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Can TikTok Trends Create Valuable Marketing Opportunities?

5 min read

What comes to mind when you hear the name “TikTok”? Do you hear the voices of artists like Doja Cat and Meghan Thee Stallion, whose songs have gone viral on the app? Maybe you imagine videos of small business owners showing off their products. Regardless of how you discovered TikTok or how many hours you find yourself scrolling through various content, the brand is quickly becoming a household name.

With over double the amount of users in the United States compared to last year, TikTok has developed unique opportunities for businesses to reach engaged audiences with in-feed advertisements using the TikTok Ad Manager. We’re here to break down everything you need to know about advertising through the app to help you decide if hopping on the TikTok trend is the right move for your company.

What is TikTok, anyways?

If you’re not one of the 800 million people around the world using the platform, allow me to explain. TikTok is a mobile app that allows users to view and create short videos of anything you can imagine, including weird talents, comedy, dance, educational content and more. TikTok started out as musica.ly, giving the app a heavy focus on music and dance videos. Since then, the variety of content has expanded, so now the only thing limiting your videos is your own creativity. What began as a creative outlet for aspiring content creators has become a community of expression, connection, positivity, and a hope for a chance at “going viral.”

Though the videos are short, that doesn’t mean that users are any less engaged – in fact, the opposite is true. On average, TikTok users open the app a whopping 16 times per day and spend nearly quadruple the amount of time on the app than on other social media platforms. On top of that, TikTok attracts a unique group of users that aren’t present on other social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat, making marketing opportunities on the app valuable.

Basics of TikTok Ad Manager

Many popular brands, such as Chipotle, the NBA and even Gucci, have already taken advantage of the platform by producing videos featuring challenges and brand takeovers by popular influencers. However, just like on any other app, being bombarded with paid advertisements deflates the user experience to the point where it becomes an innate ability to spot and skip over sponsored content. So how is advertising through TikTok any different? The answer lies within a recent development called the TikTok Ad Manager. Using this tool, businesses can create advertisements and run marketing campaigns on the platform. Aside from being convenient, the Ad Manager offers benefits such as use of in feed ads and unique set up options, which makes advertising simple and efficient.

In-Feed Advertisements

One huge benefit of using Ad Manager, is that your advertisements will run as native, or in feed ads which appear mixed with regular, user generated content. This means that viewers are likely to be more engaged with the ads rather than ignore them. The goal is not to make ads, but to make entertaining content that advertises products or services, are less disruptive to users and ultimately, lead to faster and better results.

Campaign Set-Up Options

When it comes to a marketing campaign, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” template and TikTok has taken this into consideration by allowing customization on a variety of different attributes. Ad Manager offers full funnel solutions to satisfy any campaign goal, whether you’re running an awareness, consideration or conversion campaign. The platform also features a variety of targeting capabilities, so you can make sure that you’re reaching the right people with your campaign. Target audiences can be specified with certain characteristics, or you can set up a custom audience with lookalike modeling and event based behaviors. The amount of personalization available within the Ad Manager means that nearly any company can find an option that’s right for their campaign.

Should I Be Advertising Through TikTok?

I’m sure that at this point you’re wondering whether or not TikTok Ad manager is beneficial to every company, and the fact of the matter is it may not be. It all comes down to the question that is at the center of every marketing decision- who are you trying to reach?

TikTok is very heavily influenced by Millennial and Gen Z behaviors. In fact, 71% of TikTok users are under the age of 34 and 20% of users are between the ages of 35 and 44, making the age of your target consumer a key component when considering placing your content on the platform.

Another important factor is campaign budget, as ads on TikTok are a bit pricey in comparison to other social media platforms, simply due to the newness and success of the app. However, businesses from many industries have decided that despite a slightly higher cost, the opportunity is still extremely valuable.

Retail, Sports and Entertainment, and News industries are just a few of many that have had success using the platform. The retail company Slate & Tell was one of the first companies to use TikTok Ad Manager to run in-feed ads and they were very successful. Within days of using the creative tools on the platform to show off their personalized jewelry collection, they were able to reach 4 million TikTok users, gain 1000 single session add to carts and saw 2x on ROAS. Isaac Gad, CEO of Slate & Tell said that he sees “endless potential” in advertising through the platform, and I can’t help but agree.

Influencer Marketing Opportunities

Over the years, and thanks to the help of social media, the opportunities with influencer marketing have moved leaps and bounds. Though working with influencers comes with its costs, many brands have found this opportunity as a great alternative to running paid ads through social platforms.

Perhaps you’re interested in using TikTok for your business, but not ready to commit to running an entire in-feed campaign using Ad Manager, well TikTok has you covered there as well. The TikTok Creator Marketplace is a space used for popular content creators to connect with brands interested in influencer marketing on the app. After being accepted into the Marketplace, you’ll be able to see various engagement metrics from influencers’ audiences and determine those that best fit with your brand. If at this point you’re thinking that the people over at TikTok have truly thought of everything, I’m right there with you.

Isn’t TikTok Being Shut Down?

This is a valid question, and unfortunately the most informed answer that we’ve gotten is “maybe, but not yet”. However, the threat of a shutdown may be even more reason to take advantage of the platform while we have it.

Until a decision is made, users of the app are still very active with viewing and creating content, which means that advertising on TikTok is still a valuable opportunity worth considering.


As a former skeptic of TikTok, I can relate to having hesitant feelings about using the app. A difficult aspect of marketing is that you have to put your own feelings aside, be extremely aware of where your audience’s attention is at and plan accordingly. Whether or not you’ve spent your time in quarantine learning trending dances or you’re still boycotting the end of the Vine era, there’s a pretty good chance that your audience falls within the 800 million people whose attention is constantly on TikTok. Who knows, maybe you will be the one to create the next TikTok trend.

Email us, at hello@driftingcreatives.com, to find out how your company can grow using TikTok for Business.

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