• Ben Johnson

Will TikTok ads be the death of Instastories?



These are the top line results from a recent campaign we ran for a US TVOD release, where clicks or swipes to the film’s landing page were crucial for us to assess the most engaged users and - crucially - what was their TVOD platform of choice.


There are now two billion TikTok users worldwide and the momentum is still growing, with its 315 million installs in Q1 2020 the highest number of downloads for any app ever in a single quarter. It was the second-most downloaded app of 2019, beating both Facebook & Instagram and second only to WhatsApp. It reached one billion users worldwide in just four years, leapfrogging over the likes of Twitter and Snapchat without even breaking a sweat.


41% of TikTok users are currently aged 16-24, but the platform is rapidly becoming popular among millennials across the world. The gender divide is fairy minimal, with 56% female users. Countries we can currently advertise in with the most TikTok users are: the US, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia, Australia, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaviya, Thailand, India, Egypt, Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.*


To put that in context: there are seven million TikTok users in the UK alone. If you are releasing a film in any of these countries and will be targeting audiences 16+ then you should be using one of TikTok’s four current advertising options:


- Brand takeover: Image, GIF or video ads that allow one brand to dominate a specific topic for the day.

- In-feed native video: Vertical 9-15 second video ads that show up on the “For You” page.

- Hashtag challenge: Create sponsored hashtags to encourage user-generated content, engage users and attract influencers.

- Branded lenses: Create 2D or 3D lenses that users can try out for themselves.


At Gruvi we use TikTok when we are confident that the relevant audience for a film is using the platform, and when the client has a range of video assets strong enough to entertain & convert that audience into buyers.


In-Feed videos have given us the best results and helped us achieve various campaign objectives including traffic generation, sales conversions, app installations, etc. TikTok allows us to target audiences by general demographics, interests, devices, and also allows us to build custom audiences based on users’ contact data, website traffic, app activity, or ad engagement.


Here is an example of a recent TikTok ad:

Content created to the following image & video specifications works best on TikTok:


- A recommended aspect ratio of 9:16/1:1/16:9.

- Resolution greater than 720px x 1280px, 640px by 640px, or 1280px by 720px.

- A video 5 to 60 seconds in length, although 9 to 15 seconds is recommended.

- A brand name that is 2 to 20 characters (English) in length, or an app name that is 4 to 40 characters in length.

- A description of your advertised product/service that is 12 to 100 characters long.


Installing the TikTok pixel prior to launching an ad allows us to retarget relevant consumers by collecting traffic data and matching it to TikTok users. The TikTok Pixel also allow us to:


- Measure the effectiveness of your TikTok ad campaigns.


- Optimise ad delivery to users most likely to fulfill our campaign objective.


- Minimise wastage by removing audiences that have successfully converted, so we do not waste any of the available budget on redundant impressions or clicks.


To get started you will need a TikTok advertising account or account manager. To see if your business qualifies you will need to contact TikTok Ads directly and will be asked to submit your information for a representative to review.


TikTok sets a minimum budget of $500 per campaign and we can set daily or all-time budget caps. We’ve seen a significant decrease in online media pricing since the covid-19 lockdown, with all of the opportunities for targeting and retargeting custom audiences this is the best time for businesses to start experimenting with this new channel. Please get in touch if you would like us to manage a TikTok ad campaign for your next release.





* If TikTok is not available in your country yet do let us know and we’ll keep you posted when plans are announced to launch in your territory.


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