If you have been in a bunker and have not found yourself in the TikTok rabbit hole of dance videos and hashtag challenges, here’s a brief recap of what you’ve missed. 

TikTok is a trending social media entertainment-based platform known as a place for creating and discovering short-form mobile videos, where anyone can be a creator. Tweens and baby boomers alike have flocked to the platform to take part in creating and consuming viral content. 

Most notable and recently reported, youth ages 15-18 spend 75+ minutes on the app per day. On average, users open the app a minimum of 14 times per day. In the past 90 days the platform has seen an average of 185 billion video views per month and user engagement averages at 377 seconds per session. 

So, how did TikTok become all the rage? Other than TikTok’s engaging content format with top hit music which enables endless dance routines and karaoke to tackle, I’ve heard it best described as the great social migration. Since the beginning of social media, youth users have driven the adoption of new platforms: starting with Facebook, then moving to Instagram stories, off of Facebook and into Snapchat, and now users are moving fast and furious to TikTok as the next frontier in social media.

Recently, TikTok opened its advertising offerings to agencies and brands. We were one of the lucky agencies who were granted early advertising access to the platform. Thus far, here is what we have learned (without completely giving away our secret sauce for success!)


TikTok’s unique content format requires ads to be made solely for the platform. The days of pushing one piece of creative across multiple platforms is gone, if you want your ad to succeed. For TikTok, nine (9) seconds seems to be the sweet spot in length although up to thirty (30) seconds can work if the content is compelling enough to warrant. Sound is a must and the quick first-person selfie style look and feel will go a long way. 


Audience targeting is not as granular as that of Facebook, and even Snapchat. TikTok only allows advertisers to target on a state-wide basis. Although, there are partners like Q1 Media who are able to add a geotargeting layer for more precise targeting; which is beneficial when trying to reach a specific audience and make better use of your advertising budget if state-wide reach is not your goal. 

Bidding and Optimizations

There are only two delivery options to choose from, standard or accelerated , which determine the delivery speed of an ad and how fast the budget will be spent. The standard option distributes your total budget evenly across the ad delivery time. The accelerated option will spend the total budget and deliver ads as quickly as possible. Call us control freaks, but we have found the need to closely watch our ad spends and performance religiously since the two bidding options do not optimize on our behalf like Facebook advertising has mastered. 

Time in Market

The recommended time an individual piece of creative should be in market before experiencing ad fatigue is no more than ten (10) days. This requires more content to be developed and put into rotation than that of Facebook and Instagram, which can thrive within two to three weeks. Although multiple factors come into play like audience size and optimizations, TikTok will require more short-form advertising content to efficiently reach and engage with platform users. 

Content Appeals 

The jury is still out on TikTok’s sensitivity to content and our ability to successfully appeal disapproved ads. As an agency who tackles heavy topics like opioid addiction and marijuana education, we spend a decent amount of time in the Facebook appeals department. Thus far, TikTok appeals have not been as streamlined as that of Facebook and we are currently navigating a few appeals which have yet to be approved. 

All in all, TikTok is quickly becoming a key advertising platform for many of our clients, especially those who need to reach youth audiences. The platform offers a lot in terms of advertising capabilities but has room for growth and improvement, especially in terms of optimizations and reporting. With that being said, we will have many more learnings to come as we launch new campaigns.

Next up, we are tapping into TikTok’s influencer advertising solutions, so stay tuned!

Lauren Cafiero 
Social Strategy Supervisor