TikTok now sells search result advertisements to marketers

TikTok revealed today that advertisers can now reach their audience via search results. The new “Search Ads Toggle” ad buying type lets advertisers target platform users who type queries into the app’s search box to discover more about new items or brands.

TikTok’s initial ad placement allows marketers target users who search for their business. Search Ads Toggle is an extension of an advertiser’s TikTok video ad buy, not a distinct offering.

The company offers brand safety by allowing advertisers to add “Negative Keywords” to each ad group to avoid having their ad served for brand-unrelated queries.

TikTok reports that 70% of ad groups with the Search Ads Toggle on had a lower Cost per Action due to more efficient ad placement conversions in July internal tests. The company tested these ads last year.

Early testers include Clinique and DIBS Beauty. TikTok reports a 441% rise in discussion rates, 51% in click-through rates, and 7.4% in Ad Recall for Clinique. DIBS also experienced 8% greater conversion volume, 6x higher conversion rate, and 22% lower CPA than non-search advertisements.

Given that Google revealed that younger people now start their searches on social applications like TikTok and Instagram, not Google, the ad slot might also disrupt Google’s search advertisements business.

“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search,” Google Senior Vice President Prahakar Raghavan said last year at a conference. “They use TikTok or Instagram.”

TikTok has taken its time to capitalise on its position as a Gen Z search engine, and advertisers may not yet comprehend how young people are using the web. It’s unclear how well these search advertising will perform compared to typical ad expenditures. However, TikTok’s effect on shoppers suggests that more firms will try this service in the coming months.

Ray (Jiayi) Cao, TikTok’s Global Head of Monetization Product Solution & Operation, said the launch’s search function helps users discover various content, communities, brands, and goods. He said, “The Search Ads Toggle gives advertisers a new ad placement where qualified, high-intent users are searching for content relevant to their business, allowing advertisers to further connect with the TikTok community in authentic and engaging ways.”