Let’s set the record straight. TikTok is more than just a fun social media platform full of comical dances and memes. With over 1 billion video views every day and a strong 689 million monthly user base, TikTok has well and truly changed the way we communicate – especially when it comes to our customer base.
If TikTok has not made its way into your marketing strategy by now, we have to ask, why not? The success this app is bringing to businesses is unparalleled, thanks largely to community engagement and outside-of-the-box thinking.
Let’s run through a few success stories just to give you a bit of background.
In 2019, when Paramount Pictures were promoting the film Gemini Man, Will Smith hopped onto TikTok to promote the film using the hashtag #geminimanchallenge. TikTok users would create videos facing off with themselves, much like the film, and in doing so would gain entry into winning 1 of 25 pairs of free tickets to see the upcoming film. In just 2 weeks into this promotion, the challenge saw over 4K people create videos and they garnered over 100 million views – in just 2 weeks!
Samsung is another example that instead focuses more on community engagement and steps away from using giveaways as a driving factor. To assist the launch of their Galaxy A smartphones, they created the #GalaxyA campaign. It allowed Samsung to increase user-generated content while allowing community members to advertise the phone’s new features on Samsung’s behalf. The hashtag now has over 1.4 billion tags and has received tons of engagement all over the world.
And our final example is the #InMyDenim challenge by Guess. High-end fashion label Guess partnered with TikTok to create a millennial ad Generation Z targeted campaign during 2018. Every time users opened the app, they were then directed to the #InMyDenim challenge automatically urging users to post videos with the selected hashtag.
This promotion marked the first hashtag promotion on TikTok in the United States, although unlike the Gemini Man or GalaxyA campaigns, there were no giveaways or products being promoted. Instead, Guess simply utilized this campaign as a way to spread brand awareness and boost the company’s image, and has generated more than 53 million video views.
As you can see there’s an advertising style suited for every business on TikTok. And we’re going to run you through the 5 styles to choose from to help you determine which one is right for your business.
Very similar to Instagram Story ads, In-Feed Ads are campaign videos that appear between user videos as you scroll through the For You page. These ads can be as short as 9 seconds but have a maximum length of just 15, with the ability to include a ‘call to action’. This encourages users to either shop now, download your app or visit your website straight from the TikTok ad campaign.
2) Brand Takeover Ads
Brand Takeover pops up on users’ screens as soon as they open the TikTok app. They are full-screen videos presented to your chosen target audience. This is a great way to deliver your ad to a mass audience, creating brand awareness on a large scale. They can also appear on the For You page as a GIF, video, or image, with a direct link to your brand's TikTok landing page.
3) TopView Ads
A TopView ad is a similar marketing option to a Brand Takeover ad. The key difference? TopView ads don’t show up on users’ screens as soon as they open the app. Instead, they are featured in the first in-feed posts after three seconds. This ad can be up to 60 seconds long (instead of the capped 15 seconds), can appear in full-screen mode, features autoplay, and uses sound.
4) Branded Hashtag Ads
As we’ve already alluded to, the Branded Hashtag ad, or challenge, is an awesome advertising campaign and opportunity to showcase your business. TikTok’s Discovery page is where you will find all of these hashtag challenges – and users frequently view this section as an easy way to see what’s trending and create more popularised content.
Businesses can also sponsor these posts, much like Guess, or try to capitalise on organic growth. It’s important to identify a clear objective and have a vision in mind if using this style. And it pays to think outside the box here – as evident with the Gemini Man challenge.
5) Branded Effect Ads
After exploding onto the scene, thanks largely to Pokémon Go’s raving success since 2016, AR filters are another dimension allowing companies to promote their brand. You may have seen these on Snapchat or Instagram as branded lenses, however, TikTok has now allowed brands to create their unique custom filter within the app. The effect can be live for up to ten days and is a great way to interact with users, creating brand awareness.
Now that you know the 5 advertising styles to choose from, let’s look at the costs involved.
TikTok Ad Costs
It’s hard not to compare other social media platforms against TikTok to determine the return on investment. For example, when we look at Facebook their costs per 1000 impressions is approximately $7.19 USD and Instagram is $7.91 USD. Compare that to TikTok and it’ll cost your business $10 USD per 1000 impressions (including views) for In-Feed Ads with a minimum spend of $500 per campaign.
So immediately you need to consider that due to TikTok’s success and high engagement levels, it does come with higher costs to advertise on.
Brand Takeover Ads = Can range anywhere between $50,000 - $100,000 USD
TopView Ads = This one is dependent on how many impressions an ad generates. For example, for 7.4 million impressions, advertisers must fork out $65,000 per day.
Branded Hashtags = Hashtag challenge campaigns are approximately $150,000 USD for a six day promotion, with an additional $100,000 - $200,000 USD to further promote.
Branded Effects = Largely used by film companies, think Marvel, this option will set you back approximately $45,000 and will last for 30 days.
If you’ve got a large advertising budget, this is the app for your ads! Thanks largely to the proven success, high engagement levels, and huge reliance on organic growth, TikTok doesn’t appear to be relaxing on their costs any time soon. We recommend starting small and trialing In-Feed Ads before investing more money to see if the app is right for your brand.
Capitalising on Trends
Staying up-to-date with current trends can make or break your brand’s chances at going viral. What’s popular today might not be the case tomorrow, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a trend yourself.
Cast your mind back to February 2019, when a little-known country song was beginning to make waves on TikTok and millions of people were donning cowboy hats and began line dancing across their living rooms. We are of course talking about the now mega-hit Old Town Road by Lil Nas X.
By April, TikTok was taken over by a very specific meme. Short videos of people sipping E-Juice, finding out it was #YeeYeeJuice, and magically transforming into old west outfits filled the feeds. And behind every transformation, a short snippet of Old Town Road by Lil Nas X played. And rather than petering out after a few months it actually gained further momentum when country legend Billy Ray Cyrus joined Lil Nas X to perform the song’s first remix. This rendition inevitably spent 17 consecutive weeks at number 1 on the Billboard charts and has since been streamed 1.2 billion times on Spotify.
Now let’s bring it forward all the way to 2021, where another surprising trend is making some serious waves amongst major conglomerates all over the world.
Emily Zugay was a little-known graphic designer who one day decided to take to TikTok to satirically redesign world-renown company logos into an MS Paint rendition. And the result? Well, in what started as a bit of satire and for social media clout, Emily’s McDonald's rendition alone has resulted in it becoming McDonald’s most-liked Facebook profile picture ever - quickly amassing 104,000 likes and 25,000 shares!
This major traction has continued with some of the worlds biggest brands such as Adobe, GUESS, Amtrak, Carolina Panthers, NASCAR, Tampax, Tinder, Detroit Lions, Ocean Spray, Ryanair, Chubbies, NFL, Doritos, Amazon Prime, Fortnite, MLB, Beyond Meat and countless more all reaching out for an Emily Zugay original!
And Emily’s TikTok has exploded in popularity with 1.7 million loyal followers and a staggeringly high viewer count, with just one of her logo videos amassing over 27 million views!
Today’s trends are ever-changing and it’s up to you to keep track of what's gaining momentum and strike when the iron’s hot. For a little bit of a head start these are the top 3 trending genres to look out for.
As evident from Lil Nas X’s success, memes are the easiest way to go viral. They’re extremely popular among millennials and Gen Z’s, who make up a large bulk of the user base on TikTok, are typically centered around humour, and offer great visual capabilities.
Think of user-generated content as candid reviews or customer testimonials in the form of a short, snappy video. It’s a great marketing tactic for businesses that don’t have a large budget and can convert up to 5 times more than brand-sponsored posts. The best part is that you're relying on actual people and current customers, who already love your product, to create a video on their own accord and post it to TikTok for free. You can then re-purpose these customer review videos and post them (with the creator’s permission).
This is the perfect option for direct engagement with your customers. It allows brands to spend beyond traditional advertising and position themselves in any way they like. Brands can showcase their products or services in a way that truly feels organic, while letting their followers participate. The benefits? A brand can build a stronger connection with its customer base, increase brand loyalty and excel in lead generation. The downside? Not as effective at going viral. Requires followers to record and engage, as opposed to passively like, follow and share.
Our Final TikTok Tips
The importance and success TikTok has on a marketing strategy cannot be ignored any longer. With an average time spent of 13.3 hours a month on TikTok, across their entire user base, 689 million monthly users, 1 billion views a day, and a huge engagement percentage of 11.83% - TikTok is king when it comes to social media marketing.
If you’re an avid content creator ready to step up their TikTok game or looking to use TikTok as an advertising platform for your business, check out these tips from Like Mind Media to have the best possible start:
- The video must always be vertical. This way you are using the whole screen.
- Keep it short and snappy. You want your audience to watch the entire video.
- Be you, don’t try to make your video aesthetically perfect. If you do, well, go back to Instagram.
- Have a strong hook at the start of the video. Intrigue your audience.
- Make sure the caption is short and relevant. We aren’t after a storytime.
- Don’t be afraid to use new features. That’s why TikTok made them.
- Find and use relevant hashtags. Or risk reaching the wrong audience.
- Think outside the box. Because boxes can be boring.
- Keep text in images away from the bottom and right-hand side of your video, this is where the comments, likes, follow, etc are displayed.
- Use captions if and when required - a lot of people watch videos on silent
- And most importantly, have fun!
Without a proper hook, call-to-action, and, most importantly, quality production, not every TikTok marketing campaign is destined for success. With video marketing there comes a certain level of quality expected by its viewers. Let’s face it, if you saw an ad for McDonald's, Gucci, Coca Cola or Apple while scrolling your feed, you expect a high-quality production wouldn’t you? And if it wasn’t, would your perception of that brand change? We’re going to hazard a guess and say yes.
Enter Visual Domain, your partners in production. We help bring your vision to life with our team of industry experts. Video production is our forte and we strive to produce nothing but the highest quality possible. We’re ready to captivate your customers and help your business create an amazing marketing video, that could be the next global sensation!
Take the leap today and invest in the best with Visual Domain. For more information on how we can help you enhance your video production game, get in touch with us today.