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TikTok Shares New Notes on How to Maximize Ad Effectiveness in the App

TikTok has shared some new insights into ad effectiveness on the platform, and the key factors that drive ad performance in the app.

Based on a range of studies, TikTok has explored the variance between attention, resonance, and engagement, and how each plays a part in the broader TikTok engagement puzzle.

As explained by TikTok:

Engagement and attention are sometimes used interchangeably, but they represent two distinct concepts. What’s the difference between attention and engagement? In 2002, the Advertising Research Foundation defined attention as the degree to which those exposed to advertising focus on it. Engagement expands on this by incorporating our brain’s processing and reaction to the ad, or, to put it another way, Attention x Resonance = Engagement.”

Using this equation as a guide, TikTok explored each of these elements in isolation, in order to better understand how promotions on TikTok can feed these aspects, and drive better outcomes as a result.

Which has resulted in some specific notes for your TikTok campaigns.

“Research commissioned by TikTok found creative elements that feel native to the platform generate longer watch time: featuring real people (+9%), remixing a TikTok trend (+14%) and crafting a creative story (+16%).”

Some pretty direct guidance there, with native-feeling elements more likely to maximize attention and engagement in the app.

Though as noted, TikTok has looked at each of these elements in isolation, with “resonance” being the next key step.

“Resonance is the direct connection between content and consumers’ interests, background and culture. In a recent study about social-media influencers, university researchers concluded a key driving force of TikTok’s strong interaction (e.g. likes, reactions, comments and shares) between its audience and the influencers was TikTok’s drive for “authenticity and creative expression”.

Based on these factors, TikTok says that its platform consistently drives high engagement peaks, using these key drivers to maximize impact.

TikTok ad engagement study

As such, by tapping into TikTok native elements, advertisers have more capacity to drive stronger brand and product connection, which can lead to higher awareness and conversion rates.

Digging even deeper into this, TikTok has also explored the relationship between the length of time a user views a video clip and their relative engagement. And while there is a direct correlation here (research has shown that ad recall increases significantly the longer a viewer pays attention to the ad), TikTok says that the majority of resonance generated by TikTok promotions comes from initial exposure.

“Specifically, for TikTok, research conducted by its Marketing Science unit suggests 50% of the impact from a TikTok ad is realized in the first 2 seconds, and the first 6 seconds capture 90% cumulative impact on Ad Recall and around 80% for Awareness. Moreover, the longer videos continue to play, the audience size tends to decrease. Marketers should be aware of the unintended consequences and tradeoffs between viewing duration and reach, as well as cost per reach.”

TikTok ad engagement study

So, shorter, platform-native promotions should help to maximize resonance, and improve the performance of your TikTok promotions. Which have been the basic guidelines for TikTok ads for some time, but it is worth noting that these are data-backed notes, which could improve your approach.

Worth considering in your ad planning.

You can read TikTok’s full study notes and pointers here.

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