Social Media Marketing
6 min

TikTok Out-of-Phone: The Small Screen Goes Big

Deanna Cullen Head of Media Investment

From 10-minute videos to TikTok Shop, marketers have seen a lot of updates from TikTok recently. The brand is on a mission to get maximum engagement everywhere, and that shows no signs of stopping. 

While many advertisers have just started to lean full force into TikTok’s creator community or invest in TikTok Shop as an incremental marketplace driver, there’s already a new game in town when it comes to TikTok marketing: the platform’s Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) offering.

TikTok Out-of-Phone promises to give advertisers opportunities to leverage the platform’s strengths to go beyond mobile devices and reach their audiences in the real world. 

So how can your brand take full advantage of TikTok’s newest development for cross-channel success?

Small screens go big: TikTok wants your attention

It’s no secret that audiences aren’t watching TV and movies the way they used to. According to eMarketer, non-pay TV households will continue to grow while pay TV households continue to decline. 

As viewing habits evolve and audiences turn away from traditional TV screens and movie theatres, advertisers need to adapt to get their customers’ attention where they’re watching.

US Pay TV vs. Non-Pay TV Households, 2018-2026 (millions)

Source: eMarketer

That’s where DOOH options like TikTok’s Out-of-Phone come in. While in the past, TikTok has meant engaging and entertaining content (with the occasional ad) for social media users on their phones, the platform is now bringing its famously addictive format to other areas, like theatres, video billboards, and airport advertisement screens. 

In its quest to capture maximum attention, engagement, and ad value, TikTok is becoming a jack-of-all-trades with ad offerings that span well beyond social. The brand is making a bid for ultimate influence across all screens: they’re tapping into marketplaces with TikTok Shop, search via the new search ad experiences, and now programmatic with DOOH. 

What makes TikTok’s offering different than the DOOH options brands already had? While the ads themselves aren’t anything revolutionary, TikTok’s appeal to advertisers is that its name and logo recognition will get their ads more attention than unbranded counterparts on the same screens. 

Because the platform has already cultivated a reputation for interesting content on its app, TikTok believes audiences are primed to stop and interact whenever they see a video associated with TikTok. 

Another advantage to TikTok’s version of DOOH is that you can repurpose some of your TikTok creative for additional campaigns, including content from past creator partnerships. While you can make new content specifically for these campaigns, your team can also save time and money by avoiding net new creative. That makes it an efficient way for your team to maximize revenue with a relatively low lift for your team. 

If these advantages have you convinced, you don’t have to worry about whether or not TikTok can manage this kind of buy. The app has partnered with DOOH provider Adomni to offer a managed service with the architecture for easy campaign setup–so there’s no learning curve involved.

Prepped and primed: crafting a next-level DOOH experience

True to its name, TikTok Out-of-Phone offers brands lots of new options to showcase their TikTok content. These include:

  • Billboards: Reach 700k+ connected billboards through TikTok’s partnership with Adomni
  • Theaters: Reach moviegoers before a feature film via ScreenVision
  • Airports: Extend ads to +2,500 airport screens and 500k+ hotels through Reach TV
  • Restaurants, Retail & Commercial Entertainment: LoopTV delivers 27 minutes of TikTok content per month

If your brand is ready to launch a TikTok campaign, you’ll first need to submit a brief to TikTok that the platform and its partners at Adomni will respond to with a media plan. As you would when planning any DOOH activation, your team should consider your brand’s business goals and how your DOOH advertising will directly connect to them ahead of time.

For TikTok specifically, you should also be thinking about where you can repurpose your social content and where you need to develop new creative. Which of your past content would translate well to a billboard or a movie theater preview? Not all videos will work well outside the TikTok platform, so make sure you’re keeping the new context in mind and creating new content or editing where necessary.

Before launch, you should also make sure you have a sound measurement strategy in place to make sure you can prove your ads’ value once they’re on screens everywhere. The metrics reported will depend on your campaign length and goals but could include: impressions, reach, other OOH metrics, or additional studies (brand lift, foot traffic, website traffic, etc.).

Connecting your KPIs to real business outcomes will be particularly essential for these ads since TikTok OOH campaigns require significant investment: ads start at a minimum of $250K for cinema and $350K for everything else. 

TikTok won’t stop: getting started with Out-of-Phone

As you plan your campaigns, you’ll also need to carefully consider how to handle these activations internally. The biggest challenge for brands is the very thing TikTok hopes will make Out-of-Phone a success: the crossover between these DOOH ads and the TikTok platform.

Because TikTok is a social platform at heart, brands might want to put their social teams at the helm, but these programmatic campaigns need a different kind of knowledge to succeed. The traditional model of siloed teams with deep expertise in each type of media has become outdated and broken as channels have converged in recent years. 

Example of a TikTok Out-of-Phone activation in London

Source: Movia

To win with TikTok Out-of-Phone, you’ll need to set up cross-functional teams where social and programmatic experts can work together to share ideas and shift budget across channels. With their combined strengths, these teams can vet the opportunity, evaluate these campaigns’ benefits beyond a standard DOOH buy, and navigate the process from media plan to measurement.

As siloes continue to collapse in today’s fast-paced marketing industry–a change TikTok is leading–you need an approach that considers whether these new cross-channel tools really make sense for your brand’s goals.

Out-of-Phone represents new cross-channel opportunities for brands looking to amplify the power of creators and TikTok engagement to bigger screens, grabbing a much-needed competitive edge against other DOOH advertisers. 

Want to make the most of this OOH opportunity? Download our forecast on the future of media to understand how to get ahead of the competition.

DOOH Social Media Marketing Strategy TikTok Video


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