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TikTok’s ‘Search Ads Toggle’ Allows Brands to Appear in Search Results

Quick Overview

  • TikTok introduces the Search Ads Toggle, revolutionising how brands engage with audiences.
  • Advertisers can now target users directly on the search results page, tapping into high-intent searches.
  • The feature works in tandem with existing In-Feed Ad creatives, displaying ads alongside organic video results.
  • Ads are positioned based on relevancy, user intent, and behavioural patterns, ensuring a tailored user experience.
  • Real-World Impact: Early adopters like Clinique UK and DIBS Beauty have already seen tangible benefits, setting benchmarks for others.
  • This move positions TikTok as a formidable player in the digital advertising space, challenging industry giants like Google and Microsoft.

TikTok recently announced the launch of “Search Ads Toggle”. This latest move to introduce ads in its search results is going to shift how brands engage with audiences on TikTok.

The new search feature will allow advertisers to engage its vast user base directly on the search results page. The feature, termed the “Search Ads Toggle,” empowers brands to connect with users actively exploring new products or brands through the platform’s search functionality.

TikTok announcement describes the feature as, “With the Search Ads Toggle, brands can extend the reach of their campaigns to high-intent users who are seeking information relevant to their business, driving incremental engagement and revenue potential.”

What Does it Mean?

Within the TikTok Ads Manager, brands and advertisers will now encounter the “Search Ads Toggle.” This new feature seamlessly integrates the existing In-Feed Ad creative of advertisers. Its primary function is to display these ads alongside organic video search results that align with user queries.

Is it a standalone feature? Not quite. TikTok’s search ads serve as an extension of a TikTok video ad purchase, integrating seamlessly with the platform’s existing ad infrastructure.

(Image credits: https://www.tiktok.com/business/en/blog/introducing-tiktok-search-ads-toggle )

How Does TikTok’s Search Ads Toggle Work?

TikTok’s approach to search ads aims to be both user-friendly and effective.

Ads displayed in the search results will bear a distinct “Sponsored” label, ensuring transparency for users.

Where will they appear?

The positioning of these ads is not arbitrary. It’s determined by several factors:

  • Relevancy: How closely the ad aligns with the search query.
  • User Intent: Insights derived from the specific terms and phrases used in their search.
  • Behavioural Patterns: Broader insights gathered from general user behaviour on the platform.
  • User Journey: TikTok has always prioritised its users. The search ad journey is no different. As TikTok explained, “The typical search journey starts with a user clicking the search button at the top of the For You feed. From there, they type in a search query, which then yields a series of search results. The ads appear among these search results.”

What Does it Mean for Advertisers?

TikTok’s approach to search ads is both intuitive and data-driven, ensuring brands can optimise their campaigns effectively.
By default, when brands set up In-Feed Ads, the Search Ads Toggle is activated. However, brands retain the flexibility to deactivate it as per their strategy.

Other additional features advertisers will be able to use include:

Add Negative Keyword

TikTok understands the importance of brand image and reputation. Hence, they’ve equipped advertisers with tools to exercise control over ad placements. By incorporating negative keywords, brands can ensure their campaigns steer clear of potentially conflicting content.

Improved Performance Insights

Drawing from TikTok’s internal data, “70% of ad groups with the Search Ads Toggle ‘on’ see more efficient performance.” This efficiency is attributed to the enhanced conversion rates stemming from search ads.

The Feature in Action: TikTok Shares Results

TikTok, always keen on showcasing the efficacy of its features, recently shared some compelling results from the early adopters of the Search Ads Toggle. These pioneering brands, by leveraging the new feature, have set benchmarks and provided valuable insights for others to follow.

Here’s a closer look at the experiences of two such trailblazers:

Clinique UK’s Strategy

One of the early adopters of the Search Ads Toggle was Clinique UK. They used this feature to promote their ‘Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation’.

Outcome: The brand witnessed a surge in visibility. High-intent users, those actively searching for related content, discovered Clinique’s ad amidst other relevant videos on the search page.

Impact: This wasn’t merely about increased visibility. The targeted approach translated into tangible sales, capturing the attention of users already interested in their product.

DIBS Beauty’s Black Friday Campaign

The holiday shopping season is a crucial period for brands, and DIBS Beauty recognized the potential of the Search Ads Toggle. DIBS Beauty extended the reach of its Spark Ads campaign, during the 2022 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy.

Outcome: DIBS Beauty’s presence was amplified. Instead of being limited to the ‘For You’ feed, the brand marked a significant presence in active searches related to their products.

Impact: This strategic move ensured DIBS Beauty remained at the forefront during a time when users were actively searching for related products, maximising their brand recall and sales potential.

A Long-Awaited Feature

The industry has been buzzing with anticipation as TikTok ventured into search ads, sparking speculation about its potential to rival giants like Google and Microsoft. TikTok, however, took a calculated approach during its testing phase, focusing on keyword relevance rather than allowing advertisers to bid on specific terms.

This strategic move ensures impactful and relevant ad placements. As TikTok solidifies its standing in the digital landscape, the Search Ads Toggle emerges as a groundbreaking innovation. It’s not just redefining advertising; it’s enhancing user engagement and setting new standards for the industry.

Implications for Digital Marketers

As digital platforms evolve, so do the strategies brands employ to reach their target audiences. TikTok’s introduction of the Search Ads Toggle is more than just a new feature; it’s a reflection of the shifting dynamics in the digital advertising landscape.

  • TikTok’s focus on aligning ads with user queries emphasises the importance of having a user-centric approach. By understanding and catering to user intent you ensure that ads are not just seen, but they resonate, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.
  • With platforms like TikTok introducing innovative ad features, brands have the opportunity to diversify their ad strategies. It’s no longer about just having an online presence; it’s about being present in the right places, at the right times, with the right messages.

By embracing these evolving strategies and tools, brands can ensure they’re not just keeping up with the digital advertising curve but leading it. As TikTok continues to innovate, it’s clear that the platform is becoming an indispensable tool for brands aiming for impactful digital engagement.

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