TikTok Marketing and Its ROI

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Although TikTok is primarily for personal content creation by its users, the app has become increasingly popular for business marketing as well. TikTok recently hit over 2 billion downloads and maintains around 800 million users every month. All of this has occurred within the five years since its release by the Chinese-owned company, ByteDance.

Geared toward an audience of young users, mostly Generation Z, a variance in the age groups of creators has emerged. This wide user base gives businesses a larger target market to advertise to. Opportunities for companies previously outside of the Gen Z range are now able to post ads on the app while maintaining ROI, or Return on Investment. Compared to other social media platforms, however, TikTok is still a novice when it comes to advertising features and reputation.

But, that’s likely to change in the near future.

4 Paths to Marketing

When learning how to properly market on TikTok, there are four different ways of getting started:

  1. Ad campaigns
  2. Creating an account for the business/company
  3. Influencers
  4. User-Generated Content (UGC)

Regardless of how marketing is done, the biggest benefit to it is winding up on users’ For You page. Users spend more time on it than any other feature of the app. Of course, creating content for TikTok is at the top of that list. Elements such as memes, catchy songs, and upbeat music are used frequently as well. Going the influencer route, there are many things to consider. The most important of those include follower count, engagement, type of content, and overall presence on TikTok.

Ad Types

Just as there are four paths, there are also four main ad types to choose from:

  • Hashtag challenges
  • Brand takeovers
  • In-feed ads
  • Branded lenses

TikTok & ROI

Reaching ROI is about a financial return, but it’s also about more than that. To succeed, create a marketing plan that contains clear goals. Look at insights and data if possible. This, and more detailed data, is available on TikTok with a Pro account. Third-party apps may be able to do this as well.

Things to Pay Attention to As You Market on TikTok

  • Video replays
  • Likes & comments
  • Shares (internal & external)

It’s also important to note where the traffic and engagement comes from. Majority of the activity may come from the For You page since it’s the most popular feature. Alternatively, it may come from current followers or hashtag challenges, for example.


When it comes to marketing on any social media platform, there are multiple elements and features to consider. TikTok is still considered new compared to its competition, but different advertising options are available that aren’t allowed on those other platforms. The appearance of the app, its placement, structure, price, audience, and so on all factor into marketing. In particular, TikTok has a vastly different algorithm for content creation and advertisement than what is considered normal in the marketing world. Above all, understand the elements involved in making good marketing decisions before trying to understand how to be successful on TikTok.