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What kinds of brands should try TikTok Ads

How to set up a TikTok ad campaign

How to work with TikTok influencers

How to analyze your campaign performance

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    Transcript

    Anna:

    All right, Savannah, I guess we could start by introducing yourself first. For those who do not know, Savannah is an amazing TikTok expert and I will just let her introduce herself.

    Savannah:

    I’m so excited to be on Clubhouse today. Let’s talk about all things TikTok advertising. So a bit of background, I’m a consultant that works with e-commerce brands on their TikTok ads. I also do Snapchat ads, Facebook ads, but I’ve been really leaning into TikTok ads, especially in the last year. I’ve worked with brand kitsch, our place, a lot of different industries, all e-commerce, to help scale their TikTok advertising. So I do the media buying and produce the ad creatives for TikTok. So I’m really excited to be chatting about all things TikTok ads today.

    Anna:

    And like I mentioned, Savannah is an amazing expert. And if you’re interested in checking more for her, we actually have podcast episodes. So The Mortgaging Analytics Show is the name of the podcast, and we were chatting about Facebook ads, more specifically, was it e-commerce?

    Savannah:

    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

    Anna:

    E-commerce campaigns for Facebook, right?

    Savannah:

    Yeah.

    Anna:

    So I highly, highly recommend checking it out because I think Savannah really nicely broke down her process of creation of these ads and shared many, many, more secrets. But I think we could start with today’s session. And like I mentioned, thank you so much, Savannah, for joining me today. So we will start with the first question. What kind of companies would actually benefit from running ads on TikTok, first of all? Because there are so many brands and so many verticals but have you noticed a particular company type or maybe particular products that work really, really well?

    Savannah:

    Yeah, it’s a great question. I’ve worked with a variety of brands on TikTok ads now, and something that I can pinpoint for all the brands, even though they’re across different verticals, is that they’re all impulse buys. So a lot of TikTok people, when they’re scrolling through, if they catch an eye-catching ad and uses organic TikTok creatives and the ad creative, and it’s an impulse purchase, so usually meaning that the average order value of the product is under $50, that’s really great for Tech-Talk ads. I would say you probably don’t have the right product for TikTok ads if it’s a more expensive product, takes a longer consideration window. TikTokers, they want to see something cute, like cute leggings or a cool blender, even, in the case of my client, BlendJet, cute hair accessories, and purchase right then. So it’s really important to have a brand that shows well, visually, as well, because people want that impulse of, “Oh, that looks cool. It looks cute. I want it.” That’s how TikTokers operate on the platform.

    Anna:

    Yeah, that’s great. Have you actually noticed any other product types, apart from cute? So maybe there was something that’s more amusing or holding any other emotion or is cute. Something that you would recommend going with?

    Savannah:

    Yeah. I mean, there’s been a few different products that I’ve worked with that have done really well and TikTok. One of them has been a sustainable razor, so it’s made out of all metal. And there’s a huge community on TikTok that cares about environmentalism and sustainability. So I think having products that can tap into certain community niches is really important. So with our TikTok ads, we were really able to target that green living community and create content that they care about. Whereas I have another client, SugarBearHair, and we’ve really been able to do well with them through hair care tips. So a lot of people go on TikTok to get information, in terms of how-to tutorials. And so for SugarBearHair, we show a lot of how to grow your hair longer, how to take care of your hair, how to get shinier hair, and those types of videos work well on TikTok.

    So I would say, it doesn’t necessarily matter what your product is, it’s about understanding what type of content does well organically on TikTok. What are people consuming in their day-to-day of scrolling through TikTok, and what communities are active on TikTok, and what type of content resonates with that? And if you can figure out that creative strategy, then you’re going to be good to go on TikTok, no matter what your product is.

    Anna:

    All right. Thank you so much for sharing. I really love that answer. And I really loved the part where you really need to think about the values of the audience and tap into these values. Because I do think that TikTok is a way more sort of an intimate community, compared to communities on other social networks. But let’s talk a bit more about the creative and the actual TikTok campaigns. So could you please walk us through your process? How do you set up TikTok campaigns? How would you optimize them? What would be the optimization goal there? And maybe you could provide us with a few examples, like why would you choose a particular goal in each case?

    Savannah:

    Yeah, absolutely. It’s definitely a complex question, but I’ll try to break it down as concisely as possible. I do want to mention that I do have a YouTube channel. It’s called Savannah Sanchez and I have 10 videos up right now about TikTok ad campaigns set up, targeting, and creative best practices. So if you want the non-cliff notes version, definitely go to my YouTube channel because they’re really in-depth in the tutorials. But in terms of campaigns for e-commerce, typically we are optimizing towards an add to cart goal. So when we set up our campaign, we’re choosing the add to cart objective, and we’re testing three to five different creatives at a time within any ad group or ad set.

    And then for targeting, I like to use the interest in behavior-based targeting on TikTok. So TikTok basically gives you the option to target people based on the videos that they’ve either liked, commented, or shared in the last seven or 15 days. So for instance, for SugarBearHair or any of the haircare brands I’m working with, I will say, “I want to target anyone who has interacted with hair and beauty videos within the last seven days and either commented on a hair video.” So the behavior targeting is probably one of my favorite go-to’s for TikTok. I like to keep the audiences pretty broad, meaning a five to 10 million person audience. I don’t want to get too specific with my targeting because I want TikTok’s algorithm to be able to fully optimize, and it does optimize better with a broad audience.

    And then for creatives, I’m working with not only people on my team who are specialized in TikTok and that are very into the trends and understand what works well on that platform, but I also do a lot of creator outreach. So I send products to creators and essentially give them the brief of what I want for the ads. And so it’s a mix of both in-house created content, but also reaching out to TikTok creators that we think are a good aesthetic or good match with our brands and having them create content for ads, as well. I would say my number one tip for TikTok ads is that you can’t take what you’re running on Facebook or any other platform and try it on TikTok because it’s not going to work. You have to develop specific TikTok creatives that look just like regular TikTok.

    If someone sniffs out that it’s an ad, they’re going to swipe away really quickly and they’re not going to click to your website. So you have to speak the TikTok language. And I think that’s why working with TikTok creators to help with great ad content is really the best strategy.

    Anna:

    Yeah. I think it’s very important that you mentioned the creators, and that was actually my next question. How do you work with these creators? So what kind of information do you provide them about the product for them to create compelling content? Because now TikTok is becoming more and more and more competitive, so I think it’s even harder for creators, as well, to stand out. So how do you make sure that creators produce very organic, native, compelling content about a particular product? And then how would you measure these results? Because I guess running an ad is quite different, compared to working with the creator themselves.

    Savannah:

    Yeah, absolutely. I do a lot of research on TikTok creators, and often I’m not working with big influencers. I’m looking and scouring through hashtags in order to find creators that have less than 10,000 followers, but I can see that they have good and engaging content and they understand how to get attention quickly. And especially, there’s a lot of TikTok creators out there that are just doing product review videos, like Amazon finds, so those are great people to contact because they already understand how to market a product, how to speak to the value props. I also look at the hashtags of the communities that I’m interested in targeting. So for instance, I told you I’m working with Leaf Shave and they have a sustainable, all-metal razor. And so I know that the green living and recycling enthusiasts are really interested in our product.

    Savannah:

    So I’ll go through green living hashtags, in order to see what are the trending creators for these hashtags. And I like to reach out to people who look comfortable in front of the camera, are passionate about the green living community for this product, and then offer them a free product in exchange for creating a TikTok about us. So a lot of it is just tapping into these communities, searching hashtags, a lot of outreach. Typically, most creators have their Instagram in their bio. So I’ll go over to Instagram and DM them and be like, “Hey, love your content. We would love to give you a razor” or whatever it is, “in exchange for a video.” And then send them a brief of the value props.

    If there’s also, it’s really helpful to send creators examples. So if there’s a TikTok ad that you’ve saved that’s really cool or just another TikTok that you’ve stumbled upon, I like to send it to my creators and be like, “We want something like this. We want to use these types of transitions. We want you talking to the camera.” It depends on who you’re working with. Some creators like having more creative freedom, where others appreciate it if you give them a brief and some ideas of what you’re looking for. So it all depends on who you’re working with, but that’s the basic process of how I look for influencers and contact them.

    Anna:

    That sounds super interesting. And I’m super curious about working with creators and the way that you or the creator is actually working with the community. So my next question would be, do you actually work with the community on TikTok? So for example, if a creator features an eraser or blender or some other product and somebody comments, “Oh my God, this is such a fantastic product.”

    Or jokes about it, or react to the feature of products somehow, do you actually turn these comments into new creative ideas? Basically, do you get any inspiration from the community to create more creatives?

    Savannah:

    The comment section to TikTok ads is just complete gold. It’s insane how much engagement most ads get. People love commenting on ads, and they will tell you their honest opinion about the products, the top questions that they have about the product, whether they hated the ad, whether they loved the ad. The TikTok community is really active in the comments section. So if you do plan to do TikTok paid advertising, or even influencer collaboration, make sure that the brand is responding to comments and monitoring those to see what the feedback is. One thing that we’ve been doing is we actually turn the comments into an ad creative.

    So what I mean by that is that we take the top five asked comments and we’ll make it into a TikTok saying like, “Here are our top five questions about X product.” And then we’ll show the question and then we’ll answer it. So we’ve often used comments as inspirations for our next creatives because then we’d like to answer those questions that are most commonly asked in the next ad.

    Anna:

    Right. I think that’s amazing to hear. And another thing I was super curious about, so if you are creating a brief because you mentioned sometimes you’re creating a brief for the creator and sometimes the creators are coming up with ideas themselves, but if you were to create a brief for the creator, do you have any process or any tips how marketers can, first of all, come up with a great brief for creative? And then maybe if you could further break it down then, what would the elements of a well-performing creative be?

    Savannah:

    Yeah, for sure. I do have a brief available for download that I give away for free. So if anyone wants to contact me on my website and just fill out a contact form submission and be like, “Hey, I want that TikTok creative brief.” I’m happy to send that to you. But essentially what it includes is the main value props of the product, so the top five things we want them to mention. We also put do’s and don’ts. We’ll say, “Do show the product label. Don’t mention any competitor names. Don’t say this, this, and this about it. Don’t say it’s cheap.” Whatever it is, if there are certain adjectives that the brand is sensitive to or doesn’t want to be compared to, it’s really good to give creators not only what you want them to do, but explicitly say, “Definitely don’t do this.”

    Like, “Don’t eat it.” I don’t know. There have been some briefs where we have to be pretty specific about how we want them to interact with the product, but it’s all going to depend on the brand, too. So essentially, we provide the do’s and don’ts, the top value props, and then the ad examples. So showing other TikTok ads for organic are good examples, whether it’s using a trending dance or the type of transitions that they’re using, so that they can have some direction of what type of content we’re looking for, for ads. And then also stuff like the length of the ad. Often we’ll see ads that are 15 seconds perform the best. So we tell the creators, “Hey, maybe make this a 15-second ad.” We also ask our creators to always have text overlays, so that if someone’s watching without sound, they can understand it.

    So saying what exactly you want in the text overlay. And also captions. Captions are really important to add success. So you want to be able to work with the creator to develop a caption together that you want for the TikTok post.

    Anna:

    I think it’s a very, very well documented process. I wish every single marketer could know how to… It’s kind of a brief process in place. And so also, you’ve mentioned briefly the trends on TikTok. Could you elaborate on that a bit more, actually? What is hot right now? And maybe are there any trends marketers could or should try to incorporate in their ads or creative briefs to create or to make the ads more engaging?

    Savannah:

    Yeah. There are two trends that are working really well right now. One of them is “things TikTok made me buy.” And so this is a trend that’s been going around on TikTok, where people share products that they discovered on TikTok and then review them.

    So we’ll create ads, we’ll say, “Things TikTok Made Me Buy, part 57. I discovered this super cool blender on TikTok and I just bought it and I’m trying it out for the first time. Here’s the famous TikTok blender.” So Things TikTok Made Me Buy is a really great hashtag for brands because it plays right into e-commerce. And another one is, Don’t Buy This, Buy That, is another trend that’s been going around on TikTok. So I work with a brand that sells duped perfumes, so they sell dupes of designer fragrances. So we leverage the Don’t Buy This, Buy That trend. And we say, “Don’t buy designer fragrances.” And we show a bunch of designer bottles and we’re like, “Buy these fragrances, they’re $5, they smell identical.” So it’s always great to be on top of what is trending on TikTok, and then leveraging those trends is, Things TikTok Made Me Buy and Don’t Buy This, Buy That are two that are so easy for brands to capitalize on right now.

    Anna:

    And now let’s talk about the analytics and metrics a bit more, and what kind of reports should they have in place, maybe how frequently should they be looking at these reports?

    Savannah:

    I like to look at, for e-commerce, number one, click-through rate. And that gives a good indicator of whether our ad is scroll-stopping, how many people are actually watching our ad, and then ending up at the site. I would say a good click-through rate on TikTok is above 1%. Anything below 1%, I would say you should try a new creative. My best performing creatives are between 2 and 3% click-through rate. So that would be very highly engaging ad creative.

    So the first metric I look at is, “What is a click-through rate on the creative, and are we getting people to the site effectively with our ad creatives?” Secondly, I look at the metrics of add to cart and our cost per add to cart. And then it kind of just goes down the funnel of cost per initiated checkout, how many people are checking out, and then ultimately how many people are purchasing since for e-commerce brands, that’s our ultimate KPI and our cost per purchase. And I have been a Supermetrics power user for the last two or three years. I honestly cannot say enough about this reporting software or integration, as I should call it because it’s really great because for all of my clients, I connect Supermetrics to my TikTok ads account and I can schedule a daily refresh so that in a Google Sheet, every day, it pulls in my click-through rate, my cost per purchase, cost per add to cart, cost per initiate checkout, and it makes it extremely easy to visualize trends.

    So instead of going into TikTok ads manager and painstakingly choosing different dates and trying to export stuff from TikTok ads manager and uploading it to Excel, which is what I used to do before I discovered Supermetrics, but now I have it automatically set up where Supermetrics pulls in all the metrics I care about to Google Sheet. And then I can also visualize the data in Google Data Studio. So if I want to break out pie charts of female versus male purchasers, who are purchasing by age group. And as a client-facing person, as a consultant, my clients really appreciate having visual dashboards and being able to see day over day, week over week, month over month metrics, because often clients don’t want to go into TikTok and try to pull the data themselves.

    So half of my job is just making sure that my clients are aware of the information and understand how to make that information actionable. So Supermetrics makes that possible for us, definitely my favorite integration ever. I would say it’s almost a must-have, if you want to run TikTok ads and you don’t want to waste your time going into TikTok ads manager every day to pull data manually into Excel, this will just manually pull the data into a Google Sheet for you automatically every morning, so it’s really been a lifesaver.

    Anna:

    Thank you so much, Savannah. I’m super happy to hear that. And for the record, it was a completely unsponsored advertisement on Supermetrics right there. And one thing I was actually super curious about, you mentioned the omnichannel reports, so would it actually make sense to compare data coming from TikTok with native commenting from Snapchat or other paid social, or is TikTok such a separate animal of its own that it would make actually more sense to just analyze TikTok data in a separate reports effort?

    Savannah:

    I would say a little bit of both. So for a lot of my clients, I’m not only doing TikTok ads, I’m doing their Snap, their Google, their Facebook. So what I do is, on my Supermetrics sheet that pulls into Google Sheets, I’ll show daily spend by channel and daily metrics by channel. And then also on Supermetrics, I’ll pull in our daily Shopify revenue. And a lot of my clients are most concerned about what is our total marketing spend per day across all channels versus our online revenue and it’s like a site-wide ROAS, essentially, off of all of our ad spend. So my main Supermetrics sheet that I create for my clients is that omnichannel dashboard.

    And then in terms of analyzing TikTok metrics, I always tell my clients, the reported ROAS, or return on ad spend, is never going to be similar or close to the reported ROAS on Facebook and Google, for instance, because TikTok only measures attribution at the moment on a first click basis. This means that TikTok Ad Manager will only record it as a purchase or an add to cart or whatever metrics you’re measuring.

    If someone clicks on that TikTok ad and makes that purchase right then, within the TikTok interface, essentially… If someone sees your TikTok ad and then purchases it on their computer later that day or in a week when they get a Facebook ad after they saw the TikTok ad, all of that data is lost. TikTok, for now, which they’re making improvements to their pixel, only records the people who are purchasing right then. Whereas, Facebook default measures off of the 28-day click one-day view window. So you can see anyone who’s clicked on your ad last 28 days and ended up purchasing a week later, two weeks later, all that data is still collected by Facebook. IOS 14, that’s going to change, but needless to say, reported ROAS by TikTok will always be much less than Facebook or Google because the attribution on TikTok is so much smaller.

    So that’s why it’s not apples and oranges when I’m reporting Facebook revenue versus TikTok revenue or TikTok-accorded purchasers versus Facebook, it’s always going to look worse. And something that I like to keep in mind is also recording, of course, what’s the click-through rate, are our creatives converting? But I would say the main metric I look at is the cost per add to cart because if someone is clicking on my TikTok ad and adding to cart right then, even though I may know that 50% of people may not end up purchasing or they’ll purchase on another session, it’s more apples to apples to compare the cost per ad to cart of Facebook to the cost per ad to cart on TikTok, much more than it is to compare apples to apples of cost per purchase on Facebook to cost per purchase on TikTok.

    So that’s why I default to looking at the cost per add to cart and seeing is the… And that’s basically what indicates is the quality of traffic from TikTok valuable and is it comparable to Facebook if people are at least adding to cart and they’re getting in our funnel. So that’s how I like to look at the metrics across channels and compare them to TikTok.
     

    Anna:

    Right. So you mentioned the metrics and a bit about the first [inaudible 00:25:23] attribution on TikTok. Now, if we look a bit into the future, how do you think TikTok ads functionality will develop? And are there any metrics or maybe is there any functionality you would like to see? So maybe is there anything you wish could appear in TikTok’s API or you think could appear there in the future that would be super useful for marketers for your own reporting?

    Savannah:

    Absolutely. Well, I have to give TikTok credit because they just released ROAS, or return on ad spend, reporting on TikTok this week, I found out. So that was a huge step up. Before on TikTok ads manager, we could only measure cost per purchase, but TikTok wasn’t recording purchase values. So now ROAS records in TikTok, which is amazing so that we can record the actual purchase value of what people are purchasing on-site. Then one thing that I’m hoping for, and I know that they’re working on it, is just expanding the attribution window that we can see purchasers that come through beyond the first click onto the ad. So if someone sees our TikTok ad and purchases it seven days later, I want to be able to see that that person came through originally on a TikTok ad. I know they’re working behind the scenes to try to improve the attribution, because right now, especially if a product has a longer consideration window, that data is lost.

    That’s why I said TikTok Ads, right now, is really great for impulse buys, where people are often purchasing on that first click. So if they see a cute bag or cute shoes, whatever it is on TikTok, they click on the link, and then they purchase right then so that that data isn’t lost. So attribution is probably my number one grievance, but also I know something that they’re going to improve on.

    Anna:

    Great note. I think ROAS definitely sounds like an amazing addition because then you would be able to compare apples to apples across platforms even further. I don’t really have any other questions. I think it was a super useful chat. I learned so much. Thank you so much, Savannah. And where can our listeners learn more about you? And maybe you could share a couple of useful resources you have on your website.

    Savannah:

    Absolutely. So my website is TheSocialSavannah.com. I mentioned that I do have a free guide to working with TikTok influencers for ads. I need to put it in my Clubhouse bio because I didn’t before this chat, you can just fill out the contact form submission on my site and be like, “Hey, I want that free TikTok guide.” Happy to send that to you. Also, my YouTube channel is Savannah Sanchez and I have a ton of TikTok tutorials on there, not only for media buying, but also for ad creatives and analyzing metrics, so my YouTube channel is Savannah Sanchez. And then I’m also super active on Twitter at Social_Savannah and I post a lot of TikTok ad creative inspiration on there, so that’s where to find me.

    Anna:

    Yes. Amazing. And I’d just like to remind everyone, so if you want to learn more from Savannah, you can listen to our very own marketing analytics show episode and learn more about Facebook ads for e-commerce. Savannah shared a ton of his whole insight there, as well. Thank you everyone, and have a nice day. It was a lovely chat, Savannah. Thank you so much.

    Savannah:

    Thank you so much, Anna, for having me. And I’m so happy to be a Supermetrics power user. Thanks for having such an awesome tool.

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