You Need to Advertise on TikTok, They Said. So, Now What?

Stephanie Anderson, VP, Media , 10.09.23

10.09.23 Stephanie Anderson, VP, Media

As if we need further evidence the digital landscape is constantly evolving. In 2022, TikTok surpassed Instagram in user engagement and is forecasted to outpace Facebook by 2025. Despite this rapid growth, a common question our media team receives is: "Should I advertise on TikTok?" Here's our take.

The Advantages:

TikTok Ads let your brand easily tap into TikTok's vast user base.

The platform's advertising tools offer multiple targeting and customization choices, ensuring effective campaigns. Campaigns on TikTok can be tailored to different KPIs (CTR, Reach, Conversions, etc.), so pinpointing your objective and refining accordingly guarantees campaign success.

The platform offers a strong opportunity to scale audiences.

Because TikTok's user base skews slightly younger (18-24 is the top user demo) than other social media platforms, it can help brands reach a younger audience and expand demographic reach.

Platform users are highly engaged.

TikTok boasts the highest engagement rate of all social platforms at more than 4% (that's more than 100% higher than some of its competitors). Engagement helps to showcase interest and intent in a campaign, so layering this tactic in can help drive brand awareness.

The Concerns:

Data and privacy concerns aren't going away.

Since the platform's inception, TikTok's data collection practices have been under scrutiny. In the last year, the platform has implementedinitiatives to increase transparency. It created a division committed to keeping U.S. data secure which includes a partnership with Oracle, and it established standards in European data security with an initiative dedicated to creating a secure environment for European TikTok user data. But is it enough? Currently 13 countries have total or partial bans on the app, so TikTok will need to continue to demonstrate its user data isn't being misused.

The platform is now offering an ad free experience.

Last week it reported that TikTok would be testing an ad-free offering. For US $4.99 a month, users could avoid seeing ads on the platform. Is that a concern for paid advertising? Only 3% of YouTube's users subscribe to its ad-free offering so our concern is low, but we're keeping an eye on this development.

Additional Considerations

Do you need an active TikTok presence to advertise?

Not necessarily. Like other platforms, TikTok permits advertising without an active channel. However, having one can augment your brand's exposure and deepen engagement with your audience.

Organic vs. uploaded content: which holds the upper hand?

Both have unique strengths. User-generated, organic content amplifies your brand's authenticity, making it more relatable and often driving increased engagement. On the other hand, professionally crafted uploaded content gives your brand credibility, showcases authenticity, and ultimately shows sophistication.

One of our recent client experiences attests to the power of well-executed content. They used a professionally produced video on their TikTok channel. Upon incorporating this into an ad campaign, they not only reached a previously elusive audience segment but also did so at significantly reduced CPM and CPC costs compared to other platforms. This strategy even bolstered their TikTok following by 4%.

Regardless of your content choice, ensure it:

  • Resonates with TikTok's ethos: Fun, Engaging, Authentic

  • Aligns with your brand's narrative

  • Avoids overtly promotional or forced vibes

In Conclusion

While some unknowns and concerns remain, TikTok's impact makes it impossible to ignore. Whether it's through organic content or sophisticated ad campaigns, there's ample opportunity to reach and resonate with your audience. Considering whether advertising on TikTok is right for you? Our expert media team is here to guide you. Get in touch!

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