How to Advertise on TikTok, Step by Step

How to Advertise on TikTok, Step by Step

TikTok is the new kid in town in the social media world. And up until fairly recently, it was thought of as only a Gen Z app. Now, as TikTok is gaining more momentum outside of Gen Z circles, advertisers are beginning to build up their TikTok advertising strategy.

The app has had over 1.5 billion app downloads and rakes in about 500 million active users each month. The app has now launched a number of advertising formats to help brands reach their audience on their network. In this blog, we’ll review the step by step process for advertising on TikTok.

  1. Create a TikTok Ads Account 

Because TikTok’s advertising program is still fairly new, the process isn’t as autonomous as Instagram or Facebook. Visit the TikTok Ads homepage and click the "Create an Ad" button. 

When you click the button a form will appear asking you for information to set up your account. Fill it out and submit it, and a TikTok representative will contact you in 5 business days to let know if your business qualifies.

  1. Create an Ad Campaign

Once you're inside the TikTok Ads dashboard, you'll need to click on the "Campaign" tab and then on the "Create" button. 

TikTok organizes their advertising in three levels: Campaign, Ad Groups, Ads. A campaign is an overall activity, while ad groups and ads are the functions within the campaign. 

Choose a goal for your ad. Currently, TikTok advertising offers three main objectives: traffic, conversions, and application installations. Now you'll have to choose the budget for the entire campaign. You can choose between the "Daily Budget" or "Total Budget" options.

  1. Set Up The Ad Group

The next step is to create an ad group within the campaign. This step is when placements and targeting are decided. Within a campaign, you can have different ad groups intended for different audiences.

Advertising on TikTok gives you access to advertising on the entire family of related applications, which includes Vigo Video (India only), BuzzVideo (Japan), TopBuzz (US and BR), Babe (Indonesia), and News Republic (worldwide). You can choose to limit your ads to TikTok or to the entire network. 

TikTok will calculate where it can get the best results with your ad and place it there.

Once you've chosen your preferred placements, follow the instructions to enter all the assets needed to start running your ad, including URLs, display name, images, categories, etc.

A very interesting aspect of this step is the keyword section, which allows you to select up to 20 terms to describe your website or application. These keywords will be used to show your products to the right audience, so think carefully about your choice.

Finally, the "Targeting" section allows you to define the target audience for your ads. You can set parameters such as location, age, gender, languages, devices, and more.

If you want to launch your ad to a particular group of people, for example, to run a remarketing campaign, you can create a custom audience through existing TikTok user IDs. Simply upload the list of IDs to a CSV, TXT or ZIP file. You will also need the TikTok pixel in order to run remarketing campaigns and to track campaign effectiveness. 

  1. Set The Campaign Details

In the "Budget & Schedule" section, select the ad group budget. Once again, you can select how much you're willing to spend per day or the total amount you want to spend for the duration of the campaign.

Then select the dates you want the campaign to be active. The "Dayparting" option allows you to choose specific times of day or days of the week to show your ads.

You can also choose the pace at which you want the budget to be spent: "standard" distributes the budget evenly throughout the campaign, while the "accelerate" option utilizes it as quickly as possible during the fixed period.

You can then select the ad group optimization goal:

  • Conversion: Your ad will show to people most likely to make a conversion action for your product or service. To track actions that involve a conversion (for example, downloading an app or filling out a form), you can create conversion events and track them using a pixel. The payment model for conversion goals is oCPC (optimized cost-per-click), which ensures that ads are shown to users who are most likely to take a particular action.

  • Click: Your ad will be optimized to attract as many clicks as possible and will be charged based on a cost-per-click (CPC) payment model.

  • Impressions: Your ad will be optimized to show as many times as possible and will be charged based on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) impression payment model.

Finally, you can turn the "Smart Optimization" option on or off. If enabled, your bids will be constantly optimized to increase conversions. We recommend turning off this option if your goals are clicks or impressions.

  1. Design Your Ad

TikTok ads consist of images and videos in horizontal, vertical, and square format. To make it easier for advertisers to work, this network offers a tool called Video Creation Kit, which includes video templates and images that you can customize with your own images. In addition, it also has more than 300 free background music options.

Another useful tool is Automated Creative Optimization, which allows you to upload up to 10 images, 5 videos, 5 ad texts, and one call to action. The system will then combine them with each other to create multiple ads. Afterward, the tool will test these ads and use the most effective combinations.

Finally, you can also use the Landing Page to Video tool, which captures high-quality images from any landing page URL you give it, and then automatically combines these images with music to create video ads.


  1. Takeaway

We hope this guide has helped you and prepared you for diving into the world of TikTok advertising! As this is still such a new format, we can expect to see the trends, processes, and best practices evolve over time. Be sure to follow along on our blog to stay up to date!

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