TikTok is an exciting place for brands to be these days, and it’s no longer just for the kids. But to really resonate with audiences on the platform, a less traditional approach is warranted. It’s challenging brands to be more playful, authentic and creative. Here’s what you need to know to succeed when advertising on TikTok.
A TikTok overview
TikTok’s format of 15-60-second videos has proven extremely popular with Gen Z users since its inception in 2016. In late 2021, it surpassed one billion users and now stands at 1.2 billion, 138 million of which are in the US. It has expanded to over 150 markets and was the most downloaded app in 2021, both worldwide and in the US.
TikTok users by age (source: Statista)
- 10-19: 32.5%
- 20-29: 29.5%
- 30-39: 16.4%
- 40-49: 13.9%
- 50+: 7.1%.
Female users make up 56.2% of the total user base, with 43.8% male. Nearly half (43%) of TikTok’s users are aged 18-24, while 32% are between the ages of 25 and 34. Its demographics have been changing, however, and will continue to evolve as older users increasingly catch on.
What those numbers don’t illustrate, however, is how the TikTok experience differs from other apps. That difference is something brands need to be acutely aware of as they shift their ad spend. This point is illustrated by a Nielsen study which found that 79% of TikTok audiences globally thought of the platform’s content as unique or different. TikTok found that 70% feel as though they’re part of a community on platform, and 73% feel a deeper connection to brands on TikTok compared to other platforms.
Why TikTok ads are effective
A 2021 Kantar study ranked TikTok as the global leader for brand equity for the second year running. This was because consumers “find ads on TikTok to be fun and entertaining” which is the “single most differentiating feature in the global media landscape,” according to Duncan Southgate, Kantar’s Director of Media Insights.
Kantar’s report adds that TikTok has a collaborative atmosphere that affords creative space to brands in which they can add value rather than being intrusive. It found that household decision-makers favored TikTok ads across every vertical, from healthcare to retail.
The numbers make a convincing argument, with studies showing the average TikTok campaign delivered twice the return on advertising spend (ROAS) of the median campaign performance benchmark in commissioned studies, and 14% higher paid media ROAS compared to other media in a recent Nielsen Media Mix Model Meta Analysis. Ad recall was also 24% higher for branded content created specifically for the platform in collaboration with TikTok content creators.
How to promote your brand on TikTok
Authenticity is the name of the game on TikTok, and partnerships have been shown as a good way for brands to achieve it. In-Feed ads made in partnership with content creators have higher view rates, especially with videos that demonstrate product use.
But crucially, brands should strive to be creative and embrace the spirit of the platform, no matter their industry. Keep in mind that TikTok users want to be entertained and discover fresh and original content. Give them that kind of rewarding experience and you’re sure to see an impressive return on investment.
Elements of high-converting TikTok ads
Shooting videos in 720p resolution or higher has been shown to boost conversion rates by 312%, and a strong CTA in ad text delivers a 152% conversion rate boost compared to those without. The use of comedy also increases the likelihood of a video ad being watched to the end by 24%.
Brands should always think mobile first (in vertical format) when advertising on TikTok, and maximise the space by shooting videos in 9:16 aspect ratio. TikTok’s studies showed ads using this format achieved a 91% higher conversion rate compared to those that appeared with black bars on the sides of the frame.
The right length is also key for the success of video ads, and those that ran for 21 to 34 seconds showed a 280% higher conversion rate than longer or shorter videos, according to TikTok’s data.
Making the shift
With the prolific growth of the platform and the success it has already brought the brands that have embraced it so far, it’s easy to understand why 3 in 4 marketers worldwide said they planned to shift their media spend to TikTok in 2022. We can help you do the same, from strategy to execution. To learn more, get in touch with CODESM.