TikTok Ads: How to Start Advertising on TikTok for Beginners?

When TikTok first gained international recognisation, a lot of people had the impression it was just another meaningless social platform, some even found it annoying because of the absurd amount of content it generated. But that is no longer the case in 2022. If you still believe TikTok is a children’s social media, you’re missing out on an extremely valuable advertising channel. By September 2021, TikTok was reported to acquire 1 billion active users, 82% of whom are adults. So if your brands haven’t started advertising on TikTok, let’s read this article to find out why you should add TikTok Ads to your marketing plan.

TikTok Advertising is a logical fit if you’re selling to millenials, particularly ladies. Almost half of TikTok users (43%) are between the ages of 18 and 24. Women in that age group account for roughly a quarter of TikTok’s advertising viewership (24.7%).

Source: Digital 2022 Global Overview 

With 120,768,500 users, TikTok has the greatest viewership in the world. What’s more intriguing is the percentage of adult population that TikTok advertising can reach outside of North America, particularly in the Middle East and Asia.

Source: Digital 2022 Global Overview 

TikTok advertising have amazing reach if you’re selling to an international audience.

So, who should spend money on TikTok advertising? While companies with a diverse audience may find it useful to attempt a short TikTok campaign, TikTok advertising are most effective for:

  • Customers aged 35 and under are targeted by brands
  • Brands that cater to women, particularly those aged 18 to 25
  • Brands with a strong presence in Asia or the Middle East (or seeking to do so)

What types of TikTok ads are there?

TikTok offers a wide range of ad formats and placements that could arguably cover any Marketing funnel you can think of. Let’s explore what this platform has to offer.

In-feed Ads

As its name suggests, in-feed ads appear right in the middle of the For You feed as an user scroll through, allowing for a seamless viewing experience. In-feed ads can be up to 60 seconds long, although we suggest keeping it optimally somewhere around 10 – 15 seconds. What makes in-feed ads special is that it also comes with a call-to-action button that can point to a profile or a landing page of your choice.

Source: TikTok

Top View Ads

Top View ads is one of the most premium format TikTok has to offer, as it offers the most coverage out of any other type of ads. When an user opens the TikTok app on their smartphone, they are immediately greeted by a full-sized, featured video of your choice for 5 to 60 seconds. Top View Ads are on a reservation method.

Source: TikTok

Branded Hashtag Challenges

Ever since the Internet exploded, user-generated content (UGC) has become an important part of the online community, for both the brands and the consumers. In recent years, businesses have become more invested in UGC to promote their products. In social media context, hashtags help users find content that are relevant to them. 

TikTok’s Branded Hashtag Challenge (HTC) allow you to create hashtag campaigns that can turn any users into your brand ambassadors. It is the best way to raise awareness and drive engagement towards your brand.

@tiktokforbusiness Try out these 5 tips to make your next Branded Hashtag Challenge go #viral. Learn more at our link in bio! #learnontiktok #businesscheck ♬ Summer day - TimTaj

Branded Effects

What makes TikTok such a joyful platform for content creators is ever expansive effects. From typical color grading to interactive minigames and AR filters, the TikTok community is dedicated to creating thousands of new effects everyday. With Branded Effects, you can offer users a way to engage with your brand through what they love doing the most: Create.

Source: TikTok

The first thing you want to do is head over to TikTok Ads Manager. If you haven’t created an account already, you can sign up for one by following this guide. After you’ve logged in to your Ads account, you can begin creating your first campaign.

Note: You don’t need an Ads Manager account if you’re merely wanting to boost current content. You may instead try TikTok Promote. We will discuss more details in the below sections.

How to run TikTok Ads?

TikTok Ads is easy, you only have to take 8 basic steps to start advertising on this platform. Let’s take a look of how to run TikTok Ads in this section below.

  1. Determine your goal for this TikTok Ads campaign
  2. Set up Campaign name and Budget
  3. Name your TikTok ad group and choose placements
  4. Select whether to turn on Automated Creative Optimization
  5. Target your viewers
  6. Schedule and set up budget for your ad group
  7. Create a bidding strategy and optimize it
  8. Finalize your Campaign

Determine your goal for this TikTok Ads campaign

Once you are inside your TikTok Ads Manager dashboard,select the Campaign to get started. TikTok has 7 advertising goals that are divided into three stages:

Stage 1: Awareness

  • Reach: Show your ad to as many people as possible (in beta).

Stage 2: Consideration

  • Traffic: Drive traffic to a certain website.
  • App Downloads: Encourage people to download your app.
  • Video views: Increase the number of times a video ad is played (in beta).
  • Lead Generation: Collect leads using a pre-populated Instant Form.

Stage 3: Conversions

  • Conversions: Encourage certain behaviors on your site, such as purchasing or subscribing.
  • Catalog Sales: Dynamic advertisements based on your product catalog (In beta, only individuals with a managed ad account in supported locations can participate).

Source: TikTok

Set up Campaign Name and Budget

Give your campaign a name that everyone on your team will remember. It has a maximum length of 512 characters.

You can put No Limit on your campaign budget if you have unlimited funds or wish to establish budget restrictions for individual ad groups rather than the whole campaign. Otherwise, decide whether your campaign will have a daily or lifetime budget (more on that below).

Source: TikTok

The Lowest Cost bidding approach can also be used to optimize campaign budgets for the App Installs and Conversions goals.

TikTok is beta testing a function that provides a proposed price for optimized Cost Per Click targets.

Name your TikTok ad group and choose placements

There are one to 999 ad groups in each campaign. The name of each ad group can be up to 512 characters long.

For each ad group, you may select alternative placements. Some positions are not accessible in all locations:

  • TikTok Placement: Advertisements in the For You stream.
  • News Feed App Placement: Ads that show in other TikTok’s App such as BuzzVideo, TopBuzz, NewsRepublic, and Babe.
  • Pangle placement: Show to all the TikTok Audiences.
  • Automatic placement: TikTok may maximize ad distribution automatically.

Source: TikTok

Select whether to turn on Automated Creative Optimization

You won’t be able to publish your creative until you’ve finished developing individual adverts. However, for the time being, you have the option of allowing TikTok to create combinations of your images, videos, and ad text on its own. Only the best-performing ads will be shown by the ad system.

Note: TikTok advises new marketers to enable this feature.

Target your viewers

TikTok, like other social ads, allows you to tailor your adverts to a certain demographic. You can utilize a lookalike or custom audience, or you can target your advertising using the following criteria:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Language
  • Interests
  • Type of devices (IOS or Android)
  • Behaviors

Source: TikTok

Schedule and set up budget for your ad group

Your overall campaign budget has already been determined. Now is the time to set the ad group’s budget as well as the timetable for when it will run.

Select a daily or lifetime budget for your ad group, then start and stop hours. You may also select to run your ad at specified periods throughout the day using Dayparting (based on your account time zone).

Create a bidding strategy and optimize it

First, decide if you want to optimize for conversions, clicks, or reach. This aim may be determined by your campaign objective.

Choose your bidding strategy next.

  • Bid Cap: Maximum amount paid per click (CPC), per view (CPV), or per 1,000 impressions (CPM).
  • Cost Cap: An optimized CPM’s average cost per result. The price will vary above and below the bid amount, but it will eventually average out at the specified bid.
  • Lowest Cost: The ad system makes use of the ad group budget to provide the greatest number of results at the lowest cost per result.

Source: TikTok

Finally, decide if you want Standard or Accelerated delivery. Standard allocates your spending evenly across the campaign’s scheduled days, whereas Accelerated delivery spends it as quickly as possible.

Source: TikTok

Finalize your Campaign

Each ad group can include up to 20 advertisements. Each ad name is limited to 512 characters and is only used internally (it does not appear on the ad itself).

To begin, select an ad format: Image, Video, or Spark ad. You can only utilize Video or Spark ads if you stick to TikTok platform (rather than the TikTok family of applications).

Add own images or videos, or use the video template or video creation tools in Ads Manager to make a video. According to TikTok study, utilizing the TikTok video editor can reduce cost per action by up to 46%.

Select from the available thumbnails or add your own. After that, add your text and link. View a preview of your ad on the right side of the page, then add any applicable tracking links (if you have one) and click Submit.

Source: TikTok

Before going live, your ad will go through a review procedure.

To utilize Spark Ads, you must first contact the producers of the material you wish to use and get an access code. You can check the whole Spark Ad instructions from TikTok.

Otherwise, you can check out the TikTok Creator Marketplace if you’d like to collaborate with a TikTok creator on a custom campaign.

Tip: Using TikTok Promote to boost existing content

Anyone above the age of 18 can use TikTok Promote to promote current content. It’s TikTok’s version of Facebook Boost.

Here’s how to make a TikTok more popular:

  1. Select the three line icon for settings on your TikTok profile, then tap Creator tools.
  2. Select Promote.
  3. Tap the video you’d like to promote.
  4. Select your advertising objective: more video views, website traffic, or followers.
  5. Choose your target audience, budget, and length and tap Next.
  6. Select Start Promotion after entering your payment information.

All about TikTok ads requirements

In this section, we’ll concentrate on advertising that appear on TikTok rather than the TikTok news apps.

TikTok video ads requirements

  • Ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9 aspect ratio Videos or a vertical 9:16 aspect ratio perform best.
  • Minimum Resolutions: 540 x 960 pixels or 640 x 640 pixels. The greatest videos are those with a resolution of 720 pixels.
  • File Formats: mp4,.mov,.mpeg,.3gp, or.avi
  • Durations: 5-60 seconds in length. For best results, TikTok suggests 21-34 seconds.
  • Maximum size: 500 MB
  • Image format: Square picture of less than 50 KB
  • App or brand name: 2-20 characters or 4-40 characters (app) (brand)
  • Ad description: no emojis, 1-100 characters

Spark ads requirements

  • Aspect ratio: Not Required
  • Minimum resolution: Not Required
  • Duration: Not Required
  • Caption: Free to mention another accounts or add emojis
  • Must display content and name from the original post.
Note: Character counts are determined using Latin characters. For Asian characters, the character count  is usually halved.

How much do TikToks Ads cost?

TikTok advertising work on a bidding system. Campaign and ad group expenditures may be managed using daily and lifetime budgets. The minimum budgets for TikTok Ads that you have to pay are:


  • Daily budget is $50USD
  • Lifetime budget is $50USD

Ad group

  • Daily budget is $20USD
  • Lifetime Budget is calculated by multiplying the daily budget by the number of days scheduled.

TikTok is tight-lipped on ad pricing, however they do share the following advice and insights:

  • If you’re using a Bid Cap or Cost Cap bidding approach (CPA), set your initial campaign level budget to No Limit and the daily ad group budget to at least 20x your goal cost per action if .
  • For App Event Optimization, set an initial budget of at least $100 or 20x your objective (CPA), whichever is larger.
  • Set a beginning budget of at least $100 or 20x your objective (CPA) for Conversions campaigns using the Lowest Cost bid technique.

TikTok Ads best Tips and Tricks

Combine and contrast your unique styles

Switch up your style instead of employing the same or comparable types of creatives. To combat audience fatigue, TikTok recommends refreshing your creative every seven days.
Change it up inside each video as well. TikTok suggests using B-roll or transition footage to create a variety of situations.

Straight to the point

Although video advertising can last up to 60 seconds, TikTok suggests limiting them between 21 and 34 seconds.

To prevent losing viewers, make the opening 3 to 10 seconds very eye-catching and interesting. Within the first three seconds, the best-performing TikTok advertisements stress the core message or product.

Don't forget to use sound and caption

Audio is included in 93% of top-performing TikTok videos, and 73% of TikTok users stated they would stop and listen to advertising with audio. Fast songs with more than 120 beats per minute have the greatest view-through rate.

However, captions and text are equally vital. Use words to emphasize your call to action in particular. TikTok discovered that text overlays appear in 40% of auction advertisements with the greatest view-through rate.

Stay honest and positive

According to TikTok, videos should be “positive, honest, and motivating.” This isn’t the place to try out your dark and dismal stuff or to make a hard sell. You also don’t want your video to appear overly “manufactured.”

To keep your adverts genuinely authentic, try incorporating user-generated material. One in every three of the top auction advertising, for example, features someone speaking to the audience while looking directly at the camera.

Royal Essence, an Australian company, employed similar method to get 2.2 million impressions and 50,000 clicks.

@royalessenceco What book reminds you of this Aurora Borealis candle? @booksdanireads #royalessence #booktok #candletok ♬ original sound - Royal Essence

Best TikTok Ads Examples

Penningtons: Partner with creators

Penningtons, a Canadian apparel retailer, collaborated with Alicia Mccarvell to develop in-feed video advertising that received 53% more comments, 18% more likes, and 55% more views than the firm’s other content.

The secret to success was collaborating with a well-known producer (a.k.a. influencer) who knew how to create genuine TikTok content that promoted the business without being too salesy.

@penningtons Wear the bathing suit! Don't miss another beach day with these cute styles! 🩱👙 @aliciamccarvell #penningtons #plussizefashion #PennGals ♬ original sound - Penningtons

Little Caesars: In-Feed Ads

For their #GoCrazy campaign, Little Caesars employed Spark Ads to amplify content from 13 different producers.

The secret to success was giving the designers unlimited creative control while also learning a few things. They discovered that TikToks with families had the best click-through rates for their campaign.

@gabbydouglas I LOVE to #GoCrazy for @littlecaesarspizza Stuffed Crazy Bread! 🤸#LittleCaesars #Ad ♬ Go Crazy - Little Caesars

Wet n Wild: Branded Hashtag Challenge

To promote their new Big Poppa mascara, Wet n Wild launched a branded hashtag challenge. With 1.5 million user videos and 2.6 billion cumulative views, their #BiggerIsBetter challenge was a huge success.

The secret of success of Wet N Wild is by combining a branded hashtag challenge with a bespoke sound, creative collaborations, and Top View advertisements. Each component amplified the effects of the others, culminating in a tremendous reach.

@rominagafur Big Poppa mascara got me feelin like the biggest n the baddest #wetnwildambassador@wetnwildbeauty #BiggerIsBetter #Mascara #ad ♬ Big Poppa Heart Stoppa - wetnwildbeauty