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From The Social Desk: TikTok Launches Search Ads

Yesterday TikTok announced that advertisers will be able to place ads alongside organic content that appears when searching in the app. That means if a user is searching for 90s-style denim jackets, they could begin to see sponsored content showing exactly what they're looking for or something else that might appeal to them in their search results.

When a user clicks on an ad, they can continue scrolling to view search results in a feed-like format. Ads are pulled from other videos that the brand is running on the platform. Ads already appear as videos between organic content in users’ For You feeds with the same “sponsored” label. Search ads are set to “on” by default for advertisers.

TikTok launching search ads presents a huge opportunity for brand marketers, but the move doesn't come as a big surprise. Instagram did the same thing earlier this year; its search ads show up when a user clicks on a post and begins to scroll through other content.

TikTok's homepage screen

So, what's the advantage of using TikTok for search advertising over Instagram? It depends on your audience. But here's a quick tip: If you're selling to Gen Z, then TikTok just became one of your most powerful tools.

2022 data shows that Gen Z uses TikTok as a search engine - so much that it almost replaces Google. They use the app to look for product recommendations, new-favorite restaurants, and TV and movie suggestions, so there's no better way to get in front of young consumers if your goal is product sales.


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