Tips and Strategies You Need to Know (2023)

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What type of ads does TikTok offer?

At the heart of TikTok’s advertising engine are a variety of ad formats, among which the in-feed ads reign supreme. These ads show up as users scroll through their feed and are the most affordable and straightforward way for brands to advertise on the platform. 

In-feed ads are designed to blend seamlessly with the TikTok user experience, appearing like any other user-generated content, with only a small Sponsored tag beneath the caption to differentiate them. After a few seconds, a call-to-action button, such as Buy Now or Learn More, appears, directing users to the advertiser’s website.

Creating an in-feed ad is a simple process that can be done through TikTok Ads Manager, which offers several ad placement options, such as detail page, story, post-roll, and in-feed, depending on your campaign goals.

Another ad option is Spark Ads. These ads appear in a full-screen format, immediately catching the viewer’s attention, and are designed to promote brand awareness and reach. 

A spark ad offers a variety of creative features, including video, image, and text elements, making them an excellent option for businesses looking to reach their audience in a creative way.

Businesses can also run hashtag challenges to reach their intended audience. TikTok has created a culture where users constantly compete with one another to create the most entertaining and original content. This approach is incredibly effective, since it harnesses the power of TikTok’s organic reach, encouraging users to engage with the brand and creating a sense of community around the challenge.

If you’ve been creating TikTok videos for a while, you might have come across the option to promote your content. This feature isn’t the same as running ads, but it has some similarities.

To start promoting your TikTok videos natively on the app, head to the three-dot symbol on your own video, then click the Promote button. You’ll be able to select a campaign goal (like driving traffic to your website), define your target audience, and set a daily or lifetime budget for your TikTok promotion campaign.

If you’re using an iPhone, you can use “coins” (the same currency users use to give gifts to their favorite creators) to pay for promotion, making it the cheapest way to get your content seen on TikTok. The most affordable option is a one-day campaign of 200 coinsabout $2. Android users will pay with their local currency.

While promoting your TikTok videos can be a great way to get more eyes on your content, it’s important to note that the options are less sophisticated than using the TikTok Ads Manager. With a TikTok ad account, you can upload a brand new video to serve as an ad and get more precise audience targeting options. Plus, the analytics provided by TikTok will allow you to A/B test different spots and get more detailed insights about the success of your campaign.

TikTok ad specs 

Time to get a little technical. On TikTok (and other social media platforms), there are some requirements you need to fulfill for posting a video as an ad. A complete list is available in TikTok’s help center, but here are some highlights: 

  • Video resolution: Must be ≥ 540 x 960 px, 960 x 540 px, or 640 x 640 px
  • Length: Up to 60 seconds (but TikTok’s recommendation is 9–15 seconds)
  • File type: .mpeg, .mov, .mp4, .avi, or .3gp
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9

Creating a TikTok ad from scratch

You have two options for creating campaigns in the TikTok Ad Manager:

The custom version has more options, like using a bidding strategy or creating an ad group. But it’s meant for experienced marketers who are familiar with these settings. For a small business/startup, the simplified version is a better choice.

To create your first ad, head over to the TikTok ads manager and choose Simplified Mode when prompted.

Step 1: Get a business account 

Before you can use TikTok’s Ads Manager, you need to have a business account on the platform. The good news is that switching to a business account is free and easy. Open TikTok and tap Settings and Privacy > Manage Account > Switch to Business Account.

TikTok Ads Manager

This will not only give you access to TikTok’s Ads Manager, but also to valuable analytics like the best time to post and a link in your bio.

Step 2: Integrate with Shopify

If you have a Shopify store, install the TikTok app to access automated ad creation options. If you’re in select countries, you’ll also be able to launch a shopping tab on your TikTok profile.

Step 3: Open Ads Manager

The TikTok app is designed for mobile use, but for managing ads, you’ll want to use the desktop Ads Manager. Simply go to and log in with your TikTok ads manager account.

Step 4: Set your advertising goal

Select Simplified Mode and choose from one of four options: Increase Traffic, Drive Community Interaction, Generate Customer Leads, or Get Website Conversions. Each option is tailored to a specific campaign objective.

TikTok advertising goal

Step 5: Select your audience

Decide who will see your ad by selecting Automatic Audience or customizing parameters like gender, age, language, and location. You can also target users based on their interests and behaviors, like pets, clothing, or gadgets.

choosing a TikTok audience

Step 6: Set your budget and schedule

Determine your daily ad budget, starting at $5 per day, and choose how long you want your campaign to run. You can also select “no end date” to run your campaign indefinitely.

Step 7: Create your ad

Select an existing TikTok or upload a new one. Write a caption and create a call-to-action button, like Shop Now. Make sure your ad adheres to TikTok’s technical guidelines for vertical video ads and fits in with the look and feel of the platform.

Step 8: Submit

Hit Submit and your ad will go into review before it goes live. Monitor your results and optimize for your next campaign. 

How much do TikTok ads cost?

While TikTok ads have become increasingly popular among businesses, the cost of advertising on the platform varies depending on your content strategy and various factors.

According to multiple sources, the average starting price of a TikTok ad campaign is $10 per 1,000 views, with a minimum cap of $500 per campaign.

However, the actual CPM may vary based on the ad placement, bidding strategy, and target audience used for the campaigns.

Finding your groove with TikTok ads

As TikTok is such a place of creativity, the sky’s the limit when it comes to TikTok marketing. And because the best way to create TikTok ads still isn’t totally clear—especially for brands with smaller marketing budgets—there’s no better time to start experimenting and testing anything that might work.

Above all else, TikTok users want clever and fun videos, so if you’re hitting those notes with the videos you’re creating, it should only be a matter of time before you grow a following. Don’t expect it to be instant though—while some users can go viral from just one video, for most it takes multiple attempts before it all comes together.

Are you using TikTok for business? Have you made a sale using TikTok ads? Tell us about it in the comments below.

TikTok ads FAQ

How do TikTok ads work?

TikTok ads target viewers based on behaviors, interests, and demographics. Advertisers can run image ads, video ads, or hashtag challenges on the platform. TikTok then shows the ad to the target audience in the form of ads in the For You feed, sponsored videos, promoted trends, or hashtag challenges. Additionally, TikTok lets advertisers track their performance and tweak their campaigns to improve performance.  

Are TikTok ads worth it?

It depends on what you want to achieve with them. For instance, TikTok ads are highly effective for reaching younger audiences, but it is important to research to determine if this is the right audience for your business. Moreover, it is important to align your TikTok ad campaigns with the goals of your business to ensure you get the most out of your ad spend.

Are TikTok ads successful?

Yes, but as part of a well-thought-out marketing strategy. In other words, you should create ads that intrigue and entertain, as well as target the right audience. Optimizing your profile, using relevant hashtags, and bonding with followers may also help boost your ad’s effectiveness.

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