While social media marketing is a no-brainer for most businesses, it’s a bit more complicated than it seems. With new platforms emerging every few years, companies need to keep an eye on what social media mediums their ideal customers are using.
Initially, TikTok wasn’t always seen as a platform for traditional advertising and e-commerce. As more people continue to embrace TikTok by record numbers, however, it’s become a platform that marketers need to take seriously. Let’s take a look at why TikTok is so important, and how you can excel on the platform by using TikTok Ads Manager.
TikTok is definitely the new kid on the block, but it just might be the most important. Why? Because of its meteoric growth. TikTok grew by nearly 60 percent in 2020, and then another 40 percent in 2021, making it the third-largest social media platform in the world.
It’s not just teenagers using TikTok, either. In fact, 75 percent of TikTok’s user base is over 20 years old, with a third of users aged 40 years or older. In other words, you’re marketing to both impressionable teenagers *and* adults with actual buying power. There’s a world of potential here.
Tiktok.com screenshot taken February 2022
Unlike most social media platforms, TikTok is less about a user’s connections than it is about the accounts they don’t follow. That’s because TikTok revolves around the For You Page (FYP), which hosts an endless stream of videos that TikTok’s algorithm believes the user might like. All the TikTok trends you’ve heard about are propagated here and driven to the masses.
The same is true of advertisements. If people can’t stop scrolling through their For You Page, then they’re bound to encounter a healthy dose of ads along the way. Those ads could be yours. But to display your ads to your desired audience, you’ll need TikTok Ads Manager.
TikTok Ads Manager
If you know how to set up an ad on Facebook or Instagram, you can get your way through creating an ad on TikTok. And in many ways, TikTok mirrors the options on those sites. However, there are some neat features that are available on TikTok Ads Manager that can’t be found on any other social media platform.
As is the case with most other platforms, TikTok marketing begins with creating an account, setting an ad budget and identifying your desired audience. What’s good about TikTok Ads Manager, though, is that you can use a Lookalike Audience, which replicates the customer specifications of another brand on the platform.
ads.Tiktok.com screenshot taken February 2022
This is a helpful option if you’re just getting started and are wary of getting inundated with the particulars of your customer base. But if you’d like to only market to an exact subset of TikTok users, you can customize your desired audience to anything your heart desires.
The ad bidding system on TikTok Ads Manager is similar to other paid advertising mediums. TikTok allows you to not only set a daily or lifetime budget, but you can also specify a bidding strategy. You can choose Bid Cap (a max bid, essentially), Cost Cap (an average bid) or Lowest Cost (attempting to get the most ads at the lowest possible cost).
Naturally, TikTok recommends not using the Lowest Cost option — they are trying to maximize their ad revenues, after all — but ultimately the success of your bid will come down to your daily budget, the value of your desired customer and the strength of your bid.
Types of Ads
For an app that some have dismissed as too kid-centric, TikTok has a surprisingly robust selection of ad options available for marketers. No matter what your goals are, TikTok can help you to get the word out to your target market.
Before you even create an ad, TikTok Ads Manager lets you pick an ad objective. Your choice here dictates what type of ad you’ll create and how your ad will be deployed.
Among the ad objectives available are conversion ads (aimed directly at converting new customers), lead generation (a form prompts users to enter their information, which then goes directly to you), app installs (links directly to the app store on the user’s phone), reach (an awareness-based ad) and several others. You might use one, two or all of these ad types as you discover what entices your target audience to take action.
Once you know your ad objective, you can then focus on how users will see your ad. The most common place for an ad to appear is within the user’s For You Page, appearing as native content in the viewer’s feed.
You can also place ads on TikTok’s other apps, such as BuzzVideo and NewRepublic; ads will appear in the news feeds of users of those apps. To really make a big impression, you can have your ad appear as a splash screen when the user opens up TikTok.
Ads that appear within the For You Page will most likely have the widest reach for your demographic, appear to be more organic than the other ad types, and are cost-effective, so these ads are your best bet. If you aren’t sure where to go, you can ask TikTok to automatically place your ad wherever the platform thinks it’ll best perform.
Making Your TikTok Ad
Understanding the options available on TikTok Ad Manager only gets you so far. It’s time to create a quality ad that intrigues users enough to click through to your desired target.
Does this mean you need to be up on all the latest TikTok dances? Thankfully, no. If anything, appearing overly eager to be youthful will only alienate the very audience you’re attempting to appeal to. But it doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun, and TikTok encourages you to do just that.
One way you can have fun, in a way that’s completely unique to TikTok is through Spark Ads. Spark Ads are promotional efforts that solicit and promote user-generated content, which then goes out to the feeds of those creating the content. Going this route requires working with others and getting permissions, but it can be a great way to build a buzz around your brand.
If the established types of TikTok ads don’t sound appealing to you, or if you’re simply afraid of coming across as the “How do you do, fellow kids?” meme, TikTok has got you covered. Simply let the platform pick the best of your images and videos, and TikTok will take care of the rest. In fact, TikTok recommends that new advertisers take advantage of this option, and unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s a great place to start.
Given its burgeoning popularity, its youthful demographic and the plethora of advertising options, TikTok can be quite intimidating at first. But just like its loyal following, TikTok will have you converted into a satisfied user before long. If you’d like to learn more about how TikTok and TikTok Ads Manager can help you achieve your advertising goals, contact us at Commit Agency today.