TikTok is a short-form mobile video platform that provides content creators a chance to reach a large community. Since its launch in 2016, its audience has grown to over 800 million active users worldwide. And it shows no signs of stopping. Its increasing popularity has grabbed the interest of big brands, and marketers are now looking at the fun app as a business opportunity. This article will help you understand the process of starting a TikTok marketing method step by step.
1. Who Should Advertise on TikTok?
1.1 Brands Looking for Large and Engaged Audiences
TikTok is available in over 150 countries with 70 languages all over the world. But that alone doesn’t make it stand out from other applications.
A report released by App Annie revealed that “TikTok’s average monthly time spent per user grew faster than nearly every other app analyzed. This includes 70% in the US and 80% in the UK, surpassing Facebook” in 2020. Young adults on Tiktok now spend 80 minutes per day as compared to Facebook’s 58.5 minutes per day. This shows that TikTok users are engaged audiences. And the more engaged an audience, the better for brands. This means you are likely to get more eyeballs and engagement for your business.
So if you have a business that sells to the younger generation and is looking for large and engaged audiences, TikTok ads may be a good choice for you.
1.2 Brands Sold to Post-90s and Post-00s with Sufficient Funds
The majority of TikTok’s audience is young people: 63% of American TikTok users are between 10 and 29 years old. However, the number of TikTokers between the ages of 25 and 54 is increasing, and the number of youngest adults on the platform is decreasing.
So currently, brands targeting the post-90s and young post-00s will find the largest potential customer base.
1.3 Brands Targeting a Multinational Market
Unlike many other social media network companies that started their business in the US, TikTok first went viral in India and is also welcomed in other countries such as Russia, Mexico, and Pakistan.
TikTok is now available in more than 140 countries and 70 languages around the world. Brands who want to explore other overseas markets can make full use of this platform.
2. TikTok Advertising Types
There are generally two types of TikTok advertisement. One is TikTok Official Advertisement, and the other is creative advertising.
2.1 TikTok Official Advertising
TikTok official advertising includes five kinds of ads. They are: in-feed ads, branded hashtag ads, brand takeover ads, top view ads, and branded effects ads
2.1.1 In-Feed Ads
TikTok In-feed ads are videos that appear between users’ videos when you scroll through the For You page, similar to the ads you see when you scan the Instagram Stories.
- Duration: up to 60s, recommended 9-15s
- Location: For You page
- Display: erect, full-screen
- Support various call-to-action (for example, download app, enter an official website, etc.)
- Video views
- Video viewing length (closed in 3s, closed after 10 seconds)
- Average video viewing time
- Video interaction (likes, shares)
Maybelline TikTok created an in-feed advertisement with catchy music to increase its market share and brand awareness among the younger generation in Japan.
In-feed ads also allow its users to put a call-to-action button at the bottom of the video. For example, you can encourage users to place an order right away, download your app, or go directly to your website from TikTok.
These ads blend well with the TikTok feed, which makes it easy to be quickly swiped by the users. So for in-feed ads, it’s vital to attract the audience in the first 2-3 seconds of the video and thus stop users from overlooking it.
2.1.2 Branded Hashtag Ads
Branded hashtag is another popular ad on TikTok. In a branded hashtag challenge, a brand asks TikTok users to videotape themselves performing something, like a specific dance, and then post it with a defined hashtag.
These ads are placed at or near the top of the Discovery page, and a click on the hashtag leads visitors to a collection of TikToks from the same challenge.
- Duration: 6days
- Location: At or near the top of the Discovery Page
- Include: A separate brand challenge page, which contains the introduction of the brand, brand links, activity rules, and current popular videos participating in the challenge
- Method: The user clicks on the hashtag to participate in the challenge
The #eyeslipsface challenge created by elf Cosmetics is just an example. Elf Cosmetics adopted branded hashtag ads to ask users to post videos that show their natural beauty with the background music “Eyes.Lips.Face”. Participants would have a chance to win $250 worth of elf cosmetics and skincare products.
This event eventually became the most widely spread challenge on TikTok. Nearly 5 million users participated in the event and received up to 7.7 billion page views.
TikTok hashtag challenges encourage engagement and brand awareness building. But it also has its downside of being too costly. If your banner is to appear on the Discovery page of TikTok, the cost can reach up to $150,000. Of course, there is also a way to reduce the costs, that is, to cooperate with Internet celebrities and use their influence to promote your products/activities.
2.1.3 Brand Takeover Ads
Brand takeovers are full-screen, three-to-five-second video ads that show up as soon as someone opens the app. The ads also appear as static images, GIFs or videos on the For You page. The brand can include a clickable hashtag or website link as well.
- Duration: 3-4s
- Location: displayed immediately when the app is opened; For You page
- Display: erect, full-screen
- Include: static pictures, GIFs, videos, clickable hashtag,s or brand website link
- Users can only see one branded takeover ad per day, which means that there is relatively little competition
Guess Jeans promoted the #InMyDenim Challenge example on TikTok. The left-most photo below is its brand takeover screenshot.
Six days after the campaign, 5,500 users created videos using the hashtag #InMyDenim. The total number of video views exceeded 10.5 million, the participation rate was 14.3%, and more than 12,000 users followed Guess’s TikTok account.
Brand Takeover is an exclusive advertising model. Users can only see one brand takeover ad every day, so its cost is also high. Suitable for large brands with sufficient funds. According to statistics from Voluum.com, if there are 5 million impressions per day, it will cost $50,000 per day.
2.1.4 Top View Ads
TikTok top view ads are similar to brand takeovers. The difference is that view ads do not cover the screen as soon as users sign in. They occupy the first In-feed post after 3 seconds. It shows up to 60 -seconds of full-screen video with auto-play and sound. This helps to increase brand exposure.
- Duration: up to 60s
- Location: first in-feed post after the user opens the app
- Display: erect, full-screen video with auto-play and sound
- The call-to-action can be added under the video, as well as links to internal or external pages
The following is a case of Balenciaga using top view ads to increase traffic to their store pages.
Exquisite full-screen video, clear and concise brand logo, coupled with the call to action button, successfully obtained more than 23 million impressions, with a click-through rate of about 18%.
It has the same shortcomings as in-feed ads and so can be easily overlooked by TikTok users. Therefore, advertising videos must have enough highlights to attract users.
2.1.5 Branded Effects ads
Branded effects ads are similar to Instagram’s AR filters, and users can add these special effects to their videos.
- Duration: 10 days
- Method: The user uses brand-defined special effects, expressions, and filters to make videos
- Encourage users to directly interact with your brand
- Can be combined with brand Hashtags to challenge advertising
The following is a typical branded effects ad combining the hashtag challenge. PUMA promoted their Future Flash series under #FlashOfFuture, and this event finally received 587.5 million views.
2.2 Creative advertising
Tiktok official advertisements are currently expensive and may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, you can take advantage of TikTok’s video features, combine your product features, generate public responses through user reposts and comments, and also get out of the advertising effect.
Unlike traditional social media, TikTok’s popular trending content is updated very quickly. Some topics may be popular this week, but not popular next week. Keeping abreast of trends and using current hot topics to make videos can cleverly scrape a wave of free traffic.
The followings are some of the common interactive games on TikTok:
2.2.1 Video co-production
TikTok also has many filters and special effects, users can use these filters and special effects in their videos. Co-production is one of the more popular special effects, allowing users to record an interactive video with their favorite video.
Here are some examples:
All of the above examples have more than 100 million views. In addition, there are co-production methods such as acting and story development. You must know how to use and shoot creative co-production videos to attract users’ attention and increase fans.
2.2.2 Create or Reuse sounds
TikTok has a massive sound library, including song clips, speeches, TV or movie dialogues, or random user comments. Once the user generates a new sound in the video, it will be saved in the sound library, and then other users can reuse it.
This way also helps some semi-well-known musicians to become popular on TikTok, such as Lil Nax X. Lil’s song “Old Town Road” first got massive attention on TikTok before it became viral online. The video with the hashtag #oldtownroad got 100 million impressions.
After remixing, Lil ranked first on the Billboard Hot 100 top hits charts for 19 weeks, the longest record in the history of his music career.
2.2.3 Dance Challenge
Challenges are one of the biggest trends on TikTok, and innovative brands are already using them to fast-track their growth and reach millions of users on the app. Among these challenges, the dance challenge is no doubt an eye-catching form to get a huge amount of views and interactions.
For example, in The Git Up challenge, participants danced with a piece of music selected from a song of the same name by Blanco Brown, some re-arranged the song themselves, and some mimicked the choreography of Harvey Bass who first issued the challenge.
Although this challenge was not initiated by Brown or his team, videos using the #thegitup tag received more than 157 million views. The song Blanco Brown has also received more than 127 million views on Spotify.
2.2.4 Cooperate with Internet Celebrities
Influencers are creators who will partner with you to share your message with their audience. Working with the right influencer to share your brand with their audience can bring huge returns to your advertising. A Tomoson study showed that for every dollar spent on online celebrity marketing, brands can expect a return of $6.50.
When looking for a suitable internet celebrity, pay attention to the following points:
- Relevance: If you are a brand that sells energy drinks, it is not appropriate to find a makeup influencer.
- Influence: The number of fans and fan interaction rate, the number of likes, shares, and comments can be used as screening indicators.
- Location: Whether your brand is a small local brand or a large international brand, you want an influencer’s core audience to have access to your products.
You can find influencers in the Users tab of the discovery page. Just enter a topic in the search bar.
TikTok now also offers a one-stop tool, Creator Marketplace, for the easy cooperation of brands and influencers. In it, you can search for the perfect influencer using examples and data.
3. Basic Process of Creating TikTok Ads
Depending on the type of ads you want to run, you need to talk to the TikTok advertising manager or use their self-service platform. Here, are the basic process of creating Tiktok ads.
3.1 Create Your Advertising Account
Before you launch your first ad, you’ll need an account.
(1) Click Get Started from the TikTok for Business landing page, and then enter your region > business type > click Next.
(2) Fill in your details> click register
After registration, you can start advertising on TikTok.
3.2 Create a Campaign
Similar to FB ads and Google ads, TikTok also has a hierarchical structure: campaign> ad group> ad.
(1) Go to the Campaign tab at the top of the Ads Manager and click Create.
(2) Choose your goal. Depending on what your marketing goals are, you can choose to recognize, consider or convert.
When you create a campaign, TikTok will automatically transfer you to the ad group section.
3.3 Create an Ad Group
(1) Choose your advertising placement (automatic placement is selected by default).
(2) Choose the promotion type, URL, display name, avatar, and the way users interact with the advertisement.
(3) Decide whether to use TikTok’s automatic creative optimization. It builds ads using your images, videos, and copy and then continually tests them for you.
(4) Pick your Audience Target.
You can target your audience based on demographics and interests. You can also create a custom audience from your customer profile, website traffic, app activity, or previous advertising engagement.
To build a custom audience from website traffic, you need to install TikTok Pixel on your website. TikTok Pixel can help you optimize your ads, linking the success of your ads to the behavior of your customers on the website.
(5) Choose between a daily or lifetime budget—the total you’ll spend during the life of the ad set or campaign
(6) Set up your bidding plan.
(7) Click Next to create a new advertisement.
3.4 Create an Ad
(1) Upload video or picture material. TikTok will turn still images into a video. And be sure to follow TikTok’s ad creative guidelines.
(2) Fill in the ad copy and select the call to action button.
(3)Click Submit to enter the next advertisement review.
4. Analyze the Effect of TikTok advertising
4.1 Use Ads Manager
Through TikTok’s advertising background, you’ll find:
- Current status of ads and events
- CPM, CPC, CPA, CTR, conversion rate, and more metrics for all ads
- Current ad spend
Like other social software, the results can also be exported with one click to facilitate data analysis.
4.2 Get More Data on the Campaign Page
Similar to the Facebook advertising background, TikTok’s advertising background can also be viewed layer by layer through Campaign>Ad Group>Ad.
You can also create a data table according to the data you want, the creation steps are as follows:
(a) Select a date range
(b) Select some dimensions from the list
4.3 Tiktok advertising costs
Definitions of Terms :
CPC: Pay per click
OCPC: Optimized Cost Per Click
CPM: Cost per thousand impressions
CPV: Cost per view
According to the different needs of different customers, there are different billing options. The following shows the current TikTok advertising charging standards.
- Brand takeover: 5w knives a day, guaranteed 500w displays;
- In-feed advertisement: $10 per impression, at least 600 impressions in advance
- Hashtag challenge: $150,000a week
- Brand filter, animation effect: $80,000 a day
Although advertisement on TikTok can be a fast way to build up impressions on users. Never forget it’s always the content itself that matters the most. Good content drives users to follow the advertisements while bad content only bores users, or even leaves bad impressions on the audience.
Marketing on TikTok can be a daunting task. But hopefully, with this guide, you’ll be able to create content that gets your brand seen. Don’t be afraid to try different things. TikTok is a relatively new app, and most marketers are figuring things out as they go.