TikTok Advertising is one of the digital marketing trends in 2022. The social media platform is growing rapidly, and brands are leveraging it to grow their business.
In this article, you will learn all you need to know about TikTok Advertising and how to use the platform to grow your business.
One of the people’s misconceptions about TikTok is that it’s a platform for kids. Currently, TikTok has over one billion users worldwide.
Now, you understand why experts believe that TikTok is the future of social media marketing.
But before you decide to invest in TikTok advertising, you should study the audience demography.
For instance, about 66% of TikTok users are below the age of 30, and 41% are within the age range of 16 to 24 years.
Once you study this demographic, you can tell whether your potential customers are on TikTok or not.
So, your TikTok advertising tends to generate excellent results in the following marketing scenarios
- If the target audience is 35 years or below.
- If your brand is targeting women between the age of 18 to 25
- And lastly, brands that want to build a strong presence in Asia and the Middle East.
TikTok Audience by Intent
There are different categories of the audience on TikTok, and each of these categories visits the platform for a reason.
Below is the summary of the TikTok audience and what they hope to get from the platform;
- 75% of TikTok users are on the platform to be entertained.
- 42% of TikTok users discover new things on the platform
- 68% of TikTok users are inspired by the content they see on the platform.
- 91% of TikTok users take some action after seeing certain content.
- 25% of TikTok users have researched and purchased products or services advertised on the platform.
- 61% of TikTok users believe that advertising on the platform is unique and can get them more results than other social media platforms.
- 45% of heavy TikTok users believe that ads on the platform perfectly blend with other content.
Four Strategies for TikTok Advertising
TikTok advertising is relatively new. And there are still many things marketers need to learn about it.
However, if you want your campaigns on TikTok to get you the expected result, you must apply the right tactics and techniques. It starts with understanding the TikTok ads manager.
TikTok Ads Manager
Your TikTok advertising campaign starts with understanding TikTok Ads Manager. It’s a self-serve platform that you can leverage to drive more results for your business.
In the TikTok Ads manager platform, there are four unique strategies that can help you achieve your marketing goals.
And each of these strategies has three-level optimisation that will help you unlock additional advertising features on the platform.
#1. Attribution (Web + App)
Attribution in this context refers to knowing where your conversion is coming from.
The knowledge will help you make more informed and relevant decisions about your TikTok campaign.
Any marketer or business owner who wants to build a successful advertising strategy on TikTok needs to set their business on a solid attribution foundation.
Interestingly, TikTok as a platform gives you several options to attribute events from your website to your campaign.
But it starts with implementing a web attribution tool, either the events API or TikTok pixels.
When utilising the attribution strategy on TikTok, you have to start at level one to unlock additional advertising features on the platform.
- Level One: The first level is the standard pixel mode for basic conversion tracking. If you don’t have a dedicated web development team, this is a perfect option for you.
- Level Two: If you have a dedicated development team, you should consider the pixel developer mode. Of course, it’s a more advanced solution that tends to get you better results.
- Level Three: The last level on the attribution strategy is Events API. It’s a server to server integration that allows brands to share their website events directly with TikTok.
#2. Targeting, Bidding, and Optimisation
This is another area you will need to pay close attention to in your TikTok advertising campaign.
The feature enables you to analyse and adjust your campaign parameters to enable you to reach your goals.
These three features (targeting, bidding, and optimisations) are like three levels in one.
So, they work interdependently to help you achieve your campaign objectives. They don’t work in a hierarchy like other advertising strategies.
One thing about advertising on TikTok is that the platform places importance on dedicating resources to the day to day campaign.
And that is because TikTok is growing rapidly and always introduces new tools to enhance campaign performance.
But when you have a dedicated resource in your campaign account, you will always stay up to date.
#3. Product Catalogs
If your business sells physical products, this is a perfect TikTok advertising strategy for you.
This strategy focuses on a suite for all tools that will get your products in front of the right audience.
With the product catalogues strategy, you can create ads at a scale.
For instance, if you have five products and five audiences, you can easily use the TikTok Ads manager to create 15 ads, one for each combination of products and audiences.
The challenge here is that it can be cumbersome, especially if you have large products.
Let’s say you have about 100 products to sell; creating ads manually for these different products can be really stressful.
But if you use the product catalogues strategy, TikTok will dynamically create ads for you.
It’s simple. The only thing you need to do is to upload your product catalogue and choose the level (in the three-step system) that’s perfect for your business.
Here are the three levels
- First Level: Upload the products manually
- Second Level: Upload product catalogue from a CSV template
- Third level: Upload a catalogue feed.
Remember, it works in hierarchical order. And as you level up your TikTok advertising, you can unlock new ad features and formats.
In a nutshell, uploading a catalogue feed gives you access to more ad formats available on the platform.
#4. Advertising Creative
Generally, TikTok videos are full screen, immersive, and give sound-on experience; TikTok advertising videos aren’t exempted.
And videos with greater immersion generate higher engagement and better interactions.
However, you must ensure that your brand message is consistent both in video content and advertising content to sustain this. It’s the only way to maintain a high level of performance on a fast-growing platform like TikTok.
So, if you decide to leverage TikTok advertising to grow your business, you should regularly update your account with a steady supply of new advertising creative. You can do this every week.
Here are the three levels of TikTok advertising creative you should optimise to unlock more advertising features on the platform.
First Level (Level 1) – Repurpose Your Creative
To make things a lot easier for you, try repurposing your creativity. Interestingly, you can leverage creative tools available in Ads manager to repurpose your existing ad assets.
Level 2 – Have Dedicated TikTok Ads
Your focus during this level is to create a steady flow of spark ads (that is, TikTok’s native ad display).
And you can only achieve this if you aim at engaging with creators directly or through the TikTok marketplace.
Level 3 – Creative Partner Ecosystem
You will have a dedicated TikTok Creative API partner on retainer during this level. The creative API will feed you five to ten new creative per week.
TikTok Advertising Best Practices
By now, you understand the TikTok advertising techniques that you can leverage to reach more audiences on the platform.
However, there are certain best practices you should follow when advertising on TikTok, some of these practices are;
When you are advertising on TikTok, aim for a high-resolution video. Any video with 720 progressives (720 p) or 1080 interlaced (1080i) active scan line is defined as a high-resolution video.
So, always aim for advertising video with a resolution of 720p or higher. The higher your video resolution, the more attractive it will be.
And audience on TikTok will definitely interact and engage with attractive videos.
Have you noticed that most TikTok videos have background music? Try to include subtle music in your advertising videos. Not just any random music, it should be an emerging music trend.
Fit to Screen
This is another area you should pay attention to when creating your video ad on TikTok. Ensure that your video fits the screen; set your aspect ratio to 9:16.
Keep Creative in Focus
Remember that the essence of the ad is to get your message out there. So, ensure that in-app overlays don’t cover important information about your brand or product offering.
Make Your Ads Mobile Friendly
Whenever you create your TikTok advertising videos, try to make them mobile-friendly.
Basically, TikTok is a mobile-only application. So, your video won’t be appealing if you aren’t using the right video format.
Ensure that you create your ads in a vertical video format so that key visuals will be in the frame.
Regardless of how appealing your video ad seems, without a well crafted CTA, you may not get the desired result.
That’s why it’s important to inspire action from your audience with a clear CTA at the end of every video ad.
Keep it Short
The Shorter your TikTok campaign video, the better. Ideally, Your video advertising length on TikTok shouldn’t be more than 34 seconds.
Types of TikTok Advertising
Before you launch a campaign on TikTok, it’s important to know the advertising options available on the platform.
Here are the different types of ads you can create on TikTok;
The TikTok In-Feed ad is the standard ad format for the platform. They are self-service ads that you can create yourself on the TikTok ad manager interface.
The ad format allows you to embed a video ad that auto-plays within a users’ feed. The ad can be up to 60 seconds long, but you should keep it short.
One of the reasons why In-Feed ads are popular on TikTok is that they play with sound and feel like native content.
Perhaps, it’s because they have a similar interface as organic posts.
Interestingly, you can use TikTok’s In-Feed ads for different campaign objectives. And the ad format features a clickable CTA button that you can use to either drive traffic to your landing pages, app downloads or grow your brand’s TikTok Business Account.
While creating an In-Feed ad, ensure that none of the key visual elements of your video is blocked by user interface overlay.
TopView ads is one of the most popular advertising options on TikTok. It enables you to put your brand in front of your target audience by appearing at the top of the” For You Feed.”
The TopView ads format allows up to 60 seconds of video length, and it offers an immersive viewing experience with no other content.
If your campaign objective is to create brand awareness, TopView is the perfect TikTok advertising option you should use.
It promises a wide reach with amazing impressions. And if you can make high quality and engaging video ads that leave a lasting impact, you will certainly get a better result.
The brand takeover is another exceptional ad format you create on TikTok. They are high impact ads that appear whenever users open their TikTok app.
The ad format is perfect for mass awareness and guarantees you high reach.
And because the ads’ entire screen is clickable, it reduces the friction between the ad and the desired destination, thus boosting its performance.
However, TikTok brand takeover ads are short and snappy. It’s usually between 3 to 5 seconds video. It allows you to direct traffic from TikTok to your internal or external landing pages.
Interestingly, brand takeover ads have a 100% Share of Voice for the day they are featured. This means TikTok users won’t see any other brand takeover on that particular day except yours.
But it’s very expensive; that is why it’s perfect for established brands that need more exposure.
Branded Hashtag Challenge
Branded Hashtag is one of the best ad formats for TikTok advertising. When using this format, you need to be creative about it.
The ad format allows you to engage your audience by encouraging content co-creation.
This ad format is divided into three placements within the TikTok app.
The first placement is to have standard video ads appear in the In-Feed placement. It should encourage your audience to take part in the challenge.
The second placement is to have a featured banner on the discover page that directs traffic to the Hashtag challenge page.
And the hashtag challenge page is the third placement which is the epicentre of the challenge.
Within the third placement, you will aggregate videos that your users submit for the challenge.
Branded Effect ads allow you to show your brand’s playful side to your audience. You can do this by creating shareable branded stickers, filters, and effects that your users can use in their own video content.
You can either use these effects as standalone campaigns or integrate them into your branded hashtag challenge. This will give your audience a mind-blowing experience.
Just like branded hashtag challenge ads, the branded effect ads can help you create a loyal audience who will be immersed and involved in your video, thus creating a high level of engagement.
How to Set Up a TikTok Advertising Campaign
It’s easy to set up a TikTok ad campaign. All you have to do is to create a TikTok Ads manager account.
But you don’t always need a TikTok ads manager to create a campaign, especially if you just want to boost your existing content.
Here are some tips to help you set up a TikTok advertising campaign;
#1. Choose Your Objective
The first thing you should do when setting up your TikTok campaign is to choose your objective.
When you log in to your TikTok Ads Manager, you can do this and click the campaign button.
Generally, TikTok ads objectives are broken down into three categories viz;
Awareness is the first campaign objective on TikTok. If you want to reach more audiences, you should choose awareness as your objective.
It gives you the option to show your ad to a maximum number of people, depending on your choice.
If you choose consideration as your campaign objective, here are what the campaign will help you achieve;
- Traffic: Helps you drive traffic to a specific URL on your website.
- App Installs: to drive more traffic to download your business app.
- Video views: Bring your video ad to more audience.
- Lead Generation: Use a pre-designed instant form to generate leads for your websites.
The objective of most campaigns on TikTok is to drive conversions. It can be to drive specific actions on your site, like buying a product or subscribing to your service.
#2. Name your Campaign and Set a Budget
When you are setting up your campaign, try to name it so that you can easily recognise it.
You can use up to 512 characters to name your campaign; the essence is to enable you to identify your different campaigns on TikTok.
Again, it’s advisable to set a campaign budget. Once you set a budget limit, ensure that it’s for a specific ad, not the entire campaign.
You also have the option to choose a daily limit or a lifetime budget for your campaign.
#3. Name Your Ad Group and Select Placements
Every campaign has between one to 999 ad groups. And the name of each ad group can be up to 512 characters.
Furthermore, you can choose different placements for each of the ad groups. And always remember that certain placements are not available in some locations.
#4. Choose Whether to Use Automated Creative Optimisation
You can also choose to either use automated creative optimisation or not. But you can’t upload your creative until you get to where you can create individual ads on the platform.
However, you have the option to allow the TikTok app to help you automatically generate combinations of images, videos, and ad text.
Once you opt for this feature, the TikTok Advertising system will only show the best-performing ads.
If you are relatively new to TikTok advertising, you should leverage this setting to optimise your campaign.
#5. Target Your Audience
When you are advertising on TikTok, you have the option to show your ads specifically to your target market.
You can use a lookalike or custom audience like other social media ads. You can also target your ad based on the following;
- Device details
#6. Set Your Ad Group Budget and Schedule
You have already set a budget for your entire campaign at this level. But you still need to set a budget for your ad group.
You also need to set a schedule on how your budget will run.
You have the option to choose a daily or lifetime budget for your ad group. After which, you choose the start and end times.
TikTok Advertising Manager has a particular feature, “Dayparting”. It allows you to run your ad at a specific time throughout the day. Most times, it’s based on the time zone on your Ad account.
#7. Set Your Bidding Strategy and Optimisation
Before you set your bidding strategy, you should decide on your optimisation goal. It could be conversions, clicks, or reach, depending on what you want your campaign to achieve.
Once you have everything in place, you need to choose a bidding strategy. There are different bidding strategies to choose from. Some of them are;
- Bid Cap: This bidding strategy allows you to select a maximum amount per click (CPC), per view (CPV), or per 1000 impressions (CPM).
- Cost Cap: here, you will choose the average cost per result for optimised CPM. Of course, the cost will always fluctuate below and above the bid amount.
But it should average out to the set bid.
- Lowest Cost: The ad system often generates the maximum results possible at the lowest cost per result. The system uses the ad group budget to generate these results.
Once you set your bidding strategy, the next step is to choose your delivery type. Your delivery type could be standard or accelerated.
While standard delivery divides your budget evenly over the scheduled dates of the campaigns, the accelerated delivery spends your budget as fast as possible.
#8. Create Your Ad(s)
This is the moment we have been waiting for. You can create up to 20 ads in each ad group.
And like I mentioned earlier, each ad name can contain up to 512 characters.
Of course, the name is just for internal use so that you and your team can easily differentiate each individual ad. But it won’t appear on the ad itself.
Before creating the ad, you need to choose an ad format ( we discussed different ad formats on TikTok earlier in this guide, check it out).
Once you choose an ad format, the next step is to add your photos or videos. You can also create a TikTok advertising video with the Ads manager.
The TikTok ad manager has a pre-designed template that you can use to create your video ad.
And according to research, using the TikTok video editor can decrease your campaign cost per action by about 46%.
After creating your video, you can either choose from the default thumbnails from TikTok or create one.
Once you are done, enter your text and link, then your ad is ready. But it’s important to always check out the preview of your ad on the right of the screen and add relevant tracking links before you submit.
Again, you need to know that your ad won’t go live immediately. It will go through a review process before TikTok publishes it.
How Much Does TikTok Advertising Cost?
People who are new to the TikTok advertising world would always want to know TikTok ads’ cost.
I can’t really give a definite answer because TikTok ads are based on a bidding model.
So, advertisers can control how much they spend on the platform via daily and lifetime budgets for campaigns and ad groups.
For instance, the minimum budget for TikTok ad both at the campaign level and Ad group level are;
At the Campaign level, the daily budget is $50, and the lifetime budget is $50.
Ad group Level
For the ad group level, the minimum daily budget is $20, and the minimum lifetime budget is calculated by multiplying the daily budget by the number of days scheduled.
The truth is, TikTok didn’t really reveal much about advertising costs. But here are a few things to help you optimising your TikTok advertising spending;
- The bidding system you are using will determine your daily and lifetime ad budget. For instance, if you use a Bid Cap or Cost Cap bidding system, you can set your initial campaign-level budget at No Limit. And the daily ad group budget to be at 20X your target cost per action (CPA).
- If your campaign is for an App Event Optimization, you need to set an initial budget of at least $100 or 20X your target (CPA), whichever is higher.
- And if your campaign is for conversion, you can use the lowest cost bid strategy. All you have to do is set an initial budget of at least $100 or 20X your target (CPA), whichever is higher.
3 Popular TikTok Ads Examples
This section will walk you through some popular TikTok ads that yielded great results for advertisers.
#1. Little Caesars
Little Caesars used Spark ads to amplify content from 13 different creators they partnered with for their #GoCrazy campaign.
The brand gave the creators creative control, and they learned a few things.
They realised that TikToks featuring families got the highest click-through rates for their campaigns.
#2. Wet n Wild
Wet n Wild is another great TikTok advertising campaign that generated exceptional results.
The brand (wet n wild) leveraged a branded hashtag challenge to launch their new Big Poppa Mascara.
The Hashtag challenge was #BiggerIsBetter saw about 1.5 million user videos made, and the campaign generated a total of 2.6 billion views.
This particular campaign was successful because the brand used a blend of branded hashtag challenge, a custom sound, creator partnerships, and Top View ads.
And each of these components magnified each other, thus the massive reach the campaign experienced.
Penningtons is a Canadian fashion brand that partnered with Alicia Mccarvell (a popular creator on TikTok) to create in-feed video ads.
Interestingly, the campaign was a success as it saw 53% more comments, 18% more likes, and 55% more views than the company’s content on other platforms.
Penningtons’ campaign was successful on TikTok because the brand partnered with an influencer who understood how to produce fun and authentic content that showcased the brand without appearing sales.
Why Marketers Should Be Using TikTok Marketing for Business
#1. TikTok Influencers
Outside TikTok Advertising, you can partner with influencers on the platform. These influencers understand how the platform works and create the perfect video content that will talk about your brand without appearing ‘salesy’.
#2. TikTok Advertising
We have been talking about TikTok advertising since the beginning of this article. While they are newly added to the TikTok space, several brands are already leveraging them to grow their business.
The five types of ads options available for marketers are Instagram are; In-Feed Ads, brand takeovers, Topviews, Branded Hashtag challenges, branded effects.
#3. Diverse Content
There’s something about TikTok that makes content go viral easily on the platform. Once you understand your target audience and the type of content they like consuming, you can easily grow your business using diverse content on TikTok.
#4. It’s Easy to Go Viral on TikTok
It’s easy for your content to go viral on TikTok. And that is because the platform democratises content in a new and unique way.
The good thing about TikTok is that your followers’ count doesn’t directly influence what content shows up in your feed.
My point? Just one content from your brand can lead to overall success and give you millions of followers.
In a nutshell, everybody has an equal chance to go viral on TikTok regardless of your followers count.
#5. TikTok is Relatively New
There is no better time than now to use TikTok to grow your business. The platform is relatively new and is yet to be saturated by too many users.
Most major brands are yet to establish their presence on TikTok, so it’s still easy for start-ups and businesses with a slim budget to grow on the platform.
From a business and marketing point of view, TikTok is still at the first adopters’ stage, so it’s less competitive than other platforms.