The Complete Guide to TikTok Ads: 2021
TikTok has taken the world by storm and left many brands scrambling to figure out how to best utilize this booming new platform. You don’t want to be left in the dust when it comes to TikTok advertising. This platform is highly lucrative for brands looking to reach younger people, specifically Generation Z and Millennials. According to Forbes, over half of TikTok users are members of Gen Z. Read on to learn everything you need to know about effective advertising on this relatively new social media platform.
What Is TikTok and Who Uses It?
TikTok is a social media platform where users share short videos less than one minute in length on various topics. The app generates a “For You Page” for each user based on their specific interests, established by user data gathered from likes, comments, and follows. You can also search the app based on hashtags, sounds, and keywords.
TikTok experienced unprecedented growth in early to mid-2020 as people had more free time while stuck at home during the initial COVID-19 quarantine. It provided a much-needed respite from the world’s events and allowed users to create and share funny, engaging, and meaningful content.
According to Forbes, this app is popular among Gen Z and Millennials — 63% of users on the app fall between the ages of 10 and 29. The app is still growing amongst people in the 25-34 age range. With 2 billion downloads across the world, 165 million in the United States, and average daily usage of 80 minutes per day, TikTok has reached impressive heights in a short period of time.
What Are the Benefits of Advertising on TikTok?
Here are some of the benefits of advertising on TikTok that might convince you that your brand needs to be on this platform:
- Users see TikTok as real and authentic. By association, viewers will think of your brand in the same way.
- TikTok has unique groups of influencers that brands can partner with to reach different audiences.
- TikTok has different tailored ad options to grow awareness and engagement for brands across its huge platform.
- TikTok offers affordable, easy-to-use advertising options, making it great for new or smaller businesses that can’t afford to spend a ton of money on advertising.
- TikTok’s algorithm is impressive and can garner tons of user information that you can then utilize to target these individuals with your content.
What Are the Different TikTok Ad Options?
There are five different types of advertising formats to know about on TikTok:
- In-feed video ads: This is a common type of advertisement that plays a sponsored video in between organic feed results. This feature makes this ad feel very natural and less salesy than some of the others. In-feed video ads include a short caption, sound, and a link with a specific “call to action” such as download, shop, order, or learn more. In-feed video ads can be anywhere from 10 to 15 seconds long, but shorter is typically better since TikTok revolves around short video content.
- Branded hashtag challenges: This type of advertisement creates a branded hashtag where you can see sponsored content alongside user-generated content in the Discover tab. TikTok is largely based on trends and hashtags, and this ad option allows you to take advantage of this with your content.
- Brand takeovers: This type of advertisement appears as soon as you launch the TikTok app. It’s ideal for mass awareness and direct sales since it gets you tons of views and exposure. Brand takeovers will cost you a pretty penny and need to be perfect to get your money’s worth. If you have a large marketing budget and want to get yourself out there, brand takeovers may be a suitable option.
- TopView ads: Similar to brand takeovers, these ads are also full-screen and attention-grabbing, but they play about five seconds after app launch (as opposed to immediately after app launch). TopView ads offer the longest video capability out of all advertising options on TikTik with videos that last up to 60 seconds.
- Branded effects: This type of advertisement differs from others on TikTok in that it doesn’t involve video. Instead, branded effects are filters, stickers, and lenses created for users across the platform to explore. Like branded hashtag challenges, these are a great way to increase engagement with your brand rather than users simply scrolling and viewing a video.
Best Practices for Advertising on TikTok
Successful advertisement on TikTok is possible but not guaranteed without a comprehensive strategy. Here are some best practices for developing your first TikTok ad campaign:
- Less is more: This golden rule of advertising is especially true on TikTok. Your video should be no longer than 15 seconds — 10 seconds is even better. Make sure your copy is short and sweet and your call to action is strong and straightforward. As TikTok is a video app, it’s always a good idea to eliminate unnecessary text.
- Grab attention quickly: TikTok is a scrolling app, so you need to capture the viewer’s attention in the first second to prevent them from moving on to the next video. Use eye-catching colors and graphics that will quickly grab the viewer and convince them to watch the entire ad.
- Tailor your content: If you have a great video ad that you’re thinking about transferring to TikTok, double-check the layout and specifications to ensure its compatibility with the app. TikTok uses vertical videos, so horizontal videos aren’t ideal here. The interface of the platform also tends to cut off the outer margins, so keep everything as centered as possible.
- Work with influencers: Influencers are huge on TikTok, and partnering with them is a great way to improve your visibility and promote your brand. When it comes to TikTok influencers, don’t stress about partnering with huge personalities with tens of millions of followers. Instead of focusing solely on the numbers of followers, aim to find the right fit for your brand. If you aren’t sure where to find potential influencer partners, explore TikTok’s Creator Marketplace.
- Monitor and tweak your campaigns: Once you have launched your campaign, it’s important to monitor the results. TikTok makes this easy within the Ads Manager, where you can see tons of information about your campaign, including conversions, cost per thousand impressions, cost per click, cost per action, click-through rate, and more. If your ad is underperforming, take this opportunity to make adjustments to achieve better results. With the proper monitoring and due diligence, you can achieve your initial campaign objectives.
How to Start Advertising on TikTok
Once you have the basics down and you’ve decided on your objectives, strategies, target groups, and ad types, it’s time to post your ad. While those hard parts are over, you still have to go through the process of posting your ad. Here’s how:
- Go to TikTok Ads Manager and click on the “Campaign” tab at the top of the page.
- Under the “Campaign” tab, click the “Create” button.
- From there, choose your objective. You can choose between reach, traffic, app installs, video views, or conversions. This will be an easy choice if you go in with your objectives already in mind.
- Choose either automatic or manual ad placement. For beginners, we recommend automatic ad placement to make the process quick, easy, and painless.
- Choose the promotion type, the URL you want to link to, your display name, and your profile image.
- Determine whether users can comment on your ads or download your ads.
- Determine whether to use TikTok’s automated creative optimization — made especially for small businesses. You only need to input certain information, like copy, calls to action, and imagery, and then the rest of the process is done automatically, including regular evaluation and optimization.
- Set your targeting qualifications based on factors like gender, age, language, location, interests, and behavior.
- Set your campaign schedule and budget. As mentioned earlier, in-feed advertisements are a more budget-friendly option with a minimum of $50 spent per group and $500 per campaign. For an idea of how far this will get you on TikTok, the average cost per click is about $0.19 and the average cost per thousand impressions is about $1.82. Types of advertisements like branded hashtag challenges and brand takeovers can cost between $50,000 and $150,000.
- Set your bidding plan. TikTok offers bidding optimization that you can use to automatically participate based on set qualifications.
- After winning your bids, it’s time to upload your ad content in either photo or video format. Add the text and call to action.
- Click submit and wait for TikTok to approve your ad to ensure that it meets the platform’s guidelines.
Why Use a TikTok Ad Agency?
Advertising on TikTok is worthwhile but quite different from other platforms you’re probably more familiar with. TikTok hasn’t been around for that long, so it’s hard to become an expert in such a short period of time. If you’re looking for social media experts who understand this burgeoning new platform, look no further than The Snow Agency.
As experienced players in the social media game, we’ve used our expertise to take advantage of Tiktok for our clients as much as we can.
Having previously operated DTC ecommerce brands, Dan and Jon Snow know how effective of an ad platform TikTok is. The Snow Agency exists to help clients grow by capitalizing on all the opportunities this exciting relatively new app offers.
Start with a free consultation to discuss your business goals and your overall industry. From there, we build engagement, find influencer partnerships, create content, launch and manage your ads for the best possible results.
Take Che Natural. This small skincare brand experienced a 37% increase in conversion rate, a 260% increase in return on advertising spending, a 555% increase in sales, and an 801% increase in online sessions in 60 days. Che Natural is just one example out of more than 70 big-name brands that have experienced huge successes in a short period of time working with us. If they can have success, you can too.
TikTok is a new and booming platform that’s not slowing down any time soon. Many companies are slow or hesitant to advertise on a platform that they don’t know about. While this is understandable, it shouldn’t stop you from getting your name out there, reaching new audiences, and growing your business. You can accomplish this and more with the right TikTok ad agency to grow your presence on this revolutionary platform.