TikTok is a phenomenon in the world of social media.
The platform has taken the internet by storm. TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021 and currently boasts around 1bn monthly active users.
But viral social media trends and wacky dance moves aren’t the only things that TikTok can produce.
The platform can also deliver mind-blowing results for digital marketers.
As an advertising network, TikTok has everything you need to succeed – a colossal audience, smart targeting options, and eye-catching ad formats.
But we don’t want you to run kind-of-successful TikTok ads.
We want you to run TikTok ads that blow your marketing objectives out of the water.
To help you crush your business goals, we’ve pulled together 11 proven TikTok ads best practices that will supercharge your campaigns and skyrocket your ad performance.
How does TikTok advertising work?
TikTok ads appear in and around the home feed in the app. They can be delivered in a range of different formats and used to tackle various marketing objectives.
Basic TikTok video ads (e.g. in-feed TikTok video ads and TopView ads) are very popular among TikTok advertisers and can be used to quickly generate huge audience reach and engagement.
However, if you’re keen to make an impact on your audience, you can also utilise more bespoke ad formats like Branded Hashtag Challenges and Branded Effects.
These placements have the potential to drive jaw-dropping levels of engagement, and even viral fame – but they also require a significant amount of investment.
There’s one thing that’s consistent across every TikTok ad format, and that’s the need for creativity. The TikTok feed is brimming with new content for users to explore, so you need to make sure that your TikTok ads instantly capture attention.
Why should you be advertising on TikTok?
Wondering if TikTok marketing is right for your brand?
Let’s run through some of the biggest benefits that TikTok offers to advertisers.
You can reach, target, and convert huge audiences
The sheer size of the TikTok audience is a major selling point for social media marketers.
TikTok has over 1bn monthly active users, and the platform is still growing fast. In fact, eight new users join TikTok every second.
That’s another eight users right there. And there. You get the picture.
Not only can advertisers quickly grow their brand awareness among this giant audience, but they can also use smart targeting to find super profitable customers on the app.
You can achieve exceptional results
TikTok is also proven to work for advertisers from a range of different industries.
Freddie’s Flowers, a subscription flower delivery service, used TikTok in-feed ads to try and acquire new customers cost-efficiently.
The brand managed to secure 1,000 new customers within 6 months, while also decreasing its cost per completed payment by 13%.
International payment service Wise also used in-feed TikTok ads to try and generate app installs, account registrations, and in-app purchases.
Wise delivered 1,050 new app installs, 500 account registrations, and 350 in-app purchases – achieving a 34% increase in sign-up rate versus previous campaigns.
Want to check out more TikTok advertising case studies? No problem – take a look at more success stories right here.
You can get ahead of the competition
While more and more advertisers are jumping on the TikTok bandwagon, there are still plenty of opportunities for daring brands to stand out.
Many marketers are still hesitant about embracing TikTok ads or struggling to adapt their creative messages to the TikTok audience.
If you can dive headfirst into TikTok marketing and create ads that genuinely engage your target audience, you’ll be in a great position to outperform and surpass your competitors.
And luckily, that’s exactly what this guide will help you to achieve.
What audiences can I reach through TikTok ads?
You can reach a huge number of different audience segments through TikTok ads.
The key is to build a clear picture of your target audience before you launch a campaign.
If you understand the kind of potential customers that you’re looking to convert, it will be much easier to build new audiences and identify the best targeting tactics.
TikTok offers a few standard audience targeting options, including:
- Demographic targeting (based on gender, age, location, etc)
- Interest targeting (based on content engagement, page follows, etc)
- Device targeting (based on the operating system, device type, etc)
These standard audiences can still deliver positive results, but the most efficient TikTok ad campaigns often include Custom Audiences.
Custom Audiences are built using advanced data based on real user behaviours and actions, which makes them very powerful.
They allow advertisers to identify and convert red-hot prospects through data-fuelled targeting. Custom Audiences on TikTok include:
- Customer File (based on matches with your first-party audience data)
- Engagement (based on ad clicks, ad views, ad impressions, etc)
- App Activity (based on activity on your app, such as log-ins, in-app purchases, etc)
- Website Traffic (based on website actions, such as page views, add-to-cart, etc)
- Lead Generation (based on engagement with your TikTok Lead Ads)
- Business Account (retargeting users who have interacted with your profile content)
For more information on TikTok audiences and ad targeting, take a look at this page.
11 best practices for high-ROI TikTok ads
TikTok has the potential to drive incredible results for your brand.
You just need to know how to create TikTok ads that stand out in a cluttered feed and instantly grab the attention of your most valuable audiences.
We’ve gathered 11 proven best practices that are guaranteed to turbocharge your TikTok campaigns and deliver first-class results.
Best Practice 1 – Stay tuned in to TikTok trends
New user trends are constantly emerging on the TikTok platform, from hashtag challenges to dance crazes.
If you want to succeed with TikTok advertising, it’s important to identify opportunities to jump on emerging trends and embrace audience behaviours.
Great TikTok content isn’t about super polished assets and big production budgets. It’s about content that feels fresh, authentic, and relatable.
Now, it’s true that not every TikTok fad will be right for your business – and there’s nothing worse than advertisers forcing themselves into the wrong social media trends.
But when you do spy an opportunity for some fun creative executions, don’t hesitate to get involved. You can even kick off your own trends with formats like Branded Hashtags.
Always remember, on-trend advertising can drive stunning levels of engagement!
Best Practice 2 – Harness the power of audio
Audio is a major part of the TikTok video experience.
TikTok ‘sounds’ (i.e. audio snippets and background music) can gain viral fame overnight and inspire global video trends.
If you can find a way to incorporate trending sounds into your ad campaigns, you’ll be in a great position to drive huge levels of engagement. Users will be able to discover your content through relevant hashtags, and popular TikTok videos will often be shared among a wider audience, helping to skyrocket your organic reach.
You may even spy an opportunity to create your own sound on TikTok.
This is a rare opportunity, but if you can start a new sound craze that’s picked up by enough users, the sky’s the limit for your brand awareness and campaign engagement.
Best Practice 3 – Keep your TikTok ads short and punchy
The TikTok home feed moves at lightning speed.
Users are rapidly scrolling through different videos, consuming content, and exploring profile pages. That means you need to deliver your key messages quickly and efficiently.
Don’t attempt to cram too much information into a quick video asset, but try to keep your ads short and sweet.
Although videos can run for up to 60 seconds, it can be tricky to maintain user attention for this long. TikTok claims that 25% of the best-performing videos are between 21 and 34 seconds long, and these assets see an average uplift of 1.6% in terms of impressions.
(The platform originally only allowed videos to be 15 seconds long, but this has now been extended.)
Focus on your most persuasive brand messages, and find a way to communicate them in a fast-moving and engaging way.
Best Practice 4 – Use influencers to your advantage
Influencer marketing on TikTok can be incredibly powerful for brands.
Many TikTok users look to influencers for recommendations and guidance, so if you can strike up the right creative partnerships, the results will speak for themselves.
User generated content can help you to:
- Capitalise on the credibility and authority of relevant influencers
- Reduce production costs by working alongside experienced creators
- Instantly access an existing audience of followers
- Advertise your products in an authentic and highly engaging way
- Increase your brand awareness by association
The secret is to find influencers who align closely with your brand values and product offering. You need to partner with creators who can reach the right audience and promote your products with genuine enthusiasm.
If you need help finding the perfect influencers for your ad campaign, you can use the TikTok Creator Marketplace to discover new creators and recruit top-notch talent.
Best Practice 5 – Incorporate hashtags into your campaigns
Hashtags are a hugely valuable tool for TikTok advertisers.
Users will often navigate through the mountains of TikTok content by searching for hashtags – these could relate to viral trends, types of content, or particular products.
That means you can also utilise hashtags in your ad text to appear in search results.
(It’s important to incorporate relevant hashtags into your ad campaigns, so don’t just pack your captions with random hashtags and hope for the best.)
By using the right hashtags, you can create content that’s infinitely easier to discover, while also narrowing down the types of audiences that you’re reaching. Certain hashtags will only be relevant to specific subcultures and groups, so use them strategically.
Adding hashtags to your ads is a simple technique – but one that can work wonders for the reach and scale of your campaigns.
Best Practice 6 – Include compelling captions and CTAs
It’s easy to get carried away with the visual side of ads on TikTok. And don’t get us wrong, it’s vital to produce video assets that are bold and creative.
But you should also pay very close attention to your ad captions and CTAs.
While your videos might be the first thing that users see in feed, your ad copy is a golden opportunity to nail your product benefits and encourage action from potential customers.
You can add both captions and on-screen text to your videos, so take full advantage of this creative space. It’s also vital to include a compelling Call To Action in every asset. Make the next step clear for users (e.g. Learn More, Shop Now) to set up a smooth user journey.
TikTok data shows that videos including closed captioning or on-screen text with a CTA have a 55.7% lift in impressions compared to assets without them.
Best Practice 7 – Test, learn, and test some more
A/B testing on TikTok is a surefire way to consistently improve ad performance over time.
The TikTok landscape is constantly changing, and new marketing opportunities are always emerging on the platform.
To stay ahead of the curve, make sure that you’re consistently testing new tactics – and measuring the results.
Try out new ad formats, target different audiences, and diversify your creative messaging. Once you’ve discovered a new TikTok marketing strategy that delivers strong results, you can optimise your campaign and improve the returns that you’re seeing.
Just remember to focus on the metrics that matter to your campaign.
Best Practice 8 – Interact with brands and followers
If you want to grow your brand presence on TikTok, it’s important to interact with different profiles and your follower base.
The most successful TikTok brands are constantly engaging with users, from duetting videos to participating in hashtag challenges and replying to comments.
This is a brilliant way to enhance your brand reputation and build long-lasting relationships with your followers. A simple comment or video reply can help to solidify customer loyalty, so stay active and responsive.
TikTok is also a fairly casual environment, so don’t be too stiff or formal with your language when interacting with followers. Adopt a more relaxed tone and it’ll be much easier to connect with your audience.
Best Practice 9 – Make the most of the full-screen space
TikTok videos are viewed in full-screen, which provides you with a fantastic opportunity to deliver immersive and engaging ad experiences.
In fact, 98% of the best-performing videos on TikTok make use of the full screen, and advertisers utilising the full 9:16 aspect ratio see a 60.5% lift in impressions.
Make sure that your video assets fit the screen properly, and avoid any awkward black spaces and empty edges. TikTok offers several video creation tools that can help you to resize your ads, so make use of them.
Best Practice 10 – Mix up your content strategy
Your target audience will be bombarded with different types of videos on TikTok, so you need to make sure that you’re keeping your content fresh.
Creativity is often rewarded with sky-high levels of engagement on TikTok, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Below are a few different types of TikTok content that you can incorporate into your marketing campaigns:
- Hashtag challenges
- ‘How to’ product tutorials
- Influencer marketing videos
- Video responses and duets
- Branded effects
- Video series
It’s also a great idea to balance organic posts with paid ads. Not everything needs to be an aggressive sales push – the more value you provide your audience, the more likely they are to engage with your profile.
Diversity is key! Identify the content that’s resonating with your core audience, and use these insights to inform your future campaigns.
Best Practice 11 – End your ads on a high note
So, you’ve got a top-notch TikTok video ad that ticks all the right boxes.
It’s eye-catching, tailored to the TikTok platform, and perfectly showcases your brand and products.
Job done, right? Well, not exactly.
If you want to launch TikTok ads that deliver tangible results for your brand, always make sure that you finish videos with a clear message or CTA.
Treat your TikTok ad creatives like a story.
You need an opening that hooks in users and establishes your brand, a middle section that keeps viewers engaged, and a conclusion that wraps everything up neatly.
TikTok research shows that videos including an end card summarising key info (e.g. download details, product pointers, next steps) achieve a 47.3% lift in impressions, so a strong ending is a no-brainer.
How to advertise on TikTok
Now that you’re equipped with a wealth of TikTok marketing knowledge, it’s time to look at how you can launch an ad campaign.
1. Set up a TikTok Ads Manager account – visit this page, click Start Now, and complete the form with some basic details about your business.
2. Create a new campaign – open the ‘Campaign’ tab and click ‘Create’. Set up your ad groups, establish your campaign objective, and confirm your lifetime budget or daily budget.
3. Organise your ad groups – choose where you’d like your ads to appear, and input your desired landing pages. Set up your targeting options and audiences.
4. Confirm campaign details – set up your campaign schedule, lock in your ad spend, and nail down your pacing options. Pay attention to how your ad group will be optimised!
5. Design your TikTok ads – upload your video assets, and use the TikTok creative tools to make final touches to your ads. Make sure that all of your assets are built to the right spec.
Follow the above steps, and you’ll be ready to smash your marketing targets with a highly effective TikTok ad campaign.
Useful resources for TikTok marketing
Ready to get started with your very own TikTok advertising campaign?
That’s what we like to hear.
And if you’re keen to discover more TikTok marketing expertise, you’re in the right place. Below are some handy resources to help you make the most of the platform.
TikTok has massive potential for digital marketers.
To unlock the advertising power of the platform, you just need to approach your campaigns with the right strategy and the right creative approach.
Just follow these best practices, and you’ll be launching high-performing, audience-engaging, conversion-driving ads before you know it.