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Should you be using TikTok for your business?

Updated: May 25, 2020

Feelings about the app TikTok may be very mixed, but no matter how you personally feel about it, you’ve definitely heard of it. TikTok was released in 2016 and is a video social media platform where users share and view videos of up to 60-second in length. These videos range widely from dances, skits, lip-syncing, comedy, challenges, sharing skills like art and music to branded content.

Currently, TikTok is almost up there with Instagram when it comes to numbers. It has over 800 million active users per day, which is just under Instagram’s 1 billion. Although Instagram and TikTok do share similarities, they are also completely opposite to one another in some ways. While Instagram boasts polished and aesthetic content, TikTok is more about raw and authentic content. Another way the app greatly differs is the usage of feeds. Instagram has your regular feed that is just content of people you follow, and the explore page which is suggested content according to its algorithm of what they think you’d be interested in. TikTok however immediately opens to their equivalent of the explore page, the ‘for you’ page, which combines content that they think you will like, with that of who you follow. Within the app you also have a ‘following’ tab so you can exclusively view content from accounts that you follow. Users spend majority of their time on the ‘for you’ page, which is what makes this platform so powerful - you don’t need a mass following in order to get a large audience. While simply attempting to go organically viral is all well and good, TikTok does have different types of targeting advertising available where you can target gender, location, age, interest and other unique variables. Here are all the forms of sponsored advertising available through the app.

Brand takeovers mean you can have an ad played immediately once someone opens the app. This add will be a video, gif or static image and can include a clickable link to drive traffic. Users also must watch a few seconds before they can skip and move onto other content. These ads are quite exclusive as only one ad per day per user will be displayed. Given the number of users, this is a powerful tool. However, because it is such an exclusive slot, it’s also very expensive (roughly $50,000 USD per day with a minimum of 5 million impressions).

Native or ‘in-feed’ ads are slightly less invasive than brand takeovers, and slightly more affordable. These are 9 to 15-second videos that seamlessly play within the feed that are immediately skippable. They can also contain calls to action with website and download links. Although more affordable and accessible than brand takeovers, they are still $10 USD per impression, with a minimum of 600 impressions pre-paid (minimum spend of $600USD)

Sponsored hashtag challenges allow for both sponsored and organic opportunities, and are a fun way for brands to collaborate and seamlessly integrate with the TikTok community. Brands can create a trend or contest associated with a hashtag that will have it’s own landing page with the brand logo, link to website, brief description of challenge - plus popular videos that have used that hashtag. They can also have links that mean you can shop for products within the app itself. This is another expensive method of advertising and will cost you around $150,00 for just one week.

As a brand, you can create your own branded filter or lens to help increase brand awareness.

With these lenses, users can interact with the brand while simultaneously promoting it. These lenses can also help user experience your products.

These filters are often best paired with hashtag challengers or sponsored influencer content to get the filter well know and used.

Much like Instagram, you can pay influencers to promote your product. The price for this varies from person to person and how much sponsored content you would like. More famous influencers will be more expensive but will have a much larger reach. When micro-influencers will be cheaper, have a smaller reach but a more niche demographic which can be super helpful for more targeted ads.

As a smaller Perth based company that doesn’t have thousands and thousands of dollars to splash on paid advertising, is TikTok even worth your time? The short answer is yes. While these paid advertising tools are powerful and very effective for large brands, because of TikTok’s unique algorithm and heavy traffic on the ‘for you’ page, it means you can get content to organically reach large audiences.

How exactly the algorithm works isn’t known exactly, but it definitely takes location into account. So when you’re in Perth, you will see a lot more Perth based content than you would should you be somewhere else.

  • So here are some ways to organically get your content out there:

  • Be as authentic as possible

  • Use hashtags (only a few and make them generic to help classify your content)

  • Use trending audio and participate in trends when possible

  • Make your content engaging

Any platform to help get your name and brand out there will help in the long run. Even if you don’t directly get leads from it, you are helping to create brand awareness, familiarity and trust.

TikTok content can also be reposted to other platforms like Facebook and Instagram – so it is multi-use! It can also drive traffic to your other platforms.

TikTok has the tick of approval from us – what are your thoughts?

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