TikTok UA Tips and Updates for May 2022

To help UA and creative teams adjust to the evolving ad ecosystem, we’ve compiled the latest tips, updates, and guidance for TikTok UA campaigns. TikTok For Business has introduced several new features to enhance its advertising capabilities, so UA teams have some great new tools to try out. And if you’d like expert TikTok UA tips and recommendations from our UA team, feel free to contact us here. Our market insights and creative expertise come from managing over $3.5 billion in creative and social ad spend for the world’s largest mobile apps and web-based performance advertisers. Here’s what’s happening in TikTok mobile advertising.

TikTok Capitalizes on Contextual Advertising

With the goal of increasing user reception to ads, TikTok is focusing efforts on serving ads more closely aligned with user behavior, and relevant to the content being viewed. A recent study found that contextual ads increased memorability by 76% and favorability by a staggering 107%. Serving ads based on context is proven to increase user sentiment and user engagement.

TikTok Pulse

TikTok capitalizes on contextual ad placement with the launch of TikTok Pulse, “a new contextual advertising solution that lets advertisers place their brand next to the top content in the For You Feed.” TikTok suggests that aligning brand presence with more relevant content fosters a sense of community that inspires creators and app discoverers alike. According to TikTok, “Pulse is designed to give brands the tools and controls to be a part of these everyday moments and trends that engage the community.”

Key Features for Pulse

  • Advertisers receive placement within the top 4% of trending videos
  • Placement within 12 culturally relevant categories including gaming, cooking, beauty, fashion, and more
  • Inventory filter and campaign measurement tools ensure ads are paired with verified content for brand suitability

TikTok’s Insight into Current and Past Trends

TikTok’s new Insights platform supports marketers with an easy tool that offers trend transparency over time. Marketers can view trending topics over time based on audience generation, holidays, industries, and years. While the analysis is currently quite broad, marketers new to TikTok will gain data on user sentiment and behaviors as they plan campaigns.

Increasing Visibility for Mobile Games

TikTok For Business released its mobile gaming playbook that highlights best practices for brands to engage with gaming audiences. The resources show how the platform embraces gaming culture and how to leverage emerging gaming trends to enhance brand image. The diverse gaming community thrives on interaction and engagement, with TikTok’s top 100 gaming-related hashtags earning 40 billion views per month. 1 in 5 users says they downloaded/purchased a game because of an ad on TikTok. 65% of US TikTok users have made an in-app purchase within the last 3-6 months, offering marketers an opportunity to get in front of known spenders.

Tailored TikTok Campaigns

Advertisers can tailor TikTok campaigns based on objectives and KPIs for all stages of mobile game marketing: pre/soft launch, launch, scaling, retaining, and monetizing. Owned content, creator content, and in-feed video are used in tandem to create the best possible mix. During pre-launch, advertisers can use organic and paid content to validate product-market fit and optimize content. During the launch, growing the player base through direct response user acquisition is a critical focus. Once the player base is established and growing, advertisers should expand brand visibility and optimize for value. Finally, rewards, content updates, and community engagement increase loyalty, and by extension, player retention and monetization.

TikTok Adds Cookies to their Pixel

TikTok’s in-platform capabilities are robust, but attribution has long been an issue for advertisers seeking to validate their TikTok campaigns. Even with cookies (eventually) going away, TikTok has added first-party cookies to their site conversion pixel, allowing advertisers to track site behavior and attribute ads across browsers. Additionally, TikTok now requires advertisers to collect and pass third-party cookies to TikTok. In their documentation, TikTok states:

“As identity continues to become increasingly fractured and uncertain, and as third-party cookie deprecation continues to delay, we have decided to bring our product offerings in line with the industry by activating the use of first- and third-party cookies. Cookies will supplement existing event data advertisers already share with TikTok, and will improve both the quality and dependability of event data.”

TikTok’s third-party cookie will dramatically improve attribution, particularly within their already flourishing shopping community. Unlike Facebook, TikTok has historically been accommodating to users leaving the app when linked to an outside browser. By allowing advertisers and influencers to direct users to off-platform marketplaces, TikTok has actually encouraged shopping behavior. This flexibility paired with the Pixel and cookies provides TikTok an opportunity to “improve matching and attribution capabilities.”

Diverse Content Drives Results on TikTok

As we’ve reported, without deterministic tracking on iOS or effective lookalike audiences, relying on general broad-stroke creative won’t be enough to profitably expand your audience. However, persona-led creative developed around player motivations, preferences, and interests is the key to sustainable user acquisition. In TikTok’s Creative Solutions: The Ultimate How-to Guide their recommendation is clear: “in order to captivate new audiences, the key is to continuously share fresh and diverse content.” With the platform built on a content graph instead of a social graph, “diverse discovery” keeps users “inspired and energized.”