Three Ways Marketers Can Optimize their Advertising on TikTok

Advertising on TikTok is a relatively new concept, but many recognize TikTok as the most innovative platform for ads. Why?

TikTok tells stories in ways they haven’t been told before, allowing marketers to take campaign creativity to the next level. Most importantly, any video on TikTok can go viral. Follower counts do not directly influence the content that shows up in users’ feeds, unlike other social media platforms.  

TikTok’s growing popularity is evident in the numbers: in the U.S. alone, 120 million adults use TikTok. Furthermore, a recent Kantar study revealed that the number of consumers exposed to ads on TikTok nearly doubled from 19% in 2020 to 37% in 2021. As TikTok continues this trend upwards, more marketers will be looking to maximize their brand impact on TikTok. 

Here are three ways marketers can optimize their advertising on TikTok:

1. Target a younger audience

Over 73% of TikTok users are between the ages of 18 and 34, making it the ideal platform for marketers to engage a younger audience. TikTok’s popularity with younger generations can be attributed to the fact that its content is seen as innovative and authentic. These qualities are also important for marketers to consider as they look to engage young people in their ads. After all, marketing is about meeting your customers where they are. So, if a brand’s target demographic includes consumers ages 18-34, they should be on TikTok.

For example, The Trade Desk partnered with TikTok because of its ability to reach a younger audience. As a result of the integration, brands in the Asia Pacific could access TikTok’s ad inventory in that region. The PepsiCo used TikTok’s inventory for a pilot campaign for Lay’s in Thailand, resulting in an ad with 80.6 million views and nearly 70 million impressions.

2. Create custom audiences with lookalike audience modeling

Like most social media apps, TikTok allows marketers to target their ads to a specific audience. Marketers can create segments based on interactions with their brand’s TikTok page or upload customer lists to create custom audiences. TikTok also enables marketers to specify the objective of their campaigns, whether it be to maximize brand reach, traffic, app installs, views, conversions, or sales.

To make the most of these features, marketers should utilize machine learning powered lookalike audience modeling to create custom audiences. Through lookalike audience modeling, marketers can leverage first-party data to reach consumers who share characteristics with their current customers. Without depending on a single identifier, lookalike audience modeling builds a scalable model of a brand’s ideal target audience. Most importantly, this model is both highly accurate and privacy compliant.

3. Utilize TikTok engagement tools

Taking into account how important innovation and authenticity is on TikTok, brands need to incorporate these attributes into their interactions with customers.

Fortunately, TikTok’s platform gives marketers many opportunities to connect in unique ways with their customers. For example, TikTok challenges, such as popular hashtag challenges, let brands showcase their creativity and encourage user engagement. Using the “Discover” tab on TikTok, marketers can search through trending hashtags and find challenges relevant to their company’s industry. Once marketers create their own brand challenge video, any user looking to participate in that same challenge can see that video, leading to more views and potentially more follows.

Marketers can also create their own branded hashtag challenges and create branded stickers and filters in order to utilize user-generated content.

TikTok may be a newer social media platform, but its marketing and advertising potential is endless. For marketers to break into the TikTok ad space, it is key to understand how TikTok can be used to reach a younger audience, create custom audiences, and uniquely engage with customers. Video will play a major role in the future of advertising, and it’s time for marketers to take advantage of all that TikTok has to offer.