Ad creative has always played an essential role in any marketing strategy’s effectiveness, but it’s even more important on TikTok. Our platform is uniquely designed to inspire creativity and joy, and our community interacts with content in a deeper, more engaging way. To explain this phenomenon, we’ve conducted several research studies that explore and quantify creative’s incredible importance on TikTok.
Now we’re sharing that data with you. We want brands to understand how to maximize their marketing efforts by producing creative specifically for our platform, using native formats, and collaborating with independent TikTok creators to develop and promote branded content.*
Before we dive into the details below, let’s start with a few of the key takeaways from our research into TikTok-specific branded content and creator collaboration:
Brand recall, video view rates (being watched for longer) and engagement are all positively impacted by TikTok-specific branded content in partnership with creators.
Partnership with creators in ads boosts view rates and helps brands get noticed. When working with creators, prioritize ads that show product use, especially in the Beauty category.
Prioritize comedy and videos showing product use as both are effective in grabbing attention, and ads showing product use drive a positive emotional response from consumers.
Metrics like brand awareness and click-through rate also depend on other factors which influence their performance, such as call-to-action, messaging, etc.
Creative plays an incredibly important role in driving ad effectiveness. Through a combination of 1st party meta-analysis¹ and 3rd party research,² TikTok's Marketing Science team has been able to show that creating branded content and ads specific to TikTok, and partnering with creators strengthens ad recall.
Ads created for TikTok without creator partnership achieved 12% higher 2-second view rates and ads created for TikTok with creator partnership achieved 65% higher 2-second view rates.
Ads created for TikTok without creator partnership achieved 8% higher 6-second view rates and ads created for TikTok with creator partnership achieved 91% higher 6-second view rates.
Ads created for TikTok without creator partnership achieved 12% higher engagement rates and ads created for TikTok with creator partnership achieved 83% higher engagement rates.
With some variation across ad formats and verticals, how advertisers create ads for TikTok and work with creators should be directed by their objectives, by the formats they are leveraging, and by the industry they operate within. This project found specific insights surrounding Auction In-Feed Ad content and the Beauty vertical—both seeing major benefits from branded content created for TikTok and in collaboration with creators, over and above other content types.
Creating content specific to TikTok and partnering with creators is especially important for In-Feed Ads and their ability to drive higher video view rates. Ads made in collaboration with creators also have visibly higher engagement rates for most formats, but ads created for TikTok alone (without creators) are not enough to drive engagement.
The study also found that TikTok-specific branded content in partnership with creators effectively promotes brand recognition and when showing the product in use is more often watched longer.
Creator Beauty content is especially effective at promoting brand recognition. Beauty content saw the strongest aided and unaided brand recall from the TikTok-specific branded content when collaborating with creators.
As well as partnering with creators, Beauty ads showing product use and using comedy cues drive a significant uplift in watching the ad to the end, by grabbing attention and in the case of showing product use, driving positive emotional response. The result is a 24% view rate for ads showing the products in use or featuring comedy.
Creativity sparks the joy and entertainment on TikTok—and ad creative fuels brand success. By designing content specifically for the platform and collaborating with TikTok creators, brands can rev up their results and grow on a global scale. And partnering with creators isn’t just effective, it’s also easy. You’ll find a huge pool of diverse and talented creators on the TikTok Creator Marketplace, where you can check out their stats and find just the right fit for your brand.
No matter what your marketing objectives are, you’ll find the tools and support you need on TikTok For Business. We’re here to help you with step-by-step guidance so you can get creative, grow your brand, and gain a whole new audience on TikTok.
*NOTE: For detailed information about TikTok's branded content toggle and our policies regarding what can be posted as branded content on TikTok, please refer to our Branded Content Policy here.
1. 1st party meta-analysis: Historical TikTok data covers the period Oct 20 to May 21 and EU5 markets (UK, FR, DE, ES, IT). The analysis covers ~2,800 pieces of inventory, featured in ~220 brand lift studies
2. 3rd party research: Research by Mindlab. 5,000 online interviews conducted Jun/Jul’21 across EU5 markets (UK, FR, DE, ES, IT). 17 different stimuli (video advertising) tested in a mock TikTok app