Intelligent Creative: 12 Insights for Better Performing TikTok Ads

By : Sarah Graham


TikTok has taken the world by storm this year. Users have fallen in love with the engaging content and forced brands to rethink their creative strategies, reach outside their comfort zones, try new tactics, and test what works.

TikTok and Intelligent Creative

As an inaugural TikTok Marketing Partner, VidMob provides brands the opportunity to maximize campaign results with data-informed creative, which we call Intelligent Creative. Using AI-powered technology, we identify the visual and audio elements in ads, frame by frame, that influence how consumers respond to content. Real-time insights are put into action with a constant flow of new and improved ads to replace under-performing content. In a recent webinar co-hosted with TikTok, we shared 12 new creative insights and recommendations for brands who want to effectively engage with TikTok consumers. We analyzed over 1,400 video ads which generated a combined 5.4B impressions across 34 brand accounts in North America from January through September 2020. Considering full-funnel objectives, we gathered actionable creative insights to help marketers at every stage.

Brand Awareness

With 6-second view rate as the KPI for this upper funnel objective, brands found success when:

  1. Highlighting exaggerated expressions
    Opening a spot with powerful emotions, such as surprise, led to a 1.7x higher 6-second View Rate compared to more neutral facial expressions.
  2. Increasing text speed
    Featuring 5-10 words per second led to a 2.1x higher 6-second View Rate compared to when the text was presented more slowly.
  3. Choosing music-only audio
    Music-only audio led to a 51% lift in 6-Second View Rate compared to voiceover plus music or voiceover-only audio.
  4. Using original tracks
    Content featuring audio that is custom or unique to the brand led to a 52% lift in 6-second View Rate compared to when content featured a registered track.


When centering on CTR as the KPI for mid-funnel objectives, the following worked best:

  1. Limiting the close-ups
    When using talent, having their face fill less than 20% of the frame led to a 31% lift in Click Through Rate compared to when their face took up more than 20% of the frame.
  2. Breaking the direct gaze
    We saw a 1.7x greater CTR when talent looked directly into the camera for less than half of the full duration of the creative content compared to over half of the duration. While featuring talent and personable content is a priority, you could benefit from switching up the perspective.
  3. Keeping the audio simple
    When content used either music-only or voiceover-only audio tracks, the CTR was 1.6x greater than when content mixed both music and a voice in the audio.
  4. Harnessing the power of voice effects
    Adding voice effects led to a 1.7x greater CTR than when someone’s natural voice was used. Not only did voice effects increase engagement, they also created a more native feel for TikTok users who love using the filter effects.


When working towards bottom-funnel objectives, with Conversion Rate as the KPI, the highest performers succeeded at:

  1. Expanding emotional range
    We saw a 3.3x greater Conversion Rate when on-screen talent showed 4 or more emotions in the creative versus when they showed 3 or fewer.
  2. Opening with your CTA
    Featuring a CTA in the opening frame led to a 44% lift in Conversion Rate compared to when it was displayed later.
  3. Mixing the audio
    Leveraging both music and narration led to a 2x greater Conversion Rate than when the audio featured only one of these elements, differing from the Brand Awareness and Consideration strategies mentioned earlier.
  4. Increasing voiceover speed
    When creative featured audio with 4 or more words per second, there was a 19%% lift in Conversion Rate compared to when talk tracks featured 2-3 words per second.

While the insights from this analysis form a foundation for brands to start optimizing content for TikTok, brand-specific insights uncover additional insights that are nuanced and specific to brand elements. It’s important to go beyond best practices to find out what works best for your unique brand.

If you’re interested in learning more about what VidMob Creative Intelligence can do for you, check out our website or visit the TikTok Marketing Partners page. To watch the full discussion, visit Tips for TikTok: Actionable Creative Insights for your Next TikTok Campaign.