During the past two years, the adoption of TikTok advertising has been increasing on a steady upward trend, propelled by the launch of their dedicated TikTok For Business ad platform. Over the course of 2020, TikTok recorded a 500% increase in U.S advertisers running campaigns on the app. In 2021, this growth has continued, with audience exposure to ads almost doubling to 37%, compared to 19% in 2020.
Along with this increased adoption, audiences themselves have responded extremely positively to ads placed on the platform, with TikTok being ranked #1 in terms of ad equity for a second year running according to a study conducted by Kantar. It has also been found that 72% of audiences find TikTok ads to be inspiring and 67% report that TikTok ads grab their attention—a result that is 10% higher than any other platform.
These numbers suggest that TikTok has matured as an advertising channel, earning its seat at the table alongside the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
So, as we head into 2022 let’s take a look at TikTok advertising and explore some tips that will help you leverage the platform to its full potential in 2022.
TikTok has quickly started to move out of the “experimental” bucket and is now becoming a staple of the social spending pie. (Digiday)
Many brands who have adopted TikTok as an advertising channel have done so either on a trial basis, or in a sporadic fashion, launching isolated campaigns around sales events or new product releases. This is understandable, being the new kid on the block has meant that marketers have had to take some time to familiarize themselves with—and build trust in—the platform before giving it a regular spot on their media roster.
However, now is the time to do so. Brands wishing to maximize the huge potential offered by TikTok, need to make it an always-on channel by establishing a continuous presence on the platform through a mixture of paid media and organic content.
It is especially important on TikTok for brands to have a consistent, clear presence due to the sense of community that exists on the platform. The brands who most successfully utilize TikTok have understood this and actively seek to tap into and foster a strong community surrounding their product. Doing so requires a constant stream of content that is continuously being refreshed in order to maintain engagement.
Recommendation: Deploy a steady stream of In-Feed Ads
Whilst you should look to utilize TikTok formats such as Branded Hashtag Challenges and TopView Ads during peaks in your campaign calendar, it is the In-Feed Ad placement that can be best used in an always-on capacity.
In-Feed Ads on TikTok are full-screen, sound-on videos up to 60-seconds in duration that are integrated into audience’s For-You feeds between organic content.
By being always-on with this format, whilst refreshing creative in order to avoid ad fatigue and to tap into current platform trends, you are able to keep your audience engaged and expand your brand community.
I’m sure many of you reading this will have come across the "Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks" tagline that is used by the platform as an advertising ethos, calling on brands to approach ads on TikTok differently than other platforms.
Before starting campaigns on TikTok, it is important to understand what is meant by this ethos as it will enable you to produce creative that is optimized, giving your campaigns the best chance of performing to their potential.
“Don't Make Ads, Make TikToks” is essentially prompting brands to move away from an approach that seeks to “cut through the noise” or “stand out from the crowd”, by instead striving to join the crowd, and add to the noise. Modern audiences are no longer responsive to ads that disrupt their online content experience. They have been exposed to these ads for years and are now well practiced at identifying them as advertisements and subsequently swiping past, skipping, or simply ignoring them in order to return to the content they were consuming.
In response to this, TikTok has created an advertising environment where brands are encouraged to produce ads that look and feel like the organic content on the platform. This sees brands deploying video content that add to, rather than interrupts an audience’s experience which in turn leads to higher engagement.
Recommendation: Focus on authenticity
In order to connect with, and ultimately engage TikTok audiences, your ads need to first and foremost be authentic—adopting the same visual language as organic content.
To do so, take note of the following creative best practices, and think about how you can implement some (if not all) of them in your 2022 TikTok creative.
TikTok has expanded their ad solutions greatly throughout the past year with a suite of diverse tools now available at your fingertips. This section will explore a selection of these tools, explaining how they can be used to strengthen your TikTok campaigns in 2022.
Along with TikTok’s standard ad formats: In-Feed, TopView, Branded Hashtag Challenge, and Branded Effected—a bunch of new formats are set to be available for brands to utilize in 2022.
Announced in July of 2021, Spark Ads are an innovative format that enables you to amplify organic content from creators on the platform featuring your brand. The benefit being that this provides a great deal of authenticity for your brand as the creative that you are promoting is actually an organic post that has essentially been transformed into an ad.
This also helps you to form lasting connections with TikTok creators which goes a long way in forging a community surrounding your brand on the platform.
Interactive ad formats/tools
At the TikTok World event held in September of 2021, the platform announced that a range of interactive ad formats and tools would be soon become available to advertisers wishing to unlock higher levels of engagement.
Gesture Ads: Reveal rewards or more information for audiences who slide or tap on videos.
Super Like 2.0: Helps to make “liking” a video ad more engagement by having visual elements appear on screen when the user double taps the video.
Story Selection: A format that immerses audiences by putting them in the driver’s seat, controlling how the ad unfolds.
Also announced at the TikTok World event was the TikTok Creator Marketplace, a platform that connects brands with creators to enable collaboration.
It cannot be stressed enough the important role that creators play on TikTok. They are at the heart of TikTok’s vibrant, entertaining content, and can serve as a key that enables you to unlock new audiences and build a brand community on the platform. The Creator Marketplace platform makes it easy for you to find the perfect creators for your brand, being filterable by content type, location, average views, and other factors.
If you haven’t already explored collaborating with creators via your TikTok campaigns, we strongly recommend trialing it in 2022 as it can be an extremely powerful way of connecting with and growing your audiences.
TikTok Marketing Partners
As this article has shown, TikTok advertising has grown significantly, now offering a diverse list of solutions to brands wishing to utilize the platform. In order to better help brands on their TikTok advertising journey, the TikTok Marketing Partner program was created.
This is a community of companies who are experts in different fields of TikTok marketing. From creative and sound, to campaign management and e-commerce—a growing list of companies now live on the TikTok Marketing Partner portal where you can discover the right company for your specific needs.
Shuttlerock, was proud to be recognized as one of the first TikTok Creative Partners in August of 2020, and has since gone on to work with many brands around the world to produce attention-worthy video creative for the platform.
If you would like to learn more about our TikTok creative solutions, please feel free to get in touch.