Today, successful advertising on TikTok is difficult to achieve because the age of users on TikTok falls into the Millennial and Gen Z bracket, with active user statistics skewed toward younger users. They view happiness intrinsically, and TikTok’s explosive popularity reflects this. As a result, brands have thus far been successful on TikTok as an untapped platform for businesses to promote themselves.
Since these generations resist traditional advertising approaches, the organic and natural use of native advertising on TikTok will bridge the gap between a brand’s advertising campaign and a stubbornly resistant demographic to old-school sales pitches. To help you determine how to advertise on TikTok, below are six different content formats for integrating native ads into your TikTok feed. Along with some pros and cons associated with each type and what makes these native ads appeal to younger generations.
- Entertainment videos
These videos are humorous and somewhat simple in their delivery. They appeal emotionally to the user—since younger crowds are more receptive to emotional and humanist angles, and don’t appreciate an overly scripted sales pitch, these videos are usually well-received. It’s a great option for brands that have used traditional advertising methods in the past. These may be more expensive to produce, depending on what terms are negotiated with the influencer, and they may also require additional production and the use of Depositphotos in this case.
- Top lists
In these native ads, the promoted brand doesn’t take front and center stage. Instead, it acts as a ribbon of knowledge that threads consistently in all of their videos. An example of this would be a skiing and snowboarding school that promotes its business by posting engaging and relevant Top 5 and Top 10 list videos on winter sports, such as “What are the Top 5 snowboards for beginners?” Their business and brand won’t be at the forefront of their videos, but their passion and knowledge of the subject will. Sharing that expertise places the brand as an authority and subject expert to the user.
This type of advertising works exceptionally well over a longer period, and with repeated and consistent use of Top lists, a brand can showcase themselves as an industry authority. Unless the brand happens to stumble into a viral video that doubles as a Top List video, this method of native advertising will require patience and persistence to be successful. Results will not come overnight, but the trade-off for time allows the brand to establish itself as an industry expert.
Posting a review video is an excellent choice if a brand or product being promoted is new, or is still in the process of establishing credibility for itself within the larger product market. An example of a review video would be an influencer creating a TikTok video about the promoted brand or product, which shows that they’re actively using it, then discussing things that they like about the product, or highlighting a unique feature that sets it apart from its competitors.
This method must be approached with caution, though; if it smells like a blatant advertising attempt or feels too much like a forced shill or awkward TikTok promotion, it will fall flat and be unsuccessful. Working in lockstep with the influencer creating the content will be vital to the success of review videos.
- The results-first approach
This one is trickier than the review video and is considered an indirect approach to native advertising. The promoted product is showcased as a tool to achieve a desired result. You may have seen something like this in the past, where a person makes a video of themselves easily solving an everyday hassle by using a product you haven’t heard of before. The trick with these videos is to keep the brand hidden until the end. Only then its use advantage and convenience are fully conveyed.
This method is great for showcasing the product’s value by necessity and convenience first, before the brand association is established. Still, it relies on entirely new and unique products and its use cases to drive content and successful outcomes. If the product seems like a cheap gimmick, or if the video feels like an infomercial, viewers will turn away, and the method will be unsuccessful.
- Product usage process
By incorporating a product into everyday life, this native advertising method highlights the relevancy and need, and makes it appear valuable to the audience. In addition, influencers that create these types of videos can cater the product to their viewers’ demographics, such as a tech channel walking viewers through a new Apple iOS mobile application.
If this method to promote TikTok video is executed correctly, the influencer’s demonstration of the product will help drive interest and sales to the brand; it’s also an appreciated method if the product being shown is complex in nature or use, and the influencer can make the demonstrated use of the product more easily digestible to the audience. However, like the review method, this tactic must be approached with care and attention to keep it from coming off too scripted and sales-like.
- TikTok trends capitalization
This method of native advertising leverages the TikTok algorithm to promote brand content to a wider audience. The brand can incorporate trending topics, hashtags, life stories, and experiences into a brand campaign to promote on TikTok. It’s an excellent option for viral content or hashtags, as the TikTok algorithm will promote the TikTok video faster as a result. Still, this rapid success may be transient and short-lived compared to other approaches.
This particular method hinges on constantly monitoring trends and pivoting the advertising approach to match trending topics. This can be considered a potential drawback because different trends will come and go every week, and a successful trend one week may end up stale the next. In addition, it can be challenging to constantly produce content in response to trends if the brand or influencer lacks the resources to respond quickly. Trends also vary by area or region; what is viral in one region may not be popular in another.
A successful TikTok promotion will showcase your brand and content to an enormous audience, and help you tap into an advertising market that doesn’t exist on previously established video platforms like YouTube or Facebook. The advertising process on TikTok is unlike other social media applications due to its user base and demographics. The advertising approach taken must respect this. Using the six native advertising methods discussed above to promote on TikTok will help your brand appeal to the primary audience, while respecting what sets them apart from previous generations.