Popular social media app TikTok is opening up to brands with a new initiative, launching a platform called “TikTok For Business” that will serve as the home for all its current and future marketing solutions for brands.

TikTok grows up: new marketing platform and AR ad formats for brands

The 'TikTok for Business' website provides marketers with a range of resources and tools to help them utilise the short-form video app for their ad campaigns.

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.

Types of ads on offer:

  • TopView: First ad visible when app is opened
  • Brand Takeovers: three to five-second ads that can be either a video or image
  • In-Feed Videos: 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.)

The platform includes tips, notes and links to other TikTok tools, like its Creator Marketplace and its self-serve ad platform (which is not yet available in all regions).

The platform also provides links to a range of case studies to help businesses understand how they can make best use of TikTok for their promotions. Brands featured include Clean and Clear, Guess and Universal Pictures.

In a statement, TikTok explained: "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."

New augmented reality ad formats

TikTok also announced the launch of its new AR Brand Effects and Partner Program. 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.

View an example below:

"A new innovative format of TikTok's Branded Effect, which can activate exciting visual effects such as a Brand logo or Brand product in user's videos. As a part of this launch, we're excited to partner with leaders in 2D & 3D development in an effort to scale creativity and production of AR effects for brands on TikTok. Those partners include Bare Tree Media, Subvrsive, Tommy, and more."

The new AR effect, “Brand Scan,” is being added alongside the formal launch of TikTok For Business itself.

Analysis: “The most downloaded app this quarter”

Commenting on the new platform, Mary Keane-Dawson, Group CEO of Takumi, said: “TikTok is growing, and fast! In the first quarter of the year, it was downloaded 315 million times — the most downloads of any app in a quarter. This means there’s a huge amount of opportunity for brands and this latest update from the social media platform is recognition of this potential, allowing marketers to reach a large and highly engaged user audience with captivating content.

“TikTok for Business will open new doors for marketers to better understand the platform, feel comfortable with exciting new features such as ‘Branded Effects’ and be guided on how to make unique creative. This is especially the case for brands who want to test and learn or who had previously been cautious about trying their hand at a new platform.

“From TikTok’s perspective, TikTok for Business is a smart move that will streamline the platform, making it easier for brands to access and get accustomed to. And, ultimately, it will help to grow TikTok’s revenue, matching the ambition shown earlier this year when Kevin Mayer, Disney’s former Head of Streaming, was appointed as CEO.

“TikTok for Business can improve trust in the channel by using it as an education tool for brands, while also helping to regulate the market more efficiently and responsibly. This is an important step for a maturing channel which will continue to succeed, with more and more brands now likely to incorporate it within their wider marketing plans rather than as simply an add on.”

Go to the TikTok for business hub here

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