9 creative tips to drive auction ad performance

October 21, 2020
To help you get the most out of your TikTok auction ads, we've pulled together some creative pointers based on the highest-performing auction ads on the platform.
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We know that getting your ad creative right can be challenging. To help you get the most out of your TikTok auction ads, we've pulled together some creative pointers based on the highest-performing auction ads on the platform. 61% of the best-performing auction ads use half or more of these tips. Use them as a guide – but don’t stop experimenting and remember to have fun!

While some of the creative tips we discovered have proven to be universally true across a variety of digital ad platforms, some of our observations apply specifically to auction ads running on TikTok due to its unique features, the nature of content on the platform, and the expectations of the TikTok community. 

1. Leverage the power of sound

The second you open TikTok, it's a sound-on experience. Our first creative tip is to take full advantage of this and make music and sounds an essential part of your storytelling. To make this easy, you can use one of our thousands of commercially licensed tracks. Try to include fast-paced tracks above 120 BPM, as these often drive higher view-through rate (VTR) than other videos. Or think about telling your story through music and sounds, for example, by re-contextualizing lyrics or interpreting them literally.

2 Get your key message out early

Our research shows that over 63% of all videos with the highest click-through rate (CTR) highlight their key message or product within the first 3 seconds. So get straight to the point and keep it short and direct. But remember, TikTok users still value a great story over anything else. Embed your message into a narrative your audience can relate to and that they would expect to see on TikTok.

3. Let TikTok Creators take the lead

TikTok Creators are the best at what they do and are aware of what’s hot and what’s not on the platform. Our data shows that letting Creators take the lead in creating amazing TikTok videos results in better performing ads. If you want to boost your ads further by leveraging some of TikTok's most successful Creators, consider signing up for the TikTok Creator Marketplace

4. Ride on the latest trends

Great content on TikTok often revolves around trends, such as new effects, new editing styles or trending storylines. Referencing these trends in your ad can be a true performance driver as well as a natural conversation starter within the TikTok community. To ride on these trends, keep monitoring trending topics and assure fast production turnarounds.

5. Keep your story real and entertaining

Almost half of the best performing auction ads on TikTok have managed to tell their stories in emotionally appealing ways. On TikTok, this means keeping it real and relatable. Great TikTok content often includes an undertone of lightheartedness and positivity. And sometimes, all it needs is an element of levity.

6. Shoot natively for TikTok

When shooting, be sure to make use of TikTok's vertical full-screen experience and capture 100% screen space by shooting in 9:16. We’ve seen that TikToks shot vertically have an average 25% higher 6-second watch-through rate. When shooting for TikTok, try to also strike a balance between authentic-looking content that can live in between user-generated videos and a polished advertising look.

7. Break the fourth wall

What makes TikTok content truly unique is creators addressing the community directly, often looking the audience straight in the eyes. One in three auction ads with the highest VTR break the 4th wall in this way. Then make it a true dialogue by asking questions and provoking reactions from the audience.

8. Overlay concise and informative text

Stories on TikTok are told in fast-paced, visual ways. Adopt this editing style by including text-overlays into your videos and work with effects or stickers. We’ve seen that 40% of auction ads with the highest VTR have adopted this creative tip.

9. Include a strong call-to-action

Whether you’re taking your audience to your website, leading them to download your app, landing them at your e-commerce portal, or issuing any other type of invitation, TikTok has a range of call-to-action buttons ready to be deployed for auction ads. Keep your call-to-action short and snappy and use personal, direct language.

When developing creative for your campaign, keep in mind that TikTok evolves fast and is changing every day. Therefore, don’t stop here. Keep experimenting with new creative formats and most importantly: keep having fun with your auction ads on TikTok!

Great ads for TikTok are simple, intuitive, and fun to make. Try playing around with these tips and techniques to see what works for your brand.