If you’re one of those people who’s still scratching their heads trying to learn what TikTok is, join the club. While still quite new, this short-video based social network has taken the world by storm in the last couple of years, rapidly surpassing giants like Twitter and Snapchat for the number of users. With the introduction of TikTok ads in recent months (and still technically in the experimental stage), brands seeking a younger crowd definitely owe it to their business to explore advertising on this platform.


What Is TikTok?


In a nutshell, TikTok is a video-sharing app that enables users to create 15-second videos backed by the music clip of their choosing and the results are usually hilarious. Until recently, most people used the app to show videos of themselves lip-syncing or dancing to their favorite tune. That’s still the bulk of the content—however, as with all social apps, TikTok content has evolved to include things like 15-second video diaries and other creative videos. More recently, as with all things social, companies and brands have started figuring out how to use it to engage possible customers.


Why Would Brands Choose TikTok Ads?


Although the advertising functions of TikTok are still developing, many brands have already seen the value of using the app to create brand awareness. Some reasons why:


  • TikTok is mainly used for entertainment, not engagement. It’s a place to consume amateur content, not start a dialogue, making it a great platform to blast short, 15-second messages instead of trying for deeper engagement.
  • TikTok encourages user participation. More on that momentarily.
  • The demographic is clear. TikTok is soundly dominated by younger users (generally age 13-24) so brands can tell right away whether this is the right platform for them. If your brand is for the young and hip, it will probably do well with a thoughtful TikTok campaign; if your brand is for more mature adults, spend your dollars elsewhere.


Ways to Advertise on TikTok


At the current time, there are four different ways to build your brand on Tiktok:


  • In-line Video: Similarly to other social media platforms, your ad simply appears in the feed of relevant users, except instead of a picture or graphic, you’re putting up a phone-sized 15-second video, not unlike an Instagram Story.
  • Brand Takeover Ads: Displays a 3-5 second GIF, image, or video when users first open the app. (Only one brand per day can do a takeover, so this option can be quite costly.)
  • Hashtag Challenges: This tactic encourages users to post their own content using a hashtag you create—a very effective technique for getting users to engage with your brand.
  • Branded Lenses: Inserts branded objects, graphics, and filters onto user-generated content using AR technology. This approach can be very useful, for example, if you want to give users a way to “try” your product and see how it looks on them.


The one potential barrier to entry right now for TikTok is the cost. Since it’s a new avenue with relatively few businesses participating, the cost per click (CPC) is considerably higher than other apps—so you want to be sure your ad strategy is laser-focused on your target market. Top Los Angeles advertising agency Wicked Bionic can help you create the perfect TikTok advertising strategy to meet the goals of your brand. Reach out to us to learn more.

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