In January 2021, TikTok became the most downloaded social media app in the world. Algorithms of recommendations and the ability to gain an audience for free are luring more and more brands, bloggers, and corporations to TikTok who are tired of paying for ads and losing reach on other social networks. You too can find a way to present your product on this platform. We will tell you what this application is, why it is so popular, and, of course, how to make money on TikTok.
A Bit of History and Numbers
in 2017, TikTok was a little-known app with an audience primarily based in China and other Asian countries. However, later, TikTok merged with the Musical.ly platform, popular in the West and Europe, - this determined the further vector of development of the social network and helped it grow to its current scale. Both TikTok and Musical.ly were aimed at the same audience - children and adolescents. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the new "blended" TikTok is also targeting 13 to 24-year-olds.
Today it is an extremely popular application for creating, editing, and sharing short videos (up to 60 seconds), which is available in 155 countries around the world in 75 languages. TikTok users can apply filters and effects to videos, add music and edit their videos in the app. Moreover:
• The monthly active audience of the application is approximately 500 million people (Datareportal, 2019)
• 41% of the audience are people aged 16 to 24 (GlobalWebIndex, 2019)
• 56% of tick-tokers are men, 44% are women (App Ape Lab, 2019)
• Every day, users spend an average of 52 minutes in the application (BusinessofApps, 2019)
• TikTok is represented in 155 countries (Apptrace, 2019)
• 9/10 users use TikTok more than once a day
• TikTok is already growing an older audience: since September 2018, the number of TikTok users among the adult (21+) US population has doubled and reached 14.3 million in just six months (Marketingcharts, 2019).
Advertising in TikTok
Popular accounts can generate good profits through ads. And various firms - use this platform to find and attract potential customers and new buyers. However, first of all, you need to figure out how things are with advertising in the application.
Despite the huge growth in popularity of the application, TikTok advertising market and its pricing remain a mystery to many, unlike Instagram and YouTube. But market uncertainty did not stop TikTok Ads from becoming the fastest growing advertising platform in 2019 - according to statistics from AppsFlyer, this year TikTok was able to increase its share in the overall mobile promotion market by almost 10 times.
At the moment, brands have tools at their disposal for both native and direct advertising. Here is some of them:
1. Standard full-screen banner - TikTok displays your ad right after entering the application.
2. Brand TakeOver - Similar to the previous format, but you can use short videos up to 5 seconds.
3. In-feed ads - commercials in the feed. You can add voting cards, masks, effects, badges, and other tools to them.
4. Branded masks and filters - everything is like on Instagram.
5. Native product placement - this type of advertising integration assumes that you will find a suitable blogger and negotiate a collaboration with him. As we wrote earlier, the reaction of the TikTok audience to native or funny ads is predominantly positive, so this type of advertising works quite well.
6. HashTag Challenge - the coolest option for ad integration in TikTok! You will need to find a popular blogger yourself or partner with the TikTok Marketing team and agree to launch a challenge with your unique hashtag. Discuss the creative and try to make the content as viral as possible so that hundreds of new videos appear under your hashtag and millions of views are gained.
A great example of hashtag promotion is the story of the Chipotle restaurant chain. The company, together with the TikTok platform, launched the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge, somewhat similar to the Bottle Flip challenge, where you had to toss a bottle so that it neatly rises upside down to the surface. The guys from Chipotle suggested that everyone throw the lid from the container onto the container itself, but a prerequisite was for the lid to turn over several times in the air. Sounds like gibberish? But no! Videos using the hashtag #ChipotleLidFlip have gained over 230 million views in a few months.
Why e-commerce brands need to start a TikTok account
Social networks are increasingly focusing on the visual, people become unimportant to the text, all their attention is focused on the visual presentation. TikTok specializes in serving rich and varied short video content. This is gradually pulling TikTok into the market leader and forcing other platforms to emulate the competitor. Brands that pay attention to this are already taking full advantage of TikTok's capabilities and benefits. They create a community around themselves and their product.
TikTok's audience tends to be younger than other social media, allowing brands to reach out to millennials and first-generation Z. commerce "Hashtag Challenge Plus". More recently, the first integration of TikTok with Shopify was announced, which, according to Western authoritative sources, will turn the world of social commerce.
Cooperation with Shopify and using TikTok as an advertising platform
Perhaps the most important step for the app, making it an extremely attractive marketplace for commerce, is the recent agreement with the Shopify store. The partnership was announced at the end of October 2020. It aims to make it easier for over one million Shopify sellers to reach a younger TikTok audience and drive sales. Sellers who have access to the innovation can link their TikTok Pro account with their Shopify account and sell products on TikTok using video ads.
All customization happens through the Shopify dashboard, including ad creation, targeting, optimization, and analytics. And, as always, the Pixel comes to the rescue, TikTok has one too. With this tool, users will be able to track conversions in their ad campaigns. TikTok is expected to launch several new e-commerce features soon, including built-in payment options and new ad formats.
Important Steps for Quality Commerce on TikTok
Of course, to properly promote products and maximize profits, it is necessary to seriously approach the issue and determine exactly how the product should be advertised, and what it should be.
Decide what audience you want to attract
Over 60% of TikTok users are Gen Z, according to a recent report. You need to determine the age of your audience. If you are confident that the younger generation is bringing you the most profits, TikTok is the best platform for generating leads. But, it's worth remembering that even if your brand is not targeted at Gen Z, it is advertising on TikTok that will help them draw attention to you in the future.
Adapt your content to the platform aesthetics
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms have a completely different visual aesthetic than TikTok. Therefore, it is not enough to cross-post from other social networks. You need to create new, dynamic content with an energetic presentation style. This is the only way you can engage your TikTok audience. If you still don't know how to change the style of your content, you can always reach out to bloggers who will make your ads more natural for TikTok.
Learn to communicate information concisely and clearly
The partnership between TikTok and Shopify will lead to the emergence of new ad formats, but for now, you only have the opportunity to create short videos that are adapted to the platform and carefully thought out in meaning. Your video ad should engage users in the first few seconds and keep them engaged for the rest of the time.
One of the most important tools for competent product promotion is UniLink - a convenient and unique way to add links to your bio. Its essence lies in the fact that the account owner attaches the original link to personal information, which allows you to attach several Shopify products to each video on the channel. This approach is very convenient and effective because the percentage of user engagement and attention to the desired groups of goods increases significantly.
How to Advertise Your Store on TikTok
Brands can promote their products and services on TikTok through various types of ads. We will tell you about each of them.
Branded Hashtag Challenge
Challenges have proven to be an effective way to create branded content and increase reach and engagement. TikTok allows brands to sponsor their Challenges to be featured on Interesting for 3-6 days. You invite users to participate in your challenge, and all videos created for it are combined on a hashtag page in Highlights. According to TikTok, the average engagement rate for these challenges is 8.5%.
Brand Takeover is a full-screen banner that is shown to TikTok users when they log into the app. It can be displayed in the form of static advertisements up to three seconds long or videos up to five seconds long. This ad can direct users to a third-party site, App Store or Google Play, or TikTok's internal page. Only one brand can rank in its product category each day.
In-Feed Native Video
These are full-screen, auto-play videos that can be up to 60 seconds long and appear in the recommendation feed along with other content. These videos can be accompanied by a call to action, link, or hashtag.
This is another full-screen video up to 60 seconds in length with autoplay and sound that appears when you open the app. You may have noticed that these ads are similar to Brand Takeover, and you are correct. The difference is that with TopView you can use a regular video up to 60 seconds long as a promotional material when Brand Takeover only allows you to advertise an image or GIF.
Near Future for e-commerce at TikTok
TikTok already offers many promotion options, but the platform is not going to limit e-commerce options to advertising only. Here are some new features that will make selling on TikTok more convenient for online sellers.
The TikTok Creator Marketplace is a collaboration platform for brands with TikTok creators. This is not an ad format, but a way to find a Tiktoker with a large audience to promote your brand. A great tool for a company that wants to promote its brand or product with the help of modern influencers and opinion leaders.
Just like Instagram, TikTok plans to add shopping tags to its videos. This means that stores will be able to not only advertise but sell their goods on TikTok. TikTok Shoppable Video is currently in beta testing and is only available to select users.
Hashtag Challenge Plus
This is a Hashtag Challenge with a shopping tag. This feature will allow users to buy challenge-related products directly from TikTok. As with the Branded Hashtag Challenge, users will be able to create videos using a brand-sponsored hashtag. Also, they will be able to buy products from the campaign in a separate tab on the hashtag page.
Take a look at Kroger, the retail company that pioneered this feature. They began partnering with popular TikTokers and were able to attract customers with their #TransformUrDorm challenge: Kroger invited TikTok users to post a video about small updates to their dorm room design with a branded hashtag.
As we can see, TikTok is an excellent sales platform: it has a large audience that has already become a wealthy and attractive clientele. Moreover, the service began to cooperate with Shopify, and also introduces new convenient tools for promoting goods such as UniLink and others. This is a great opportunity to generate profits. It is only necessary to competently approach the promotion and sale of goods in TikTok.