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How to Build Audience and Drive ROI on TikTok

TikTok is the new kid on the block in the neighborhood of fellow social media giants Facebook,  Instagram, and Twitter, that has recently made headlines and piqued mass curiosity. Starting its journey as a karaoke app beloved by teenagers, TikTok has quickly transformed into the world’s most downloaded app, taking the world by storm with its quirky content that encourages all kinds of creative expression. 

So how can brands reap the many rewards TikTok has to offer? From the app’s incredible reach (touting 800+ million monthly active users globally) to its low barrier to entry, there are lots of doorways for opportunistic growth that a brand can access. At M13, we stay ahead of the curve so we can help our founders do the same, which is why we sat down with TikTok’s Performance Team to learn insights on the platform and users, best practices, and how their clients are seeing success.

Why TikTok?

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video and its mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy to its users. As the world’s most downloaded app, TikTok democratizes the ability to go viral as an immersive sound-on entertainment platform with untapped potential. The content on TikTok is not as polished as other platforms, and that’s by design. 

How is Tiktok unique to advertisers? 

As of Q1 2020, TikTok is available globally and users are spending record amounts of time on the platform. And TikTok is not just for GenZ; the user base has aged up significantly since the app’s inception.

The other key point to note is that a substantial portion of TikTok’s audience are not active on other social media platforms. There is a massive untapped potential to reach new users.

How do brands make the most out of TikTok?

Rule number one: don’t create ads, create TikToks. The team at TikTok emphasizes sound-on storytelling and encourages brands to lean into user-generated content. Putting spend behind a creative campaign that has the look and feel of an organic post, like UGC or a homemade video, is most effective for advertisers on the platform. TikTok users also tend to engage with coupons, vanity codes, special offers like free delivery, and the ability to leave reviews and return products with ease. 

How can brands build awareness and drive ROI?

When it comes to building awareness and driving ROI, there are a few different tools and campaigns that you can take advantage of: 

Self-Serve Auction: In terms of spend, TikTok has a low barrier to entry and competitive CPCs and CPMs. A great place for early-stage companies and small teams to get started as there is no minimum spend required. 

Branded Hashtag Challenge: Drive mass awareness and engagement by creating a viral moment for your brand through a custom hashtag. See the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge as an example 

Branded Effect: Provide a visual tool to enhance your brand’s storytelling. Choose customized Branded Effects powered by intelligent video recognition technology and take advantage of 20+ gestures and facial expressions applicable to trigger an effect. TikTok even supports 2D, 3D, and AR effects. 

TikTok Creator Marketplace: No one knows TikTok better than a TikToker. Engage with TikTok creators directly in the marketplace to increase the reach and awareness of your brand. 

No matter which strategy you choose, it’s a great time to test and experiment with how to drive brand awareness, customer acquisition, and retention through TikTok. Happy creating! 


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