TikTok ads have the potential to drive outstanding results for brands in every industry.
The platform can help ambitious marketers to build brand awareness, develop exciting content ideas, and convert target audiences at scale.
But exceptional TikTok marketing performance doesn’t happen by chance. Every great TikTok campaign starts with a data-driven, insight-led marketing strategy.
And in this guide, we’re going to explain how you can create one.
Let’s run through the fundamentals of TikTok advertising, and reveal how you can build your very own successful TikTok marketing strategy.
What is TikTok marketing?
TikTok marketing allows brands to run paid ads across the TikTok app.
You can access a range of different ad formats on TikTok, each with its own unique strengths and opportunities.
Selecting the right ad types to tackle your business objectives is a huge part of succeeding with TikTok marketing.
For example, more standard TikTok ad formats (e.g. in-feed ads) are great for generating large-scale reach, driving audience engagement, and establishing your TikTok presence.
However, if you’re looking to gain a competitive advantage and launch high-impact advertising, then formats like Branded Effects and Branded Hashtag Challenges can deliver insane levels of engagement and organic reach.
TikTok ads can also be targeted towards granular audience segments. Gathering valuable audience insights and utilising the right data sources are both vital for building the right target audience on TikTok.
Different types of TikTok marketing
TikTok offers a range of exciting marketing opportunities for brands.
Understanding these different marketing tactics and content strategies is crucial if you want to drive optimal results on the platform.
Organic TikTok marketing
Organic marketing is a fantastic way for advertisers to boost their TikTok presence and effectively promote their TikTok business account.
This usually involves brands producing their own TikTok videos, participating in new TikTok trends, and interacting with customers and followers.
Many businesses have gained viral fame for their organic marketing efforts, and since posting TikTok content is free, this can be extremely cost-efficient.
(Although it’s worth remembering there can be some costs associated with video production and enlisting the help of a marketing agency.)
Engaging and relevant content can quickly gain momentum as users share it – this can help brands to achieve huge organic reach and attract new followers to their TikTok account.
Paid TikTok ads
If you want to expand your reach on TikTok, communicate with specific audiences, and attract valuable new customers, then paid advertising is a great option.
Although you’ll need to pay to launch TikTok ads, with the right marketing strategy, the results and revenue generated will far outweigh your advertising costs.
You can achieve a wide range of campaign objectives with paid TikTok ads, from increasing brand awareness to driving product sales. Even if you’re a small business with limited experience in social media marketing, paid advertising can work wonders for your brand.
In simple terms, effective TikTok paid advertising comes down to three elements – high-quality creative assets, efficient audience targeting, and smart campaign management.
If you can tick all of these boxes, then you’ll be in a great position to launch a high-performing TikTok ad campaign.
TikTok influencer marketing
Running an influencer marketing campaign on TikTok can deliver insane results for advertisers.
Why? Because influencer videos are ridiculously popular on the social media platform.
Users frequently look to TikTok influencers for entertaining content and product recommendations – and this sets up a golden opportunity for marketers.
By partnering with the right creators, you can launch influencer marketing that instantly boosts your brand credibility and enables you to tap into a new audience of potential customers.
Plus, if you work with a talented TikTok influencer, they’ll be able to promote your products in a natural and engaging way that resonates with their target audience.
However, as you might expect, sourcing the right TikTok influencers isn’t always easy. There are several factors to consider, including their reach, their viewing audience, and their ability to create effective content.
But if you can find the perfect creator for your brand, the outcomes can be mind-blowing.
How to create successful TikTok marketing campaigns
We’ve already covered the basics of TikTok marketing.
So it’s time to jump into the exciting stuff.
Let’s explore how you can create your own conversion-driving, audience-engaging, ultra-efficient and crush your social media objectives.
1. Establish your target audience
If you’re going to attract and convert new customers on TikTok, then you need to focus on reaching the right target audience.
This may sound obvious, but it’s particularly important if you want to run cost-efficient paid advertising that maximises the impact of your budget.
There are several targeting options available to TikTok advertisers, including:
Location Targeting – based on countries, regions, cities, etc
Interest Targeting – based on user content consumption and areas of interest
Behaviour Targeting – based on specific user actions (e.g. likes, profile visits)
You can also build advanced Custom Audiences to identify existing customers and retarget hot prospects on TikTok, and these segments often drive incredible returns.
Think carefully about which audience segments will be most interested in your product offering, and don’t hesitate to experiment with different targeting tactics.
This also applies to your organic efforts. Although you won’t be targeting specific audience groups with organic posts, you need to consider the types of TikTok users you’re looking to attract and produce content that will resonate with them.
2. Set crystal clear marketing objectives
If you’re going to launch effective TikTok marketing, whether it’s organic or paid, you need to establish a clear and actionable objective.
Without a clear objective in mind, it will be impossible to understand which TikTok videos, target audiences, and marketing strategies are working for your brand.
Once you’ve set your objective, you’ll also need to figure out your most important KPIs.
For example, if you’re a relatively new business or advertiser, then you may want to focus primarily on driving brand awareness. Ad metrics like impressions, reach, and video views will be most relevant for your campaign.
But if you’re focusing on driving cost-efficient product sales, then you should be reviewing figures like total conversions, Cost Per Acquisition and Cost Per Click.
Identifying your business objectives is also just one-half of the equation.
You’ll also need an in-depth understanding of TikTok analytics and measurement to monitor how your activity is performing. That means paying close attention to your campaign reports and TikTok account data and optimising your marketing accordingly.
3. Stay active on TikTok
Maintaining an active and engaging TikTok business account is crucial for success on the platform.
If your TikTok account is dormant, then your existing followers will have very few opportunities to engage with your brand, share your content, and build a relationship with your business.
On the other hand, if your TikTok business account is packed with exciting content, fresh posts, and responsive communications, then your followers will have plenty of chances to engage.
More importantly, with an active TikTok account, you’ll also be able to consistently attract new followers and reach potential customers.
This is where organic marketing can shine.
A good way to stay consistent with TikTok marketing is to build out a detailed content calendar. This enables you to plan out regular posts, prepare different content themes, and produce assets ahead of time.
You should also create reactive TikTok videos when opportunities arise – this type of spontaneous and relevant content can be a big hit with your followers.
4. Embrace the latest TikTok trends & challenges
New trends and user challenges are constantly emerging on TikTok, and this is one thing that separates the app from other social media platforms.
These TikTok trends often take multiple forms, from snippets of trending audio to global hashtag challenges.
Many advertisers can struggle to embrace TikTok trends and adapt their brand voice to the platform. If you can find a way to immerse your business in these trends, then the results can be jaw-dropping in terms of organic engagement and reach.
But you don’t necessarily need to wait for a relevant trend to appear.
Paid ad formats like Branded Hashtag Challenges can allow you to proactively launch your own trends and competitions for your target audience.
With a compelling creative idea and a strong incentive, you can combine paid advertising with organic engagement to generate positive results.
Just remember – if you’re going to get involved in a TikTok trend or challenge, make sure it feels right for your business. It’s easy to spot brands that are forcing themselves into irrelevant trends, so focus on identifying the right opportunities!
5. Balance paid and organic content
A healthy blend of organic and paid TikTok marketing is the best way to maximise the potential of the social media platform.
Organic content is a fantastic way to strengthen your brand identity, communicate with existing customers, and build engaged communities. Be creative and stay consistent, and you’ll quickly see the benefits of organic marketing.
Paid advertising can also be a game-changer for your brand.
TikTok ads are ideal for reaching, engaging, and converting high-value audiences outside of your follower base. You can also leverage multiple ad formats to tackle your objectives and target your ads towards granular audience segments for efficiency.
When you’re constructing your strategy, always make sure that you’re incorporating both organic and paid tactics.
It can be easy to neglect organic posts when you’re seeing the rapid results of paid advertising, but make a conscious effort to maintain an active TikTok profile.
Whatever your business objective is, there’s a good chance that a smart combination of paid and organic content is the best way to achieve it.
6. Utilise multiple TikTok ad formats
One of the biggest advantages of TikTok paid advertising is the extensive range of ad formats that are available to marketers.
TikTok offers multiple ad types that can enable you to achieve different objectives, explore new creative ideas, and consistently improve performance over time.
Below are the main ad types that you can access on TikTok:
- In-Feed ads
- Top View ads
- Brand Takeover ads
- Spark ads
- Shopping ads
- Branded Hashtag Challenges
- Branded Effects
Picking the right ad formats for the job is also a critical part of building your TikTok ads strategy.
Looking to drive cost-efficient reach and brand awareness? In-Feed ads can extremely effective.
Trying to generate high volumes of product sales? TikTok Shopping ads are ideal for e-commerce.
Keen to stand out from your competitors? Brand Takeovers are designed to make a bold statement.
Testing different TikTok ad formats is also a brilliant way to gather valuable campaign insights and fuel your ad optimisations. The more you know about what works for your target audience, the more effective your campaigns will be.
7. Capitalise on User Generated Content
User Generated Content (UGC) is like gold dust when it comes to advertising on social media channels.
UGC is content related to your brand or products, created by regular people. This could be ‘how to’ instructional videos, product demonstrations, or even just entertaining posts about your business.
So why is UGC so effective on TikTok?
Well, for one thing, UGC adds instant credibility and authenticity to your brand. Since the content has clearly been produced by a normal person, it doesn’t feel artificial or sponsored – meaning TikTok users are infinitely more likely to trust it.
Secondly, UGC is ridiculously cost-efficient. You’re not paying for these posts to be created, but your brand can still benefit massively from them. And that’s a win-win situation.
UGC can completely revolutionise your content strategy, and deliver jaw-dropping results for your business. Try and find different ways to actively harvest UGC, share it with your audience, and promote it through paid channels (i.e. Spark ads.)
Trust us – when you’re trying to build an effective TikTok strategy, UGC can be your ace in the hole.
8. Harness the power of TikTok influencer marketing
Influencer marketing can be a very powerful tool for TikTok advertisers.
Partnering with a relevant influencer can provide a huge number of benefits for your business, including:
- The ability to reach a new audience of hot prospects
- Immediate brand credibility and authority
- Native content that can deliver sky-high levels of engagement
- Assets that can be re-purposed for multiple campaigns/channels
But there are a few important nuances to consider before you dive head-first into the world of influencer marketing.
Firstly, you’ll need to find the right creator for your brand.
Larger corporations will often partner with global celebrities and superstars – but there’s a small chance that might be out of your budget. Fortunately, you can use micro-influencers that are more affordable (and probably more relevant) for your brand.
You can conduct your own research to find suitable influencers on TikTok, but you can also take advantage of the TikTok Creative Exchange to explore a network of trusted creators.
Secondly, you’ll need to ensure that your chosen influencer can promote your products in the right way. This will partly come down to the talent of your influencers, but you’ll also need to provide them with a quality brief that delivers all of the key information they need.
It can take a bit of work to set up the right partnerships, but once you’ve found the perfect influencers for your campaign, the creative magic can happen.
9. Pay close attention to your TikTok analytics
A lot of different components need to come together to create a successful TikTok marketing strategy.
But building your strategy is just one part of the process. You also need to understand how your strategy is performing, and how it might be improved.
This is where TikTok analytics come into play.
By closely monitoring TikTok metrics and data points, you’ll be able to identify your best-performing tactics, experiment with new ideas, and refine your strategy.
There are several different TikTok data sources that you can access.
The first is TikTok for Business, which you can sign into through your business account. You can find various profile analytics here, including video likes, engagements, and follower growth. This is the best place to track the performance of your organic posts.
For paid advertising, you can utilise the TikTok Ads Manager reporting dashboard. From here you can instantly generate custom reports that include all of your priority metrics, allowing you to make decisive optimisations.
Leverage as much data as possible while running TikTok marketing, and you’ll be able to perfect your strategy in no time.
For brands looking to rapidly optimise their Pinterest ads, accessing strategic TikTok marketing services can be a smart move. Agency specialists can help businesses to polish their TikTok marketing strategy and deliver phenomenal results.
Getting started with TikTok ads
Ready to put your TikTok marketing strategy into action?
Let’s take a look at how you can set up and launch a TikTok ads campaign.
1. Sign up for a TikTok advertising account
First things first, you’ll need to create a TikTok ads account for your business.
Visit this page and complete the necessary fields to set up your account.
You’ll be prompted to enter some personal information and basic business details. Once you’ve completed this step, it’s time to look at crafting a new campaign.
2. Create a new TikTok ads campaign
Open the ‘Campaigns’ tab in the TikTok Ads Manager and click ‘Create’ to set up a new campaign.
Choose your campaign objective, and then confirm your desired campaign budget.
At this point, you’ll also be able to select either a lifetime budget or a daily budget.
A lifetime budget will enable the TikTok algorithm to spend your money evenly across a set period, but the platform will still have a degree of flexibility. A daily budget will set a daily limit to ad spend, allowing you tighter control over your funds.
3. Set up your TikTok ad group
It’s now time to build your first TikTok ad group.
An ad group contains a lot of important information about your TikTok ads, including your target audience, ad budget, and placements.
Multiple ads can be contained in a single ad group, and several ad groups can be launched throughout your campaign. Testing different strategies across ad groups is a surefire way to gather valuable insights and improve performance.
To get started, select your preferred ad placements. You can choose ‘Automatic Placement’ to maximise your reach or ‘Select Placement’ for manual control.
Once you’ve confirmed your ad placements, it’s time to set up your creative types and create your target audience. Experimenting with different targeting tactics is a good idea, but remember to maintain a sizable audience so the TikTok algorithm can optimise effectively.
4. Build a new TikTok ad
To start building your TikTok ad, upload an image or video file that fits the relevant ad specs.
(Always remember to stick to TikTok creative best practices for optimal performance – tailor your assets to the platform, and you’ll have a much better chance of delivering results.)
You’ll also need to enter ad copy and select a CTA button for your campaign. Keep your ad copy short and sweet, and make sure that your Call To Action aligns with your campaign messaging and landing pages.
Once you’ve finished configuring your TikTok ad, click ‘Submit’ to complete the process.
Useful resources for TikTok advertising
Below are some handy TikTok advertising resources that will help you to set up new campaigns, build profitable target audiences, and measure your marketing performance.
TikTok audience targeting overview
A smart TikTok marketing strategy will lay the foundations for a successful campaign.
Make sure that you’re spending enough time on building your target audience, creating content that resonates with users, and balancing organic posts with paid ads.
If you’re equipped with a solid, data-driven TikTok marketing strategy, you’ll be crushing your business objectives in no time.