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Why TikTok is the most important advertising platform in 2022

Just five years ago, you would have said “TikTok? Isn’t that a karaoke app?” But now, TikTok has become one of the most important platforms for advertising.

How it works: With over 800 million users, TikTok is a social video app that lets users create and share short videos with visual effects and music. If you go on TikTok at all today, chances are you’ve seen some funny videos or trending challenges. Some are created by brands, others by everyday TikTokers. All kinds of people use the platform—everyone from teens to parents to baby boomers.

Early on, TikTok had its fair share of critics who saw it as just another social media platform filled with silly content. But fast forward to today and you’ll find that TikTok has taken the world by storm—and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Why it matters: In just five since its launch, TikTok surpassed Google as the No. 1 most popular domain! Facebook.com, Apple.com, and Microsoft.com followed. It’s still growing fast too; in fact, it has grown faster than any other social media site in history. 

When it comes to social, TikTok is the current darling of the internet. With that being said, you might be wondering if investing in TikTok is worth it for your business. 

To help you answer that question, we’ve put together some information about how fast TikTok has grown its user base, reasons why TikTok is great for advertising in 2022, some examples of successful TikTok ads and plenty of other relevant information to help your business thrive.. Let’s get into it!

An overview of TikTok’s advertising landscape

With TikTok on the rise, it’s important to understand how it works as an advertising platform, and who is using it.

TikTok has hit over one billion monthly active users worldwide and with 656 million downloads in 2021, the app is currently the most downloaded app in the world for the third year in a row. In fact, it’s been revealed that eight new users join TikTok every second.

As for 2022, if you’re still not on TikTok, you’re missing out. With its track record, it comes as no surprise that the app has already reached 176 million downloads this year, making it the most downloaded app worldwide of Q1 2022.

This is huge. TikTok has now surpassed over 3.5 billion total downloads, landing a prestigious spot amongst the five apps to ever achieve this milestone.

So, who do you find on TikTok?

While 47% of users are between the ages of 10 and 29 years old, a wide variety of ages are represented on the platform. In fact, over 42% of TikTok users are over 30 years old. Additionally, 57% of the app’s worldwide users are female.

That’s great news for brands looking to consumers who have been increasingly difficult to target using traditional platforms like Facebook or even Snapchat.

Although TikTok is a heavily international platform, its shows significant potential for United States-based businesses, as data shows that’s where 78.7 million monthly active users are located. Furthermore, 37% of these have a household income of over $100,000 US dollars.

Awesome, because 67% of TikTok users claim the app motivates them to purchase new items. Fun fact: this is why the popular hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt comes from!

This is also likely the reason why TikTok is currently the top-performing app when it comes to consumer spending, rounding up at $2.5 billion US dollars in 2021.

Lastly, let’s give TikTok a round of applause because it’s forecasted to triple its ad revenue to $11.64 billion in 2022 from $3.88 billion in 2021. That’s more than Twitter and Snapchat combined.

Reasons why businesses should advertise on TikTok:

TikTok’s genius is in making it easy for anyone to create compelling content using only their mobile phone, and then rewarding them by featuring the best of that content in the “For You” section at the top of the app.

As a result, TikTok is a platform that provides very real value to its users, and they will be drawn to products and brands that add value to their experience. Here are some other reasons why your business should advertise on TikTok in 2022:

Reach:

No other app, including big names like Whatsapp or Instagram, has surpassed TikTok’s downloads since 2018. That’s a huge number of users spread across 154 countries and 75 languages.

Saudi Arabia takes the first spot as TikTok reaches an impressive 78.3% of its total 18+ population. The United States and Ireland take the 11th and 12th spot, respectively, coming in at 46.5%.

If you’re a business looking for exposure on a viral scale, this app is the place for you. One video has the potential to reach millions of people and change your business forever.

Increased engagement:

In addition to the huge number of users, TikTok also boasts impressive engagement rates. A report from Sensor Tower shows that TikTok’s average user opens the app an astonishing 9 times a day.

The average user spends 10.85 minutes on the platform. If that doesn’t sound like much to you, Pinterest, which has been established as the second-most engaging app, has an average of 5.06 minutes per session. If you’re wondering where Instagram stands, that would be 2.95 minutes per session.

What is it about TikTok that inspires such devotion? It could be because it’s easier to get lost in a never-ending scroll with something different every minute. Or maybe it’s because people are looking for distraction with funny, friendly, and approachable content. Whatever the reason, TikTok’s engagement rate has been skyrocketing since its launch in 2017 and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.

Trends:

There are dance trends, lip-syncing trends and even new words and phrases that go viral from trending videos—and they’re always changing. There are no rules or limits to the creativity of your video.

If your business can figure out how to take advantage of these trends by creating fun content around them, you have a good chance of connecting with your target customers.

The top TikTok trends at the time of writing include “Wow Crazy” as a sound with sarcastic text and “As It Was” by Harry Styles to achieve a throwback effect.

Some trends that don’t seem to ever go out of style are seamless transitions and referencing pop culture celebrities.

Ad formats:

The variety of ad formats on Tiktok make it a unique platform to advertise on. There are five different formats marketers can choose from, with the most popular being Topview Ads.

With such exciting advertising options available, there’s never been a better time for businesses to get involved with TikTok’s creative and diverse community.

Opportunity:

Despite its popularity, there’s been a lack of advertisers on TikTok—which means now is a great time to get in on the action and grow your brand’s following! You’ll get cost-effective clicks at ~50% cheaper than on Meta, plus you don’t have to worry about as much competition for ad space.

If you want to get a leg up on your competition, it’s time to hop on the TikTok bandwagon.

Types of TikTok Ads

The greatest asset for anyone trying to advertise on TikTok is the variety of ad formats available. You can choose among these many formats depending on your business goals and budget. Let’s go into a little more detail:

In-Feed Ads

TikTok in-feed ads are videos that you can create to promote your brand and products. They look a lot like regular posts on TikTok, except for the fact that they contain a “Sponsored” label across the top of the video with a link to your business’s website. Users can like, comment, and share your ad like they would a normal video.

To get started with this type of ad, you’ll first need to choose the products or services you want to promote. Next, create a short video up to 60 seconds (optimal duration: 15 seconds!) long that showcases them.

Be sure to include a call to action at the end of your video that encourages viewers to click on the link in your post or visit your website. If you don’t have any experience making videos on TikTok, we recommend starting with some free templates from Canva or Biteable.

Here’s an example and why it worked:

Beetology is a premium organic beet juice brand that was looking to increase awareness and reach new consumers on TikTok. The beet juice brand decided to use In-Feed video ads to reach the platform’s health-conscious audience of Gen Z and Millennial users.

Their strategy was simple: create a video that was engaging and fast-paced, showcasing smooth transitions between user-generated content (UGC) and brand elements.

Brand Takeover Ads

Want to get your brand in front of millions of users instantly? TikTok Brand Takeovers are the answer.

With these high-impact ads, you’re guaranteed to make a big splash on the platform. They are full-screen images or short (3-5 second) videos that users see when they first open TikTok.

Because they’re so eye-catching, Brand Takeover ads tend to have an extremely high reach and great performance—users don’t have to look far to find you!

This format is great for mass awareness. The entire screen of the ad is clickable, so your users can easily get to your desired destination.

These ads are expensive but well worth it—they guarantee extremely high reach and performance due to their placement on the app, and their availability. Because you’ll have sole access to this ad space for the day, they’re perfect for large brands looking to reach as many potential customers as possible.

Watch this tutorial published by TikTok to view an example of how this kind of ad would look!

Top View Ads

TopView ads are designed to grab your attention immediately. They show up when you open the app: a full-screen video that’s about 60 seconds long, and the sound is on by default. The idea is that you’re literally at top-of-mind for the user as soon as they open their phone and see your ad.

This is exciting for advertisers because it means you can get users engaged with your content from the very beginning of their TikTok session. It gives you a chance to make a strong first impression, in those first few moments of someone’s attention span, when they’re highly likely to click or “like” something out of curiosity and excitement—and not yet overwhelmed by all the other videos in their feed. Here’s an example: 

To reach out to a new generation of luxury fashion fans, Balenciaga partnered with TikTok to create an integrated campaign that combined Brand Takeovers and Top View Ads across the UK, France, and Italy.

They achieved an astonishing total of 23 million impressions and an average click-through rate of 18%.

Branded Hashtag Ads

TikTok Branded Hashtags are a great way to advertise. They allow your brand to reach more people, and they give your existing fans a chance to interact with your brand in a fun and engaging way.

Companies create a branded hashtag that people can follow and use in their own videos. In some cases, the ads are used as a “challenge” where TikTok users who use the hashtag are entered into a contest to win a prize, which is usually some type of gift card or another small incentive. If you want to advertise on TikTok, these branded hashtags are an easy way to get started!

There are different from other ads on TikTok because they don’t actually appear as ads. They appear as content created by regular users. This allows businesses to create ad campaigns that feel more organic and not “salesy” at all.

The popular nail care brand Essie created a brilliant challenge with the hashtag #ExprESSIEyourself to promote their new quick-dry nail polish. They achieved a grand total of over 9 billion views and a bunch of user-generated content!

Branded Effects Ads

TikTok Branded Effects are interactive filters, stickers, and AR experiences that are branded and sponsored by companies, from small local businesses to large enterprises.

These lenses are a fun, creative way for brands to keep the attention of the TikTok community. They can last for up to ten days and drive engagement by making it easy for users to create content.

For example, you could create a branded effect that’s a sticker with your company’s logo that users can use in their videos, or you could create an effect where when someone hovers over their face in the camera, they see themselves wearing one of your products. 

Learn more about them on TikTok’s own product spotlight for Branded Effects Ads.

How to get started with TikTok Ads?

If you’re thinking about getting started with TikTok Ads, you can do it on your own through TikTok for Business.

The TikTok for Business platform helps first-time and seasoned advertisers get the most out of their ad campaigns. It’s got everything you need to make your ads shine, from video creation tips to setting budgets and analyzing campaign data. There’s even an e-learning centre that teaches advertisers how to make ads on the Ads Manager platform.

The platform offers guidance throughout the whole process of creating ads, and makes it easy for marketers to create authentic campaigns that will boost their brand awareness!

If you’ve already got your hands full with other areas of your business and you’d like us to take over, we’d love to help!

Our paid social team will take care of the heavy lifting: analyzing your target audience and the opportunity on TikTok, developing a strategy for the platform, briefing our content and influencer teams so it is synergised with the organic strategy, managing all creation and collection of content from our team or influencer partners, as appropriate.

We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work on your account so you can start seeing results. Let’s chat

How are TikTok Ads different from the usual PPC ads?

Unlike other advertising platforms, TikTok uses cost per mile (CPM), not cost per click (CPC), as its metric for pricing ads. This means that you only pay when a user views your ad, and the more people who view it, the higher your costs will be.

The lowest you can pay for a single ad is $10 CPM. At that price, you’ll get 1000 views on average – which is not bad at all!

Summary

The TikTok platform presents a unique opportunity for brands to reach new audiences. The majority of users are in their teens and twenties, but there’s no way to know if that will be true forever. With the platform still in its infancy in terms of advertising, now is the time to get on board and start experimenting with ads.

Focus on building brand awareness with your first campaign, then use what you learn from that experience to inform your future campaigns.

If you’re a small company looking for exposure or a large corporation hoping to communicate with young people, TikTok offers a great opportunity to connect with consumers and build brand awareness among Gen Z and Millennials alike.

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