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  • Annie Astraikis

Your Guide to Digital Marketing: Let’s Talk TikTok

After discussing the well-established social media giants that are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, it’s time to talk about the new kid on the block: TikTok. Let’s dive into Generation Z’s favorite pastime and end the Your Guide to Digital Marketing series with a bang.

Why TikTok Matters

Despite only being launched in September of 2016, TikTok already has 1.1 billion active users, and this number only continues to balloon. To put it into perspective, Twitter, a platform that’s been around since 2006, only has 199 million users as of 2021. These numbers are a clear indication that TikTok is growing fast and isn’t going away anytime soon. If your business hasn’t already ventured into the exciting world of video marketing and relationship building, it’s time to make a change.


TikTok has a comprehensive advertising solution built right into the app. There are a couple of ways to promote your content and each one serves a different purpose:

  • In-Feed Ads: These are short-form videos that appear on a user’s “For You” page, which is a feed of content curated for each individual user. This type of advertisement is very popular because it allows marketers to organically blend their advertising efforts into a user’s feed. They look similar to native TikToks, so they allow for seamless integration into non-promotional content.

  • Branded Hashtag Challenge: Unlike traditional campaign types, this one encourages TikTok users to submit their own content and promote your company using their personal profiles. Basically, a brand will place an advertisement at the top of the “Discovery” page and request users to record themselves performing something, like doing a choreographed dance, lip singing to a catchy song, or performing a prank, and then post it along with a hashtag related to your business.

  • Brand Takeover: Brand takeovers are full-screen, three- to five-second videos that appear when someone opens the TikTok app. They will also show up in the “For You” feed. While some businesses love the concept of capturing a social media user’s screen for a specific number of seconds, pop-up ads are famously unpopular among consumers, with a staggering 73 percent disapproval rating. While many organizations see upside in having a person’s undivided attention, I recommend steering clear.

  • TopViews Ads: Similarly to Brand Takeovers, TopView ads display full screen. The main difference is that Brand Takeovers can last five seconds, while this type can be up to 60 seconds! Again, there are some benefits to these types of pop-up ads, but the downside is that you risk breeding resentment from consumers.

  • Branded Effects: After discussing two less than favorable advertisement types in a row, we’re back to a campaign type that’s actually popular among consumers. Branded Effects are custom stickers, augmented reality (AR) filters, and special lenses that users can add to their own videos. The AR filters are very similar to those offered by Instagram.

Types of Content to Post

Since TikTok is relatively new and still trying to find its footing in the market, it has a lot of room for exploration and creativity. There’s plenty of space to try new things, be bold, take risks, and differentiate yourself from the competition. Here are a few video ideas to consider:

  • Social Media Challenges: You can hop on viral trends, such as “Flip the Switch” or “Reese’s Puffs,” to generate brand awareness, introduce your employees and offerings to the world, and put a human face on your company. There are new challenges popping up every day, so before you sink time into making a video, do a quick Google search for an up-to-date list of popular challenges.

  • Lip Syncing: An ever-popular video idea is to lip-sync to your favorite song. Ask a few of your employees to learn the words to part of a hit song and then film them mouthing along. These videos help to make your brand approachable and fun.

  • Influencer Collaborations: Consumers love seeing pop-culture figures endorsing their favorite brands, and many people deeply trust their recommendations and opinions. If you’re able to get in contact with a popular celebrity or influencer, ask them to try out one of your products or services. Internet tastemakers carry immense weight when it comes to influencing consumers to shop at certain businesses.

Stay Tuned

While this caps our blog series, we will be releasing a digital marketing white paper in the near future. This free, downloadable PDF will provide a succinct summary of everything you need to know about digital marketing and how to make it work for your organization. Stay tuned for more!

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