Is it Time to Get Your Brand on TikTok? A Quick Primer For Advertisers

TikTok was the second most downloaded app last year with 738 million installs, giving advertisers more reason to pay attention to the short-form video platform.


Even if you haven’t downloaded TikTok yet, there’s a good chance you’ve watched a TikTok video. The ByteDance-owned short-form video app filled with music and dance-centric content makes it easy to download and share videos across social media platforms, a move that has helped grow its popularity beyond the teen audiences early to embrace it. Last year, TikTok was the second most downloaded app in the App Store and Google Play (second to Facebook’s WhatsApp), according to Sensor Tower, with more than 738 million global downloads in 2019 – bringing its total global downloads to 1.65 billion.

Sensor Tower reported the U.S. saw 46 million downloads. Of it’s U.S. users, 37% are age 10 to 19-years-old and 26% are 20 to 29-years-old, per Statista’s January data. Numbers like this make it hard to ignore TikTok as a potential ad channel – especially for brands wanting to connect with younger audiences.

Statistic: Distribution of TikTok users in the United States as of January 2020, by age group

Tik Tok details for advertisers

To start advertising on TikTok, ad campaign managers must complete the Create an Ad form on the TikTok Ads homepage. After the form is submitted, TikTok will reach out with further details on opening an ad account.

Once an advertiser has access to TikTok’s ad platform, they can create a campaign via TikTok’s ad dashboard where they will be prompted to select an ad objective (awareness, consideration or conversions), targeting options which include gender, location, age and interests, and campaign budget details. Advertisers can set budgets at the campaign or ad group level. The minimum daily budget at the campaign-level is $50, and the minimum daily budget for ad groups is $20.

TikTok offers advertisers two perks in particular: A Video Creation Kit that lets brands customize videos and images, and includes more than 300 free background music options. There is also the TikTok Creator Marketplace (TCM) where brands, agencies and marketers can connect with creators and influencers on the platform to collaborate on ads.

TikTok’s ad business is still in its infancy, but it’s putting a focus on growth initiatives. In March, the company partnered with The Trade Desk for advertisers in the Asia-Pacific marketplace, giving brands access to TikTok’s premium inventory via the programmatic ad platform. Major brands working with TikTok’s ad team are seeing impressive results. Ralph Lauren, which ran a hashtag challenge during the U.S. Open saw posts with the #WinningRL hashtag receive nearly 750 million views. The clothing brand Guess, which ran a brand takeover campaign where an ad displays instantly when a user opens the app, earned a 16.5% click-through-rate and saw engagement rates reach 14.3%.

Guess TikTok Ads
Guess advertising campaign on TikTok


If you’re ready to dig into TikTok’s ad opportunities, the app offers a comprehensive help center.

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Akvile DeFazio is the President of AKvertise, a social media advertising agency. She specializes in Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter Ads. Follow @AkvileDeFazio