TikTok Advertising for Retailers: What You Need to Know 

When it comes to getting and staying in front of eager online shoppers, leveraging the global reach of social media platforms, like TikTok are a must. With over 66 million active users in the United States alone, TikTok represents a huge access point to consumers. That is if your retail brand is able to capture and keep their attention with video content long enough to compel them to buy. 

The TikTok Consumer 

Contrary to what most retailers believe, TikTok has a wide demographic profile that cuts across several age groups. Despite being known as a “Gen Z magnet”, new research shows that TikTok of the 800 million daily TikTok users, 26% are between 18-24, 24% are between 25-34, and the number of older adult users has increased by 550% since mid-2020.  

That means for e-commerce brands looking to target multiple age demographics, TikTok is one of the best (and most affordable) social media platforms to pursue for advertising. Although TikTok has not reached the same mega follower status as Instagram or Facebook, the platform is large enough to produce fruitful advertising results, while also being small enough for you to reach high-quality leads with less competition. 

How to Advertise on TikTok 

It is strongly recommended that all retail and e-commerce brands leverage TikTok as an advertising channel. However, in order to maximize results and get the most out of your marketing spend, it’s important to know how to create the right ads that will convert. Here are the three things to note to effectively use TikTok as a marketing tool and sales driver. 

  1. Make short video ads. Though video content is king, the shorter the video content on TikTok, the better. The best performing TikTok videos are generally between 15-20 seconds long, with the first 2 seconds being the most important. Retailers will need to get very creative to hook viewers into the video ad long enough to display the call to action. 
  1. Dial into a specific target audience. To maximize your return on ad spend, you’ll want to hone in on one target audience first and get clear on how to attract them. By doing this, your ad may be seen by fewer people, however, your ad will be much more relevant and compelling to that specific audience that will increase your conversions. By using TikTok’s advanced audience features, such as uploading email addresses of your customers, this can help the algorithm create a highly targeted audience profile for your video ads. 
  1. Make A/B testing a top priority. Testing will be the only way to truly study what is and is not working on TikTok. Since these ads have to be micro-videos, you’ll want to consider every detail of the video, including the font size, color, placement, and of course the first 2 seconds. One video may work well, while another video may severely underperform. You’ll want to study all of the intricacies to understand what your ideal target is consuming and why.  

The Future of TikTok Ads  

As the platform continues to expand, retailers can expect a host of advertising options to be added to the platform. Although TikTok doesn’t offer the same level of consistency or audience reach as Instagram and Facebook (for now), it still represents a relatively untapped market for e-commerce brands looking to stand out. The key will be in creating a viable video ad strategy, focusing on testing, and getting as niche as possible with your target audience.