TikTok expands its ad offerings in Canada

TikTok introduced a number of new advertising features to Canadian marketers on Tuesday, intended to make it easier for them to connect with and sell to consumers on the platform.

Though the services had been introduced in the U.S. last year, they give small and mid-sized Canadian advertisers new options and underline the social platform’s move toward shoppable ads and social commerce, a space where Facebook has been making significant moves in the last year.

The TikTok features introduced to Canada (and 13 other markets globally) include self-service advertising tools first launched in the U.S. last July, and TikTok’s Shopify channel, which was launched in October. The self-serve tools give advertisers a number of creative capabilities, flexible budgeting, and performance targeting.

Shopify merchants, meanwhile, will be able to access TikTok For Business Ads Manager from their Shopify dashboard. TikTok said it will now be easier for brands to create native advertising, track conversions, target audiences and track performance,

“The launch of self-serve and TikTok’s new Shopify channel in Canada will provide businesses of all sizes with the tools needed to seek out a highly engaged audience,” said Joshua Bloom, general manager of global business solutions for TikTok Canada. “We’re constantly exploring new and innovative ways to connect brands with our users, and these new features are the perfect way to help us grow and expand our capabilities.”

“Social commerce is becoming the digital mainstreet, and with the TikTok channel, our Canadian merchants can connect with new audiences using content that feels authentic and genuine to the TikTok experience,” said Ian Black, Shopify’s managing director, Canada.

While Tuesday’s announcement does not involve new features for the platform itself, it is reportedly working to test other new features that could help it close the gap on social commerce leader Facebook.

Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that TikTok has been talking with advertisers about introducing affiliate options: letting content creators share links to products for a commission.

TikTok is also planning to let brands showcase product catalogues and “livestreamed” shopping, which FT describes as “[a] mobile phone version of television shopping channels, where users can buy goods with a few taps after seeing them showcased on TikTok stars.”

While TikTok has exploded in popularity in the past two years, particularly among Gen Z users, the platform has ground to make up when it comes in terms of appealing to marketers, said the FT story.

“Some advertisers have been cautious about TikTok, suggesting that its current advertising system remains a work in progress,” it stated. “‘The product and the content has not matured into a place where sophisticated advertisers really want to commit,’ one ad agency executive said.”

David Brown