It’s Time to get Familiar with TikTok Ads!

TikTok application poster
Manit Sethi
Manit Sethi

TikTok. TikTok. TikTok. There’s no doubt that it’s super easy to lose track of time when you’re on the app browsing through awesome dance challenges, hilarious clips and mind boggling videos. Now with over 800 million monthly active users, TikTok is climbing up the ranks and shows no signs of slowing down as an engaging social platform.

If you’re looking for ways to reach a younger audience, you should definitely be thinking about advertising on TikTok, especially if you are selling consumer products.

In early 2019, TikTok launched a beta version of its ad offering, and now its ad platform is already available in key regions in Southeast Asia including India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore among others. If you are already familiar with the Facebook Business Manager, the TikTok ad platform is fairly similar with features like lookalike audiences, custom audiences, a tracking pixel, and a three-part ad structure:

Campaigns > Ad Groups > Ads

The key differences are the ad types available with TikTok.

Before we dive into ins and outs of running TikTok ad campaigns, let’s first get to know why you should run ads on TikTok in the first place.

  • With 800 million monthly active users, TikTok beats LinkedIn (660+ million), Reddit (430+ million), Snapchat (218+ million), Twitter (340+ million), and Pinterest (322+ million).
  • Apple and Google Play users have downloaded the TikTok app over 1.5 billion times.
  • TikTok is the sixth most popular app globally based on the number of monthly active users.
  • TikTok users span 150 countries worldwide.


TikTok Ad Types

Below are the TikTok ad types that work best for brands:

In-feed ads

An in-feed ad appears as a full-screen native video and is embedded within the ‘For You’ feed. It has the sound automatically played and allows users to comment, share, like, etc., directly from the feed.

Using in-feed ads is a great way to drive traffic to internal pages (like hashtags or challenges) or external landing pages (like websites).  

Brand takeover

A brand takeover ad is a full-screen ad that pops up when a user first logs into TikTok. It lives on the first screen they see when opening TikTok. Simply tap the ad, and they’ll be directed to the brand’s website. 

A brand takeover ad can be an image or a 3-5 second GIF/video. 

Top view

A top view ad showcases your brand as soon as users open TikTok, which helps reach and engage audiences in a visually impactful way. It’s a version of the brand takeover ad unit that fades into an in-feed video ad, lasting 15 seconds in total. 

Branded hashtag challenges

Branded hashtag challenges help you maximize engagement by tapping into user-generated content. You can choose a branded hashtag, create a challenge, and encourage users to join your challenge as well as include your branded hashtag into their post. 

According to TikTok Ads, “the branded hashtag challenge is a new and unique way to engage users. It taps into users’ passion for creation and expression by inviting them to join in on a collective movement. Over 50% of creators have participated in a hashtag challenge with an average engagement rate of 8.5%, generating huge brand buzz and affinity.”

TikTok Digital Ads preview

Understanding TikTok’s Advertisement Goals

There are 4 different advertisement goals (bidding methods) based on what your campaign anticipated results are. Using CPC (cost-per-click) goals will enable you to get more clicks or any of the view objectives to increase awareness and gain more ad impressions.

CPC (cost-per-click)

Pay for clicks. Acquiring more clicks will serve as the optimization goal.

oCPC (optimized cost-per-click)

Pay for clicks that lead to conversions. The system optimizes delivery to get more conversions (e.g. app download, purchase, or sign-up).

CPM (cost-per-mille)

Reach and thousand impressions are the optimization goal.

CPV (cost-per-view)

Pay for every 6-second video viewed. 6-second video views will serve as the optimization goal. 

How much do TikTok ads cost?

If you’re looking to gain the most visibility amongst TikTok users, be prepared to invest and pay a premium in your TikTik advertising campaign.

Brand Takeover: $50,000 per day.

Hashtag Challenge: $150,000 for six days.

For those with access to the self-service TikTok ads platform, advertisers are able to set daily or all-time budget caps for in-feed ads. TikTok sets a minimum budget of $500 at the campaign level and $50 at the ad group level. This minimum spend is meant to ensure that your ad has enough budget to spend to reach your ad objectives.

Advertisers with smaller budgets should wait to see if the cost of advertising on TikTok will decrease. This has happened on other social networks as more advertisers join the platform.

Visit the TikTok For Business site to register an account and start deploying ads on a brand new highly engaging platform. For a step by step guide on how to register click here, and for inspiration of ads that brands are running across the region click here

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