) = 1.3 million of people.

Predicted to surpass 11 million users in 2023, this means that the TikTok audience aged over 24 will probably *background math processes* double during the next couple of years, amounting to 2.7 million people.

6. The In-feed Ads tend to show with a 1 in 9 videos regularity

After weeks and months of TikTok “testing” by yours truly, the Optimyzd team, and even some family members, we noticed an interesting pattern. After a given time of learning your interests and proclivities, the in-feed ads will start showing once every 9 videos when you first open the app that day.

Not once in 8, not once in 11 videos, but strictly once in 9 videos, which is a little bit strange. The number of ads varies from 7 to 25 and it is believed to be correlated with the average time spent on TikTok. The user’s age seems to also play a role in how often they will show.

Once the users have “paid their dues” by seeing enough ads, the in-feed ads will then show less and less frequently.

Couple this tidbit with the number of active users, demographics, time spent on the platform, and you can then go and make all kinds of predictions and speculations about the success rate of your own in-feed ads.

7. You can pull a Bill Gates with the Top View Lite Ads

And by that, we mean monopolising the app and locking the user and your ad in an unskippable, yet brief one-on-one. And then use this momentum to promote a kind, positive message that you stand by. Like Apple did with this campaign on International Women’s Day.

Formerly and briefly known as Brand Takeover, the Top View Lite Format is an unskippable three-second image or a three to five-second video ad showing right after the user opens the TikTok app.

We reckon this ad format is only affordable or a viable strategy for big established businesses, but you know – you never know.

We hope you found our list worthwhile and useful for when you decide to lay down your own TikTok advertising strategy. When it comes to untrodden paths, no plan is right or wrong, really – just rather experimental. So feel free to experiment, within the boundaries of knowledge and the reasonable, of course; and share your results with us.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with us today!