By Kristina Monllos.

TikTok is looking to grow as media buyers say the app needs to expand its U.S. team to keep up with demand. The company is currently seeking candidates for at least 17 positions for its ads business: two brand strategists, two influencer campaign managers, an ad products specialist, an ad operations manager, a trust and safety policy manager, among others, in its U.S. headquarters of Los Angeles, as well as offices in New York, San Francisco and Mountain View, California, according to jobs listings on LinkedIn.

The Bytedance-owned short-form video app launched in the U.S. in 2018 but its popularity has skyrocketed in recent months, drawing more big-name advertisers like Ralph Lauren and Chipotle, as well as a number of beauty companies like Eos, Too Faced and Elf to the app.

The allure of TikTok for advertisers isn’t just the potential to be among the first major advertising wave on the app, which has captured the attention of younger audiences, but the ability to run campaigns with sound as it is native to the way users watch content on the app, according to media buyers.

Buyers say the company is in a growth phase and that TikTok’s ad business now resembles early Snap Ads with low CPMs, a buggy self-serve platform (for those who have access to it), few metrics and unproven sustainability. Buyers have other complaints, like wait times of up to 24 hours for campaigns to appear on the platform and a junior ads team in need of help, too. For advertisers expecting the maturity of an ad platform like Google, TikTok will be a letdown. But for advertisers looking for a new platform to experiment on while it’s still growing, even with the current hiccups, buyers are bullish.

“They need to scale up a bit to meet the demand on the platform,” said one media buyer who has run multiple TikTok campaigns for clients. “We saw the same thing with Snap and Snap Ads a few years ago.”

“They don’t have the ad tools built out or measurement tools to really help us figure this out and justify it to compare it to some of the more established digital platforms,” said Matthew Rednor, founder and CEO of Decoded Advertising. “That’s a big complaint and one of the biggest reasons that big advertisers and agencies are not yet on the platform, even though everyone is there.”

It’s standard for new platforms to have immature ads businesses early on and TikTok is no different, according to buyers who say that while ad reps are kind and easy to work with, they aren’t as seasoned as reps at Google or Facebook. At the same time, the company’s main headquarters are in China and some decisions are still run through that team making the time difference a pain. That can, in turn, lead to a slower campaign implementation with some campaigns taking at least 24-hours to be live on the app, according to the first buyer.

It’s unclear how large the current U.S. ad team is or how it is organized, as a spokesperson for TikTok declined to share that figure or share current user numbers; buyers weren’t certain of the size. In February, Digiday obtained a deck that said TikTok had more than 27 million users opening the app eight times a day. The company offers video ads, brand takeovers, brand lenses, “top view” video and its signature hashtag challenge.

The difficulty advertisers and agencies face with TikTok currently makes sense to Shann Biglione, evp of Americas and global strategy at platformGSK, who said that clients’ expectations for platforms ads teams are often something like Google’s, which is “the gold standard” of ads teams. Dealing with that comparison, “it’d be surprising if TikTok didn’t struggle,” said Biglione.

Biglione has worked with TikTok’s ad team in China but hasn’t yet worked with the team in the U.S. “When you have up and coming platforms, especially one that doesn’t have [its main] headquarters in the U.S. [it can be hard],” said Biglione. “Operationalizing in China versus the U.S. is a bit different. China is much more fast-paced. Decisions can happen very, very quickly in China versus the U.S.”

Multiple buyers compared TikTok’s current ads offering to early Snap Ads as costs are low — CPMs are generally around $1.50, according to a buyer — but the tools and measurement capabilities aren’t built out yet, making it hard to prove the value of being on the platform. The company’s self-serve ad platform is still in beta as well as its interest-based targeting, according to a spokesperson, who said that “everything we’re doing is still in beta,” that the company is “in an experimental phase” and that it is “still figuring out what works for the brand and the community.”

The self-serve ad platform is bare-bones at the moment, with capabilities that allow buyers to get ads on the platform but there’s nothing flashy, no advanced capabilities and that it’s “a little bit buggy,” said the first buyer. “To be fair, they did let us know in advance that that was the case. It had been ported over from the Chinese version. We’ve also been helping them and flagging bugs we run into.”

The lack of results to showcase could keep buyers away for the moment; currently, the company’s ads site doesn’t offer any case studies for prospective advertisers to check out. Metric Digital CEO Kevin Simonson said that the shop hasn’t yet worked with TikTok but likely will in the first quarter of next year. “[The] reason being is that the people I’ve seen who have tested it, paid ads not influencer, haven’t seen good results,” wrote Simonson in an email. “I have a feeling it’ll only work like Snap only works, cheap AOV in beauty for the youngins’.”  

Still, even with that comparison and the lack of clarity into what the platform delivers for brands, there’s lots of interest from advertisers and agencies and that will likely continue to grow, according to buyers.

“We know a ton of people are there, we know it’s a hot platform, so we should be experimenting and dabbling there versus waiting for them to have mature measurement systems because we know people are there, and this is the time to get on,” said Rednor. “To reject it because they don’t have a full team of reps yet or any of the things that the mature platforms do is kind of crazy at this point. You’re going to be somewhat left behind.”


By Kristina Monllos

Sourced from DIGIDAY


If you’ve followed the media lately, you would think Facebook has crashed and burned. You’d be under the assumption that millions of users have run for the hills by deleting Facebook, and that advertisers are questioning how they are going to continue to reach their customers. Surprisingly, that isn’t the case and, honestly, Facebook has even strengthened its position and remains at the top of every advertiser’s list.

Leverage purchase behavior to shift the risk to Facebook customers. 

Facebook isn’t removing the ability to target by using purchase behavior; they are just putting the risk of using other people’s data onto you, the advertiser. Facebook knows how they collect their first-party data by keeping track of what users do on Facebook. But, they cannot control the data they purchase. Instead, they transfer the risk to you through the purchasing process.

Facebook will soon launch a custom audience verification tool that allows advertisers to use purchase behavior from another third party, But, if you upload it as a custom audience,  Facebook just wants you to say, “Yes, I purchased this data legally and in good faith. If not, you can say it’s my fault, not yours.” I see this type of data getting more competitive and, as an advertiser, third-party  companies are going to try to lure us in to use their data.

The user base is still on Facebook. 

Facebook released a stellar Q1 earnings report with revenue from advertising up 50% YoY and daily active users up 13% YoY. When asked about advertisers being weary of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, said they have not seen a meaningful trend in advertisers leaving. Per Facebook, one in every four minutes on mobile is spent on Facebook. Even if there were to be a small drop, the efforts Facebook has made in regaining trust will be evident as the users and the advertisers will come back, maybe even twofold.

So with the competitive landscape increasing, how do you continue to differentiate? We have found that by using influencer content while leveraging paid targeting we can place highly relevant, highly clickable content in a user’s feed at CTRs 2-3x Facebook’s average of .9-1.00 percent CTR. This content is genuine and much less “ady” than your traditional ads.

You can still create custom audiences despite the changes.

Another major change to Facebook’s structure is custom audiences. As mentioned, you can still get access to user purchase data either through owned data or purchasing from a third party and uploading via custom audiences. But one thing that was briefly mentioned is the ability to share custom audiences across business accounts.

This is a common practice among media agencies — sharing lookalikes to other media companies that are focused on different parts of the funnel. Company A is for brand awareness and Company B is for direct response “click here to buy now.” How do these two work together? Since the sharing of audiences has changed, the workaround would result in multiple pixels on your page owned by each company. We’re still waiting for Facebook for further instructions, so stay tuned.

Finally, this is an opportunity to look at how you collect your own data. 

Tis the season to look inward. Since Facebook is shifting the risk to its user base, everyone has taken a deep look at how they collect their data. As everyone is walking on eggshells at the moment, it’s best to make sure your audience trusts you.


Sourced from MediaPost

Online reputation management is very necessary all of a sudden.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

Businesses say they plan to allocate more resources to their online reputations in response to the growing popularity of social media and online reviews.

According to a new survey from Clutch, 40% of businesses will increase their investment in online reputation management (ORM) this year.

All this is due to the growing power of social media and third-party reviews sites, which impact businesses’ control over their online reputation.

Clutch surveyed 224 digital marketers and found that more than half of businesses (54%) consider ORM “very necessary” for success. As a result, 34% said they allocated more resources to ORM in 2018, and an additional 43% said they plan to hire a professional public relations or ORM agency in 2018.

Businesses already invest a significant amount of time observing their online reputation, Clutch found. More than 40% of digital marketers (42%) monitor their companies’ brand online daily, while 21% monitor their online reputation hourly.

According to public relations experts, businesses frequently monitor how their brand is portrayed online because they know even one negative media mention can quickly damage the public’s perception of their company.

“When people search for brands online, they tend to search for stamps of credibility,” explained Simon Wadsworth, managing partner at Igniyte, an online reputation management agency in the UK. “If potential customers find anything negative, that could end up being a significant amount of leads the business won’t get from people who are put off from using the service.”

Social media also has shifted the ORM landscape because it gives consumers free-reign to share their opinions and experiences quickly and frequently: 46% of businesses look to social media most often to monitor their online reputation.

By using professional agencies that have expertise in online reputation management, businesses can minimise losing new customers who may be dissuaded from purchasing their product or service.

To read the complete report, click here.


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Here’s why you need to get your advertising to zoom in.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

The relationship between desire and attention was long thought to only work in one direction: When a person desires something, they focus their attention on it.

Now, new research reveals this relationship works the other way, too. Increasing a person’s focus on a desirable object makes them want the object even more – a finding with important implications for marketers seeking to influence behaviour.

The study, published in the journal Motivation and Emotion, is the first to demonstrate a two-way relationship.

“People will block out distraction and narrow their attention on something they want,” said Anne Kotynski, author of the study. “Now we know this works in the opposite direction, too.”

In marketing, advertisements with a hyper focus on a product’s desirable aspect – say zooming in on the texture of icing and frosting – might help sell a certain brand of cake.

Findings suggest the ad could be targeted to people who have shown an interest in a similar product, such as running the cake commercial during a baking show.

This finding also works in other areas outside advertising too. For example, doctors could potentially help their patients develop a stronger focus on healthy activities that they may desire but otherwise resist, such as exercising or eating a balanced diet.

The study’s findings also add a wrinkle to knowledge of focus and emotion. According to a spate of previous research, positive emotions, such as happiness and joy, widen a person’s attention span, while negative emotions such as disgust and fear, do the opposite: narrowing a person’s focus.

“We conceptualise fear as drastically different from desire,” Kotynski said. “But our findings contribute to growing evidence that these different emotions have something key in common: They both narrow our focus in similar ways.”

The findings also fit the notion that both of these emotions – fear (negative) and desire (positive) – are associated with evolutionarily pursuits that narrowed our ancestors’ attentions.

For example, fear of predators motivated attention focused on an escape route, while an urge to mate motivated focus on a sexual partner.

“If a person has a strong desire, research says this positive emotion would make them have a wide attention span,” Kotynski said. “Our research shows we developed a more beneficial behaviour around desire: focusing our mental energy on the important object, much like fear would.”

The study

Study participants were shown images of desserts mixed in with mundane items. They were instructed to pull a joystick toward them if the image was tilted one direction and push the stick away if it was tilted the opposite direction. Researchers recorded the reaction time of each.

Participants who responded fastest to pull the images of desserts were those whose attention had been narrowed. Responses were much slower to the mundane, and for participants whose attention was broad, suggesting narrowed attention increases desire for desserts but not for everyday objects.

The study used dessert pictures to measure reaction time because such images have been shown to increase desire across individuals, most likely due to a motivation to seek high fat, high calorie foods that is rooted in evolution.

There you go people. If people love cars and you can get them to focus on the car you are hawking, you’ll have a better chance of converting that to a sale. May the ROI forever be in your favour.


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Women-owned businesses are most likely to use social media. Men! What y’all doing?

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

A woman-owned small business is more likely to use social media, according to a new survey from Clutch, a leading B2B research and reviews firm.

Among women-owned businesses, 74% use social media, compared to 66% of men-owned businesses.

The findings came as no surprise to experts, who said women overall are more likely to use social media. Given that trend, female small business owners more easily can bring their business onto social media.

“Women are generally better conversationalists than men,” said Jeff Gibbard, chief social strategist at digital agency I’m From the Future. “They tend to be more expressive and more emotive. It’s no surprise to me why more women business owners use social media.”

Women often communicate better than men, which translates to the online world where they are more likely to use social media effectively.

Millennial-Owned Small Businesses Lead Social Media Use

There is also a generational divide among small businesses’ social media use. The survey finds that 79% of millennial-owned small businesses use social media compared to 65% of small businesses owned by older generations.

Millennials, like women in general, frequently use social media for their personal lives. Their social media skills easily carry over into their businesses – unlike older generations, experts say.

“The older people didn’t grow up with social media, so many don’t understand how to use it for their business,” said Shawn Alain, president of social media agency Viral in Nature. “They went through a significant part of their life without even the internet, and they remember what it was like not to have a smartphone or email.”

Millennials are also more likely to use Instagram and Snapchat than older generations, but Generation Xers and Baby Boomers are more likely to use LinkedIn.

Most Small Businesses Use Facebook

Facebook remains the most popular social media channel for small businesses, no matter the gender or generation of the owner – 86% say they use it, which is nearly twice the number of small businesses that use the second-place channel, Instagram (48%).

Among small business users of social media, 12% say they use Facebook exclusively for their social media efforts.

Overall, 71% of small businesses use social media, and more than half (52%) share content at least once per day. Images and infographics (54%) are the most popular content types that businesses post to social media.

Read the full report here. 


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Less than 1 in 3 people call Facebook a responsible company, according to a new survey.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

Barraged by accusations of spreading divisive fake news and amid new allegations that it handed over personal information on up to 50 million users without their consent, Facebook is losing the faith of the people, according to a new survey.

Almost 4 out of 10 people surveyed said: “Facebook is not a responsible company because it puts making profits most of the time ahead of trying to do the right thing.” Less than 1 in 3 said that Facebook is a “responsible company because it tries to do the right thing most of the time even if that gets in the way of it making profits.” The rest were unsure.

By a 7-1 ratio people surveyed said that Facebook has had a negative influence on political discourse. Sixty-one percent said that “Facebook has damaged American politics and made it more negative by enabling manipulation and falsehoods that polarize people.”

The survey was conducted as new revelations surfaced that the company connected to the 2016 Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, inappropriately harvested personal information on millions of Facebook users.

The sharp rise in negative feelings is a significant departure from Facebook’s standing prior to the 2016 election, when the rise of so-called Fake News and polarizing content led to calls for the company to take greater responsibility for the content on the popular social media site – or face government regulation.

By a 2-1 margin, people surveyed said it’s Facebook’s responsibility to remove or warn about posts that contain false or misleading information. And 59 percent reported that the company is not doing enough to address the issues of false and inflammatory information that appear on its site.

“Facebook is at a crossroads because of its inability – nearly a year-and-a-half after the election – to get a handle on its divisive effects on society,” said Tom Galvin, Executive Director of Digital Citizens, who commissioned the survey. “From spreading fake and manipulative information to becoming a ‘Dark Web-like’ place for illicit commerce, Facebook seems to losing the trust of the American public. Regulation will not be far behind for social media companies if things don’t change.”

This declining trust reflects a growing concern about the impact Facebook and other social media sites have on young teens.  In the survey, more than two in five people surveyed said that the minimum age to have a Facebook account should be at least 18 years old.

“Digital platforms have to rise to the occasion and assure internet users that their personal information will be safe, that the content will be legal, safe and not contrived to manipulate. In short, they have to demonstrate they will be the positive influence on our society that they espouse to be,” said Galvin.


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A travel company has managed to stir up a lot of viral traffic with their hashtag. Watch and learn, people.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

What do a dream wedding in New York, an adventure through the mountains of Sri Lanka and a family’s search for their roots in Scotland all have in common? All saw a hospitality professional going out of their way to make or save someone’s trip. And a holiday booking company use this mushy sequence of events with a hashtag to fire up social media views and get a great repsonse from them.

Booking.com call themselves the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay. Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com B.V. has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com now employs more than 17,000 employees in 198 offices in 70 countries worldwide.

So, what are they doing with their social media marketing? They are riding hastags like a showjumper would a prize horse.

They have had some great success with their recent hashtag #BookingHero. They asked people to share their travel stories using the hashtag. The best story won travel prizes and big kudos online.

Following thousands of submissions via social media, Booking.com selected the three most touching and inspiring accounts of hospitality professionals going above and beyond to create unique and unforgettable travel experiences for their guests.

The customers were then flown back to say thank you to the person who saved their trips. Here are the stories.



The point isn’t the stories though. The point is that real people’s journeys made the hashtag come alive and generate traffic for booking.com. In fact, the call out for submissions via social media has been so successsful that Booking.com is now using the hashtag to extend the social media campaign with long-form video content that extends the #BookingHero message, with TV to follow.

According to recent research conducted by Booking.com across 25 markets in 2017, a personal connection is essential for many travellers with 29% saying that an accommodation feeling like home is key and 24% sharing that a welcoming host is a make or break factor during the first 24 hours of their trip.

Said Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer, Booking.com. “These stories beautifully demonstrate that an amazing trip is about more than simply finding the right destination or the perfect accommodation– it’s also about the people you meet along the way which truly make for an unforgettable journey. And that’s what travel is all about.”

And for the company, it is about finding the right hashtag and getting it to go viral.


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Gen Z use their phones a lot, but are relieved when they are taken away. So how do marketers reach this age group if they have a love/hate relationship with their smartphones?

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

Members of Generation Z are relieved when placed in a situation where they are unable to access their smartphones for several weeks. This is according to a new study conducted by Screen Education, a non-profit organisation that addresses smartphone addiction.

The study involved participants aged from 12 to 16, who spent 2-4 weeks at Camp Livingston during the summer of 2017.  Because Camp Livingston does not permit its campers to bring smartphones with them, they are an ideal group for conducting research about refraining from smartphone use.

According to Michael Mercier, President of Screen Education, “Many children said they have become overwhelmed by their smartphones. They no longer can keep up with all their notifications, and they are burdened by the ‘drama’ they encounter through social media via their smartphones. Consequently, they were relieved to be separated from their smartphones because it eliminated that stress.”

This relief was reflected in a survey conducted with the campers after they had returned home.  The campers were asked the extent to which they experienced feelings of gladness and frustration from being without their phones. “A large number − 92% − experienced gladness, while only 41% felt any frustration. We had expected the opposite,” said Mercier.

When asked what their experience would have been like if they had been allowed to bring their phones to camp, campers revealed just how severe smartphone addiction is among their age group. “They almost unanimously admitted they would have spent the entire time on their phones,” recounts Max Yamson, Executive Director of Camp Livingston. “They said they would not have formed deep relationships with the staff and fellow campers, would not have connected with their surroundings and nature on the same level, and would not have engaged as much in recreational activities.”

According to Yamson, “The study shows that the campers were glad to have left their phones behind so that they could experience a deeper level of engagement.”

“The research also revealed a stunning insight,” said Mercier. “Many campers discussed the experience of face-to-face communication as though it were a novel one. They exhibited a sense of discovery at learning that face-to-face communication is far superior to screen communication when it comes to building friendships and getting to know other people.”

Yamson added, “One camper said that in four short weeks she got to know her friends at camp better than she knows some of her friends at home – because she mostly communicates with her friends at home through screens.”

Other key findings include:

  • 92% said it was beneficial to have gone without their phones while at camp
  • 83% considered having gone without their phones for several weeks to be an important life experience
  • 35% were successful at curbing their smartphone use after leaving camp
  • 17% tried to influence a friend to spend less time on their phone after leaving camp

The researchers plan to follow this study up with additional research during the summer of 2018.


Marketers trying to catch the attention of this demographic may need to think carefully about how they approach mobile advertising for this generation of digital natives. It’s another day in the life of modern media.


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This handy app can help you create ads with impact but with very little effort.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

An app called Plotaverse helps marketers to create great ads without the dreaded and costly content creation process. Quickly bypassing established app giants, the young startup’s iOS app made the list of Facebook’s top 10 mobile apps.

The photo app’s animation features allow businesses of any calibre to create impactful ads fast and on a budget. More or less, you can choose from many artistically appealling gifs and put your message over them. The artwork on the site is truly eye-catching.

But how did Plotaverse’s 8 months old mobile app manage to disrupt visual advertising, going up against 8 billion video views a day on Facebook alone?

Images animated with Plotaverse, formerly known as Plotagraph, are the key to its success. The app ads movement to any single still photo. This creates ads that stand out in saturated media feeds.


Brands like Coca Cola, Wella, Chevrolet and Red Bull were seen boosting their brand with captivating Plotagraphs. There is no need for video, multiple photos or video editing skills to turn a photograph into a Plotagraph. Users of any skill level can quickly animate and post uniquely moving images to their business and social page.

On Instagram and Facebook, Plotagraphs have proven to attract up to 5 times the amount of views and engagement than surrounding images.

Every day, 4.5 million business pages on Facebook are trying to cut through 1.32 billion daily active users according to WordStream. As expected, Adobe’s titan apps, Photoshop Express and Spark Post head Facebook’s list of Photo Enhancing apps. But the tiny startup’s photo animation app has unexpectedly spearheaded the looping content industry.

To check it out, click here


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It could be sending the wrong message to your intended audience.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

An academic study has found that women wearing heavy makeup are less likely to be perceived as leaders. Of course, it depends on what you are selling and to whom. But if you want your model to portray leadership, then stay away from the make-up kit.

The research from Abertay University found that women wearing heavy makeup were less likely to be thought of as good leaders. The study was led by Dr Christopher Watkins of Abertay’s Division of Psychology, and published today in Perception journal. It revealed that the amount of makeup a woman is wearing can have a negative impact on perceptions of her leadership ability.

Study participants were asked to view a series of images featuring the same woman without cosmetics and with makeup applied for a “social night out”.

Computer software was used to manipulate the faces and the amount of makeup was also manipulated in the face images.

Each participant completed a face perception task where they judged sixteen face-pairs, indicating how much better a leader they felt their chosen face to be compared to the other face.

It was found that both men and women evaluated women more negatively as a leader if the image suggested she was wearing a lot of makeup.

Dr Watkins said, “This research follows previous work in this area, which suggests that wearing makeup enhances how dominant a woman looks. While the previous findings suggest that we are inclined to show some deference to a woman with a good looking face, our new research suggests that makeup does not enhance a woman’s dominance by benefitting how we evaluate her in a leadership role.”

The study was carried out by Abertay graduates Esther James and Shauny Jenkins and used a measurement scale common in face perception research, which calculates the first-impressions of the participant group as a whole, working out an average verdict.

Dr Watkins has carried out previous high-profile studies including work looking at how women remember the faces potential love rivals and the role of traits related to dominance in our choice of allies, colleagues and friends.

To view the full study click here.

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