The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Advertising for Businesses

TikTok Advertising for Businesses
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TikTok of late became the most wanted social marketing tool, almost everybody under the age of 30 uses TikTok. Over 1.1 billion users worldwide actively used the platform for advertising businesses of all kinds.

As it is considered the fastest-growing social media in the world, it also offers massive advertising opportunities for digital marketers and online businesses with specific targeting interests.

We will explore in this article who should take advantage of the platform to boost their business growth and actually how to effectively do it.

What is TikTok Advertising

TikTok advertising is basically an advertising network to enable businesses to reach a wider audience with paid advertising options.

It offers businesses and marketers an advertising network to target users with various ads using multiple ad formats and targeting options across GEOs known as TikTok Advertising.

Should You Advertise on TikTok?

Whose business suit-most to be advertised on TikTok ads, for many brands are willing to advertise on the platform but as we proceed, we will get to know better the business that should be advertised on TikTok.

Valuable TikTok Stats:

  • 689 million TikTok users internationally (monthly) (official stats)
  • 600 million Douyin users in China (daily) (official stats)
  • 100 million TikTok users in the US (monthly) (official stats)
  • 100 million TikTok users in Europe, with 17 million in the UK, 11 million in France, and 11 million in Germany (official stats)
  • 6 billion lifetime downloads of TikTok on iOS App Store and Google Play as of December 2020 (Sensor Tower)
  • TikTok 2020 downloads are estimated at between 850 million and 987 million, excluding Chinese third-party downloads (Apptopia/Sensor Tower)
  • TikTok’s global penetration is estimated at 18% of global internet users aged 16-64 (GlobalWebIndex)
  • TikTok 2020 revenue is estimated at $1 billion (Reuters)
  • TikTok valued at $50 billion (Reuters)

Do these statistics sound appealing to you? Continue reading to learn how to advertise on TikTok, find out how much TikTok ads cost and see some examples of effective TikTok ads.

The above information speaks volumes of how pleasing the TikTok ad is. Find out how best to use the ad platform, the cost of advertising with TikTok, and also some effective examples of TikTok ads.

The behavior of TikTok Users (Engagement)

Image credit: GlobalWebIndex

How to advertise on TikTok

To advertise on TikTok requires having an account or account manager. The essence is to ascertain whether your business qualifies or not. You can do that by contacting TikTok Ads directly.

TikTok ads create an account page
contact form for TikTok ads

As soon as an account is created and your detailed information is submitted, expect a review of your information through the TikTok representative.

After review and your business qualifies, then you will be contacted to set up your advertising account and you will start running your campaigns.

TikTok Ad Options

TikTok offers several options for advertisers to reach their target demographic.

  • In-Feed Video: With For You page, you can see Ads appear in the native news feed of TikTok.
  • Brand Takeover: As soon as TikTok users open the app and take charge in a short while, the in-feed videos Ad appears.
  • Hashtag Challenge: The Ad that appears on the Discovery page, further inspires users to participate in the creation of user-content challenges.
  • Branded AR Content: The Ad appearance is like a branded lens, stickers, and other 2D/3D/AR content which enable TikTok users to use in their videos.
  • Custom Influencer Package: This Ad here looks as part of sponsored content made by a TikTok user in order to have influence in your market.

To enjoy the most exciting and abundant tasks, you will definitely need a TikTok ad account manager for assistance. In-Feed Video ads, Advertisers with access to the self-service dashboard can create In-Feed Video ad campaigns.

TikTok Ad Account Setup

Only when you log in to your dashboard else you can’t have access to the TikTok Ads platform. This is where you may have to finish your ad account setup with a few more steps. Many times, your account setup is done with the aid of an account rep.

Welcome to TikTok ads page

Creating a new ad campaign

You are good to go once you are done setting up an account with your account details, locate the Campaign tab to create your first ad campaign. With TikTok, you can organize your ads in three stages which include campaigns, ad groups, and ads.

  • The top level is the campaign. This is the stage to define your campaigns with one main objective and budget.
  • Under a campaign, you will find one or more ad groups. You will define ad groups with ad placements, target audiences, budget, and schedule.
  • Under an ad group, you will find one or more ads. This is where you have the opportunity to create video content ads to reach your target audience for your ad group.

Click on the Create button to create a new In-Feed Video ad campaign.

"Campaign" button highlighted in TikTok ads dashboard

This is where you can ‘Choose’ your ad campaign’s objective. The country of origin avails the available options to you.

TikTok advertising objectives: Traffic, app install, or conversion

The chances of your campaign reaching out to many audiences determine the type of budget you set. When you name your campaign and enter your lifetime or daily budget.

It allows your ad campaign to get to many people and as fast as you can think while a daily budget would allow your ad campaign to steadily penetrate your target market.

Tiktok advertising settings. Budget is set to "Lifetime"

Creating a new ad group

At this point, is either you create your first ad group or you choose your ad group’s ad placements.

When TikTok chooses placement automatically for you be rest assured of an effective outcome. With this, your ad will appear on TikTok partner apps which may include BuzzVideo (Japan), TopBuzz (US and BR), Babe (Indonesia), and News Republic (worldwide). Tiktik advertising placement, set to “Automatic placements”

Tiktok advertising placements, set to "Automatic Placements"

At this stage, configure the audience targeting. With TikTok, you can target the audience by general demographics, interests, and devices.

Targeting demographics for Tiktok ads

Custom Audience Targeting Options

In your ad group targeting, TikTok allows you to use custom audiences. A custom audience can be created in different ways when a customer’s contact data, website traffic, and app activity are used.

Using TikTok Ads for retargeting entails you installing the TikTok Pixel before launching your ad campaign. The minimum website traffic data audience size is 1,000 users.

TikTok Pixel also helps in:

  • Assessing TikTok ad campaigns efficiency.
  • Ensuring you improve your ad delivery to users that may complete your ad campaign unbiasedly.
  • Discarding some audiences that have been previously converted to avoid unnecessary ad budget spending on such unnecessary impressions or clicks.

As soon as you are done with your audience targeting, go ahead and configure the budget and schedule for your ad group.

Budget & Schedule settings for TikTok ads

Remember, you can customize the bidding and optimization of your ad budget spending. When you bid higher so your ad stands a chance to be seen by your target audience over your competitor’s ads.

Bidding & Optimization settings for TikTok ads

Creating a new ad

Go ahead and upload your first ad ever, once your ad group is configured. These Ads could be videos or images. When images are selected, TikTok helps to group them into a video for you.

Single video or single image options for TikTok advertising

A single video or single image option for TikTok advertising

Creating ad content that could look great on TikTok and the partner app, TikTok has defined specifications for images and videos. For optimum outcome, be guided that your videos meet the following specs.

  • A ratio of 9:16/1:1/16:9. is recommended
  • A resolution of greater than 720px x 1280px, 640px by 640px, or 1280px by 720px.
  • A video that is 5 to 60 seconds in length, however, 9 to 15 seconds is ideal.
  • A brand name in English and 2 to 20 characters in length or an app name that is 4 to 40 characters in length.
  • A description of your advertised product or service that is 12 to 100 characters (English) in length.

It will interest you to note also that, TikTok is a home of creative tools that advertisers can use to help create the right content for their target audience.

These creative tools may include a video creation kit, landing page to video, smart video soundtrack, and TikTok Ad Studio.

When you are done creating your ad, use TikTok’s ad preview tool to see how your ad will look on mobile devices. You may continue to create more ads and ad groups for your campaign if you need more of it.

If you are done and dusted with your ad campaign setup, go ahead and submit your campaign for review.

Monitoring Ad Campaign Performance

When your ad campaign is approved by TikTok and it begins to run, this can be monitored using your ad’s performance in your ads dashboard.

See below Some TikTok Ads analytics

TikTok ads analytics

The use of filters within campaign reports helps you to know how your ads are performing based on specific dimensions and metrics. These filters include ad creativity, audience demographics, device type, and placement.

How much do TikTok Ads Cost?

To get the best out of TikTok services, you need a significant investment in the TikTok advertising campaign. Statistics from the Leaked TikTok Pitch Deck of June 2019 had it that, each ad type cost the following.

  • In-Feed Video: has about $25,000 minimum per campaign with $30,000 daily maximum.
  • Brand Takeover: $50,000 daily.
  • Hashtag Challenge: $150,000 for six days.
  • Branded Lenses: Depending on the complex nature of the lens design, the cost is in the region of $80,000 – $120,000.
  • Customer Influencer Package: indices show that on influencer and campaign, certain sources have noted $600 – $1,000 per post.

People with access to the self-service TikTok ads platform, advertisers can set daily or all-time budget caps. The minimum budget set by TikTok is $500 at the campaign level and $50 at the ad group level.

This minimum spending serves as a guide and is meant to guarantee your ad has enough budget to spend to reach your ad objectives.

Advertisers with meagre budgets can alternatively afford other social media advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat in case TikTok advertising is still on the high side.

TikTok Advertising Best Practices

The best place to start advertising best practices is TikTok’s Inspiration section. While home to only a dozen case studies, this highlights some of the most successful advertising campaigns on the platform so far.

Review TikTok Inspiration Studies

TikTok inspiration studies reveal that Clean & Clear in India ran a Hashtag Challenge campaign that introduces a new limited-edition design to a teen audience. This ultimately generated 2.62 million user-generated videos and over 10,400 new fans for their brand on TikTok.

TikTok ad for Clean & Clear

Two Faces is a Brand Takeover campaign that ran to basically usher in a new look of free-lip-plumping gloss. This ad indeed generated 7.6-million impressions and 1.3-million clicks.

What astounding traffic this ad campaign called for. Its click-through rate exceeded expectations of 18.38%.

TikTok ad for Too Faced

The successful stories of the ad campaigns here will serve as a guide that, in every successful ad campaign, you must know your target audience on TikTok. This will further help you create the best native ad content.

Browse the Discover page

Browse TikTok like your target demographic. Use the Discover page to see the trending content. As you take your time to browse this section, definitely you will also see the advertisers running Hashtag Challenge campaigns.

TikTok discover page for #BeatTheZombieFunk

TikTok discover page for #BeatTheZombieFunk

Short of ideas on how TikTok is used, always use the search box at the top for users, videos, sounds, and hashtags related to your business for a guide and effective usage.

TikTok videos that show up when you search "Gardening"

Connect with TikTok influencers

TikTok Influencers serve as your guide through the journey of TikTok service usage and they can be found under Users. By scrolling through the list of search results to see how many followers each user has and how many videos they have posted will definitely help you. Searching for “Gardening” under “Users” with results.

searching for "Gardening" under "Users" with results

For clarity, TikTok ensures users who have been verified are given a mark which is a blue checkmark next to their name. while the unverified influencers can still help a brand, in case they have strong engagement.

When you identified with verified influencers in your niche this can serve as an added advantage in case you want to create a viral influencer ad campaign. Follow them to get to know their content and see if they’re a good fit for your brand.

As you get involved with videos and users, always ensure to add hashtags to your favorites so that they can help build a more personalized For You and Following experience. The examples below here will inspire you to benefit more from other advertisers.

Examples of effective TikTok ads

The success of your ad campaign with TikTok depends on knowing what your audience likes. Find here some of the businesses that are advertising their products, services, and apps on TikTok to learn from them.

You can get an idea of how well each ad is received by the audience based on the engagement metrics shown. Note that some ads may be newer than others, and as such avoid comparing the number of likes to another.

Here are some great effective TikTok Advertising examples from Tinuiti

1. Guess Jeans

The #InMyDenim hashtag challenge was one of the first of its kind on TikTok in the US and is still one of the best. The challenge encouraged users to post videos of themselves initially wearing ratty clothes, and then transforming into fashionable outfits that included–you guessed it–Guess-branded denim products.

The campaign lasted 6 days and included prominent TikTok personalities like @ourfire and @madisonwillow

3. Gushers

Candy brand Gushers does a fantastic job with making creative and funny TikTok advertisements. Their TikTok videos often get millions of views and tons of engagement.

In fact, Gusher’s very first TikTok ad was viewed nearly 5 million times. That’s a very strong start by any standard!

4. Red Bull

Energy drink brand Red Bull does a fantastic job on TikTok with its high-octane content. TikTok’s format of short, energetic videos suits the brand very well and engages both sports fans and viewers who just want to see something cool. Red Bull has earned over 4 million followers as a result.


Overall, TikTik has huge opportunities for businesses and marketers to explore their advertising platforms. It depends on your business and location, you will be able to make great use of TikTok to reach millions of targeted audiences across multiple GEOs.

Like any other ad network, TikTok advertising will be effective only if you use it the right way. We still encourage you to do your research before launching your TikTok Ads.

For Knowledge’s sake, please don’t hesitate to share your experience advertising on TikTok to help others in the community. Let us know your suggestions and recommendation in the comment section.

Eugene Agoh

Eugene Agoh

Founder at AdsTargets | Online advertising expert | Search engine optimisation expert | Social media marketing expert.Eugene is a Passionate writer on topics relating to online advertising, branding and generally interested in creating digital marketing content. He is curious about the future of digital advertising.Follow Eugene on LinkedIn @ eugeneagoh

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