TikTok has launched a global marketing platform for brands as it seeks to capitalize on its surge in user growth with greater ad revenue and more clients.
The TikTok for Business platform advises brands, "Don’t make ads. Make TikToks." It acts as a self-serve system that provides marketers tools to be "creative storytellers" and "meaningfully engage with the TikTok community."
TikTok is also testing a platform called Creator Marketplace in select regions, including the U.K., in which brands can discover and partner with content creators on paid brand campaigns, with TikTok acting as an intermediary and providing administrative support if needed.
Campaign understands that creative agencies have been using the Creator Marketplace platform, although it is designed presently to be used by individual creators. TikTok does not have a partnership scheme in the style of Snapchat, which launched a Creative Partners Program with select agencies in 2018. However, there is an ongoing education initiative in which TikTok provides training to creative agencies on how to use tools on the platform.
The move follows the Ofcom Online Nation report, released on Wednesday, that showed interest in TikTok was surging in the U.K. even before this year’s coronavirus pandemic boosted social media use generally. TikTok more than doubled its reach among adults in the U.K. between January and April by 5.4 million to 12.9 million, Ofcom said, citing Comscore data.
While its reach remains small, relative to Facebook and Instagram, TikTok said brands have found success over the past year because "of their ability to creativity engage and connect with users through feelings, actions and sounds."
The most popular ad formats on TikTok are the hashtag challenge, with users creating organic content based on a theme; brands can pay to have priority listings on them. There are also homepage takeovers bought on a daily basis, in-feed video spots and banner slots on TikTok’s Discover page.
Stuart Flint, head of Europe, global business solutions, at TikTok, said, "We've seen more and more brands embrace the unique and creative ways the TikTok community expresses themselves through video."
"The experience is real, light-hearted and fun, and as we've seen over the course of these dynamic times, users and brands have the ability to make a meaningful and positive impact on their communities," he added.
This story first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.