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How To Make The Most Of TikTok Ads: A Beginner’s Guide

TikTok ads are an incredible tool to help you reach younger audiences

Team Nas Academy

13 Sep · 8 mins read

TikTok ads are an extremely effective way to help you build engagement and awareness around your brand. Setting up your TikTok ads is a simple process that allows you a great deal of control when it comes to catering your campaigns to your individual budget, target audience, and more.  

But when it comes to creating ads on TikTok, there are some key points to keep in mind.

Why TikTok Advertising? 

TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms today, having grown drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the short period of 2018-2020, the number of TikTok users grew by 800%.

TikTok User Growth - CNBC Infographic

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Within a single year of its creation, 1 million videos were being uploaded daily – and that number has only continued to grow. The app has been downloaded over 2 billion times, and the platform now reaches 200 countries (50 of them being added within the past year alone). TikTok spans 75 languages and is an incredible tool to reach a wide range of audiences all around the world.

TikTok advertising can be extremely beneficial for your company depending on your target audience. It’s a quick, effective way of creating visual content for your brand that can gain you thousands of eyes and increased engagement in a very short period of time. There are many different ad formats that you can use, and studies have shown that TikTok users are extremely inclined to give into ads on TikTok – after all, it’s the second largest app when it comes to consumer spending.

Who’s on TikTok?

On TikTok, you’ll find users of all ages, creating content around all sorts of niches and topics. TikTok’s ad options also vary across the board, and can help you target certain users in different ways. Knowing your audience and what they respond to best is how to make the most of advertising on TikTok.  

Based on IOS revenue, the US holds the largest audience of TikTok users at 65 million. And, as of right now, that number is expected to keep growing.

Even older generations are even starting to become more present on the platform as time goes on. However, the largest demographic on TikTok in 2021 are those under the age of 34. 32.5% are of ages 10-19, and 29.5% are of ages 20-29. A majority of users are male (53%), but in the US, markets are predominantly female (61%) as of 2021.

Overall, TikTok ads are an incredible tool to help you reach younger generations. 

But the ultimate key to effective advertising on TikTok, is having the right strategy. And the right strategy starts like any other marketing strategy:

You have to know your target audience.

Know your goals when you start advertising on TikTok – know who you want to reach, and how you want to appear to your audience. Once you’ve nailed down your intentions and goals for advertising on TikTok, you can start looking at the more platform-specific tools that will help you make the most of your marketing plan.

Audience Targeting

Pick The Right Ad Option For You

TikTok ads can come in many different forms. The first step to making the most of advertising on the platform, is to pick which one is best for your brand.

Each of these ads come with their own set of advantages, and their costs vary. When you pay for your TikTok ads, you can pay a daily or lifetime rate with the option to adjust it later on. Let’s take a look at the different options for advertising on TikTok: 

Top View Ads

Top View ads are full-page advertisements that appear at the top of your TikTok feed when you start scrolling. They last up to 60 seconds, and are actually the most preferred ads by 72% of users. Through TikTok’s analytics, they noticed that Top View ads performed best for all engagement metrics (ie. skipping preference, level of annoyance, attention level) and even ranked as the best for call-to-action elements like inclination to share, click, and for the overall credibility of the ads themselves. 

(Take a look at an example here.)

Brand Takeover Ads

Brand Takeover ads are on the more expensive side compared to some of the other ad options, but they can also give your ad great exposure. These ads appear the moment someone opens the app – that means that your ad will be the first thing select users will see when they go on TikTok. But since they often take users out of the app to other platforms, and since most users open their app 43 times a day on average, Brand Takeover ads are only displayed once a day. 

(Take a look at an example here.)

In-Feed Ads

These ads appear in the “for you” feed on TikTok, nestled into the masses like they’re just another TikTok video. These TikTok ads autoplay with audio, and are up to 60s long. They allow you to target your audience based on gender, age, geography, interest, and device – and tend to be the most natural; but it’s also very easy for users to scroll past them and miss them. 

(Take a look at an example here.)

Branded Hashtag Challenge

One of TikTok’s most effective advertising options is branded hashtags. A brand can pay to have their own branded hashtag presented at the top of the “discovery page” for 6 days. This ad option encourages users to create an engaging video around that hashtag to create awareness for your brand, and hopefully send the tag trending. People can click the hashtag and go to a landing page with all of the content associated with the tag. These TikTok ads are a great option to help you boost your engagement. Based on likes, comments, and shares, the engagement rate of Branded Hashtags is 8.5%. And, typically, a good engagement rate is considered 5%. 

(Take a look at an example here.)

Ads with Branded Effects

Advertising on TikTok means you also get an opportunity to create your own filters, stickers, interactive elements, and 3D objects so creators can use them in their videos, and promote your brand simultaneously. These features last 10 days at a time, and can help you create a unique, customized advertising experience that will stand out to users. 

(Take a look at an example here.)

How to Make the Most of Your TikTok Ads

Once you’ve chosen which type of ads you want to make, it’s time to start thinking about your creative approach to your advertisements. The way that your ad is crafted, and the way that it tells a story, is going to make all the difference in how it’s received.

Here are some things to keep in mind to help you create some killer TikTok ads: 

Connect With Influencers

A great way to use advertising on TikTok is to pair up with influencers who are well-known on TikTok and get them to endorse your brand. When an influencer starts to talk highly of your brand, it increases your credibility. All of their loyal followers will be way more inclined to invest in you this way, than if they had just seen an ad created by you. 

On TikTok, search for top accounts in your niche and industry to find influencers to work with. Make sure to pick people with a decent engagement rate and following to help your brand build as much exposure and trust as you can. This way, you can convert their followers into your followers too. 

But while numbers are important, so are values.

Pick people who align with your mission and values – after all, you will be associated with these people. And their actions, personalities, and values can affect your success as a brand.

When working with influencers to advertise your brand, you can create ads on TikTok itself, or take its biggest stars and use them elsewhere. A great example of this is when Charli D’Amelio, the largest teen influencer on TikTok, paired up with Dunkin’ Donuts to create a drink. This one drink broke records for Dunkin’ Donuts, giving them hundreds of thousands of sales within the first 5 days.

Charli D'Amelio's Net Worth Uncovered

Catch Their Attention Quick

It’s more important than ever these days to make your messages short and sweet. People don’t have the time, energy or the attention to give you more than a minute of their time. Especially on TikTok, things move fast. People are constantly scrolling through hundreds of videos at lightning speed, so your ad needs to match that speed. 

Take a look at some examples of top performing ads on the platform, and see what kind of competition you’re up against. Notice how they hook in their audience and what it is that stands out about them. Try applying these same strategies, while adding some unique touches of your own, to help yourself stand out.

Ask yourself: how can I tell my message and represent my brand in the most interesting, visually appealing way, as quick as possible? 

After all, it’s been shown that over 63% of TikTok ads that present their story in the first 3 seconds, are clicked on the most. 

Make those 3 seconds count.

Emotional Appeal

One way you can make your TikTok ads perform better is by infusing them with emotion. 

People often describe their experience on TikTok as inspiring and optimistic – and that’s why they are more likely to engage with ads on this platform over any other. Users are in a better mood to listen and buy into advertisements. This shows how greatly people react when they feel emotionally connected. 

So, don’t hold back on the mushy gushy stuff – use it!

After all, 50% of the best performing ads are those that engage with the emotions of their audiences, rather than just highlighting the product itself. But in order to create an authentic connection with audiences, you first have to understand them. You have to understand their needs, what they like, and what they’re feeling when they’re looking at your content. 

Here’s a simple guide on how to build an emotional connection with your audience online, that is sure to help you make the most of your TikTok advertising strategy.  

Go The Organic Route

While many brands advertising on TikTok share general ads you would find anywhere, there’s another approach you can try that might just help you stand out a little bit more. Try taking Bumble’s approach, and create TikTok-style videos that are really just ads in disguise. 

This approach can be a great way to emotionally connect with your audience, and make them feel like they’re on the same wavelength as you. It gives off the impression that you are collectively enjoying and engaging in this platform, and that you share a common love for TikTok content. 

Girls doing a tiktok dance

It can also be significantly helpful when you’re trying to seamlessly work your way into a viewers scrolling-spree through TikTok. Try using in-feed ads that look like a TikTok video; this way, they don’t feel out-of-context. Users will be more inclined to stop and watch since it’s the exact style of content that they went there to see. Instead of feeling like an ad, it rather feels like your brand’s story being told in the same format that makes this platform so unique in itself. 

TikTok has become a huge trend over the past year, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re particularly looking to target younger audiences, or looking for a creative way to reach more niche markets, advertising on TikTok could be a great move for your brand. 

But in order to get the most out of your experience using TikTok ads, you have to make sure that you are always reevaluating. 

Marketing really is about testing the waters, and seeing what works. So, regularly check your engagement rates, your audience, your competitors, and the landscape as a whole – because new trends are always coming up out of nowhere. What worked yesterday, might not work today. 

And most importantly: don’t be afraid to be creative in your ad creation. Take risks. It goes a long way to take unique approaches when it comes to content creation – and with an innovative, entertaining platform like TikTok, there’s no better place to do it. 

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