With the absence of sports and live programming in the past few months, many Americans have been turning to other forms of entertainment. While TikTok (formerly Music.ly) is not new to the social media landscape, it has seen a surge in users in the United States. More than 12 million unique users in the U.S. visited the TikTok site in March, bringing the platform’s total user count to 52.2 million, which is a growth of 48.3% since January. When taking a look at the change in usage by age group, Gen Z increased usage by 33% while usage among Millennials spiked 27%.

Not only has the total number of unique users grown, but time on the app has also peaked with the additional downtime from consumers across the country. eMarketer reports that users spent an average of roughly 8 hours during the month of March, which is a 10.8% increase since January. For comparison, Instagram users tend to spend around 6 hours per month within the platform.




With all of that being said, TikTok is sure to become a new tactic in more brands’ marketing strategies when launching campaigns. So now you are probably thinking, “Should I be considering TikTok for my next campaign?”

The answer depends on your audience and goals of course, but if you’re looking to engage with a younger demographic and have a healthy budget to do so, then it is worth a discussion. TikTok allows brands to target users through gender, age (as young as 13), geography (by state), custom and lookalike audiences, device, connection type and interest, including segments such as news/entertainment, beauty, education, auto, baby, travel, and more. After selecting the target audience, brands can reach users with the following ad products: hashtag challenge, brand takeover, in-feed native video or branded effects. Below is a deep dive into each ad product:


Hashtag Challenge

Some of the most viewed content on the platform include Hashtag Challenges, which is exactly what it sounds like. Users generate their own content taking on a challenge outlined by a brand or user and tag it with a specific hashtag. Sponsored Hashtag Challenge ads appear at the top of the “Discover” tab as a banner ad. When a user clicks the challenge ad, it brings them to the “Challenge” page. The “Challenge” page compiles all videos that used the hashtag and sorts the brand’s official videos at the top of the page and then by other videos with the most engagement.




Brand Takeover

The Brand Takeover ads are the most impactful within the platform, as they appear right when opening the TikTok app making it the first content a user sees. This skippable :03 static or :05 video unit is typically purchased by day and drives to a landing page or a native Hashtag Challenge page. It is recommended that brands consider additional ad placements in addition to the Brand Takeover to ensure a user takes notice of the message.




In-Feed Video

The in-feed video units live within the “For You” feed, which compiles videos and ads that are most relevant to the user. These videos are similar to native ads as they blend in seamlessly with other content in the feed. The video units can range from :05-:15 long and take up the full screen. Advertisers have the option to include a CTA of their choice such as “Download”, “Shop Now”, and “Learn More” taking users to the landing page of choice.




Branded Effects

Similar to what made Snapchat so popular, TikTok also has a plethora of filters and effects for users to engage with. Branded Effects are created by TikTok’s internal creative team to deliver graphics users can incorporate into their own content. These effects are displayed within the platform’s “Trending” tab for 10 days.




Since the platform’s ad offerings are somewhat new, navigating exactly what placements to utilize and what you can expect from the platform can be a challenge. The cost to advertise on TikTok is pretty hefty in comparison to other social platforms. While the CPM is on par with Facebook, there is a minimum of $25k per campaign that must be paid up front. Measurement is also a challenge as the TikTok pixel can only report 1-day click metrics and each ad placement has a different set of metrics available. As such, brands may experience difficulty identifying what the primary KPI is when utilizing this new platform.  However, there is no denying that this platform is becoming a larger part of campaign planning discussions given its growth in popularity.  If you are curious about incorporating TikTok into your next campaign, MayoSeitz Media would be happy to assist you through the process.