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TikTok Ads vs. Facebook Ads in 2023

TikTok Ads vs. Facebook Ads in 2023

Let’s talk TikTok Ads. If you don’t know by now, I am super bullish on TikTok ads. I’m actually super bullish on TikTok in general as a platform, and I think it’s going to be the next big thing. But, I didn’t always think so. I thought it was a stupid platform for dancing kids in general, and specifically I didn’t think our customers were on it. So what changed? Time for a little story.

TikTok Ads vs. Facebook Ads

I’ve told this story before, and I’ll tell it again. We launched TikTok ads in November of 2021, with decent success. I honestly thought we’d get to $1k/day in spend sometime in Q1 of this year and tap out. I just didn’t think our customers were on it. I thought they were all too old to be on TikTok, and I also thought all the beauty stuff on TikTok was drag makeup and not our no-makeup makeup approach. So what changed?

I was lucky enough to have 20 minutes with Gary Vee, which I’m forever grateful for. He’s a “family friend” and Bobbi and I got to “pick his brain” on our content strategies for Jones Road. It was pretty amazing to watch his mind work, and if you’re wondering if he’s the same privately as he is on TikTok, the answer is yes. Once we gave him the backstory of what we were trying to do and struggling with, his eyes lit up and he said “TikTok.” After a brief pause, he then said “You have to go all in on TikTok. You need to hire a team of 4 people and just crank out TikTok. You need to be posting 4 times a day on TikTok. You can build a $100m on TikTok alone.”

So, I mean, of course we had to get serious about TikTok after that. If you search “Bobbi Brown TikTok Viral” you can probably find 30+ articles about it.

To keep things brief here so I can get to ads, here’s what Gary’s Advice did to our business: 📈. Thank you Gary.

Why I'm So Bullish On TikTok Ads

The first reason is because I’m bullish on TikTok as a platform. Their growth trajectory and mainstream acceptance has been nothing short of amazing. The content there is just so good. Honestly FB sucks if you don’t care about local drama in FB groups and Instagram makes me feel inferior. Both platforms keep people using them via negative mechanisms.

On the other hand, I feel better every time I log onto TikTok. Just while writing this, I opened the app and I got funny videos of dogs, some very cool video editing tips, an All in Podcast clip, an Athletic Greens ad (Ok, everyone gets those), and some start up/ tech videos. If you know me, you know that’s spot on and the only thing missing would be a golf video and crypto.

Not only is the algorithm incredible, but the content is uplifting. In 2 minutes on the platform, I learned something and I laughed. Not only is it just good for them, but wouldn’t you want your potential customers in a positive, happy place before you ask them to make a purchase? I would.

In addition to the content, the for you page contains nearly all the value of TikTok. The biggest challenge for most brands today is reaching new people now that Facebook ads are more difficult and more expensive. The organic distribution you can get on TikTok almost makes it a free ad channel, seriously.

See how Triple Whale helps DTC brands scale on Facebook and TikTok

I think TikTok is doing nearly everything correctly, which is in stark contract to how Facebook Meta operates. They get that part of their growth is going to be by making their platform super creator and brand friendly. Just look at how easy they’ve made it to run Spark ads with an authorization code. Anyone who has tried to teach an influencer how to give whitelisting access on FB knows the struggle. They even have this new Creative Exchange program, which sounds amazing. My only complaint is that the minimum budget to get started is $25k, which is very steep to spend on creative in 30 days, even for us.

One final thing. Not only is the content on TikTok incredible, but the ads are too. It’s the platform with. the least difference between organic and ads. Why does this matter? When a user sees an ad that looks like an ad, they’ll skip right on past. A good ad on TikTok is just a good TikTok with some sales elements thrown in. If you can make your ads engaging and “trick” users into watching them, they’ll perform way better.

So… Are TikTok Ads Good For Any Brand?

In short, yes. But it really depends on many different factors:

Your Target Audience

Are they Gen Z? If so, there isn’t a better platform out there right now to reach them. Are they Baby Boomers? It might not be the best fit but still worth testing against social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Finding where your target audience coexists as a community is key to success.

Your Creativity

TikTok ads thrives off of creativity. Can you think outside the box and make content that resonates with people? If so, you’ll see success on TikTok. If not, there are other platforms out there that can help you reach your goals.

Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

TikTok is the perfect platform for influencer marketing. The organic reach of content coupled with the paid reach of TikTok ads is incredible and you can team up with creators to make some awesome content. Just be sure to pick the right creators that align with your brand values and aesthetic.

Your Goals

What are you looking to accomplish? Are you trying to drive conversions, build brand awareness, or something else?  Knowing what you want to achieve will help you decide if TikTok is right for you.

No matter what your goals are, TikTok ads can be a great addition to any brand's marketing strategy. It’s the only social platform that can truly reach Gen Z and millennials and its algorithm rewards creative content.

Key Performance Metric Showdown

In the world of digital advertising, understanding key performance metrics is a must! Let's take a closer look at some of the most important metrics and how they stack up in the battle between TikTok Ads vs Facebook Ads:

CPM (Cost Per Mille)

CPM is like how much it costs to show your ad to a thousand people. Think of it as the price tag for getting eyeballs on your ad. The lower the CPM, the better. 

CPM = (Total Cost of Campaign / Total Impressions) * 1,000

  • TikTok: TikTok's CPM is like a chameleon, always changing. It depends on stuff like who you're trying to reach, how many others want to reach them, and how awesome your ad is. On average, it's usually pretty competitive, so you get a good bang for your buck. 
  • Facebook: Now, Facebook's CPM tends to be a bit heftier. It's got this massive user base and tons of ad space, especially if you're aiming for a particular crowd. So, it might cost you a bit more, especially if you're going niche.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

This one's all about how much you pay when someone clicks on your ad. Again, the lower the better.

CPC = Total Cost / Number of Clicks

  • TikTok: Here's where TikTok shines. It often gives you a lower CPC, meaning it's budget-friendly if you want folks to click over to your website.
  • Facebook: Facebook's CPC can be on the higher side. But hold on, it might be worth it. You see, those clicks could be more likely to turn into actual customers, making your investment pay off.

CTR (Click-Through Rate)

CTR tells you how many people actually clicked on your ad after seeing it. It also indicates how engaging an ad is to the audience. For the CTR, the higher the better. 

CTR = (Total Clicks / Total Impressions) * 100

  • TikTok: TikTok's CTR can be pretty competitive. Why? Well, those eye-catching short videos get folks clicking. It's all about creativity here, my friend.
  • Facebook: Facebook's CTR might not be as high as TikTok's. Maybe it's because people aren't as pumped about ads in their Facebook feed.

CVR (Conversion Rate)

CVR, or Conversion Rate, is all about measuring the percentage of people who took the desired action after clicking on your ad. In simple terms, it shows you how good your ad is at turning clicks into actions, like making a purchase, signing up, or whatever you want your audience to do. The higher the conversion rate, the better your ad's doing.

CVR = (Number of Conversions / Number of Clicks) * 100

  • TikTok: When it comes to CVR, TikTok can be a game-changer. Its younger and more engaged audience might mean a higher CVR for certain brands, especially if they resonate with the TikTok crowd.
  • Facebook: Facebook's CVR is generally known to be higher, especially for e-commerce businesses. This might be because it has a more mature user base with established shopping behaviors.

These metrics help you figure out which platform is winning the ad game for your specific goals. TikTok could be your budget-friendly option, while Facebook might bring in those high-quality clicks. It's all about finding your sweet spot in the ad world!

Facebook Ads Advantages & Disadvantages

Now, let's dive into the world of Facebook Ads. What's good, what's not so good? We've got you covered with the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Facebook Ads

Here are the pros of Facebook ads:

1. Extensive User Base

Facebook's got a colossal user base, spanning generations and demographics. You can pretty much find anyone you want to target here.

2. Advanced Targeting Options

Facebook's targeting tools are like a magician's toolkit. You can narrow down your audience based on things like age, interests, location, and even behaviors. This helps you reach the right people at the right time.

3. Proven ROI

Many businesses have found the pot of gold at the end of the Facebook Ads rainbow. The return on investment (ROI) can be impressive, making it a favorite among advertisers.

4. Conversion Tracking

Facebook offers some serious conversion tracking tools. You can see exactly how your ad campaigns are performing and measure the impact they have on your goals.

Disadvantages of Facebook Ads

Now, the drawbacks of Facebook ads:

1. Increasing Costs

The popularity of Facebook Ads has led to rising costs over time. It's becoming a bit like the high-end boutique of advertising, which might be challenging for smaller businesses with limited budgets.

2. Ad Fatigue

People on Facebook have seen a lot of ads, and they might be getting a bit tired of them. This could lead to "ad fatigue," where your audience is less responsive to your messages.

3. Complex Ad Policies

Facebook's got some strict ad policies. If you don't follow the rules, your ads might get rejected or worse, your account could get banned. It's like navigating a maze of do's and don'ts.

4. Privacy Concerns

Privacy concerns and changes in ad targeting options are shaking things up. It might limit your ability to reach specific audiences as easily as before.

TikTok Ads Advantages & Disadvantages

Now, let's shift the spotlight to TikTok Ads. They've got their own set of pros and cons, and we're here to spill the beans.

Advantages of TikTok Ads

What are the advantages of TikTok ads?

1. Youthful Audience

TikTok's playground is filled with young and energetic users. If your target audience is Gen Z or Millennials, you've hit the jackpot.

2. Engaging Creativity

TikTok's short video format encourages creativity. You can craft engaging ad content that tells a story and entertains your audience, making it a fun and effective platform.

3. Cost-Effective Reach

TikTok often provides a budget-friendly CPM and CPC. It's like a sale in the ad world, giving you a good deal to reach a massive audience.

4. Influencer Marketing

TikTok is the influencer's paradise. You can team up with creators to make fantastic content that resonates with your brand's values and style.

Disadvantages of TikTok Ads

But, here are the downside of TikTok ads:

1. Limited Audience Diversity

TikTok's user base skews towards a younger demographic. If you're targeting an older crowd, it might not be the best fit, and you'll need to look elsewhere.

2. Creativity Requirements

Success on TikTok heavily depends on creative content. If you're struggling in the creativity department, you might find it challenging to make a splash on this platform.

3. Attribution Challenges

TikTok currently offers limited attribution windows, making it a bit tricky to measure the impact of your ad campaigns accurately.

4. Ad Budget Requirements

While TikTok ads can be cost-effective, certain programs or features may have minimum budget requirements, which can be steep for some businesses. It's like needing to buy a whole cake when you just want a slice.

So, TikTok Ads bring youth and creativity to the table, but they do come with some limitations. Knowing the pros and cons helps you decide if it's the right stage for your ad performance.

Facebook Ads vs. TikTok Ads Performance

As of today, we’re spending about $7k daily, and growing every week. That’s about half of what we’re spending on FB right now. So which one is performing better? It depends how you look at it…

CPA is lower on TikTok. ROAS is better on FB, but we’re comparing apples to oranges with different attribution windows. AOV is a bit lower on TikTok. I don’t have any data on LTV yet, but should soon. Now here’s where it gets interesting…

We use Triple Whale as our first-party attribution tool. I highly recommend it to anyone running TikTok ads, or ads in general. (Use code Cody15 for 15% off.)

In the Triple Whale pixel dashboard, there are columns for Triple reported ROAS and CPA, as well as net new customer ROAS (NCROAS) and CPA (NCPA).

So if you look at just in platform metrics, FB is winning by far. If you look at Triple Whale ROAS, FB and TikTok are performing similarly. But if you look at what NCPA and NCROAS, TikTok is winning out. Even with much tighter exclusions on FB than TikTok, it looks like FB is giving more spend to existing customers. There’s a 38% delta between CPA and NCPA on FB, and only a 10% delta for TikTok. My guess is that Facebook is showing ads to existing customers via targeting expansion to “pad the stats” and make it look like it’s performing better than it is but that’s just a guess.

What am I going to do with this data? Idk. But it has me seriously considering keeping FB spend where it’s at and scaling TikTok until we get close to similar daily spends.

Challenges Of TikTok Ads

I’m not going to lie and say TikTok ads are a walk in the park. There are a few challenges that need to be figured out.

First, you have to test and find whats working for your brand on TikTok, because it not the same as FB. The account structure is similar, but you have to find what type of creative, landing pages, and offers work on TikTok specifically.

Right now our efficiency has dropped a bit because our creative is getting stale, and we haven’t had the bandwidth to produce more. I would ideally love to do something like the TikTok Creative Exchange to partner with amazing creators, but I just wish the investment was more reasonable for brands.

Brands will need to figure out systems and processes for creating or acquiring creative for their ads, and it’s going to be much different than FB creative. It’s a work in progress for us. I’ll share what’s working as we go.

I think right now the biggest challenge on TikTok is attribution, or a lack thereof.

Right now there is only a 1-day attribution window. I am told 7dc/1dv is in beta, which I am excited about. But for now attribution is one of the bigger challenges on the platform. I think a first-party pixel is a must for buying media anywhere now, but especially on TikTok. We use Triple Whale Pixel, which I highly recommend.

I think they have a waitlist, but you can skip the line and save 15% if you use code Cody15. Every day I compare Triple stats to in platform, and I’ve built a correlation between what TikTok is telling me and what Triple Whale is. I also use Kno Post Purchase Surveys, which are a must as well. There is no one single source of truth; instead, use multiple tools to help you triangulate. It can be hard to scale spend when in platform ROAS looks so low, but it works.

See how Triple Whale helps DTC brands scale on Facebook and TikTok

TikTok vs. Facebook: Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that I love TikTok and TikTok ads. I’m very seriously considering scaling it in excess of Facebook. The one thing holding us back is creative, so if anyone reading can get us a nice discount on The TikTok Creative Exchange Program, you know where to find me. I am going to be working really hard on building out our processes and systems for finding and creating quality TikTok creative coming up, so stay tuned.

Because I can’t stop talking about how much I love TikTok ads, people keep asking me for consulting and to be honest I don’t have the time at the moment. But I really want to help, because I love helping people and I love TikTok ads. So I’m considering building a course, and it seems there’s a lot of demand for it.

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