Sponsored by QuickFrame by MNTN
Beauty, fashion and luxury brands have discovered that TikTok is not only a necessity in and of itself but a sandbox for testing and optimizing creative for audiences beyond the platform’s boundaries — including viewers across CTV and multichannel video campaigns.
While TikTok is a social media space, the platform creates a level of engagement akin to television for many users. And while TikTok is most widely known as a popular platform among younger consumers, it is proving an effective channel to reach audiences of all ages and interests. For instance, Business of Apps says more than 22% of TikTok users are over 35 years old. This engagement and broad reach allow brands to do focused creative testing across demographics since users are tuned in and hard to distract.
“TikTok has really changed the way that brands and consumers are engaging with content,” said Emma Henry, platform partnerships manager at QuickFrame by MNTN. “Because users are so engaged with this entirely different style of content, it makes a really good avenue for brands to do a lot of creative testing. Viewers on the platform are really watching your content, and they’re expecting content, whether it’s an ad or organic from other users, to be really outside of the box.”
By testing and optimizing videos on TikTok, fashion, beauty and luxury brands are learning what creative tactics are worth investing in for their audiences on CTV and other premium avenues.
TikTok is foundational for brands developing creative that resonates across platforms
Brands have traditionally repurposed TV commercials for digital and social platforms by adjusting durations and aspect ratios. According to Henry, fashion, beauty and luxury marketers should be flipping the formula and building for TikTok first.
As marketers begin testing creative elements on TikTok, their approaches vary based on a brand’s offering or sector. Henry recommends starting with testing tones and opening hooks.
“Brands can build their ads for TikTok first to test what tone of voice is really going to resonate with audiences. What video style, what messaging, what is really going to push the needle and drive conversions?” Henry said. “As a company, you might have two completely different target demos. To learn what is going to resonate with each one of them, you can start testing that on TikTok, and that’ll take a lot of the heavy lifting off when you’re going to produce more of a premium ad for CTV or for YouTube.”
Effective TikTok ads can then be shared on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. For platforms such as CTV or YouTube, where the aspect ratio is horizontal, the video content can be repurposed, or brands can create net-new content based on the learnings from TikTok campaigns, Henry explained.
Advertisers testing on TikTok are learning to trust the authentic feel of the UGC focus for which TikTok ads and videos are known. And while the premium-style ads of CTV typically feel less authentic to TikTok, Henry noted that all this testing could reveal exceptions to the rule.
“Different video styles can also be really useful as a variable to test in a multivariate campaign,” Henry said. “Some brands on TikTok actually do see that more of a premium look outperforms that organic feeling, UGC-style. So there are always outliers. And so it’s always worth testing, and you might find that UGC actually really pushes the needle on TikTok but premium is still going to work on CTV for example.”
Leveraging UGC-style video to balance authenticity with brand narratives
Another benefit of using TikTok for testing is that it is a lower-cost way to create more assets, mainly when using UGC-style videos. This type of content has surged in popularity in recent years, but many marketers, particularly in the luxury and beauty space, are brand-sensitive and hesitant about this video style.
Henry explained that UGC-style videos are different from influencer-created content because brands can work with in-house teams or vendors to take control of their narrative and shape the ads. For instance, Glossy recently reported that Sephora and TikTok have launched an Incubator Program with smaller creators to create content for three Accelerate brands.
Brands are also changing how they work with influencers and increasingly gravitate to smaller creators, including on TikTok. According to Henry, working with prominent influencers is an effective, high-reach tactic but less sustainable in pricing, timelines and brand sensitivity.
TikTok’s unique algorithm also means that regular app users can get views before building up large audiences. By working with these smaller creators, beauty, fashion and luxury brands are stretching their budgets and getting more content from users with engaged followers.
“There are a lot of content creators on TikTok, and you want to make sure that your brand ad — whether it’s from an influencer page or an ad on your own page — feels like it’ll fit within the entertaining content, as opposed to an ad popping up on YouTube,” Henry said. “You really want to make sure that the ad is going to be entertaining enough for users to stop scrolling and engage with that ad.”
With the multitude of content on TikTok, identifying and partnering with the right creators further enhances brands’ investment in the platform. The insights from those partnerships will further fuel premium campaigns on CTV and elsewhere.
Sponsored by QuickFrame by MNTN