Harness the Power of TikTok for Your Brand

Thanks to its engaging and interactive environment, TikTok is the perfect platform for brands to connect with consumers in an entertaining way. The short-form video app allows users to create 15 to 60-second videos with filters, musical overlays, effects, text and stickers. The ability to create videos up to 3 minutes in length is now in the process of being rolled out platform-wide to give users even more flexibility to express themselves creatively. Since COVID-19 hit in early 2020, users have been creating new trends and tactics to engage with each other weekly. With the continuous rise of the platform’s popularity and user base, brands can interact with users by producing organic videos, creating paid advertisements or partnering with influencers.

How it Works

To post organically, brands must first create a TikTok profile. The account will then be verified by a platform rep. Making your own videos and creating easy trends to engage users is highly encouraged. The best piece of advice? “Don’t make ads, make TikToks.” The majority of users go onto the app to find funny and engaging content. TikTokers crave inspiration and love discovering new things. In fact, 67 percent believe that the platform gives them ideas about new brands and products.

Videos, influencers and ads are displayed on the platform’s main feed, or “For You” page (FYP). The FYP curates videos created in the last 90 days giving them a chance to be seen by many users or even go viral. Because trends change weekly on TikTok’s fast-moving platform, businesses should upload content that is up-to-date and encourages user interaction and creativity. An informal approach to advertising as opposed to the media-focused approach typically used on other platforms, such as Facebook tends to work best.

Why Use TikTok?

TikTok is the fastest-growing social platform and a newfound place in which advertisers can get noticed. Paid advertising on TikTok is a great option for businesses who are wanting to expand their brand awareness within the platform. Organically, the platform has excelled, and now with a multitude of advertising options available, it has become a place for consumer brand discovery and a wealth of unplanned purchases—much to the delight of advertisers. Users associate products with TikTok because the platform makes it easy for organic posts to go viral. For example, in the “TikTok made me buy it” trend users share an item they first saw used on TikTok, which leads other users to go out of their way to find and buy the product.


With nearly 79 million U.S. users, the platform is highly popular among younger audiences, specifically Gen Z (born 1997 – 2015) and Millennials (born 1981 – 1996). In fact, these two generations account for approximately 83 percent of the TikTok users in the U.S. As ‘trendsetters’ within the platform they tend to create new content regularly. Creatively speaking, the platform is flooded with new trends weekly which has helped contribute to its rise in popularity.

Advertisers can choose to target based on demographics such as age or gender, and geographic location by state or DMA. Interest targeting based on the videos a user may be interested in seeing is also available. Behavioral targeting focuses on how the user recently interacted with videos and creators within the platform.

Custom audience features are available for clients who are interested in targeting consumers who have already engaged with their business. To use these, clients must upload a list with a minimum audience size of 1,000 that matches with app users. The lookalike audience feature can then be used to help advertisers find new audiences with similar interests as their current customers.

How Advertisers Can Leverage TikTok

Advertisers can choose from the following objectives for their paid TikTok campaigns:

  • Awareness/Reach
  • Consideration/Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Video Views
  • App Installs

Campaigns can be optimized for impressions, clicks, video views or conversions. We recommend that clients start with the brand awareness objective to help align future ads with their audience. TikTok does have an option to incorporate a pixel on the client’s site, which can help optimize campaign ad delivery, build out marketing audiences and measure ad performance. With iOS 14, the platform is following similar approaches as Facebook, primarily by establishing a 7-day click-through. TikTok will also support measurement and optimization based on SKAdNetwork API. Below are the advertising opportunities currently available:

  1. Top View
    • National buy.
    • Ads appear when a user first opens the app.
  2. In-feed Native Video
    • 5-15 second video ads that show up on the “For You” page.
    • In-feed video is still the only format bought in the self-serve ads manager platform. Minimum campaign spend is just $25 per day.
  3. Hashtag Challenge
    • National buy.
    • Sponsored hashtags encourage user-generated content, engage users and attract influencers.
    • Minimum budget of $130K.
  4. Brand Takeover & Top View Takeover
    • National buy.
    • Brands can choose an image, GIF or video ad to dominate a specific topic for the day.
  5. Boosted TikToks
    • Promote organic posts.
  6. Branded Effect
    • Lenses that users can try out for themselves.
    • Lenses are created by the in-house TikTok creative team.

Brands can allow users to download videos from their ad campaigns if there is a special promotion they are offering to users through the video. Brands also have the ability to turn off user commenting and may disable the video download feature if they do not want users saving brand videos for their own personal use.

Ads in Action

With TikTok’s ability to reach younger audiences and geo-target at the DMA level, the platform aligns with the current Gold’s Gym media strategy. An initial test of the platform is now underway to determine if awareness from TikTok can drive incremental memberships and free passes.



Creative Best Practices

Creative uploaded to TikTok should be vertical video format with music and/or voiceovers. To amplify the user and brand experience, video assets should look native and fit the ad specs ratio 9:16. There are also text and video editing options within the native app.

Brands and users alike are encouraged to be authentic, showing your truest, most genuine self. Going hand-in-hand with authenticity is showing your human side. TikTok users would much rather see the face(s) behind a brand as opposed to all products, all the time. Let your personality shine through and show the people and emotions behind your brand.

To encourage interaction and engagement with users, ask questions, invite them to create their own videos using your brand and make sure to keep the conversation going.

Pay attention to trends, challenges and hashtags. Find new trends on your Discovery page and create your own content with a unique spin to catch users’ attention.

While trend awareness and participation are a must, TikTok is also a place for brands to get creative to test playful, lighthearted content that may not fit on other social channels. TikTok is a great platform to test new content and gauge your followers’ reactions.

Sometimes it’s not about creating great advertising; instead, it’s about creating great entertainment. Tell a story, keep it joyful and have fun.

Top Takeaways

  • Sound and visuals are key when uploading content to TikTok.
  • There are nearly 79 million TikTok users in the U.S.
  • Trends are important, but brands also need to get creative and add their own spin to get noticed.
  • Don’t make ads, make TikToks—engaging content that gets users eager to interact.

Not sure if TikTok is the right platform for your brand or need help getting started? Contact us to discuss the potential for tapping into audiences that align with your marketing objectives and social media strategy.