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Platform Updates: The Latest on TikTok

TikTok remains top of mind as advertisers prepare for Q4. We went through a few burning TikTok questions with Business Analyst James Vassallo as the app continues to evolve and new tools are rolled out.

Q: We have seen a lot of chatter about bots on TikTok, can you clear up the confusion?

Absolutely! To start, bots on TikTok are also referred to as invalid traffic (IVT), which is the technical term for advertising impressions generated by bots or any form of non-human traffic. Defending against invalid traffic is essential to protecting ad spend for brands and ensuring the impressions being served are valid and viewable by real people.

Like you mentioned, TikTok has been accused of having a higher percentage of IVT than other social platforms. TikTok responded to these claims, citing a few key factors that the platform has in place to ensure all ad spend is safe -

  1. There are several fraud prevention safeguards in place such as Media Rating Council-certified (MRC) invalid traffic partners (MOAT, IAS and DoubleVerify) and TAG. The official benchmarks presented by Moat and DoubleVerify for IVT is below 1% globally on TikTok, which is below the MRC's industry-wide threshold for IVT detection.
  2. If TikTok detects a high likelihood of IVT, the ad impression is recalled before an ad is served.
  3. According to TikTok, most third-party studies about invalid traffic on the platform have been conducted with very small sample sizes and are not recognized by the platform.

Q: TikTok just launched its 6’s Engaged View Optimization. What is it? Why should advertisers be excited about it? 

Here at Gupta Media, we’re really excited to start testing and using TikTok’s new 6s Engaged View Optimization which is currently still in beta. This feature will help advertisers combine the flexibility, convenience and cost efficiency of TikTok’s standard 6s video view optimization upgraded with the ability to drive engagement (likes, comments, follows, shares, etc.).

Having these optimizations combined allows us to drive highly qualified engagement on TikTok ads. There’s no need to sacrifice any type of engagement with this new tool as we’ll be finding people who are going to watch AND engage with the post. This will be especially great to use in Spark Ads as we can aggregate engagements and views driven by ad spend on the organic posts themselves!

Q: Spark vs. Dark. What should advertisers be running? What is the difference? How do you measure the success of each? 

Both! But first, let’s back up and define each -

  • Spark Ads: A boosted post coming from the organic account. When a user clicks on any added links, they’ll be taken to the landing page. If a user clicks on the profile image, they’ll be taken to the account. 
  • Dark Ads: These are created manually by uploading a video and caption, they do not live on the organic profile. Here, all profile and link clicks go to the landing page as it is not technically tied to a profile.

In preliminary testing, we’ve seen users click-through to a landing page on Dark Ads at a rate 2.8 times higher than Spark Ads - even after taking out any accident clicks to the profile page. However, we see the strongest engagement metrics (views, likes, shares, comments, follows) when using Spark Ads. So the truth is, they are both incredibly efficient in their own ways and when put to their strengths are great assets to round out your marketing mix.

How does TikTok factor into your media mix?

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