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TikTok is one of the fastest growing apps, having launched worldwide in 2017. Known for kicking off numerous dance trends, a new found obsession with sea shanties and engaging users with ‘challenges’, it also presents opportunity for brands and influencers to make their voices heard to a new audience. Today we look at how business are using TikTok for advertising…

A Brief Introduction to TikTok

Initially released in China in September of 2016 before becoming available worldwide one year later, TikTok is a social media app which allows users to watch and create short form mobile videos. Like most other popular social networks, TikTok users can like, comment and share content whilst also being able to follow their favourite creators. Users of TikTok often create content such as dance routines, tutorial videos, challenges and so much more, and there’s a bank of music and effects on the app that they can add to videos. Unsurprisingly it has become huge for the so-called ‘Gen Z’ audience, as celebrities and influencer content is surpassed by that of ‘TikTok’ stars, who are finding fame through great content creation.

Who uses TikTok?

With over 800 million active monthly users worldwide –  3.7 million of which are in the UK –  it is no surprise that TikTok is becoming one of the world’s most popular social networks. Typically, associated with a younger audience, it is however becoming more widely used; particularly as videos are being re-shared across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

TikTok Stats

To date, TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times across iOS and android devices.

Businesses Using TikTok for Advertising

Brands have become much savvier in recent years to bucking the trends of social media. Many brands have taken advantage of TikTok’s huge platform by advertising their goods and services to millions of users around the world. TikTok ads now allow businesses to target their ads to users from a specific location, a certain age category, a particular gender and many more advanced options.

With TikTok’s relatively young demographic, brands with a younger target audience have the opportunity to get in front of potential customers on a platform that most resonates with them.  However that’s not to say that businesses generally can’t benefit from the platform. In fact, putting out great content on TikTok can get you in front of a new, younger audience who you may not have been able to reach previously.  

Newcastle University recently used TikTok’s ‘In-Feed Ads’ functionality to help applicants access a downloadable guide to help them create the perfect personal statement for their university applications. Newcastle Uni featured student ambassadors in their videos along and actively encouraged candidates to download the guide. The advertisement was live for two weeks and resulted in a total of 1.1 million impressions and 7,000 clicks!

This is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to the marketing potential of TikTok.

Marketing Opportunities Using TikTok Ads

There’s a world of options for brands to advertise to their desired audience on TikTok, as the platform boasts many features designed for advertising.

In-Feed Ads

In-Feed ads are incorporated into a user’s For You Page; a homepage that’s tailored using an algorithm that shows content which appeals to their interests, based on their activity. In-Feed ads appear in the same format as any other video a user would see on their homepage, so there is no instant skipping of the advertisement.

Brand Takeover

Brand Takeover ads are adverts which quite simply cannot be missed by your audience. Brand Takeover ads appear full screen as soon as a user loads up TikTok and can be targeted towards your brand target market. Like In-Feed ads, Brand Takeover ads can also appear in a user’s For You page for increased exposure.

TopView

Similar to that of Brand Takeover ads, TopView ads appear on a user’s For You Page within 3-5 seconds of opening the app. Like In-Feed ads, TopView ads play automatically and blend seamlessly with most user generated content.

Branded Hashtag Challenge

Branded Hashtag Challenges initiate audience participation and engagement across the TikTok community. You could create a challenge for users to perform a certain type of dance or task using your brands hashtag to ensure participation and engagement. While hard to ‘get right’ as there is no guarantee your trend would go viral, a Branded Hashtag Challenge could result in a great deal of exposure.

Branded Effects

Branded Effects are another creative and fun way for your business to advertise on TikTok. TikTok allows businesses choosing to advertise through the use of Branded Effects to create their own branded AR filters, stickers and lenses for TikTok users to use in the creation of their videos.

If you’re thinking about introducing TikTok to your social media strategy, it’s worth looking at how other businesses are leveraging this and thinking about how you could make it work for you. While it’s not suited to every business type, there’s still huge opportunity as TikTok continues to grow as a platform, giving brands yet another channel to put themselves out there.

This post was created on 19th February 2021
Under the category Blog
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