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A Guide to TikTok Ads for Japan

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

It's Time to Get Started

Advertising on TikTok Japan isn't a strategy that comes up as one of the first 5 choices when planning a marketing strategy, and it's a shame, because there is a ton of potential and opportunities that are being wasted by not using the fastest growing social media platform in the world. However, it is also true that the platform is not as refined as those in Facebook or Google, so you need to learn how to do it right, before stepping your foot in the game.

Would Your Business Benefit from TikTok Ads?

Before anything, you need to assess whether using the social media ad platform is beneficial for your brand or product. For all those who haven't been under the influence of the addicting platform, the main users of the platform tend to be on their younger side. As of January of 2020, TikTok had a penetration rate of almost 48 percent among people aged 13 to 19 in the Japanese market. So if your brand has a product that is targeted towards the younger generations (like a video game for example), it may be worth the consideration.

However, it doesn't mean that you should take TikTok ads out of the picture just because your target lies in those who are aged, say, 20s to 40s. Those that have an offering that is sold online, such as online courses, e-commerce stores selling consumer goods (such as cosmetics), music creators, and for simple virality based objectives, TikTok ads is something to definitely consider.

What Are the Benefits?

In order to have TikTok ads work for you in an effective manner, you'll need to pour your efforts elsewhere to have things work seamlessly for users to convert in your campaign. If you don't already have a setup where you offer a method to convert, and actively track who's visiting your website, that's what you need to do first. Optimize or even create a landing page where the story of the TikTok campaign/ad aligns with what users will be seeing when they set foot on your website.

An extra bonus to fully benefit from TikTok ads is to implement mailing list forms and Facebook pixel codes so that you can always come back to targeting these individuals who generated interest through this ad campaign.

What Best Practices Work?

TikTok ads offer a few different ad types that all work differently: Brand takeovers, In-Feed ads, and Hashtag Challenges. It's all created based on sharing short-form videos, and are leaned towards sparking a virality component for your brand/product.

A great example of using TikTok ads effectively would be the one done by Nike. The largest sportswear brand in the world released a new sneaker, and decided to implement TikTok ads into their promotion campaign. They used the platform to create a viral trend by using TikTok's ad platform, enticing users to post videos of them dancing with a specific hashtag that Nike introduced for the campaign.

This worked very well, amassing thousands of UGC (user generated content) that helped spread the news of the sneaker release as well as its brand organically after it began its trend.

In addition, TikTok would be a great choice for music creators as well, as you can promote your music to be used within the platform. It isn't news anymore to say, that the power of TikTok for music careers is enormous, and many popular songs nowadays start their hit from the social media platform. In fact, many Japanese artists who had their songs become popular in TikTok are beginning to show up on TV!

How to A/B Test?

Putting aside the fact that TikTok's ad platform is still relatively new, leading to the platform still having lots of catching up to do when compared to Facebook, one point you need to keep in mind would be the 2,000 yen per day minimum buy-in to publish ads on TikTok. In other words, this means that you need to use at least 2,000 yen per day to publish any kind of advertisement on TikTok. This makes it difficult to test for performing ads, or even the platform itself, as the testing would require a big budget, which is not something you'd like when trying out something new.

Why Evergreen Content Matters?

Operating multiple ad platforms may seem difficult, but it's actually very easy when it comes to TikTok. You can recreate content from other platforms, and just translate the vibe into playful/silly styles, as that's what tends to work best on TikTok. The topic could vary, but as long as you have the vibes correct, any video has the chance to be successful on the platform. Some great examples are best practices, AMA, How-tos, and many others!

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