Snapchat and TikTok have quickly become the favorite platforms of a young audience since day one. They have risen in the social media universe with engaging formats, attracting users worldwide, specifically in the Middle East.
Today, via Snapchat Ads, you can reach more than 69.1 million users1, and with TikTok, 101.9 million users2 in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan). The numbers prove an absolute advantage for brands with a young audience and an innovative brand image.
Discover everything to launch ads on Snapchat and TikTok Ads in this article that will help you achieve your marketing goals.
Focus: Middle East Landscape
Social media is more potent in the Middle East compared to the rest of the world. The Middle East has a higher internet penetration than many other regions, reaching 74%3 in 2022.
To look more in detail, social media in the Middle East region is:
● 70% of the population are social media users, covering a 4.5% share of the global.
● Users spend an average of 3.5 hours per day on social media, which is 2.27 hours worldwide.
● 79% of Middle Easterners get their news from social media (43.5%7 worldwide).
● 35%8 of social media users are aged 18 to 24.
Snapchat & TikTok in the Middle East
To start with a bit of history, Snapchat was launched in 2011, which makes the platform relatively old. However, it is still the world's 8th most-used9 social media application. The idea of Snapchat is to share visual and textual content, including videos, photos, and text messages. Snapchat still stands out because it is primarily an instant daily messaging application for a relatively large number of people.
Let's look at Snapchat:
● 69.1 million10 unique users in the Middle East.
● More than 39%11 of Snapchat's ad audience is aged 18 to 24.
● Four12 MENA countries, with Saudi Arabia ranking 5th worldwide, are in the 13 largest national markets for the app worldwide.
● The average time spent per day is 77 minutes.
● Over 85%14 of MENA daily users interact with Lenses every day.
To continue with TikTok, the platform was launched by Chinese multinational internet technology company ByteDance in 2017. By the end of 2018, it took the world by storm. By the end of 2019, it had generated 1.5 billion downloads worldwide. The objective of TikTok is to entertain users with short, looping, mostly humorous videos.
According to the latest figures, TikTok represents
● 101.9 million15 users only in the Middle East.
● The Middle East is the fastest-growing region for TikTok. The projected growth rate is 39.1%16 in 2022.
● Like Snapchat, more than 39%17 of TikTok's ad audience is aged 18 to 24.
● The average time spent per day is 80 minutes18.
● In most countries, female TikTok users predominate (56.1% female worldwide), but in the Middle East, the percentage of male users reaches 80.7%20.
What kind of audience can you target on Snapchat & TikTok?
Foremost, for all advertising campaigns on social media, it is essential to target your audience correctly. The concept is to create personas from the selected criteria. Then the social media platform will choose the audience your ads will deliver to.
On Snapchat Ads21, you can choose among several criteria:
● Sociodemographics (age, gender, etc.)
● Users' interests (comedy, fashion & accessories, culture & arts, movies, video games, sports, etc.)
● Geolocation (country, region, state, province) and language
● Type of connexion (WiFi, network) or device used (iOS, Android)
To go further, creating a persona is very helpful to know your consumer better. For example, for Snapchat, a Middle Easterner persona can be 22-year-old university student Ahmad:
● Gender: Male
● Age: 18 to 24 years old
● OS: IOS
● Geolocation: Saudi Arabia
● Interests: cars/watches
Moving on, despite the large size of young TikTokers, launching an advertising campaign on TikTok is about more than just targeting young audiences. The app also hosts niches grouped by interests (#FoodTok, #CarTok, #BeautyTok, etc.) that include users of all ages and characteristics.
So what targeting options are available to advertisers via TikTok Ads22?
● Based on their demographics (age, gender)
● By geolocation (country, region, state, province) and language
● By interests (Comedy, Fashion and Accessories, Culture and Arts, Movies, Video Games, Sports, and Outdoor...)
● By operating system (iOS or Android)
● Custom: You can upload your database to the ad platform to target your existing contacts, target your app users, retarget your website visitors, or target users who have interacted with your content.
● By lookalike audiences: these are new users, defined by the algorithm, which are close to your target audience by their behavior or interests.
For example, let's say you want to create a TikTok ad for your primary persona: Sarah, a college student. You could choose the following targeting criteria:
● Gender: Female
● Age: 18 years old
● OS: IOS
● Geolocation: UAE
● Interests: fashion/make-up.
The better you target, the better your advertising campaign will effectively reach your core target.
Which social media should you favor as a marketer, depending on your advertising goals?
To conduct a successful social media ad campaign, you must first set advertising goals that align with your overall marketing goals. Measuring the effectiveness of the selected
platform is another important step. So before making a decision, reviewing the key metrics of each social media platform is essential.
Snapchat is the most popular app for brands looking for a platform to launch short, preview-style videos to promote a new product and gain Generation Z's and millennials' admiration. And the best part is that you can still drive online traffic to your website through video formats and generate more conversions. Snapchat is more suitable for mid-sized and large businesses, as it doesn't offer free content creation. However, many advertising alternatives are available, which is why most brands invest more in Snapchat than other advertising channels. In addition, it allows all business users to share links to content on websites.
In short, Snapchat promises more marketing opportunities for businesses with significant funds, and the goal is acquisition.
On the other hand, go for the TikTok app if you're targeting Generation Z and struggling with budget constraints. With hashtags and keywords, you can optimize video content, attract your target audience, and create a community around you. Many opportunities await small businesses that invest in TikTok, as the platform is relatively new and sets standards for what makes the content engaging and what doesn't. Plus, it's a great space to test your campaign before releasing your products on other social networks. TikTok focuses on businesses without much money focusing on the goal of branding.
Which social media should you favor as an influencer?
Snapchat offers video capture and editing tools, text and video chat, AR lenses, Story creation, a Discovery tab, image capture, and Snap Map. We generally capture the crowd on Snapchat as publishers.
Influencers tend to seek out features to create eye-popping content. TikTok offers plenty of visual content, such as video capture, filter effects, a sound library, editing tools, and creative prompts. In addition, there is a "For You" page, where an algorithm-based discovery feed is available. On TikTok, we see mainly celebrities, well-known brands, and content creators.
How to manage the budget of your advertising campaign on Snapchat and TikTok?
The budget management of both Snapchat & TikTok Ads works with a daily budget or a total/global budget for your campaign. Whichever you select, be sure to streamline your media investments. In your first Snapchat or TikTok Ads campaign, take the time to test the platform on a small budget by defining a daily budget to control your expenses. Next, spread it over different campaigns on other networks, then observe the results to see how your core audience reacts.
The goal is to make sure you choose the right ad networks that best suit your objective rather than spending your entire budget on a platform that won't bring you the desired results! Be careful not to make budget changes before the campaign is sufficiently advanced: the TikTok Ads algorithm goes through a learning phase before optimizing your advertising expenses.
Which formats are available on both social media?
The last step in advertising on Snapchat and Tiktok is to select the ad format that will allow you to reach your audience effectively. You must choose the right type of ad format to fulfill your objectives. Yet, remember that in today's strategies, the video format carries great importance.
Both platforms offer a variety of ad types. To learn more about each ad format for Snapchat and TikTok, read our articles Your guide to (really) effective Snapchat Ads and
How to launch your first effective ads on TikTok?
In conclusion, Snapchat Ads or TikTok Ads for your brand?
Suppose you're looking for a more stable platform widely used by the general population. In that case, Snapchat should be your preferred app. In the past, it has offered a better return on investment for brands that reach their target audience through it. And, with the increase in advertising offers, it is more accessible to brands.
However, we must recognize TikTok as it's a great platform to conduct experiments and observe the reactions of Generation Z before addressing the millennial generation.
You should go with what you think is best for your business and look beyond traditional social networks to stay competitive!