Why Brands Need to Crack TikTok This Black Friday (and How!)
Considering TikTok’s mission is to “bring joy” to its one billion (and counting) users, it should come as no surprise that the short-form video platform and the holiday season flock together like birds of a feather.
So much so that 93% of TikTok users plan to shop this holiday season, with 1 in 2 designating TikTok the place to discover the season’s most gift-worthy products.
And yet, brands are still trying to figure out whether or not TikTok deserves a slice of their Q4 marketing pie, and if so, how big it should be. This reluctance is largely due to the platform’s relatively newer status and lower conversion rates, as compared to other Paid Social heavyweights.
Here at MuteSix, however, the answer is clear: Crack TikTok before November.
For brands still on the fence about TikTok’s holiday season potential, we’ve put together a handy guide to outline the platform’s advancements, benefits, and strategies, all of which position it to be a channel not just worth considering but celebrating.
Why Should Brands Make It a TikTok Black Friday?
TikTok is the destination of choice for holiday enthusiasts, who spend hours scrolling their feeds – months ahead of the major shopping events – to discover all things holiday related, from gifts and outfits, to décor and shopping events.
In addition to the contagious holiday cheer that spreads like wildfire across feeds, TikTok offers other competitive advantages when compared to other Paid Social channels. On TikTok, brands can:
1. Reach an Untapped Audience of Holiday Shoppers
TikTok’s ready-to-spend holiday shoppers–who are not just Gen Zers, but all age groups between 18 – 55+–include an untapped segment of consumers, 48% of whom are not on Facebook and 52% of whom are not on Instagram.
In other words, no matter how big your Facebook investment or how engaging your Instagram content, you’re not reaching as many shoppers as you can. And, TikTok can solve that.
2. Offset Rising Paid Social CPMs
Just like last season, Paid Social will be critical for the discovery and research stage of Q4 buying. But, given the astronomical CPMs of other major Paid Social channels, this year will prove to be especially costly for brands wanting to compete in the battle of the brands.
As such, brands will need to get creative and seek out efficiencies to ensure their holistic investments pay off. Enter TikTok.
TikTok is a smart solution to counter high CPMs, in particular those for acquisition and remarketing. Though TikTok CVRs have historically been lower when compared to Meta, we’ve watched them jump over past holiday seasons. And, given their lower CPMs, it’s a win-win for brands.
3. Create and Repurpose Thumb-Stopping Holiday Content
Since creative tends to fatigue faster as ad costs spike, brands should invest in strong upper-funnel, TikTok-style content–and do so now.
Creating TikTok-ready content will arm brands with the upper-funnel creative engaging enough to boost awareness, while filling the funnel to build more robust remarketing audiences.
Even better, this relatively low-lift, engagement-boosting creative can be repurposed across all major media placements where TikTok native content is thriving, including YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and Facebook.
How Has TikTok Prepared for Black Friday?
At MuteSix, we have kept a close watch on TikTok since its earliest days, especially during the holiday season. While last year proved promising, TikTok still had a few stripes to earn and glitches to address in order to deem it a holiday essential.
However, given the platform’s many advancements and the strong momentum built by many of our brands thus far in 2022, TikTok is shaping up to be the unsung hero this Q4.
Below are a few in-platform advancements that make its potential more than promising:
1. Flexible Attribution Windows and Greater Signal Resilience
Throughout Q1 and Q2 2022, TikTok introduced first- and third-party cookies, including advanced matching to the functionality of all standard and developer mode pixels, which has greatly improved once-unreliable signal data.
For any brand advertising in a post-iOS 14 world, where heightened consumer privacy comes at the expense of robust in-platform data, you can appreciate what this means: more valuable performance metrics, including attribution data.
Of note, as of late-June, brands can now optimize their campaigns with flexible and extended attribution windows (Click-Through Attribution ranging from 1 to 28 days; View-Through Attribution ranging up to 1 to 7 days), using TikTok’s Attribution Manager.
A much-welcomed upgrade from its previous single session, 1-day post-click limitation, which contributed largely to underreported performance metrics in TikTok Ads Manager.
With multisession and extended attribution capabilities, brands can now benefit from 7-day click and 1-day view, enabling them to more accurately measure the effectiveness of their TikTok campaigns, then optimize strategy accordingly.
2. Targeting Enhancements for More Strategic Reach
TikTok has also given its targeting capabilities a facelift just in time for the holidays. Since the start of 2022, TikTok has rolled out targeting advancements to help brands better break through the noise to reach the users who want to hear – and buy – from them most.
In addition to age, gender, and location, brands can now zero-in on the highest-intent audiences based on:
- First-party data, including Email and SMS customer lists
- Household income
- Purchase intent
While the TikTok algorithm has always done an impressive job getting content in front of relevant highly-engaged audiences, with TikTok’s advanced targeting mechanisms, brands have more options to create custom and lookalike audiences to reach higher-intent shoppers.
Should Your Brand Make It a TikTok Black Friday?
Many larger brands still shy away from TikTok despite its popularity, preferring its more tried-and-true, close alternative, Instagram Reels. Even smaller brands, particularly those not in the fashion and beauty space, remain skeptical about TikTok’s potential to convert users, in addition to their own ability to churn out the thumb-stopping native content necessary to win big.
However, rest assured, almost all brands can drive success on TikTok with the right creative, targeting, and measurement solutions in-place. If you’re working with MuteSix and wondering if the clock is tick-tocking for you to get on the platform, ask yourself:
- Do you have (or are you able to create) four, 9×16 videos upon activation?
- Are you able to post at least 1 – 2 videos per week, organically?
If the answer is yes to both questions, then chances are your brand can–and very well may–acquire much-coveted TikTok customers this holiday season.
How Can Your Brand Drive TikTok Success This Black Friday?
Shoppers will be hunting down savings earlier than ever this year, beginning with Amazon’s October Prime Day event. So, if your brand meets the short list of requirements above, it is critical that you start testing right away to determine what your TikTok strategy will look like.
Below is a general roadmap of what your TikTok Black Friday campaign planning will entail:
1. 10-12 Weeks Out
- Creative Brainstorming
- Pixel Setup
- Product Catalog Setup
- Testing and Learning
- 6-8 Weeks Out
- Holiday Content Production
- Audience Targeting
- Strategy Buildout
- Budget and Bidding Planning
- 1 Week Out
- Creative Final Touches
In terms of best practices, MuteSix will customize a TikTok solution for you based on your business goals, audience needs, and full omnichannel strategy.
However, we’ve listed a few industry-leading tips below to make your TikTok holiday season a profitable one:
- Leverage TikTok’s newly released Interactive Add-Ons for In-Feed Ads. These, which can be applied to existing content to refresh it for the holidays, include Countdown Stickers to evoke a sense of urgency and FOMO for your holiday offers and events, Gift Card Stickers to boost conversions and drive loyalty with special incentives, and Display Cards to stop the scroll and drive website traffic with eye-catching visuals.
- Nurture authentic connections via influencer-boosted Spark Ads.
- Start simple with a single Broad Audience. Don’t dilute budgets by overtesting at the start of your holiday campaigns.
- Create content that’s equal parts authentic and engaging by implementing creative tactics such as direct-to-camera product testimonials.
- Start early and run promotional offers throughout the duration of your Black Friday push. Above all, kick off the season with your strongest offer.
Case in Point: Vitality, the ultra-comfortable athleisure brand suiting up men and women of all shapes and sizes, came to MuteSix to hone their TikTok strategy ahead of their Q1 2022 “Up to 70% Off” sale, as well as their Q3 2022 “30% Off” sitewide sale.
When comparing the success of both promotional periods, MuteSix discovered that the steeper discount garnered a more favorable ROAS (3.25X vs. 2.5X), as well as a more efficient CPA than the “30% Off” sale.
MuteSix attributes this success to testing earlier, tapping into TikTok’s then-Beta First-Party Data integration, and most importantly, running Vitality’s strongest promotional offer earlier and longer.
A Final Word: The Clock is Tick-Tocking for Black Friday TikTok Success
If Vitality’s Q1 and Q3 2022 success is any indication of how well brands can perform this Black Friday on TikTok, then the holidays will look very merry and bright for any brand that implements the right promotional, creative, and targeting strategies.
The question is thus not if your brand should be on TikTok, but how soon can you get started?
The answer is now. To see what a TikTok holiday season has in store for your brand and start mapping out the winning strategy to drive growth, reach out to MuteSix’s TikTok Paid Media, Creative, and Data experts today.