Creative, fast, engaging – how to win on TikTok as a brand  

Mobile Marketing - Member Content

Andre Kempe, Founder at performance marketing agency Admiral Media, offers practical advice on how to make your TikTok campaigns fly. 

TikTok is the world’s fastest-growing video social network – in terms of engagement, TikTok is eating away at Facebook’s market share, which made the platform a prime destination for advertisers. And the myth that it’s only for the youngest of audiences was disproven years ago.

While brands from more traditional backgrounds may hesitate to embrace this new platform that takes the world by storm, there really is no reason to be shy. We’ve seen over and over again that with the right content, TikTok can be the just right channel for any type of product.

And the results are stunning. 

We found that metrics like CPM, cost per install were lower across the board, while engagement was up. With 55 per cent less amount spent, we were able to reach 100 per cent more impressions on TikTok vs. Facebook (see our detailed benchmark findings).

Furthermore, TikTok was one of the big winners of privacy changes after iOS 14. As it turned out to be one of the fastest channels to adapt to Apple's SKADNetwork – they reacted early and supported SKAD for advertisers all the way. 

How do you get the content right for TikTok?
Creative is a keyword on TikTok. It’s more than just being funny; it’s being clever, and pulling in viewers by making them wonder ‘Is this video going to be what I think it’s going to be?’. The platform is excellent at keeping you scrolling for hours and just full of new talents who made creativity its staple.

This means that as a brand, you have to generate creatives that meet this attitude, or you can completely fail. The good news: you can hire these same creators to produce content for your brand. At Admiral Media, we have an influencer program that, besides selecting the best influencers for the specific target audience, provides specific guidelines on what to promote and how to construct the message.

You can see the impact in this example. Using the right creative strategy and handpicked creators, we were able to decrease CPA for our client, Finance app Rubarb, by ~52 per cent and to double the number of installs at ~50 per cent less CPI for another app, Slide.

Let's take a look at some best practices that we have found to be effective on TikTok. Whether you work with creators who are already on the platform or build your own creatives, keep these in mind.

Best practices for creatives on TikTok...

High-Resolution Videos
Most people don't know this, but video ads in high resolution (720p or higher) generated 312 per cent more conversions than low-resolution ones.

High-resolution videos give a good first impression about your business, and most modern cameras can easily record in high resolution. So, take the time to set up your video quality and review that on your phone before publishing, sometimes video editing software compresses the quality.

Go all-in on vertical formats
The data shows that video shots in the 9:16 aspect ratio generated a 91 per cent boost in conversion compared to ads shot in a resolution that doesn't match.

You're definitely able to edit your videos, add some blur in the background, but why lose the 91 per cent conversion boost for such a basic setup? In addition to that, those blurs or black bars at the edge of the screen don't look cool anymore on TikTok. The game is leveling up already.

Encourage your audience to take actions
Users see so many ads every day, and you need to stand out by being clear and direct when it comes to promoting your product.

Try encouraging your audience to take action and don't leave this up to them, just add your CTA in a text format in your video or say it a couple of times. Calls to action (CTAs) in text format have shown a 152 per cent increase in conversions compared to other videos. Who doesn't want such an increase in conversions?

The shorter, the better
Your brand could have multiple messages and value propositions, but TikTokers don't have as much time to waste watching a full video explaining who you're and what you do. In fact, you have seconds before you get ghosted.

The data shows that videos between 21 and 34 seconds in length received 280 per cent more conversion compared to lengthy, boring videos. Just remember that you can go shorter than this, BUT keep in mind that you still need them to get your message, the benefits, and to know what to do after watching the video.

Use text in the first seven seconds of your video
It's proven that videos that use onscreen text in the first seven seconds can get up to 43 per cent more conversions compared to videos that don't show any text in the first seven seconds.

So, it's recommended to show text in the first seven seconds of your video to maximize the benefit on conversion rate. This actually works globally, except for Brazil, Japan, and North America.

Industry-specific best practices...

eCommerce specific: mix multiple scenes
The data shows that a video with a couple of scenes generated 38 per cent more conversions than videos featuring one person or one scene all over the video.

In addition to that, a long tracking shot doesn’t really work on TikTok. Remember, you're just one swipe away from being ghosted. So, consider adding multiple scenes in your video, engage your users, and make it fun & sweet.

eCommerce specific: get users to act
eCommerce brands need to be very direct with users on what to do after watching the video. It's because the differentiator is a lot harder than it is for a consumer tech startup or an app business.

Moreover, videos using a caption or onscreen text that displays an offer or call-to-action received 80 per cent more conversion compared to videos without text and CTA. So, let's get that extra 80 per cent by implementing this quick edit to your TikTok video ads.

eCommerce specific: try voice-over with an offer
Remember back in school when teachers taught us that to learn faster and more efficiently, we should leverage multiple senses of ours at the same time? Well, at least my teacher taught me that.

Leveraging the voice-over with an offer a user can read will make it stick in their brain. It's a proven method to get winning ads that generate more sales. 

TikTok is a great platform to scale and reach a broad audience for your brand. However, it comes with some challenges because the platform relies so much on creativity. Try the above best practices and measure the effect on your conversion rates. And, use the platform yourself, it will help you see what the most popular videos look like, what kind of effects are working, what do people like to engage with.