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TikTok explained

TikTok came bursting onto the scene in 2018 and since then it has taken social media by storm. 

As of September 2021, it has reported having over 1 billion monthly active users. Everyone and their mum have TikTok which makes it a great platform for reaching your audience through ads. The incredibly large user base only scratches the surface with why TikTok is a platform  to use for advertising. 


What Are TikTok Ads?

TikTok’s content consists of 15–60-second videos. This format means that ad spots are at a premium since they aren’t likely to get lost in a sea of competing ads like they can on other social platforms.

TikTok is THE Social Platform to Reach Gen Z (those aged between 11 and 26 years old in 2023).

According to GreenBook, 20% of Gen Z users spend five hours a day or more on TikTok. It is home to numerous niche subcultures so you will be able to find your ideal audience no matter how ‘out-there’ or hyper-specific their interests or activities are.

If your product or service is largely aimed at a Gen Z audience, then TikTok is a smart choice for advertising, giving you the greatest chance of reaching the largest number of users that fit your ideal target audience.

Older Generations Are Joining TikTok 

While TikTok is largely considered to be a Gen Z platform, other generations such as millennials and baby boomers have started using the platform. They were not as quick to adopt the new platform as Gen Z but as it has grown and become established it has become popular across generations.

In the first quarter of 2020, the number of users aged 24–34-year-olds on the platform went up from 22.4% to 27.4%. In the same period, the number of 35–44-year-olds also increased from 13.9% to 17.1%.

With growing interest across all ages, it is likely that no matter who your target audience is, you will be able to find them on TikTok.

Huge Reach and Engagement

The huge reach of TikTok’s expands more than generations.

Audiences on TikTok come from over 150 countries, have an almost even split of male and female users (53% and 47% respectively), and were the most downloaded app of 2021.

TikTok also has incredibly high engagement anywhere from 3% to a massive 12%.

Precise Targeting

TikTok has advanced targeting that allows you to get the most value from your ads.

Options for targeting include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests

In addition, you can build custom and lookalike audiences. These types of audiences can be used to reach existing customers or users who match your existing customer demographic.

Transparent Measurement

Much like Facebook, TikTok lets you use tracking pixels and URLs in your ads to keep track of your campaigns so  you don’t have to guess or estimate how your ads are performing.

Everything is tracked for you. This includes metrics such as impressions, ad conversions, in-app actions, and more. You can then use the detailed reports to see how well your advertising dollars are being spent.

In Summary 

Adverting on TikTok is a great idea for most brands. Its impressive userbase that is made up of 1 billion people from around the world means that at least some segment of your audience is almost certainly using it.

TikTok continues to grow in popularity. But as the platform continues to grow, so will competition.

Written by Annabel Jamieson, a digital marketing and tech strategist with over 25 years’ experience working in the digital environment driving business transformation and growth.  She is currently a Co-founder and Director of two global businesses which specialise in content services.