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Video content has taken the marketing world by storm.

It's proven to be a great way for brands to raise awareness, spark engagement, drive traffic to their website, and more.

Of all the different social platforms, TikTok stands out as the most interesting one for video marketing.

But, for videos on TikTok to be engaging, you want to be sure that viewers can see your video the way you want it to be seen.

As such, you need to ensure your content is properly optimized for TikTok.

In this piece, you will learn everything you need to know about TikTok video specifications.

With that being said, we will discuss:

  • Types of videos you can use on TikTok
  • Marketing tips to ensure your campaign is successful

Shall we begin?

Table of Contents

TikTok Video Specs 101

Types of Video Ads on TikTok

TikTok Marketing: 4 Top Tips

TikTok Video Specs 101

You’ve decided it's time to try out this TikTok thingy.

What's there to lose?

At the very least, you’ll get the chance to place your brand in front of millions of people (and that’s pretty good, isn’t it?) 

But then come questions such as how the video should look, what the length of it should be, how it needs to be sized, etc.

Don’t worry, that’s what we will look at in this section. 

We’ve even created a TikTok video specs table that will come in handy for you. 

Let’s begin!

Video length

The first spec to consider is how long your video should be. 

Videos can be between 5 - 60 seconds. We’re talking about videos natively recorded on the TikTok app

It used to be 15 seconds, but TikTok decided to increase the maximum duration to 60 seconds (and then three minutes).

The increase in maximum video length gives more room for users to get creative with their skits, duets, vlogs, and more.

But, if you want your video to exceed 60 seconds, you can create it on another video editor app before uploading it to TikTok.

What does TikTok say about the duration of your video? 

They recommend a video length of: 

  • 9-15 seconds for video advertisements
  • 5-60 seconds for the News Feed App series
  • 5-30 seconds for Pangle video ads

Video file size

The size and length of TikTok videos are two different things. 

The length refers to the duration of the video while the size refers to the amount of space the file will take up on your device (generally measured in kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes).

The size of a TikTok video depends on the user’s device (where the video was recorded).

The max file size for Apple devices is 287.6MB  and 72MB for Android users.

However, you can upload videos up to 500MB if it's a video ad.

Video file type

There are different types of formats for video content such as .avi, .wmv, .qt, and a whole lot more.

TikTok supports .mpeg, .3gp, .avi, .gif, .mp4, and .mov video formats with .mp4 and .mov being the more popular file types.

And among those two, .mp4 is a more global format for TikTok videos.

What’s the difference between them, and who can even tell?

There’s almost no difference, actually. In fact, your viewers likely will not be able to tell the difference.

In any case, it’s better to use .mp4 over .mov.

Why should you bother?

Well, .mov is the native format for iOS devices and their file size is usually larger. 

Using it means you might have to resize the video before you can share it.

In other words, more work for you.

We’re not saying the .mov format is bad, but it’s better to use .mp4 if you can

Video orientation

Orientation refers to how your video will be viewed. There are two ways to do that on TikTok: vertically (portrait) and horizontally (landscape).

Posting videos in portrait mode is recommended for TikTok because it allows you to make the most of every space pixel (full screen) on mobile devices to capture the viewer’s attention.

In other words, portrait mode is much better for user engagement on mobile devices.

Video dimension

Dimensions mean the height and width of your short-form videos, which are measured in pixels.

Why are they important?

Using the right TikTok video resolution helps determine whether your video will be clear or not.

The preferred video dimension for TikTok is 1080 by 1920 pixels with an aspect ratio of 9:16.

Video content that uses these ratios are the standard portrait size of most mobile devices, so you shouldn’t need to make adjustments for this in most cases.

Video description

Your video will undeniably require a description, particularly if it’s an advertisement.

TikTok supports 1-100 Latin alphabet letters and 1-50 Asian characters

However, you will need to avoid:

  • Using emojis or special characters such as parentheses ({}) or hashtags (#)
  • Using punctuation marks or blank spaces in place of characters 

In addition to that, you need to be cautious about the length of your description as it might be cut off from the main display on the viewer’s screen depending on the type of device they are using.

Speaking of video ads, let’s look at the different types of ads available on TikTok.

7 Types of Video Ads on TikTok

Did you know that TikTok users fall between the ages of 13 and 40

That means there’s a good chance you will reach Gen Zs – who reportedly make up 40% of the world’s consumers – with your ads.

TikTok ads double the possibility of reaching that audience. 

Let’s look at the 7 types of TikTok video ads  .

Type #1: TopView ads

This type of ad gives users an immersive viewing experience and usually lasts for 60 seconds.

It’s a great way to raise awareness for your brand because of how it shows up on the viewer’s screen. 

TopView ads are the first in-feed video users see when they open their TikTok app – making them practically unmissable.

That’s 60 seconds of uninterrupted viewing when it’s launched.

TikTok describes it as “more attention-grabbing, more engaging, and more effective.

…that’s so many ‘mores’ for one type of ad.

phone showing a balenciaga promotion on TikTok

Image Source: TikTok

Type #2: Spark ads

Spark ads leverage organic posts to promote your business

Essentially, you get to run ads that don’t look like ads, making it easy for you to connect with your audience.

They have an engagement rate of over 140%

Brands get to use spark ads to create a real connection with their TikTok community.   

Since it’s like organic posts, it means users can comment, like, and share the post. 

They can also: 

  • Visit your profile just by swiping left
  • Duet your post
  • Use your soundtrack

Launching Spark Ads is pretty easy through Insense. You can quickly collaborate with TikTok creators and set up your Spark Ad campaigns.  

Type #3: In-feed ads

What if you could run your ads like a TikTok creator’?

That’s what in-feed ads are. 

phone showing a Costa promotions

Image Source: TikTok

You get to advertise your brand by integrating the video into your potential customers' For You Page (FYP).

So even though it’s an ad, it will look like the video content they’ve been watching. 

It stays longer in the minds of viewers (and 83% of users say they enjoy ads on TikTok).

Type #4: Brand takeover

You’re probably wondering why the ad would be named ‘takeover’, right?

Well, that’s because it actually does take over the viewer’s full screen when it’s launched.

screenshot of a Tiktok ad
Image Source: TikTok

A brand takeover is the first content users see upon logging into the app.

You can link this ad type to a landing page or an ongoing brand challenge.  

Almost sounds the same as TopView ads, doesn’t it?

But, here’s how they differ: Brand Takeover ads are the first video users see when they open the app, while TopView ads are the first videos they see on their FYP.

Type #5: Branded hashtag challenge

Do you want users to get involved with your campaign?

If yes, then launching a branded hashtag challenge is the way to go. 

For this, you’ll need to get creative and come up with unique branded hashtags that will inspire viewers to jump on the trend.

What this means is that you will leverage organic and paid content to increase brand awareness.

screenshot of a TikTok ad
Image Source: TikTok

The result is usually a high level of engagement that transcends only one click. 

Statistics show that over 50% of branded hashtag challenges have more than $5 return on ad spend (ROAS) for the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. 

Type #6: Branded effects

This ad type gives brands room to be creative and allows creators to have fun.

You get to create stickers, filters, or effects for your audience (and anybody using the app). 

screenshot of a TikTok Influencer using effects on TikTok
Image Source: TikTok

If it’s creative and fun enough, they can apply it when creating videos for their own timeline.

The more people join in, the more engagement you get. 

Sounds like a win-win for everybody.

Type #7: Collection ads

Collection ads are kind of like TikTok’s version of Instagram Shopping. 

When TikTok users click on Collection ads, they are redirected to a gallery page where they scroll through your product catalog

It’s like a regular ad, but instead of directing them to an alternative source, you lead them straight to your Instant Gallery Page. 

This can lead to more engagement on the social media app – and of course, more sales. 

Let’s move on!

TikTok Marketing: 6 Top Tips

If you’re new to marketing on social media platforms such as TikTok, all of this information might seem overwhelming at first. 

We’ve all been there.

That’s why we decided to include some top tips that can help launch an effective marketing campaign. 

1. Consider your audience

Before you begin a TikTok campaign, you need to think of the audience you are trying to reach.

Will they appreciate a thoughtful and informative video? 

If you are a socially minded business, TikTok gives you a perfect platform to get across a serious message in a compact, easy-to-digest format.

Perhaps your potential followers are going to value more playful content? 

In this case, your TikTok video length should be between 15 to 60 seconds. 

It’s the perfect format for light-hearted videos that can be both entertaining and represent your brand at the same time.

Comedic and homemade music videos are among the most-watched types of content on TikTok.

But whichever route you take, ensure that you …

2. Create TikTok-native content

It’s important that the content you produce – whether organic or paid – is authentic. 

The TikTok community has developed its own sense of communication style that you need to respect if you want your video to feel like it belongs there.

For example, TikTok is all about viral trends, so don’t be afraid to embrace existing hashtags or a popular challenge.

Follow the established format, but try to find a creative way to spin it that involves your product or service.

And if you are not entirely sure what the latest craze is, you can easily catch up with the popular videos and trending hashtags around your geographical location on the platform’s Discovery Page. 

Take your pick, but don’t forget: you can jump on a popular trend anytime

3. Work with content creators

If you are targeting a youthful demographic, TikTok is the perfect environment for a fruitful partnership between your brand and an influencer. 

The marketing campaign on TikTok normally involves an influencer producing, sharing, or maybe even live streaming videos that promote your brand among their followers.

The trick here is to give the influencer as much creative freedom as possible – traditional scripted ads have no place on TikTok. 

Creators understand how to get the best response from their audience, so give them a chance to leverage this knowledge. 

They will go wild with the platform’s selection of advanced video editing tools and quirky special effects.

Of course, you want the creator who produces content that is relevant to your brand, so that the videos feel authentic to their followers. You won’t get much value trying to encourage a creator to promote something that doesn’t feel like the right match for their personality.

4. Add a strong call to action (CTA)

CTAs tell your audience what step they should take next.

Otherwise, they will simply watch your online video, like it, and move on.

But you want them to do more, don’t you?

Well, if you want more then, you need to include a strong CTA in your video.

Adding CTAs has been reported to provide a 152%  increase in conversions when compared to videos without one.

Being upfront about what you want will give you the kind of results you’re looking for.

5. Add background music or sound effects

Music has always been an integral part of TikTok video content as it makes it more captivating

Can you remember the last time you even saw a video ad without music or sound effects?

You probably don’t, and that’s because they are crucial to the creation of video content. 

A good practice when it comes to TikTok video ads is to use trending music; this will help increase the chance of your campaign’s success.

You can scroll through your For You Page to know which music or sound is currently trending. 

6. Keep it short

We know there are probably a ton of ideas you want to try out in the video.

Whatever it is, try to keep it short

What you actually want is for your audience to watch your video over and over and not get tired. 

That way it’s easy for them to share with their friends, in turn, increasing engagement.

A wise man once said, “the most interesting and fun things in life are short.”

The wise man is us… we pretty much just made that up.

But, you get the point.

So, how can you accomplish this?

Create short videos and infuse lots of value into them.

Perhaps, that’s why TikTok recommends a 60-second video length

...and that brings us to the end of this piece.

Now Over to You

That’s it. We’ve come to the end of this guide. 

We’re confident that you’ve learned a whole lot about what the specs for your TikTok videos should be. 

So, you’re good to go!

If you need to work with creators for your next campaign, feel free to book a demo with Insense. 

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