It has been alleged that TikTok could soon be releasing a product to rival Google and Microsoft search ads.
The new product will allow advertisers to bid on keywords, just like they would on Google or Microsoft, to trigger their ads. So if a jewellery brand, for example, chooses to test out the new product they could choose relevant ring, necklace, bracelet, or earring search terms to bid on. Then when a user searches for those terms on TikTok their ads will be eligible to show to that user.
Last year, TikTok performed a beta test that allowed testers to gather data on the search terms used to trigger their ads, to establish which terms lead to conversions and high CTRs, so they could be used in ad headlines etc.
When can we expect to see these new ads on TikTok?
This isn’t a product that’s ready to roll out anytime soon.
“We are in the very early stages of testing search ads in select regions. For clarification – at this stage, advertisers do not have the ability to bid on specific keywords for advertising purposes. This part of our testing is managed by TikTok based on keywords that would be most relevant and impactful to the advertiser and their specific ad.”
Who should be interested in this?
For a lot of businesses advertising on TikTok, as they would on Microsoft and/or Google, would be a waste of ad budget, due to the user profile on TikTok (ie. Gen Z and millennials). However, brands that are trying to get in front of this generation of users, may be very excited about this new feature.
Why should this be better than Google/Microsoft?
The advantage TikTok has over the likes of Google is the detailed targeting options it has available, such as demographics, interests and behaviour. This makes it a much more attractive offering for those advertisers trying to reach a niche, Gen Z/Millennial audience.
That being said, TikTok will have to tread carefully. Google has many more years experience in this field and also TikTok users will not want to be bombarded with ads while using the platform, so it needs to be done with foresight.
Also, TikTok will need to ensure that the pricing is right to entice advertisers away from the likes of Google. Click costs need to be competitive so that advertisers see a better return on investment, than they do on other platforms, if they really want them to move their advertising spend to this new product.
As with every new product / campaign type launch it will require testing before anyone can comment on the efficacy of it and that’s something I’d certainly be interested in doing, so watch this space.