The Word on the Block–It’s All About TikTok (Showcase Ads)

TikTok has been blowing up the news recently with all its success. And for good reason. In fact, Consumer spending on TikTok increased by a whopping 77% in 2021. Overall, users spent $2.3 billion dollars on the app, compared to $1.3 billion the year before. Many of our customers have been asking how they can ride the TikTok wave of fortune, using StitcherAds performance platform. For answers, I recently sat down with our own Michael Loebelson, Sr. Director, Publishers & Partnerships.

Why should retail and e-commerce brands consider placing TikTok showcase ads?

Tiktok is one of the fastest-growing social networks, in fact, TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021, with 656 million downloads. Brands should recognize the sheer number of eyeballs watching TikTok at all times. Retailers and eCommerce companies are flocking to the platform because they want to have a presence where their customers and prospective customers are.

However, the tricky thing about it is that unlike other social channels – is that it’s video only. So if you’re going to be placing ads on TikTok, they have to be engaging. As a result of that, we’ve seen that the first round of advertisers on there are using creator content or professionally produced video content. This can be challenging for brands to make dynamic and personalized because dynamic ads are traditionally personalized with static images – which are incompatible with TikTok.

Luckily for brands, this is where StitcherAds comes into play. Our technology allows brands to add personalization to TikTok’s dynamic showcase ads unit. Plus, we can write in rules that help to curate the product images contained within the Dynamic Showcase Ad to be personalized for the audience watching. The result is content that uses video, is engaging that incorporates a brand’s product feed.

We can add those dynamic ads to the video. Plus, we can write in rules that help to curate those product images to be personalized for the audience watching. The result is content that uses video, is engaging that incorporates a brand’s product feed.

What does a TikTok showcase ad look like to a customer on TikTok?

It can take on many different looks. It could be something similar to a collection or lookbook that expands into personalized product recommendations. Another variation, which is a bit more out of the box, is that it could be as simple as an image with light animation that is shown in the middle of their video feed. Our creative team has been playing around with taking video assets and dynamically inserting products in a creative way. This way the ad appears a bit more organic, while at the same time having dynamic video permutations.  Our custom animation functionality is also fantastic for quickly making creative changes to keep ads fresh on a platform that favors virality and new content.

The StitcherAds Creative team has been diligently testing every dynamic ad format.

How hard is it to implement? 

TikTok is still in its infancy. Things are constantly changing, both on the backend with API as well as on the front with their ads manager, etc. It is changing so quickly that it can be tough for marketers to really stay on top of it. Brands may find that there is a steep learning curve and that’s where expertise really matters. Luckily, there are companies like StitcherAds that can help advertisers stay on top of new advances in the platform, assist with creative implementation, and more.

How has the StitcherAds creative team implemented TikTok showcase ads so far?

We have been diligently testing every dynamic ad format, with different creative permutations to really understand what’s performing the best for our advertisers. This allows us to learn quickly and adjust as needed. Unlike other platforms, TikTok requires unique creative measures to ensure that ads look and feel like the content they’re viewing on the platform. That said it’s still also important to incorporate personalization tailored to the viewer. This is where art and science come together for our creative team. We’re testing all the ad units and messaging at the audience level – it’s not one size fits all.

We are testing how to help integrate DPA into influencer videos.

Are there other ways we’re helping brands to stick out on TikTok?

In addition to all the backend work that we’re doing to ensure the ads resonate, another way that we’re unique is our ability to build dynamic video. We can build multiple video permutations at once to test out which messaging is working the best or which products, inlaid in the video, is resonating. Finally, our collaboration with creator agencies is making it much easier to convert customers with top-of-the-funnel content. We’re very proud of the eye-catching video ads we’re creating paired with the data-driven personalization technology embedded in them.

What are the biggest takeaways that brands need to know about TikTok showcase ads?

  1. Fundamentals still matter. For example, the brand’s voice needs to shine through–even on a playful platform like TikTok.
  2. Flexibility is key. Brands that are successful on TikTok are open to thinking outside the box.
  3. It’s all about testing. You have to have a quick test and learn cycle to understand what’s working because the platform is so different and favors new content.
  4. Expertise is integral to success. You need a team that has the expertise to incorporate video content with DPA images and personalization tech.
  5. All of those 4 things combined are really what’s going to drive the best performance and have your brand stick out when there are a ton of eyeballs.