Advertising on TikTok is still in its early stages and before investing your time and effort into TikTok advertising, you must consider two questions:

What Is the Target Demographic for Your Business?

Globally, 41% of TikTok Users are in the 16-24 age-group. If you consider the U.S. market around 50.3% of TikTok users in the U.S.A are in the 18-34 age group while 20% of them are in the 35-44 group. For advertising to yield results on TikTok your products must appeal to this age group.

Do You Have the Budget to Advertise on TikTok?

Advertising on tikTok can be expensive.

a. The minimum budget requirement for campaign level:

For each campaign, both daily budget and total budget must exceed 500 USD.

b. The minimum budget requirement for ad group level:

  • If you select the daily budget, it must exceed 20 USD.
  • If you select the lifetime budget, it must exceed the value of the minimum daily budget (20 USD) × scheduled days.

Once you have ensured that a large proportion of your target audience is using TikTok and you can meet the budgetary requirements you can start Advertising on TikTok.

1. Create a TikTok Ads Account

To create your first ad campaign, visit the TikTok Ads page and click on the Create an Ad button.

When you click on the button, you are led to another page on which you would be asked details of your business such as email and business location. After you submit this information, a representative will reach out to help you set up your TikTok Ads account. This can take up to 48 hours.

2. Create a TikTok Ad Campaign

On the TikTok Ads dashboard, click the Campaign tab at the top of the page.

Click the Create New button on the campaign page to start creating your campaign.

3. Campaign Level

Like on all other social advertising platforms, an ad campaign on TikTok can be broken down into three levels.

Image Credit: TikTok

a. Choose a Campaign Objective:

Choose a campaign objective, which will be the primary goal of your ad. 

Consideration: You should select this objective when your goal is to drive traffic to your website or discover your app. TikTok will show your ad to those people within your target audience that are most likely to be interested in visiting your website or app.

  • Traffic: To encourage people to visit your website or app
  • App Install: Send people to a page where they can download your app.

Conversions: You can use the Conversion objective to encourage your audience to take a specific action; it could be registering for your newsletter/blog updates or making a purchase. If you choose this objective, you can use the TikTok Pixel Previously installed on your website or app to track and show your ads to customers who have viewed your products page or added products to the cart and then left your website. TikTok Ads pixel helps you to track and measure conversions.

b. Select Campaign Name and Budget

Give your campaign a name to make it easier to track at a later stage.

At this stage, you need to set your budget at the campaign level. If you do not want to set at the campaign level budget, you can leave the No limit box selected. To select a budget at the campaign level, uncheck the No Limit box and choose from the Daily Budget or Total Budget options in this section.

Note: Both the daily budget and total budget at the campaign level must be at least $500.

4. Set Your TikTok Ad Group

Now you are at the Ad group level; At the”Ad group” level,  you can set ad placements, target audiences, budgets, schedule, optimization goals, and bids for each ad group. You can have several ad groups within a campaign. Say, you are setting up a campaign for promoting an event, you can set up an ad group to target audiences by demographics and interests and another ad group for previous customers (by uploading a customer list).

This enables you to control the budgets, delivery schedule for each set of target audience and track the performance of your ads.

a. Choose a name for your Ad Group

b. Select Your Ad Placement

You can select automatic placements, which allows TikTok to determine and show your ads on platforms on where they will perform best.

You can also choose to select platforms you’d like to run your ads. This includes the entire family of apps like Vigo Video (India only), BuzzVideo, News Republic, owned by TikTok.

c. Add Details

Once you’ve selected your preferred placements, its time to add details.

  • Select Promotion Type: Whether you are promoting your app or website through the ad.
  • Add URL of your website or App.
  • Display Name: This will be shown with your ad, so ideally this should be your brand name.
  • Profile Image: The profile image will be shown to the audience along with your ad. The proportion of images you upload must be 1:1 and no more than 50KB. Again, this should ideally be your brand Logo.

Add Categories: This will help TikTok show your ad to the right audience. Add category and subcategory from the list of available options.

Add Tags: Add keywords related to your business to increase the reach and visibility of your Ads. You can add up to 20 keywords, which will help the platform in delivering your ads to the right audience.

d. Targetting

In this section, you can target the audience by location, age, gender, languages, interests, devices.

Custom Audience: You can create a custom audience by uploading an existing customer list containing IDs of TikTok users in a CSV, TXT, or ZIP formats.

Lookalike audience: You can create a “lookalike audience” based on your existing “custom audience” to reach people who are similar (In terms of demographics, interests, and behavior) to audiences your custom audience.

e. Set a Budget and Schedule

You can choose either a daily budget or a total budget.

  • Daily Budget specifies the maximum amount you are willing to spend on your ad on a single day. At the ad group level, the daily budget must exceed $20.  
  • Lifetime Budget: This sets the maximum amount you are willing to spend over the life of your ad group. At the Ad Group level, the lifetime budget must exceed the value of the minimum daily budget (20 USD) × scheduled days.

f. Choose Delivery Type

Delivery Type determines the speed at which your budget will be spent.

The Standard delivery option distributes your budget evenly across the duration of the campaign while optimizing ad delivery. Let’s say you are running an ad for 5 days, your total budget is $1000, so under standard delivery, your daily spend will be around $200, however, the system will optimize delivery to show your ads during, let’s say, the evening hours when a larger set of your target audience is likely to view the ads.

The Accelerate option, on the other hand, spends the budget as fast as possible during the scheduled time.

” the system would maximize the efficiency of delivery and get as many results as possible within a short span of time. Although this may result in a higher and fluctuating cost of certain single Result, the average cost for the duration of your ad would still remain close to your bid.”

Source: TikTok

g. Select Your Optimization Goal

Under the”Bidding &Optimization” section, you can set an “Optimization Goal” for your ad and link them with relevant conversion events to monitor the performance of your ad. You can set your “optimization goal” in accordance to your campaign goal. There are currently 3 types of optimization goals available on the platform:

  • Conversions
  • Clicks
  • Impressions

Conversions: If you choose Conversion as your goal, your ad will be served to the people who are most likely to convert for your product or service. Conversion goals are priced using the oCPC (optimization cost per click) bidding method.

Let’s say you want to show your ad to all people who visited your landing page, you need to place the TikToK pixel on your website/landing page before you start running the ad. You can install the pixel code on your website/landing page/app through Google Tag Manager or add the code manually.

The next step is to create a conversion event. You can create conversion event for any action that you want to track such as “App Download“, “Page View“, or “Form Submission”. To Create a conversion event Click on the library and select conversions. You can set up conversion tracking for app installs or your landing page. 

For a more detailed guide on creating “conversion eventsclick here.

You can use TikTok Pixel Helper to check if you have installed the pixel correctly on your landing page/app and if the conversion event is triggered.

Clicks: If you select Click as the goal for your ad group your ad will be optimized to drive as many clicks as possible and you’ll be billed on a CPC basis,

Impressions: If you set Impression as your goal, your ad will be optimized for impressions and you will be billed on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

Smart Optimization

Smart Optimization ensures that your bid is constantly adjusted and optimized to increase conversions.

a. If you turn it on, the system will immediately set conversion as the optimized goal for “the first phase of the conversion bid” and conduct oCPC smart delivery based on the conversion bid. The system will select high-quality traffic, continuously optimizing the conversion model, and lock the conversion population. Both the first phase and the second phase are “oCPC delivery”.
b. If you turn it off, the system will give priority to CPC-based bids in the “first phase of the conversion bid” as the campaign strategies and optimization targets. After generating a certain number of conversions, the system will move on to the second phase, with conversions as the optimization goal and conduct oCPC smart delivery based on the conversion bid. The first phase is “CPC delivery” and the second phase is “oCPC delivery”.

Credit: TikToK Help

If you choose Click or Impression as your goal, it’s best to switch off Smart Optimization.

5: Design Your Ad

Once you’ve created your ad group, click on “Next” to go to the ad creation page. Two Ad formats are currently available on TikTok Ads. However, Only Video Ads can be shown on TikTok, partner sites such as TopBuzz / BuzzVideo / NewsRepublic support both image & video ads.

You can build your ad

  • By uploading creatives
  • Selecting previously uploaded creatives from the library.
  • Create Your Ad by using a template There are currently 8 vertical templates and 3 horizontal templates available on the platform. You can refer to the video creation kit for specific details on each template.

Format requirements vary on the basis of placements that you have selected at the ad group level. Use high-Resolution images/ videos for the best results. You can refer to ad formats for a more detailed guide.

2. Cover: You can either upload a custom cover or select a cover 8 keyframes automatically picked up the platform from your video.

4. Ad Name: You can Add an “Ad Name” for your ad group for easy reference. This will not be a part of your ad.

5. Ad Text: You can add text that will appear on top of your creative to the audience; TikTok Ads currently supports 12-80 English characters and does not support emojis.

6. Call-to-Action: Currently, you have 7 options to choose from: 

  • Download Now
  • Learn More
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Contact Us
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now

Select a suitable CTA and add the relevant redirect link.

3. Preview: You can see how your ad will appear in different places. Preview on terminal devices is only available after your ad is approved.

7. Once you have completed the setup, click on the submit button.

TikTok currently allows the following ad types: brand takeovers, in-feed ads, and hashtag challenges.

Brand Takeovers

  • A brand takeover ad will appear instantly when a user opens TikTok.
  • The ad can then be redirected to an internal or external link
  • Currently, this is limited to one advertiser per day.

In-Feed Ads

  • In-feed ads are 15-second skippable video ads placed either at the bottom of organic TikTok videos or in the feed as part of the video.
  • These ads also redirect to your website or app.
  • They are more affordable than brand takeovers.

Hashtag Challenges

You can partner with TikTok to create sponsored hashtag challenges. Challenges usually last for 6 days.

Additional Tools

  • Video Creation Kit makes creating video ads easier and faster. You can create a video ad by selecting a template and uploading your existing photo assets, text, and logos. The Video Creation Kit currently offers 11 customizable templates including 8 vertical templates and 3 horizontal templates.
  • Automated Creative Optimization: Using this tool lets you upload up to 10 images or 5 videos, 5 ad texts, and 1 CTA, the platform will combine these creative assets to create multiple ads. It will continuously analyze and optimize the performance of all these ads throughout your campaign and deliver the highest performing combination to your target audience.
  • Landing Page to Video tool : Once you add your landing page/website URL, this tool will automatically capture high-quality images from your website/landing page and combine them with music to create video ads.

Wrap-Up:

It is still the early days of Advertising on TikTok, so we may be several upgrades in the coming months. Just as you would for any other social media network before you put your money on TikTok Ads, you must study the platform, learn from your competitors and determine if your brand is a good fit for the audience on TikTok.