With TikTok, Experience Matters


Marketers often seek out shiny new objects as a way to appear young and hip.

In the case of social video app TikTok, young is exactly what marketers are getting. That said, as TikTok grows, it’s also getting older. According to data from comScore, between January and April 2020, the percentage of 25-34-year-olds on TikTok increased by 22% while the percentage of 18-24-year-olds decreased by 14%.

Research just published by data/insights company Kantar found that among consumers, TikTok is the preferred digital ad platform.

TikTok’s Marketing Elevator Pitch

For marketers, TikTok is a mobile video-powered social network enabling reaching global users with short-form videos. There are five types of video ads on TikTok (as we write this):

  • In-Feed Ads: 9-15 second video ads appearing between user videos which users see when they scroll through their For You page
  • Brand Takeover Ads: Shown to users upon opening the app as a full-screen video for the targeted audience, Brand Takeover ads also appear in the For You page as still images, GIFs, or videos. Users will only see one Brand Takeover ad per day.
  • TopView Ads: These ads appear as the first in-feed post after three seconds at the top of the For You page.
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads: These ads are user-generated, incorporating the marketer’s logo and other instructions defined in the challenge using TikTok’s editing tools and a massive song library. Users compete for views.
  • Branded Effects: These include branded and shareable stickers, AR filters, and lenses as well as custom branded effects designed by the marketer.

The Need for Speed

With TikTok, marketers need to get their message in front of users quickly. This means that calls-to-action and other critical information should also be presented in texts on screen. Furthermore, users should understand what you’re marketing within the first few seconds of the video ad.

TikTok isn’t like running a TV commercial during the Super Bowl. No one will watch for 28 seconds to get to the point of your ad. They’ll move one in a few seconds if they haven’t been engaged.

Creative Clicks Takeaways: What we’ve learned running on TikTok

The first important lesson we learned from our work with TikTok is that this platform is different.

  1. TikTok is different

Having previously run many campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and of course, Google properties including Google and YouTube, working with TikTok is different for marketers.

With the other platforms, we can run similar creative ads, slightly altered across most of the other platforms.

TikTok requires videos that are unique to the TikTok platform and users. They need to be shorter with calls-to-action appearing in text and through the video in the first few seconds.

2. Many Campaigns, Narrowly Targeted Rule

Most of the platforms are happy to run one campaign for as long as you like with as broad of a targeting audience as possible.

With TikTok, again, it’s different. TikTok recommends marketers to run many campaigns, targeted at narrow targeting audiences, ideally for 10 days. After that, the recommendation is to record new creative.

There’s a reason why TikTok has been one of the most downloaded apps of the last two years: the platform delivers younger and engaged users as few other platforms do. This makes the need for more and different ad creative video units worth the effort.

That said, before testing TikTok, make sure you’re working with a partner experienced with the platform, because with TikTok, experience matters. Experience with the other platforms really won’t help you on TikTok.

So if you’re looking for a marketing partner who can help you navigate TikTok and optimize your video ad campaign performance, reach out to Creative Clicks.

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