On TikTok, creative is everything. If your brand is looking to connect with the more than one billion people using the platform, you’re going to want to make it your top priority to be producing creative that entertains and inspires. To put it another way: the better your creative, the higher engagement you’ll achieve.
But what makes creative “better”? How can you make sure that your TikTok creative is giving you the best possible shot at maximizing engagement?
The first port of call is to make sure that you understand and are adhering to established TikTok creative best practices, such as using vertical video, featuring music and sound effects, and having the right duration. These are the basic elements that should serve as the foundation for any TikTok creative you are producing. Once you’ve nailed these basics, you can then look at more advanced strategies that will give your TikTok campaigns an edge.
As an official TikTok Creative Partner, we at Shuttlerock have worked with hundreds of brands from around the globe to produce thousands of TikTok-optimized creative assets. During this time, we’ve developed a strong understanding of what strategies will give a brand the best chance of success on TikTok. This article showcases five of these strategies, explaining the way that each helps to unlock higher levels of engagement.
#1 Be always-on
If you’re serious about your presence on TikTok, dipping in and dipping out isn’t going to cut it—you’ve got to be always-on. From a creative perspective, this means maintaining a constant presence by continuously releasing new creative—both paid and organic—at a high frequency rather than intermittently throughout the year.
Being always-on will help your brand become more immersed and visible within the TikTok community, leading to a stronger connection between you and your audience. On top of this, being always-on is the best way to overcome one of the biggest challenges facing TikTok advertisers: creative fatigue.
If you leave your creative running for too long, or you don’t have enough creative variation in your ad group, your performance will start to drop off. An always-on creative strategy helps you avoid this, as it provides a pipeline of fresh creative assets that can be drawn upon as soon as creative fatigue sets in.
#2 Tune into culture
Another benefit of being always-on that deserves its own mention, is that it makes it easier to tune into TikTok culture.
TikTok is a place where trends are created and cultivated. When you tune into these trends through your creative, it allows you to speak the language of the TikTok community. When done right, this is very effective at boosting engagement as the creative functions more as an entertaining piece of content that adds to a viewer’s experience, rather than a disruptive ad.
The thing with trends, however, is that they come and go without any warning. To jump on them, you’ve got to be agile and produce relevant creative quickly. An always-on creative approach helps with this as it means you won’t be caught napping. Creative agility is also helped by solutions with fixed-cost pricing models—such as Shuttlerock CaaS—as they don’t slow you down trying to get additional budget approval for the new creative.
#3 Remix existing assets
From the first two points, it’s clear that to be successful on TikTok, you need a lot of creative. This can be a little scary considering the production of video can be expensive. Getting around this requires you to adopt smarter, more efficient production methods.
One of these is to remix your existing assets. Remixing is when you use assets you already have, and transform them into video creative as opposed to shooting a video from scratch. You can remix anything from product renders and lay flats, through to user-generated content (UGC) and photo-shoot imagery.
In the hands of animators and motion-graphics designers, these assets can be transformed into high-quality TikTok creative. The key is you don’t have to go out and shoot anything new; you are repurposing what you already have. This saves a lot of time and reduces costs, significantly—enabling you to produce higher volumes.
#4 Feature creator & user-generated content
While any existing assets can be transformed into optimized TikTok creative, your creative will resonate more strongly with audiences if you’re able to feature either creator or user-generated content.
Using this type of content as the basis of your creative can lead to a 93% higher engagement rate, and 27% higher ad recall. These levels of performance can be achieved as both creator content and UGC make your creative more authentic, leading it to resonating more with audiences.
Remixing creator content and UGC within your TikTok creative also gives it a “lo-fi” look and feel. This is important, as when your ad is placed within a TikTok user’s feed, it won’t seem out of place. This means the viewer will be more likely to view the video rather than swiping past it to return to organic content.
#5 Get interactive
The last TikTok creative strategy is to draw upon the interactive formats that are available. Collaboration plays an important role on TikTok, so enabling audiences to participate in the ad experience is extremely powerful.
This can be done in three ways:
- Interactive add-ons: a range of interactive elements such as voting stickers, countdown stickers, and superlikes. These can be added to in-feed ads to dial up engagement.
- Branded hashtag challenges: challenges that audiences can participate in by submitting their own video with a corresponding hashtag. This format has a whopping median engagement rate of 17.5%.
- Branded effects: augmented reality (AR) filters that audiences can use to co-create branded content. Branded effects can also be used as the basis for a branded hashtag challenge.
Take your TikTok creative to the next level
As an official TikTok Creative Partner, Shuttlerock can help take your brand’s TikTok creative to the next level. Our CaaS (Creative as a Service) solution enables brands to produce a steady stream of world-class TikTok creative, implementing strategies—such as the ones showcased in this article—to maximize engagement.