Understanding TikTok: A Conversation on Creating Impactful Ads

By : Camille Hayward


TikTok has been a driving force in highlighting the importance of native-first ad content. That’s incentivized brands to revisit their traditional creative strategy to make sure content looks and feels organic to the platform. It all boils down to a simple phrase TikTok continues to relay to brands: “don’t make ads, make TikToks.”

In our most recent webinar hosted by Adweek, VidMob’s EVP of Global Client Solutions, Jill Gray, and TikTok’s Head of Ecosystems Partnerships, Melissa Yang, dug into what that means for brands, and why they should plan to use a fresh creative strategy to advertise on TikTok. We’ve outlined three key learnings from the webinar, below:

Content Before Connection

First and foremost, the consumer experience on TikTok differs from what the marketing industry has seen in the past. The focus is on content rather than social connection.

“It’s not about who you are and who you’re connected to, it’s about the content you like and finding … people who enjoy [it too],” – Melissa Yang, TikTok.

This goes for ads as well. According to Melissa Yang, while brands are used to “warming people up [to] eventually get them to buy something, [on TikTok] …it’s just ‘tell me what your product is, if you really love it, and if it’s really adding value. Tell me what that value is, do it in an authentic way, and as a consumer I’ll believe you if it’s true.’”

As a personalized, content-driven video platform, the expectation from users is extremely high. Advertisers need to be sure the creative they’re running meets those standards.

Trust the TikTok Creators

Getting used to not being in complete creative control is a difficult challenge for marketers. But brands able to put trust into creators who understand the creative ins and outs of the platform will see benefits. This is a new concept in the marketplace and can make brands feel uneasy. The balance between having complete creative autonomy / control and leniency is a common theme.

VidMob’s Creative Scoring capability helps brands to get visibility over their creative at scale while supporting expert collaboration.

“These kinds of developments in the marketplace, along with letting go a little bit, is what it takes for brands to really get comfortable…and see that this [shouldn’t be] a friction point. It’s a real opportunity,” – Jill Gray, VidMob.

Use Creative Data

Creative has historically been a black box for marketers filled with visual and audio elements that can affect ad performance, but have been immeasurable until now. Using AI-powered technology, VidMob can 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. We call this Intelligent Creative. Using creative data in your marketing strategy is the key to measuring and optimizing ad content quickly and at scale. VidMob not only allows clients to see if their ads are working, but also why they’re working on TikTok.

Last year, VidMob ran a landmark study analyzing nearly 1500 ads over the course of nine months, resulting in more than a dozen key creative insights for digital marketers. Want a peek into these learnings? Check them out here.

TikTok signals a shift in creative strategy for advertisers who are looking for fresh opportunities to connect with consumers.

Interested in learning more about advertising on TikTok and ways to boost your creative strategy? View the full webinar, for free, on our resources page.