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Mastering TikTok Advertising in Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide for 2023


Following years of hype, TikTok is now entering a maturity stage with a global audience of above 800 million users and a massive opportunity for advertising in Singapore! The platform’s success has now expanded beyond the USA and is well established in Asia, for instance, reaching over 60% of the adult internet population in Thailand or Malaysia. It’s important to note that so far, TikTok is still banned in India, its advertising platform is not as advanced as Meta’s, and the audience is still fairly young at more than 40% between 18 to 24 years old. You can read the 2022 global TikTok statistics from the great reports by Datareportal, link earlier in this sentence.

In Singapore, TikTok has gained its initial popularity with influencers and mass-market brands, and it is now time to consider TikTok advertising in Singapore for pretty much any brand! The platform is reaching around 40% of the adult internet population of S’pore; see some basics to keep in mind and our 10 key takeaways for Singaporean marketers & brands.

TikTok Advertising 101

With a platform in constant evolution and a market where most marketers are familiar with the structures in place at Meta, here are some key basics to keep in mind for any advertising campaign on TikTok.

1 – How to choose the right marketing objectives on TikTok?

As you can see from the screen below, the objectives are grouped by the standard marketing funnel, from awareness to conversion. The TikTok advertising campaign creator splits the conversion into 4 categories for each “type” of conversion: getting a lead, purchasing, downloading an app, and one last generic category for other website conversions. Our recommendation is to use one of the three precise ones depending on your objective, but only if you can fully set up the pixelling/tracking related to it. If not, you should pick the generic one that will allow you to track some conversions easily, mainly with the simple TikTok Pixel and URL-based tracking.

  • Keep in mind that just like any other advertising platform, the selection of the objective impacts how the algorithm optimises your campaign. For instance, if you select Awareness – Reach, TikTok will optimise towards the lowest CPM so you can reach as many people as possible within your target audience and budget.
  • One handy objective is the one named “Community Interaction,” which basically should be used to increase your number of followers!

tiktok advertising objectives

Here is the official support article detailing each TikTok advertising objective. 

2 – TikTok targeting and retargeting: From demographics to custom audiences

After you’ve selected your objective, you will need to set up your first ad group, or in other words, your first target audience! We strongly recommend creating 2, 3, or 4 ad groups to test different audiences and learn about what content works best for them.

Beyond the usual demographics input and the fully automated mode (yes, they have it, but we don’t recommend it), you will get into two main types of audiences.

  • The first kind is called “custom audience” and refers to almost everything retargeting and lookalikes. As you can see in the screenshot below, you can retarget users based on previous behaviours with your brand, anywhere from watching 1 of your videos to buying a product on your website. TikTok also has the function of lookalikes, asking the algorithm to find similar profiles as the ones that engaged with you. We highly recommend using all of these audiences for middle and lower-funnel TikTok advertising campaigns in Singapore.

tiktok custom audience

  • The second type of audience is your audience based on “interests” for reaching out to users at an awareness or top-funnel stage. Let’s detail here the 4 main types of targeting you can use on TikTok. You can also input anything in the search box, from “beauty” to “finance” and the engine will share some suggestions for targeting that are in the 4 main targeting categories. You can see in the video below what the UI of the tool looks like.
  1. Interests: This is the broadest category that includes generic targeting, such as “Pets”, with a 2.5 million reach in Singapore, and precise targeting, like “Pet Grooming”, with a 180K reach in Singapore. You should explore this category while examining the potential reach to not aim for too big and for too small (some exist but have almost everyone in or, on the other hand, a 0 – 1000 reach).
  2. Video interactions: TikTok categorises its content based on the type and recency of “target users based on the videos they engaged within the last 15 days on TikTok.” As a result, you may target users interested in “Sports & Outdoors” (1.6 million reach) or, more precisely, “Sports News” (500K reach).
  3. Creator interactions: With a certain overlap to the previous category, it looks at the content creator source: “Target users based on the creators they followed or viewed on TikTok.” With this, you can’t target a specific creator’s audience, but you can find more precise categories than the above, for instance, “Oddly satisfying” with 360K reach in Singapore.
  4. Hashtag interactions: This targeting allows you to narrow to certain trendy or commonly used hashtags, moreover recent ones as per the definition: “Target users based on the hashtags they’ve viewed in the last 7 days on TikTok.” We recommend analysing trendy videos in your industry and/or among your target audience, then using like hashtag “#singaporefoodie” which has a 100K reach.

 3 – TikTok creatives: How to craft high-performing TikTok Ads?

Once your targets are ready in the different ad groups, you must input your creatives. And yes, you will need a video, as video is the base advertising format on TikTok! Technically, you could collate images in a slideshow-like video, but that’s not the kind of video performing on TikTok. We recommend using the TikTok Creative Center to analyse the most performing TikTok ads in Singapore, and beyond. Here are a few key aspects to keep in mind for your creatives on TikTok:

  1. You DO NOT need a TikTok account to run advertising. Effectively, the advertising platform gives you an input to create a “fake” profile for your ads. Of course, it is best to have an account, but not a must.
  2. Your ad text and call-to-action button can be customised, but TikTok also offers the option to create both and tailor them for the audiences automatically.
  3. Complementing your ads with a banner is possible, too. It will appear at the bottom of the screen after a few seconds of your ads being shown.
  4. Finally, you can add some stickers on top of your video: voting sticker, coupon code sticker, and countdown sticker. This is recommended to be more engaging with your audience.

tiktok top ads in singapore

10 Essential Insights for Your TikTok Campaign in Singapore Market

  1. The total number of users of TikTok in Singapore stands at around 2.8 million, which is more than half of social media users in the country (5.1 million across all platforms) and less than half of the population (6 million).
  2. While the general population in Singapore is 48% female and 52% male, on TikTok, it is 53% female and 47% male.
  3. Year-on-year, the total users grew by around 20%, showing a strong growth in the market.
  4. All kinds of brands now use TikTok, from Charles & Keith to the Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB)! We particularly
  5. Use the TikTok Creative Centre to find trendy TikTok songs in Singapore, as the usage of music in your videos is essential to performance, even in ads! Currently, Singaporeans are vibing on Kutukan Mantan by Angelbert Rap
  6. Collaborate with influencers and leverage their content in your advertising campaigns. You can check out our last “top” influencers in Singapore.
  7. Beyond the regular ads, you can tap into the custom TikTok advertising formats of “Top View” (ad shown to the user when opening the app), or Branded Mission & Effect.
  8. The median cost is about half of the usual ones Meta has; this is because TikTok is aggressive in attracting new advertisers.
  9. The TikTok 2023 CPM benchmark in Singapore is SGD 2 to SGD 4.
  10. The TikTok 2023 CPC or CP-Engagement benchmark in Singapore is SGD 0.2 to SGD 0.5.
Interested in activating a TikTok marketing campaign?
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