Is TikTok Promote Worth It? My Experience…

tiktok promote
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tiktok promote
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Photo credit: Solen Feyissa

In yet another attempt to promote my music, I recently promoted four of my TikTok videos. In other words, I paid for my TikToks to get shown to more people. It’s a feature called TikTok Promote, and I’m going to share my experience so you can see if it’s worth it for you.

What Is TikTok Promote?

TikTok Promote is a tool that pushes your video out to more people as a sponsored video. You can choose the goal of the promotion and get more people to discover your video, drive people to your website, and improve your chances to get followers.

When you promote a TikTok, you can track these stats:

  • Video views
  • Likes, comments, and shares
  • Website visits
  • Age and gender of people interacting with the TikTok

In order to use TikTok Promote, you have to use an original sound or one that can be used commercially. So when promoting a video featuring your music, you may have to edit your video outside of TikTok so your song is baked into the video before you post, as opposed to adding your song as a sound within TikTok.

Also, you still have to put effort into making a compelling video. Promote is not meant to make up for lackluster content. It’s simply a tool that shows your video to more people. So if your video sucks, people still won’t engage with it.

My TikTok Promote Results

For context, I’ve been getting between 200-300 views on any given TikTok with maybe one or two nice commenters. My best video organically got over 4,000 views.

I know, I’m not great at making content, but I’m trying. Although if your stats look similar to mine, then read on.

I decided to promote four TikToks that I thought were cool in comparison to my other TikToks, or the song in the video was one of my stronger songs. And before promoting these videos, they all had roughly my average stats.

As for the goal of the promotions, I chose “More video views.” But you could instead choose:

  • More website visits (you can add a link to your Spotify)
  • More followers
  • More messages
  • More profile views

So here are my results…

Video 1

Total spent: $12.95

By promoting this video, it got over 4k views and 722 likes. But before this, it had organically gotten five saves and a two positive comments.

Video 2

Total spent: $13.12

By promoting this video, it got over 3,400 views, 771 likes, and three positive comments. Before this, it had also gotten three organic saves.

Video 3

Total spent: $13.27

By promoting this video, it got over 2,900 views and 678 likes. Before this, it had organically gotten three positive comments and two saves.

Video 4

Total spent: $6.63

By promoting this video, it got 1,750 views, 190 likes, 1 positive comment, and 29 shares. Before this, it had organically gotten five positive comments and 10 saves.

Final Thoughts: Was It Worth It?

As you can see, I didn’t spend much money on TikTok Promote. In total, I spent $45.97.

I also only chose to get more views, not to get more website visits.

Ultimately, the goal of promoting these TikToks was to get more people to know that I exist and that I make music.

Did people immediately hop over to Spotify to stream my music? Well, there was no significant change in my streaming numbers during or around these promotions.

But I did get a handful of TikTok followers from these promoted videos. I can tell because users would like the promoted video and then follow me right after. So I achieved my goal of expanding my presence.

*UPDATE: Initially, I was going to try TikTok Promote again. But after posting this article, I listened to this episode of The New Music Business Podcast where music marketing expert Dustin Boyer says TikTok Promote seems to lead to shadow banning afterward. It’s almost like TikTok sees you’re willing to pay money, so they stifle your views. So I can’t in good conscience recommend you do TikTok Promote as an indie musician. If you have a big budget and you’re willing and able to do TikTok Promote on a regular basis, knock yourself out. But I wouldn’t advise it. Just focus on creating compelling content that reaches people organically.