How to Create Quality TikTok Ads with Savannah Sanchez of The Social Savannah

How do you stand out on TikTok? How do you create high-quality TikTok ads that are native to the platform? Savannah Sanchez has all the answers.

May 23, 2022
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Dark blue background with Tydo logo and Social Savannah logo with white text that says "Mastering TikTok Ads"

How to Create Quality TikTok Ads with Savannah Sanchez of The Social Savannah 

By now, TikTok has cemented itself as a major, need to have social platform. While those who use TikTok love it for its vast amount of content and never-ending rabbit holes, DTC brands are still having a hard time figuring out where they fit in.

To learn more about how brands can leverage TikTok, we sat down with one of the leading experts in the space: Savannah Sanchez of The Social Savannah.

With over five years of experience as a media buyer and ad creative strategist, Sanchez harnessed her expertise to launch an agency, which provides user-generated content (UGC) and creative services to some of the top names in ecommerce, such as Fabletics, Outer, Gainful, and Peel. Plus, she recently launched her TikTok ad course

The Facebook Migration: The Impact of iOS 14.5 

iOS 14.5 changed everything for ecommerce brands. 

The effectiveness of Facebook ads plummeted, and it hasn’t recovered. Now, brands have to leverage new channels and take a more holistic marketing approach. 

Sanchez explains, “Since we no longer have the same metrics we once used to make decisions and analyze performance, we have to look for new ways to spend. That’s a huge challenge for brands.” 

That’s why a lot of attention has shifted to TikTok. “Brands have moved their media spend from Facebook to TikTok,” notes Sanchez. “Not only is it cheaper in terms of CPMs, but it’s also 3-4 times cheaper than Facebook to reach the same audience. There’s a lot of promise for scaling too. The conversion rate and ROAS are also really high.”

The only caveat: Most brands think that their Facebook content will translate to TikTok and resonate with that audience, but that’s not the case at all. That’s one of the biggest mistakes Sanchez sees on the platform. 

What works on other social platforms doesn’t work on TikTok. The best-performing TikTok ads use native transitions, animations, and text from the platform itself. 

“TikTok ads have to look like they belong and are made on TikTok.” 

How to Create Quality TikTok Ads  

What makes a good piece of creative content for TikTok?

According to Sanchez, the first three seconds are most important. TikTok is popular for its short-form, scrollable content, and that’s what users want to see. So, brands need to focus on getting noticed right from the start. 

Trends change frequently on the platform, so Sanchez and her team are constantly tapping into what’s hot to see what resonates most with each brand’s audience. Using trending content or popular formats (as long as it makes sense for the brand or product) is one of the best ways to immediately connect with a viewer.

One tip from Sanchez: organically search and scroll on the platform to find trends and then look for unique ways to leverage them for each brand or product. 

There’s a caveat, though. Trending TikTok content is often related to song or dance trends, which can’t be incorporated into ads.  

That’s where UGC thrives.TikTok ads featuring creators perform extremely well since they appear native to the platform. One advantage of working with UGC creators is that they already have a good feel for TikTok’s time limitations and features. They know how to create quality content that attracts attention. 

When Sanchez seeks out UGC creators, she goes straight to the source: TikTok.

“I want to find creators who already understand the platform and know how to create engaging content,” Sanchez says. "That doesn’t mean they need to have hundreds or thousands of followers. Even if they have a smaller audience (10,000 to 50,000 followers), they’ve already proved that they can build an audience and create strong content.”  

Once Sanchez connects with a UGC creator, her agency provides details on how to best represent a product. “As a creator, they already have a great understanding of what works well on TikTok. As an agency, we know the value proposition of the brand and product. We share that with the creator, and then they go off to create engaging, rewarding content,” explains Sanchez.

The Social Savannah even writes scripts for creators. They send over details and general asks, including recommended lighting, how to showcase a product, and what to include in the shots.

Sanchez says that brands who simply ship products to creators and expect them to know everything there is to know about the product will end up disappointed. 

“Instead of handing off a product to a creator, it’s helpful to include as much information as possible: the main benefits, what you want creators to say (or not), and dos and don’ts. Then, let the creator do their thing.”

The Creator to Brand Connection

Good creators appreciate longer-term commitments. Sanchez recommends approaching creators with a long-term relationship in mind. 

A monthly retainer with a schedule for ongoing content works best for both parties. It also makes the process more efficient. With that consistency, creators can hone in on what a brand truly wants and figure out what works best on the platform.  

“I highly recommend investing in those long-term relationships,” says Sanchez. “My agency has creators that match the target market of my clients, and we’ve created a system and process that align creators with products in an effective way. Now, all my creators have been doing this for a while and know exactly what to do.” 

“Long-term relationships work for creators and the audience. It should be a relationship, not a transaction.” 

TikTok Data: How to Measure Success 

Brands always want to know: “How do we measure data? What does success look like on TikTok?”

None of Sanchez’s clients are interested in general engagement or brand awareness; instead, they’re more interested in CPA and ROAS.

“Clients are interested in every dollar I spend on TikTok. They want their investment to be profitable and proven,” Sanchez shares. 

Because TikTok data only records last click purchases, it takes a combination of other tools to get a larger picture.

Does Sanchez think TikTok will expand attribution models in the future?

“100 percent,” she shares. Longer click and attribution windows will be rolling out to ad managers, says Sanchez.

In addition to the data, Sanchez recommends rolling out post-purchase surveys like Kno Commerce and third-party attribution tools. 

“On a more holistic level, if you’re watching your revenue grow as you’re increasing ad spend, that’s a good sign. Then, I recommend going over to third-party tools to further validate that what you’re doing is working.” 

How to Get Started with Paid Ads 

To get the most mileage out of TikTok, start with organic posts first. 

This strategy gives brands time to learn the platform—what works and what doesn’t. Once the momentum starts to build, it’s time to consider paid ad spend. 

“Brands that have never logged into TikTok will never know what types of content do well,” notes Sanchez. “I recommend trying to build up a small, organic presence to get a better understanding of the platform.”

Then, brands can start creating paid ads. The next step: consider whether or not to boost them for added visibility.

Spark Ads will boost engagement metrics. There will be more comments and views,” Sanchez explains. “So in a way, you’re paying for virality, which can serve as social proof when new viewers find your page.”

Sanchez recommends having boosted posts and doing a mix of both paid and organic ads to see what performs best.

To learn more of Sanchez’s best practices, check out her TikTok ad course, where brands can learn everything there is to know about setting up, optimizing, and scaling TikTok campaigns.

“You might find the results surprising. Sometimes the best performing ads are the organic ones, so it’s good to balance out your strategy.”

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