TikTok is announcing to advertisers that it’s open for business. The company is today officially introducing a new brand and platform called “TikTok For Business” that will serve as the home for all its current and future marketing solutions for brands. At launch, the site will include access to TikTok ad formats, including its marque product, TopView, which is the ad that appears when you first launch the TikTok app. Other products under this TikTok For Business umbrella include Brand Takeovers, In-Feed Videos, Hashtag Challenges, and Branded Effects.
Brand Takeovers are the 3-5 second ads that can be either a video or image. In-Feed Videos can be up to 60 seconds in length and run with the sound on. Hashtag Challenges allow brands to participate in the user community by inviting TikTok users to create content around a hashtag of their choice. This includes Hashtag Plus, which also adds a shopping feature to this experience.
Meanwhile, Branded Effects allow brands to insert themselves more directly into the content creation experience. The effects allow a brand or product to be added to a video in a 2D, 3D, or now AR format in either the foreground or background of the video. These can also be combined with Hashtag Challenges to boost engagement with the brand.
The new AR effect, “Brand Scan,” is being added today alongside the formal launch of TikTok For Business itself. Digiday had previously scooped TikTok’s AR ad plans, noting how these would present a direct challenge to Snapchat’s Sponsored Lens and Word Lenses AR formats.
Except for the AR effect, most of the marketing products on TikTok For Business were offered before today, but the new platform organizes them under one roof and provides a place to introduce new products, as they arrive.
In addition, the platform is launching a new e-learning center that will help marketers learn about TikTok and its ad offerings. This center will include product guides, resources and creative best practices to help them launch successful campaigns or learn about the Branded Effects Partner Program.
TikTok doesn’t publicly disclose the pricing for its ad tools and solutions, but says pricing is based on what the brand wants to achieve and the scope of its campaign. Its own website details some of its budgeting requirements, like a $50 minimum on both daily campaign budgets and total budgets, for example. Digiday recently reported TikTok’s ad rates on a CPM basis have been cheap amid the recession, in comparison with Facebook.
Today, the brands work closely with TikTok on buying and managing their campaigns and on performance reporting. But TikTok is working to roll out new solutions that will make this process easier.
The launch of the new platform aims to move TikTok from being a place where marketers can experiment, to one that demands a seat at the table alongside other social platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
The company will present the platform to brands and advertisers at the IAB’s NewFronts later this afternoon, where it will position itself as a place where marketers create work that becomes a part of the TikTok community, instead of being separate from it. On TikTok, some marketing campaigns were so successful that TikTok users made their own version of it, for instance.
The presentation will also pitch the idea that the TikTok platform is a place where culture and trends are created and shared globally, and where content can go viral in hours across a diverse audience.
Related to this, TikTok also noted it’s testing a new platform called Creator Marketplace in select regions. This platform, introduced last year, allow brands to discover and partner with TikTok content creators on paid brand campaigns, similar to YouTube’s BrandConnect (which recently changed its name from FameBit).
TikTok’s revenue had been growing ahead of today’s format debut of its platform for marketers. This January, reports claimed its revenue was on track to skyrocket over 300% by Q4 2020. The Information more recently reported TikTok’s U.S. revenue was expected to hit $500 million this year.
“With the launch of TikTok For Business, we set out to embrace the creative, positive, and real moments that make our community so special with solutions for businesses to connect and grow with our wonderfully expressive community,” said TikTok’s Managing Director for Global Business Marketing, Katie Puris, in an announcement.
“As we continue to build a platform where brands bring immense value to the user experience, we’re excited to continue investing in solutions that give brands a platform to inspire others, be discovered, and meaningfully connect with the TikTok Community,” she added.