How To Produce In-Feed Native Creatives for TikTok

Interested in developing a TikTok strategy for your brand? If so, you’re not alone. A large number of brands today are taking advantage of TikTok, the fastest-growing social media platform, as an effective marketing tool.  Many brands' success on this platform can be attributed to the native ads produced by influencers.  If you are interested in knowing how to produce in-feed native creatives, then keep reading.  In this article we will walk you through the process and offer you tips and guidance on how to: 

  • Recruit an influencer for native ad integration. 
  • Create a performing native ad creative for TikTok.
  • Avoid typical mistakes while running TikTok ad campaigns with influencers.

How To Produce In-Feed Native Creatives for TikTok:


Native ads on TikTok: why should you stick with it?

Over the past couple of years, TikTok has evolved from a teen entertainment social network to a powerful user acquisition tool. Remember how Facebook, the king of mobile traffic sources, got started?  It was created as a platform for students, and likewise, TikTok has become more and more popular among a wider variety of users. 

The social media platform is now available in over 150 countries, has over 1 billion users, and has been downloaded over 200 million times in the United States alone.  If you are a mobile marketer and your target user is someone aged between 13 and 60, then you should definitely consider this traffic source.

TikTok offers several ad formats: Top View, Brand Takeover, Hashtag Challenge and Branded Effects (lenses, masks, etc.) — but they can only be launched through the TikTok manager and are media ads, so we won’t focus on them.

In-Feed Ads, meanwhile, the ads are embedded in the user's feed. This is an essential tool to obtain high ROI and positive reactions from users by creating authentic TikTok content.

The creative format is a short immersive video appearing in the user's feed. These videos last 5-60 seconds. In any feed (especially when we speak about the TikTok feed) native ad creatives work the best. You adjust to the rules of the platform, therefore, the user perceives them as just another form of user-generated content (UGC). 

This type of advertising is designed to show the value of the product. Simply put, native ads should: a) be useful to the user and b) organically fit into the social media feed.

When it comes to social networks, a person subconsciously ignores all content that looks like ads. In order to get around this “bug” of the human psyche and make it through to the user's attention, new ad formats are needed. This is how native advertising, or “user-like generated content” appear.  Native creatives are more credible than explicit ad posts and don't annoy the user.

Characters of native ads are real people: influencers, actors and models. And the focus of these creatives is not centered on the product or its characteristics, as it is in other ad formats, but rather on utility or entertainment.

If the native creative is really good, the user won’t realise that they have just watched an ad, and this increases the level of user engagement. In terms of metrics, this gives a high conversion rate (CR), click-through rate (CTR) and retention rate (RR).

There are a few drawbacks of native ads, however, but the main one is the cost of shooting. Animated 2D creatives are cheaper and way easier to produce. When shooting a native ad you will need to take into consideration: 1) the TikToker's video needs to be directed, and 2) that time and money will need to be spent on filming and post-production.  On the other hand, the cost of TikTok's ad placement is comparable to Facebook. 

Furthermore, you will also need to take into account that TikTok’s traffic has its own specifics. CR (Conversion Rate) of TikTok ads can be 1.5 to 3 times lower than other traffic sources. It can also be difficult to scale and simultaneously maintain the performance.

Amongst other things, performance campaigns on TikTok will not fit into the marketing strategy of every brand. But knowing in advance the specifics of the platform, you will be easily able to achieve great results.  

Nevertheless, for all its imperfections, advertising on TikTok has a clear advantage: when the user logs into the app, they immediately get shown the TikTok recommendation feed. 

As a matter of fact, the user does not come to this particular social network to find out about friends' updates.  Since an active TikTok user is already used to seeing strangers in their feed, they don’t feel confused or annoyed when they bump into a video created by a stranger. They come to see unique entertaining viral content. This means they are loyal to (creative) ad posts with new or unknown people in their feed all the time.

In addition, in terms of traffic, TikTok has a large volume at fairly low prices. This tool can be used to influence positions in ASO: the more traffic — the higher the position.


Designing a high-quality native ad creative that looks exactly like UGC

Cool videos are the key to your success when you advertise on TikTok. It’s crucial to keep yourself up-to-date in order to understand what other marketers are doing on the platform.  Pictures with text and music overlaid or compilations of several pieces in terrible quality look weird on this platform. 

But this is what you should be aware of: if you plan to work with TikTok, be ready to shoot TikTok videos, containing a plot, a stylish character, and vivid emotion. In general, the video should engage, preferably starting from the very first second.

Collaborating with influencers is the most common native advertising tool on TikTok. The main challenge in this, perhaps, is finding a suitable influencer for your ad video.  Below we will explain in more detail what you should focus on when selecting an influencer.

When the TikToker for the creative has been identified, the next step is to move onto shooting your ad.  As a rule, for TikTok creatives, we generally request the help of foreign TikToker's. It’s always a good idea to send the TikToker a creative brief and any technical requirements, particularly when shooting remotely. 

Once complete, the TikToker sends their video to the project manager, who will make the final edits.  If everyone involved in the process is satisfied with the quality of the material, it is redirected to the motion designer who is involved in the post-production process.

If the value of the product is conveyed well in the “raw” TikToker’s review, without any extra features like additional sound, the video can be left without music — and just include the voice of the TikToker.

Once the final video is ready, the creative is sent to the advertiser for approval. Having received the final “OK” from them, you are ready to launch an ad campaign on your TikTok account.


Quick Tips On TikTok Native Ads Production

  • Mobile app verticals in TikTok ads

In TikTok, the most efficient app verticals to advertise in are those where the app value can be convincingly conveyed through a picture of its actual use. These include, for example: photo editors, social network follower trackers, dating apps, financial planning and gaming apps.

According to AppsFlyer's 12th Performance Index, TikTok for Business (an ad platform for brands) overtook Snapchat in the Gaming category in a relatively short period of time.


  • Picking an appropriate influencer

The success of a TikTok native creative is highly dependent on the influencer's personality and how much their appearance reflects the target audience’s ideals.  It matters whether they are able to be convincing in front of the camera and properly convey the idea of ​​the video. Therefore, it is important to select the right influencer who is able to shoot catchy, bright and interesting content for a specific product.

It’s not always necessary to focus on influencers with a large audience. You may wish to rather focus on aspiring bloggers — thus, you can reduce video production costs, and offer influencers an opportunity to grow through cooperation with popular mobile brands. 

By creating your own content even with small bloggers and using ads wisely, you can make great progress on TikTok with relatively little financial investment. You do not necessarily need the most expensive and upscale tactics to see success.


  • Using TikTok Trends

TikTok trends is a great marketing tool. It includes the use of lip syncs, dance challenges and pranks that, in most cases, become a magnet for attention. But everything is good in moderation. For example, when using movement-based trends it's easy to get poor performance. The video may be beautiful, but the viewer might not understand why they should download that app. The emphasis should be on the value of the app itself. And, if possible, add a few recognizable trend elements to the video.

TikTok has an audience of potential users who actively consume content. Formulate the message that other social platforms may not include. Your ad video may become the next viral thing, you never know.


  • Technical specifications

When setting a technical assignment for an influencer, it is important to discuss all the details of the shoot. Of course, its performance also depends on the quality of the video. These are the requirements for video recording that you can send to influencers in order to receive high-quality footage:

  • Shoot in 4K resolution, 30 frames per second;
  • Record video using the back camera of your smartphone. Shooting with the front camera is acceptable only in good lighting conditions;
  • Natural window light is preferred. If artificial light is used, it must be cold;
  • Do not use video zoom, since it adds noise to the video;
  • If the video requires voice or sound, shoot indoors without echo;
  • The frame should not contain brand logos on clothing, background and props;
  • Send a photo of the background before shooting;
  • When capturing action, body parts should not go out of the frame, especially in dance or sports videos.

  • Sizes and location

As for video sizes, the regulation for TikTok is 1080x1920. 

At the same time, it is important to keep the “air” above the main video character’s head within the video boundaries and take into account safe zones of the video. This will allow you to design an organic composition with nothing “falling out” of the frame.


  • Captions on the video 

Text on TikTok creatives is always important. It’s another channel that an advertiser can use to send a message to their audience.  Therefore, an ad creative should look good and be understandable both with and without sound.

Text on creatives can be overlaid directly in TikTok. Today this social network offers a large selection of fonts and templates.


  • Video structure

TikTok is a platform ruled by Generation Z representatives. In terms of the visual content perception speed, they surpass all previous generations. In the first seconds of the video, they digest the visual content and instantly sweep aside what is unlikely to interest them. Therefore, the key story points in TikTok creatives should happen in the first 3-5 seconds of the video. Don't forget that a call to action button must appear at the end of the creative. Otherwise what’s the purpose of the advertisement?  Utilise their engagement when you have it.


  • Sound 

TikTok is the only traffic source among all the others that gives you the ability to get connected with users through music. Other social media platforms usually limit this possibility, which leads to fewer users turning on the sound when viewing an ad there. Сonsequently, you should not be ignoring the sound in the video. This is as important as the text and the content of the video itself.


  • Ads scheduling

TikTok advertising is just like other traffic sources where you can set specific time and dates when you would like your ads to appear for your target audience. These settings can be inserted within the budgeting and scheduling options.


A few more tips for efficient marketing on TikTok

Here are some additional insights you can use in order to obtain the best TikTok ad campaign results:

  • At the first stages of launch, it's better not to limit traffic by gender, age and GEO; 
  • Audience segmentation and targeting are important, but without a creative concept, it's impossible to achieve better performance results;
  • Simple adapted creatives from other traffic sources won't work;
  • Dynamics, relevance and unusual visual elements are the basis of successful creatives on TikTok.  Trends change every two weeks, so creatives need to be updated regularly; 
  • TikTok's audience is not exclusively young people under 25; 
  • A good video gets a viral effect, so you not only get new paying customers to buy your product, but also increase brand awareness and loyalty. 

TikTok native ads is a cool mobile app promotion tool

TikTok is a great place for mobile marketers. Both with influencers and your own team, you can create content that draws conversions and attention.

Specific details of a successful native video creative are always individual. But the main thing is always the same: the idea of the creative should be clear and accessible. The native ad creative should also naturally show the value of the promoted app.

At AdQuantum, we specialise in creating and launching native creatives on TikTok and other various traffic sources. Click here in order to get a free consultation on your product. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pavel Shishkin

Pavel Shishkin is the Head of the Creative direction at AdQuantum, a performance mobile agency. The agency specialises in driving new revenue to apps. Its team consists of 30 user acquisition managers and more than 300 designers with extensive experience in acquiring premium quality traffic. Their designers and project managers produce diverse mobile app ad creatives, including ones with influencers. AdQuantum covers all marketing costs for its clients, including creative production, and their clients simply pay them a portion of the profits they generate for them.

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