Everything You Need to Know About TikTok Advertising

by Hunter Sunrise in Advertising

Cue the social platform that’s the talk of the town—TikTok. Though the platform has been around since 2016, it’s been gaining an enormous amount of traction outside the Gen Z circles over the last couple of years. Now, B2B and B2C advertisers are building up new advertising strategies for the social platform.

This post will give you an overview of TikTok advertising and how to create TikTok ads using the TikTok ads manager.

What is TikTok advertising?

TikTok advertising offers advertisers the use of unique formats and targeting options that help them access one of their largest social media audience pools.

According to Hootsuite, TikTok’s largest audience is in the United States with 120,768,500 people using the platform. What’s even more interesting is the percentage of the adult population TikTok ads can reach in countries outside of North America, especially the Middle East and Asia.

TikTok largest audience stats

How do TikTok ads work?

Like Facebook and Instagram, ads and sponsored content appear between organic, user-generated content (UGC).

Here’s a TikTok ad example for E.L.F cosmetics:

elf tiktok ad

When TikTok ads and sponsored videos appear, viewers are presented with the opportunity to click to learn more—sending them to a landing page.

TikTok presents highly curated content based on user interests: The platform has targeting down to a science thanks to advanced machine learning. TikTok videos range anywhere from a couple of seconds up to a maximum of 60 seconds—and there is currently a trial for some users to create videos up to three minutes long.

With so much user-generated content on the platform, how many advertisers are really utilizing TikTok for their brands? In our 2021 Digital Advertising Trends Survey, 25% of advertisers responded that they began using TikTok this year. And 116 marketers identified TikTok as the “next big thing in digital advertising.”

So, how do you start advertising on TikTok?

How do you set up your account in TikTok Ads Manager?

Here’s the step-by-step process of creating your TikTok ads in the TikTok Ads Manager.

    1. Creating an account on the TikTok Ads Manager.
    2. Choose your billing country or region and then select whether you’re using the account for a business or individual.

TikTok ads manager

  1. Enter your basic information when prompted, such as your email address and password. Then enter athe verification code TikTok sentds to your email or phone.
  2. Confirm that you agree to the terms and conditions, then click “Sign Up.”

Once your brand is approved you can simply log in to your dashboard and finish the initial account setup according to the instructions.

TikTok sign up page

After creating your account, it’s crucial to generate compelling, targeted ads and landing pages that tell a continuous story and will excite consumers. It’s very easy to scroll past an ad on the platform, so you want to catch viewers’ attention as quickly as possible.
There are several types of TikTok ads you can choose from:

There are several types of TikTok ads you can choose from:

In-feed videos. These videos appear organically on a users “For You Page” or FYP, which is the feed or stream of content users see.

Brand takeover. Ads that appear when a user opens the app are known as brand takeover ads.

Challenges. Also called hashtag challenges, these ads invite users to interact with your brand by creating relevant branded content.
Branded augmented reality content. This approach is less of an ad and more of a presence. Brand AR comes in the form of stickers and other branded components that users can integrate into their videos.

Sponsored ads. Also referred to as influencer ads, these collaborations with influencers or users expose your brand to new audiences by putting your brand in front of the influencer’s followers. This approach also helps to build trust in your brand since the influencer’s followers are more likely to trust their recommendations than an ad from a brand they have no relationship with.

How to use TikTok

Now that you’re familiar with the various ad types, it’s time to start creating personalized ad experiences. This list is not exhaustive, but here are some key best practices to follow:

Become familiar with trending content. TikTok trends are always changing, so it’s important to stay on top of them.

Find a niche. With so many users on TikTok, you want your ads to be as targeted and unique as possible. As with general marketing best practices, you should segment your audiences and create personalized content for each.

You can incorporate trending hashtags or create your own to start a trend and encourage others to participate. Some of the most popular hashtags aren’t directly related to the content in the users’ videos, but are a way to get content in front of a larger audience. Examples include: #viral, #trending, #foryou, #foryoupage, #fyp, and even #tiktok.

Use hashtags. You can incorporate trending hashtags or create your own to start a trend and encourage others to participate. Some of the most popular hashtags aren’t directly related to the content in the users’ videos, but are a way to get content in front of a larger audience. Examples include: #viral, #trending, #foryou, #foryoupage, #fyp, and even #tiktok.

Once you start posting, keep an eye on your analytics to gauge the kinds of content and hashtags that perform best with your audience. And if you’re an adventurous brand, try creating your own hashtag—if you have a good one, it could go viral.

How to get the most out of TikTok advertising

TikTok does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to getting your advertisements in front of the right people—remember, they have a very advanced machine learning system—but there are still things you can do to increase your return on investment (ROI) and return on ad spend (ROAS).

How much do TikTok ads cost?

You’re probably wondering: How can I get the most out of my ad budget? And how do TikTok ad prices compare to other platforms?

The ad type you choose is the biggest factor in how far you can stretch your budget. Ad objectives, bidding methods, audiences, and industry also play a role in how far your budget can take you. However, TikTok ads are still new which means that TikTok can afford to charge a premium rate for them because the platform knows that advertisers aren’t going to abandon TikTok to compete with their competitors for prime Facebook/Instagram advertising space.

Keep in mind that the type of ad you choose will determine price—so even small businesses can still be big players in the game if they have a solid strategy and personalized content. While Facebook allows you to start a campaign for as little as $1, TikTok requires a minimum $500 campaign budget.

Another important consideration when establishing a campaign budget for TikTok is that, unlike Facebook and Google, TikTok doesn’t use cost per click as a metric. Instead, the platform uses cost per mille (CPM), which translates into the cost per 1000 views. Pricing starts at $10 per CPM, so it is possible to keep costs relatively low.

However, TikTok’s main appeal is creating a huge impact, ideally going viral with either paid or organic content. For example, a Branded Hashtag Challenge may require up to $150,000 to get featured on TikTok’s Discovery banner.

In relation to platforms such as Facebook and Google, it’s clear that TikTok is more expensive. On top of that, it’s harder to calculate CPC, a foundational measurement for many marketers. When deciding whether to advertise on TikTok:

  1. Set clear goals
  2. Define your audience for this specific platform
  3. Don’t skimp on the budget
  4. Pay close attention to trending videos and hashtags
  5. Update your content accordingly—and often

Personalizing your TikTok advertising journey

TikTok is known for being an authentic, short-form, and engaging platform. Your ads need to connect in a split second with your target audience, but your strategy and personalization can’t end at the ad—it must continue to the landing page. If you don’t have a clear, consistent narrative, you’ll lose your audience right away.

Once you know the ins and outs of TikTok, the next step is to optimize what happens after the click: The landing page experience. The best way to do this is by creating fully optimized landing pages. Instapage is here to help.

Find out how the #1 landing page platform for marketers can help you skyrocket conversions while decreasing your cost-per-click for TikTok and all the rest of your advertising channels. Schedule an Instapage demo today

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Hunter Sunrise

by Hunter Sunrise

As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Hunter’s day-to-day mission is to uncover opportunities for authentic connections and experiences. Using this lens, he has driven success across brand, content, omnichannel, GTM, and growth marketing initiatives. Outside of work, you can find Hunter analyzing the complexity of a sip of wine (he is a Master Sommelier).

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