Tik Tok Marketing: Is it Right for Your Brand?


  • TikTok is a video-only platform that allows you to create short videos with creative overlays, sounds, and visual effects.
  • The social media app has a few advantages for helping your brand reach new audiences, build brand awareness, and drive clicks. 
  • 41% of TikTok’s users are aged 16 to 24 and there are about 26.5 million monthly active users (MAU) in the US. 
  • Since the launch of their beta platform, they’ve included some self-serve options for brands but a majority of the options require large budgets and TikTok ad reps.
  • If your audience fits within the primary demographic and you have a large advertising budget, then you should certainly consider TikTok marketing.

Amid the quarantine, many of us have taken the time to try out some new things like learning Spanish, cooking up new comfort food recipes, or becoming the household’s new mixologist. If you’re like us, then you probably also decided to give that new Gen-Z social media app TikTok a spin to pass time. Hey, we’re not judging; it’s okay to be basic sometimes 😉 

In this post, we’ll dive into the basics of the social media platform, why it’s SUCH a BIG deal, and what it has to offer. Hopefully, by the end of this, you’ll have a better understanding of what TikTok is and whether TikTok marketing is right for your brand.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media app created by the Chinese tech company called ByteDance. TikTok is a video-only platform that allows you to create short, 15 or 60 second videos with creative overlays, sounds, and visual effects. The social media app’s feature that truly sets it apart from its contemporaries is the ability to overlay sounds like music or viral sounds from other TikTok creators. 

To be frank, the app seems to be an amalgamation of other social media platforms like the beloved Vine and the aging Snapchat. It combines the bite-size video content that Vine provided and mashes it with the creative filters, effects, and horizontal video format that Snapchat brought to the world of social media. TikTok also incorporates the musical aspect of the lesser-known Musical.ly.

Here’s a fun fact: Interestingly enough, Musical.ly was acquired by ByteDance in 2017 and in 2018 they merged the platform with TikTok. This explains all the dancers that seem to make up the platform we know today. 

In a nutshell that’s TikTok and what makes it loved by so many (especially marketers). But, it’s not just the funny effects and music that generate all the hype. Part of it is the sheer numbers of users who’ve flocked to the platform. Let’s have a look. 

What’s the big deal with TikTok, anyway?

So what’s all the hype? There’s a lot to be hyped about when it comes to TikTok marketing, especially if the age of your brand’s core consumer base is 16 to 24. Here are some of TikTok user statistics:

  • 41% of TikTok’s users are aged 16 to 24
  • There are about 26.5 million monthly active users (MAU) in the US
  • TikTok users spend 52 minutes on average on the app per day, nearly twice as long as the measly 27 minutes per day that users spend on Instagram. 
  • The app recently surpassed 2 billion global downloads. Let’s not forget that it reached 1 billion downloads in its first year. 

Those are just a few highlights, If you Google “tiktok statistics,” there’s an endless list of intriguing stats about the app’s performance during its first few years.

With these statistics alone, it makes sense why so many brands are interested in leveraging the platform for their digital marketing activities. If you’re able to navigate the platform and truly understand how to make great TikTok content, your brand has the potential to reach a massive international audience that’s highly engaged. 

TikTok’s New Paid Advertising Options

So, if you want to get a piece of this hot new audience, the social media platform has a few different advertising products to offer. But, be aware because the TikTok marketing platform is still relatively young — they barely launched the beta version in April 2019.

Since the launch of their beta platform, they’ve included some self-serve options for brands but a majority of the other options require large budgets and TikTok ad reps.


Have $65,000 laying around and want to reach roughly 7.4M eyeballs? Then TikTok’s TopView ads might be an option for you! By the way, the $65,000 dollar budget is the minimum per day. 

Anyways, TopView ads are placements that essentially take over the user’s entire screen as soon as they open the app; immediately immersing them in your ad. This ad placement takes the In-feed Video and Brand Takeover ad placements and combines them into one immersive experience. 

Brand Takeover

Like we mentioned in the previous section, the TopView ad placement consists of the Brand Takeover ad placement. However, the Brand Takeover option has a fairly high barrier to entry because only one advertiser can take that placement per day. Similar to the TopView product, this placement immediately immerses users into the ad as soon as they open the application. 

You typically see advertising options like this on news sites for large brand or product launches where the entire ad takes over the screen. Advertisers can use either 3-second images or 3 to 5 second videos. The minimum ad spend for Brand Takeovers is $53,000 per day for about 8.9 million impressions. 

In-feed Ads

In-feed ads are very similar to the standard ads you see as your scroll through your Instagram or Facebook feed. The only difference is that these are in full TikTok mode with horizontal video and appear directly in the user’s For You page.

It’s said TikTok users are scrolling pretty quickly, so with In-feed Ads you ought to have an ad that quickly draws a user’s attention within the first 2-3 seconds. Don’t let that discourage you, though. Brands like Kia were able to leverage In-feed ads to drive over 6.8 million video views and receive about 1 million clicks. If you are hoping for a more affordable option, then In-feed Ads might, we repeat might, be the right for you. However, you’ll want to keep in mind the starting ad spend for In-feed Ads is $25,000.

Branded Hashtag Challenges

Ah… good ol’ hashtags! Thought they were dead? Well, TikTok is telling all of us to forget about all of that because it’s another one of their ad products and possibly one of their most popular. Branded hashtag challenges allow brands to leverage user-generated content from TikTok users and creators. If done correctly, your brand will drive tons of awareness, engagement, and user generated content by giving users the opportunity to take on your branded hashtag challenge. 

Hashtags are free to use on the platform, though TikTok offers paid advertising options by providing brands their own branded hashtag pages and CTAs. Some have reported that branded hashtag packages, which include Brand Takeovers ad placements, can cost around $130,000. Recently, TikTok has released a new and enhanced hashtag ad product, Hashtag Challenge Plus, with different features. It’s estimated the cost of this hashtag challenge package is $160,000. 

Branded Effects

If you are any bit familiar with Snapchat’s Lense effect, TikTok branded effects are exactly the same. For those of you who are unfamiliar, these effects are augmented reality (AR) effects that allow users to place 3D graphics within the real world. Branded effects can also come in the form of facial animations where 3D sunglasses are placed on your face. The options for branded effects are limitless because as a brand you can create whatever AR effects you like. Just like each of the other ad products we mentioned above, if done right this can drive tons of awareness for your brand when the effect goes viral. 

Before you go off and start creating your own branded effects let’s take a look at cost. This ad product is said to cost about $45,000 for 30 days.

Is TikTok marketing right for your brand?

Now to answer the big question, is TikTok marketing right for your brand? This is a difficult question to clearly answer for any social media platform. The best advice the social media marketing experts at Redefine can give is: if your audience fits within the primary demographic that’s actively using TikTok, then you should certainly consider it. If not, then think a little harder about why advertising on TikTok may be beneficial for your brand. 

But don’t get discouraged by age demographics because we’ve slowly seen TikTok’s audience begin to skew much older. MediaKix reported that they’ve seen a 3X increase in downloads from users over +18. This means TikTok might become a viable advertising option for brands with older audiences.

Source: https://mediakix.com/blog/top-tik-tok-statistics-demographics/


By now you should have a better understanding of the new kid on the block, TikTok. The social media app has a few advantages for helping your brand reach new audiences, build brand awareness, and drive clicks. And, with how fast the platform is growing, these fruits appear they’ll only ripen as the app continues to grow. Given that it is a hot new platform, reaching its sea of users will come at a pretty penny.

With this information you’ll want to think long and hard about whether or not TikTok marketing is right for your brand. As always, if you need help putting together a paid social media campaign on TikTok or other platforms like Facebook and Instagram, our paid media team is ready to help your brand reach new heights. Drop us a line on our live chat or contact us here to schedule a call!


Author avatar
Jason Martinez
Jason is a Cal Poly Pomona Alum, extreme fan of marketing, and social media advocate. As a Brand Marketing Manager at Redefine Marketing Group, he is responsible for the development and execution of strategy for reputation management, link building, and social media marketing for both the agency and its clients.
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