Advertising on TikTok: Spice up your marketing strategy!

19 avril 2023

The immensely popular video app TikTok has its foot planted firmly in the social media landscape. With over 3 billion downloads, TikTok is currently one of the most widely used social media platforms in the world and is particularly successful with teens and young adults. It's a good opportunity to check if it fits in your digital marketing strategy.

2 people watching a phone on a small wooden table

The principle is simple: TikTok allows users to create and share short, creative videos of up to 10 minutes. The platform is all about approachable, timely content — in the form of lip-syncing, dancing, sketches, and reaction videos. The more you use TikTok, the better the algorithm will know what you like and the more personalised your For You page will be.

The For You page: a personalised content feed

The For You page is the main content feed for TikTok users. It includes content by creators you follow, but also by creators that might be interesting to you, based on your previous browsing behaviour.

Is the For You page — commonly referred to as FYP — not doing it for you? No worries: you can also look up certain trends, challenges, songs, hashtags, and more. Again: the more you do this, the more personalised your feed will become.

Organic content with a broad reach

In recent years, algorithms of other major social networks — like Instagram and Facebook, for instance — have been moving away from showing users content from their friends and family. That makes it harder for their organic content to reach the people they want to reach.

TikTok is doing exactly the opposite. Unlike Instagram or Facebook, you don’t need an established audience on TikTok to be successful. One video that goes viral — for whatever reason that may be — can immediately trigger thousands of new followers. This makes TikTok a much more accessible platform to reach a large audience over a short period of time.

Is TikTok relevant to my brand?

While TikTok may have a place in your marketing strategy, it must be said that it’s not the holy grail of marketing channels for every organisation or brand. But B2C and D2C brands around the world have found success on TikTok — making it an essential cog in their online content machine.

Especially if your target audience consists of relatively young people, your chances of having a successful TikTok presence are higher. That’s because the platform is often used to make Gen Alpha, Gen Z, and millennials aware of important social and ethical topics. During the Covid-19 pandemic, TikTok proved to be an essential source of information, entertainment, and education.

TikTok advertising: getting started with digital marketing on TikTok

As is the case on many social channels, there are two potential paths to glory in terms of digital marketing on TikTok.

One: you create a TikTok profile for your brand and start creating your own organic content.

Two: you create a TikTok profile for your brand and start tapping into the many possibilities to advertise on the platform.

Today, we’re focusing on the second option: advertising on TikTok


How to advertise on TikTok: five smart options

1. In-feed native advertising

Native advertising on TikTok is much like advertising on other social media platforms. Your ad — usually a short full-screen video — will appear on users’ For You page, between organic content. With a call-to-action button, users can then click through to a landing page of your choice. 

In-feed native advertising on TikTok can support various objectives, like driving traffic to your landing page or stimulating app downloads.

Best practices for in-feed native advertising include:

  • Making your ad casual and fun, without being too commercial;

  • Making your ad look as much like a native TikTok video as possible;

  • Enlisting creators to generate UGC.

2. Brand Takeover

Brand Takeovers make your ad the first thing TikTok users see when opening the app. Whether a still image, a video, or a click-through to a landing page or a specific TikTok account: the ad is unskippable and usually lasts a few seconds.

Brand Takeovers are limited to one advertiser per day, making it an excellent opportunity to reach a wide audience — but keep in mind that it comes with quite a hefty price tag.

3. Branded hashtag challenges

With a branded hashtag challenge, you can boost the engagement of your page and increase awareness for your brand. This is where you work together with TikTok to launch a sponsored challenge. Users are then triggered to create and share content with a hashtag specifically linked to your brand.

As an example, Coca-Cola launched a successful campaign by buying the #ShareaCoke hashtag. At that time, the back of the Coca-Cola cans contained song lyrics. People were urged to share a video with the song and the hashtag. The result: 953,000 videos made by TikTok users — and a hell of a lot of attention.

4. Branded lenses

On TikTok, a lens is a filter designed to give videos a creative edge — preferably linked to your brand, of course. A branded filter can be an interesting, playful way to engage with your target audience.

5. Influencer marketing

While not exclusive to TikTok, influencer marketing can be a great way to connect with the TikTok community

Using your TikTok profile as a channel for influencer marketing can help you market your products and services to the people you want to reach. As always, videos created by influencers work best when they’re in that person’s particular style.


Conclusion: advertising on TikTok

Essentially, it comes down to this: if your target audience is active on TikTok, you might want to invest time, energy, and money into your presence on the platform.

TikTok is not just a content machine that gives your company or brand a playful edge. It can also offer plenty of marketing opportunities to make your digital marketing approach stronger without having to invest a hefty budget — in the short term and the long term.

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