TikTok Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which is Best for DTC Marketers?

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia
Business Development Manager at Insense
TikTok Ads vs Facebook Ads

In this day and age, no business can survive without digital marketing.

Of course, you can still use traditional marketing strategies to promote your brand, but digital marketing strategies have taken center stage.

The good news is that you have a lot of options here.

However, one strategy that has proven to be highly effective is advertising on social media platforms.

This should come as no surprise given that everyone has a social media profile nowadays. 

Still, to get the most out of this type of digital advertising, you should first determine which social media platform is right for your business.

To help with that, we’ve compiled a guide on TikTok ads vs. Facebook ads.

Don’t worry; we’ll walk you through all the important aspects, like targeting options, ad formats and costs so you can make an informed decision.

Let’s begin!

TikTok Ads: The Essentials

TikTok has taken the social media world by storm. After all, nobody was expecting it to become so popular in such a short time.

Further, due to its popularity and large number of users, it has also become a very effective advertising platform.

So, here are 2 key aspects you should know about TikTok ads:

  • TikTok ads come in various formats, like TikTok Spark ads, Top View ads, In-feed ads, etc.
  • They offer 3 targeting options, i.e. interests and behaviors, demographics, and device type.

Now, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of TikTok ads:

No worries, we’ll tackle these aspects in more detail later.

But for now, let’s take a look at what Facebook ads have to offer.

Facebook Ads: The Essentials

While TikTok is still unknown to many, it’s almost impossible for someone not to have heard about Facebook.

So, it’s a no-brainer that Facebook offers great digital marketing opportunities.

Now, here are 2 important things you should know about Facebook ads:

  • You can choose from various types of Facebook ads, including photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads.
  • Facebook ads offer advanced targeting options based on demographics and behaviors.

So, what are the pros and cons of Facebook ads?

As you can see, both TikTok and Facebook have strengths and weaknesses. 

So which ad platform would work best in your case?

To help answer this question, it’s time for a more in-depth comparison.

Let’s delve in.

Comparison Point #1: Demographics

One of the key differences between TikTok and Facebook is the audience demographics.

This is something you should keep in mind, because the success of your ad campaign depends on reaching your target audience.

So, let’s compare the audience demographics of these two social media platforms.

  1. Age: TikTok is the go to place if you’re targeting a younger audience, like GenZ or Millennials. 

However, if your target audience is over 25, Facebook is the better option.

  1. Interests: Given the age difference between the users, it’s obvious that their interests differ as well. 

Namely, TikTok users are mostly interested in entertainment. 

Conversely, Facebook users are interested in entertainment, business, wellness, relationships, and more.

  1. Engagement level: According to LinkedIn, due to its catchy short-form videos, TikTok has an average engagement rate of 4.25%, while Facebook has only 0.15%.

In any case, before deciding on an ad platform, you should also check out what people who use them are saying.

For example, Reddit users support the idea that TikTok ads perform great with the Gen Z and Millennial user base. 

However, they complain that the ad campaigns die out quickly, probably because young users get bored easily.

So, you should weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Now, let’s explore the targeting options.

Comparison Point #2: Targeting Options

As we mentioned in the beginning of this guide, both TikTok and Facebook offer targeting options.

This is great news, because out of the billions of users on these social media platforms, you can focus only on your specific audience.

As a result, you maximize your ad performance and avoid spamming other users.

The bonus is that both platforms offer pretty much the same ad targeting options:

  • Core targeting by demographics (age, gender, location, occupation, etc.), interests and platform behavior;
  • Custom targeting, which refers to retargeting users who’ve already interacted with your brand;
  • Lookalike targeting, which means the social media platform will search for similar users based on your current database.

The key difference here is that Facebook has been on the market for much longer. As such, it has been able to collect a lot more data than TikTok.

What does this mean?

Facebook can offer more advanced and precise ad targeting.

Still, given all the similarities, you can choose either one.

Now let’s see what types of ad formats you can use.

Comparison Point #3: Ad Formats

While both advertising platforms offer various ad formats, the main difference is that TikTok focuses more on video content, while Facebook offers more diversity in terms of content formats supported.

Still, given that research shows that video ads perform better, this shouldn’t deter you from choosing TikTok advertising.

Now, let’s take a closer look at your options.

As you can see, both platforms offer plenty of ad formats from which to choose.

While it’s true that Facebook offers a bit more diversity, at their core, both Facebook and TikTok ad formats are basically the same. 

Namely, they use image ads or video ads, or a combination of these two, which is called carousel ads.

In addition, even the best practices for creating TikTok ad creatives and Facebook ad creatives (a.k.a. the content of the ad) are the same:

  • Set clear ad campaign goals (e.g., increasing brand awareness, driving sales, etc.);
  • Choose the product/service you want to promote;
  • Identify your target audience;
  • Check out the competition to determine what ad format works best;
  • Partner up with content creators to generate unique, creative, and catchy content.

In fact, the difference here is not the format per se, but rather the ad placement.

More precisely, TikTok ads mostly appear in the home feed, while Faceebok ads appear in other parts of the app as well, like Stories, Reels, and Messenger.

So, once again, you can’t actually go wrong, no matter which you choose.

Either way, you’re probably wondering how much does it all cost?

Keep reading and find out.

Comparison Point #4: Ad Costs

As a marketer, the ad costs are probably the most important factor to consider.

After all, you want to make the most out of your ad campaigns while keeping the costs at a minimum, particularly if you have a small business.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to give you actual figures since ad costs differ depending on various factors, like industry, type of campaign, and even time of year.

Still, we’ll give you some averages from LinkedIn, to help you understand the big picture.

  • The minimum budget for a TikTok ad campaign is 50$/day, compared to 1$/day on Facebook.
  • The average cost per click (CPC) on TikTok is 1$, while the average CPC on Facebook is 0.97$.
  • The average cost per mille (CPM) on TikTok is 10$, compared to the average CPM of 7.19% on Facebook.

Now, while it may seem like Facebook offers a cheaper solution, remember these are only averages and costs can vary widely based on your industry.

In addition, in recent years, Facebook has seen a constant increase in advertising prices that are making smaller businesses look for other options.

Still, you should think about more than just the cost. 

Specifically, you should also make sure your ad campaign also performs well.

So, let’s look into it.

Comparison Point #5 Ad Performance

When it comes to ad performance, both social media platforms offer good outcomes. 

However, ad performance depends on your specific campaign goals. So, you should first determine what you want to get out of it.

Second, according to Reddit users, ad performance also depends on your industry and target audience.

Let’s compare two key performance metrics (KPI) to make things clearer:

  1. The Click-Through Rate (CTR) shows you how engaging your ad is through the number of times people click on it. 

For younger demographics, CTR is higher on TikTok due to the catchy short-form video content.

However, for older audiences, CTR is higher on Facebook because of the platform’s long history and user familiarity.

  1. The conversion rate measures how many users take a desired action after clicking your ad.

Once again, the conversion rate on TikTok is higher with younger demographics, while on Facebook is higher with more mature users.

However, launching an ad campaign on either of these social media platforms is not enough. You should also scale your ads to boost performance.

Here’s how you can scale Facebook ads and TikTok ads:

  • Increase your ads budget;
  • Collaborate with successful content creators to generate a large volume of fresh ad creatives;
  • Target lookalike audiences, a.k.a. similar users based on your current audience.

All these practices work for scaling TikTok ads and Facebook ads, so you have nothing to worry about.

Still, which of these works best for your business?

Let’s see.

Which Platform is Best for Your Business?

Given all the aspects that we’ve covered, it’s clear that both TikTok and Facebook are great advertising platforms.

Plus, they offer pretty similar advertising options.

Still, which one is best for your business?

Well, as you’ve seen, the key difference lies in your specific audience.

Namely, TikTok video ads work best with younger demographics, while Facebook ads attract more mature audiences.

That, in turn, influences engagement, CTR, and conversion rates.

So, before you choose, you must clearly define your audience and ad campaign goals.

Still, some DTC businesses might want to engage both types of audiences. 

For example, if you run an eCommerce business on Shopify that sells beauty products, you can target both young and more mature women.

In this case, using both social media platforms might be a good solution.

Can you use both TikTok ads and Facebook ads for your brand?

The answer is yes, you can use both for marketing strategy optimization.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Collect data and optimize accordingly. By collecting data from both ad platforms, you get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

As such, if your TikTok ad strategy performs well, you can duplicate it on Facebook, or the other way around.

  1. Be consistent. If you want to run successful ad campaigns on both social media platforms, you should be consistent.

Specifically, you should use the same tone of voice and branding elements across platforms to make it easier for users to recognize your brand.

  1. Enhance your reach. If you’re using Facebook ads for eCommerce, you can leverage the advanced targeting options to create custom audiences that you can’t reach through TikTok.

However, you should continue using TikTok to reach Gen Z and Millennials. By using both, you’ll enhance your reach across audiences.

  1. Partner up with content creators. This is one of the best marketing strategies and works just as well on TikTok as it does on Facebook.

On one hand, they can generate a large volume of fresh ad creatives that you can reuse and repurpose.

On the other hand, you can opt for influencer marketing, where the creators post the user-generated content on their TikTok or Facebook profiles. As a result, they do most of the work for you.

Of course, running multiple ad campaigns on multiple platforms is not easy. Therefore, if you find this too complex, you might want to seek help from a marketing agency.

Now, let’s sum this up.

Invest in High-Quality Creatives for Your Ads

As you can see, both TikTok and Facebook offer great advertising options for DTC marketers.

Plus, if you can’t decide which one is best for you, you can use both.

However, you should know that the success of any advertising campaign relies on the  quality of your ad creatives.

So, make sure you find UGC content creators to ensure the success of your advertising efforts.

Surely, finding the right people for the job and communicating with them on different platforms can be hard and time-consuming.

Therefore, we recommend using an influencer marketing platform to ease the process.

If you want to see how it works, just book a demo with Insense.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic.

Q1. How can you use TikTok to connect with a younger audience?

Since TikTok’s user base mostly consists of Gen Z and Millennials, you can easily connect with a younger audience through TikTok ads. 

Plus, TikTok advertising focuses more on short-form videos, which appeal more to younger audiences.

Q2. Are TikTok ads more profitable than Google ads and Facebook ads?

It’s impossible to compare TikTok ads, Google ads, and Facebook ads in terms of profitability. 

Each of these advertising solutions or all of them combined can prove lucrative if used correctly for the right industry, specific audience, and campaign goals.

Q3. Are Facebook ads better than TikTok?

Facebook ads and TikTok ads are very similar in terms of what they offer, so we cannot say one is better than the other. 

Deciding which one is best for your campaign depends on your target audience and specific marketing goals.

Q4. Can you use TikTok ads on Facebook?

Yes, you can reuse your TikTok ads on Facebook, particularly if they are very successful. Plus, by doing so, you save a lot of time and money.

Of course, if you want to target a different audience, you might want to make small changes before reusing the TikTok ad on Facebook.

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Jose Garcia

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