8 Ways to Style Your Creative Ads on TikTok
When you are looking to start marketing your products or brand, social media is one of the most effective ways to get your products seen by potential customers. Whilst Google ads can help promote your product to customers who are searching for it, social media can put your product in the feeds of people who might not even know they need it, or have even heard of it.
But choosing which platform to post your ads to is an important decision depending on the demographic of your potential audience. Facebook has the widest demographic, but is mostly used by older audiences now, with teens choosing other platforms. Instagram is mostly used by Gen Z and millennials, and no one really knows what is going on with Twitter at the moment.
But the most effective place to market your product to younger audiences and millennials in particular is TikTok, a video only social media platform. With nearly half the users being under the age of 29, it is the perfect platform to use for marketing your products to younger audiences.
Creating your content using UGC
When deciding on what creative ad content you are looking to produce, you also need to start planning who will be making this content. Are you going to be filming it in house, or are you going to need to look externally and gather some user generated content (UGC).
When it comes to TikTok, most companies tend to steer towards UGC, as it can look much more authentic when posted in people’s feeds. But what is the best way to begin sourcing this content?
If you already have a recognised brand or product, there's a chance that some creators may have already created some content featuring these, so a good starting point is to search through TikTok and look at the content that is already being created. If you find some UGC that you think would work well in your campaigns, then you can reach out to the creator to see if you can repurpose their content in your ads. When doing this, you may need to pay them to be able to use their content, or you could offer them free products or discounts on your store.
If you are a newer brand or are not well known, you will likely have to be looking to reach out to content creators to hire them to begin creating your UGC ads. There are a few ways that this can be achieved.
Reach out to influencers
The first would be to look at accounts that are creating content around your industry, the types of content they are making, and how much interaction they have. Once you have identified some accounts that you think would work well with your brand, you can get in touch with them to see if you can hire them, and how much this will cost.
TikTok Creator Marketplace
The second method would be to use TikTok’s creator marketplace, where you can search for creators who are looking to sell their services and create content. This is a good starting point as you can see the ads they have already created, and how much they charge, saving you having to search through TikTok itself. If you see that their ads are performing well, then you know there is a good chance that they will perform well when they create content for your products.
The final method would be to search in your industry and look for accounts that are creating content that you think matches what you are aiming to achieve. You can then reach out to them and see if they would like to receive some of your products, free of charge. You will need to use this method for a fair number of accounts, because you are looking for them to create content around your product, without them being hired to do so, so the more you send out, the bigger the chance that some influencers will create content featuring it. While there is no guarantee that they will create the content, as they are not being hired to, this could be a more cost effective method, as the cost of your inventory can be much less than the £100's or £1000’s it would cost per creator you hire.
To make sure that you get the type of results you want when creating content, you need to make sure that your brief clearly explains what you are looking for them to create.
Make sure you include all the key points that you want to be covered, so that the creator can implement them into the content, however it is important to not send them a full script. Most content creators have a recognisable style, and if their content suddenly deviates from this, it will be clear to their followers that it is a scripted ad. So you are giving them the basic points, and then allowing them to write and create the content in their own style, which is likely one of the reasons you are looking to work with them,
5 Things to consider when creating your ad
Unlike on other social media platforms, most people scroll through TikTok with their sound on, but for those that don’t, you want to make sure they still understand what is going on in your video.
Not only will this allow people who choose to have their phone on silent to follow along with your video, it will also help emphasise the keypoints for the people who are listening along, as they will be receiving the information in two ways.
2. Film for TikTok
While video has traditionally been filmed landscape, when it comes to TikTok it needs to be the opposite due to them being filmed on and for mobiles. With this in mind, it is important to shoot video in portrait mode to start with, to be able to get the best quality and make sure it is framed how you intend to.
While you can repurpose landscape videos for TikTok, it will be heavily cropped, with around only a third of the screen being usable, meaning it limits you heavily to what you can use. So by filming vertically to start with, it will make it much easier for you from the offset.
3. Keep it Authentic
People don't like being sold to, so you need to make your ads look as natural as possible in people's feeds to stop them immediately scrolling past. Rather than going for the well shot, stylised and heavily branded content, you want the content to look like it has been generated by your customers and filmed on their phones on the fly.
This will make your ads look more authentic and trustworthy to potential customers, and that your product is providing an answer or service for them, and that your other customers really like your product
4. Keep it Pacy
On social media, people have short attention spans, so you need to make sure that your content is exciting and fast paced as you can. A way to achieve this is by using fast jump cuts, rather than longer shots, meaning that the viewer is getting the information quicker and are less likely to become bored and move on.
5. Lead with a Hook
On a platform that is full of content, you have to make sure that people scrolling past take the time to view yours, which is why it is important to lead with a hook that brings them in.
This could be either a question or a statement, such as ‘do you want clearer skin?’ or ‘you won't believe what this product did to my skin!’, the important thing is that it needs to be something that will intrigue someone enough to continue watching.
Creative Content Styles
1. Testimonials and Reviews
Companies can write the most compelling copy for their products, but a number of positive reviews from users will provide a lot more credibility and trust for potential customers.
Are you more likely to add a product on amazon that has 3 reviews and averages at 3 stars, or the product that has 10,000 reviews and averages at 4 or 5 stars?
So when it comes to your ads, showing how your customers feel about your products is a great way to build trust with your target audience, increasing the chances of them buying from you.
When creating these ads, you can either focus on a single customer or a compilation of various customers, either way both will have a similar structure to their narrative.
How to Structure:
1. Start with a catchy hook, making sure the text is on screen as well. A popular hook is ‘TikTok made me buy this’
2. Introduce the product
3. Call out the benefits and features of the product, using text to highlight the key points
4. End with the results of using the product
5. Have a call to action that links to where potential customers can buy the product
2. Problem / Solution
If you are selling a product that has a function, then it is likely that it exists to solve a problem. You want to show that your product is the solution to a problem that customers in your industry experience, showing how it works and the benefits of using it. This could be something like providing a vegan ice cream that actually tastes just like ice cream, or a kitchen gadget that makes it easier for you to complete food preparation.
How to Structure:
1. Describe the problem in the hook, using ‘I’ statements
2. Elaborate further on what the problem is
3. Present your product as the solution to that problem
4. Describe the ‘how to’ process of your product
5. Mention the benefits and features of your product
6. End with a catchy call to action that links through to your product page
3. Response Strategy
There is a trend on TikTok that involves creating content around a comment or statement that a user has made on a post. In this video style, the content starts with the comment bubble on screen, before the creator then responds to what the comment is discussing. This could be either a question or statement, such as ‘what's the best hot sauce out there?’ or ‘hot sauces all taste the same’.
This format is similar to the problem / solution, but rather than focusing on the general issue, it is instead addressing a specific comment.
How to Structure:
1. In the hook, use the TikTok response bubble, showing a comment that your product can help with
2. Follow this up with a strong testimonial sentence about the product
3. Show the process of using the product
4. Highlight and focus on the benefits of the product
5. End with a strong call to action that links through to your product page or offer
4. X Reasons Why
Using numbered lists has been popular across most forms of social media, whether it's in twitter threads, blog posts such as ‘24 unique names for your hamster’ or YouTube videos like ‘Top 10 horror movie deaths that no one expected’.
With viewers used to this kind of structure, it can also be an effective way to grab people's attention on TikTok, and sets out a clear structure for your content, as the viewer can see what they are going to learn about and how it will be delivered to them.
How to Structure:
1. Start with ‘[X] reasons why you should try [BRAND/PRODUCT]’. This can be structured in a few ways such as ‘[X] Reasons you’ll love…’ or ‘[X] Reasons why I changed to [BRAND/PRODUCT]’
2. Follow this up by listing and showing the reasons why or how the product helps the consumer
3. End with a strong call to action that links to the product that has been mentioned.
5. Before and After
Transformation videos are a popular format across social media, with people sometimes having no interest in the concept, but enjoy watching how things change over time. When you think of something as mundane as people cleaning their driveways, you wouldnt think that they get millions of views, but pressure washing videos have become a popular trend, showing how something can change appearance so drastically.
This format can be used in your creative content ads, and can work across a range of industries, including beauty products, cleaning services or restoration projects.
How to Structure:
1. Start by showing the before, what the issue looks like before your product is involved
2. Introduce the product
3. Highlight the benefits whilst using the product, showing how to use it
4. End by showing the final results, possibly using a side by side to show the before and after
5. End with a call to action leading customers to be able to purchase the product
When eCommerce started to grow, it meant that people were purchasing products without being able to see them fully beforehand, like they would in a physical store. This led to the popularity of unboxing videos, where someone will open a product, show what's included, and how the final product is used. Customers looked at these videos to make sure that a product looked as good in real life as it did in the product photos, and grew their trust in the brand and product.
This can also work across TikTok ads, by having an influencer go through the process of unboxing your product, using it, and showing their viewers that the product is what it claims to be and it of a certain quality.
How to Structure:
1. Start by showing the product arriving, collecting the parcel from the door. Text can be overlaid mentioning what the product is e.g.‘My [product name] just arrived’
2. Then show the unboxing of the product, the packaging it comes in and what is included
3. Highlight the product and how it works, show it in use
4. Talk about the benefits and features of the product
5. End with a call to action that links to the product page so the customer can purchase it
7. How To Tutorials
When people would buy products, they would usually be presented with an instruction manual, or sometimes be left to figure it out for themselves. But instructional videos can make deciphering this information much easier, as the viewer can see exactly what needs to be done.
So if your product involves a process, showing this in your creative ads can be a great way for your viewer to see how simple it is to use, and give them confidence that they will face no struggles when using it themselves.
How to Structure:
1. Begin with a recognisable hook, e.g. ‘The one product you didn’t know you needed’
2. Demonstrate how to use the product, going through the steps, with text on screen explaining them
3. Show the final results after using the product
4. Call to action that links to the product
8. Life Hack
People are always looking for simple ways to make their daily tasks easier, and that is why life hack content is so prominent across social media. Whether it's using baking soda and vinegar to clean your oven, or easily peeling a mango using nothing more than a glass, if it can make their life easier, viewers are likely to try it.
So if your product looks to solve a problem, then you can likely create some of these life hacks based around what your product does to help.
How to Structure:
1. Introduce with a catchy hook; ‘life hack’, something I wish I knew sooner’
2. Tease the benefits of using the product
3. Introduce the product, showing the hack that it involves
4. Include a testimonial line, giving an opinion on the results of the hack
5. End with a strong call to action, linking to the product page
It is highly unlikely that you will see great results from your very first ad, so it is important to determine what is working in your ad and what is holding it back. To help achieve better results, you will need to test your creative ads until you have a formula that works for your product.
The best way to perform these tests is to implement split testing, allowing you to share your budget across ads that are posted at the same time. This method involves creating similar ads, with a few slight changes, such as changing the text, changing the music or a different call to action. By only slightly changing the ads, you can see what factors perform better by looking at the analytics, and take this learning into re-editing your ads or creating future ads.