TikTok Advertising 101

TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in the world, boasting 1 billion monthly users as of September 2021. That makes TikTok the seventh-largest platform in terms of users, ahead of others that have been around much longer such as Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter. 

To give you an idea of how just how quickly TikTok shot to the top of everyone’s favourites list – it took Instagram six years from its launch to gain the same amount of monthly active users that TikTok managed to achieve in under three years, and Facebook (widely known as the king of social media) which took more than four years.

If you’re new to the world of TikTok, check out our blog that outlines everything you need to know about TikTok first! But if you’re already across what TikTok offers then keep reading to get the lowdown on TikTok advertising.

TikTok’s advertising options are a relatively new addition to their suite with the brand launching their TikTok for Business platform in June 2020. Prior to this launch, advertising partners had to contact the platform directly to organise paid promotions. 

How do TikTok ads work?

TikTok ads are set up in a similar way to Facebook ads with each advertisement separated into 3 levels:

  1. Campaign level – this is where you outline your ad objective (conversions, web traffic, reach, etc).
  2. Adset level – this is where you determine your target audience, who do you want to see your ads? 
  3. Ad level – Where your creative is setup, including web links, copy and video content.

What creative can I use?

As TikTok is a video-only social media platform, ads must be video content too. Your video should be engaging and scroll stopping – and if your video fits a current trend on the platform even better! TikTok ads run as 5-60 second full-screen videos in the user’s ‘For You’ feed. 

Below is an in-depth look at the TikTok ad specs:

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9. Vertical videos with a 9:16 ratio perform best.
  • Minimum resolution: 540 x 960 px or 640 x 640 px. Videos with a resolution of 720 px perform best.
  • File types: mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi
  • Duration: 5-60 seconds. TikTok recommends 21-34 seconds for top performance.
  • Max file size: 500 MB
  • Profile image: square image less than 50 KB
  • App name or brand name: 4-40 characters (app) or 2-20 characters (brand)
  • Ad description: 1-100 characters, no emojis

How much does it cost to advertise on TikTok? 

TikTok advertising does not come cheap, it requires a minimum budget of $500 for overall campaigns, with a $20 minimum daily spend for ad groups. TikTok has set this minimum as they claim it allows you to see results and ensure that your ads can reach your selected objectives. 

Other advertising options TikTok offers includes; take-over style ads utilising a Top-View ad where your video is shown as the first video on every users’ For You page; A Branded Hashtag Challenge that encourages users to recreate your video to participate in the challenge, and branded effects/filters. These high-level campaigns can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000 depending on the type of promotion.

TikTok’s top tips for advertising

TikTok’ has a great inspiration section on their website so you can see how other brands have managed to find ad success on the platform. It’s worth checking these examples out to see what’s best practice on the platform. 

What’s our experience with TikTok Ads?

It’s a big expense for SME’s and with conversion campaigns needing more than 50 conversions to exit learning phases, its direct ROI on ad spend is questionable.

BUT, if you’re combining this with say a Facebook ads campaign that aims to reengage with audiences using remarketing, you can maximise on the engagement generated from this channel. It can be a great tool for boosting website traffic in the lead up to a sale period.

Looking to expand into TikTok advertising? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you!