The pros and cons of TikTok advertising
As the metronomic name would suggest, TikTok enables users to create videos within a 15-second time frame. Founded in China, it’s a Gen-Z sensation, with over 1 billion users in more than 150 countries using the platform to share videos of themselves dancing, lip-syncing and laughing.
TikTok is the talk of the social media town. If you’ve not seen its videos online at some point, then you’ve almost most certainly heard of it. Businesses are now catching onto the TikTok trend, using the platform’s popularity among teens to promote their brands in unique ways.
But how is TikTok advertising done? The social media giant currently has three types of adverts available:
Your full-screen video ad will appear as soon as the user opens TikTok – i.e. “takeover” what the user sees.
In-feed native videos
Your video will appear underneath the normal TikTok feed while users are “exploring” content.
Usually lasting six days, these campaigns involve encouraging users to share your branded content via your chosen hashtag.
Those are your TikTok advertising options, but should you consider the platform for your next advertising campaign? Read on for TikTok’s highs and lows…
The pros of TikTok advertising
What makes TickTock tick? Here are the top TikTok pros that should hook your interest:
Brand exposure to millions of users
With 1.5 billion downloads, TikTok was the third most downloaded app worldwide in 2019, gaining more app store action than Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat by some way. That number of downloads equals millions of potential customers, with TikTok offering one of the largest social media audiences on the market. If you’re looking for new marketing channels, then perhaps it’s time for TikTok?
Chance to get creative
TikTok is all about fun and creating your own creative videos is an affordable way to stand out from your competitors. Unless it totally contradicts your brand image, you should think about going wild with your company’s smartphone or launch a catchy hashtag challenge. Unlike Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, TikTok allows you to think outside the advertising box, which could help your business go viral!
Reach new markets
TikTok is available in 155 countries and 75 languages, with the majority of its users based in the US, China and India. This user diversity offers the chance for your business to expand to new markets and, with such a wide range of available languages on TikTok, you can create effective ads that can resonate with almost any audience in the world.
Ads play automatically
Your adverts will play automatically in order to keep the user’s experience ticking along and, with users spending 52 minutes on TikTok per day, you’re guaranteed advert exposure. What’s more, your ads will be identified with a “sponsored” or “promoted” tag to maintain transparency with the user base.
Remember that posting too many ads can be annoying for the users. If you’re concerned about what users are saying about your adverts on social media, then you should think about using a social media listening tool to gain real-time insights into the perception of your brand online.
The cons of TikTok advertising
TikTok is flying high, there’s no doubt about that. But what goes up must come down. Here are the top TikTok cons that you should be wary of:
Startups, look away now. TikTok ads are expensive compared to Facebook and Instagram adverts. According to Voluum.com, the average cost of TikTok’s ads are as follows:
- Brand takeover (5 million impressions guaranteed) – $50,000 per day
- In-feed native videos (minimum 600 impressions prepaid) – At least $6,000 and then $10 per impression
- Hashtag challenge – $150,000 per week
- Influencer post (with 2.5 million+ followers) – $600-$1,000 per post
TikTok isn’t viable for cheap and cheerful viral campaigns. Rather, it’s a premium advertising option that demands a relatively large digital marketing budget.
Not suitable for audiences over 30 years old
TikTok is primarily used by 16-24 year olds, with the younger generation responding to the platform’s culturally relevant status – remember that TikTok is rife with social media influencers and it’s often used to create lip-syncing videos to the latest pop tracks. If your main audience is over 25, then you might struggle to connect with the TikTok audience. If your customer base is over 30, then you really shouldn’t bother.
Advert censorship is common
Owned by Chinese company, ByteDance, TikTok has been known to censor videos that could be seen to be firing up the political climate. Since then, the platform has also removed videos that were seemingly appropriate, without explanation. TikTok isn’t known for its customer service, so you are left in the dark when it comes to advert censorship – which could cost your business a significant amount of money.
TikTok: Final thoughts
Advertising on TikTok is a no-brainer if your business has a young audience. It’s the third most popular app in the world, beating its video rivals Snapchat and Instagram in the download charts.
With such huge and diverse user numbers, TikTok offers the opportunity for your business to reach new markets. However, given the lofty advertising costs, TikTok advertising is best for large businesses with equally sized budgets. What’s more, if the majority of your customers are older millennials (over 30s), then you should kick TikTok into touch.
Dan is a writer at Expert Market, a leading B2B comparison site helping businesses find the best services and solutions. He specialises in a range of tech topics like web design and digital marketing, but also has a penchant for dash cams and postage meters.