New TikTok Features that Brands Should Know About

The social media landscape is constantly evolving, and no platform exemplifies this more than TikTok. As brands continue to invest in TikTok as part of their social strategies, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest platform developments.

In this video from Ignite Social Media, Paid Media Manager Victoria Rogers, Content Producer Parker Mitchell, and Senior Strategist Taylor Glymph discuss the new features of TikTok that will benefit brand engagement.

If you’d rather read along, we’ve also summarized the discussion in the article below.

Ignite Social Media recently hosted representatives from TikTok at their Michigan and North Carolina offices. In this blog post, we’ll summarize the key takeaways from TikTok’s visit and what they mean for brands on the platform.

TikTok Rolls Out Interactive Ad Features

One of the biggest announcements from TikTok was the launch of interactive ad features like Superlikes and Story Selection. Superlikes allow brands to customize the icons and graphics that pop up when a user likes their ad. This creates a more engaging, branded experience. Story Selection lets users choose their own path through an ad story based on prompts like A or B options.

These interactive formats stand out in the crowded social ad space by incentivizing participation. They also allow brands to incorporate their visual identity into the ad experience. As Victoria from Ignite noted, these add-ons are available within TikTok’s Ads Manager and provide brands more creative flexibility beyond standard video ads.

Expanded Targeting Options Give Brands More Precision

In addition to the new ad formats, TikTok has expanded its targeting capabilities to give brands more ways to reach their ideal audiences. For example, advertisers can now target users based on their engagement with specific creators, videos, hashtags, or topics.

Around the holidays, TikTok will launch bundled hashtag targeting around seasonal events like Christmas and Thanksgiving. This makes it easy for brands to align their campaigns with timely trends.

As Victoria explained, TikTok’s robust targeting options like behavioral and interest-based targeting help make it an efficient and effective channel for many brands. Given the removal of targeting capabilities on other platforms like Facebook, these options are a key advantage for TikTok.

Long-Form Video and Music Licensing Coming Soon

TikTok is traditionally known as a platform for short, entertaining video clips. However, longer-form videos may soon be an option for more accounts. While the current maximum video length varies, TikTok seems to be testing the waters for more YouTube-style content.

On the music front, TikTok is reportedly working on partnerships with labels and distributors to license popular songs for use in videos. This would allow creators to include hit music without getting videos taken down for copyright violations. More licensed music could inspire even more creative, viral content.

Premium Ad Placements Offer Prime Real Estate

For brands wanting maximum visibility, TikTok now offers two premium ad placements: TopView and TopFeed. TopView appears as the first video when the app is opened, while TopFeed is the first ad in a user’s For You Page feed.

As expected, these prime spots come at a premium cost. But they provide a way for brands to get in front of the most engaged users right when they open the app. As Victoria noted, the high CPMs may be worthwhile for certain campaigns wanting a larger share of voice.

Key Takeaways for Brands on TikTok

Based on TikTok’s recent visit to Ignite, here are some of the biggest considerations for brands investing in the platform today:

  • Interactive ads like Superlikes bring brands into content in creative new ways.
  • Don’t just repurpose ads from other platforms.
  • Take advantage of TikTok’s unique targeting capabilities like interests, behaviors, and influencer/hashtag targeting.
  • Keep an eye out for new content formats like long-form video as TikTok continues to evolve.
  • For a first-class presence, explore premium ad placements like TopView if the budget allows.
  • Monitor TikTok’s trend funnels ranging from niche moments to macro forces to identify opportunities to tap into viral content.

No matter your niche or industry, TikTok offers brands a way to connect with the next generation of consumers. As the platform continues its meteoric rise, it’s clear TikTok should now be a core part of any social media marketing strategy.

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