Who and how to sell advertising in TikTok


Advertising in TikTok is an opportunity to reach new audiences, engage them in interaction with the brand and a non-trivial way to tell them about yourself and your product. However, advertisers are skeptical about this channel. And not without reason, it is not suitable for everyone, and to get the expected result, you need to know how to work with it. But even those who know how to advertise on this site, it is not easy to convince customers to at least test its advertising tools.

In this article we figured out what kind of business should pay attention to advertising in TikTok in the first place, and how to overcome customer bias.

What to tell your advertising clients about TikTok

TikTok is one of the most popular and fastest-growing social networks in the world. According to Mediascope, from July 2020 to July 2021, its audience grew by 75% to 39.5 million users this summer.

However, the “social network for schoolchildren” is no longer about TikTok. Its audience is not only growing quantitatively, but also every year is growing up. According to Mediascope, 70% of the app’s monthly audience is over 25. Among them there are many managers, specialists, and more than 60% of users have average or above average income.

Until recently, only reserved ad formats were available to advertisers: Hashtag Challenge, Branded Effects, In-Feed One Day Max, Brand Premium, TopView, and Brand Takeover. These are run through a manager on the TikTok side. That’s still the case, but along with them are auction formats that advertisers can run on their own through the TikTok Ads cabinet:

  • In-feed Native Video – a short clip in the feed that looks like regular tiktoks;
    Spark Ads – a native format to promote content within the social network.

Other advantages of the social network as an advertising platform:

  • The auction is not yet overheated. Due to the distrust of advertisers and the fact that advertising tools in TikTok began to develop relatively recently, there are not yet as many advertisers here as in Instagram or VKontakte;
  • According to research by Neuro-Insight, TikTok’s audience is 44 percent more receptive to advertising content than other social networks;
  • The social network allows you to solve a variety of marketing tasks, from increasing brand awareness and user engagement to the generation of leads.

Who should be offered this channel first?

To answer this question, keep in mind the audience characteristics we talked about above and think about why these people come to TikTok. Yes, according to Mediascope, there are 300+ thousand executives and 700+ thousand professionals on the social network. However, most of them open the app when they want to relax and be entertained by watching videos, whether they’re dancing and funny stories or how-to videos and training videos. Therefore, advertising complex B2B products, industrial equipment, services for participation in tenders may not bring the expected result.

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But in what niches there is a high probability to attract the attention of the audience of the entertainment site and get results in numbers:

  • mobile applications;
  • consumer goods;
  • online stores;
  • online courses;
  • service industry (beauty, fitness, confectioners, photographers);
  • personal brand (experts, coaches, trainers, etc.).

This does not mean that if you have a travel agency or accounting for business, advertising in TikTok is best not even tried. You need to test everything, the main thing is to prioritize and allocate your budget correctly.

How to convince clients to advertise in TikTok

Even if there are those among your clients, for whom TikTok is 100% suitable, and you are sure that you can solve their task with the help of social network’s advertising tools, convincing them in it can be difficult. Here’s what can help.

Present the audience and capabilities of the site

Above, we’ve outlined the stats for the site. You can supplement it with other data from Mediascope, App Annie and other analytical companies. Make informative and easy-to-read slides with graphs and charts, and add them to your commercial proposal for advertising services in TikTok.

Make a forecast and media plan

In advertising and marketing in general, numbers are more compelling than words. Seeing how much you need to spend and what results you can get for the money, the client will be easier to agree to the experiment.

You can use data from other clients in the same field to calculate. If you don’t have them, use figures from other clients, cases from other agencies and professionals, research data, official TikTok recommendations. Also, when forecasting, you can be guided by the volume of the audience in the advertising campaign settings.

Just do not forget to remind your client that the actual figures may be higher or lower than the forecast. This is true for any advertising platform, and unambiguous conclusions can only be drawn after the tests.

Offer to test the hypothesis

Deciding to fully launch a new channel is not easy. Especially when there is so much speculation and myths surrounding it. So initially it may be easier to shut the client down to test the hypothesis. Offer to test advertising in TikTok as an experiment. The hypothesis can be formulated as follows: “We assume that from TikTok you can get leads for 20% cheaper than from VKontakte. Hypothesis can be supported by statistics on the average cost per click in other social networks and advertising channels – it is growing every year, and the auction in TikTok yet not so overheated.

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Show popular accounts in the same area

Many people think TikTok is a platform for high school kids and young adults. Serious adult businesses have nothing to catch there, neither in terms of promotion on the platform itself, nor in terms of targeted advertising. Examples of accounts of projects aimed at an adult, solvent audience will help change the skeptics’ minds.

Show creative from companies in this niche

Another argument is the commercials of competitors or companies from related niches. This may lead the client to think that since the competitors are already there, then he’s probably missing out on a promising advertising channel.

You can find examples in the TikTok gallery. There are filters by region, area, and advertising campaign goals. By clicking on a specific video, you can see the details, including the number of likes, comments and reposts that the creative has gathered:

How to respond to frequent customer objections

We don’t have a budget for this channel. The minimum budget for an advertising campaign in TikTok is 5000 rubles. This is more than in Yandex.Direct or VKontakte, where the minimum amounts for refilling the advertising account are 1000 and 500 rubles, respectively. However, in today’s realities, this is an adequate and even small amount to test the advertising channel. In most social networks, the average budget for a test advertising campaign is 10,000 rubles. And if a business already spends 30 000 rubles on Yandex.Direct and 15 000 on VKontakte and Instagram, why not spend 5000 rubles on testing TikTok? Especially since it’s a potential opportunity to get cheaper bids and traffic.

My audience isn’t there. We’ve shown demographics on TikTok before. It’s an adult paying audience that’s getting older every year. So in response to an objection, you can just show the client the stats. Or use the advice we gave above, and make a selection of successful and popular channels, not aimed at schoolchildren and young people – service stations, beauty salons, designers.

You do not have cases. If you have them – great. Show them in response to an objection, add a brief description with statistics of the commercial offer, or send separately as an additional argument.

If that is really the case, show your clients cases from the official TikTok library or examples from the portfolios of other companies and specialists. In the case of this platform, the main task is to convince the advertiser not so much in the fact that you can get results, but that it is possible in principle.

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And in order to build your own case that can be shown to other clients, offer the most appropriate and loyal client to you to set up advertising at a discount, for free or even for your budget, depending on your capabilities and how much you need this case.

We don’t have a budget to produce creatives. Indeed, to advertise in TikTok, you need videos shot specifically for this site, with the quality, effects, and stories that are now trending for users. These are the kinds of creatives that are most likely to produce the best results. However, this does not mean that expensive production is needed. The audience of social networks is attracted to naturalness and vitality, licked-out television videos are more likely to alienate. So, a suitable video can be shot on a normal phone, with employees involved in the frame, and edited – in a simple and free video editor.

If this option is not available, you can try to assemble a clip from photographs, using trendy effects in transitions and trendy tracks. It is believed that this works worse in TikTok, but “worse” does not mean “will not pay off” and “will not bring results. Only tests will show that.

There’s nothing to show in the commercials. Not all products can be seen and touched. But if in the case of static images you have to twist and make something up, in TikTok you are limited only by imagination. Services psychologist, legal support business and advice nutritionist can be advertised, for example, through trending stories or expert advice.

It’s not recognition that’s needed, it’s sales. While the notion that video advertising has a predominantly media effect is still popular, it’s looking less and less like the truth every year. Performance marketing tools that produce measurable results in the form of leads are already available for many video advertising platforms and formats, and TikTok is no exception. In particular, you can set up ads with Lead Generation and Conversions goals that pay for specific user actions on a site or requests. If you select these goals, the system will optimize your ad campaigns according to their parameters.

By the way, the ability to run ads to generate leads in TikTok appeared relatively recently:

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