Advertising on TikTok: The Lowdown

By Phil Haslehurst

TikTok has done a lot to merit attention from advertisers. 104m App Store downloads in H1 2018 made it the most downloaded iOS app for the period. In H2 2018 it was consistently positioned within the top 5 most downloaded global mobile applications (Android and iOS). In October 2018 it was the number 1 Android app download in the USA.

Those downloads have translated into a solid base of monthly active users (MAU's - the metric most social ad platforms use to benchmark their popularity). The latest data available from summer 2018 indicates that TikTok has at least 500m global MAU's. To give some context, Instagram has about 1bn.

TikTok users are also highly engaged with the platform. In Western European markets, TikTok users spend more than 30 minutes per day in the app, and open TikTok on average +7 times per day.

The TikTok user experience is elegant in its simplicity. Share short-form (15 seconds or 60 seconds) video through your mobile phone. Watch other user's videos. Like, comment and share. Follow your favourite users. So far, so good.

An example of TikTok contentvia @kevoskee5

The 'secret sauce' is in the detailed features that set TikTok apart from other video sharing apps - like 'duet', where users can share the screen with content from other users feeds and interact with it. Or 'react' - video reactions that appear in the original poster's screen. And perhaps most important of all, TikTok has music in its DNA - users can post videos with free background music from popular global artists like Ed Sheeran, Stormzy or Billie Eilish. Ahead of many other factors, it seems it's music that has most significantly differentiated TikTok and given it major cut-through with younger audiences.

With an engaged and passionate young mobile audience in a 'video-consumption' mindset, TikTok is naturally turning heads with advertisers. So what is the advertising opportunity in TikTok currently?

Early in 2019 the news broke that TikTok was working on biddable ad products, and this summer they opened up self-serve advertising for the first time - albeit limited to direct advertisers in certain countries.

tiktok 2via @brodiepawson

For advertisers outside of those markets, TikTok is also working with partners in other countries, including Adglow (that's us) in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Turkey, Russia, Poland, South Africa, Australia, Canada, UAE, Egypt, UK, USA, Spain, and Italy.

5-15 second video ad slots are available, with CTAs to external links or to an in-app 'hashtag challenge', which is a great engagement opportunity. Ads are bought on a CPC (cost-per-click) or oCPC (optimized cost-per-click) basis. oCPC ads are optimized to target users with the highest likelihood of converting.

tiktok logoAds can be targeted based on age, location, language, operating system, and interest. Audience lookalikes are also available.

If you're interested in finding out more about the great opportunities to advertise in TikTok, contact Adglow today!

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