It’s been nearly two and a half years since TikTok became global, and that’s not a very long time for an app that already has 800 million active monthly users worldwide. The potential for advertisers is clear: With such a high reach potential, it seems like something you don’t want to miss out on. However, a closer look at the advertising options and the demographics of users may have you questioning if this is the right platform for your message.
Let’s try to make the picture a bit clearer. We’ll discuss TikTok’s advantages and disadvantages for campaigners, as well as its effectiveness as opposed to other advertising tactics. Hopefully, this will help you answer the question: Should you be advertising on TikTok?
What makes TikTok so attractive?
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that TikTok has taken the world by storm. We’re not just talking about the impressive number of downloads and active users, we’re focusing here on the massive amount of content uploaded and viewed by users daily. Since many advertisers have not yet discovered this new terrain, this could be your chance to do something big.
Another big pro lies in the demographics of users. True, almost two thirds of people on the social media network are under age 30, with two of every five users being under 24. However, even if your product or service is not oriented toward this crowd, this leaves hundreds of millions of people over 30 potentially exposed to your content (and, of course, that number is growing). Naturally, the ability to define your target audience is of great help here.
But wait, there is a downside
The fact that the demand for TikTok’s advertising services has not yet reached the levels we know on other social media platforms such as Facebook does not mean that prices are low. Quite the contrary, they are very high since in some cases TikTok limits the amount of ads the user is exposed to – thus creating lower supply as well. Keep in mind that even the smallest campaign package is at a minimum budget of $500, so if these numbers seem out of your league, it would be best to look somewhere else.
Also, TikTok advertisers are trying to blend their message in with a whole lot of other, organic video content (especially those with lower budgets, since more money can get you promoted better). This means the videos you create must be top-notch in the eyes of your target audience, and if you’re not skilled at that, you may want to get some hired help.
How are the alternatives, compared?
If you’re keen on using social media for your message, perhaps you may want to consider some alternatives. Facebook, for example, has a much larger database due to its years in the market and vaster audience. This means your targeting can be much more precise and therefore efficient. The pricing range is also more flexible. Overall our recommendation to small advertisers (budget-wise) would be to go there, at least till TikTok grows a bit more.
If you’re not looking to put all your efforts into video advertising, keyword ads may be just the solution for you. These appear on search-related websites (and no, we’re not just talking about Google. There are thousands of other options.) and are more in correlation with user intent. A lower budget ad, targeted to an audience with the right intention, sounds ideal, but don’t forget that the competition is, accordingly, tougher for the viewer’s attention.
That’s not all
If you’re still intent on TikTok, there’s a strategy you may want to consider. It’s called lead generation, or as Johnathan Greenwood from the digital marketing platfrom Crystalead explains, “instead of trying to bait your potential client to spend money on you based on an ad, try to get their curiosity to learn more. Make them leave some sort of contact information, and then push the sales on more favourable conditions.”
Lead generation has become a method for small advertisers to survive in the digital advertising environment and not to be overshadowed by big companies. “Crystalead started operating just for this reason, to let the little fish keep swimming in these seas,” Greenwood added. “Instead of putting a fortune into trying to sell where the big fish are looking for prey, take the marketing process to your home court – an email or phone call can do the trick much better than a flashy ad sometimes.”