Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably have a TikTok account and accidentally spent hours hooked on the app, watching people dance or prank their parents - it sounds like a waste of time when you say it out loud, but I sympathize.
The numbers are positive, but like any social media platform, there’s no point advertising on it unless it matches your business objectives and plays a major role in your audience’s daily activities.
But first, what is TikTok?
TikTok originates from China and was formerly known as musical.ly. It is a social media platform that allows you to create short music style videos and share them with friends, family, and the world!
Despite videos only being 15 seconds long, the only limitation is your imagination and creativity. Because of this, small niches have broken off within the app, catering to different demographics.
Exploring the demographics of the platform further, it is clear to see that it is very diverse. At the end of 2019, the 18-24 age range dominated the app in the UK (26%) with the age brackets 25-34 and 35-44 following closely behind.
Moving further into 2020, TikTok has over 3.7m active users in the UK and those aged 18-24 still own the largest share of the app. Even TikTok says that 60% of its users are Gen Zers (born between 1997-2012).
TikTok offers 4 types of ads that are positioned in different locations around the platform:
1) Brand Takeover
Brand Takeover ads can appear as a still image, gif, or video, which can be linked to a brand’s website or specific landing page. They will appear in a user’s feed when they are scrolling through content. However, Brand Takeovers are exclusive to their categories and, therefore, will only appear once per day
2) Native Video ads
A Native Video ad is 9 -15 seconds long, showing up on the ‘For You’ page. These are skippable ads and don’t give you much time to make an impression, however, they are full screen which allows them to generate a high impact.
3) Hashtag Challenges
This form of advertisement allows a business to engage with its audience further and attract new followers. A Hashtag Challenge could spark a trend and drive users to create a video whilst using your hashtag!
This type of advertisement is really easy to measure with clicks, views, and the number of user-generated videos, etc.
4) Branded Lenses
Creating Branded Lenses is one of the best ways to stand out on TikTok. It can be left running for around 10 days and have the opportunity to be ranked in the ‘Hot’ or ‘Trending’ tab for the first 5 days and spots 6-10 for the next 5 days. Just like Hashtag Challenges, Branded Lenses have the opportunity to blow up!
The short answer: Only if it suits your business objectives and audience demographics.
It may seem like an appealing platform right now, whilst everyone is glued to their phones during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this can be a large, upfront investment for very temporary results.
There is no denying that TikTok is a great platform with advertising capabilities that could increase your brand awareness incredibly if a trend was to occur, but if your audience isn’t on the platform, it’s not worth it.
I strongly suggest this due to the fact that TikTok charges immensely high prices, with the average CPC at around $10 (£7.50). Therefore, if you are operating on a tight budget then make sure you are spending wisely.
In turn, one of TikTok’s biggest appeals is that there is a very clear identity, which means users know what they’re getting when they click on the app. It’s light and funny and perhaps a little bit silly sometimes, with challenges and pranks. Currently this is dominated by user generated content. If your brand can fit within these unwritten guidelines, you could break into a relatively untapped marketing channel and be a trendsetter - literally. However, if you’re brainstorming ideas for videos and hashtags and they just don’t seem to fit, it’s likely that this platform isn’t appropriate for you and your brand won’t thrive.
Before you make any drastic decisions, become an active user on TikTok, and experience how the platform functions and what your audience would engage with if you were to take the leap.