How to Advertise on TikTok: A Marketing Guide for Beginners

After weeks of practicing social distancing, it seems everyone and their mother has become well acquainted with the video-sharing app TikTok. While most people are pretty familiar with TikTok’s challenges and trending audio tracks, marketers are still testing the waters when it comes to advertising on this hugely popular platform. Lucky for you, we’re going to take a deep dive into the world of TikTok ads in today’s blog! 

Who Should Advertise on TikTok?

TikTok has a vastly different demographic than other popular social media sites, and it’s important for marketers to assess whether this demographic is their target audience before they start advertising on the platform. The video-sharing app is most popular among Generation Z and skews more towards females. Of TikTok’s 500 million active monthly users, roughly 66% are under the age of 30.

While TikTok’s current audience is on the younger side, social media networks do tend to be utilized by younger audiences first. Its user demographic is subject to change at any point, and it’s always a good idea to stay ahead of trends as a marketer.

Ways to Advertise on TikTok

Advertising on TikTok is still in its early days and there’s still much to be discovered. Currently, there are four types of ad options available on TikTok. Here’s an overview of how they work:

1. Biddable Ads

On most well known social media networks, there’s some sort of self-serve process where advertisers can participate in a biddable ad process. This allows marketers to set up their own ad campaigns and run ads themselves.

In April last year, TikTok entered the biddable ad space when it launched its “managed service platform”. While this signalled progress on the advertising front for the platform, fully self-serve ads are still not available and there’s only one type of biddable ad unit: the in-stream video.

In-stream videos are integrated into a user’s feed. For each in-stream video ad, there are three available action models available to marketers: CPM, CPC (cost per click), and CPV (cost per view). Users need to watch your ad for over 6 seconds for it to count as a CPV.

TikTok offers pretty basic ad targeting options, and age, gender, and location are the filters that can currently be used. The company hopes to add more targeting options, such as interests and behaviours, in the future.

There’s no official minimum spend requirement that’s been put in place for TikTok’s biddable ads. 

2. Brand Takeover

Brand Takeover ads are exactly what they sound like – an ad that takes over a user’s screen as soon as they open the app. Users are prompted to visit either your brand’s TikTok profile or an external site once they view your ad.

While this type of ad gets your message heard loud and clear, there are some limitations to it. Brand Takeover ads are much more expensive than in-stream ads and only one advertiser can use this ad per day. 

TikTok has also launched Top View, which is a take on the Brand Takeover concept that seamlessly integrates into the first in-feed position after :03s.

3. Hashtag Challenge

Given TikTok’s young user demographic, it’s no surprise that user-generated content (UGC) fares well on the platform, and that’s exactly the category this type of ad campaign falls under. This unique marketing strategy entails asking users to participate in a challenge campaign by posting their own videos related to a proposed theme. These challenges last for six days and a TikTok representative will partner with the brand for the duration of it.

More recently, TikTok has expanded on the Hashtag Challenge by adding a Hashtag Challenge Plus feature. This handy tool allows users to shop for products associated with a Hashtag Challenge without ever having to leave the app. 

4. Branded Lenses

Branded lenses are face filters, 3D objects, and AR lenses that allow users to drastically transform their environment. They are a popular marketing tool on Instagram and Snapchat, and TikTok has followed suit with its own version of branded lenses that heighten brand messaging.

The Future of Advertising on TikTok

The brands that have found the most success on TikTok thus far are ones that have combined their advertising efforts with relevant and creative videos that are uploaded to their channel.  Some examples of early brand success include Guess’ #InMyDenim challenge, HP’s #HPCoachellaDreamland challenge, and Crocs’ viral videos and clever ads.

TikTok’s ad options will continue to evolve as the app solidifies its status as a social media giant, and for marketers, this will mean a lot of trial, error, and staying on top of trends. There’s still plenty of territory to explore with TikTok advertising and we can’t wait to see what they do next!

 To get your brand noticed for all the right reasons in the digital advertising space, contact Arnold Street Media, Inc. Our team of cutting-edge digital marketing experts will ensure your story is heard and you get the results you want!