When your business is operating with limited marketing and advertising resources, you have to make decisions about where to concentrate your efforts to maximize business ROI.
This is especially true for social media platforms as they start to rise from obscure mobile apps to mainstream sources of influence and engagement. Many local businesses currently find themselves facing a certain struggle over the rise of TikTok, which enjoyed an active user base of more than one billion accounts since mid-2021.
While businesses may have found it easy to dismiss TikTok as a fringe platform offering less reach and engagement than Facebook, Twitter, and other major platforms, TikTok now offers considerable engagement opportunities that are unique from other social networks.
Whether your business is ready to dive head-first into TikTok ads, or you’re simply interested in experimenting with the app’s advertising products, it’s important to understand how TikTok advertising works, and what best practices can help you deliver the best results.
The Campaign Performance Driving TikTok Advertising’s Rise
TikTok may have built a core user base among young audiences, but its growth has been driven by app adoption across all age groups. TikTok is now a viable platform for advertising to 52 percent of the 18-and-over population, including users who are highly engaged with the social content they consume.
As proof of this influence, a growing body of research has demonstrated the powerful sway TikTok content has over consumer purchasing decisions. Prior research has shown that 37 percent of TikTok users have immediately sought to purchase a product after first discovering the product through the app.
Along those lines, 38 percent of users have convinced a friend or family member to purchase a product first discovered on TikTok. And those purchases have continued to fuel additional content building brand and product awareness: one in four consumers purchasing those products have posted a TikTok video showcasing their purchase.
Given this influence and social word-of-mouth potential, TikTok can offer significant value to certain types of businesses, particularly product-focused brands. The trick is understanding how to leverage the social app for maximum performance.
Advertising on TikTok: What to Expect
If you’re unfamiliar with TikTok and its advertising products, the first thing to understand is that TikTok videos are immersive experiences with interactive elements that earn high engagement within a nine to 15-second ad exposure.
TikTok offers in-feed ads that can be purchased via auction, like other types of digital advertising. These ads are highly customizable, supporting multiple calls-to-action, unique video graphics, and the ability for users to like, comment, interact with and share the video, which can lead to additional exposure for your content.
Like other social ad products, TikTok ads can be targeted to a specific audience, and it is possible to access performance metrics that help you understand ad ROI and identify opportunities to enhance your performance.
Ultimately, though, the immersive, full-screen TikTok experience means that creative elements often dictate ad success. If you want to deliver the best results possible, you need to invest time and resources into creating entertaining and engaging ad content.
Best Practices for TikTok Advertising
The faster you can optimize your TikTok ad strategy, the faster you can boost your ROI and justify increased ad campaign spending. Some of the best practices we recommend to our clients include the following:
- Consider using Spark Ads for an enhanced ad experience. Spark Ads elevate your paid advertisements with better targeting capabilities and measurement tools. This upgraded ad format, which is similar in its functionality to Facebook’s boosted posts product, can help you achieve better campaign conversion rates. However, Spark Ads require an organic TikTok page to build and launch a campaign. If your business doesn’t have its own TikTok page, you can still set up non-Spark ads, making these social ads accessible to everyone.
- Explore campaigns that use TikTok ads to support TV advertising, and vice versa. TikTok is making an aggressive push to position its ad solutions as a complementary second screen to TV-viewing experiences. Recent research suggests that TikTok ads are 23 to 40 percent more memorable than TV ads from the same brand. Brand recall rates are also higher for consumers who view a brand first on TV, and then encounter that brand’s content on TikTok.
- Fund your campaign adequately. As with other digital advertising strategies, consistent investment into ad delivery is key. We recommend a minimum TikTok ad budget of at least $2,000 to position your campaigns for better ROI.
As you plan out ad campaigns on a new platform, it helps to build, launch, and manage ad campaigns with an expert partner who understands what makes ad campaigns successful on TikTok. Cox Media’s experience in building successful TikTok campaigns can accelerate your campaign success and deliver more value for your ad campaigns.
About the Author
Molly OsmonView All of Molly's Blogs