TikTok introduces enhanced search-based advertising features for advertisers

The new search aid toggle will be derived from the brand’s existing advertising content to show ads within organic search results.

TikTok has introduced a new feature for marketers that enables ads to be integrated into a user’s search results. This feature, known as the Search Ad Toggle, leverages a brand’s existing ad creative to showcase advertisements alongside organic search outcomes.

When activated, these search ads will be identified as sponsored content and will be integrated within search results based on factors like relevance, user intent, and insights derived from other user interactions. If a user interacts with a search ad, it will replicate TikTok’s familiar in-feed experience, allowing them to seamlessly continue browsing through search results.

Early adopters of this new advertising capability have already reported positive outcomes, according to TikTok’s announcement.

TikTok’s efforts to appeal to advertisers continue with its latest introduction of search ads. This move holds significant promise for brands leveraging the ByteDance platform, as a Material study referred to by TikTok highlights that 58% of the app’s users discover new brands and products on TikTok, surpassing discovery rates on other platforms by 1.5 times.

TikTok’s announcement explains that the Search Ads Toggle can expand campaign reach to users actively seeking pertinent information, thereby driving increased engagement and revenue potential for brands. The Search Ads Toggle is automatically activated when setting up an in-feed ads campaign, though advertisers retain the option to opt out or toggle it on during an ongoing campaign without reinitiating the learning phase of the campaign.

According to TikTok’s internal research, utilizing the Search Ads Toggle has proven advantageous, with 70% of ad groups observing more efficient performance and conversions from search compared to when the feature is inactive.

Case studies show the impact of search aids toggles. For example, Clinic UK experienced a 441% increase in conversion rates and a 51% increase in click-through rates, which translates from 74,000 additional search feedback during an improved Clinical Serum Foundation campaign. Similarly, beauty brand DIBS recorded a 22% reduction in cost per acquisition for its Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions and a six-fold increase in conversion rate.

Similarly, beauty brand DIBS used search ads toggles for its 2022 Black Friday and Cyber Friday promotions to present an organic video of the brand’s co-founder showcasing its products. Using this feature, DIBS saw an 8% higher change volume and a six-fold higher conversion rate than its non-search ads. The brand saw a 22% reduction in cost per acquisition compared to its non-search ads.

Delivering ads through search could make TikTok a stronger competitor than more mature players like Google and Meta, although the latter has recently demonstrated a comeback. In 2021, TikTok overtook Google to become the most visited website. Google has also acknowledged that 40 percent of young users use social media i.e. TikTok and Instagram to search for products and services.

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