20/02/2023

Should I advertise on TikTok? Top tips from our paid social media experts

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Want to know more about advertising with TikTok? Our paid social media experts Erik and Johan answer some of the most common questions businesses have. From how much it costs, to what companies should (and shouldn’t) use TikTok, we’ve got the answer.

What are the most common misconceptions about TikTok?

Many people think it takes less time to create content for TikTok than for other social media channels, where in fact, it usually takes longer. TikTok’s advertising platform has the slogan ‘don’t make ads, make TikToks’, which speaks volumes for how the content should ideally look.

TikTok advertising is very different. It has to make an impact and resonate with its users, so you need to actively keep track of trends to a much greater extent than on other platforms. And, while trends can emerge around content that is pretty easy to create, it’s the time and effort you spend on the platform to capture these trends that makes all the difference.

Many also have misconceptions about whether businesses even exist on TikTok. They do! Many businesses advertise and post organically on the platform.

TikTok is not just for private individuals – and certainly not just for 11-year-olds! Many users are 20–30 years old. There is content in basically everything, so it’s just up to you as a business owner to find your niche.

What do you wish everyone knew about TikTok?

If you’re going to start advertising on TikTok for your business, we highly recommend you start using it yourself to really get an understanding of how it works and the trends.

It’s not like other channels. Marketing on TikTok is about challenging yourself to do something very unique. Even though TikTok has been around for quite some time, it’s still relatively new compared to other social channels, so the best ways of advertising and creating content are still emerging.

When someone asks if they should use TikTok, what do you usually say?

Our answer is pretty much always yes, of course your business should be on TikTok, but only if the time and resources are available. Because, as we said, there’s much more to making TikTok content compared to Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

We usually say that it’s better to use a few channels, and do it wholeheartedly, than to be on all channels without any strategy, thought or continuity.

If you’re not sure whether your target audience is using TikTok, and how best to channel your brand into it, we’d recommend you start off by doing a pilot project. This means you can test your content and get a good understanding of whether your target audience is responding to the things you’re posting.
Make sure to run your pilot project for 3-6 months and then evaluate the outcome, asking questions such as: “Did we get what we wanted?” and “Did we have the resources that we needed?”.

Does anything make you hesitate in recommending TikTok?

Our caveat is always that TikTok is still somewhat unexplored ground, and its users expect high-quality content. Many companies are short on time to create and produce quality content so you need to be prepared to invest that time and the skilled resource needed. The choice to use the platform should be well grounded, not because “everyone else is there” or “this TikTok thing sounds fun”.

What kind of companies are best suited to TikTok?

TikTok is definitely a great choice for companies that want to strengthen their presence and brand with a younger target group, whether it’s to buy their products, or to make themselves more attractive to work for. That said, TikTok advertising works really well for any business that has a product or service that is commercial or easy to relate to.

Some good examples are Rituals, KitchenAid, Nike, Coca-Cola, greenhouse sellers, pet stores, grocery stores, clothing stores, and make-up companies. In other words, TikTok is a really good fit for B2C companies.

Should B2B brands use TikTok?

Based on the demographics alone, TikTok might not seem like the smartest choice for B2B marketing. But, if you think about it, both B2C and B2B buyers fundamentally want the same thing out of brand interactions on social. B2B buyers are real, live humans like everyone else. While TikTok might be easier for B2C companies, the fact that it’s not so widely used by B2B companies means that it can be an open playing field.

If you’re a B2B brand, it might be worth testing your presence on TikTok. There could be a gap for you to fill and competitive advantages to be had. TikTok may be more about personal interests, rather than a strictly professional platform but, ultimately, businesses are made up of people. In the end, it’s all about rousing interest, building a relationship and, of course, keeping your brand “Top of Mind”.

Is it expensive to advertise on TikTok?

No. On the contrary, it’s rather a cost-effective platform. But the cost must always be set against any income from advertising.

A common model for advertising costs on TikTok is CPM, which stands for “cost per mille”, which means the cost per 1,000 impressions of the ad. Compared to other social media, TikTok’s CPM is the lowest, by a good margin.

For example, TikTok ads start at $10 per CPM (cost per 1,000 views), but they do require you to spend a minimum of $500 on a campaign.

The cost of a successful ad campaign on TikTok varies. Partly according to what you are optimizing your campaigns for, and partly according to how many others are advertising to your target group. Just like on other social media.

If it’s proving tricky to get buy-in for TikTok, what do you do?

Here are some arguments we would use in that situation:

  • TikTok creates attention and brand awareness. Short videos with content that feels natural are appreciated here. You then build relationships with customers that feel genuine, which ultimately contributes to increased sales.
  • TikTok will breathe new life into the company’s social media. All those trends that appear almost every day, give you new inspiration and reach for all your social media channels, which can increase the results from all channels in the long term.
  • If your target audience is on TikTok – then your brand should be there too. If one of your target audiences is there, go for it! Show that your company understands the target group and wants to build relationships with them. That way, you get a competitive advantage over competitors who don’t do as good a job.
  • Advertising on TikTok is more cost-effective than other established social media. But hurry up while this is still the case, and take your place as a leader on TikTok – before a competitor does.

How do you manage a company’s enthusiasm about TikTok if it’s a bad idea?

TikTok is really only a good idea if all these criteria are met:

  • The company’s target group uses the platform.
  • There is a clear purpose for the presence.
  • Sufficient resources are available to carry out the investment in an effective way.

If you have any doubts about TikTok as a channel for your brand, do a simple analysis to see if your doubts are justified. Also, review the performance of your current channels. Is it necessary to be on a new channel or do the channels you currently use do the job well?

How do you deal with the fact that TikTok is so trend-based, making content planning more difficult?

While all social media channel planning needs to have the flexibility to react quickly to news and trends, TikTok needs to be that much more flexible as new trends can appear literally overnight. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use a long-term strategy, however. Just as with other channels, you can create a bank of content that isn’t time-sensitive. Think about the features in your product that you always want to promote. Or maybe your brand stands for something bigger that could be addressed? Talk about all the stuff that isn’t a trend. In short, it’s best to have a mix of short-term and long-term content planning, to be reviewed on a daily basis.

And remember, TikTok gives you a lot of free advice, inspiration and great tools to stay up to date. For example, you can see current high-performing ads on TikTok here.

So don’t be put off TikTok, it has so much to offer and could turn out to be the perfect place for you! We wish you all the best of luck.

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