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The digital ad space has been oversaturated for years; most business owners are acutely aware of this. But luckily, a guiding factor is beginning to shed a helpful light: Not only is TikTok marketing coming out on top, TikTok style short-form videos on any platform are winning too.

You should be using video in your ads (goodbye graphics and carousels), and not just any video– the style that engages and converts best is something that didn’t quite exist in years past: TikTok style. That is, more informal, first-person, short-form video.

A quick breakdown on content marketing on TikTok and why B2C/D2C brands should be taking it seriously:

  • TikTok has 1 billion active monthly users
  • In terms of time spent, the TikTok app is in spot #1, outranking runner-up Pinterest by 100%
  • Engagement rates on brand posts are 5-6% (with all other social platforms at or below 1%)
  • And, perhaps most notably, the style of content (and ads) on TikTok resonates more with consumers than on other channels: 67% of users are inspired to shop even when they weren’t planning to, and 65% of users enjoy seeing creators post about products

Read more about TikTok marketing trends from TikTok niche experts when it’s time to dive in.

So how can you stand out above the rest? How can you focus on effective customer acquisition without breaking the bank on an endless array of suggested marketing tactics?

When choosing which funnels to focus your marketing strategy on, invest in the channels with the greatest engagement. Lean into the kind of content that specific channel and target audience likes to see.

Yes, for the last 10 years, Facebook Ads manager has been king. Perfectly-designed graphics, carousels, and video ads could be targeted and retargeted to your chosen audience (and as we know, this rolled over to Instagram as well). But in 2023, TikTok is king. 

TikTok for Business is, without a doubt, the number one social media platform for short form video content, whether you’re running ads or organically.

For most products or services, the ads that do well on TikTok are nothing like what did well on other channels. In fact - they’re not ads so much as they are content. TikTok has created something special in the social media space - a new era of customer-brand relationships that brands can’t afford to ignore.

Because the style of TikTok videos revolves around authenticity first and foremost, users are connecting more and more to the human sides of a brand. Loyalty is being built on influencer-type brand “faces” (like white-labeling an influencer for your channel as opposed to getting sponsored on their channel), UGC, and tangible brand personalities. For instance:

  • ScrubDaddy has built a cult following by being in-tune with niche TikTok culture and trends (leaning heavily into humor, not taking themselves too seriously as a company, and being unapologetically human on-screen).
  • OliPop and Fizz are able to chime in on trends and post ads that don’t feel like ads because the channel is run by dedicated creators who are themselves TikTok users. Their TikTok marketing strategy is not an influencer campaign, it is actually hiring a creator or team of creators to be the brand’s face on TikTok.
  • Businesses of all sizes are building followings by talking less and less about what they provide, and more about who they are (behind the scenes/ what a Gen-Z-run business looks like, life of founders, ridiculous trend participation in otherwise corporate-looking settings, etc).

How Do You Create TikTok-Style Short Form Video? 

All this is to say, the best way for brands to optimize their customer acquisition cost using social media is to hone in on TikTok, and do it in the style TikTok likes to see. Here’s what that means…

Learn how to create TikTok-style content

  1. Be authentic. Show real faces, real team members, and real behind-the-scenes.
  2. Keep up to date on trends and niche TikTok cultures (CleanTok, BookTok, WriterTok, etc.) so you know how your brand can participate. 
  3. No graphics, all personality-driven, first-person video. Use this both for ads and on your organic channel.

Create TikTok variations to test

  1. TikTok’s ads manager likes to see updated variations of ad video regularly, so every original video should have a few variations (such as different hooks, different captioning style, talking head vs voiceover with B-roll).

Keep getting original short video content

  1. Consider hiring a creator directly to be your channel’s face of the brand
  2.  Start product seeding for a batch of user-generated content (UGC)
  3. Get the most out of TikTok influencer marketing by “boosting” them. Use Spark Ads to promote a user’s video that features your product as opposed to promoting videos on your own brand profile.

Why Use TikTok-Style Short Form Video in Your Marketing Creative? 

Following all of TikTok’s classic tactics doesn’t pigeon hole you into a TikTok-only marketing strategy. Actually, you can repurpose these same short form videos on other channels like Instagram Reels and YoutTube Shorts. 

Furthermore, if you play by TikTok’s game, your average cost per thousand advertisements (CPMs) will be lower. Low CPMs are important because they lead to higher conversion rates without raising your ad budget. 

TL;DR: All else equal, TikTok style short-form video performs better when it comes to ad creative.

TikTok-Style Videos Lower CPM While Increasing Conversions 

When all else is the same (targeting, landing page, ad spend, etc.) TikTok videos result in lower CAC. 

Consider this example: A landing page for an ad with traditional, non-TikTok content has a 2% conversion rate. If the brand has a $100 budget, they’ll typically get a $20 CPM and 2% CTR. This would result in 5,000 impressions, 100 clicks, and 2 conversions. That’s $50 for each new customer acquisition!

*indicates 50% improvement

However, with new TikTok style content, we could decrease our CPM by 50% and increase our CTR by 50%. That is, with all else remaining the same, TikTok style content will lower CPM to $10 and increase CTR to 3%. This results in 10,000 impressions, 300 clicks, and 6 conversions. 6 new customers for the same $100 sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?

That’s a 200% increase in conversions…and the only change? The creative. Short-form, TikTok-style video. 

To Wrap Up 

Your acquisition marketing doesn’t need to be spread thin across all possible channels and strategies– it just needs to do the most impactful strategies the right way. And with TikTok, learning to do TikTok-style content is a straight and clear path to lower CAC.