With more than two billion app downloads and over 800 million monthly active users, TikTok has seen a huge growth in 2020.
Since 69% of its users are ages between 13 – 24, and over 150 million users are from 1st tier countries, TikTok is a huge attraction for game advertisers. On top of that, TikTok is an entertainment app rather than a social media app, which makes it a natural fit for game advertising.
However, TikTok is a much different channel and game advertisers must be aware of the channel’s differences and potential challenges that lay ahead of them while running ads for casual games.
TikTok allows users to scroll away from an ad just like they could on an organic piece of content, which makes it imperative to make ads highly engaging. The best way to make a TikTok ad engaging is to make it look like a TikTok. TikTok confirms this strategy in their TikTok for Business launch slogan: “Don’t make ads, make TikToks”.
Another challenge for advertisers is the 9-second rule. TikTok ads display the copy and the call-to-action button at the 9th second mark of an ad. For this reason, TikTok advertisers must keep their audience engaged for at least 9 seconds.
TikTok ads must start with a bang! Most TikTok users determine whether or not they want to watch a TikTok in the first three seconds of the video, and the same goes with TikTok ads. Here are a few tips to make the intro of a TikTok ad successful:
- Use bright colours. Visually appealing bright colors and scenery are more likely to capture a user’s attention.
- Give a reason to watch: The intro must give the user a reason to watch the rest of the ad. This could be achieved by story-telling with different elements, such as tension or surprise.
- Use the human face: As a general rule of thumb, humans are instinctively programmed to view another human’s face. The visual appearance of a face increases engagement, especially when the face is in line with the target audience and also the game’s emotion.
The success of any ad campaign depends on understanding who your target audience is. Define your target audience. Who is more likely to play your game? Young kids or older women (many casual games are played by women older than 30).
The cast, the scene and the story must be relevant to your target audience. Think of who would play your game and in what situation. Make a reference to common situations to be relevant to your audience. This is a great way of attracting sympathy from your target audience and getting them more engaged with your ad.
Another important component of an ad is the emotion or emotions. Each game has a set of emotions that it creates with the gamer, whether this is happiness, tension or even excitement. Your ad must convey the same emotion associated with the gameplay.
TikTok is mostly made up of meme culture. Take advantage of this while creating your ad. A TikTok ad that fits into the TikTok context is what’s called a native ad on TikTok. A native TikTok ad helps keep your audience engaged and increases the chance of the user to download your game. How to get your ad to be a TikTok ad:
- Take up a meme and transform it into an ad for your game. The meme should be somehow connected to your game. If you push too hard for that connection, you may receive backlash from your audience.
- Humour reigns supreme on TikTok. TikTok is an entertainment app. If your ad manages to entertain your audience and functions as an ad at the same time, that is golden. This also increases virality of your ad, as users will start forwarding an entertaining ad to each other.
- Make use of TikTok’s huge music library. Music is the driving power behind much of TikTok content. Choose a music that fits well to your game and your ad.
A native TikTok ad has huge advantages over a regular gameplay video ad. It will get your audience more engaged and will perform better. On top of this, you will also benefit from a common user behaviour on the app – forwarding. Many users on the app forward to other users the content they like best. If your ad is a TikTok that people like, you will get free impressions from people sharing your ad.
Gameplay Video Tips
Last but not least, any game ad must showcase the gameplay. Here are some tips to make your gameplay footage shine and stand out from the rest:
- Make sure your gameplay footage is exciting and fun, and that it demonstrates the best bits of your casual game.
- Make sure it’s easy to understand, and that you start teaching your audience about the gameplay even while watching the ad.
- Introduce the key and pain points in the gameplay. You can use on-screen text or narration.
- Show the difference between a rookie player and a veteran.
TikTok users favor ads that look like TikTok content! Have fun with it. Make sure your ad starts with an attention-capturing intro. Add some elements in the ad that will make it relevant to your target audience. Entertain this audience while advertising your casual game, as users on TikTok are on the app for entertainment. Make use of TikTok’s trends, memes, and music while creating an ad for your casual game.