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TikTok ranks at the top of the app industry as the fastest-growing, most downloaded app in the world.

It’s shaping culture, redefining social media and sparking conversations amongst its users. For businesses, it can be an advertising haven and can increase the company’s brand awareness and user acquisition.

TikTok started as a short-form video creating and sharing app. With the right video ad, any company can quickly access large audiences and spot niches hassle-free.

The massive number of active users on the platform is what drives businesses’ attention to get involved, create an account and start advertising on the platform. It has  800 million daily users worldwide and over 26 million monthly active users are from the USA. It’s largely preferred by people under 30 making up for 66% of their base users. Although this trend is shifting and slowly attracting more adult users as well. 

The funny, the cute and the cringe

If you are a Boomer or a Millennial, it might feel overwhelming and confusing. But, let’s change this, shall we? 

TikTok is like a vertical, never-ending variety show. A remix version of Vine, Snapchat and Instagram. 

A community-driven social network where hashtags play a big role, content creators lie at the heart of the platform and everyone is encouraged to jump in.

“For You.” is one of the first features the user will encounter on TikTok. This tab provides content with AI-powered technology. As a result it’s constantly learning from what you like. The app is able to recognise the kind of content you tend to watch, (is this about food or puppies?) and gives you recommendations that might be related to that. This builds a custom-made, super complex, algorithmic feed based on what the user is interested in. More importantly, it fuels the advertising engine.

The feed grows in all directions providing infinite recommendations and is filled with an eclectic array of talented, creative, enthusiastic members who upload content from beauty tips to skits, cringey or oddly satisfying videos, etc.  What’s even more interesting are the niche communities, like gaming, dancing and comedy. 

And now, you can even it Stitch It! This new feature launched in September allows user pick up clips from other users and integrate them into their own to facilitate video responses, duets and remixes.

Gen Z users love to engage, however, as in any other platform, you’ll find the lurkers and passive users, who lack confidence or skills to upload their own content but still enjoy the entertainment.

Succeeding on TikTok

To create a high performing campaign on TikTok the key is to understand that the “wow factors” are originality and relatability. 

Perfectly “staged” videos work well on other platforms, but TikTok is about being authentic and users will appreciate this. Be bold and show the humorous, down-to-earth side of your brand. User feedback is fast and abundant.  TikTok allows you to target audiences by general demographics, interests, and devices. Use this to understand your potential customer. 

Some tips to influence your consumer: Have diverse and creative video ads, iterate regularly, generating small changes that add up over time based on performance. Try new approaches. Understand and follow trends, make a statement and try the road less traveled. Get out there and show what makes your brand unique and last but no least, know your audience.

Understanding the TikTok User

When you start considering if TikTok should be included as part of your marketing strategy, you should ask yourself this question: Does your product appeal to the TikTok demographic? 

Who is the TikTok user? What are they after? Find below insightful information that will help you make data-driven decisions about your advertising campaign and learn more about the TikTok audience: 

Best Practices for advertising on TikTok

To help you achieve your campaign goals efficiently we include the key aspects of top-level TikTok content. These requirements apply to all kinds of advertising opportunities on TikTok:

  • Be familiar with the trending content and use it to your advantage
  • Make sure your video ads address your target audience.
  • Create portrait mode content to build strong visual identity.

Below we include a list of ways you can advertise on TikTok. Check below video examples for each type of ad product option on TikTok.

 1. Native video ads  (in-feed)

Use brand storytelling as a TikTok creator with your video ad integrated on the “For You” users feed.

This has the look and feel of an Instagram skippable story.  The CTA will be linked to a URL landing page, TikTok page or App Download. This provides plenty of data on how the video ad has impacted the audience. Great to drive brand awareness, drive clicks or sales.

The details: Portrait, full-screen. Length: 15 seconds. Automatic sound-on

2- Top View

You can achieve unique engagement and capture your audience’s attention with a premium quality ad placement. 

Your video ad will be the first thing users will see when they open the app. TikTok calls it “unmissable and distraction-free”.  Top Views in China have been driving 25 – 40% stronger CTR than their Brand Takeover counterparts, and often have 50% of views reach 5s

The details: Portrait, full-screen. Length: Up to 60 seconds. Automatic sound-on.

3- Brand Takeovers

The short and sweet version of the Top View. A 3-5 seconds video or image composition (static, dynamic, GIF). This type of ad provides CTA that will take the user to landing pages, challenges and hashtags like the Nike or Vans examples below. Ideal to guarantee impression. 

The details: Portrait, full-screen. Length: 3-5 seconds. Automatic sound on.

contagious.com (source)

4- Branded Lenses

Similar to what you can find on Snapchat 2D and 3D lenses for photos and faces using AR. Fully-immersive, stickers, filters and special effects, tailored to your brand that users will apply on their videos. They go hand in hand with a #hashtagchallenge (see below). Here are some examples of branded lenses.

tradablebits.com (source)

5 – Hashtag Challenge

TikTok is all about expressing yourself, creating content and inspiring the community. #Challenge is TikTok’s signature advertising product and in terms of engagement, it checks all the right boxes. A free-for-all invitation that allows users to upload their videos around a theme proposed by your brand. This will bring you tons of user-generated branded content, that is highly shareable, (often spans across platforms) and ultimately can go viral. Popular examples of #challenge include: memes, self care, mental health, comedy. This works best when you can find influencers who fit your brand and get the ball rolling on the challenge. Check TikTok’s Chipotle Lid Flip compilation below

The details: Portrait, full-screen. Length: 15 seconds approx. Automatic sound on.

6- Influencers marketing campaigns

Work with influencers. Choose a verified influencer whose audience matches your target market and create a partnership. If your influencer appeals to your demographic, your campaign should be a viral success. By employing an influencer, brands don’t need to build an audience and don’t suffer from advertising fatigue, fans will quickly take notice of your brand or product. Check 2 Fortnite gaming influencers below, source, TikTok.

tiktok.com (source)

In a nut-shell

TikTok gathered a striking number of users in a short span of time. Mostly Gen Z users (with a female bias) who are socially aware and find the platform as a hub to express their unique personalities in a casual, fun but also meaningful way. 

1 billion videos  are viewed in one single day in over 155 countries. It is very likely that your audience is located in one of those countries. So, how are you going to include TikTok in your marketing strategy? Can we help you? Get in touch with us today!

Nuria Ramos

Nuria Ramos

Hey there! I’m Nuri, Project Manager at Apptamin. Me and my team successfully create, scale and optimise marketing strategies suited for the digital culture. I thrive producing memorable content that inspires and drives action. I speak tech and exec.
Apptamin is THE creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, stores videos, explainers, etc,). We work with brands, agencies, startups and game studios from around the world with passion, pride and coffee, lots of coffee.
We build bridges between our clients and real people through creativity and craft.
Nuria Ramos

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