The TikTok dilemma- to use or avoid?

One of world’s most controversial technology platforms at present is TikTok.

TikTok is Australia’s fastest growing social media platform. It allows its users to create and share short videos and it has provided a unique advertising experience focused on user generated content and partnerships between brands and content creators.

Since it was released in 2016, 34.4% of Australians aged 18 and over have joined the platform, with a massive 6.7% growth last quarter. Globally, TikTok has over 1 billion active users and importantly, 92% of users take action after watching a TikTok video.

In comparison to other social media platforms, TikTok users say they are 1.5 times more likely to immediately go out and buy something they saw on the platform.

So what makes TikTok advertising so effective?

The success of advertising campaigns on TikTok comes from the unique marketing tools that the platform has developed, tailored for small and large businesses, as well as agencies. These marketing tools utilise the current culture of the platform to engage users and promote them to take action after seeing the ad.

In recent years, TikTok has consistently been ranked No. 1 globally for ad equity, and according to data analytics and brand consulting group Kantar, brand-building campaigns are 7 times more impactful on platforms with high ad equity.

If you are looking to boost a small business, TikTok offers a range of options that can get you results with a small budget. Firstly, you can switch your TikTok account to a business account, enabling you to access statistics on your performance, insights about your audience and creative tools to grow your business. TikTok also offers tools such as Spark Ads, which enable you to create ads from your own organic content, as well as the option to boost organic content in users’ feeds.

TikTok’s marketing tools for large businesses are where TikTok advertising starts to get unique. TikTok utilises the power of user interaction to create an advertising experience that is unlike any other. The Branded Hashtag Challenge is one marketing tool that has been proven to drive audience engagement and produce results for ad campaigns by encouraging users to perform a challenge or recreate a video and post it with your branded hashtag.

The median engagement rate for TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenges is a massive 17.5%, compared to <1.0% for similar campaigns on other platforms. You can also source ad creatives to collaborate with on your TikTok videos to build your audience through the TikTok Creative Exchange and the TikTok Shopping feature allows you to create a shopping experience for your customers within the TikTok app.

Agencies also have access to a range of advertising features that help them to boost the results of their clients’ ad campaigns. One of the most effective tools for agencies is the TopView tool in which a client’s ad will be the first thing users see when they open the app. According to TikTok, 71% of users have said that TopView ads successfully capture their attention. Another valuable feature for agencies to utilise for their clients is the Brand Lift Study. A Brand Lift Study allows you to gain an understanding of how your audience reacts to your ads through a survey of users that see the ads.

Importantly for omnichannel marketing, TikTok released its own tracking code earlier this year to enable ads to be served to website visitors in a similar way to the Facebook pixel.

TikTok has enormous marketing potential for businesses of all sizes but many people are asking whether they should use it in the current market when governments around the world are nervous about the leakage of information to the Chinese government. In our opinion, if you are a government department, you may be justified in banning the usage of the TikTok app by your employees but for most people, there is probably little risk. You need to decide whether to use TikTok based on your personal services but you may want to consider the fact that Meta has hardly been ethical in the protection of user data. There are risks with all social platforms that have to be weighed up against potential gains. The potential gains from TikTok advertising could be worth the risk.

If you’d like to explore a TikTok strategy for your business, give us a call to arrange a consultation.