In the last five years, TikTok has witnessed a rapid growth in the number of users signing up on the platform.
It’s reportedly one of the fastest-growing social media platforms of 2022.
With its rising popularity, TikTok has presented a unique opportunity for brands who want to connect with their target audience on the platform.
Have you been thinking about joining the trend but can’t seem to figure it out?
We feel you!
We created this guide to show you how to advertise on TikTok successfully.
More precisely, we’ll cover:
- Why having a TikTok ad strategy is important
- Types of TikTok ads
- Best practices
In addition to that, we have a FAQ section you can go through for more clarity.
Let’s get TikToking!
Table of Contents
What’s a TikTok Ad Strategy & Why is it Important?
A TikTok ad strategy is a detailed plan designed to persuade your target audience into choosing your product or service over that of your competitors using ads. In other words, it's creating and running ads on TikTok with an objective in mind.
So, what are TikTok ads?
They are primarily sponsored videos that brands create to reach their audience.
And running ads on the video-sharing app is an effective marketing strategy for your business.
We’re not just saying that!
You see, there’s a reason why the hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit keeps trending with the number of monthly active users increasing. Because it keeps generating views and driving sales.
Plus, 24% of marketers in a 2022 social trends survey considered TikTok as a viable option for them to reach their marketing goals compared to 3% the previous year. That’s like a 700% increase in less than 24 months!
To give you a better idea, TikTok ads can help your business to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Build online communities
- Provide customer service
- Advertise your products or services to your customers
- Increase sales or app installs
Similar to other social media platforms, to start marketing your product or service on TikTok, you need to begin by creating a plan. In this case, it’s the ad strategy.
Why is having a TikTok ad strategy important?
It can make a huge difference to the results of your marketing campaign so you get value for your money.
Also considering the advertising potential on TikTok with the number of users exceeding 1 billion and expected to keep growing, having an ad strategy will help you reach out to the right people.
If your target audience and TikTok’s user demographics overlap, you can be certain that your brand’s marketing campaign will produce the right type of results.
Keep in mind that the ad strategy for each marketing campaign has to be unique and you can do that through ad testing.
Now, how about we look at different types of TikTok ads so you can figure out which will work best for your ad strategy?
7 Types of TikTok Ads (& Which Ones Work Best)
Creating an ad strategy involves a lot of creativity – you’ll need to understand your campaign objectives, target audience, and what type of ads they’ll love.
But TikTok ads are videos; won’t any type of video do?
Well, they would but at the same time you want to see your returns on ad spend, right?
If so, then you don’t want to leave your ad campaign to chance as choosing the right format with your goals in mind can determine how successful your campaign will be.
There are various types of TikTok ads you can use when creating an ad campaign.
Each serves a unique purpose and suits a variety of campaign objectives.
We’ll discuss them in a jiffy – so you know which one works best.
1. Top View Ads
TopView ads is a full-screen 60-second video that offers an immersive viewing experience for users.
This ad format presents your brand in an unmissable format so that it captures the user’s attention the moment they open the video app.
Wanna know what’s more interesting?
It has no other content competing when it’s on display so nothing interrupts your audience while they are viewing it.
Plus, you are guaranteed millions of views within 24 hours of launching it.
TopView ads, according to TikTok, are more engaging and more attention-grabbing with over 70% of users confirming that.
An example of a TopView ad is displayed below – promoting Balenciaga’s luxury bag.
Speaking of effectiveness, brands that sell consumer packaged goods have seen a 67% increase in sales when using TopView compared to other types.
2. Collection Ads
The second type of TikTok ad we‘ll have a look at is the collection ad.
This is a type of in-feed ad that sends your customers directly to an instant gallery page.
There they can access your products without having to leave the app.
Unlike regular ads that require customers to leave TikTok, collection ads permit brand owners to promote a branded video featuring some product tiles at the bottom that lead to an Instant Gallery Page.
Is there anything special about this ad type?
For one, it gives users engaging browsing and shopping experiences.
It’s not available to every user or market yet.
But it’s worth trying out especially if you run an eCommerce business.
3. In-feed Ads
You know how sometimes you’re scrolling through the For You page (FYP) of the app and suddenly there’s an ad that’s just like other TikTok videos you’ve been watching?
Well, that’s called in-feed ads.
You get to tell your brand’s story like a creator by embedding a video ad that plays within a user’s feed.
This type of ad allows you to promote your brand’s product or services in a 60-second high-quality video.
And you know what’s even more interesting?
TikTok’s in-feed ads have been shown to be more memorable than TV ads by up to 23%.
That’s probably why the Maybelline brand decided to give it a try when they wanted to expand their target audience in the example below:
The video ended up with over 48,000 likes, 2,907 comments, and 709 shares in just one day.
That’s not all!!
Awareness went up by 80% and brand favorability increased by 47%.
4. Branded Hashtag Challenge
If the goal of your marketing campaign is to raise awareness and brand favorability, then the branded hashtag challenge ad is another option for you.
It’s like a form of digital marketing where you don’t necessarily have to spend a dime.
Because you’re inviting the TikTok community to engage with your brand.
See how TikTok for business describes it: A one-of-a-kind engagement format that taps into user passion for creation and expression. Delivering strong brand awareness with a level of engagement that goes far beyond a simple click.
In simpler terms, you’re tapping into the community’s creativity to build your brand’s awareness.
Will it work for your business?
According to the video app, branded hashtag videos have an average engagement rate of 17.5%.
Over 50% of this type of ad has more than $5 return on ad spend for the consumer packaged goods industry.
And there’s still more. So, yes it can work for your business.
A good example is the Mercedes Benz #MBStarChallenge shown below:
It was a creative challenge from a huge brand and you can guess the outcome.
Over 185k of user-generated content (UGC) was created by 75k+ creators with more than 180 million views.
In the end, Mercedes Benz’s favorability increased by 18.2% and brand preference went up by 15.7%.
5. Brand Takeover
This type of TikTok ad is a full-screen ad that features as the first display a user sees when opening TikTok. The goal of this ad is massive awareness so video views are guaranteed.
Once it’s on display, the entire screen is clickable and the ad can be linked to a landing page or a branded hashtag challenge.
The full-screen display does a good job of drawing the user’s attention so it’s great for maximum reach.
Brand takeovers are short and quick in the form of GIFs.
How about we see an example?
6. Branded Effects
The next type of ad we’ll discuss is branded effects. This allows brands to show their playful and creative side with the creation of filters, stickers, and effects.
Business owners can persuade TikTok influencers or the average users to use it while filming their own video content.
So these effects can be used along with UGC or integrated into a branded hashtag challenge.
And just like the trending hashtags, your target audience can become very involved which will result in high engagement.
For better understanding, take a look at this example:
Vinfast E-scooter, in a bid to promote their Impes and Ludo scooters, created a branded effect where TikTok users could choose which digitized scooter they wanted to ride while dancing.
By getting users to participate in the #Phieucungxechat Hashtag Challenge and use the effects, the branded effects ad brought in a total of 60 million impressions for the campaign.
The results were just massive!!
7. Spark Ads
The last, but certainly not the least, type of ad we’ll talk about is the spark ad.
What is this?
This is an ad format that allows your brand to boost organic content from a Creators TikTok account which looks like it’s coming straight from the Creator and not from your brand..
Say there is a creator who has created organic content using your brand’s product or service; you can contact them and get their permission to use it as a Spark Ad.
So instead of posting it on your page, you boost or run spark ads directly from the creator’s page.
This way, it appears as an authentic short video and blends into TikTok’s feed way better than a regular ad.
Easy peasy, right?
Plus, we’ve got proof too.
Costa used Spark Ads in partnership with creators and saw their followers increase by 159% on TikTok, and they also generated millions of impressions too.
These were the videos that were promoted as TopView ads:
If you’d like to learn more about advertising on TikTok, you can read our TikTok Ads guide where we share more detailed examples and how to set up your campaign.
Now, how about we take a look at the differences between organic and paid ads?
Organic vs. Paid Advertising on TikTok
The main difference between organic and paid advertising on TikTok is that organic ads are posted for free while the latter has spend behind it.
Organic posts are typically shown on the FYP by people you follow or content that is similar to posts you’ve interacted with the most.
The more your target audience engages with it by liking or commenting, the more it’s seen by other people.
Paid ads, on the other hand, are posts that you spend money on to have wider reach and engagement. They show up in the feeds of any target audience which can be based on:
- Age groups
- Psychographic characteristics
One more thing to note before we consider their major differences is that they can both cross paths.
Organic posts can be boosted to get in front of more audiences, especially posts that are doing really well.
Organic TikTok Ads
Organic content is what makes TikTok a unique advertisement platform – the ability to let users create engaging content without having to spend large amounts of time and money.
It can be just anybody using TikTok’s visual and audio effects to create content people can interact with, and the TikTok algorithm does the rest.
So, it’s safe to say that organic TikTok Ads for brands refers to content created to share on their feeds.
Why should you post organic content?
Organic ads can also be used as a way for your business to test what type of content your target audience finds interactive without having to spend money.
Different creators can do organic posting to their page and by seeing which one has the best engagement, conversion rates, or impression, you know the type of creative to focus on.
What’s more, it positions your brand as a credible business for potential customers.
Plus, 58% of people in a survey say they’ll check out a brand’s social media pages before heading to their site and it’s the uploaded organic posts that they’ll see.
An organic ad is just like what Italian designer brand, Monnalisa, made with Italian creators:
The organic post had up to 8 million impressions.
That tells you it was a success, right? Now imagine it was a sponsored post.
The results would have been tremendous for Monnalisa.
Paid TikTok Ads
These are also known as sponsored posts and are usually indicated on the user’s page.
Paid TikTok Ads can be new video posts that have a specific budget and targeted audience.
In essence, it’s not just content for your current followers; you can decide who gets to see your posts.
Sometimes, organic ads don’t produce the kind of results you want to see because you essentially have to wait for people to interact with your posts.
That’s where paid ads have an edge– you’re taking matters into your own hands so you’re certain people have seen your content.
The process is not as simple as organic ads but it’s totally worth it as reports have shown that 91% of marketers have expressed satisfaction over their returns of investment in social video marketing.
Author’s Note: It’s good practice to start running organic ads before paying, boosting them so you can know which creative works well for your audience.
Speaking of paid ads, Monnalisa (the Italian cloth brand we mentioned above), decided they wanted to boost their organic content.
Can you guess what happened at the end of their campaign?
We’ll tell you.
Not only did they have 8 million impressions, but they also had 912k video views which provided 30,000 clicks to their eCommerce store.
A resounding success on all fronts.
You’ve learned a lot about the different types of ads for your TikTok ad strategy; it’s now time to get familiar with…
7 TikTok Advertising Best Practices (Paid & Organic Ads)
To run an effective TikTok ad strategy, you should not only familiarize yourself with the ad types but also with the best practices to be followed.
By best practices, we mean factors contributing to the desired outcome of your ad strategy.
TikTok has become a go-to platform for marketers who want to reach their target audience.
We’ve seen brands such as Mercedes Benz take advantage of that and witness tremendous results.
How can your business experience that kind of success?
By getting familiar with best practices that you can apply.
Let’s get into it.
1. Invest in ad creatives that work
…what are those?
Ad creatives are ads in the form of images or videos that users interact with when they open TikTok.
They persuade a potential customer to take action.
You can say it’s an integral part of your campaign.
On one hand, not all ad creatives would help you achieve your goals.
What do we mean?
Some work and others don’t.
For example, images can’t work on TikTok only videos.
A good practice would be to invest in video ads for your brand.
On the other hand, you need to go a step further by figuring out what should be included in the video that resonates with your target audience.
That’s what we mean by investing in ad creatives that work.
How can you get that done? Through creative testing.
So after that, what’s next?
2. Define your target demographics
Your target demographics are not the same as your target audience. They are the characteristics of your target audience.
Let’s simplify that.
You can define your target demographics by analyzing the characteristics of populations and subsets of populations.
You get to ask questions such as:
- How old are your consumers? Millennials? Gen Z?
- Where are they from?
- Level of education?
- How much do they earn?
- Do they have kids? If yes, how many?
…and many others.
Why do you need to go all Sherlock Holmes on your potential consumers?
Because it’ll help you identify those who are most likely to buy your products or services; a defining aspect of your TikTok marketing strategy.
Furthermore, you spend less money on customer acquisition costs and earn more because you’re able to reach out to the most valuable leads. You get to create a brand message that really gets them.
Basically, your social media strategy would have a direction and your message wouldn’t be all over the place.
3. Set specific ad campaign objectives
Before you get started on your TikTok marketing campaign, what do you aim to achieve?
Do you want more sales, traffic, or to raise your brand’s awareness to reach a new audience?
Then, those are your ad campaign objectives!
Setting specific ad campaign objectives can set the pace as to how effective your ad strategy will be.
4. Work with creators in your niche
Working with content creators is a good way to invest in your ad creatives – it’s essentially influencer marketing.
Now, you don’t want it to be with just any creator with a large following.
Rather, you want someone who’s respected in your niche and understands what your brand has to offer.
How’s this a good practice?
Another 49% of consumers said they rely on product recommendations from influencers before buying.
Partnering with creators to produce TikTok content can give you good returns on your money. In fact, Digital Marketing Institute discovered that businesses earned $5.78 for every one dollar spent on creators.
So, where can you find a TikTok creator to work with?
Well, we can help you with that.
First, head over to our homepage and link to your Insense account (if you don’t have one you can always book a demo to see how it works ;)).
Then, we’ll need you to fill out an influencer brief that details everything you want the creator to know about your brand. It’s like your content strategy.
Finding the right creator in our creator marketplace to work on your project is up next.
From there you can follow the on-screen instructions and get the outcome of your partnership.
5. Create ads at scale
The next practice you should get familiar with is creating ads at scale.
Wondering what this means?
Well, it simply means having different high-quality ads in your digital inventory that you can use or post as required.
They can be from your creative team or your partnership with creators.
This would make it easy for you to post consistently, plan ahead, and engage with your followers.
The truth is posting regularly would be kind of a drag if there’s nothing to upload.
So, create ads at scale, post consistently, and see tremendous organic growth.
6. Monitor and analyze your ad campaigns’ performance
What’s essential, besides creating attractive ads, is to track your ads’ performance.
In other words, you need to measure the results of your marketing efforts to make sure that you’re not wasting time, money, or resources on ads that don’t bring you results.
These are some important metrics you should consider monitoring:
- Total like count of post
- Total number of comments
- Total shares
- Traffic source types
- Total play time of the video
- Total video views
- Average watch time
- Audience territories
Why do you need to monitor and analyze your ad campaign?
So you know what’s giving results, what should be changed, and where you should focus your resources.
7. Repurpose content across social media platforms (whenever possible)
As an online brand, chances are that you have a digital presence across several social media platforms not even including your website.
You’d like to upload content on all of them at least once a day or twice per week, right?
Then, you’ll agree that it can be stressful.
What can you do?
Repurpose your content.
It can be repurposing your TikTok for business video as a screenshot for Twitter, an Instagram video, a LinkedIn post, the main theme of the post for your website, or a picture for Facebook.
Author’s Note: Don’t force it, not all ads are repurposable. If it’s possible and would produce the right results, then go for it.
That’s a wrap of the best practices for an effective TikTok Ad Strategy.
Now Over to You
There it is!
Our full guide to TikTok ad strategy.
We hope you now have the necessary knowledge needed to create an effective TikTok strategy.
Thank you for reading and we hope to see you soon!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Are TikTok ads successful?
TikTok ads can be successful in terms of raising awareness and increasing sales among others because the ads usually have emotional empathy which can do a good job of persuading potential customers to trust your brand and buy your products or services.
Q2. What are some of the benefits of TikTok ads?
Advertising on TikTok has many benefits including:
- Increased brand exposure
- Increased brand awareness
- Lets you target the right audience
- Easy creation of viral content
- More sales generated
Q3. How much budget to allocate to TikTok advertising?
A 2019 Adage report showed that the cost of advertising on the TikTok app can range between $50,000 - $120,000 depending on the type of ads used and their duration.
More specifically, the cost starts at $0.50 cost per mile which is the amount you pay per 1,000 views, and $0.02 cost per click. Plus, $500 is a required minimum spend of $500 for your TikTok social media marketing campaign.