How To Advertise on TikTok

two teenage girls in a dance video.

Use These Tips and Insights to Advertise on TikTok

If you are thinking of adding TikTok ads to your social media marketing strategy, read on. We will discuss why you should consider using the platform to promote your business and highlight the various types of ads available.

You will also learn the costs associated with creating TikTok advertisements and the steps to create one. Finally, we will provide you with tips to help you get the most from TikTok advertising.

Why Advertise on TikTok?

TikTok is more than just a social network featuring new trends and dance moves. It is also a great place to promote your business and reach your target audience. Here are a few reasons you may consider advertising your business on TikTok.

High User Engagement

If there’s one social media platform with the most active users, it’s TikTok. According to a 2021 report from Digital Information World, the average user spends roughly 21 hours on this network per month. TikTok garners more monthly screen time than Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Your ads will not go unnoticed.

The content shared on TikTok is also diverse. You can get videos about fashion, music, transportation, restaurants, and technology. Regardless of what type of business you do, you should be able to find users interested in your kind of content.

Multiple Targeting Options

Like most social networks, TikTok offers various targeting options to help you pinpoint your exact target audience. Here are the targeting criteria available with TikTok ads:

  • Audience

This option lets you create a custom or lookalike audience using user account activity and engagement levels.

  • Demographics

Use demographics to target users based on their gender, age bracket, location, and language.

  • Interests and Behavior

This targeting option allows you to target users based on the interests highlighted on their profiles and app behavior. For example, you can target users who love watching content about food or fashion.

  • Device

This selection targets users based on their devices. It encompasses device model, device price, operating system, internet connection type, and phone carrier.

Simple Ad Creation Process

It’s no secret that creating video content takes time, thought, and a significant amount of investment. With TikTok, however, you can create a video ad for free and in a couple of minutes.

The allure of TikTok is authenticity. Your ads don’t have to be obsessively thought-out or perfectly crafted. TikTok users expect to see the authentic side of your business, and thus you don’t have to curate your videos to perfection.

Suitable for Influencer Marketing

Finding and collaborating with an influencer on TikTok isn’t as hard as it would be on other social networks. This platform has a diverse reach of influencers, celebrities, athletes, and bloggers. Most of them use TikTok to share information concerning their daily lives and topics they find interesting. Consider partnering with the ones that align with your business. You can interact with them directly through your TikTok account.

Increases Brand Exposure

With TikTok advertising, your ads have the potential to go viral if users find them challenging enough to try out. Anyone can drive trends on this platform. You don’t have to be a celebrity or an influencer. Creating video ads based on the latest trends also increases your relevance since it allows more users to discover your business.

TikTok Ad Categories

Let’s explore the ad formats available with TikTok advertising. Choose the ones that will prove most effective for conveying your message and reaching your target clientele.

In-Feed Ads

These ads appear on a user’s feed along with organic content. They are the only self-service option that you can create yourself. In-feed ads are available in the following format:

  • Image Ads

Image ads contain an image, brand name, and ad caption. They get displayed in the TikTok Newsfeed section.

  • Video Ads

A video ad contains a clip between 5 to 60 seconds long, your brand name, ad display image, and caption.

  • Spark Ads

With Spark ads, you can boost your organic content or that of other users. According to TikTok research, these ads have a higher completion rate than other in-feed ads.

  • Pangle Ads

Pangle ads get placed on the TikTok audience network.

  • Carousel Ads

Carousel ads contain, at most, ten images that you can swipe. Use this format to showcase multiple products and services.

Brand Takeover Ads

Brand Takeover ads appear immediately when a user opens their TikTok app. They get displayed on the entire screen for a few seconds before the user’s feed section appears.

These ads are, however, limited in terms of display. TikTok displays only one Brand Takeover ad per day on a user’s account.

TopView Ads

Think of TopView ads as the new Brand Takeover ads. Unlike Brand Takeovers, these ads get displayed as the first in-feed content after a user opens their TikTok app. They show up at the top of the page and can run for up to 60 seconds.

Branded Effects

Branded Effects are great for getting users to interact with your brand. These ads allow you to add Branded stickers, special effects, lenses, and filters to your campaigns. Branded Effects can stay live for 10 consecutive days and are a fun way for your audience to engage with your business.

Branded Hashtag Challenges

Branded Hashtag challenges are perfect for building brand awareness and encouraging user engagement. These ads have a higher potential of going viral than other ad formats. They allow you to create subtle or straightforward challenges and promote them on TikTok’s hashtag challenge page.

How Much Does TikTok Advertising Cost?

Advertising on TikTok is slightly more expensive than on other social networks like Facebook and Instagram. The average cost per campaign depends on the ad format and campaign duration. You are, however, in control of your bid and budget.

Some TikTok ad formats are accessible to small businesses, while some aren’t. In the case of in-feed ads, TikTok requires a minimum campaign budget of $500 and a minimum ad group budget of $50. As for Branded Hashtag challenges, you need at least $150,000 for one campaign.

How to Create a TikTok Ad

You’re now familiar with the ad formats available on TikTok and how much they cost. We’ll now take you through the steps to create a TikTok ad campaign.

1. Create a TikTok Ads Manager account

The first thing you’ll need to do is open a TikTok Ads Manager account. This account will provide a self-service dashboard where you can create and manage your campaigns.

Start by choosing your billing country or region and selecting whether you want an account for business or individual purposes. You’ll then fill in your email address and password and verify your account. Finally, agree to the terms and conditions and tap the “Sign Up” button.

2. Choose your campaign objective

At the Campaign tab on your TikTok Ads Manager account, select “Create” to start a new campaign. TikTok will then prompt you to choose a campaign objective.

TikTok offers the following campaign objectives, with each having smaller advertising goals:

  • Awareness
    • Reach (Get as many users as possible to see your campaign)
  • Consideration
    • Traffic (Drive traffic to your website)
    • Video Views (Get more views for your video)
    • App Installs (Get more app installations)
    • Lead Generation (Generate leads with your ad campaign)
  • Conversions
    • Conversions (Get users to perform a specific action, for example, sign up or purchase your product or service)
    • Catalog Sales (Promote personalized product ads to encourage customers to buy your products)

3. Choose a campaign name and set your budget

Your next step will be to choose a campaign name and set your bidding amount and budget. Your name can be 512 characters at most. You’ll also need to indicate your campaign’s daily budget. Keep in mind that the minimum daily budget for a TikTok self-service campaign is $50.

4. Set up your ad groups and choose placements

Each TikTok campaign requires an ad group. You can set up as many ad groups as you like. Having many ad groups allows you to target different audiences and try different budgets and placement options with your campaign.

TikTok will also require you to choose placement options. You can select your placements manually or tap the “Automatic Placement” button to let TikTok choose them for you. Each ad group can have different placement sections within TikTok.

5. Choose your target audience

Now it’s time to select your target audience. As mentioned above, you can target your audience using the following criteria:

  • Demographics
  • Custom or lookalike audience
  • Interests and behavior
  • Device

6. Set ad group budget and schedule

In this section, you’ll need to enter your ad group budget. Start by selecting whether you want a daily or lifetime budget. Keep in mind that different ad groups can have varying amounts. Afterward, schedule the time to start your campaign. You can choose to run your ad the entire day or at specific times.

7. Choose your bid strategy

TikTok offers your three bidding strategies: Bid Cap, Cost Cap, and Lowest Cost. Your campaign goal is what, in most cases, will determine your bid strategy.

You’ll also need to choose your billing delivery type, whether standard or accelerated. With the former, your budget gets evenly distributed over your campaign duration. With the latter, your budget gets spent as quickly as possible without even distribution.

8. Design and launch your ad

Your final step will be to design and launch your campaign. You can create at most 20 ads in each ad group.

You’ll first need to choose an ad format and add your content or create one from scratch using TikTok’s video creation tools. Afterward, enter your display name and ad caption, and include a call-to-action to direct users where you’d want them to go next. Click “Submit” once you finish the creation process.

Best Practices for Advertising on TikTok

Read on for a few tips to help you create successful TikTok ad campaigns.

Keep Your Videos and Captions Short and to the Point

TikTok allows your videos to run for a maximum of 60 seconds, but the recommended length is between 21 to 34 seconds. Your caption should also be engaging but to the point. Remember that you are dealing with a young, highly-engaged user base. If your videos are long and tedious, users will simply move on to the next.

Use Caption and Sound in Your Ad

The best performing TikTok videos are those with audio and a caption. According to the Kantar report by TikTok, most users prefer watching a video with audio to one without. Your caption should also align with your videos and guide users to your call to action.

Keep It Authentic and Inspiring

TikTok is all about being authentic. Your ads don’t have to be perfect. For example, you can produce a video ad of you looking and talking directly with your target audience. While at it, also ensure your ads are positive and inspiring.

Add Some Personality

Don’t be afraid to inject some little personality into your campaigns. Use emojis in your caption. Smile and greet your audience. Loosen up and try TikTok trends and dance moves. You’ll easily connect with your audience if they feel you are one of them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few commonly asked questions about TikTok ads.

1. Can you use Automated Creative Optimizations when creating a TikTok ad?

Yes, you can turn this setting on to give TikTok permission to automatically create your ad using images or videos, captions, and a call to action in your content. TikTok then evaluates and optimizes your campaign to ensure it has the best combinations for delivering your desired results. You won’t have to conduct any split tests.

2. How can I choose an influencer for my ad campaign?

One benefit of advertising on TikTok is you can easily find and work with an influencer for your campaign. When choosing an influencer, first look at their number of followers and demographics. Go for an influencer whose followers are your target audience. You should also check the average number of video views the influencer gets for their content.

3. Do I need music rights for my ad campaign?

When creating paid campaigns on TikTok, you may be limited to the type of songs you can select. You can only use royalty-free music when creating promotional materials. Otherwise, you need to obtain legal rights for copyrighted music.

4. How can I make my TikTok ad go viral? 

You can’t truly control which videos go viral on TikTok. The best you can do is ensure your ad campaign is valuable, entertaining, and worth trying. But even so, here are a few tips for virality:

  • Create fun and entertaining videos
  • Hop on the latest TikTok trends
  • Start a challenge with your campaign
  • Be active on TikTok so that you know the latest trends, songs, and dance moves

5. Is it expensive to advertise on TikTok?

TikTok is relatively more expensive than Facebook and Instagram. The minimum cost per thousand impressions (CPM) is $10. You are also required to spend at least $500 per campaign.

Some ad formats are too expensive for small businesses. Brand hashtag challenges, for instance, require a flat fee of $150,000 for the first six days.

More About TikTok Advertising

Below you’ll find a few resources that can provide more information about using TikTok for advertising. In addition, many of the links lead to search results, so you will have the latest and most relevant results every time you use this page.

Ad Examples

One of the best ways to get started with your ad is to study successful examples. Then, when you look at the top ads, you will have an idea of what works best while sparking your creativity to create your own ad.

When looking at the ad examples, I would also consider the circumstances for the success.

For example, if an ad has a big budget behind it, it may have become popular because many people have seen it due to its huge circulation. Therefore, an ad like this may not work well for you, especially if you are working with a small budget.

Have a look at the latest search results for TikTok ad examples.

Marketing Agencies

From the information above, you now have an idea of advertising on TikTok, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself. Instead, you may want to use an advertising agency to complete the work for you. Below you’ll find the latest search results for marketing agencies that deal with TikTok.

If you find an agency that looks like it may be a good match, you will want to do some research. Feedback from people and companies that have used the agency indicates what you can expect.

Your marketing budget can be depleted very quickly. I always say I don’t mind spending thousands of dollars on advertising each month as long as I see immediate results from the investment.

Have a look at the latest search results for TikTok marketing agencies.


Books are another source of information you can use to improve your knowledge of using TikTok as a marketing strategy. The link below leads to the latest books related to TikTok available from Amazon.

When looking at publications, you will want something recent because printed books can become outdated quickly. After all, online platforms are always changing. However, you can still use books to get a strong foundation and keep updated with any changes online.

View the most recent books related to advertising from TikTok on Amazon.

 Marketing Courses

Taking a course related to advertising on TikTok is another way to improve your knowledge and experience.

With any course you’re considering, before you sign up, take a few minutes to do some research to see what other people have experienced with the course. This will give you an overview of what you can expect.

With many online courses, you can expect step-by-step video tutorials and lifetime access to the course, which is nice because it allows you to review the information anytime.

Google’s search results related to advertising on TikTok courses.


The media is another source to get current information on virtually any topic. I like using Google’s new site as part of my research to get the latest stories covered by the media.

You can even set up a Google alert to get notifications of any news related to TikTok advertising.

See Google’s News search results related to advertising on TikTok.

YouTube Videos

YouTube is an excellent source for getting tips and insights on virtually any topic.

It’s worth mentioning when you’re watching a video, keep an eye out for the related videos that show up because many of these may have been topics you haven’t considered, and I usually find one or more videos worth looking into.

See the most recent videos related to advertising on TikTok.


TikTok advertising isn’t very different from other social networks. The ad formats may be slightly different, but the creation process is more or less the same. You simply need to create a TikTok Ads Manager account and follow the creation steps highlighted by TikTok.

Remember to keep your campaigns concise. Include sounds and captions, and keep it authentic. Don’t focus too much on having the perfect ad. Conveying your message is what matters.