'Don't make ads, make TikToks': TikTok opens brand-facing wing
After experiencing a boom in recent months, short-form video app TikTok has finally taken a concrete step in making its platform more accessible to brands by introducing TikTok For Business.
TikTok finally sets out vision for brands
As the young discovery app looks to build its brand at scale among a wider audience, TikTok For Business is an integral component of its empire-building strategy, drawing attention to its advertising products as brands stray away from its competitors.
Under the banner 'Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks’ the brand launch is the app's attempt to call out to advertisers, inviting them to reconsider traditional marketing and come onboard its storytelling platform.
What is TikTok For Business?
- As the short-form video app aspires to be the go-to destination for brands, TikTok For Business marks the first time TikTok has set out its vision for working with brands.
- While TikTok has several advertising options (in-feed video ads, brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, branded AR content, and custom influencer packages) it has never formally outlined this to brands. The new brand 'TikTok For Business' hopes to draw attention to its brand offerings.
- On the platform, marketers will be able to access tools to help them be discovered and to connect with communities on the app. It will give guidance on how creative storytelling and show brands ways that they can meaningfully engage with the TikTok community.
Why does this matter for marketers?
- A high-paced platform of hashtags and dance challenges, for years TikTok was an enigma for anyone over the age of 25. Until now, marketers hoping to build brand presence on the platform have relied on internet 'how to's' to help them navigate the algorithmic minefield and achieve success.
- 'TikTok For Business' will give them advice straight from the horse's mouth on how to use the platform, making it easier for marketers to succeed.
Why does this matter for TikTok?
- For its adolescent years, TikTok was heavily invested in the user experience over monetisation. Over recent years, it has started rolling out ad products globally which has kickstarted revenue. According to Apptopia, back in January, TikTok's saw its in-app purchase revenue rise 310% on a year-on-year basis. Making its platform more brand accessible will help it continue this growth.
- TikTok’s fledgling ad offering was dealt a blow last year after a BBC investigation found it did not suspend the accounts of people sending sexual messages to children via the video-sharing platform. It has since taken steps to improve brand safety and major companies appear to have been receptive.
- TikTok has also found itself in hot water for issues of censorship after it surfaced that the app told its moderators to censor videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, or the banned religious group Falun Gong. The company told The Guardian it had ditched its "outdated" guidelines.
Why does this matter for its competitors?
- At the start of this year, TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app, surpassing WhatsApp, and Facebook. As Facebook is hit by its largest-ever advertising boycott, launching now puts TikTok in a good position to scoop up this straying ad spend.
- TikTok's AR effect 'Brand Scan' will challenge Snapchat's Sponsored Lens.