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    TikTok In 2020: Everything You Need To Know To Launch Your Own Mobile Advertising Campaign

    Reading Time: 6 minutes

    It’s been just over one year since TikTok – the mobile app enabling users to create 15- to 60-second videos with music and filters – launched in Europe, after a successful rollout in APAC and the US.

    Thanks to its easy-to-use interface and viral component, TikTok rapidly gained traction among content creators and users. Mobile advertising options were also introduced in 2019, attracting brands and mobile marketers globally.
    It’s now clear that TikTok is more than a passing trend. It’s actually the fastest-growing social media platform globally, rivaling the likes of Instagram and YouTube. Given that TikTok’s success shows no signs of slowing down, we think it’s important for mobile advertisers to stay on top of the new developments of this highly-engaging, fast-growing and ever-evolving social media platform.

    From the latest app updates to the current mobile advertising opportunities, here’s what you need to know about TikTok in March 2020.

    2019: A record-breaking year for TikTok

    TikTok has seen massive user growth and engagement in 2019. It now counts 800 million monthly active users, up from 300 million in January 2019. In February 2020 alone, TikTok was downloaded by 113 million users worldwide on App Store and Google Play (Sensor Tower), breaking a record for both installs and revenue. It was also the most downloaded non-game app during January and February 2020. As the world’s second-most downloaded app in 2019 after Whatsapp, it’s now nearing 2 billion lifetime Installs.

    Meet the Users of a Highly Profitable App

    With social media usage on the rise during the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that TikTok users are spending more time on the app too. analyzed data from 2,152 TikTok influencers and saw engagement jump by over 27 percent on average from February to March 2020. The TikTok community have been logging life under quarantine, holding remote “cloud raves”, spreading coronavirus memes and sharing health advice too.

    So, who are these users?

    While TikTok appealed more to the Gen Z demographic initially, it has since grown a more mature user base, as it became more mainstream. We now see teens creative on TikTok to cope with social distancing; as well as grown-up celebrities taking part in dance crazes. Different age groups are enjoying the entertainment factor of TikTok.

    While teenagers between 13 and 18 make up most of the user base at 35%, millennials aged 19-37 are also catching up at 19%(YPulse). Surprisingly, boomers are also joining in on the fun. It’s also important to note that TikTok’s users are a highly-engaged bunch, whether creating or consuming content. Daily use is impressive, at an average of 52 minutes per day, (BusinessofApps, 2019), similar to Instagram (53 minutes) and Snapchat (49.5 minutes).

    Let’s look at in-app spend.

    TikTok users can purchase coins, either for themselves or as a gift. They can convert these coins into diamonds or emoji. Diamonds can be exchanged for cash. Prices for coins start at $1.39 for 100, and go up to $139.00 for 10,000.In February 2020, users spent $50.4 million with in-app purchases, making it the third highest-grossing non-game app worldwide, behind Tinder and YouTube (Sensor Tower). Also in February, TikTok also reached a total lifetime user spending of 300 million U.S. dollars on Google Play and the App Store.

    While Gen X clearly has buying power, Gen Z will soon have disposable income and are already worth $44b (Entrepreneur) in purchasing decisions. Gen Z is driving digital trends, from gaming to fashion and reinventing social media marketing as we know it.

    Key TikTok Latest Updates in 2020

    1. Personalization of the user experience
    In 2020, users have more control of the content they interact with on TikTok. For example, they can now block the content they don’t wish to see on their feed. They also have access to curated content streams, instead of random content. This is great news for mobile advertisers and brands, who had cited a lack of content curation as a cause for concern in the past.

    2. More AI involved for a “Deepfake”-style feature
    Perhaps in 2019 you will have spotted celebrities’ faces being swapped in viral videos, with amusing results?
    They were “Deepfakes”: a blend of the words “deep learning” and “fake”, using AI to create fake videos (that look incredibly real). We will be seeing more of this in TikTok, as they introduce a deepfake-style feature allowing users to scan their faces and import them into a number of different videos.

    We predict it will become a highly creative tool for influencers and brands wishing to create unique content and drive user engagement.

    3. Safety-first with update Community Guidelines
    Given its huge impact on social media culture, TikTok has recently updated its community guidelines, which tackle a number of controversial subjects, including a commitment to banning manipulated content or fake news, with violations of its guidelines that will be cited in the event of an offending post or user being removed.

    Opportunities for Mobile Advertisers on TikTok in 2020

    To recap: TikTok can be a profitable platform for gaming advertisers to leverage the different audience target groups.

    Where to start?

    As TikTok launched its ad platform in beta only in April 2019, understandably, there is still a knowledge gap among marketers on how it can be leveraged. Having assisted a number of gaming and ecommerce brands in running campaigns on TikTok throughout 2019, we have learnt through trial and error. A year on, we have gained proven experience, a deeper level of familiarity and developed new capabilities around it, with very positive results.

    Below is our tried-and-tested, recommended process that we utilise at WeQ:

    1. Set the social campaign goals with our client, taking into account things like: budget, product, operating system and demographic.
    2. We work directly with the team at TikTok to set up the campaigns and technical integration on the platform for our clients. We are able to set them up on a granular level on the platform, up to the creative for each campaign.
    3. We start running performance-driven campaigns on TikTok, optimized towards the best creative and best-performing targeting. We regularly refresh content on creatives to prevent “creative fatigue” when seeing the same content repeatedly.
    4. We continue to optimise campaigns towards our clients’ goals. We track performance with CPI, ROI etc and any additional KPIs the client has established. Unlike performance marketing campaigns, the business model for TikTok is CPC and CPM, but it will optimize towards the target CPI.
    5. We share performance results with clients on a regular and transparent basis, and advise them on how to best optimise the budget based on results.

    Here are some key learnings you should keep in mind:

    – We have seen very positive results for gaming and ecommerce campaigns run on TikTok in the start of 2020.

    The gaming vertical is particularly strong in March 2020, as consumers turn to mobile to stay entertained and pass the time while under quarantine. AppAnnie has seen strong growth in downloads of Games in markets affected by the coronavirus. China’s Covid-19 lockdown increased weekly mobile game downloads by 80%. Ndemic Creations’ strategy simulation game Plague Inc. challenges players to spread a deadly virus across the globe, and is the most-downloaded premium app in Italy and USA.
    eCommerce is also on the rise: as eMarketer reports, 50% of Chinese and 31% of Italians are shopping online ‘more frequently’ to purchase products they’d usually buy in-store. As experts warn: retailers need to leverage all their assets to stimulate and sustain consumer demand — that includes maintaining and even boosting digital marketing efforts for the foreseeable future.

    As the world remains in lockdown-mode for the foreseeable future, we don’t predict that any of these trends will shift gear.

    – Ads are still rare compared to platforms like Instagram, so early adopters naturally stand out.

    – To be well received, TikTok content must appear unfiltered and organic, in keeping with the democratic, audience-led video algorithm, which doesn’t prioritise videos based on the creator’s follower count. At WeQ, we focus on infeed videos, as it’s the same vertical format as Tiktok and instagram – meaning that the same creative content can be repurposed on both platforms. As we mentioned before, you’ll need multiple creatives – keeping them up-to-date is extremely important to prevent user ad fatigue.

    – It’s simple and fast to set up scalable campaigns on TikTok on social traffic. Before launching a campaign, we advise to run a test campaign. Brands can start with as little as 50 or 20$ per creative. Based on how the user performs, we can ramp up the campaign. This ensures that the client doesn’t blow their budget, but rather maximize it over a longer period of time.

    Want to Launch Your Own TikTok Campaign?
    There’s never been a better time to leverage the power of TikTok. If you’re not sure where to begin, partnering up with mobile advertising experts who can set up and manage the campaign on TikTok can save you time, as well as maximise your efforts and budget.

    Drop us a line at for an initial consultation on how we can help achieve your social mobile advertising goals.


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