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TikTok ads with no creators? You’re missing out on vital brand engagement and results

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By Jenni Baker | Assistant Editor

March 25, 2022 | 7 min read

Smart marketers are leaning into the power of TikTok to drive tangible, measurable impact for brands. But did you know that bringing creators into the fold can drive a +93% higher engagement rate? We delve into the latest stats to quantify the importance of creative and creators on TikTok and look at how it is driving bigger, better results for brands.

TikTok has carved out its own niche in the entertainment space and ushered in a new creative era

TikTok has carved out its own niche in the entertainment space and ushered in a new creative era

What links trainspotter Francis Bourgeois, flight attendant JeenieWeenie and names such as Holly H and Sherice Banton? They are names you probably hadn’t heard of before 2020, but if you still haven’t heard of them, you might want to get to know them... and the other 10,000+ qualified TikTok creators across 24 countries, who are transforming how brands can market and sell their products and services.

With over one billion users on the platform, TikTok has carved out its own niche in the entertainment space and ushered in a new creative era. But for brands to find success on TikTok, they need to be willing to push creative boundaries and be authentic to fit the unique style and tone of the platform.

TikTok research shows that TikTok-specific branded content (user-generated, in partnership with creators and created for TikTok) is watched +13% longer than non-TikTok specific content – and it’s preferred by consumers. More than half (54%) of TikTok users agree that creators posting sponsored content or collaborations with brands on TikTok is what they want to see from brands, while 62% feel it is the best way for a brand to connect with consumers.

When creative flows, results show

Advertising creative plays an essential role in the effectiveness of any marketing strategy, but on a platform that has been uniquely designed to inspire creativity and joy, it’s essential on TikTok. And when brands interact with communities through content in a deeper, more engaging way, there’s huge potential to drive bigger and better results across the full funnel.

Brand recall, video view rates and engagement are all positively impacted by branded content that is specifically created for TikTok in partnership with creators. That type of content is also better at capturing attention, achieving 65% higher 2-second view rates, and viewers are more likely to watch for longer, with 91% higher 6-second view rates.

It’s also proving a better approach for brands to be able to connect and engage with users. Ads created for TikTok with a creator partnership achieved 83% higher engagement rates versus 12% higher for ads that didn’t include a partnership with a creator.

“Creators don’t just create content, they create a sense of belonging within their communities,” says Luke Townsin, head of operations, TikTok Creator Marketing (EMEA), TikTok. “We believe this is driven by three key pillars: authenticity, trust and participation. The formula for success is therefore simple; the more diverse creators you have across the broadest number of communities leads to a greater effect on brand fame.”

Let your brand objectives guide your strategy

When it comes to working with creators, one size doesn’t fit all. While there’s some variation across ad formats and verticals, working with creators drives positive results whatever the objective – whether that’s reach or brand awareness.

TikTok’s native ad format Spark Ads enables brands to boost organic videos directly from a brand or creator’s profile, ensuring that all views, comments, shares, likes and follows are attributed to organic posts.

For reach and mass brand awareness of its vegan menu in the UK, PizzaExpress utilized user-generated content (UGC) to reach its target audience authentically through Spark Ads. The ads saw over 2.6m 6-second views and an increase in its TikTok followers by over 9,000. And a brand lift study revealed an 11.1% lift in ad recall and a 4% lift in brand preference.

But Spark Ads is also being used by brands looking to scale up performance campaigns and convert the lower end of the funnel. Over the Black Friday period, Lounge Underwear was able to generate a 72% increase in complete payments, while reducing its add to cart cost-per-acquisition (CPA) by 73%.

A representative from Lounge Underwear explains: “The strategy we implemented was fun [and] exciting and the content we showcased lent itself well to the platform. This, combined with the power of Spark Ad technology and working closely with our TikTok account team to implement real-time, best-practice optimization, saw us elevate our conversion results by a huge 72%.”

Whether you’re just starting to test the waters or are more advanced in your TikTok journey, there’s a creator out there for every industry, budget or business goal. The question is: which creator(s) are you going to work with and what is the secret to success?

TikTok creator Sherice Banton [mentioned above] and TikTok’s Townsin [quoted above] will be joining Ben Jeffries, chief executive officer and co-founder, Influencer.com, at The Drum’s Digital Transformation Festival 2022 to offer actionable insight and advice on what it takes to spark a successful connection between brands and creators, spotlighting some of the most innovative matches to date.

And because success on TikTok relies on being native to the platform, The Drum will be unveiling a brand-new format for this session only. Register here to attend ‘A match made on TikTok: connecting brands with creators’ at DT Fest on March 29 from 8am BST.

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TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul and Tokyo.

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