• Casey Roeder

How To Advertise On TikTok

Unlock your business growth by venturing into TikTok and learn how to create your first campaign launch today.

Are TikTok Ads Right For Your Business?

Now more than ever e-commerce stores are finding new ways to advertise direct to consumers. While existing platforms like Facebook and Instagram are widely adopted today, recent iOS14.5 policies have made it harder to effectively leverage a positive return on your ad spend.

With more than 500 million active users, TikTok presents a valuable opportunity to advertisers, small business owners and agencies alike. Not only has TikTok surpassed Twitter and Snapchat in popularity, but it's less saturated with ads than its counterparts. The video dominated app which allows users to edit and share up to 60 second videos with built in filters, effects, music and more - has truly rocked the marketing world by surprise.

In early 2019, the app launched a beta version of its ads offering. Since then, big names like Taco Bell, Spikeball, and Good Dye Young have used TikTok ads to promote products in unique, visually compelling campaigns. With advanced targeting and unique ad creation features, the TikTok Ads platform is unlike many of its predecessors. When used effectively, it can help you tap into one of the most lucrative pools of users.

However, not every business is positioned to benefit from TikTok’s unique offering. Before investing your time and effort into TikTok advertising, here are two questions you need to ask yourself to determine if this ad platform is right for your business.

What Is The Target Demographic For Your Business?

  • 53% of TikTok users are male and 47% are female.

  • Roughly 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 32.5% aged between 10 and 19.

  • ByteDance’s collection of apps, including TikTok, has a total of over 1 billion monthly active users.

However, it’s worth mentioning that while TikTok’s current audience is predominantly young, social networks do tend to be adopted by younger audiences first, and then make their mark on older demographics. So it might still be worthwhile to learn more about the platform to stay ahead of the curve, even if TikTok isn’t the right fit for your business at this stage.

#1 Create a TikTok Ads Account

To create your first ad campaign, visit the TikTok Ads home page and click on the Create an Ad button.

Because TikTok Ads is still in beta, the process of setting up ads isn’t entirely online yet. When you click the button, a form pops up requesting details to set up your account. After you submit this information, a representative will get in touch with you to set up your TikTok Ads account.

It can take up to 48 hours to receive your account. Once you do, the process for creating ads is relatively straightforward.

#2 Create a TikTok Ads Campaign

In the TikTok Ads dashboard, click the Campaign tab at the top of the page and then click the Create button.

TikTok Ads Manager

Next, choose a campaign objective, which is the primary goal of your ad. As of this writing, you can choose from three options: Traffic, Conversions, and App Install.

TikTok Ads Manager UI

To set your budget at the campaign level, select either the Daily Budget or Total Budget option under Settings. Note that both the daily budget and total budget must be at least $500.

TikTok Settings

#3 Set Your Tik Tok Ad Placements, Targeting and Details

The next step is to create an ad group for your campaign and choose your placements and targeting.

One of the most useful features of the TikTok Ads dashboard is that it lets you select the exact platforms you’d like to run your ads on. These include not only TikTok but also its entire family of apps like Vigo Video (India only), BuzzVideo, News Republic, and others.

There’s also an option for automatic placements, where TikTok determines where your ad would perform best and places it there.

TikTok Placement Types

Once you’ve selected your preferred placements, follow the prompts to enter all of the details necessary to start running your ad, including any relevant URLs, display names, images, and categories. You can also select up to 20 keywords to describe your website or app, which will then be used to match your products with the right audience.

The Targeting section lets you define the target audience for your ads. Set parameters for location, age, gender, languages, interests, devices, and more to attract the right audience for your ads.

TikTok Targeting Details

If you have a specific group of people in mind to target on TikTok, you can create a custom audience by uploading the IDs of existing TikTok users. Simply upload the IDs as a CSV, TXT, or ZIP file.

#4: Control Your TikTok Ad Spend, Duration, and Goals

Set a Budget and Schedule

In the Budget & Schedule section, set the budget for the ad group. You can choose either a daily budget (the amount you’re willing to spend each day) or a total budget (the total amount you’re willing to spend for the duration of the schedule). Note that there’s a $50 minimum for the daily budget and total budget at the ad group level. Editor’s Note: At the time of this writing, the minimum daily budget at the ad group level was quoted as $50 USD (as shown in the screenshot below). Current help files for TikTok Ads now quote the minimum daily budget at the ad group level as $20 USD.

Also choose the scheduled duration for your ads. Dayparting allows you to select specific times of the day or week on which to run your ad.

Choose a Pacing Option

Next, set the pacing of your budget, which determines the speed at which your budget will be spent. The Standard delivery option spaces out your budget evenly across the duration of the campaign, while the Accelerate option spends the budget as fast as possible during the scheduled time.

Select Your Optimization Goal

Your optimization goal reflects the key metric you’re hoping to achieve with your campaign. You can choose to optimize your ad group for Conversion, Click, or Impression and your bidding will be optimized based on the goal you select.

If you choose Conversion as your goal, your ad will be served to the people who are most likely to convert for your product or service. To track all of the actions that signify a conversion (for instance, app downloads or form submissions), create conversion events by clicking Library and selecting Conversions.

From here, decide whether you want to set up conversion tracking for app installs or certain elements of your landing page via pixel.

To create an app install conversion, type in a name for your conversion event, enter the link to your app in Google Play or the App Store, and select a tracking partner to start measuring conversions from your ad.

Create App Conversion Campaign

Conversion goals are priced using the oCPC (optimization cost per click) bidding method, which ensures your ads will be displayed to the users who are most likely to perform your expected actions. With oCPC, you bid on the individual conversion cost you expect, but then pay by CPC (cost per click). TikTok Ads automatically adjusts bids based on your bid settings, drawing the cost of your campaign close to your target price.

If you select Click as the overarching goal for your ad group, you’ll be billed on a CPC basis, with your ad being optimized to drive as many clicks as possible.

Finally, if you set Impression as your goal, your ad will be billed on a CPM (cost per mille) basis, which denotes the price of a thousand impressions.

Turn Smart Optimization On or Off

TikTok offers an option called Smart Optimization, and if it’s enabled, your bidding will be constantly adjusted and optimized to increase conversions. If you choose Click or Impression as your goal, it’s best to switch off Smart Optimization.

#5: Design Your Ad Using TikTok’s Video Creation Kit

When it comes to designing the creative assets for your ad, the process is fairly straightforward. TikTok ads can be horizontal, vertical, or square videos and images. The best thing about the ads platform is a tool called the Video Creation Kit, which provides video and image templates you customize using your existing images. It also comes with 300+ options for free background music.

TikTok currently allows the following ad types: top view, brand takeovers, in-feed ads, hashtag challenges, and branded effects.


Brand Takeovers

A brand takeover ad will appear instantly when a user opens TikTok. The ad can then be redirected to an internal or external link—either another video on TikTok or an external website or app. Currently, this ad type is limited to one advertiser per day.

In-Feed Ads

In-feed ads are native ads placed either at the bottom of organic TikTok videos or in the feed as part of the video queue, depending on the type of product. These ads also redirect to your website or app. On average, they cost <$10 per CPM, making them a more affordable option than brand takeovers.

Here’s an ad for an app that appeared when scrolling through videos on the platform:

Hashtag Challenges

You can partner with TikTok’s marketing team to create a sponsored hashtag challenge that encourages users to share content on TikTok on your brand’s behalf. Challenges generally last for six days.

Branded Effects

Branded Effects on TikTok

#6: Optimize Your TikTok Ad

When creating a brand takeover or in-app display ad, ensure you use high-resolution images because the ad’s visuals will take over the user’s entire screen and be highly visible.

Focus on only one call to action (CTA) to make the most of your redirect link. To illustrate, if you ask users to download your app and access a coupon code through your website, you might confuse some viewers by redirecting them to your app’s download screen.

For the ad copy, note that TikTok ads provide very little space to explain anything with words. Ad descriptions are limited to 80 English characters so if you’re selling a more complex product or service, incorporate words into your display creative using the Video Creation Kit.

Because all ad descriptions appear at the bottom of the screen, be sure to place your key creative elements in the middle of the screen to avoid congestion.

As with most ad formats, it’s best to experiment with a range of targeting options and creative elements before narrowing your ad down to the most successful combinations of elements.

Pro Tip: In addition to the Video Creation Kit, take advantage of the other built-in ad tools. At the ad group level, the Automated Creative Optimization tool (shown in action below) lets you upload up to 10 images or 5 videos, 5 ad texts, and 1 CTA and will then combine your creative assets into multiple ads. It will test a variety of these ads throughout your campaign and ultimately present the best possible combination to your target audience.

The Landing Page to Video tool will capture high-quality image material from any landing page URL you feed into it and then combine these images with music to automatically generate video ads.

Key Takeaways

At Skylab Media, we are dedicated to helping clients just like you integrate brand awareness campaigns into their other marketing endeavors, ensuring that your time and money are focused exactly where they need to be. Contact us for a 90 day marketing proposal with one of our digital marketing strategists to better understand how to take your brand awareness campaigns to the next level.

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Fun Facts About Tik Tok

  • TikTok is available in 155 markets, in 75 languages.

  • TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2020 with 850 million downloads.

  • TikTok remains the most downloaded app in Q1 2021 with 62 million downloads in January, 56 million downloads in February, and 58 million in March.

  • It’s currently the most downloaded non-gaming app of the year.

  • There were about 200 million users of TikTok in India before it got banned.

  • 68 percent of TikTok users watch someone else’s video and 55 percent upload their own videos.

  • There have been over 1.5 billion installs on Android phones accounting for 75.5% of the total usage.

  • The App Store has only generated 495.2 million downloads accounting for only 24.5% of the total TikTok installs.

  • Entertainment content has accumulated 443.3 billion hashtag views collectively.

  • The second most viewed content category is ‘Dance’ with 150.3 billion hashtag views.

  • The #timewarpscan hashtag videos have been viewed over 14.3 billion times to date.

  • Bella Poarch’s video lip-syncing “M to the B” was TikTok’s biggest viral video of 2020 with 520 million views and over 43 million likes.

  • The most followed individual on TikTok is Charli d’Amelio with over 112 million followers.

  • TikTok’s average engagement rate is 17.99%.

  • The average activation number is 43.4 times a day.

  • It took 200 days for the development team to create the original version of Douyin/ TikTok.

  • TikTok is called Douyin in China.

  • The most followed person on Douyin is the Chinese male actor Chen with over 73 million fans in China.

  • TikTok is currently banned in five countries including China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.

  • TikTok owners bought for $1B.

  • Tiktok has an in-app currency that users can use to send gifts to other creators.

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