One of the youngest and quirkiest social media platforms, TikTok is fast emerging as a premium option for business and brand promotion

‘Business and brand promotion on TikTok’ is not a topic that you would have found on a lot of websites even a year ago; but as of now, it is being discussed everywhere.

The reason? TikTok’s fast growing user base and its ability to hook people with its stream of lip-syncs, challenges, dances, comedies, skits and a whole lot more.

Now, not later, is the time to understand how you can promote your business on TikTok.

The basics of TikTok

TikTok is a video creating and sharing social media platform. Its defining feature is the short length of videos* and the special effects that can be added to raw footage.

* TikTok videos can be between 15 and 60 seconds long; shorter videos are preferred.

As of November 2019, TikTok is reported to have a user base of 1.5 billion. TikTok downloads have grown faster than those of Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat, albeit from a lower base.

2 in 3 TikTok users worldwide are under 30.

What does all this mean?

This means that companies looking to target

  • People who are just entering the job market (meaning they are the freshest consumers)
  • People who will enter the job market tomorrow (the consumers of tomorrow)

Have a viable platform to target them.

If, for example you are an escape room franchise looking for young and dynamic franchisees, TikTok could be a good place to promote yourself.

You could also be a Chicago escape room targeting startups (a lot of which have very young workforces) looking for team building events. Once again, TikTok could be a good platform to promote your business.

What apps can you access by advertising your business on TikTok?

You can access the entire family of TikTok apps, which fall broadly under two heads

  • Available entertainment apps: TikTok, Vigo Video (India only)
  • Available news or content discovery apps: TopBuzz,BuzzVideo,NewsRepublic

You can choose which apps you would like your advertisements to appear on.

How can advertisement videos be created on TikTok?

TikTok ads can be videos or images that are horizontal, vertical, or square.

Video creation kit

If you want to create your own ads, you can use TikTok’s Video Creation Kit.

  • This kit has image and video templates you can use to customize your own content.
  • It also has over 300 free options of background music for your ad content.

Dynamic creative

The other option is TikTok’s Dynamic Creative which will create, deliver and optimize your content for you.

What kinds of TikTok ad videos are there?

There are three kinds of ad videos on TikTok – Brand Takeovers, In-feed, and Hashtag Challenges.

Brand takeovers

This ad type will literally ‘take over’ users’ TikTok screen.

In other words, when a user opens their TikTok app, they will see a brand takeover video instantly.

As you can guess, this is a rather expensive option.

In-feed ads

This kind of ad appears within users’ organic TikTok feed. Think of them as TikTok’s equivalent of YouTube’s ad videos that appear on your YouTube feed with a yellow ‘Advertisement’ label.

Hashtag challenge

In this variant, you encourage users to share and spread content on TikTok on behalf of your brand.

TikTok advertisement budget

TikTok gives you the option between a daily budget cap and a lifetime budget cap.

At a minimum $500 campaign budget and a $50 ad group budget, TikTok ads may be a little pricey for smaller brands.

Your ads will have to bid for ad space. Your bids will depend on your intent, a.k.a. your optimization goal.

You also have an option to set your ads to appear on certain days of the week or even at certain times on certain days.

The process for advertising on TikTok

Setting up your ads account

Depending on your location, you may be able to set up an ads account directly; or you may have to go through a TikTok representative/accounts manager.

In either case, you will have to

  • Verify your email address and set a password
  • Enter basic information like Time Zone, Currency and Country/Region
  • Enter business information like
    • Promotion link, that is business website, app store URL etc
    • Industry
    • Business name & address
    • Legal & tax information like business license, tax identification numbers and so on
  • Set up a primary contact who will handle billing and other matters on your behalf

Creating a campaign

On the ads dashboard, select ‘Campaign’ to start your new ad campaign.

Next you need to choose a campaign objective and a budget.

Setting up your ad metrics

In this stage you create ad group for your campaign, and choose placement and targeting.

You can target specific people, simply by uploading their ID’s as a CSV, TXT, or ZIP file.

Ad spend, duration, and goals

This is where you set the

Budget & schedule

Pacing – ‘Standard’ pacing spends your budget evenly across the schedule while ‘Accelerate’ spends your budget as fast as possible

Optimization goal – this is just like in Google and Facebook ads

Create your ads

You can do it yourself with the help of the Creation Kit or automate the process via Dynamic Creative.

Please remember to include a Call To Action to get the maximum impact.

Also remember that TikTok limits written descriptions to 80 characters.

And, you’re created and launched your very first TikTok advertisements!