Media Insights

Should You Be Testing TikTok?

Are you wondering if you should be testing TikTok? TikTok has over 732 million users, and more are jumping on each day. According to eMarketer, there will be more Gen Z users on TikTok than Snapchat by the end of the year.¹ The average user opens the app 19 times per day, and 47% of users say they have purchased something because they saw it on TikTok.2 With strong growth and sales influence, marketers are asking key questions about testing TikTok for their brand.

We are always looking for effective ways to help our clients reach their target audiences with meaningful messages. With brands growing their presence on TikTok, our clients are asking more about the platform than ever before! Here are Ovative’s answers to questions about TikTok every marketer should know:

Question 1: What Advertising Options Exist on TikTok?

Formats: Brands can advertise on TikTok in a variety of formats including in-feed video, hashtag challenges, branded AR content, and advertising with in-feed video (where ads are served directly on TikTok’s feed called the “For You” page) that can be accessed via the platform’s self-service dashboard.

Targeting: TikTok Ads Manager supports ad, interest, and behavior targeting dimensions allowing marketers to target their customers on a number of levels.

  • Ad Targeting: Target based on pixel-based lookalike or custom audiences, gender, age, location, language, and device type
  • Interest Targeting: Target based on users’ behavior related to content types on TikTok. For example, a user’s profile can be associated with ‘Travel’ because they often engage with this content
  • Behavior Targeting: Target based on users’ behavior related to things like video completion, likes, comments, and shares, as well as following or viewing the homepage of specific creators

Question 2: What Criteria Should I Consider Before Testing?

Who is your audience and where do they consume media? According to Statista, over half of TikTok users in the U.S. are over the age of 303 and have an income over $75K4. However, a recent Adweek survey cites that 49% of TikTok users bought a product that they saw on the platform from advertisements, promoted products, or reviews. While this might seem low, the platform is continuing to grow at a fast clip, and this means users could use TikTok as a buying platform more and more.

What is your primary objective of the ad? TikTok ads are best for upper-funnel efforts. If your goal is to entertain, educate, or inspire your audience – TikTok might be the right fit.

What are you willing to spend? TikTok requires that daily and total budgets for campaigns exceed $50, and daily budgets for ad groups must exceed $20. In addition to these requirements, Ovative recommends that you spend at least $25K while testing TikTok for optimal results.

Do you have the right creative? Advertising on TikTok poses unique creative needs – but using these recommendations from TikTok5 can help your ads succeed:

  • Shoot in 9:16 for vertical, full-screen experience: TikToks shot vertically have a 25% higher watch-through rate
  • Use sound: Tracks above 120 BPM help drive higher view-through rate (VTR) note: that you can only use creative commons audio for brand/paid messaging, or pay for the usage rights of real artist music (the musical themes that trend on the platform)
  • Feature a strong CTA right away: 63% of all videos with highest click-through rate (CTR) highlight their key message in the first three seconds
  • Capitalize on trending content: Hop on the latest trending storyline or editing style to drive performance
  • Use text overlay: 40% of auction ads with highest VTR feature text overlay
  • Be real and relatable: Half of the best performing auction ads tell stories with emotion

Question 3: Are Brands Seeing Results?

What brands are already onboard?

If you’re thinking of hopping on the TikTok bandwagon, you’re in good company. Brands like Levi’s, Chipotle, Calvin Klein, Guess, NBA, and NFL are all advertising on the platform and brands like Fabletics6 and Bumble7 are showcasing their results on We are actively testing across Ovative clients where the objective, audience, and budget makes sense. Here is an example of what we’ve seen:

Coach Uses TikTok to Promote Commitment to Responsible Fashion

Situation: Promote Coach’s sustainability campaign, highlighting their commitment to responsible fashion and crafting products that last


  1. Produced new videos8 (show below) that featured the craftsmanship behind Coach products
  2. Secured a 100% share of voice (SOV) One Day Max takeover on TikTok – a managed, 24 hour reservation on the platform where Coach locked in the 4th video placement after a user browses 3 organic videos
  3. Launched in-auction traffic campaign to supplement the spot, where relevant audiences were targeted and viewers from the One Day Max takeover were retargeted post-exposure
  4. Measured Brand Lift assessing Ad Recall, Attitudes, Favorability, and Action Intent

Key Result:

  • 23% higher watch time than TikTok’s benchmark
  • Positive lift in Ad Recall, Attitudes and Action Intent
  • +21% followers
  • Increased brand love, evident in comments across the campaign

Fun fact: our new Upwoven leather sounds a little like this…

♬ Promoted Music

To make the most of your investment on TikTok, make sure you are using these tips to determine the right spend, targeting, creative, and objective to reach your audience in an impactful way.

Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more!


1 | eMarketer: More Gen Zers now use TikTok than Instagram in the US, May 2021

2 | Music Business Worldwide

3 | Statista, Distribution of TikTok users in the United States as of March 2021, by age group, April 2021

4 | Statista, TikTok user ratio in the U.S. 2020, by income, January 2021

5 | TikTok, 9 Creative Tips to drive performance, 2021

6 |TikTok, Fabletics: Finding new VIP members efficiently with TikTok Ads Manager, 2021

7 | TikTok, Bumble: Leveraging always-on strategies and popular creators to seriously drive app installs, 2021

8 | Coach, TikTok Ad, March 2021  

Hanna Christianson

Sr Analyst Paid Media

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