All eyes are on TikTok as the popular app is in headlines again. Ongoing discussion about a government-mandated sale to a U.S. owner has raised questions about the platform’s future as an advertising channel. Despite these talks on Capitol Hill, brands are continuing to invest substantial ad dollars in the platform. It was against this backdrop that DISQO set out to assess TikTok’s influence as a cultural force and marketing vehicle.
A lot has changed since our first look at TikTok in 2021, so we again tapped DISQO’s audience to learn:
- What motivates TikTokers to use the platform so frequently?
- What do consumers think about current brand marketing efforts on TikTok?
- How do TikTok ads impact buying behaviors?
Download our new report here for a deeper dive into our large-scale study. Read on to get high-level takeaways, along with tips for brands to advance social media advertising strategies on TikTok.
Incredible engagement power
During the pandemic particularly, TikTok became a reprieve and an outlet for entertainment and self-expression. Now, it’s a staple and mainstream advertising channel, due in large part to its widespread appeal and virality. Forty-three percent (4 3%) of consumers reported using TikTok at least within the past month, and nearly half of those (48%) reported using the app nearly everyday.
TikTok brings consumers back for more time and time again, presenting an opportunity and a challenge for advertisers. Brands need TikTok strategies diverse enough to keep the audience engaged while also ensuring the right content is delivered to the right people. Culture moves faster than ever and with new trends popping up daily, brands must keep a close pulse on their customers’ behaviors, preferences and expectations.
DISQO has a range of solutions to help including our robust Audience Solutions for deep insights and longitudinal brand and competitor tracking to agile testing of content and creative ( Ad Testing ) to make sure your brands’ TikToks hit the mark. Devoting resources to an open dialogue with your customers and prospects is a must to win in competitive environments like TikTok.
Evolving Tiktoker motivations
Traditionally, social media has been a place for people to connect, get information, and celebrate their lives with friends and family. While TikTok offers some of these features, it stands in contrast to other platforms with less than 20% of monthly TikTokers reporting that the reason they used the services was to “connect with people like me.” Instead, nearly 1 in 3 say it’s because the platform is a place to “find cool projects and products,” and 1 in 4 say it’s to “keep up with trends.”
With these motivations, it’s no wonder brands have found significant footing with consumers on TikTok. However, motivations are evolving. Over the last two years, there has been a substantial increase in consumers looking to TikTok as a source of information, offering brands the opportunity to engage TikTokers with more “how to” content.
Depending on their goals, advertisers should consider an array of content from entertaining to informational. With a nimble approach to testing brand positioning and messaging ( Ad Testing ) and rigorous campaign effectiveness measurement ( Brand Lift and Outcomes Lift ), brands will better set themselves up for success.
Duh, it’s about the CX with brands on TikTok
Traditional ad formats aren’t for TikTok; brands need to match the medium. Many are falling short. Only 29% of consumers find ads on the platform fun and engaging - down from 50% in 2021. Despite this decline, the majority of users (55%) still have a positive opinion of the ads they see, with 9% reporting that they were “trendsetting,” 6% reporting they were “inspiring,” and 11% reporting that they were “relevant to me.”
While receptivity to ads on TikTok persists, more brands are joining the platform every day, and this competition means only those with intentional strategies will win. Brands need to look for new ways to connect with consumers around a shared experience, rather than through one-dimensional content. Consumers want to see brands as part of “the TikTok experience,” whether that’s through livestreams, duets, influencer collaborations, or the many other programs empowering brands to harness the creativity of TikTok.
Fueling the full marketing funnel
Trending hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt are a testament to TikTok’s role in driving brand awareness and propelling consumers down the marketing funnel to conversion. When asked what they did after watching a video on TikTok, 65% of monthly users said they had shared videos with others. Over one-third (39%) of TikTok users reported that they “researched a project or product I saw in the video,” and 21% said that they actually “purchased a product I saw in the video.”
Brands devoting outsized efforts toward TikTok need to be hyper-vigilant about their objectives and success metrics and must measure whether their content is delivering those outcomes. Flexible, accurate and independent campaign measurement will be a key ingredient for marketers to understand how their campaigns are creating lifts in sentiment and outcomes across the entire TikTok journey.
These high-level takeaways are a preview of the valuable insights in our full report.
On March 7, 2023, we surveyed 28,139 adults who answered questions about their use of TikTok. Questions ranged from what behaviors TikTok ads prompted and opinions about the advertising they experienced. Deep dive into our attitudinal and behavioral insights and get a holistic view of consumer experiences on TikTok.
DISQO’s CX platform includes Ad Testing for optimizing creative and messaging (before deploying ads on TikTok) and the only at-scale solution for measuring brand and outcomes lift via a single source. The DISQO CX platform has solutions for you.
Raise the bar on your TikTok ads and content. Let’s talk!