As more users flock to TikTok, marketers continue to search for ways to infiltrate the app and connect with target audiences. While it’s one thing to create your own brand presence, leveraging the virality of TikTok influencers has proven to be quite an effective tactic. Combine this with TikTok’s self-serve ads platform that has wrapped up its Beta and is officially rolled out globally, and your brand will be on its way to a sound presence on this platform.
But seeing as this is all new data and technology, how does your brand go about running TikTok ads with influencers? Below we’re breaking down the basic steps, as well as commonly asked questions, about running in-feed influencer ads within TikTok.
How to Run TikTok Ads with Influencers
Finding Influencers: TikTok’s Creator Marketplace
TikTok developed their own influencer network called Creator Marketplace, however it's currently in Beta and you need to be invited to participate. Lucky for you, our team has access to the Beta if you're interested and unable to join at this time.
Our experience has shown the marketplace to be very powerful and much more sophisticated than other platform's "influencer networks". Users can search by audience and topics, as well as have the ability to see previously sponsored posts from the influencers.
Producing TikTok-Worthy Content
When it comes to TikTok content, you’ll find that the most successful assets are unpolished, authentic videos. It’s very different from the glamorous shots you see scrolling through your Instagram feed.
Advise influencers to start their video off with an enticing hook to keep audiences from scrolling past the ads. If they’re not intrigued in those first 2-3 seconds, you may have missed your window.
Additionally, audiences on TikTok are there to be entertained. Instead of having an influencer push messaging focused on product information and updates, give them the creative freedom to tell the story of your brand, the people who make it possible, and how your products play a key role in that lifestyle.
Setting Up Your TikTok Ads
Now that you have your influencer partners selected and worked through what the content should look like, how do you proceed with setting up in-feed influencer ads in the tool? Because our team was involved in the program Beta, we’ve outlined below common questions and observations we’ve gathered that are useful for the ad development and programming process.
- Where should the content for the ad live? On the brand channel or the influencer channel?
Neither. You’ll only need to add the raw content files and upload them to the a "library" housed in the tool. Then the assets are ready when you want to add all your paid media bells and whistles.
- Who do the ads appear to come from?
When programming the ad, you’ll upload a profile picture image (small circle, on the right-hand side of the app) that “suggests” who the content is coming from.
- What assets are needed to successfully run an ad?
You’ll need the influencer to produce the video content that complies with TikTok's ad specifications as well as a cover photo for the ad (the cover can be custom or a pre-selected image from within the video). Here’s the high-level outline of ads specs for in-feed video content:
- Aspect Ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9
- Video Resolution: Resolution must be ≥720*1280px, ≥640*640px, or ≥1280*720px.
- File Type: .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi
- Video Duration: 5-60s allowed. We suggest short videos of 9-15s.
- File Size: ≤500 MB
Ask your influencers to deliver the high-resolution content files as well as a profile picture they want associated with the ads. You’ll then upload the content files to the TikTok library tool, however the profile picture will need to be uploaded when you create the campaign (it’s not housed in the library). Here are also the specs required for the profile image:
- Aspect Ratio: 1:1
- File Type: .jpg, .jpeg, .png
- File size: <50 KB
- What targeting objectives and capabilities are available?
There are several objectives you can use: Awareness (reach), consideration (traffic, app installs, video views), and conversion (conversions, catalog sales). When it comes to then narrowing in on your audience, at this time you’re limited to basic data such as gender, age, location, and general interests. Additionally, retargeting, matched-file targeting, and look-a-like audience targeting is also available (all power features in our opinion).
- How can you implement conversion tracking?
You can utilize the TikTok pixel for this objective. Additionally, you could also append UTM tracking.
- For the awareness objective, is there a quality metric available (such as Ad Recall Rate on Facebook)?
Unfortunately, no, TikTok’s awareness targeting is not that sophisticated yet. You would need to plan to use the reach metric provided.
- Can I use the “shop now” button in my ads?
Yes, the “show now” button is now available to all advertisers and is one of seven total CTA options available. Others include: "Download Now", "Learn More", "Sign Up", "Contact Us", "Apply Now" and "Book Now".
Now that you’re armed and dangerous with these insights, it’s time to start strategizing your approach to TikTok ads and identifying which influencers you want to work with for this project. As I previously mentioned, our agency was not only involved in the ads beta, but we’re also members of the Creator Marketplace and happy to help you get started on this strategy. Contact a member of our team today or download our capabilities deck below to learn more about our unique influencer marketing approach!