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It’s becoming easier to advertise on TikTok

TikTok’s recent advances in its ad technology are making it easier for advertisers to plug into the platform and make buys. Since launching its self-serve ad platform in July 2020, TikTok has greatly expanded its targeting, custom content creation, and bidding capabilities.

  • At its NewFronts presentation in May, TikTok unveiled a new contextual advertising solution, TikTok Pulse, which guarantees advertisers that their ads will be shown among the top 4% of all TikTok videos on the For You page. Ad placements will be organized into 12 categories, including beauty, fashion, cooking, and gaming.
  • This gives advertisers another option for audience targeting on top of custom or lookalike audiences, as well as behavior, demographic, device, and interest targeting—which are similar to options on other social networks’ ad platforms and familiar to most social media managers.

TikTok’s measurement capabilities are improving. Measurement is essential for justifying marketing investments and optimizing strategies. Along with automated ad buying tools, attribution is also essential for TikTok to scale its ad business, particularly in performance advertising. To that end, TikTok has introduced new features that allow advertisers to better track the effectiveness of their campaigns.

  • TikTok has expanded its partnership with location data provider Foursquare to allow advertisers to connect ad campaign views to in-store visits for more visibility into TikTok’s impact on brick-and-mortar traffic.
  • Advertisers can now add first-party cookies to TikTok’s site conversion pixel and are required to share third-party cookies with the app, giving TikTok valuable browser data for retargeting and campaign measurement.
  • Advertisers can conduct brand and sales lift studies on TikTok via a partnership with Kantar. These studies help brands better understand the impact of their campaigns on upper- and lower-funnel behaviors.
  • TikTok has partnerships with industry-leading media mix modeling companies like Nielsen, IRI, Analytic Partners, Ekimetrics, and Neustar.

TikTok is also helping brands incorporate organic content into their ad campaigns. The platform has accelerated the trend toward more native creative in social video advertising, particularly the use of creator content and UGC, which has been a major challenge for many advertisers. But TikTok advertisers now have access to a set of tools that help them connect and engage with creators and boost that content via paid media:

  • Spark Ads: A tool that allows advertisers to pay to amplify organic content from creators or their own accounts as in-feed or TopView ads.
  • TikTok Creator Marketplace: A self-serve portal that connects brands and TikTok creators for campaigns.
  • TikTok Creative Exchange: A platform for brands to upload campaign briefs and receive a curated list of creators to work with on projects.
  • Branded Mission: A tool that allows advertisers to crowdsource creator content and UGC, then amplify that content as ads.