TikTok is among the hottest apps right now. With over 800 million active users per month, it’s understandable why the major brands start including TikTok in their marketing strategy.

TikTok’s audience spreads across 150 countries. The majority of the users are young and active people in their 20s and early 30s. If this sounds relevant to your target audience, then you have a great reason to advertise on TikTok.

Add to these innovative features such as branded hashtag challenges and automated creative optimization, and advertising on TikTok may turn out to be the push your marketing strategy needed.

Setting an advertising account

To advertise on TikTok you’ll need to create an account on TikTok Ads. There are two types of advertising accounts available:

  • Business – when you need to promote your services or goods
  • Personal – if you wish to promote your website

After you have entered your contact info, a TikTok representative will evaluate your information and will contact you to set up an advertising account.

The organisation of advertisement at three levels:

  • Campaigns – the top-level category where you can set your main objective and budget.
  • Ad groups – each group has specific ad placement, budget, schedule, and target audience.
  • Ads – the content of all ads associated with the selected ad group

The campaign objectives you can choose from include traffic, conversions and app install. You could also choose to place the ads on TikTok affiliate platforms News Republic, TopBuzz, BuzzVideo, and VigoVideo.

The 4 ways to advertise on TikTok

Once you’re set, there are four options you can choose from to advertise on TikTok.

Brand takeover

Brand takeover appears as soon as the user loads the app. The ad will take the display completely for a short while and grab the users’ attention.
This ad type is the most expensive one because each day only one advertiser can use the brand takeover.

There are two ways to set the ad.

  • Static display, including a 3-second JPG preview.
  • Dynamic display, that supports 3 to 5 seconds of video.

If users click on the ad, they are redirected to either a TikTok profile or an external website.

In-feed ads

In-feed ads are TikTok videos integrated into the users’ For You feed. These native ads could be up to 60 seconds long using auto-play video with sound.

The best part about in-feed ads is that they blend seamlessly into the user’s feed without disrupting their experience.

Users can interact with in-feed ads by liking, commenting, following, sharing and even creating their own video with the same sound.

Branded hashtag challenge

Branded challenges appeal to the creative passion of TikTok users.
The unique advertising format displays the ad on the Discovery page where the advertiser encourages users to take part in content creation challenges. The content is then created around your campaign theme.

The branded hashtag challenge is available in 3-6 days packages, including creative guidelines, easy setup, and supporting media placement. The average engagement rate is about 8.5%, generated through comments, likes, and shares.

Branded effects

Branded effects give users new opportunities for creating fun and engaging videos.

The ad appears as branded lenses, stickers, motion effects, filters and augmented reality for users to incorporate in their content

Creating ads for TikTok

Aside from the four types of advertisements, there are several ways you can display your ads. In case you’re not sure which one is the right format for your campaign, TikTok has you covered through Automated Creative Optimization.

Before we move to automation let’s check the advertising formats available on the platform.

TikTok Image ads

Image ads consist of a creative image, brand or app name and ad description. To advertisers, TikTok provides a detailed guideline on how to arrange the image in terms of size, resolution, placement and even composition.

TikTok Video ads

Just like with images, TikTok provides a specification guide on video details and content. The guide covers not only TikTok videos but also those that are going to be running on some of the affiliate platforms. Video ads could be 5-60 seconds long, but it’s recommended that you keep them between 9 and 15 seconds. Make sure you check out some of the best tools to create short videos.

Playable TikTok ads

Playable ads help the user experience your game or app before they decide to download it. They are suitable when the campaign objective is app installs.

Playable ads on TikTok delivered through Pangle and should follow their requirements. A maximum length of 30 seconds is set for this type of ad, while the recommended duration is 15-25 seconds.

Automated Creative Optimization

TikTok understands that professionals are busy people. Many of them feel the need to advertise, however, day-to-day tasks sometimes just don’t leave enough time for refining the ads.

If you want to create a successful advertising campaign, you need to think of different creative ways to advertise and test the target audience interest towards each ad. For those who struggle between marketing and the actual business, TikTok created Automated Creative Optimization.
This innovative tool allows advertisers to automate most of the work associated with running ads. 

Here is how it works:

  1. You upload your creative assets, i.e. image and video
  2. Write the ad text
  3. Select call-to-action buttons

That’s it; from this point on TikTok automates the process entirely.
The system automatically combines creative assets into multiple ads. The more images and video files you have uploaded, the more ads will be created for the campaign.

These ads are monitored closely, the effectiveness is evaluated, and they are optimized until the best combination is discovered.

Best practices for your TikTok ad video

Contrary to many platforms that people use to display their content, TikTok’s audience leans towards trends instead of originality. With that said, if you want to create high-volume video content and use it to boost your brand awareness here are several best practices you may wish to stick to.

Video durationTikTok videos can be up to 15 seconds long. It is best if you stick to the time limit since this is how long people are used to maintaining their focus on a single video. If you still need to display a longer video you may compile it from up to four 15-second segments.

Light and uplift content

If you spent some time watching TikTok videos, you probably noticed the casual and playful atmosphere. Users dance, lip-sing, smile and take all kinds of challenges just for the fun of it.
Show your company’s lighter side by creating personal and fun video content.

Engage with your audience

All in all, TikTok works just like any other social media platform. To get the most of your campaign, be sure to engage with users that interact with your ad.Respond to users who have commented on it or who have taken up your hashtag challenge, take part in duets with other users or brands or even try out some of the other challenges.

Automate, automate, automate

Long has passed the time when everything was done manually. Whether you choose to try out TikTok’s Automatic Creative Optimization or an external platform like Rocketium is entirely your choice when you advertise on TikTok.Save yourself a lot of time and effort and take advantage of the automation opportunities the digital era has to offer.

Michael Pirone

Michael Pirone

Michael Pirone is the co-founder and creative director at Vidico, a video production agency that produces high-performing video content for startups and tech companies like Square, Uber, and Amazon Web Services. Michael and his team like to explain "the hard stuff" with the aim of bringing more clarity to the messaging of new and innovative tech products around the world.

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