TikTok advertising: Overblown hype or marketing must-have?

Social media platform TikTok may be on the rise, but so far, only a few companies have used it to advertise their brand – so is its potential being wasted? Read on to learn how to make the TikTok trend work for you.

TikTok advertising: the new recipe for success in the business world?
Image: © PhotoPlus+ / Adobe Stock

The unexploited potential of TikTok advertising

Current figures from U.S. business news provider Bloomberg show that TikTok already has more than 100 million active users across Europe – and the trend is rising. That is roughly equivalent to the total number of users in the USA. American users spend a full 46 minutes every day posting, liking, and sharing videos on TikTok. Nevertheless, there are (still) comparatively few marketers who utilize the platform’s potential for their business. That is very clear from the results of a recent online survey commissioned by DMEXCO and conducted by Civey:

do not intend to advertise on TikTok in 2021.
will invest, but have yet to fix on an amount.
are undecided.

Although TikTok continues to grow, willingness to set a budget remains low and skepticism about the trend high. Past time for this to change, then. Read here about the opportunities offered by the platform and how you can get the most out of TikTok advertising for your brand.

What is TikTok exactly, and what makes it so interesting?

By making its videos brief, original, and entertaining, TikTok has captured the spirit of Generation Z, so it is equally relevant for brands and advertisers. The basic principle behind the platform is unbelievably simple:

  1. Users start by creating videos lasting between 15 and 60 seconds where they give free rein to their creativity.
  2. They then add visual effects and music.
  3. Finally, they upload their videos to TikTok.

But what is behind all the hype?

  • TikTok not only offers users something new, but also plenty of functions and features that they can use to get creative. In addition, it doesn’t take long to develop a following and thus a community.
  • The real advantage of TikTok for brands, in turn, is that there are still very few competitors. Unlike Facebook, YouTube, and other popular platforms, TikTok is still in largely virgin territory, making it easy for marketers to catch the attention of their target group.

Successful TikTok advertising: The essentials

If your brand wants to connect with Generation Z, TikTok is an increasingly powerful tool for generating a reach and online leads, because most users are very young and spend a lot time online. But that doesn’t mean that marketers have to join users in singing songs if they want to advertise on TikTok. Other methods have already proven to be effective in advertising on TikTok and having a good strategy is essential. The following aspects are particularly important here:

The proof of the pudding is in the eating

If you want to appear confident on TikTok, you need to do your homework first. Before you start your TikTok advertising campaign and upload a video, it’s essential that you research the platform in detail. Analyzing your target group and looking at what users want will give you valuable clues that you can use in your own advertising campaign.

TikTok content with added value

Whether you are entertaining or educating, you should always offer added value if you want users to take away a positive memory of your TikTok ad. That is the only way to make them want to like and share your content. Good TikTok content is tailored to your target group’s interests and issues, and offers potential solutions, inspiration, or entertainment.

Simplicity is key

TikTok focuses very clearly on having fun and being creative. As the saying goes: Keep it simple. If you want to entertain your followers and amuse them with your content, then all you need is a simple video on your mobile – no need for time-consuming video production techniques. Authenticity is what matters here.

TikTok advertising: Challenge accepted

Starting a hashtag challenge is a very popular way of conveying a message on TikTok. This is where you encourage TikTok users to create or imitate specific content, allowing you to interact and engage with your target group. Instead of trying to get a hashtag challenge up and running yourself, you can also choose to use hashtags that are being advertised.

Punica, for example, used a hashtag challenge to appeal to users to do the #punicadance, encouraging them to imitate the choreographed dance steps of animated Punica fruit. More than 35,000 users ultimately took up the challenge.

Together we are strong

TikTok influencers can help you to connect with your target group and use TikTok advertising to engage with them. What’s important is that you choose the appropriate influencer to reach your target group. If you are uncertain about which influencer is right for you, you can use a range of online portals and tools to search for a suitable person – Influencer Marketing Hub, for example, or ReachHero.

Special features for your TikTok advertising

If you want to advertise on TikTok, you may be interested in the paid advertising options that TikTok offers companies. The range covers different types of ads, including:

  • In-feed ads
  • Brand takeovers
  • Hashtag challenges
  • Branded lenses
  • Branded effects
  • Custom influencers

TikTok advertising: Using Nike as an example

Well-known sporting brand Nike is a good example of what advertising on TikTok can look like, with a short video showing clothing from the Nike collection in action. Nike collaborated with young rapper Sky Katz to create this TikTok video ad, where she shows off her basketball skills and showcases Nike’s products as being both fresh and cool.


Can you handle @skykatz ’s handles? 🏀👀 Share using ##TheReplay

♬ Come Get It - Alexander Hitchens

Are you ready to get to grips with TikTok?

If your brand has a very young target group, then advertising on TikTok is the ideal way to reach them – there are still very few competitors, you can build up a huge number of followers very quickly, and the social media platform is growing all the time. If you have done your homework on the best type of TikTok ads for your target group and your TikTok advertising offers genuine added value, then you are in the perfect position to be a TikTok success. So, marketers: Let’s get started!