TikTok 101: Everything You Need To Know About TikTok Ads

Last updated June 07, 2021

user Written by Nhat Kieu Minh

Everything You Need To Know About TikTok Ads

Being in the world’s top 7 largest social media networks, TikTok is surely a potential market for advertising, which explains the recent launch of “TikTok For Business.”

You don’t have to own a big brand to try out this brand-new feature of TikTok and get your product sales up. In today’s article, we will cover a complete breakdown of the different TikTok Ads types and how to make the most of them. Stay tuned!

Why Should You Use TikTok Ads?

Using TikTok ads will be very much beneficial to your Tiktok marketing strategy. Below are some of the several reasons to utilize this Generation Z’s advertising method.

Increase Brand Awareness

When running a business, it is important to build your brand awareness. By using TikTok ads, your brand will reach a larger audience with more covered exposure.

More importantly, since the majority of TikTok’s audience is Generation Z (also referred to as Gen Z), it makes even more sense to use TikTok ads to grow your business and expand product sales. 

According to research, gen Z accounts for the largest U.S consumer population, with a buying power of more than $140 billion.

What is more, TikTok has more than 800 million users worldwide – more than Snapchat, Reddit, and LinkedIn. Despite being a newbie amongst the social media networks, this video-streaming platform is one of the dominant.

TikTok Ads

Outstanding User Engagement Rate

According to statistics, TikTok has the highest user engagement rate, with the average monthly time spent per user growing rapidly than any other apps.

Youngsters spend approximately 80 minutes on this platform, whereas for Facebook, it’s only 60 minutes. This figure means TikTok users are a more preferable source of entertainment or information for audiences, thus, more likely to engage them in purchasing. 

Utilizing TikTok ads aids in getting more eyeballs and engagement for your company; the only task left now is to opt for the right ads (more on this later).

Wider Audience Reach

Currently, TikTok has audiences from over 150 countries and is accessible to 75 languages. If you plan to expand your business to target international customers, TikTok video ads may just be what you need.

What is more, video marketing is taking off, and there is no sign of it slowing down at any foreseeable time. Do not miss out on this chance to take advantage of what’s on the rise.

What is The Cost for TikTok Ads?

Even though the platform has yet to be transparent about the cost, you can expect the number to be significant.

Don’t get scared off right away if you’re one of the small businesses and solopreneurs. In-feed ads allow you to set up your financial plan and schedule with a fee of as little as $500 for a campaign and $50 for an ad group.

However, it’s a different story for branded hashtag challenges and brand takeovers: the price ranges from $50,000 to $150,000.

Since TikTok ads are quite new to the scene, we can’t say for sure whether the platform will follow a similar path to Facebook & Instagram ads, where you can start advertising at a small cost of $10, or it will keep certain types of ads with different fees.

Types of TikTok Ads

There are five ad formats on TikTok. Let’s take a look at each type to see how they work, shall we?

Types of TikTok Ads
Types of TikTok Ads

In-Feed Ads

In-feed video ads, or native video ads, are short video ads on users’ For You Page as they scroll. They can be as long as 60 seconds, but the optimal length should fall between 6-15 seconds to develop instant user engagement.

In-Feed Ads
An in-feed TikTok ad

In-feed ads often blend in well with regular videos on the feed since they have the same user interface as content from TikTok creators. Users can even like, comment, and share the ads just like they do with other TikTok videos.

A plus to using in-feed ads is the ability to add multiple call-to-actions that link to your brand landing page, helping to increase website traffic and, potentially, sales.

Branded Takeover

Branded Takeover ads are the ones you see first whenever you open the app. These full-screen, short-form videos are often short, about 3-5 seconds; they can be used to navigate you to a Hashtag Challenge or a brand’s landing page.

Branded Takeover can be a video, GIF, or image with a message to drive direct sales to your business. Because of their effectiveness, these ads might be too costly for small and medium enterprises. 


TopView ads are similar to Branded Takeover ads, except they pop up right after the latter ones haven’t taken up their part. This definition explains why Branded Takeover ads are also called TopView Elite.

TopView ads are the first videos users see on their feed once they open the app. The ads can last up to 60 seconds with auto-play and sound, helping increase brand exposure. Advertisers can add a call-to-action button or links to internal/external pages.

Branded Hashtag Challenge

Branded hashtag challenges are another form of advertising. They’re like regular hashtag challenges; the only difference is that they’re sponsored by TikTok and are shown at the top of the Discover Page.

Hashtag Challenge
Branded hashtag challenges

The amount of time displayed depends on how much you’re paying. Many big brands are willing to spend a hefty fee of $150,000 just to get their challenge to stay on the front page for the first 6 days. 

After that, there will be, more often than not, additional fees between $100,000 to $200,000 to promote the challenge.

If you’re lucky enough to have your challenge go viral, it will attract thousands of submissions and generate millions of views. Thus, your brand will get press mentions and interviews, helping you grow your brand and drive conversions to a certain extent.

Of course, small businesses can also try branded hashtag challenges without spending much. Even though there won’t be any guarantee that it will catch on, you can try partnering up with influencers and content creators to advertise your branded hashtag challenge.

Branded Effects/Branded Lenses

TikTok now offers you a chance to create shareable stickers, AR filters, and lenses for users. While this feature has been around for considerably long on other platforms like Instagram or Snapchat, it is quite new to TikTok.

These effects are often available for 10 days. However, if many people use the effects, your brand can enjoy quite a boost. Branded lenses encourage users to interact with your brand by having them create content with your custom filters.

How To Create A TikTok Ad

Now that you understand the types of TikTok ads, let’s move to the next part. We’ll walk you through a brief guide on how to create a TikTok ad.

Create An Ad Account

Before launching your first ad, you will need to set up an ad account.

To do that, go to TikTok for Business landing page, then click on Get Started. After choosing your region and business type, click Next. Then, you will be navigated to a page to fill out your information, including your Email Address, Password, and a Verification Code.

Create An Ad Account

Once you click to agree to TikTok Ads Terms and Conditions, you’re done. Moving up to the next step – create a campaign.

Create A Campaign

To create a campaign, you will need to specify your campaign level, including two things:

  • Campaign objective: Depending on what your marketing goal is, you’ll choose one among awareness, conversion, or consideration.

This step is crucial when setting up the campaign, as the campaign objective indicates the action you want people to take upon your ads. 

For example, if you want to expand your brand’s reach, the right thing to choose would be Reach in Awareness.

  • Campaign name: Come up with a good campaign name to attract people.

The limit to creating campaigns with a TikTok ad account is 999 campaigns. And that’s it for the campaign level; let’s find out how to create an ad group.

Create An Ad Group

The process of creating an ad group is rather complex, which is why we have divided it into several parts to simplify it for you.

Select The Ad Placements

In this very first part, you will need to choose an ad replacement or where your ad will take place on TikTok.

Normally, auto ad placements are what people pick for their first ads. The platform knows the optimized replacement for your ad to take off, helping you achieve your targeted campaign objective.

Select The Ad Placements

Select A Creative

Next, you’re going to choose a Creative Type, which contains images, videos, and ad texts. Again, advertisers tend to opt for Automated Creative, letting the algorithm establish combinations of certain creative assets to provide you with the top-performing combos.

Target An Audience

Now, it is time to decide on your target audience. You can target Lookalike Audience depending on demographics and interests; plus, TikTok grants access to create Custom Audience based on your customer files, web traffic, app insight, etc.

However, building a custom audience can be quite a hassle as you will need to install the TikTok pixel on your website. This platform aids in optimizing ads and strengthening the success of your ads, thanks to the analyzed customer behaviors on your website.

Set A Budget And Advertising Schedule

As you can see in the photo, there are different campaign budget options. You can opt for a daily budget or a lifetime budget.

tiktok ads

Then, select a schedule for how long your ad will be displayed. The Dayparting option lets you pick a specific time during the day, ranging from 30 minutes to 24 hours.

Set Up A Bidding Plan and Optimization.

What you’re going to see first is the optimization goal, including conversion, click, and reach. Select accordingly to your campaign goals.

tiktok ads

Next, you will find a billing event option, which is set automatically in accordance with your chosen goal. Consequently, here comes smart optimization. This option lets you select how the algorithm promotes conversion events and ad delivery.

As for the bid strategy, it aids in controlling your cost per result, ensuring the average cost per result is in your bid range during the delivery.

And the bidding option assists you in setting the amount of money you’re willing to give for a certain number of impressions per click or conversion. Choose a bidding method that best fits you.

Finally, the delivery type. There are two formats for delivery types – standard and accelerate.

  • Standard: Your budget will be spread evenly throughout the entire campaign.
  • Accelerate: The budget will be spent quickly during the event.

We’ve come a long way, but you’re now ready to create an ad.

Create An Ad

Here comes the part we’ve all been waiting for – create an ad.

Upload your ad creative using either videos or images; it doesn’t matter as TikTok will turn them into videos. Also, make sure to follow TikTok’s ad creative guidelines while creating the ad!

  • Start by choosing an ad name to help identify your ad.
  • Next, choose an ad format. We did mention that the ad can be made from videos or images. However, in the end, you can only create ads in a video form.
  • Then, add the ad details by uploading your creative media. You can carry out this process using statistics and information from your device (if this is your first ad) or the ads you made before.

Another option is to create a new video, which we don’t recommend you do. A video created on the spot will certainly not be as good as an eye-catching, well-designed video created beforehand.

  • Fill in your ad text and links, including the name, a call-to-action, a profile image, etc. Once you’re done, you can preview the ad one last time before posting, then click submit to finish the process.

All you have to do now is wait for the ad review process to approve your ad, and it will be ready to be shown.

But how are you going to track the success of your ad? With TikTok ads measurement! On TikTok Ads Management, there are two tiers of data for you to view, including Dashboard and Campaign.

  • Dashboard: This section keeps you up-to-date with a macro view of the overall data across your campaign, including the performance, ad spend, and current status of your ad.
  • Campaign: This section narrows down to a micro view, providing a detailed insight into the campaign with more granular metrics.

TikTok Advertising Tips

Apart from using an ad, there are some marketing strategies to take into consideration if you want to advertise on TikTok.

Partner Up With Influencers

Tiktok influencer marketing isn’t something too unfamiliar these days, especially with the immense growth of influencers across social platforms.

According to statistics, influencer marketing is currently a $5-10 billion dollar industry, with 17% of companies spending over half of their marketing budget on influencers.

Finding an influencer is not a hard task. However, getting them to use your product or promote your brand naturally is the hard part. 

First, their audience has to match yours; next, they ought to have a decent number of followers and a good engagement rate to help you get the best ROI from your TikTok ads.

Keep Up With The Trends

Check up on the new social trends every once in a while and make sure your ad content stays relevant!

As users are creating more and more content than ever before, using trending hashtags and sounds seems like a good way to keep up with your audience. With the right hashtags, your ads stand a higher chance of getting boosted in the For You Page.

Also, looking into a smart video soundtrack to create more user-generated content in the future.

Promote Your TikTok On Other Platforms

If your brand already has a user base on several social media platforms, why not increase the reach of your TikTok content by posting on these channels as well?

By doing this, your brand’s exposure and discoverability will be increased to a certain extent. In fact, this strategy works well for small and medium businesses with a limited marketing budget. 


Using TikTok ads is an effective way to raise brand awareness and generate product sales. With TikTok, you can create ads that allow you to expand the audience’s reach to different countries.

Even though native advertising programs from TikTok can be a little too much, budget-wise, you can still check out other advertising methods on the platform that we have mentioned, i.e., the influencer marketing.

Thank you for reading, and we wish you luck in building your business on TikTok!


Nhat Kieu Minh linkedin

CEO & Founder of EazyViral

Continuously growing is our main target to become one of the best trustable providers in social networking services.

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