Published on November 28, 2023
This article is about the proper approach to video content creation for the TikTok platform. Not a guide for the Ads manager.
TikTok advertising with video is a huge challenge, whether you’re a brand with an in-house marketing team, a video marketing agency, or a media buyer — achieving satisfactory results is no easy task.
Similar to Meta advertising, having the largest budget doesn’t always mean you’ll get lots of successful conversions.
Like with the “organic” posts and reels, the audience (or the viewers) dictate if the content is interesting or not. If there are a lot of shares, saves, likes, and comments — it’s pretty much certain that you’ll reach a lot of users.
Setting up TikTok ads is pretty straightforward, the content creation part is what is the most important, and ad settings can easily be learned. Especially if you had some previous experience with Meta or Google/YouTube advertising. Since some of you might have searched for a guide, you can find more about it on the TikTok website.
Let’s get back to how to advertise on TikTok.
What Once Worked in Paid Social Advertising Doesn’t Work With TikTok Advertising
There was a time when creators (pre-TikTok) who used the best equipment, good design, and a great copy, dominated the field. Today, when the field is more even when it comes to equipment, quality of posts, etc., users are more attracted to lower-quality content. Or the one that looks like it.
Some of you might read this and think “What on earth are these guys blabbering about”. Pay attention to ads, you’ll start noticing more and more “regular” people who film themselves talking about a product or service. In most cases, there is a crew behind the camera. But, that’s what we referred to when we slower quality.
So, why does that work?
This trend flourishing means that users became aware of a production crew behind videos, and it seems they don’t like that anymore. That’s because pretty much anyone with an advertising budget can present their product in a much better light than it might be.
I worked on a few projects where I obviously knew that we made the product look 10 times better than it actually is. Since I know how things work in this industry, how can any advertisement have an influence on me?
It seems that out-of-the-industry people caught on to it as well. That’s why many advertisers and media buyers, realized that when users see a “regular” person (that’s not an actor, or at least doesn’t look like one) sharing their experiences, with less sophisticated equipment and all-in-all a “worse” looking video — they have more trust in them.
What Works With TikTok Advertising?
In many ways, the “unwritten rules” for the success of organic content also apply to paid social advertising. You can have a bigger ad spend budget than your competitor, but if their creative solution leaves a better impression on the viewers, they will get a good “piece of the cake”.
So creativity definitely plays a large part.
If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that today brands promote their services or products with UGC (user-generated content). Companies even sponsor those videos. Keep in mind, that plenty of those are not actual users, but actors, creators, or influencers who make it look as natural and organic as they possibly can.
Since UGC videos are mostly scripted, behind them is a lot of creative thinking and brainstorming. What should be the “hook”, when to say what, background music, etc… There is much more creativity there than you might think.
Statistics back this up. UGC is trusted 50% more than any other media. Although users are more aware of the latest trends where creators are pretending to use the product, they still trust them more than high-quality production commercials.
So, besides creativity, what else should you focus on?
A/B Testing and Limitless Variations: a Recipe for Success — TikTok Advertising
What is the value of hiring a video marketing agency apart from the production?
We would say that there is a lot of importance in a good creative team, a creative leader who understands that you need to have multiple ad variations to test them out, as well as a good script, that includes a quality hook in the early parts of the video.
We quickly learned how significant is to have an awesome editor who can see possible variations even before the creative leader sits with him to work together on numerous versions.
Many of you know that A/B testing your creatives is crucial. A simple example is to create one post with multiple copies (text) and follow which one performs the best.
Maybe you are more advanced and you produced two creatives and you test each with multiple copies (text).
In order to have the best result, you need to go a few steps further.
That’s how we at dme.studio do it. Most of our ads (15-30 seconds duration) have 4-8 variations just to start the campaign. With agencies that spend 20k+ monthly on ads, there could even be 20 ad variations in a few months.
That’s the beauty of TikTok advertising. It’s a never-ending battle. You could say that it’s a battle against your competitor, but more often than not, it’s a battle against yourself. You need to outperform your previous creative solutions.
Can You Advertise on TikTok for Free?
The answer is both — Yes and No.
Yes, because TikTok primarily operates as a platform for organic, user-generated content. This means that if your creative content hits the spot, you will get a lot of attention for free — AKA going viral!
But that’s a rare occurrence. Another notable free advertising method on TikTok is participating in or initiating challenges.
Creating a unique and engaging challenge encourages user participation, resulting in a ripple effect of user-generated content associated with your brand.
But that’s really something you can depend on. If you want a literal answer to this question, then the answer is No. In order to advertise for free on TikTok, you’ll have to go viral.
How Much Does It Cost to Put an Ad on TikTok?
Venturing into TikTok advertising opens up a world of opportunities, but understanding the costs is essential for a successful campaign. TikTok advertising prices kick-off at $0.50 CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) and $0.02 for each click. However, it’s crucial to delve deeper into the financial aspects to make informed decisions.
To start a TikTok advertising campaign, a minimum budget of $500 is required. This initial investment paves the way for exploring the platform’s vast user base and potential reach. At the campaign level, a minimum daily budget of $50 ensures a steady presence, while at the ad group level, the minimum daily budget stands at $20.
Understanding the nuances of the cost-per-click (CPC) model is important. With a starting point of $0.02 per click, advertisers have the flexibility to manage and optimize their spending based on user engagement and campaign performance. This dynamic pricing structure allows for strategic adjustments throughout the campaign.
As with any advertising endeavor, success on TikTok requires careful planning and adaptation. Crafting engaging content, identifying target demographics, and leveraging the platform’s creative potential are integral components.
Embracing the “lower-quality” trend, where authenticity resonates more than production quality, can be a game-changer in connecting with TikTok’s diverse audience.
Incorporating user-generated content (UGC) into campaigns aligns with TikTok’s culture, where authenticity is highly valued. Sponsoring videos that feel natural and organic, even if facilitated by influencers or creators, taps into the platform’s trust dynamics. Statistics affirm that UGC is trusted 50% more than any other media, underlining its significance in TikTok advertising.
Wrapping It Up: is TikTok Advertising Worth It?
Yes, TikTok advertising is worth it for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses, in particular, benefit from its precise demographic targeting and the platform’s engaging dynamics. The format of short, impactful videos enables businesses to authentically connect with audiences.
In essence, TikTok advertising proves to be a strategic investment, providing businesses with an effective means to reach and engage their target audience in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Need help with paid social advertising? Feel free to reach out to our team!