October 18, 2022 0 242

TikTok Ads vs Facebook Ads in 2022

TikTok's growth has been insanely high in 2022 and no online marketer can overlook it anymore. We have analyzed cases of marketers who have completely shifted from Facebook Ads to Tiktok Ads and others who have kept it as their secondary media buying channel because the fact is, its traffic is undeniably good.

In this article, we are sharing an analysis from Cody Plofker, a media buyer and CMO at Jones Road Beauty who has been working in the online marketing industry for over 5 years. Cody explains why he shifted from Facebook to Tiktok Ads, their comparison according to performance in 2022, and why he has gone super bullish on Tiktok ads in 2022.

"I’m super bullish on TikTok in general as a platform right now, and I think it’s going to be the next big thing. But, I didn’t always think so. I thought it was a 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.

Back Story

Cody and his team launched their first TikTok ads in November of 2021 and got decent success immediately. He says that he thought they would get to $1 000 per day in ad spend by Q1 of 2022 and then the ads would fall.

"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."


The Change

Cody was lucky enough to have a 20-minute talk with Gary Vee, which he says he is forever grateful for. He is his “family friend” and he got to pick his brain on the content strategies to use for the Jones Road Beauty brand.

"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 $100 000 000 on TikTok alone."

If you want a near-identical replay, watch this.

So after that talk, Cody and his team had to get serious about TikTok.

Before this, they weren’t doing much of anything on TikTok organically. They were spending about $750 - $1 000 a day on ads profitably, but their organic game was lacking.

Cody says that he had a sinking feeling that his team was missing the boat by not investing in TikTok organically and it turns out he was right.  So they made a few videos, not expecting too much:

"The first video we just said we were new to TikTok and asked what questions people had for Bobbi. (My mom, and founder of Jones Road Beauty). The second and third videos we made are the ones that took off. We just did some video replies to users' questions.

The first one was about makeup tips for people of 50+ years. The second one was Bobbi responding to someone asking about contouring their nose, and Bobby is very anti-contouring, so she responded with a very authentic, positive answer.

Fortunately, these videos were also picked up by top content sites like Allure, Prevention.com, The Stylist, Yahoo News Syndication, New Beauty, and more, which I am sure contributed to the surge in traffic."


Cody’s Reasons for Going Bullish on Tiktok Ads

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Cody says that the main reason for going bullish on Tiktok is because the platform’s growth trajectory and mainstream acceptance have been nothing short of amazing. The content there is just so good. He says that currently, Facebook sucks if you don’t care about local drama in Facebook groups and Instagram makes him and "average users" feel inferior. Both platforms keep people using them via negative mechanisms.

On the other hand, Cody says that he feels better every time he logs onto TikTok.

"Just while writing this, I opened the app and got funny videos of dogs, some very cool video editing tips, an All in Podcast clip, an Athletic Greens ad, 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."

Cody says that not only is the algorithm incredible, but the content is uplifting. In 2 minutes on the platform, he learned something and laughed as well. Every advertiser would definitely want to have their potential customers in a positive, happy place before you ask them to make a purchase.

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.

Cody says that he thinks TikTok is doing nearly everything correctly, which is in contrast with how Facebook Meta operates.

Tiktok gets 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 Facebook knows the struggle.

Tiktok even has a new Creative Exchange program, which sounds amazing. The only downside is that the minimum budget to get started is $25 000, which is very steep to spend on creative in 30 days, even for Jones’ team.

One final thing is that not only is the content on TikTok incredible, but the ads are incredible as well. It’s the platform with the least difference between organic and ads. When a user sees an ad that looks like an ad, they’ll skip it right away. 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.


Facebook vs TikTok Ads Performance in 2022

As of today, Cody and his team are spending about $7 000 daily and growing every week. That’s about half of what they are spending on Facebook right now. But the question is which platform is performing better? Here are the facts…

  • CPA is lower on TikTok.
  • ROAS is better on Facebook, but we’re comparing apples to oranges with different attribution windows.
  • AOV is a bit lower on TikTok.

Cody uses Triple Whale as their first-party attribution tool and highly recommends it to anyone running ads in general.

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, Facebook 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 Facebook than on TikTok, it looks like Facebook is showing more ads to existing customers.

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There’s a 38% delta between CPA and NCPA on FB, and only a 10% delta for TikTok.

"I guess 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," Cody says.

This data has had Cody seriously considering keeping their Facebook ad spend where it’s at the moment and scaling TikTok until he gets close to having similar daily spending on both platforms.


Challenges Of TikTok Ads

TikTok ads are not just a walk in the park. There are a few challenges that need to be figured out.

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

Cody says that a big challenge he is facing right now is that their efficiency has dropped a bit because their creative style is getting stale, and they haven’t had the bandwidth to produce more. This is where the Tiktok Creative Exchange program would come in but the problem is that it's expensive for Jones right now.

"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 creatives for their ads, and it’s going to be much different than Facebook creative. It’s a work in progress for us."

Cody also thinks that the biggest challenge on TikTok right now is attribution, or a lack thereof. Right now there is only a 1-day attribution window. Different sources say that 7dc/1dv is in beta, which is exciting. 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.

Cody's team uses the Triple Whale Pixel to track and compare with what the in-platform tracks, he has built a correlation between what TikTok statistics show and what Triple Whale shows. He also uses Kno Post Purchase Surveys, which are also a must.

There is no 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.


Final Thoughts

TikTok and TikTok ads are great and even Cody is seriously considering scaling them in over Facebook. The only thing holding him and most advertisers back is coming up with new creatives over and over again.

Advertisers should be working hard on building out their processes and systems for finding and creating quality TikTok creatives.

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We have also seen a couple of Tiktok ads creative agencies like AdTok coming up to solve this problem for advertisers. There is also a number of freelance UGC content creators who you can hire.

All of these are alternatives to using the TikTok Creative Exchange Program which goes for a hefty $25 000 fee.

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