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TikTok’s easy-to-consume video content is being watched by millions of people every day from all around the globe — and it’s relatively simple to understand why there’s growing popularity for TikTok ads. And if you've been keeping up with the news, video content is the future of digital marketing.
If you’re curious about advertising on TikTok but don’t know where to start, then we’ve got you covered! We’ve done the dirty work for you (we mean research), and put together this guide to give you all the things you need to understand TikTok ads like never before.
Understanding how campaigns are structured can help you set up better target audiences, design better materials, and spend your budget effectively. TikTok allows you to organize your ads using three levels: campaigns, ad groups, and ads.
These levels will help you in expanding your reach, improving your ad’s overall performance, and achieving your goals. But, first things first — to get started advertising on TikTok, you will need to have a TikTok For Business account.
Click Get Started once you’re on the TikTok Ads homepage.
You must provide your business details because your account has to be approved by a TikTok representative before you can start creating your ads.
Once you’re done filling out the form, a representative will get in touch with you within 48 hours to set up your account.
Note: TikTok Ads is currently only available in certain regions (other than the USA) but you will be able to sign up for a TikTok ad account directly if you’re located in India, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, or Thailand.
You will have access to the TikTok Ads dashboard once your TikTok advertising account is up and running. Click on the Campaign button at the top of the page and then click Create.
Note: You may have more options available to you depending on where you’re located.
The campaign budget is unlimited with a minimum of $50 by default. But, of course, you can set a daily or lifetime budget limit. This means that your ad groups will stop once you've reached your spending limit.
What’s the difference between daily and lifetime budget? Setting a lifetime budget would allow your ad campaign to reach as many people and as soon as possible. A daily budget, on the other hand, would allow your ad campaign to steadily penetrate your target market over a certain period.
After setting up a campaign, ad groups come next.
To get the best results among international audiences, choose Automatic Placement. Doing so will allow your ad to appear on TikTok partner apps including BuzzVideo (Japan), TopBuzz (US and BR), Babe (Indonesia), and the News Republic which, as result, will reach more people and drive more traffic.
If you choose Select Placement, you can manually choose where your ads appear.
Depending on your campaign objective, you can choose from two promotional types: app install or website. Some campaign objectives set this by default.
When the Automated Creative Optimization option is turned on, the system will automatically generate combinations from your images, videos, and ad texts. This means that you will get ready ad combinations.
Customize your audiences in your ad group targeting. You can use your customer’s contact data, website traffic, app activity, or ad engagement or by uploading IDFA & GAID. You can also create a pixel-based audience or lookalike audience (users who are similar to your clients).
Once your audience targeting is complete, you can configure the budget (no less than $50) and schedule for your ad group.
You may be able to customize the bidding and optimization of your ad budget spend. The higher your bid, the more likely your ad will be seen by your target audience over your competitor’s ads.
Note: Once your ad group is created, the following settings can’t be changed anymore:
Once your ad group is configured, you can proceed to upload your new ad.
TikTok Ads supports two formats: videos and images. If you opt for images, TikTok will group them into a video for you.
You can upload your photo or choose one from the pre-selected images from your video.
Once you have finished creating your ad, you can use TikTok’s ad preview tool to see how your ad will look on mobile devices.
The ad text will be shown above your ad. TikTok supports 12-100 English characters. Reminders:
TikTok Ads now offers 22 calls-to-action you can choose for your ads depending on what is applicable for your ad:
TikTok offers several options for paid advertising, and they are as follows:
The ad that appears in TikTok’s native news feed on the For You page (similar to Instagram story ads). In-Feed videos appear in the feed as a part of the video queue when users are exploring content.
The ad appears when TikTok users open the app and completely take over the screen for a few seconds to create images, GIFs, and videos.
The ad appears on the Discovery page and encourages users to participate in user content creation challenges about the campaign hashtag. Challenges usually last for about 6 days.
The ad appears as branded lenses (similar to Instagram or Snapchat filters), stickers, and other 2D/3D/AR content for TikTok users to use in their videos.
Video Template is a tool that makes creating video ads faster and easier than ever before. With this tool, you can simply create a video ad by selecting a template and uploading your existing photo assets, text, and logos.
To help you choose the right background music to create beautiful video ads, TikTok Ads Manager offers the Smart Video Soundtrack tool. You will be able to upload videos with one click, and the system will automatically select appropriate music material based on your videos.
You can also change the music and adjust both the video volume and music volume for your ads. You can even try different background music to test their effect on ad delivery performance.
Automated Creative Optimization helps in managing your ads by automatically finding high-performing combinations of your creative assets--or in other words, takes the creative heavy lifting off your shoulders and into the hands of a clever optimization AI. With this tool, you will be able to upload images or videos, write some ad text, and select your call-to-action (CTA) buttons.
TikTok’s system will then automatically combine your creative assets into multiple ads for your campaign which will be explored, evaluated, and optimized continuously to find the optimal combination for your campaign. The best creative, then, will be presented to your target audience based on the tested combinations.