TikTok Usage is exploding. Here is an update on advertising.

Published on 27 March 2020

Covid-19 means TikTok is becoming even more widely used across the globe with thousands of new downloads each day. The app is also helping in keeping the virus under control with popular videos set to music that help people learn how to wash their hands correctly. One clip from Vietnam has been viewed over 20 million times. At the same time the app is stirring controversy as some 'challenges' are encouraging young people to contract the disease by licking surfaces. Needless to say TikTok HQ in China is now blocking these reckless users and inappropriate video content.

The age range of TikTok users is also gradually becoming older as people choose to use the app for entertainment and video consumption, as opposed to being creators who generate content in the form of well rehearsed dance moves or light hearted entertainment videos.

Here is an update on how you can advertise on TikTok based on my previous article, with more insight into how marketing options are developing. Creators

Advertising on TikTok is still very new, and local markets are developing their own strategies. One of the more advanced options offered by TikTok is the creator marketplace where you can get in contact with popular influencers in main markets, which include the US, UK, Germany and a number of APAC regions. Advertisers can make an offer to an influencer to promote a video on their stream, or more commonly, product placement agreements. Jimmy Fallon is undoubtedly the king of product placement. He casually sports the latest Nike Sneakers while doing a TikTok Dance which was viewed a whopping 66.3 million times with 8M+ likes. Ohnanana

Benefits: You can find a semi popular creator and negate a direct deal with them.

Down Sides: Setting up campaigns can be clunky.

HashTag Challenges

Hashtag challenges are essentially fun tasks that need to be with creators or actors to demonstrate what needs to be done to get the challenge complete. Very often these are dances or some kind of activity that can be undertaken fairly easily.

The makeup brand MAC claim to have achieved 2.3 Billion views (that's right billion) of their Hashtag challenge #youownit. This brilliantly executed campaign involved a number of high profile creators and the challenge was beautifully simple.

Benefits: When well executed a Hashtag challenge can be massively popular.

Downsides: It's expensive. In the US prices start from $200,000, and that does not include some influencer costs or set up costs.

TikTok Effects

Personally I love filters. I think they are an excellent way for users to engage with brands, and when done well they can be organically popular or 'OP' (I am avoiding using the word viral at this time).

TikTok filters are great, however at the moment limited to 2D graphics, morphing effects and some 3D options. The effects need to be made locally and they need to be re-built by the head office in China. All ads need to be approved by TikTok which can add to the lead time.

Benefits: Very engaging.

Down Sides: Takes some time to get them built. Takeover Ads & In-Feed Ads

These are the ads that are already becoming popular and will soon be available in most markets. Takeover ads are basically simple full screen ads that appear when the app is loaded and advertisers can purchase these per day with 100% guaranteed share of voice. The CPM price for these ads is currently around €12 in the big 5 markets, but this depends on a few factors. The ads can be video or a static image.

In-Feed ads are more like what you would expect to see on Instagram stories. These vertical videos are nicely integrated and unless you look carefully you may not realise that they are ads. For the user experience that's great, however I think in time TikTok needs to make the ads more appealing to click on, or larger CTA buttons are needed to ensure high click through / engagement rates.

Benefits: Easier to set up, massive audience reach.

Down Sides: Still quite expensive and click through may not be as high as other social platforms.

Handy to know....

We've done a lot of research here on the possibilities and there are a few key things to know as the platform develops.

All ads have to be approved in China manually, and the rules on advertising are fairly tight. Advertisements for Fast Food, Alcohol and Gambling are blocked in most countries for the time being. This will be challenging for big fast food brands especially, as the age group of TikTok is key for these advertisers. It's not yet clear which markets this affects, but for sure their ad safety team are pretty tight on what they approve.

Ad specifications are confusing and numerous. There are quite a few assets need to be provided in order to run an ad which may slow down production processes. We've digested them to be a little more easy to swallow, so contact us if you would like more info.

Real Time Bidding is coming...

TikTok does have an RTB platform, however only a limited number of markets are presently open. If certain markets are required then they need to be quite listed.

On the back of RTB development it was announced in the week that TikTok will be forming a partnership with The Trade Desk to allow advertisers to directly access its inventory across Asia Pacific after a successful pilot in Thailand. Inventory is being opened up on The Trade Desk with ' pseudonymous' targeting as clients and partners are prohibited from providing personal data into The Trade Desk platform, underlying TikTok’s commitment to privacy. Presently video ads are available in selected markets and it would appear that The Trade Desk may be plugging the technology gaps of SSP and DSP in the partnership.

Contact AGCS if you want to know more about TikTok Advertising.

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