How to Create a Killer Ad Strategy for Your Business on TikTok

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Advertising on social media platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, among others—has become necessary if a company wants to stay competitive in an ever-changing business landscape.

Sure, many will say that TikTok, as a short-form video application and relatively the newest social media platform to gain a substantial foothold as a business tool, might be “limited” in some ways as it primarily appeals to a younger audience.

However, this is not necessarily true, as more and more users from different demographics have turned to TikTok. Industry reports tout that this boom in popularity has allowed TikTok to gain more than one billion users per month. As of January this year, TikTok Ads have reached more than 885 million users. Doing a little math will tell us that even if only a small percentage of that number are potential customers, the potential is still huge. 

The challenge now is how can businesses create a killer ad strategy using TikTok.

Basic steps 

Let’s go over the basic steps in creating your TikTok Ads:

Create an account. You can start with the TikTok Ads Manager and provide basic information such as country, account type, email, and password. You can also choose to use your mobile phone number. Once the basics are done, you can then click “Sign Up.”

There are verifications (such as an OTP, or verification code), but once your “brand” is approved, you can now explore the dashboard. Start by installing TikTok Pixel, a code on your website that will gather information such as users arriving on your site, the device being used, location, etc. This might sound a bit daunting, but you can select “Standard” or “Developer” mode before downloading TikTok Pixel. To know more about TikTok Pixel, TikTok has extensive information to guide you through.

After this, you can now click “Campaigns” and under it “Create.” This is the actual step where you can opt to choose an objective such as increasing traffic, increasing conversions, app installs, etc. This is also where you need to set a budget for your ads. You have options for a minimum budget or a lifetime budget. This is fairly similar to other social media platforms.

At this point, you can also define your target audience and placements for your ads. You have a wide array of options (which we will discuss) when it comes to TikTok Ads. It is a matter of choosing which option will work for you.

Additionally, there is an “Automated Creative Optimization” feature that will allow TikTok to create variations of your content and even test its engagement. You can turn this feature on and off at your convenience

You can also create your own ad. However, you need to define an “ad group” before configuring your own ad. You can then choose images or videos for the ad. Just remember that TikTok does have recommended specs, to make sure that your ad will look good on TikTok and other platforms.

When it comes to budget, campaign-level budgets are pegged at $50 a day daily, and ad group-level budgets must be $20 a day. However, you can customize the amount you spend on ads. You also have the option to spend a set minimum or go significantly higher depending on the type of ad you’ll be using.

So first, let’s have a quick look at what kind of ads there are on TikTok and what exactly can they do for your business.

Types of TikTok Ads

These are some of the types of TikTok Ads that are often used by businesses:

  • In-Feed Ads, which are very common and often appear as people scroll through their “For You Page”  or FYP; 
  • Brand Takeover Ads, which also appear on FYP, but are different from others as they appear full-screen, and are usually 3 to 5-seconds long; 
  • TopView Ads, which are the first thing that pops up on the screen when you open the app and are often described as “video-first format” ads that are 60 seconds long and appear immediately after someone opensTikTok; 
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge, or ad campaigns that use catchy hashtags for a more organic way of spreading content from user to user. These are usually sponsored hashtags and are found at the top of TikTok’s “Discover Page”; 
  • Branded Effects or ads that open small interactions between the users and the companies who roll out the ads through the clever use of sharable stickers, filters, and special effects; 
  • Spark Ads and Image Ads are ads that give product brands the ability to sponsor popular organic content that relates to their products, and lastly 
  • Video Ads are full-screen videos of 5 to 60 seconds that appear in a user’s “FYP.”

Advertising on TikTok

Now that we know some of the available ad formats, the next step is choosing what will potentially work best for your line of business.

Selling apparel? Perhaps Image ads are what you need, along with In-Feed Ads. Selling a service? How about using a full-blown TikTok video ad?

If you want a more established TikTok account to “advertise” your products, perhaps you can go for Sponsored influencer content, which is a TikTok advertisement format where you try to get your message to an audience through sponsored content from an influential TikTok user.

Quick note: You can also define how your TikTok Ad will be delivered. There are two options: Standard and Accelerated delivery. The good thing about Standard delivery is that your ad will appear during high-traffic times throughout your ad delivery period, with your ad budget spread consistently across that time frame. On the other hand, Accelerated delivery ensure that your ad budget is dedicated to getting the most “eyes on your ad” as quickly as possible.

A Killer TikTok Ad strategy

Here are a few simple tips on how to create that killer TikTok ad:

Choose your audience

This might sound tedious, but it will definitely pay off if you can choose the audience for your ad depending on location, gender, age group, language, specific interests, etc. Again, the audience of TikTok is mostly in the 16-to-34 age bracket which will give a basic insight into what your market will be.  

Preview your ad

It won’t harm you to do a bit of reviewing before you finally release your ad. You can go for a preview of your ad to get an idea of how it will appear to TikTok users. You can also tweak and do fine-tuning if needed.

Call for action

This might sound old school, but the “call for action” button, where you can ask your audience to “Sign up,” “Contact us,” ”Download now,” “Book now,” “Shop now,” or “Learn More,” etc. is still an effective way to engage your audience and potential customers.


Thankfully, TikTok allows you to monitor and analyze your ad’s performance. In-app analytics can show you how your ad is doing in terms of impressions, clicks, and conversions, among others. and more. You can also compare the performance of different ads and placements to see what works best for you.

Trends and hashtags

Liberally use hashtags and find trending hashtags to help you reach more audiences. The key is finding the right hashtags for your brand or products. Fortunately, TikTok’s “Discover” page can help find those hashtags. Also, you can spend time looking at what hashtags influencers use and try to replicate.

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