2021-10-12 08:53

Don’t make ads? TikTok compared to other social platforms in Germany

Don’t make ads? TikTok compared to other social platforms in Germany

Marta Sułkiewicz, Gemius Germany CEO and Florian Teachner, Head of DBi at Havas Media performed during Digital Marketing Days 2021. Experts compared TikTok reach building, viewing time and incremental reach performance to the rest of walled gardens platforms and revealed who has been “making TikToks” this summer in Germany.

If you missed the speech – nothing is lost! Today we present a summary of the most interesting insights and conclusions. Also, you can download the whole PDF presentation from gemiusAdReal website – here.

Top downloaded app and the number 1 request from marketers last year

TikTok is officially named the top downloaded app globally in 2020. The app outclassed – both in Google Play and App Store, among others, Facebook, Messanger, Instagram, WhatsApp and ZOOM Cloud Meetings. According to the Digital 2021 Report by WeAreSocial and Hootsuite, TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times worldwide! The greatest number of times - over 315 million - the application was downloaded at the beginning of 2020, i.e. during the first wave of the pandemic.

For sure the TikTok value increased for its investors, but how about the advertisers?

- As Gemius collects enables for fair comparison of campaigns reach across the walled gardens - we have been frequently asked by the marketers about adding TikTok next to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. We have been developing the solution for last month and are happy to finally add TikTok data into AdReal in Q4 in Germany – says Marta Sułkiewicz, CEO of Gemius GmbH.

Gemius data collection is narrowed to so called standard paid advertising. It means sponsored posts on Facebook or Instagram (video and display) are collected but you will not find the influencer’s marketing. The same for YouTube - Bumpers, True Views, Mastheads and other standard advertising formats are collected as long as it’s paid, not the organic Reach. In the case of TikTok Gemius also covers standard formats like Top View, Top View Light or Sponsored Video Posts.

So what about the Video Reach Potential?

TikTok as the top downloaded app is installed on the vast majority of smartphones users 14-49 in Germany. But having the app installed doesn’t equal the usage and usage itself is not the same as the advertising Reach potential. Gemius has verified the Reach of all campaigns aggregated together per platform. We have been focusing on measuring the video ads only and took the average for monthlyReach across July and August. According to gemius Adreal study, even if TikTok is still far away from Instagram or Facebook in 14-49, but within 14-29 target group it’s reaching 45% and with this score is very close to the level of Facebook.

 Analysing the aggregated Reach of all brands is proving the maximum potential but actually it answers the Question - if I have the budget of all the advertisers investing in the platform: what would be my Reach? As this is rather a theoretical exercise, we have also verified the level of brand activities to check the results a brand could expect in practice. For both Instagram and TikTok we have compared how many Ad Contacts were needed to achieve the Reach. With Reach around 10% (14-49) both platforms are comparable efficient, but with Reach around 20% it will take 3 times more ad impressions on TikTok than on Instagram. The Reach Potential is still not used by advertisers fully: TikTok has 10 times less video ad impressions comparing to Instagram.


Analyzing  gemiusAdReal data for Germany, July and August 2021 (target group All 14-49, for PC & smartphones, video only) we can see that industries that are the most willing to invest in TikTok are Trade, Media and Clothing. Instagram, being strong as well in Trade and Media, is attracting definitely more FMCG brands.

Looking at the top brands being the most active on Instagram in the summer we can notice brands from Mondelez, P&G, Unilever or The Coca-Cola Company while on the TikTok list we would see rather the dominance of digital natives.However interesting fact is that it’s TikTok as the advertiser who is opening the Instagram most active brands ranking.

Havas and Gemius experts compared two brands with the strongest activities on TikTok in in July – Shein and About You

Looking at their video-only digital activity, we can see the split of video ad contacts that both of them had a strong share of TikTok ads. Shein had digital only activities with very strong non-video performance campaigns which were not taken into the analyses. The video was rather a minor part of their all investments. The video on TikTok reached 8% of 18-49 with a frequency equal 5.

About You was using a different mix: TV&digital  but at the same time brand had also strong non-video performance activities. The Reach on TikTok was 10% in 18-47 with very efficient frequency - 2,5. We should also notice that TikTok video campaign was mot overlapped significantly with TV and added incremental 4,5 reach points (around half of the audience that Abou You reached on TikTok was not exposed to About You TV activities). Also TikTok campaign was not overlapped with the Instagram campaign (70% of the audience Reached by Abou You on TikTok was not exposed to About You campaign on IG).

How about the attention metrics & Incremental Reach?

Experts note that viewing time is a problem of all out-stream video social platforms. TikTok viewing time is as short as Instagram and incomparable with YouTube (11 seconds). However TikTok can offer other advantages in terms of the quality of ad contact like watching the video with sound or very low clutter. Benchmarking to Instagram TikTok is not yet so cluttered with advertising communication in both younger and wider age group.


Don’t make Ads. Really?

TikTok launched its advertising products with “Don’t make Ads” slogan. Gemius expert advice is: even if TikTok advertising communication brings fresh air and is absolutely worth exploring, TikTok shouldn’t be considered as stand alone channel. Whenever the intention is to reach more than 10% of All 18-49, the reach building is significantly less efficient than on Instagram. Also in-view time is extremely short for many campaigns KPIs. But TikTok is perfect as an additional channel. No doubts platform can adds Incremental Audience over TV with high efficiency similar to or even better to Instagram. And is not overlapped with Instagram significantly on the campaign level.

So absolutely it’s a good moment to try TikTok: not cluttered with advertising communication yet (easy to get high SoV in selected categories). Whenever we speak about the young audience - TikTok is a MUST - as Reach building will be more efficient and short in-view time actually optimised to Gen Z attention span.

Download whole presentation here.

About gemiusAdReal

gemiusAdreal is a market intelligence tool revealing all brands’ activities, both in the digital and cross-media world. The study allows for in-depth insight of competitors media activity across all three platforms: TV, PC and mobile including not only top application: Facebook, Instagram and YouTube but also web browsers: Chrome, Firefox and others. The comprehensive knowledge about the advertising market provided by gemiusAdReal, helps all media-players such as brand owners, media agencies and publishers in better planning their marketing strategies and media-mix optimizing.

Gemius AdReal in Germany uses the single source panel to measure all advertising activities across linear TV (38 channels) as well as in digital on PC and smartphones, including mobile in-app for Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, both video and non-video formats. From November 2021 the cross-media and cross-silos picture will be completed by advertising activities from the TikTok app.

Find out more here.

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