TikTok: Should you be doing TikTok Ads? with Sam Thompsett, Genie Goals (episode 179)

by April Buencamino-dy

Sam Thompsett is Head of Paid Social at Genie Goals, who does results-driven marketing for eCommerce brands. And Sam’s been leading their TikTok Ads work.

Sam Thompsett  Genie Goals TikTok

Listen now for free:

Subscribe to Keep Optimising on your favourite Podcast App

Dive in:

[04:37] TikTok offers unique content that appeals to youth.
[08:33] Test TikTok, but limit the budget.
[10:27] Similarity between Meta and TikTok misunderstood.
[15:47] TikTok demands valuable content and unique branding messages.
[19:11] Paid social shifting and creative focus are now crucial.
[20:32] TikTok shop competing with Google.

Sam’s TikTok Journey

Sam’s journey with TikTok began when he joined Genie Goals about seven years ago. He initially worked on the PPC side and transitioned to paid social marketing a few years later.

Genie Goals specializes in PPC, affiliates, and paid social. The agency covers three core channels: Meta, TikTok, and Pinterest. Over the past few years, TikTok has gained more focus, driven by its significant organic growth. The platform has grown quickly in the past three years, making it a key part of the agency’s paid advertising offerings.

TikTok’s Growth and Popularity

TikTok’s growth and popularity picked up in 2020 and saw major organic growth. Its younger audience and distinctive creative offers are responsible for its success.

While other platforms have faced declining growth and user engagement, TikTok has thrived due to its fresh and innovative approach to content.

Allocating Budget for TikTok

Sam says he is often asked how much ad spend should be allocated to TikTok. There’s a lot of hype suggesting moving budgets entirely to TikTok, but in reality, this isn’t the case.

For Genie Goals and their clients, TikTok has not yet reached a point where it’s the primary focus. This is primarily due to the platform’s focus on awareness rather than guaranteed returns.

Test TikTok with a budget of 10-20% to gauge its performance. Focus on awareness campaigns and get valuable insights quicker than competitors. During challenging financial years, brands need to see a return on ad spend, which TikTok might not always provide.

Its audience is often more interested in entertainment than specific product searches, which sets it apart from platforms like Meta.

TikTok Advertising

Sam shares several key factors for success in TikTok advertising:

  • Ensure your audience aligns with TikTok’s younger demographic. If your products are geared towards an older audience, it may not be the right platform for you.
  • Make sure your TikTok advertising goals align with your overall marketing objectives.
  • Establish a strong organic presence on TikTok before getting into paid ads.
  • Focus on creative content tailored to TikTok’s unique style. The platform’s audience prefers authentic and engaging content and not traditional polished ads.
  • TikTok requires a different creative approach than other platforms. You can’t simply replicate ads from other channels. Start with organic strategies to learn what works best for your TikTok audience.

Nailing Your TikTok Creatives

Sam has some tips for your TikTok creatives:

  • Create ads that address what challenges your product solves and how it provides value to your audience.
  • Produce content that is unique to TikTok and can’t be found on other platforms. This includes behind-the-scenes content, photo shoots, interviews with brand owners, and insights into your brand’s values.
  • Generate a list of ideas that link back to what your brand solves. Explore different creative themes based on these ideas.
  • Work with a variety of influencers who can lead to higher engagement and click-through rates.
  • TikTok ads may differ from how you approach advertising on other platforms, so it’s important to adapt to its unique style and user expectations.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with TikTok – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

Sam has three tips for newbies:

  • Determine if your target audience is on TikTok and if the platform is suitable for your brand or product.
  • Assess whether TikTok aligns with your marketing objectives.
  • Set up and maintain an organic presence on TikTok. This is important because it will provide content for your paid advertising strategy.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve TikTok performance?

Focus on creating a variety of creative themes. Then test them and identify what resonates best with your audience to improve performance.

If someone listening wants to learn more about TikTok is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

Sam recommends two of his blogs on the Genie Goals website:

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in TikTok?

In the next 6 to 12 months, Sam anticipates several developments in TikTok advertising:

  • A shift towards becoming more eCommerce and conversion-focused
  • TikTok search ads, which will continue to evolve and offer features like search results and negative keywords
  • Longer video formats, competing with platforms like YouTube

These upcoming trends suggest TikTok’s evolving potential as an advertising platform.

Interview Links

Sam on Social media:

Sponsored by…

unsociable logo

Thinking about launching on TikTok Shop?

You need to chat to Unsociable

Book here and get some FREE expert starter tips

On your one-on-one call with Unsociable’s Head of Marketing, Ben Muir

Have you used eCommerce Tech?

It’s a website all about helping you find the next addition to your eCommerce tech stack.

Do you have a problem only an awesome piece of eCommerce tech can solve?

Is your eCommerce Tech Stack not quite fit for purpose anymore?

Then you should explore the latest technology on offer at eCommerce Tech – click here to find out more

Full transcript to read & download:

Click to access