What’s new with TikTok, and how can your brand take advantage?

TikTok only launched for iOS and Android in most markets outside of mainland China in 2017, but already the platform boasts over a billion active users and has built a committed community of content creators, making brilliantly unique, engaging content.

In the last couple of years, TikTok has become the go-to for innovative entertainment and creative ideas, with 79% of users saying that TikToks are more unique than content on any other platform (Nielsen Authenticity Study 2020, Kantar Study 2021) and 7 out of 10 describing TikTok ads as ‘enjoyable’ (Kantar Study 2021). The videos on TikTok have inspired us, educated us, and, of course, given us a few laughs in a time when laughs have sometimes been hard to come by.

“Tiktok is a special place where brands can successfully be creative – reach consumers – and find great performance”
Jaclyn Fitzpatrick – Product Strategist, Global business marketing, TikTok

Some would say TikTok has been slow to develop the advertising side of the business. But having focused on building a strong community first, the opportunity for advertisers is now compelling. And at its recent TikTok World 2021 event, TikTok unveiled some of the exciting new tools that can help brands elevate their own stories in a way that doesn’t detract from the charm and authenticity of the platform.

As TikTok’s Global Head of Native and Brand Ad Solutions, Ludovic de Valon, says, “The best ads look and feel like TikToks,” and TikTok’s vision for its future direction is built around featuring advertiser content that’s built specifically for the platform, and which co-exists harmoniously with all Creators and communities.

“3rd party partners are a great way to elevate a branded content campaign”
Adrienne Lahens – Global Head of Operations, TikTok

There are two ways for brands to reach their audience; by collaborating with Creators and leveraging their knowledge and expertise, or by stepping into the role of a Creator and putting their own native content out there. TikTok’s latest tools make both of these options easy, and we’ve picked out a few of these below.

First of all, let’s look at some of the creative solutions, starting with the TikTok Creator Marketplace, a self-serve portal which makes it easy to find Creators that best align with the brand. Brands can filter based on type of content creators produce, location, amount of views etc. TikTok Creative Exchange works in a similar way, but rather than matching a brand with a Creator, it matches them with a third party creative content provider, like us, to help maximise the performance of their campaign. From content creation studios to marketers and influencer agencies, brands will be able to find the perfect people to create the best possible creative to suit the brief. Having selected someone to work with, the brand will then use the Exchange to manage projects, give feedback, approve creative and access campaign insights.

Now, the next feature is super smart. Dynamic Scene uses machine learning to break apart a video into multiple scenes. These scenes are re-assembled into hundreds of variations based on audience preferences. It can also add music, transitions, and text to help maximise the performance of content, and keep it fresh. We did say it was smart…

Dynamic Scene uses machine learning to break apart a video into multiple scenes.

Quickly running through some of the other creative solutions, there’s TikTok Video Editor, which allows businesses to edit the videos within the website itself, rather than create videos outside of the platform and upload to it. Spark Ads lets brands boost organic content in a users’ feed – whether that’s from a Creator’s account or a brand’s Business Account. This tool pulls in over three times as many likes, with view-through rates that are 240% greater than other ads. And while it’s worth mentioning TikTok’s partnerships with Vimeo and Canva – which between them provide a range of templates for anyone to make videos themselves – using a specialist content provider like us can help brands’ content really stand out. Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can create bespoke content for you!

Next, let’s highlight some of the innovative features in this brave new world of TikTok, like its lightning-fast landing pages. These load 11x faster than standard mobile pages, eliminating the wait from tapping the CTA to receiving information from the brand. We love the pop-out Showcase feature, where brands can superimpose clickable, potentially shoppable pop-out elements onto videos.

For times when a like just isn’t enough, there’s Superlike 2.0, which displays icons on users’ screens when they like a video, giving them even more reason to react to the content. By liking the video, they’ll be invited to a landing page where they can learn more.

And finally, a feature that harks back to those days of choose-your-own-adventure stories. Well, now, there’s a TikTok for that, where users can dictate how the content unfolds.

TikTok content

We’re so impressed by the range of tools available to help brands create standout TikTok content. But how do users actually buy your products? Well, that’s where TikTok Shopping comes in, giving brands the opportunity to create a full shopping experience directly through their TikTok Business Account. By adding a shopping tab to their profiles, brands can sync their product catalogues to create a product showcase tab that links directly to their online store for checkout. Brands who already work with an e-commerce partner can connect their product catalogue through TikTok’s own partnerships like the likes of Shopify and Square, while those brands without a partner can work directly with TikTok, who will manage their entire catalogue, shipping, fulfilment and point of purchase.

Additionally, Product Links allow merchants to highlight the products they feature in their videos, so users can purchase what they see in organic content, while LIVE Shopping lets merchants connect with their audiences in real time, with tools to help users buy what they discover while watching a brand’s stream.

TikTok content

It’s certainly a lot to take in, and with this tranche of new features and tools dropping all in one go, TikTok has just provided a massive opportunity for advertisers, almost overnight. As specialist creative content providers, we can’t wait to start creating content for brands, and pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved on the platform. A new era of storytelling began when TikTok started to take the world by storm, and now, here comes the next chapter. See you over on TikTok, and get in touch with us to see how we can help your brand.