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The Marketing Guide To TikTok

TikTok has quickly gained such popularity that it's now safe to say this app is rivaling many main platforms. Despite its data gathering concerns, sensorchip, and dangerous challenges there has been little to no slowdown in the platform's expanding audience. Making it a ripe market space for many. Now unless you've taken this quartern extremely seriously and abandon all phones and television you've heard of TikTok. For all our rock people out there here's a quick summary that will bring you up to speed: TikTok, what is it, and how does it work? TikTok is a social video app where users share short clips, usually around 15 seconds long. Very similar in nature to the previously popular app Vine, but has more features such as filters, music, and augmented reality making engagement much higher. Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, who acquired in 2017, before re-branding it to TikTok. In 2018 it was the world’s fourth most downloaded app, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat!

(In 2020 Tiktok stands as the 5th most downloaded application)

Who is the target market for TikTok? The app is hugely popular with teenagers, as most users are under 24. They have over 500m active users per month. Users tend to respond to a viral hashtag (#fyi )or challenges. Advertising on TikTok TikTok's marketing platform is fairly new in comparison to its competitors. Despite this many known brands are currently exploring the best ways to advertise on the app. Here are the current ad campaign options:

  1. Biddable Ads: Fully self-serve ads are not available just yet, but biddable ads can be set up via a TikTok rep. The only available ad type is a standard in-feed video ad, which has three action models (CPC, CPM, and CPV – six seconds). Targeting only includes age, gender, and state-level geo-targeting for now, but they’ve promised more interest and behavioral targeting over time.

  2. Brand Takeover: Limited to one advertiser per day, this type of ad appears as soon as a user opens the app, meaning the ad is front and center. You can then push viewers to an internal or external destination.

  3. Hashtag Challenge: As mentioned, teens love to participate in a challenge. This ad campaign encourages user-generated content, increasing the chance of going viral. A TikTok representative partners with the brand for six days during the length of the campaign.

Should I be advertising on TikTok? Well it depends, as it often does. Do you have a younger target audience (under 24), then paid ads are definitely worth exploring. Just keep in mind that a large proportion of the user base are teenagers, with some being much younger: “The company says it is most popular with 16- to 24-year-olds but there is evidence that many users are under 13, which is against the app’s rules,” according to the BBC. TikTok doesn’t disclose their ad sales numbers, so for now we can’t see how popular it’s been from a brand perspective compared to other platforms, but it’s regarded as an emerging force and Forbes recently described the app as a “sleeping giant“. TikTok controversy and negative press In February 2018 they were fined by the US Federal Trade Commission, agreeing to pay $5.7 million to settle allegations they illegally collected personal information from children under the age of 13, including names, email addresses, and their location. A BBC investigation found that some younger fans are being exploited by influencers on the app. Content creators can make money through live streams, where their fans can send them ‘digital gifts’ which cost anywhere between $5 and $70. Some promise to share their phone numbers with fans in exchange for gifts. Do We Advocate TikTok as a legitimate advertising option?

Our job is to procure you the best return possible with the budget you set forth. We do not often utilize Tiktok as a source of marketing for our clients. In large part, this is due to the negative press and potential exposure we'd be bringing on our client's personal data. Unfortunately these day's it's naive to think all these companies aren't obtaining your personal data for commercial use.

Despite not often advocating marketing on TikTok we have headed campaigns on the platform for clients in the past. Doing so after properly informing them of any potential risks. After running campaigns on their marketing platform what we will say is, if your target audience falls within their user's age range the TikTok marketing options should absolutely be further explored.


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