TikTok Advertising is Changing The Way Businesses Promote


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More than half of the world is on social media. Advertising on social media platforms has become the preferred solution for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Businesses must research these media platforms and plan their content to maximize conversion. The process of creating content can be expensive and take longer than expected, especially if you don’t have the right tools.

TikTok is a short-form video app. The app’s new self-serve advertising platform TikTok for Business helps SMBs reach broader audiences by giving them the tools they need to create and manage content.

“It doesn’t matter if your first-time user is from an island in Indonesia, or a celebrity worldwide, or whether you’re a small or large business, it doesn’t matter what size you are,” Chew Wee Ng says, TikTok’s head of business marketing. TikTok can be successful as long as you tell authentic stories, and engage and collaborate with the TikTok community.

The TikTok method

TikTok’s low entry barrier for content creation has allowed users to shape trends both within and beyond the platform. Music created on TikTok is often viral. Hwasa, K-pop’s Mari, rose to the charts and received over 740,000,000 views. This was largely due in part to TikTok’s participation in the #mariachallenge, which encouraged users to create their videos by using the song as a backtrack.

Ng says that nine out of ten users use the app every day and are willing to share their stories with brands. They even create ads for them. Ng says that the average user spends 20-30 minutes on the app creating content, participating in trends and challenges, or both.

Ng says that they would be happy to amplify a brand’s message and take part in an activity of the brand, and thus become the brand’s ambassador.

As a part of users’ native experience

SMBs love TikTok ads because they allow them to be part of the user’s native experience. TikTok does not have disruptive pop-up ads or unskippable video ads. Instead, advertisements are seamlessly integrated into users’ For You feeds. This allows brands to communicate their message without interrupting users’ viewing experience. SMBs have the option to either blend in with other content or stand out to grab attention.

One SMB that has leveraged the platform is Indonesian dessert company Bittersweet By Najla. The business gained over 700,000 followers and 18,000,000 likes via its TikTok account. Bittersweet also invited other TikTok creators and customers to try its cakes and visit the shop. This approach not only helped build brand authenticity but also increased brand awareness. It also converted TikTok users into real-life customers.

TikTok’s unique recommendation algorithm keeps users’ For You feeds exciting and fresh, allowing them constantly to discover new content categories. To create a variety of videos for each user, the algorithm considers signals like user interactions, video information, and account settings. The result is that no two feeds will be the same. This is great news for SMBs, as it allows them to reach new customers and audiences.

SMBs can now make video advertising more accessible

TikTok marketing is different from other online platforms due to its unique user behavior. Studies show that TikTok had the highest engagement rate among all three platforms in 2019. Ng also stated that TikTok users expect to see brands and don’t skip ads after five seconds.

She adds that TikTok gives organic content an equal chance of going viral, as long as users embrace and welcome brands who interact with them.

TikTok marketing is also cheaper than other platforms. SMBs don’t have to spend thousands on expensive, high-end video production because the app is focused on authentic content. The platform offers a variety of tools that allow SMBs to create content and monitor their performance. Companies can use user trends to increase brand awareness and brand authenticity, drive app downloads, and increase offline and online sales.

SMBs can create multiple videos using the app’s Smart Video function. This allows them to reduce production time and costs. Smart Video Soundtrack, for instance, removes the need and cost of buying copyright for ad music. The Video Template function speeds up the creation of advertisements from still images.

TikTok, unlike other platforms, was built for sound-on experiences. According to studies, 80% of Facebook users view ads without sound. Other platforms allow users to view ads without sound, but they can also read subtitles and listen to music. This is unfortunate as music plays an important role in storytelling, communication, building emotional connections with their audience, and creating an emotional connection.

Ng affirms that sound is crucial to the story. Ng says that sound is the best way to connect emotionally with your audience, grab their attention and keep it.

It’s not uncommon for viral content from TikTok to be reposted on other platforms as the online media ecosystem becomes more interconnected. Cross-posted content can be viewed, liked, and shared on many other platforms but they miss the key element that makes TikTok unique: active audience participation.

Ng says, “You don’t get the same level of participation as other users remixing and imitating the trends as you get on TikTok.”

Advertising’s future: A snapshot

In the US, 70% of small businesses use social networking platforms to reach customers online. These platforms are becoming more popular as they become more important in their advertising campaigns.

Ng says that marketers are now more open to the idea of “what makes a great video ad?”

This shift could encourage marketers to think beyond industry standards and practices and to focus their marketing efforts on creativity while staying true to their brand. Ng predicts that marketers will continue to experiment with new ways to encourage audiences to interact with their brand and user involvement in line with this shift.

She predicts that there will be more native ads in the future. This will allow advertisers to make content that blends in with the rest or stands out. She predicts that there will be a resurgence in engaging productions that combine visuals with sound, similar to the ads from the golden age of the 1970s.

Ng encourages marketers to embrace change and be open to trying new things. Ng also stresses the importance of understanding user profiles. It’s not enough to know what platforms your target audience uses. Marketers need to learn more about their target audience and what topics are hot.

TikTok For Business allows companies of any size to reach their ideal audience with an easy-to-use and simple advertising platform.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.