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TikTok Advertising: Pros and Cons to Consider

Evelyn Ritzi
Communications Specialist
Evelyn Ritzi
BY: Evelyn Ritzi ON September 16, 2020

You’ve heard it time and time again: “Be where your customers are.” It’s one of the core tenants of any successful marketing strategy. 

So, it’s no surprise that many marketers are eyeing the surging growth of TikTok, which now boasts over 800 million monthly users worldwide. It seems like TikTok is the place to be for advertisers, especially those who want to target young consumers.

Is TikTok advertising right for your brand? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of TikTok’s advertising opportunities: 

Pro: Reach younger demographics

Gen Z is an up-and-coming consumer segment with an expected buying power of $142 billion in the U.S. Marketers need to pay attention to their unique beliefs and behaviors, especially online. While Gen Zers are digital natives, they value their privacy. Many young people are moving away from old-school social networks like Facebook to new platforms that embrace self-expression and anonymity, namely TikTok.  

Currently, 62% of TikTok users are under the age of 30. If Gen Zers (and younger Millennials) are your target audience, advertising on TikTok could be a promising strategy. 

Con: Broad targeting 

Despite all the criticism over TikTok’s data collection, the platform’s targeting features for self-serve advertisers are surprisingly limited compared to more mature ad platforms like Facebook. Casting a wide net hinders an advertiser’s ability to reach a defined target market, and may not produce desired results. However, since TikTok’s self-serve ad platform is still new, it’s possible more narrow targeting options will be added in the future. 

Pro: Low barrier of entry for smaller advertisers 

Until recently, TikTok only allowed large brands to advertise on the app through private deals. But when companies started boycotting Facebook in July, TikTok created a self-serve ad platform for their app that looked strikingly similar to Facebook’s ad management interface. This shift allowed smaller advertisers to come on board and start experimenting with the platform. 

Currently, TikTok sets a minimum budget of $500 at the campaign level and $50 at the ad group level. And, for a limited time, TikTok is offering eligible small businesses a $300 ad credit to help them reach customers during COVID-19. 

Con: Low Ad Engagement

Another critical issue to consider when choosing an ad platform is understanding how users actually behave on the platform. 

While TikTok provides unique content, the ad experience mirrors Snapchat or Facebook stories. These platforms offer a seemingly endless stream of content, so users don’t usually click on links to exit the platform. If people do click through to a website, engagement is typically low. So, if your goal is to get a direct response to your ad and drive traffic to a landing page, neither of these spaces is necessarily the best option.

Final Thoughts

If you’re trying to reach a younger audience, and you have a budget to test a new ad platform’s effects on your brand’s main metrics, TikTok might be an excellent space to explore. 

Before making your ad creative, get familiar with the type of content on TikTok so your messaging is complementary to user-generated content. The best TikTok ads don’t necessarily look or feel like ads at all. 

Be open to limitations in targeting or reach, and as with any new ad platform, be prepared to learn takeaways if the app does not create the results you’re seeking.

Interested in exploring the benefits of TikTok or any other digital advertising platform for your brand? We’re happy to help! Our digital team will craft a custom marketing strategy that helps your business connect with customers in new and meaningful ways. Let’s talk!

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