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TikTok Advertising Basics You Need to Know

If you’re looking for ways to drive growth in your business, you should strongly consider TikTok advertising. The Gen Z population favors TikTok as their platform of choice, with over 80 million active users in the U.S. alone. The potential for sales exists, and you’d be remiss not to consider TikTok advertising as part of your business strategy.

At this point, TikTok is more than just a social media platform. It’s an advertising center sprinkled with entertainment on top. Savvy advertisers know that there’s a lot to gain by entering TikTok’s realm, and those that take advantage of it are the ones that will experience success in 2022 and beyond.

This article introduces TikTok advertising to teach you the basics and know if the platform will serve your business well.

How does TikTok advertising work?

TikTok ads is a powerful advertising platform that lets you spread brand awareness and generate consumer interest through ad-driven content. The platform comes with various tools to allow small and medium-sized enterprises to maximize their campaign regardless of their budget. You can choose between two budget types: daily or lifetime, which gives you the flexibility to run your ads depending on your advertising dollars.

Like Instagram’s Ad Manager, Tiktok advertising lets you automate your ads and make them easier to create and optimize. Of course, you can set variables and target your audience based on demographics to ensure your ads are relevant to the viewers. TikTok’s ‘Lookalike Audience’ helps you find audience groups that share the same interests as your core audience to reach a wider audience.

TikTok Advertising Benefits
TikTok’s highly engaging platform opens up many opportunities for brands.

What are the different ad formats of TikTok advertising?

Now, let’s talk about the different ad types that you can run on TikTok. Currently, there are five different ad types, and each one has unique characteristics that make it effective for certain advertisements. These are:

  • Brand take-over ads
  • In-feed ads
  • Spark ads
  • TopView ads
  • Branded hashtag challenge ads

Let’s discuss each ad type in detail.

1. Branded take-over ads

Branded take-over is a type of TikTok ad that displays your advertisement the moment a user opens the app. A full-screen video ad appears, allowing you to convey your message directly to your target audience. It’s one of the best ways to obtain mass awareness of your brand, and the best part is that branded take-over ads can also appear on the user’s ForYou page (FYP).

You can create images, GIFs, and videos with links to direct users to a landing page. The creativity options are there, and branded take-over ads can bring eyes to your brand in many ways. The only downside is that branded take-over ads are costly and might not suit first-time TikTok advertisers.

2. In-feed ads

As the name suggests, in-feed ads are TikTok ads that show up between videos on the user’s FYP. It’s similar to Instagram stories, where an ad appears as you tap between stories. For the vast majority of brands, in-feed ads are their bread and butter as it’s the standard ad format of TikTok.

While in-feed ads can last up to 60 seconds, the ideal duration is 15-30 seconds. You only have a small window of opportunity to make your in-feed ads stand out before the user scrolls down, so make sure that the ad is unique and captivating. You want to maximize in-feed ads by including a call-to-action button to encourage users to visit your website. A simple ‘shop now’ or ‘click to shop’ will work great with in-feed ads.

One tip when creating in-feed ads is to put context in the video itself. The moment your ad plays, it should be clear what pain points you’re trying to address. Doing so will encourage users to stick longer and watch your ad in full.

3. TopView ads

TopView ads are an offshoot of Branded take-over ads in that they appear almost immediately. The ad shows up on the top of the user’s FYP after 3 seconds instead of appearing right after opening the app. TikTok’s infinite scrolling means the top portion of the FYP is a premium location for ads as there’s less chance that the user will miss it.

You can create TopView ads that last up to 60 seconds with audio included. The full-screen nature of the ad means there’s a ton of real estate to work with the ad. Like branded take-over ads, TopView ads are a must-see, allowing you to make an immediate impact with your advertisement.

One thing to note about TopView ads is that they aren’t as organic as in-feed ads, meaning they can potentially affect the user’s experience within the app. Because of this, you want to keep your TopView ads short and sweet to ensure users don’t find them distracting.

4. Spark ads

Spark ads are an excellent way to drive traffic to your website by using your TikTok posts and videos from other creators. Spark ads are ideal if you don’t fancy creating a video from scratch and want to advertise organically. They look like in-feed ads and appear on the user’s FYP page as they’re scrolling; the only difference is that spark ads can link users to a TikTok account instead of a landing page only.

Spark ads are perfect for brands that have high engagement on TikTok. If you have viral content on the app, you can utilize it as part of your spark ads. Even better, you can partner with more established creators to leverage social proof and bring more eyes to your business.

5. Branded hashtag challenge ads

The branded hashtag challenge takes a unique twist from the previously mentioned ad types. Hashtags dominate TikTok to make content more discoverable, and that alone presents an opportunity for brands to take advantage of trending content. Branded hashtag challenge ads appear at the top of TikTok’s Discover page, which again is a premium real estate for ad placement.

When a viewer clicks on the hashtag, the app redirects them to the Brand Challenge page. The page contains a description of the challenge and the brand’s website and sponsored logo. Branded hashtag challenge ads generate brand engagement since businesses integrate themselves into the TikTok community.

What makes branded hashtag challenges so appealing is that TikTok users become captivating storytellers. By joining in on what’s trending with the app, brands can ignite massive engagement with their audience and generate full-funnel impact.

How do I know if TikTok advertising is right for my business?

If you’re contemplating using TikTok advertising, you’re not alone. Many brands are curious about whether or not TikTok is a good advertising platform, and to help make an informed choice, let’s start with the cost.

Unlike Facebook, which uses cost-per-click as a metric, TikTok uses a cost-per-mille (CPM) to measure ad spend. TikTok ads cost around $10 per CPM, which may sound like a lot to most advertisers, but the potential traffic you can traffic is far greater than other social media platforms.

Also, TikTok requires a $500 minimum for their ad campaigns, meaning that you need to allocate a healthy budget if you want to succeed in advertising here. If you’re planning on advertising on TikTok, do consider the following:

  • Know if your audience is active on the platform
  • Set clear goals for your ad campaigns
  • Monitor trending videos and hashtags to generate massive engagement
  • Post relevant and updated content
  • Having a social media presence is an absolute must in this day and age. If you have the budget to spend and have the right audience present in TikTok, you can significantly boost your brand’s awareness and find new customers in the app. It’s all about weighing the benefits versus the cost to determine if TikTok advertising is right for your business.

In summary

TikTok’s authentic, short-form content delivery makes it an exciting platform for users and advertisers alike. The potential for generating sales is there, and the personalization options set it apart from other social media apps. That said, there are plenty of considerations before you start advertising on TikTok, mainly your audience and budget.

If you have the dollars to spend and your target audience exists on the platform, there’s no reason to think twice about investing in TikTok advertising. Hopefully, this article gives you a solid introduction to how TikTok advertising works and helps you determine whether or not the platform is a good fit for your brand.

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