The Emerging Channel that Could: TikTok

By June 14, 2021No Comments


This growing channel, with almost 1 billion monthly active users, has had a lot of ebbs and flows, particularly in the beginning when many brands paused due to privacy concerns over cybersecurity and an impending lawsuit. However, we can say with full confidence that this platform geared towards Gen Z and some Millennials, unlike the infamous feta pasta TikTok video, is here to stay, and advertisers need to pay attention. This discovery platform is monopolizing the short-form video landscape, and the pandemic has only increased platform usage and impact.

How will this impact paid?

With the channel getting widespread attention and views, the platform has become geared towards brand paid and organic activity. The new comment management tool is built to allow advertisers to manage/download comments, as well as remove and auto filter comments, ensuring brand communication and safety. There is already a beta out for CBO, similar to the Facebook bid automation tool, across different segments and campaigns. The platform gives targeting suggestions based on interests and behavior targeting, and the algorithm uses historical learnings to continue to scale and improve performance quality.

The scope of ads has expanded with auction ads as well as reach and frequency and boosted TikToks. Collection Ads, In Feed Ads (combines video, product and Landing Pages) pushes the prospect to conversion. With this ad unit alone, there has been a 13% CTR lift and 3X more visits, showcasing room in the user journey for each funnel.

Beyond the awareness and lower funnel ads, TikTok allows for lead generation, encouraging future consumers to provide contact info with prefilled information, and allowing the advertisers to use that data for lookalike modeling, as well as to continue the conversation with email or future ads moving forward. This is particularly helpful, as with the iOS changes and cookie deprecation, users that opt out are harder to gather audiences that have shown interest in your brand or product.

If this platform is so great, does that mean I need to advertise in platform?

Like other platforms, there is no one size fit all, and for initial testing, we suggest taking an audience-first approach. If your audience is Gen Z, this is a platform you need to be on, with TikTok expected to surpass Instagram in volume of Gen Z users. More details.

Adweek Morning Consult has done a survey for TikTok, which showed that almost 50% of users made a purchase from the application, with 36% being Gen Z and ½ of millennials saying they purchased a brand from the video platform.

However, for millennials, 60% of millennials preferred Facebook as the application to make purchases, and 71% of TikTok has a population of Gen Z consumers, so the real scale still comes from Gen Z users: More details, however other age group are expanding and is one of the fasting growing demos, with a large percentage of unduplicated users.

If the vertical or brand is focused on non-Gen Z users, we would suggest scaling. However, if your primary user base is older, we would suggest testing with influencers first to really gauge impact.

We do see a future in the platform, as the Gen Z consumers age and have more discretionary income. Although the platform is focused on Gen Z, there is a significant portion of US adults that are on the platform and over 40.2% have more than 100k in income. That being said, adults from lower-income households have the second highest usage rate on the app.

To amplify your message with creators, you can use the TikTok creator marketplace, the official platform for brand and creator collaboration, helping you reach over 9,500 creators from over 17 countries and regions.

Consumers are influenced by creators, with over 68% researching the product after viewing an influencer’s post.

Luxury clients like Gucci and Monblanc are on Tiktok. However, right now there are not too many travel client success stories.

While we would recommend influencer marketing with luxury influencers, the over-indexing of Gen Z and lower HHI means we would not tap into the general capabilities and use this for awareness for now.

If you’d like to learn more about how your brand should use TikTok to engage with target audiences and drive purchase, please contact us. 

POV by Gellena Lukats, Acronym’s Director, Paid Social