Jean Naim

6 Types of TikTok Ads That Involve Creators (With Examples)

So, you want to try TikTok ads and get a chunk of traffic from the billion monthly users. 

We totally understand you. Every brand on the platform wishes for this.

Although you still have a good chance of gaining hundreds of thousands of views with any of your organic content, it comes with a price. It’s a long game to play and requires patience. 

With this, brands on TikTok would naturally lean towards the use of ads. But did you know there is a more efficient method than just pushing plain ads to get traction?

It’s turning branded influencer content into ads.

How? Let’s find out.

Co-create content with influencers before doing ads

Influencer marketing give you the initial boost that you need to fuel your paid ads campaign (and bring your costs down).

Here’s why it’s better to co-create content with influencers first before doing paid ads:

  1. Influencer content is entertaining, informative, and has the power to sway the viewers. Of course, they have a large sphere of influence. Their content is proven to be performing, so you’ll need less time and money to test different creative assets that resonate with customers.
  1. Plus, people don’t like ads at all. They happily consume authentic content from influencers — they dodge the ad-like ads faster than you can blink.
  1. Influencers give the brand the ability to communicate USPs that are better contextualized to user lifestyles. This is especially helpful if you want to entrench your brand in the local market without alienating its customs.

Ever observed how the Arab culture is different from the West?

If you’re an international brand that wants to observe norms and avoid creating any type of stereotyping, working with local influencers and content creators is your best bet.

Plus, the good thing with turning influencer content into ads, they still fit on TikTok’s different ad format.

If we’re going to break this strategy in its simplest form, it’s all about marrying influencer content with paid ads.

It’s a two-step process that involves finding a trusted influencer that fits your brand before pushing their branded content as ads.

Quick tip: Use Sociata to find high-performing influencers to make your campaigns even more effective. Sociata is a certified TikTok partner too.

Now that we’ve talked about the first half of the crucial process, it’s time to dive into TikTok’s different ad types.

6 TikTok ads for your brand marketing campaigns

The type of TikTok ads you’ll use is a crucial element that’ll make or break your marketing campaigns. 

It’s important that you understand their effect on your entire strategy to maximize their uses better. We’ve added a hot tip on how you can creatively use each one!

1. Spark Ads

Spark Ads is the answer if you are looking to promote organic-looking ads related to your brand.

This ad type allows brands to boost other accounts’ organic content. A good example is a branded content collaboration between you and an influencer.

If any relevant content pieces are performing well, you can opt-in to boost those content and promote them through ads.

But once they run as ads, the users who encounter spark ads will still see the name of the original content creator i.e. the influencer. Any engagement such as reactions, likes, and follows will directly go to the content creator rather than the brand that boosted the post.

This way, Spark Ads look more organic. Like a straight-up UGC that gained massive organic traction instead of an influencer post that got boosted.

Ready to utilize Spark Ads? Work with an influencer first.

This ad type works better if you’re working with a trusted influencer that fits your brand’s image.

Tools such as Sociata helps businesses find the right influencer for their brands. The platform gives you an in-depth analysis of rising influencers in your niche such as numbers of followers and content performance.

Pro tip: Ask your influencer to use royalty-free music or audio your brand already owns to avoid copyright infringement.

2. Branded Mission

Next up, Branded Mission. It’s a recently rolled out brand ad types and may not be rolled out in all markets yet. 

With this ad type, your brand can directly partner with an established content creator through the TikTok creators’ community.

Branded Mission gives you leave to fully utilize TikTok’s creator community. It builds on the capability of Spark Ads so you can keep the nativity of your ads and users can directly interact with the influencer.

Plan what kind of content you want and submit it to the community. Creators who are interested to work with you can submit at least three pieces of content.

TikTok’s algorithm will recommend top-performing videos that best match your brand, so you know what influencer content to boost.

Think of it as a crowdsourcing method wherein you can directly ask the community.

Hot tip: Once you receive your match from TikTok, you can run checks on the creator(s) on Sociata to verify the data regarding their content performance.

3. In-Feed Ads

If Instagram has its Discover Page, TikTok’s counter is the  For You Page. FYP is the first thing you encounter when you open TikTok. It’s an endless stream of new videos curated by TikTok’s algorithm based on your previous engagement and interests. 

As you scroll through FYP, you’ll come across several In-Feed ads. 

Below are examples of In-Feed ads that can appear while scrolling up and down FYP.

The first example is an influencer content directly promoted by the makeup brand Maybelline, while the other two are ad creatives by Samsung and SamCart.

In-feed ads have distinct CTA buttons at the bottom that tell interested viewers what to do next.

But there’s more! 

Because of how interactive TikTok’s In-Feed ad is, aside from reacting, commenting, and sharing, viewers can also shoot new videos using the same music from the ad.

Should an ad become well received, it becomes a good candidate to transform into an organic UGC. This tactic also helps bring the ad cost down further. 

Can users skip In-Feed ads? Yes. As promised by TikTok founders themselves, they don’t want to hold any users hostage and force them to watch ads they hate. 

Instead, they are encouraging brands to create TikTok ads that give value — entertains, informs, and educates — to hold a user’s attention.

Your ad must have a strong hook within 2 - 3 seconds of playing to increase the chances of snagging your target audience’s attention. 

Hot tip: Add multiple Call-to-Action when using In-feed ads. Viewers can also interact with In-Feed ads, so make sure your influencer directly asks the audience to take action including reactions and comments.

4. TopView ads

TopView ads pop the moment you open TikTok. It’s similar to In-Feed ads but appears more conspicuous by occupying top real estate spaces on TikTok.

TopView will appear after 3 seconds of opening TikTok.

A $65,000 a day TopView ad budget can get you over 7 million impressions as a guarantee.

Hot tip: Ask your influencer to create high-res and aesthetically appealing visuals for TopView ads.

5. Branded Hashtag Challenge

On TikTok, hashtags function differently than when you’re on Twitter or Instagram. 

Ever wondered why TikTok is the number one UGC platform? Branded hashtag challenge is the answer. It effectively drives individual users’ innate competitiveness and encourages participation.

With a good creative and trendy challenge, your brand has the chance to inspire TikTok users to respond through UGCs. 

Picture this — hundreds of UGCs talking about your branded challenge with several thousands of views. 

Look at how Maybelline New York harnessed the power of participation with one of their branded hashtag challenges.

Branded Hashtag Challenge comes at a hefty price — given how powerful it is in driving hundreds of UGCs. A flat fee of around $150,000 for a 6-day hashtag challenge.

Hot tip: Make sure your hashtags are simple and relevant to your content. Too many hashtags confuse users so, keep it simple and easy to spell and ask influencers to use it.

6. Branded Effects

Ready to take your advertising to the next level? Gamify your ads using TikTok’s Branded Effects.

Like the Hashtag Challenge, TikTok users love participating in the latest and trendiest content. 

For any dedicated social media, especially TikTok, users love using filters and effects. 

Owning filters and effects unique to your brand allows you to gamify user participation. Just like Hashtag Challenges, only this time it’s on augmented reality.

Chipotle did it, and now, Starbucks too.

Hot tip: Ask your influencers to do their own branded effect that highlights your product. When it gains traction, so does the popularity of your product.

Have fun and play around with TikTok ads

Budget-conscious or the-I'll-rain-down-money-on-you — whatever type of spender you are — TikTok will always have an ad format that will suit your pockets.

As any marketing campaign, it’s important to test and find the format that works best for your brand.

Another more important thing is choosing the influencers you work with as they greatly affect the ROI of your ads.

Check how consistent the engagement of your target influencers is before brokering a deal with them. Do a quick check on your influencers using Sociata.

Without investing in the tech to review your influencers, all these ad format planning would be a waste.

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