Paid and Owned Media

TikTok Goes Beyond Paid Social

TikTok is one of the most influential and widely used social platforms in the world. Yet, marketers have become tunnel-visioned, focusing solely on how to drive effective social performance within the platform. While there is continued opportunity to maximize impact in this area, TikTok goes beyond paid social. We’re here to help you explore how you can expand your platform horizons and ultimately, maximize impact. 

Integrating an Influencer Strategy

Brands often face a common challenge: capturing the attention and trust of their target audience. This is where influencer marketing can emerge as a powerful tool, offering a strategic approach to connect with consumers in a more authentic and impactful way. Learn how to create an influencer strategy that taps into the vast influence and reach of popular content creators who possess a dedicated and engaged following:  

Generate Content for Niche Communities

If your brand is investing in one influencer, you’re missing out on a larger opportunity to connect your brand to niche communities. Marketers should curate a suite of TikTok creators for their brand to tap into these loyal followers which can greatly enhance brand awareness, engagement, and consumer trust in your brand.  

Convert Quickly on Trends

The main differentiator of TikTok is that it’s leading real-time trends across all social platforms. These trends allow for authentic content opportunities for brands. Research and utilize trending TikTok sounds, hashtags, phrases, and video concepts and encourage your influencer partners to lean into what’s current. Influencers generate this sponsored content quickly, driving awareness and conversion faster than other marketing opportunities. By capitalizing on their creativity and understanding of their audience’s preferences, influencers can produce content that maximizes brand visibility and resonance among their followers. 

Cultivate a Surround Sound Approach with Instagram

There is an opportunity to leverage brand promotion and cultivate a multi-platform approach by leaning into influencer content on multiple platforms, such as Instagram. Giving these audiences multiple opportunities to see the product and/or service will help them stay top of mind on the path to purchase.  

When utilizing different platforms and asking influencers to create content, advertisers should provide clear guidelines and creative briefs to ensure consistent messaging. However, allow room for customization based on the unique characteristics and audience preferences of each platform. Your influencer can be a guidepost for those customizations to ensure content meets the platform’s tone. This may mean adjusting the format a video is shot in, adding text on screen, utilizing different background music, etc. This approach ensures a cohesive brand presence while maximizing the reach and engagement potential of each channel. 

Leveraging Your Search Strategy

TikTok is a new player in search for Gen Z. Currently, 74% of TikTok users utilize the search functionality and 25% of U.S. Millennials started their product searches on TikTok. Why? The visual nature of TikTok differentiates it from standard search engines. Marketers should think about how TikTok fits into their search strategy because users are prioritizing TikTok within the discovery phase of their customer journey, as they’re looking to find the latest trendy products 

Prepare for the Future of TikTok’s Search Capabilities

TikTok is in the early phases of defining their approach to paid search. Currently, the search placements can be enabled within existing campaigns. However, there are no search only campaigns. Once enabled, marketers can control how much spend is invested into search versus standard placements. TikTok estimates that only 5% of impressions are served on search placements.   

Currently, keyword targeting and creative are dynamically generated and search term data is available with the option to negative-select searches. 

TikTok is looking to evolve their paid search offering in Q4 with multiple updates, including:  

  1. Dedicated paid search campaigns 
  2. Keyword-level targeting 
  3. Planning tools to review volume and competition within select categories 
  4. Split test and conversion lift capabilities 

There are several steps that marketers can take now as they prepare for what’s to come: 

  1. Take a holistic search approach. Align on current high-impact searches across SEO and SEM that could be used for initial TikTok keyword targeting. Ovative’s integrated, holistic search approach ensures that impact (and revenue) is maximized for your brand. 
  2. To get ahead of the curve, marketers should begin testing now. Expand your current campaigns to include search placements.  
  3. As the platform evolves, be the first to evolve with it. With these foundational search tactics in place, your team will be ready to align with TikTok as their search components become more sophisticated. 

What’s Next, Marketers? Build Your Cross-Channel Strategy with Ovative.

As evidenced, TikTok goes beyond paid social. With elements of influencer, search, and premium video, the platform can be an integral part of a brand’s holistic strategy. As TikTok continues to evolve into an increasingly sophisticated platform, brands should plan to take advantage now of its early opportunities to drive holistic impact.   

Our advice? Don’t doubt the power of Influencer creativity to build brand credibility, increase consideration of products, and supplement your creative library. And, allow Search to guide you on trending hashtags and content to adapt your targeting and creative strategies for the moment. 

To stay ahead of the curve, speak to our Ovative experts about how your brand can proactively build a cross-channel strategy that sets you up for long-term success. 

Chris Thueringer

Senior Director, Paid Media

About the Author

Chris is a Senior Director on the Paid Search team, leading full management and advisory engagements across multiple industries, with an emphasis on retail clients. His specialty has been using store and customer data to drive enterprise retail strategies. In addition to his client roles Chris has been focused on driving paid search subject matter expertise of Ovative team... Read More >>

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