Scale Marketing POV: Tik Tok

What is TikTok and its impact:

In simple terms, TikTok is an app that allows users to create and share videos, majority of which are based around songs or popular voice recordings (i.e Voice overs from a popular TV show.)

From comedy to dance trends, how-to videos to viral challenges, and everything far and in between, TikTok has a space for everyone. Similar to Reddit’s “Subreddits”, TikTok’s feed becomes curated to an individual user’s likes and interests. For example, going down a rabbit hole of watching recipes will land you on #FoodTok or #CookingTok.

So why all the buzz about advertising on TikTok?

Looking at the numbers alone, TikTok now has the 3rd highest volume of users in the US and is now neck and neck with the likes of Meta apps

Why We Like It

Not only is there mass reach on the platform, but users are spending almost an hour/day on average in the app. Users are highly engaged when they are on TikTok, as it is a platform where content is meant to be viewed vs. scrolling a feed. At an AdWeek event, TikTok stated 92% of users take action after watching a video on the platform and the in-feed ads are 23% more memorable than TV ads. So while they say to “Make TikToks, not Ads”, producing entertaining and trending content can still drive a user to take a desired action.

TikTok is not just for teens. The average age on the platform continues to rise, largely fueled by the pandemic. Parents, Gen X and Y went from partaking in their kid’s or younger siblings’ TikTok to creating content of their own.

TikTok Demographics broken down:

  • A10-19 – 33%
  • A20-29 – 30%
  • A30-39 – 16%
  • A40-49 – 14%
  • A50+ – 7%

Right now, CPMs are relatively low ($1.60 – $4.20) compared to other social media platforms, where we can see (Reach) CPMs range anywhere from $3.00 up to $80 depending on the channel and objective. As more and more advertisers begin to advertise on TikTok we can expect the CPMs to rise, which is why it is good to get ahead by testing the platform and take away learnings while maintaining efficiency.

How Advertisers are using TikTok

Retailers and service providers alike are testing the waters in advertising on TikTok. With its large scale and the right creative execution ads on TikTok can have a huge impact on the overall consumer journey and drive up brand perception.

Ads on TikTok are meant to amplify a users’ experience, not disrupt it. Unlike serving an ad on a user’s Facebook feed or prior to watching the highlights from last night’s game on, TikTok ads should embody the look and feel of the content trending at that given time.

Targeting Capabilities:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location (DMA level)
  • Language
  • Broad Interests
  • Behavioral
  • Lookalikes
  • Custom Audiences (1PD)
  • Retargeting

TikToks impact extends out of the platform:

We’ve seen dozens of advertisers over the last year pull trending songs, dances and challenges out of TikTok and apply them to other mediums such as, TV commercials, Instagram reels and even their own website:

Scale’s Approach

At Scale, we are always looking for the next platform or medium to test. As the social ecosystem, and how consumers absorb content evolves, so does our media mix.

We see TikTok as a great way to expand our reach on social and engage with consumers in a new way. We need to arm our clients with the right amo to succeed on the platform. Dedicated creative will need to be developed, on an ongoing basis, to stay up-to-date with current trends on the platform. Back to the statement of “Make TikToks, not Ads”, Tiktok is a place for brands to entertain, jump on new trends and interact with users, not push out promotional messaging.

For more information or any follow up questions, please reach out to the Scale Digital team.


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