TikTok Ads: The rise of digital native video ads in an app

Expect TikTok ads to be a driving force in video advertising

By: David McTaminey, Head of Sales

This medium is a message to advertisers.

TikTok, the China-based video social media app, exemplifies how a company specializing Social Media can become a trail blazer in the app economy. It makes people watch.  It establishes new video formats. It achieves enormous growth. What’s more, TikTok has strategically created an unknown trail to in-app advertising revenues that promise a brilliant position to capitalize a major trend in a unique way.


tiktok advertising ströer mobile performance david mctaminey

The app TikTok, a never-ending flood of short, colourful, often funny user generated videos, is a perfect habitat for the creation of relevant video ad revenues. In fact, TikTok has established a unique channel, where users post and watch short videos. These videos and the medium proper (platform?) are unlike anything seen before. Its delivery of pure entertainment in a unique TikTok style, keeps shaping media expectations and the behavior of its audience. Unlike other video platforms, TikTok has managed to become and stay relevant by ensuring the audience watches and creates short videos. These videos are always just a few seconds long, and this works. The precise number of users is unclear, however according to Sensor Tower, there were about 800 million installs as of October last year.

An investment of 3 billion USD means a beautiful advantage

Some may still wonder or even criticize the decline of the average app user attention span. Nonetheless, I recommend another look at this app. TikTok appears to be the perfect environment to introduce powerful, credible and effective native video advertising within an app. We should start taking TikTok ads seriously. In fact, it’s the ideal environment. Looking at it, it seems much more strategically streamlined than YouTube and Snapchat, so It’s not a big surprise that TikTok recently began testing ads. In my opinion, it’s obvious that TikTok is in a very good position to turn its ownership of a content platform and a highly engaged audience into an in-app video advertising powerhouse.

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This matches the investment story; mother company ByteDance collected 3 billion USD in its sole round of funding. The major investment  is a beautiful advantage for TikTok’s execution of strategy. The company will be able to rapidly expand its inventory and offer advertising at very competitive entry rates.

Connecting brands and “Generation Z”

After an initial ad appeared on TikTok a few weeks ago, insiders immediately began covering the potential implications. A recent study by Pubmatic emphasized the growing role of video. Ninety percent of media professionals expected video,  primarily a short-form video, to rise in terms of budgets allocated.

A new type of short-form, native video ad inside an app is what I would expect TikTok to capitalize on. Given the overwhelming engagement and the perfect foundation for such native advertising instruments, TikTok is in an ideal position to drive home the benefits of the business model it creates. It will help brands connect with the “Generation Z” in a non-intrusive way. So you’d better keep watching. If you’re willing to benefit from the platform, prepare to deliver your brand’s message within 5 to 10 seconds in a TikTok way.

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