Mason Interactive’s digital marketing webinar series continued with a TikTok Advertising masterclass. Webinar hosts Chris Kelly (Emerging Media Specialist), and Adrian Padron (Director of Media) explored the true potential of TikTok as a new challenger in the digital advertising landscape. Watch the full TikTok Ads 101 webinar, or read the highlights below for TikTok best practices and expert tips.

Facebook and Google have long held a duopoly in the paid media space, with unbeatable reach and inventory that drives incredible results for advertisers through automation and machine learning. At Mason Interactive, TikTok Ads have been on our radar since its beta release, and we were privileged to onboard some of our clients early on. In mid July, TikTok Ads became available to the public. This means every business can now create, launch and monitor ads through TikTok Ads. But exactly how easy it is to navigate the platform and run successful campaigns?

Is TikTok the right platform for your business?

TikTok, one of the fastest growing social media platforms, has 84 million monthly active users in the United States. “A quarter of the entire US population actively uses TikTok. 77% of these users are Gen Z and Millennials, and for advertisers this means a huge opportunity to reach a very specific demographic that might be impossible to find on other platforms”, Chris starts the webinar. 

Advertisers cannot underestimate the importance of Gen Z and their purchasing power”, Adrian adds. “It is very important to build interest and nurture this group of future loyal customers today when they are in the early years in defining their brand preferences.“

TikTok’s engagement rate is exceptionally high, and an average user spends 80 minutes on the app every day. In total, 305 billion TikTok videos are watched every month. During its beta release, TikTok Ads had 2,000 advertisers in comparison to millions of businesses advertising on other popular platforms. There is still a great opportunity for any-size advertiser to truly stand out and join the elite pool of advertisers such as Apple, Netflix, and Walgreens before the platform is found by the masses.  

Start by building a robust strategy

Launching a successful ad campaign on TikTok requires a robust plan that starts by setting up measurable goals, and selecting the right strategies and ad formats that support your end goals. Brand takeovers and top view formats are particularly effective with awareness strategies when you want to introduce your brand and / or products to a new audience.  “We have seen the best results with upper funnel strategies, says Adrian. “However,  TikTok’s multiple ad formats cover the entire sales funnel, and there is great potential to nurture relationships and build loyalty”, he adds. 

Advertisers should think critically about their audience and how to best leverage TikTok’s robust targeting capabilities. In addition to age, gender, location, and interest clusters, TikTok offers more creative ways to reach your ideal customer such as targeting based on device price. 

The analytics on TikTok are self-serve, and advertisers have easy access to the metrics directly on the platform. It is highly recommended to use UTM codes so that the post click data can be tracked in Google Analytics. By combining the platform data with the data from Google Analytics, advertisers get a full view of the campaign performance. 

To expand the reach even further, advertisers can leverage TikTok Creator Marketplace to connect with TikTok-vetted influencers. On the platform, businesses can find the creators that are best suited for their brand, and communicate with them directly to discuss goals and agree on a price. Creator Marketplace is currently on beta only; contact us for more information on how you can get access.  

Create content that resonates with audience

When it comes to producing content, Adrian and Chris both emphasize authenticity. All of the content in TikTok is user-generated and edited in the platform itself. “If your video is highly produced and looks too polished, it will stand out as an advertisement and may have a negative impact on your end results. Shift your focus on creating mobile-first, unexpected videos that the users want to engage with”, Chris recommends. 

“TikTok’s entire purpose is to bring happiness and start conversations, and the users want to have a good time when they open the app”, Chris highlighted. 

In order to create content that speaks to the audience, advertisers must understand the platform and its tone of voice. Repurposing content from other platforms can significantly decrease engagement. Adrian asked an important question from the audience: would you use the same profile picture on LinkedIn and on Instagram? The answer is, we are more likely to choose a professional photo for LinkedIn, and something more artistic for Instagram. In the same way that individual users choose the style depending on the platform, advertisers should create platform-specific content that speaks to the users of that platform. 

Any advertiser can effortlessly, and without high production costs, create content with the easy-to-use tools in TikTok. Chris recommends filming the content on a mobile device, and then editing that content with the TikTok Ads platform that is available in the browser. 

Key takeaways from the webinar

“With a low point of entry, a selection of ad options to fit all budgets, and multiple targeting strategies, TikTok is a great opportunity to reach Gen Z”, says Adrian. “You can easily create content that has an authentic feel through TikTok’s creation tools, and save on production costs”, he continues. 

Follow this checklist when you are ready to introduce TikTok Ads to your media mix:

  1. Define your business-specific goals and KPIs, set up a TikTok pixel and ensure tracking works accurately 
  2. Consider your audience; who they are, why you want to target them and what you offer for them 
  3. Create a unique brand experience with content that resonates and sparks new connections 
  4. Start by testing with a small advertising budget, and scale when you have enough data to make informed decisions 
  5. Leverage expertise of a trusted partner that can help you along the journey  

Talk to our digital advertising experts to get started with TikTok Ads today.

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