Do you know which app is the most consumed in the US and several other countries? If you guessed YouTube, you’re wrong! It’s TikTok with over a billion active users, followed by YouTube and Facebook.
As per data.ai’s recent quarterly analysis, TikTok users spend more than 48 hours a month on the app, which is still soaring.
And for marketers looking to target the younger demographic – Gen Z and Millennials, there’s no better time to maximize the power of TikTok ads than now.
For many, advertising on TikTok can be overwhelming due to the amount of content being uploaded and refreshed every waking second. So to help you run winning paid ad campaigns, here’s an ultimate guide on TikTok ads to let you get the most out of your ROI and ROAs.
What are TikTok ads?
The social channel provides a user-friendly advertising platform to create and run various forms of advertisements. Due to TikTok’s rising popularity, many marketers leverage the channel’s content to promote their marketing strategies with ads.
What makes TikTok ads stand out? Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok videos are shorter in size making your ads more prominent.
What are the types of TikTok ads?
TikTok currently supports nine types of ads on its platform. You can choose the most effective ad type that’s an ideal fit for your marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at them:
This is TikTok’s standard ad format. You can create these self-service ads yourself using TikTok’s Ad Manager Interface.
The most popular ad format, video ads, appear within the user’s feed, specifically under the “For You” section.
You can embed your video ad to run them on your targeted user’s feed. The advantage of this format is that it has a native and organic feel. Video ads can range anywhere from 5 to 60 secs, although the optimal length is 15 secs.
You can run videos on full-screen along with your brand’s name, image, and text.
Here’s an example from an online jewelry store that used video ads to push their discount code:
You can use image ads in videos on TikTok’s news feed apps such as BuzzVideo, TopBuzz, and Babe. It lets you add an image along with ad text and the brand or product name.
Spark ads were launched in 2021 to boost the product-related organic content of brands and users. TikTok’s research has shown Spark ads to have 142% higher engagement than the usual in-feed ads.
TikTok integrates with Pangle’s platform to create videos and place them through the TikTok Audience Network. But this format is available for only a select few countries.
These ads can include up to ten images at a stretch with different captions under each image and appear under the News Feed section. You can choose this format if you have multiple products to showcase in a single ad.
Branded AR content
Your ads can be created as branded stickers, filters, effects, and other types of AR content. Doing so attracts TikTokers to use such content in their videos.
These challenges show up in the “Discover” section on the user’s account and encourage user-generated content using your hashtags.
They are full-screen video ads, usually 5 to 60 secs in length. TopView ads appear when a user opens their TikTok app.
Now that you know of the types of ads you can leverage to reach a wider audience, you must know how a TikTok ad campaign is set up.
How to set up a TikTok ad campaign?
1. Understand your audience and their interests with TikTok listening
Similar to brands advertising unique products, each user has special interests. So to ensure you target the right set of audiences and reach the intended community, as a first step, you must understand your target users and their likes and dislikes.
For instance, if you are advertising a US-based beauty product, your target audience is mainly US female users aged between 18 to 30.
But how can you carve your ad campaign with TikTok listening? Social listening lets you track trends, conversations, mentions, hashtags, interactions, interests, and more. A social listening tool such as Radarr fetches valuable insights based on which you can create and optimize a winning TikTok ad campaign strategy.
2. Choose your campaign objective
Log into TikTok Ads Manager and click on the Campaign button. Here you have seven objectives separated into three sections:
- Reach: The maximum number of people your ads reach.
- Traffic: To drive traffic to a particular URL.
- App Installs: Drive traffic to your app download screen.
- Video Views: To maximize the video ad plays.
- Lead Generation: Collect leads using a predefined Instant form.
- Conversions: Drive conversions to your site such as user subscriptions, purchases, etc.
- Catalog Sales: Create dynamic ads based on your product catalog (available only to a few countries).
3. Set up your campaign name and budget
Choose a campaign name within 512 characters.
Next, set a specific amount you wish to spend on the campaign and run ads. Once your active campaign surpasses this amount, your ads stop running.
You can also set “No Limit” on your campaign budgets to keep your ads running. You can always re-edit your campaign budget or create another campaign with a different budget. If you wish to auto-optimize your budget allocation, you can enable Campaign Budget Optimization.
4. Name your ad groups and choose placements
TikTok lets you decide the ad placements that best suit your campaign. You can create multiple ad groups (up to 999) for each campaign.
Here are the types of ad placements:
- TikTok placement: In-feed ads appearing on the “For You” page.
- News Feed Apps: For news feed app ads and Detail page ads.
- Pangle: The TikTok audience network.
- Automatic placement: TikTok learns from the audience scope and auto-places your ads for increased optimization.
5. Select Automated Creative Optimization if needed
TikTok provides a seamless method to auto-create ad combinations (texts, videos, and images) to gain the most reach. By selecting this option, the ad system pushes your best-performing ads on top.
TikTok highly recommends you select this option to boost your campaign performance.
6. Target your audience
Using the first step defined in this section, you must’ve understood your target audience and their interests by now. And now, you must specify their exact interests.
The Ad Manager lets you add additional interests and behaviors apart from the default ones:
7. Set your ad group budget and schedule them
You set your campaign budget in Step #3, but now you must also set your ad group budgets and schedule them to run at specific times.
Select a daily or a lifetime budget for your ad group, and choose a start and end time. If you want to specify an exact time for the ad group to run, under Dayparting, set the ad timings.
8. Choose your optimization goal and set up a bidding strategy
What’s your optimization goal? Is it to generate clicks, reach, or convert users? Based on this, choose from the three bidding strategies:
- Bid Cap: The supported billing events are Cost per Click (CPC), Cost per Mille (CPM), and Cost per View (CPV). Bid cap is available for conversion objectives where your optimization goal is set to Click.
- Cost Cap: It gives an average cost per result. So the cost per result can reach higher or lower than your bid amount. Cost Cap is available for optimization goals set to Conversions.
- Lowest Cost: It generates multiple results at the lowest possible costs. You do not have to set a bid.
Once done, choose a delivery type – Standard or Accelerated. Choosing Standard divides your budget evenly across the scheduled campaign dates. And choosing Accelerated spends your budget rapidly.
9. Start creating your TikTok ads
First, name your ad within 512 characters. Next, select the ad format. Note that TikTok only supports video ads, and their News Feed Apps support the rest.
Start adding your images and videos, or create a new video using templates or external video creation tools. You can also refer to the Video Creation Kit for more templates.
Once you have your video and/or image ready to go, choose an attractive thumbnail to enhance your ad. Now, enter text details such as brand/product name, CTA, URL to drive user traffic, etc. Finally, preview your creation before you hit publish and add performance tracking links from your third-party tools. Click Submit once done.
10. Use TikTok social analytics and sentiment analysis as campaign boosters
Social analytics on TikTok, such as your targeted audience insights, competitor monitoring, analyzing industry and brand trends, are building blocks of a campaign’s overall success. They are often undermined for their potential to reach a larger community of users and most importantly – drive conversions.
Also, performing sentiment analysis lets you drill down on the real-time issues faced by your audience and build your campaigns around them.
A social listening tool is the most effective way to optimize your campaign’s performance and get not just real-time metrics but also a user’s perception of your ads for a higher ROI.
TikTok ad specs you must know
Since TikTok’s standard format support video ads the most, here’s a look into its specifications:
TikTok video ad specs:
- Aspect ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9.
- Minimum resolution: 540 x 960 px or 640 x 640 px. However, a resolution of 720 pixels performs the best.
- Supported file types: mp4, jpeg, Mpeg, .mov, .3gp, and .avi.
- Duration: 5 to 60 secs. However, 15 secs is an optimal length for best performance.
- Maximum upload file size: 500 MB.
- Ad description and brand name: 1 to 100 characters and 1 to 20 characters for the brand name.
Pro Tip: Start using image analytics to crack the most suitable visuals for a high-performing campaign.
How much do TikTok ads cost?
To advertise on TikTok, an ad starts at $10 per CPM. You can set either daily or lifetime budgets based on your threshold. Here are the minimum budgets you would need to publish ads:
- Campaign level: Daily budget starts from $50.
- Ad group level: Daily budget starts from $20, and a lifetime at the same price multiplied by the number of running days.
However, the final ad cost depends on how well your campaign is optimized.
Best TikTok ad examples you can learn from
Here’s how Mercedes leveraged TikTok’s hashtag challenge with an in-feed ad and included its own branded effects to attract a younger crowd:
2. James Allen’s Spark ads
James Allen pushed their discount codes with their impressive Spark ads:
3. Zoomerang’s video ads
Popular video editing app Zoomerang leveraged its user-generated content to promote its app installs with a powerful CTA. Here’s their in-feed video ad:
The automobile giant used a mixture of in-feed and TopView ads for its ad campaign, which fetched around 45 million views.
Best practices for top-performing TikTok ads
1. Trim down video length
TikTok suggests the ideal video length to be between 9 to 15 secs. Longer video ads get trimmed while playing and create zero impact.
2. Mix up your video styles
Add variety to your ads by using transitions, branded effects, and other attention-grabbing elements to keep your audience hooked on your videos.
3. Add background music
To avoid your ads from sounding dull and monotonous, add trending tracks as background music.
4. Leverage user-generated content
Try using user-generated content to advertise your brand or products to make your ads more authentic and captivating. This way, your ads can have an organic feel and attract more engagement.
The secret to a video going “viral” on TikTok is understanding the latest trends and what peaks the followers’ interests. And the same applies to TikTok ads as well.
But TikTok ads are a little harder to crack. You need to get everything from the visual aspects to the audience’s behavior right on point. And social listening gets to the bottom of this!
With Radarr, you get accurate insights to optimize and get the MOST out of your TikTok ad campaigns.