Investigating the future of TikTok ads for digital advertising

The digital advertising environment is a quickly evolving landscape. Staying relevant requires continuous awareness of trends and a constant pursuit to engage with your audience. A key platform entering this conversation is TikTok, and we are investing in understanding the opportunities that lie in this growing platform.  

Just 15 years ago, Meta ads (formerly Facebook ads) launched, and now, they are the juggernaut of an effective digital ad strategy. As Meta’s platforms continue to mature and the advertising challenges on their platform increase, the question arises: what is the next up-and-coming platform that will deliver engagement and results?

Meta faces a number of challenges:

  • User growth has started to plateau. Despite being one of the largest gathering places in history, they are not accruing new users at the rate they once saw, and many of the recurring users are increasing in age.
  • It remains one of the more expensive platforms in regards to cost to run ads. It is still an effective platform — but an expensive one. Costs are significantly higher than the typical display style ad, and there is no sign this is changing.
  • It is not invested in growing faith-based, nonprofit organizations; in fact, they have recently removed audiences helpful to these organizations and causes.

So why TikTok?

While Meta has been hitting a plateau, TikTok has been growing. It has become a competitive platform in monthly user engagement. It has also captured the engagement of a younger demographic than that of the maturing Meta platforms. TikTok reaches people who simply are not using platforms with Meta ads, so audience growth opportunity is abundant.

Masterworks campaigns have seen that about 70% of users receiving ads are under the age of 45. Compare this with 70% of users on Meta ads being above the age of 45. In other words, the demographic of TikTok is significantly younger and holds an opportunity to grow support in a much different group of users. 

This doesn’t mean that this is a better audience, but depending on the goals and needs of your organization, this may be the right audience.

*The majority of the current Masterworks campaigns on TikTok do not include ages 18-24 in the target audience, and therefore, this age group has been excluded.

When comparing Meta and TikTok awareness campaigns, early indicators show that TikTok is a competitive ad platform when its ads are compared to similar tactics in Meta. While not quite as cost effective in driving traffic to the site as a Meta traffic ad, it does receive better engagement than a video view ad. 

Awareness CampaignsCTRCPMCPC
Meta Video0.21%$3.96$1.91
Meta Traffic1.16%$4.59$0.40

Once the user is on the site, visitors from TikTok are showing higher engagement with the website compared to visitors from Meta (using bounce rate as a KPI). Keep in mind that TikTok ads are sending a younger audience, which could also explain some of the difference in site engagement.

Key Takeaways

  • TikTok continues to be a compelling platform for expansion of advertising. This is determined through competitive performance, improved site engagement compared to Meta ads, and a unique audience demographic that will likely expand organizational reach to a younger audience. 
  • While it is yet to be seen if TikTok can overtake Meta as an advertising powerhouse, TikTok is showing to be a worthwhile companion to current campaigns. At the very least, it provides competition for Meta to continue to evolve and perhaps provide additional solutions to digital fundraising.

If you want to learn more about our digital media advertising capabilities and how we can incorporate these new ad formats for your organization, please contact us here.