A new social media platform has entered the ring and is taking the world by storm.

After its launch in September of 2016, TikTok (formerly known as Musical.ly) has become one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world. Gaining traction at the end of 2018, TikTok now has over 800 million users with 41% of users between 16 and 24 years of age. If for some reason you have not heard of the TikTok craze (I doubt it) it is an application that allows users to create, share and discover short videos on all topics ranging from food and fashion to dancing and gardening.

Considering TikTok is relatively new and not totally saturated with ads like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, it presents an enormous opportunity for a fresh approach to advertising. Due to this, TikTok has well and truly shaken up the marketing world. In saying this, TikTok is not suitable for all businesses for several reasons. To decide whether TikTok advertising is beneficial for your business, there are a few points to keep in mind. Read on to find out what they are.

#1 What is the demographic of your target market?

An important point to keep in mind when it comes to advertising is to ensure you are utilizing the same platforms as your target market. This will ensure that your ads are directed at those who are most interested in your product or services and most likely to turn into conversions and ultimately a purchase. With 66% of TikTok’s global audience under the age of 30, it is no doubt that advertising on TikTok would only be beneficial if your target audience is on the younger end of the scale.

#2 What product or service are you offering?

Following on from a brands target market; prior to investing in any type of advertising, it is vital to really think about what your brand offers and where it’s advertising would be best received. Although social media may be the most common channel of advertising, it all comes down to your individual brand and what works best for that. Traditional forms of advertising are not completely impractical for brands that offer services that are traditional themselves or have a target audience that often uses traditional forms of media (such as television, newspapers, magazines, and that alike). For example, advertising a retirement village on Snapchat would not be viable for a number of reasons. Firstly, because the demographic of Snapchat users and those interested in a retirement village do not align. Secondly because that audience are much more likely to be interacting on and with traditional forms of media instead.

#3 Budget, budget, budget

Advertising is not a cheap exercise, but if carried out accurately can be extremely rewarding for your business. Therefore, it is important to allocate your funds to the right forms of advertising and of course to the relevant social media platforms. With larger businesses such as Nike, Disney, NBA and even Guess advertising on TikTok, the stakes have been raised as well as the price of advertising. The combination of these large brands and the fact that TikTok ads are new and rare, advertising on TikTok starts at approximately $10 per CPM (cost per impression); and that is just for small campaigns. It has been reported that some larger campaigns on TikTok have reached up to a whopping $300,000 in total budget. Whilst $10 per CPM may not seem like a lot, TikTok campaigns require an upfront minimum investment of $500. Therefore, as appealing as it seems, if you are just starting out or tight on budget, perhaps steer away from TikTok.

#4 What is your overall goal?

Always go ahead with things that will help get you closer towards your end goal; whether that be impressions, conversions, or purchases. In the first stages of advertising, lots of brands tend to gather research data and demographic data to further fine tune their ads to decide where they end up. If this is something you plan to do then say goodbye to TikTok. At current TikTok is lacking in terms of analytics and data gathering, as they do not provide any demographic data on followers or users who have engaged with your content. At the moment creators are only able to view how many people have; watched their videos, reacted and commented on their videos and viewed their profile. Differing to this, Facebook and Instagram provide quite detailed demographic data which often proves useful. Therefore, if this is your goal then these other platforms may be the way to go instead.

Advertising can seem overwhelming, but it does not have to be that way. Knowing your brand, the best you can is the best way to prepare for and simplify the advertising process. As long as you are aware of the demographic of your target audience along with their preference of media channel, you are well on the way to a successful advertising campaign. In terms of TikTok, is it worth your investment? Well that solely depends on your individual situation and whether you have the ability to undertake this expensive venture. There is no doubt TikTok can act as a fantastic tool, but it comes with a steep cost. If this is not a viable option for your business at the moment, it does not mean you can not explore the option of advertising on different (and cheaper) social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Find what works for your business and the rest will follow.

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Rebecca Tatarelli

Rebecca has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Communication and Media from the University of South Australia. She has a great interest in copywriting, content creation and social media management where she plans to continue developing her skills during her time here at Digital Marketing Adelaide and beyond. A true foodie, Rebecca loves heading out for dinner as well as spending quality time with her adorable puppy Remington.

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