There’s a lot to take in here.
Today, TikTok held its first ever TikTok World business showcase event, where it shared a range of new tools and options designed to help brands make the most of its platform, while also painting a clearer picture as to how TikTok will monetize its now billion-plus audience, and help creators earn money for their efforts.
There was a heap of new features announced, prompting a broad range of new considerations for brands. Here’s an overview of all the key elements.
First off, on brand/creator partnerships, a key element in maximizing brand performance. The main update on this front was the launch of an updated version of TikTok’s Creator Marketplace brand and creator connection platform, which enables brands to find influencers in their niche who are open to working on business promotions.
The new version of Creator Marketplace includes more performance insight, and better sorting tools, to help brands find the right influencer for their efforts.
As explained by TikTok:
“TikTok Creator Marketplace provides discovery tools to match businesses with a diverse range of creators for every campaign, brand voice and budget. You can filter based on the type of content they post, where they're located, their average views, and more.”
Brands using Creator Marketplace will now also have the opportunity to oversee elements of the creative process, and monitor real-time campaign performance through the app. That could help brands keep better track of their influencer campaign efforts, and maximize ROI from the process.
Another new element is what TikTok’s calling ‘Open Application Campaigns’, which will enable brands to list their campaigns for interested creators to self-apply.
As you can see here, when you run an Open Application campaign, creators will then be able to apply to your pitch, with a shortlist then presented in-stream, displaying audience reach metrics along with sample clips.
You can check out the updated Creator Marketplace here.
TikTok has also announced a new Creator Marketplace API, which will enable third-party platforms to provide more insight into TikTok creator performance, and facilitate connection, while also outlining initial partnerships for the expansion.
“Partners have been chosen for their expertise in creator marketing. They are able to provide brands with additional tools and white-glove services that complement the Creator Marketplace, and make it easy to manage the entire end-to-end process. Today, we're excited to introduce Captiv8, Influential and Whalar as our inaugural Creator Marketplace Partners, and they will be joined by more badged partners in the coming months as our Creator Marketplace ecosystem continues to grow.”
That will provide another way for brands to connect with TikTok influencers, expanding opportunity for both creators and brands in its broader monetization efforts.
Complementing its Creator Marketplace updates, TikTok is also launching a new initiative called ‘The TikTok Creative Exchange’, a self-serve portal that will match brands with vetted creative service providers to help them produce high-performing ads, suited to their brief and objectives.
“Through this portal, you can manage projects, feedback, approvals, and insights - all in a streamlined process designed to help you create impactful ads. The Creative Exchange platform is a one-stop shop covering each step of the creative process, all managed through a standardized workflow to enable fast, scalable production and deliver large volumes of fresh creative content.”
The initiative will enable TikTok to better match brands with more complete ad creation providers, which will essentially guide them through the whole process - as opposed to the Creator Marketplace which still requires manual management.
Which is also pretty much the opposite of this next feature – TikTok is also launching a new Creative Center, which is designed to help advertisers understand what's working on the platform, in real-time.
Through the Creative Center, brands will be able to explore a showcase of the top-performing ads, view details on the latest platform trends, and search through TikTok’s audio library to help inspire their creative process.
It could be a good way to identify key trends, and inform your own approach.
Helping with this, TikTok’s also launching a new, dedicated video editor, which will help guide brands through the creation process, including visual editing tools and copyrighted music, while it’s also partnering with Vimeo Create to provide new video templates and tools to streamline content creation direct from the app.
The final new creation element is a new tool called ‘Dynamic Scene’, which will use machine learning to break your videos into multiple scenes.
“These scenes are then re-assembled into hundreds of variations based on audience preferences. It can add elements such as music and transition effects, keeping the creative fresh and extending its lifespan. We then rapidly test these ad variations with different audiences, ensuring the distribution of only the best-performing creative.”
In other words, Dynamic Scene will essentially create TikTok clips for you, based on your existing assets, which you can then test in the app, and promote the best performers. That could be another way in to TikTok ads, simplifying the process for those who are not as familiar with platform trends and video editing techniques.
These more general ad options will definitely help TikTok lure more ad spend, but really, eCommerce is where the platform is set to see the most significant growth, and where it’s put particular focus in its latest announcements.
TikTok’s in-stream shopping tools continue to evolve, with the platform working to expand its product listing and display options, through new partnerships with Shopify, Square, Ecwid, PrestaShop. TikTok also says that Wix, SHOPLINE, OpenCart, and BASE will also soon be supported, providing direct product listing and connection options to a wide range of eCommerce brands.
TikTok’s.also developing new product links in video clips:
“TikTok Shopping merchants can choose to display a link to one or more products from their catalog in any videos containing those products. Users who see the video will be able to explore featured products easily without leaving the app. Product Links are a great tool for businesses to tap into the excitement of the For You page where users are primed for new discoveries.”
It’s also working on new Collection Ads, which will enable brands to include product cards in their in-feed promotions.
And for those eCommerce brands that don’t have ad creation expertise, TikTok is also developing a new option called Dynamic Showcase Ads, which will enable brands to automatically promote their products, with ads aligned to specific user preferences and interests.
“Dynamic Showcase Ads can be used to generate awareness and drive app downloads by promoting popular, relevant products to potential customers. They can also increase purchase intent through targeting based on product inventory and customer activity, such as viewing a product or adding to cart.”
The format essentially enables simplified ad creation, aligned to user behaviors and interests, which could be another way to maximize your TikTok reach.
In terms of overall ad performance, TikTok’s also looking to improve the ad experience with Customized Instant Pages:
“…a lightweight mobile landing page that loads at lightning speed - up to 11 times faster than standard mobile pages. This eliminates any wait time: from the moment a user taps on a call-to-action they immediately start receiving information from the brand.”
It’s also adding new stickers to illustrate products in clips, gesture ads to reward users who engage, and choose your own adventure style ‘Story Selection’ ads to prompt more interaction in clips.
TikTok’s also adding Reach and Frequency ad buying, designed to help maximize brand awareness and reach, while it’s also announced new partnerships with Integral Ad Science (IAS) and Zefr to provide more assurance on ad placement and performance.
As noted, there’s a heap to take in here, and with TikTok just passing the billion-user milestone, you can bet that interest in these new features will be high, especially as we head into the holiday season.
Not all of these tools will be available to all brands as yet, but the roadmap for TikTok is fairly clear. eCommerce remains the key focus, facilitating monetization opportunities for both creators and brands, while improved brand/creator partnerships will also help maximize performance.
Key considerations for your approach.
The full TikTok World recording will be available to view later this week.