With more than 1 billion monthly active community members, TikTok has become a driving force of digital culture and an integral platform for advertisers. To help advertisers develop more impactful experiences for the community, TikTok worked with creator marketing platform CreatorIQ to provide advertisers with the data-backed keys to success for campaigns and creative initiatives.
At a topline, the report found that creators overwhelmingly make the best-performing TikTok ads, with recommendations carrying more weight than traditional brand advertisements and celebrity spokespeople. In fact, after watching a creator-driven Spark Ad, 57% of TikTok community members say the creator is trustworthy, 56% say they can trust the brand because the creator shared it, and 71% say creator authenticity led them to buy a product.
With that said, not all creator ads are created equal. TikTok and CreatorIQ’s analysis also uncovers the distinguishing characteristics that separate the platform’s top-performing creator ads from the rest. This includes:
Grabbing Attention From the Start An effective hook is critical not only to delaying that next swipe but for landing ad impact. TikTok found that:
- 90% of ad recall impact and 80% of awareness impact are captured within the first six seconds of an ad.
- Showing a person or creator in the first two seconds of an ad increases hooking power by 50% and improves ad recognition by 32%.
- Brand Example: A recent video from creator couple Matthew and Paul for Walmart hooked viewers and landed in the top 1% of all TikTok ads, according to CreatorIQ. The ad drove more than $168.3K in Earned Media Value, CreatorIQ’s proprietary metric for quantifying the value of social media content.
Fostering a Personal Connection More than 75% of TikTok community members say the platform’s creators feel approachable and they can connect with them. Brands can harness that connection in ads by:
- Having the creator directly address the audience from the jump has a +112% uplift in brand recall.
- Ads in which creators say “you” within the first five seconds have a +128% uplift in purchase intent, and speaking directly to the audience is 1.5x more likely to hook.
- Showing the creator’s face drives a +148% uplift in brand recall for entertainment ads.
- Including a creator voiceover drove a +63% uplift in purchase intent in a recent sample of Food & Beverage ads.
- Brand Example: A September Spark Ad from Peloton featuring fitness creator Ajahzi Gardner hits every one of the guidelines mentioned above, which has helped the brand drive $5.2M in EMV according to CreatorIQ.
Showing Your Product in Action Consumers trust TikTok creators, which is why ads that show a creator using your product are so effective. For example:
- Unboxing videos garner a +31% uplift in attention.
- Videos with creators showing off products throughout have a +89% uplift in brand recall and a +47% uplift in purchase intent.
- Content that shows products in use sees a +25% uplift in recall, +23% in ad likeability, +65% in brand affinity, and +18% in consideration.
- Brand Example: Haircare powerhouse Redken drove $19.4M in EMV on TikTok in the first nine months of 2023 using product-driven videos, including one particularly strong example from creator Kylie Vazzana.
Using the Right Creative Elements Ads perform best when created with the platform in mind. These three creative elements are essential to effective creator ads:
- Sound, which is vital to the TikTok experience according to 9 out of 10 community members, and creator ads that feature music drive a +61% uplift in brand recall and a +177% uplift in purchase intent.
- Text Overlays, which are 1.4x more likely to hook a user than ads that don’t, with captions leading to a +31% increase in likeability and +95% in brand affinity.
- Pacing, which recently drove a +162% uplift for a sample of high-energy Beauty ads, and ads that feature seamless transitions from one shot to another have a +60% uplift in recall.
- Brand Example: In June 2023, comedian Jonathan Bynoe dropped a laughably relatable TikTok sketch about Vitaminwater, and the brand leveraged the audio for its #NourishEveryYou campaign, which drove over $1.6M EMV across all platforms.
Closing With a Clear Call to Action An effective call to action is often the difference between an engaged fan and a paying customer, with strong CTAs proving essential across both Spark and In-Feed Ads. For example:
- Creator ads featuring strong written CTAs lead to a +205% uplift in purchase intent.
- Interactive Display Cards doubling as CTA buttons see a +69% uplift in brand recall.
“TikTok is where today’s audience, culture, and influence are bringing joy and entertainment across the world. Creators are the driving force behind it, and advertisers have started to excel in joining the community and growing their business outcomes along the way,” said Jorge Ruiz, Global Head of Marketing Science at TikTok. “This report provides advertisers with a new playbook for how to execute successful creator campaigns, powered by data, insights, and real-world examples from leading brands identified by CreatorIQ. I look forward to seeing how clients will benefit from this new understanding and continue to progress their journey on TikTok.”
“We’ve seen the usage of TikTok in creator marketing campaigns grow exponentially year-over-year, solidifying the platform as an essential part of the overall ecosystem,” said Tim Sovay, Chief Business Development & Partnerships Officer, CreatorIQ. “We’re honored to partner with TikTok on this initiative, which provides the industry at large with the intel for building more impactful creator marketing programs that can drive full-funnel results.”
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