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6
MINUTE READ TIME
Published
April 11, 2024
|
David McDaniel
|
For Your Business

Advertising on TikTok: Should You Or Shouldn’t You?

Advertising on TikTok: Should You Or Shouldn’t You?

Table of Contents

To TikTok or not to TikTok. That is the question.

Many of you have already answered that question for yourselves and are using this popular online platform in your marketing strategy. Many more either haven’t decided yet, or have made the decision to stay away.

In each case you may still have doubts.

We’ve all heard of TikTok. Whether you’re using it or not, what exactly is this massive social media sensation? And more importantly…

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Is Advertising on TikTok Worth It?

TikTok is a social media platform for creating, sharing, and discovering short videos. The app is used primarily by young people, and allows users to create videos and share them across a community.

Users spend more time on TikTok than on any other platform.

  1. TikTok                        95 mins/day
  2. YouTube                   74 mins/day
  3. Instagram                51 mins/day
  4. Facebook                49 mins/day

That alone is worth pausing to consider.

If you're advertising on TikTok as part of your marketing strategy you're most likely using it to reach that lucrative younger audience. Paid ads in TikTok are the fastest way to get your brand and your products out there.

RELATED: Navigating TikTok's Ecommerce Wave: Opportunities and Challenges for Amazon Sellers

TikTok offers several ad formats that enable you to create content to match the interests of your target audience. The effectiveness of those TikTok ads is thanks in no small part to the massive available headcount:

  • Over one billion active users.

Most of whom are aged 18-24 – the age demographic most likely to purchase products online.

TikTok Shop

“TikTok Shop” is an ecommerce solution within the app itself. TikTok Shop allows sellers to sell products directly on TikTok through in-feed videos, LIVES, and the Showcase tab.

There are also apps available that allow you to connect TikTok Shop to your Amazon FBA.

With all that, TikTok ecommerce, on the face of it, would seem an obvious way to increase your sales velocity.

And it is.

Only ... what's with all the headlines lately about TikTok being banned?

Tackling the TikTok Ban

Searching tiktok on google

TikTok isn’t banned yet.

Nor is a ban the goal. The goal is to remove potential Chinese influence over the app.

A ban (if any) would go into effect only if this connection to China is not removed.

In a nutshell:

  • TikTok is owned by a Chinese company.
  • Concerns have been raised that this potentially gives China access to the personal info of the 100+ million active users in America.
  • Legislation has been proposed to force TikTok's US assets to be divested (sold) to a qualified new owner.
  • If this is not done within a specified period of time (165 days from the time the bill is passed), the TikTok app would be banned in the US.
  • Recently (March 13th, 2024) The bill was passed in the House (352 - 65).
  • As of this writing it's on its way to the Senate.

President Biden has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

US lawmakers are concerned about China's influence over the app, and are trying to force its owner, ByteDance, to give up control.

In particular, lawmakers worry that TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, could share data with the Chinese government or manipulate content displayed on its platform.

As of June 2023, federal employees and state employees in 34 out of 50 states have been prohibited from using the app on government devices.

Prospects for the bill in the Senate are unclear.

RELATED: Shuttered For Good? How to Prepare for the Uncertain Fate of TikTok Shop

Ways It Could Go

It would seem only two outcomes are possible.

  1. The bill is passed, and TikTok has 165 days to divest or face a ban.
  2. The bill never makes it past the Senate.

Those are indeed the two main ways this could go. As with most things of this scale, subtleties abound. Other scenarios might materialize. 

For example, a new bill could be introduced if this one fails. Adjustments could be made to the existing one. Then, of course, if it does pass, we face the uncertainty of what ByteDance will do.

Will they sell? If so, what changes to the TikTok platform would that entail? New ways of operating under new ownership? New restrictions? Changes that drive away users?

There’s also the possibility of a long appeal of some sort, or ByteDance might, in fact, simply allow the ban to happen.

That last scenario is less likely. In fact, with user support on the scale it is a broad ban, in the end, seems a remote possibility.

Still, that sort of volatility does not exactly warm the hearts of entrepreneurs looking to build a strategy around the platform.

Significance For Sellers

Person holding black iphone

What does this mean, then, for users of TikTok?

More importantly, what does it mean for you, the Amazon sellers of the world, when it comes to selling on TikTok or making use of this incredible tool for marketing?

RELATED: 3 Ways to Level Up Your Amazon Advertising Strategy

No matter which scenario plays out, the immediate upshot is that more attention than ever will be on the TikTok platform. Existing users are already making their voices heard, preparing to resist. People who may not have been considering the platform are now giving it a look. TikTok is all over the news (this very article is an example), and that will continue as this plays out.

As a result the platform, already hugely popular (did we mention it has 1 billion users?), will only draw more attention.

Will that mean more users signing up? Whether more users flock to the platform or not, it probably won’t mean users leaving. For those already on TikTok the opposite, in fact, might occur: users spending more time on the platform than before, posting more, following the story from within that very ecosystem, spending additional time on the TikTok feeds they might not have otherwise.

In short, and in an odd way, this little dust-up might make advertising on TikTok more rewarding for marketers in the near term.

Prediction: Until this is resolved TikTok will be as effective as ever as an ad platform, if not more so. Possibly even the Shop feature will experience a surge.

So … what does that mean?

Change what you’re doing? Start advertising on TikTok if you aren’t?

Should You?

Adding TikTok to your marketing plan if you aren’t advertising or selling there already would seem to make sense, despite all the hubbub. As noted, these things will take time to play out, and in the meantime it’s still very much business as usual.

Or even business as unusual, if the buzz generates even more eyeballs and hours viewed on the platform, which it may well do.

Either way, it seems a worthwhile use of at least a portion of your advertising efforts.

If you’re already advertising on TikTok, maintaining those efforts would also seem to be the smart strategy, rather than scaling back – with an eye for being ready to alter that plan if called for. If you see a shift in the wind, you can start by reducing your dependencies.

Again, the system isn’t going to change overnight. Stay frosty (agile), be ready to make adjustments if needed, but in the meantime keep the coals on the fire.

Spreading your efforts should be part of your master plan.

RELATED: How to Use Google Ads to Improve Amazon SEO

Eggs & Baskets

Diversification is a cornerstone of many aspects of business, marketing in particular.

Basically, not putting all your eggs in one basket.

These days, when it’s nearly impossible to get large numbers of your audience in the same place at the same time (except maybe during the Super Bowl), it helps to be lots of places in measured amounts.

TikTok advertising is definitely one of those places you want to be.

RELATED: How Amazon Sellers Can Grow Off-Amazon Traffic to Increase Profitability
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Rising Above The Noise

Competition for attention in the retail space has reached all-time highs. With so many channels now available to so many advertisers the options for reaching your customers go far beyond anything available even a decade ago.

A bitter-sweet reality.

For those same channels are available to your competition as well.

Meaning in many ways the marketing game hasn’t gotten easier, it’s grown tougher. With all the do-it-yourself options now available, with all the clamor to be heard on every channel, only the most savvy survive. And even they have to fight for it.

We can help.

When it comes to understanding the marketing landscape for Amazon sellers, Carbon6 has the tools and services you need to succeed. Our PixelMe solution, for example, helps drive that valuable off-Amazon traffic to supercharge your ranking.

Rising above the noise means not only getting a clear view for yourself, but standing out as your message rises to the top.

It’s all about elevating your game.

Exactly what we help Amazon sellers do each and every day.

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