Chances are, you’re one of the 50 million people in the United States using TikTok at some point today. TikTok user growth has boomed in the past few years—we just can’t seem to get enough of crazy dance videos, funny stories, and animals dressed like humans. But regardless of what side of TikTok your feed is showing you, the most successful videos all have one thing in common: they’re fast-paced and engaging.
As user growth on the platform has exploded, digital marketers have seen an opportunity to branch out of the “usual” social platforms and dip their toes into this new world of advertising potential. However, many are running into an obstacle that they’re weren’t necessarily counting on:
How to create TikTok ads content that their audience actually wants to watch.
Because the nature of TikTok content is just a little different. It’s not Instagram Reels (no matter how badly Instagram tries). It’s not YouTube. It’s not Snapchat. It’s definitely not Facebook.
That engaging, just-a-little-different content is why users flock to the app in droves, every single day. And based on that great content, if our TikTok ads aren’t just as engaging as a “normal” TikTok … what the heck are we wasting our money on?
Understanding the TikTok audience
Let’s just get this out the way: TikTokers are young.
While 27% of Instagram users are between 25 and 34, 43% of TikTok users are between 18 and 24, with another 32% between 25 and 34. Why does this matter? Because a younger audience requires a certain kind of content … ads content included.
Younger audiences expect content to be fast-paced. They actively seek out genuine and unique content that offers value–value that can come in the form of entertainment, comedy, or simply good-natured advice.
Unsurprisingly, some of the most popular TikTok hashtags include:
- #funny – humor related content
- #duet – singing content
- #dance – dance content (perhaps the most notorious of all)
- #food – cooking content
- #selfhelp – motivational content
- #DIY – do-it-yourself content
- #fyp – for your page content (or what some TikTokers would find most valuable)
What this list illustrates is that the younger TikTok audience is not captured by a singular taste-preference. There are good chances that there is a TikTok audience that’s well suited to your brand’s style and offering, whatever that may be.
But above all, the most important thing to include in all your videos: make them valuable to the audience.
How to make valuable TikTok content (with examples)
Let’s dig into the nitty gritty here: how do you actually make TikTok Ads content that your audience will find valuable? It’s important to remember that value doesn’t just have to be explaining how to do something; instead, it can be entertaining or cool. Here are a list of 5 questions and examples that can help you get clear on what your audience might like:
1. Would your audience be interested in a behind-the-scenes look at how your product gets made?
For example, this candle company shows exactly how they make their candles, and generated over 100M video views from the behind-the-scenes tactic alone!
@britneyscandles Strawberry Shortcake candles 🍓🍰 #fyp #candlebusiness #asmr #candleasmr #DisneyPlusVoices ♬ original sound – BritneysCandles
2. What are some cool uses of your product or service that your audience might not be aware of?
Most folks think of your product as run-of-the-mill. Put your product in unique situations to show just how cool it can be. For example, this umbrella company does rapid-action demo videos to show just how strong and sturdy their product can be.
@demkinglomkiu #好物Recommend🔥 #好物Recommend�� umbrella #practicalgoodthing #homegoods #好物sharing #explosive hot sale #explosive strength manufacturer #cultivating ♬ original sound – Demking Lomkiu
3. How can you stretch your product / brand out of its comfort zone?
If you’re an insurance company, your TikTok content shouldn’t be about the boring world of premiums (no offence). Instead, you should ask yourself, “how can I push my brand into a world where it doesn’t fit, to separate it from the noise?” For example, here’s a dentist who raps to elevate his brand and engage his audience.
@dentistsinging Flossy Bop!!! An oldie, but a goldie,, someone asked for it, so here it is! #floss #stormzy #foryou #fyp ♬ original sound – Singing Dentist
4. What are natural entertainment styles that suit your brand?
Sometimes, you may not have to get a little whacky to attract an audience. Renowned guitar maker Fender runs a series on their TikTok where they ask fellow Fender owners / enthusiasts to play a song while sharing a story about their first guitar. It’s a two-for-one whammy of entertainment, where their audience gets their musical fix while feeling inspired through the art of story.
@fender For @Mariangela G., her first #fender changed the way she wrote music! Share your story by using # ♬ original sound – Fender
5. Who are some potential celebrities that would feel organic using your product or service?
Of course, for cheap and cheerful TikTok content, sponsored posts are not the way. However, if you look with a keen eye, you might find some celebrities who are as fanatic about your brand as you are. If so, you can offer a cross-posting partnership, where they’ll star in one of your videos and create a video of their own. This post from Levi’s generated over 1M views, and fits the rugged Levi’s brand: it feels authentic, shot from an iPhone and is “on the ground” with the celebrity.
@levis @rollingloud @perris.howard nothing but core memories from this weekend 🔥 #liveinlevis ♬ original sound – Levi’s
How to film engaging TikTok content
Once you have your awesome TikTok strategy, the next question becomes: how do I actually film and produce TikTok content? The good news: you don’t need to go overboard with production quality. In fact, TikTok is one of the rare platforms (unlike YouTube) that tends to reward a more gritty, lower production-quality–but higher entertainment-quality–video style.
To film your TikTok content, we recommend using an iPhone or a similar smartphone. We also recommend using a tripod stand to stabilize the shot if you’re filming yourself or another member of your team. This tripod is really popular amongst our fans, and relatively inexpensive.
In terms of framing your shots, we have a few recommendations here too. Closer is often better than farther away, as it feels more natural. After all, someone filming content by themselves wouldn’t put the camera 10 feet away (or else how would they press start/stop on the record function)? They’d likely film things from their perspective. And if filming themselves, they’d probably keep the camera at arms-length distance away.
How to use captions effectively
Finally, we come to the last step of producing excellent TikTok content: captions. These are the bread and butter of TikTok, and are often used to complement the entertainment quality of your video.
For example, here’s a popular video from a plant-care expert, where she challenges her sibling to guess the price of certain plants. Instead of starting the video with a statement like, “hey guys, today I’m going to ask my brother how much these plants are worth!”, this creator gets right into the content. Then, they use captions to explain what the video is all about: “Having my brother guess the prices of my plants!”
Why do they do this? Because that way, the video feels more organic, as though it were filmed spur of the moment and only after was considered for TikTok. When you approach your videos this way, you reduce some of the barriers between you and your viewers as they feel like they’re getting a look-under-the-hood into your world.
After you produce TikTok Ads content, what’s next?
The next step after producing TikTok Ads content is to analyze how effective it is. Joinr has a 100% free TikTok Ads connector, where you instantly bring your ad data into Google Data Studio for efficient analysis. This connector shows you how many impressions you’ve gotten on your content, as well as the different levels of engagement each ad generates. In a nutshell? It helps you optimize your ad campaign on TikTok with really easy to find insights.