August 13, 2019

What You Need to Know About Advertising on TikTok

Mikey Dunn

TikTok, the short-form mobile video app that’s popular among Gen Z, is rapidly growing its incredibly young user base and marketers have been waiting for the platform to offer advertising options. However, several months after the company launched a beta of its ad offering, the platform alone is still new and unclear to many marketers.

Keep reading to learn about the ad formats that are currently available on TikTok.

Biddable Ads

Most major social media networks have some type of biddable ads, usually in the form of a self-serve platform where a marketer can set up and run the ads themselves. In April 2019, TikTok launched a beta of its “managed service platform” which brought TikTok into the biddable ads space, but still required reps to run the ads. In other words, self-serve ads are not available just yet.

So what is there to know about TikTok’s current ads product? First, and most importantly, there is currently only one ad unit: the standard in-feed video ad. Given TikTok is a feed of short video clips, this format makes the most sense as the platform introduces its user base to ads in-feed. With these in-feed video ads, there are three action models: CPClick, CPM, CPView (6 seconds). For targeting, TikTok offers age, gender, and state-level geotargeting, and the company is promising interest, behavioral, more granular demo targeting over time.

There is not an official minimum spend requirement, but the company encourages marketers to make an investment large enough to show results and generate actual learnings. You can also create custom audiences, such as CRM lists, and you can whitelist or blacklist the audiences. CRM integration is not ready, however, but physical lists can be used.

More self-service options and API integration are in the works, but TikTok currently does not have solid release dates announced.

TikTok also has three other ad formats available, but all require larger budgets and placement exclusively with a rep.

Brand Takeover

This ad appears instantly when a user opens the app, bringing your message front and center. You can then drive users to an internal or external destination. However, the use of this format is limited to one advertiser per day. Food delivery service Grubhub tried this during TikTok’s testing phase to run a mobile app install ad.

Hashtag Challenge

This ad campaign heavily encourages user-generated content (UGC) by asking users to participate in a challenge, which are immensely popular on TikTok. This capitalizes on the users’ natural tendency to create and share content on the platform and has a high potential for virality. The rep partners with the brand for six days during the length of the campaign.

Branded Lenses

Similar to lenses offered by Snapchat and Instagram, TikTok’s branded lenses bring face filters, 3D objects, and augmented reality (AR) to users. This brings an incredibly deep level of user engagement.

As of June, TikTok has over 500 million monthly active users around the world and counting, with about 14.3 million U.S. adults actively using the platform. With such explosive, rapid growth, marketers cannot afford to ignore its ad products. For more information on TikTok ads, click here to visit its web page.

Tags: Best Practices, Niche Networks, Strategy

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