Brands are a core part of the TikTok experience whether they use the platform to be at the front of emerging trends, connect with impressionable communities, or bring awareness to critical health and societal issues like a global pandemic and racial injustice. Just look no further than the #DistanceDance campaign featuring TikTok star Charli D’Amelio as an example of how TikTok continues to leverage its authentic spirit to offer users fresh ways to discover, engage, and make a difference IRL.
In this spirit, TikTok recently announced a new brand and platform specifically catered to helping marketers and brands thrive. Dubbed “TikTok For Business,” the platform will serve as the home for all its current and future marketing solutions for brands. These include ad formats such as TopView, which is the ad that appears when you first launch the TikTok app.
An audience for every voice
“The magic of TikTok is not just the chance to create, but the chance to discover – and to be found. With TikTok For Business, our goal is to give marketers the tools to be discovered and connect with the broader communities around them,” said TikTok’s Managing Director for Global Business Marketing, Katie Puris, in the official announcement. “For brands, this opens an entirely new window of opportunity to create content that speaks to people, to invite the community to join in the conversation, and…to Make TikToks,” she added.
Nodding to the ad slogan “Make TikToks — Not Ads,” the core mission behind TikTok for Business will be to encourage marketers to focus on aligning with more meaningful themes of creativity, expression, creator and brand unity, inclusivity, and a participatory community over interruptive, non-productive spots.
Branded effects, in-feed videos, and hashtag challenges
Amongst the new features and updates with Business for TikTok includes branded takeovers and a Branded Effects Partner Program that create seamless augmented reality experiences between brand and audiences.
With the help of partners including Tommy, Subvrsive, and Bare Tree Media, TikTok is launching a new AR effect called Branded Scan. At its core, Branded Scan allows brands to play a more integral role into the content creation behind ads. Specifically, by activating visual effects such as a brand logo or band product in a user’s 2D or 3D videos. These can also be combined with Hashtag Challenges to help drive engagement. In a time where we face an oversaturated attention economy, the simpler it is for brands to become involved in a conversation where users are already actively participating the better — and will only become more integral to our marketing decisions.
Separately, Brand Takeovers entail a three to a five-second advertisement featuring an image or video while In-Feed videos are longer in form, allowing brands up to 60 seconds of space and run with audio playing.
Maximizing Your Videos
Creativity aside, TikTok is also aware that brands must balance their objectives with what the data is telling them. In this vein, the company recently distilled down the three key elements that inform which videos appear in a user’s feed: user interactions, video information such as captions, specific sounds or songs, and hashtags, and device and account setting including language preference and mobile device type.
While the platform, like many others, largely seeks to show users more of the same content based on their engagement and interests, it also may show something out of the norm in an effort to promote diversity. “Our goal is to find balance between suggesting content that’s relevant to you while also helping you find content and creators that encourage you to explore experiences you might not otherwise see,” TikTok shared.
A few takeaways to note from these insights: when creating TikTok content bear in mind that each post is assessed independently, staying abreast of trending conversations will help you connect with a larger audience, and higher reach is contingent on viewers watching your videos in full.
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