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TikTok’s Brand New Ad Options Leaked

TikTok Claims 732m Users Globally & Rising Fast

As social media spend booms in 2021, TikTok is busy embracing a bold new future through its range of eCommerce-focused adverts, according to a leaked pitch deck doing the rounds with various advertisers in the US.

The report recently featured in Business Insider outlines an array of new ad units, alongside some fascinating insights into user behaviour and TikTok's unique app demographics.

For example, TikTok claims brands can reach new audiences on TikTok that are not on other platforms. 48% of TikTok's users are not on Instagram, and 40% are not on Facebook, according to the company.

Four new ad formats

As per Business Insider, TikTok is working on releasing four new ad formats, each targeting customers in slightly different ways, giving marketers and brands a four-pronged form of attack as they go about leveraging the platform to drive more outcomes.

  1. Collection ads will let brands combine catalogue listings and branded videos to lead users to products through video. It's expected that it'll work similarly to YouTube's product listings in video.
  2. Promo tiles will give marketers the option to add sales and promotional alerts to in-feed ads.
  3. Showcase tiles will give creators the chance to feature products in their videos and display a link to a product thumbnail at the foot of the screen.
  4. Dynamic product ads will bring a marketing automation touch of spice to TikTok and will retarget users with relevant product suggestions based on their activity.

These four options will provide brands, marketers and creators with a helpful mix of opportunities to assess what might work best for them. Some may prefer to use data-driven marketing and retarget users, while others prefer to be seen in influencers' videos and then displayed via showcase tiles.

TikTok's new dynamic product ads will undoubtedly be further assisted by a recent quiet amendment to its T&Cs. Starting last week, TikTok has made changes to the way users are served ads to increase their personalisation efforts.

From April 15, users are now no longer able to opt out of personalised ads. Meaning personalised ads are more… personalised and will be especially useful for dynamic product ads.

Several of TikTok's new features have more than a passing resemblance to ad products offered in other social channels. In fact, some even share the same names; for example, check out Facebook's Collection ads here – seem familiar?

However, while TikTok's latest features should create interest amongst marketers, question marks remain about some of TikTok's basic advertising fundamentals:

Financial Times, February 2021

"Some advertisers have been cautious about TikTok, suggesting that its current advertising system remains a work in progress. "The product and the content has not matured into a place where sophisticated advertisers really want to commit," one ad agency executive said."

While TikTok Ads Manager has improved of late, it is starting from a pretty low base. Therefore, it is not unrealistic to imagine clunky interfaces could somewhat undermine exciting product innovations on the coalface.

Social commerce, livestreaming, ads & influencers

If TikTok follows in Douyin's, the Chinese version of TikTok, footsteps, its latest ecommerce plays will prove helpful as it seeks to maximise and grow revenue. Douyin now generates most of its income from in-app commerce rather than advertising, and TikTok may be hoping to go down the same gilt-edged path.

One further positive that could come from these changes is the possible improvement in revenue-sharing. As TikTok earns more money, it could pay its best creators more to keep them from jumping ship to a competitor – let's say Instagram's Reels – for instance.

Not content with expanding its shoppable ads options, TikTok has also experimented with livestream shopping. The platform recently ran tests with Walmart and has announced a partnership with Shopify that will allow merchants to run TikTok marketing campaigns from their Shopify dashboard.

Livestream shopping will bring all the fun of those old, outdated TV shopping channels to the small screen. The plan is to have TikTok users buy products after seeing them shown off by influencers on the platform.

Get ready to hear even more about the #tiktokmademebuyit hashtag…

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