News and Insights

3 Steps to Successful Advertising on TikTok

February 2, 2023

So, you’re trying to target Gen Z and millennials with a product or service. Naturally, you want to be where your audience is – on TikTok. But with over 1 billion videos viewed on this platform every day, how do you ensure the video you create not only gets noticed but makes an impact?

Here’s the key: Don’t stand out.

I know it sounds counterintuitive because for years we’ve been telling ourselves and our clients that we need to create advertising that stands out. But on TikTok, the best way to stand out is to blend in. It’s all about authenticity. You want to create something that feels organic to the platform.

So, for the love of God, rethink the urge to repurpose. The last thing you want to do is take an ad you’ve developed for TV and simply repurpose it for TikTok. Yes, it will save time and money, but it will get about as many views as your full-length wedding video.

Even ads you’ve done for YouTube, Facebook or Instagram are probably not the right style of video for TikTok. Creating something unique for the platform is the best way to go. We’ve found our most successful TikToks follow the three steps below and included an example of one we created for Dedham Savings to illustrate how the formula works.

1. Hop on a trend: To be authentic and relevant to this platform, it’s a good idea to build your concept around a viral trend. In fact, 61% like brands better when they participate in trends. But pick one that’s likely to have some longevity, not one that will be history by the time your video goes up, like those tied to a specific song. For example, we based our video for Dedham Savings on this TikTok trend where people call out their family’s, friends’ or coworkers’ problems.

2. Get scrappy: The good news about creating successful TikToks is you don’t need a big production budget. Videos that look too slick or over-produced scream “I’m an ad” and will not perform well. So, embrace your iPhone camera and break out your inner director. Bribe your friends who fit the target profile to be your talent and shoot somewhere with no location fee … like your company’s ski house you get to use for free. That’s what we did.

3. Edit like an amateur: If you’re making an organic video for your client, you can shoot and edit it directly in TikTok. Paid ads need to be created on your own outside of the app. To be authentic, we suggest mimicking popular TikTok fonts, caption styles, transitions and audio. For music and SFX, you can sift through TikTok’s free commercial use sound library. We edited our Dedham Savings video in-house and kept it to roughly :15 because TikTok is for short attention spans. It performed above benchmark and garnered over 2 million views.

Now go get your TikTok on! Warning: That rabbit hole is deep.

POSTED BY: Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards