Jessie Donlon
Posted by Jessie DonlonAugust 25, 2022 6:00 AM

It’s no secret that influencers and brands alike are trying to crack the code to TikTok success… So what does it actually take? When you start diving in, it can feel overwhelming, to say the least. But don't worry, we've been where you are and are here to share everything we've learned about this platform and its advertising intricacies with you! 

TikTok Advertising: What We've Learned 

Determine Your Level Of Commitment 

First and foremost, it's important to decide what level of investment you're capable of making financially as well as physically to TikTok. To remain relevant and be successful on this platform, it's crucial for you to be able to hop on any trending sounds and videos to create organic content that will resonate with your audience. In fact, TikTok recommends that you post between 1-4 times per day in order for your content to be distributed correctly. Honestly, it may require an extra team member or at least a team member who can dedicate a large sum of time to this platform.

But don't panic! TikTok is not for everyone and it's certainly not for every brand. At least for now, we still aren't recommending that brands drop everything and fully commit to sharing content on this platform. However, should you be curious about TikTok or maybe have received pressure from your leadership team or colleagues to be on this platform, understanding TikTok advertising is a great way to dive in without having to fully invest your time and resources. So, if this sounds like something you're interested in... keep reading!  


Determine How You Want To Show Up On TikTok

Now that you’ve decided you're interested in moving forward with TikTok Advertising, you have a couple of options:

  • Advertising only: If you go this direction, your videos will live in the “ad universe” and you'll have no account/profile on TikTok. This is definitely the less involved, simpler option from a management perspective as you aren't having to create relevant content to live on your page. The downside, however, is that if people start to talk about your brand on the platform or see an ad and are looking to interact with you, there is no account for them to visit.
  • Create your own account and profile: If you go this route, your advertisements will be connected to your profile. If someone wants to see your profile, tag you in a video, send you a message, etc. they have a place to do this! The downside with this plan is that it is necessary to have content on your profile. Instead of worrying about creating and posting four videos per day, just share a couple of times per month so that you consistently have new content available with your main focus on advertisements. An added plus is that if you're already sharing videos to Reels, this is an easy transition as you can share those videos to TikTok as well. 

Creating a TikTok Business account is simple - just follow the link and create your account. Once your account is created, you will have the ability to choose the name that shows up with your ad. Think of this as the Facebook Business Manager of TikTok. Once you create this, then you can work on creating your ads for the brand itself. 


Determine The Types Of Ads You Want To Create   

  • In-Feed Ads - These types of ads appear as a user is scrolling through their “For You Page” (FYP). Videos can be as long as 60 seconds, however, 9-15 second videos are said to be the ideal time frame. These types of ads are great for linking out to a landing page and directing traffic somewhere other than TikTok. 
  • Spark Ads - These are TikTok's version of boosted posts. This allows you to advertise videos that have already been shared on your account. TikTok users can view and interact with your posts in the same way they do In-Feed Ads, however, the ad will link back to your TikTok page and any comments, likes, or shares will be attributed to your native post. 
  • TopView Ads - This type of TikTok video is the first thing that comes up as a user opens their TikTok app. Videos can be up to 60 seconds long and “take over” your screen. While these ads don’t necessarily feel organic, they certainly make an impact, in fact, 71% of TikTok users say that top view ads grab their attention. 
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads - Trending hashtag challenges are featured at the top of the discovery page, and advertised hashtags challenges will appear in your TikTok feed to click the link and join in on the hashtag. The goal of these challenges is to spark trends and participation through challenges posed to the TikTok community. These ads encourage user-generated content and typically result in higher engagement. They have a median engagement rate of 17.5%, while others typically have a 3-9% engagement rate.
    • If you decide to go this route, we highly recommend you do it right! Invest in TikTok influencers to participate and do the challenge with you to really kick things off. 
  • Branded Effect Ads - Lastly, TikTok allows you to create a fun visual experience by creating branded effects like stickers, filters, and other special effects. This is another route that if done correctly, can spark a ton of user-generated content, but may not be the most seamless fit for food brands.

Make TikToks, Not Ads

The last, and arguably most important thing we have learned from TikTok advertising is to make TikToks, not ads. You have probably heard it before, but with a platform so different from all of the others, it only makes sense that our advertising tactics would be unique as well.

When creating ads, no matter the type, use your creativity! Lean into the fun and informal nature of TikTok videos and allow that to help get your message across.

Here are some examples of food brands doing a great job on TikTok: 

Now that you have the know-how and understanding of what it takes to jump into TikTok and do it right, it’s time to see what TikTok advertising can do for your brand! If you would like to discuss if TikTok and TikTok advertising is right for you or see how it can be implemented into your strategic social media plan, contact us to set up a discovery call!

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Topics: Social Media, Featured Social Media, Social Media Services, 2022