TikTok Search Ads are here – which will show your ads among organic video search results

Maddie Tovar Written on September 14th, 2023, Last updated on October 10th, 2023

TikTok has recently introduced the “Search Ads Toggle” in TikTok Ads Manager, designed to enhance your advertising efforts by seamlessly integrating your existing In-Feed Ad creative with organic video search results that match users’ queries. In simpler terms, this means your ads can appear alongside relevant search results, creating new avenues for audience engagement.

It’s essential to note that TikTok’s search ads complement and extend your TikTok video ad campaigns. This provides a powerful synergy that can boost your brand’s visibility and drive more conversions.

Why is TikTok Search Ads a game-changer?

TikTok, boasting 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. alone, offers a vast opportunity for your brand. Google acknowledges TikTok as a major competitor in digital advertising, with TikTok doubling its market share in 2022.

At Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference, Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who leads Google’s Knowledge & Information organization, discussed the future of Google’s products and AI usage. He mentioned popular social apps as part of a larger conversation, giving us a glimpse into how AI is shaping Google’s upcoming offerings.

He stated, “We keep learning that new internet users don’t have the expectations and mindset we’re accustomed to. Their queries are completely different.” These users don’t primarily use keywords but instead seek to discover content in new, immersive ways.

“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,” he continued. “They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

The full details of how it works 

Your TikTok search ads will feature a “Sponsored” label to let users know of its promotional nature. These ads can occupy various positions on the search results page, and their placement is determined by factors such as relevance, user intent, and insights drawn from broader user behaviour trends.

TikTok walks us through the user experience journey:

  • These ads appear in various positions on the search results page, determined by factors like relevance, user intent, and broader user behaviour trends.
  • Users start their search journey by clicking the search button in the ‘For You’ feed, entering their query, and viewing search results, including your ads.
  • When users engage with a search ad, they seamlessly transition to an experience similar to scrolling through their regular ‘For You’ feed, maintaining the order of search results for a smooth interaction.

The Search Ads Toggle is enabled by default when setting up your In-Feed Ads. If you wish to opt-out, you can easily switch it off during campaign creation. You can always re-enable it later in the campaign, without affecting the learning phase.

Notably, TikTok’s internal data reveals that a remarkable 70% of ad groups with the Search Ads Toggle “on” show more efficient performance, compared to those without it. This efficiency stems from enhanced conversions resulting from search ads, as highlighted by TikTok’s insights.

Clinique UK: Case Study

Clinique UK quickly adopted the Search Ads Toggle and achieved impactful results. By promoting their Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation amidst relevant videos on the search page, Clinique engaged high-intent users actively seeking related content.

The Outcome? 

Clinique effectively reached and secured sales from an audience genuinely interested in their product. Activating the Search Ads Toggle strategically proved to be a potent approach, enabling Clinique to engage with intrigued users effectively.

  • 441% increase in conversion rate
  • 51% increase in click-through rate
  • 74K search impressions

In essence, Clinique UK’s experience underscores the immense potential of the Search Ads Toggle as a means to connect with users at the right moment, fostering conversions and driving brand success.

In TikTok’s own words

“We are currently in the initial stages of testing search ads within specific regions. To clarify, advertisers are not yet able to bid on individual keywords for advertising purposes. This aspect of our testing is overseen by TikTok, utilizing keywords that hold the most relevance and impact for each advertiser and their respective ads.”

Get the Full Scoop from TikTok

If you’d like to inquire how we can help your paid social activity, reach out for a free proposal.

Maddie Tovar Hiya, I’m Maddie 👋 Brand Marketing Executive at Bind Media. Started my career within PPC four years ago, however, did a 180 and now my day-to-day consists of SEO, content creation and social! Fun fact: I’ve got an obsession with making weirdly specific playlists on Spotify and talk in TikTok references only.

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