MNI Blog  /  3 minute read

How to Advertise Effectively on TikTok

No one can deny the power of TikTok, especially for Gen Zers. Learn how to advertise effectively for your younger audiences using TikTok’s different ad types.

By Kathryn Butera

Senior Digital Ad Ops Coordinator

TikTok has rapidly become one of the most popular digital platforms by hosting video feeds that match the interests of users. The majority of those on TikTok, 63.5%, are age 29 and younger. These users are creating and sharing short videos that will appear on the feeds of relevant audiences.  The exciting videos engage Generation Z in a new way, causing the app to gain 738 million new users in 2019. TikTok offers brands a unique opportunity to advertise to this younger demographic.

Which TikTok Ad Type is Right for Your Brand?

TikTok advertising provides opportunities to connect with users in multiple executions. Let’s go over the different ad types that TikTok offers:

  • Brand takeovers are full-screen ads that pop up when users first open the app. The animated videos, GIFs, and images link directly to a landing page or a hashtag challenge. Each category on the platform can be taken over by only one brand per day.
  • In-Feed Native Video ads while scrolling through the feed. These are often 10 or 15 seconds in length and include a CTA to encourage users to click through to the website, make a purchase, or engage with a challenge. Experian recently launched an ad that illustrates a playful text conversation between friends about how to improve their credit score, while Apple Music shared a video with eye-catching animations and limited text to draw in users. Brands can create ads that connect to a TikTok Challenge, which is a cost-effective and easy way to integrate a product or service into viral content. 
  • TikTok Hashtag Challenges can be utilized by engaging with existing trends of either lip-sync or dance videos. A hashtag connects both original and brand-related content with the full feed. This ad unit is successful due to the viral potential and high likelihood that users will engage, comment, and share their own original content using the hashtag. Cinnamon Toast crunch recently used this method with their #CTCCinnamilk hashtag that invited users to share a video of themselves enjoying the milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl. This ad was featured on Zach King’s account, which also utilizes another popular TikTok advertising method: Influencer Marketing.

Influencer Marketing on TikTok - Finding a Match for Your Advertising Campaign

Influencer Marketing is an effective way to reach a younger audience that already follows a specific user. Marketers should ensure the non-ad content on an influencer’s page is a good fit for the brand before partnering to create new content. It is important to find an influencer whose following closely matches the intended audience and does not post ads too frequently, as the feed will become oversaturated with infomercial posts. Chipotle recently collaborated with influencer Avani to create a unique video that maximized exposure of their product offerings. The video included Avani ordering Chipotle on the app and beginning to put on makeup, when the food quickly arrives at her door. She playfully shows the food, lifts her hands, and lowers them to reveal dramatic eyeshadow and makeup, with the caption “Well that @chipotle came quick #tiktoktimeout #ad”. This ad type is a great fit for brands looking to engage further with their audience and encourage comments and shares.

Reach Generation Z Using TikTok Advertising

TikTok’s appeal undoubtedly comes from the short videos that are often hilarious, light, and exciting to view, creating a place to go for bite-sized content. Unique and evolving trends make the platform a great place for brands to post creative ads. Additionally, TikTok is able to reach millions of younger audiences.

TikTok and Tulsa

If you’re looking for proof of TikTok’s influence, look no further than Tulsa, Oklahoma. After weeks of touting the projected size of the crowd—22,000 people inside the BOK Center and 40,000 in the convention all next door—President Trump and his administration were caught off guard when only 6,200 people showed up for the rally. Why the surprise? Because ticket sales leading up to the event had been vigorous—over one million people reserved a spot in Tulsa to support the president.

So, what happened? The White House blames coronavirus, protesters, and the media for the abysmal turnout. But TikTok has another explanation. In the days leading up to the event, there was a coordinated effort underway on the platform, encouraging people to register online for the event and then, of course, not show up (tickets were free). And it wasn’t just teens and Gen Z trolling the president. Fifty-one-year-old Mary Jo Laupp, a grandmother from Fort Dodge, Iowa, was instrumental in getting people to register for tickets to the rally with the idea of not showing up. Upset that Trump initially planned to hold the rally in Tulsa on Junteenth, she even called on the socially active fans of South Korean pop music—K-Pop— to register for tickets. And no amount of spin by campaign manager Brad Parscale can close the gap between the one million people who registered and the 6,200 who showed up.

TikTok offers a valuable opportunity to reach Generation Z in a new way. See this white paper for additional information regarding marketing to this demographic.

Successful ad campaigns start here.