Brands Resisting TikTok Risk Falling Too Far Behind

TikTok has grown massively since the start of 2020, but many brands still don’t know what to do with the platform. There remain legitimate concerns about performance and attribution. There are also practical challenges surrounding TikTok creative, resourcing and a lack of understanding about how the platform works.

So what factors are causing brands to hold back, and how much of each issue is based in reality?

Does TikTok work as a performance channel?

Despite attribution challenges, Meta remains a mainstay of digital marketing strategies, taking up around 50% of all ad spend combined with Google, according to a study from eMarketer. More significantly, most brands feel comfortable using Meta to drive ROI.

TikTok is a newcomer, and the case for performance is not as simple when it comes to bottom-of-the-funnel marketing. In a time when marketing budgets are being cut, the case for expanding onto a new channel is not easy to make. This is especially true considering the perception that conversion rates for TikTok are lower than Meta’s.



It isn’t entirely clear if this is due to inherent downsides to the platform itself, though, or the fact that TikTok is nascent. Without a clear rulebook for success on TikTok, brands are truly not getting the most out of the channel.

TikTok also seems to be particularly effective for top-of-the-funnel marketing. If your brand is reconsidering channel split and a move toward brand marketing and away from performance, then there is a case for diverting this spend towards TikTok.

How do I produce creative for TikTok?

It's true that TikTok creative is challenging, and effective performance requires specific resourcing. There’s a new creative language to learn, but there's also an opportunity to reiterate and refresh rather than starting from scratch.

Iteration is key for scaling, with dynamic elements pulling from the feed. You need to build this into your production, with video you can recycle into different formats to combat fatigue.

TikTok has rewritten the rule book on creators, favoring entertaining content over follower counts. It’s the reason traditional influencers with huge followings have been slow adopters. Small creators can shine, which is good news for advertisers as budgets can stretch further.

Meanwhile, as Meta expands Reels, this barrier to entry will break down over time. Now is a perfect opportunity before more brands pile in

Our target audience is over 25 -- are they on TikTok?

Short answer: Yes, stop worrying.

There is a consensus that TikTok is only for Gen Z -- but this is overstated. According to Tik Tok, 58% of its users are over 25, and this number is only growing. Meanwhile, younger demos are definitely active on TikTok, while they are aging out of Meta.

Time to act

It’s time to overcome any fear of the unknown and start experimenting.

Although there’s risk in expanding onto a new platform during an economic downturn, not being on TikTok has its own strategic risks. It has the audience and is well-financed to tool the ads. Meanwhile, costs are currently very low compared to other platforms.

There has been an uptake by advertisers, with a 60% increase between Q1 and Q2, according to analysis of data from 5,000-plus online stores that use the Triple Whale ecommerce analytics tool.

Consider the significant benefits of getting TikTok ads right, factored against the risks of being left behind and having to play catch-up when platform costs increase.

1 comment about "Brands Resisting TikTok Risk Falling Too Far Behind".
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  1. James Smith from J. R. Smith Group, December 16, 2022 at 10:30 p.m.

    Will, is it possible many brands and agencies are increasingly wary of TikTok because of
    recent national security issues that have resulted in various governmental entities banning use of the platform on official devices (phones/PCs etc)?


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