TikTok urges brands to ‘stop making ads and start making TikToks’ with suite of new creative tools

TikTok: Ant & Dec featured in UK ad last month
TikTok: Ant & Dec featured in UK ad last month

New features include TikTok Creator Marketplace, a Branded Content Toggle and Reach & Frequency buying option.

TikTok has made a statement of intent on its indispensability as a creative marketing platform with the launch of a wide range of new brand-targeted products.

Unveiled at online brand event TikTok World, the new features are broken down into three areas:

  • Creative: a series of ways for brands to find TikTok creators, develop and customise creative ideas

  • Brand: new ways to buy and manage ads on TikTok and to ensure brand safety and viewability

  • Commerce: the launch of a new platform, TikTok Shopping, and a series of related advertising tools.

In a blog entry detailing its creative solutions, TikTok wrote: “How can brands stop making ads and start making TikToks? How can they create content that really resonates with users? 

“The first way is by partnering with creators and utilising their knowledge and expertise. The second is for advertisers to own the creative process themselves, and truly step into the role of a creator.” 

TikTok Creator Marketplace, which is now widely available after launching in beta in 2019, fits into the first part. It allows brands to search for existing TikTok creators to partner with, manage collaborations and monitor campaigns. 

It has been joined by TikTok Creator Marketplace Partners, which provides access to first-party data for selected creator marketing companies through the Marketplace API, which was announced last month. The first three companies to join the scheme are Influential, Whalar and Captiv8.

Alongside these is Open Application Campaigns, initially only available in the US, which allow brands to offer their campaigns as briefs for any interested creators to apply. The tool lets advertisers view relevant metrics and reference videos from their creator applications.

Supporting the second “way” is the TikTok Creative Exchange, a portal that connects brands with vetted creative service providers, rather than TikTok creators. Described by TikTok as “a one-stop shop covering each step of the creative process”, it allows advertisers to manage projects, feedback, approvals and insights.

Other new features include:

  • Dynamic Scene: a tool for building creative form pre-existing content, which uses machine learning to break apart a video and assemble into variations, with the option to add music and transition effects

  • Branded Content Toggle: a tool enabling creators to mark videos as brand-supported, which TikTok said would make sponsored content simpler and more transparent

  • Customized Instant Page: a fast-loading landing page for brands, from which users can watch videos and swipe through other content within the app 

  • Pop-up Showcase: a library of clickable stickers and images brands can superimpose onto videos, highlighting features products and story elements

Alongside the creative products, TikTok is introducing a series of tools designed to offer enhanced reach and transparency. They include:

  • Reach & Frequency buying: lets advertisers choose to target either a higher volume of users with extended reach, or more impressions from the same number of users with higher frequency, and provides a 'cost per thousand' in advance. 

  • Viewability Partners: the platform has partnered with Moat and DoubleVerify to analyse the media effectiveness and viewability of ads

  • TikTok Inventory Filter: uses machine-learning to classify video, text and audio on the level of risk, allowing advertisers to decide which inventory they want to run their ads next to. This has been aligned with the Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s Brand Safety and Suitability Framework.  

The platform has also introduced TikTok Shopping, which was announced last month. This offers both first-party and third-party options and a series of new commerce-focused ad formats.


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