TikTok, the video-sharing mobile app, has taken netizens by storm. With more than 500 million followers, it has surpassed the popularity of social media sites like Twitter and Snapchat.

The app launched its beta version of offering ads last year, and since then, many big brands have used this popular platform to promote their products and services. With visually compelling elements present in the app and features like advanced targeting and unique ad creation, brands are finding Tiktok to be a great promotion platform.

Who Can Advertise on TikTok?

(Source: time.com)

However, not every business can benefit from advertising on TikTok. Since the app caters mostly to the young audience, with more than 60% of users aged below 30 years, brands must think if their product or service will be able to strike a chord with the young audience and instill interest in them. 

This is the first thing a marketer needs to determine before planning to advertise on TikTok. For example, if you want to promote a gaming app, you can choose TikTok for advertising, but you have to think twice before advertising adult diapers because there are hardly any senior people using the app.  

What are the Ways to Advertise on TikTok?

The app started showing small ads to its users from January 2019. The app now has its formal ads program, under which brands can create ads based on their advertising objectives. There are three different ways through which brands can market on TikTok: 

  1. They can create an account on TikTok and create brand videos from it
  2. They can collaborate with influencers to promote their products and services
  3. They can choose to advertise on TikTok

Advertising on TikTok is still a very new concept compared to Facebook & Instagram ads, but it’s just a matter of time until brands can use it to its full potential. Many brands use multiple ways to increase their brand visibility on TikTok. Instead of just limiting themselves to any one of the three ways to advertise mentioned above, they are choosing to use two or all of the ways to reach a wider audience. 

Types of TikTok Ads

(Source: medium.com)

There are three main types of TikTok ads that are displayed to the users, and they are:

In-feed Native Ad

The in-feed native ads on TikTok look similar to how ads appear on Facebook or Instagram, which means you need to bid spots for your ads to be displayed to targeted users. Some marketers choose to bid on Cost Per Click while some prefer Cost Per View.

Brand Takeover Ad

With a brand takeover ad, the ad will be displayed as soon as the user opens the app. Interested users can click on the ad, which will transfer them to a page on your website. TikTok, however, ensures that a user doesn’t get to see more than one brand takeover ad a day; there is a limited opportunity for this type of ad to gain clicks. 

If you invest in this type of ad on TikTok, ensure that your landing page is attractive enough to provide some value to the users who will click on the ads. 

Hashtag Challenges

Hashtag challenges require the marketer to challenge the TikTok community to do something and post the video on their profile using that particular hashtag. The hashtag needs to be unique so that people can discover who has taken part in the challenge. 

With more people participating in the hashtag challenge, the unique hashtag by your brand can trend in the TikTok app and could reach out to a broader audience as well. The hashtag challenge is one of the quickest and easiest ways to promote a brand with the help of TikTok users. 

How to Create Ads on TikTok? 

If you plan to join TikTok with the motive to promote your business through ads, you must follow these steps to ensure that you can create them successfully on the platform.

Create a TikTok Ads Account

For your first ad campaign, you have to get to the TikTok Ads home page and click on the “Create an Ad” button. A form will pop up, and you can fill and submit it with the details of your ad. A representative from TikTok will get in touch with you to set up your account. Since the TikTok ads program is still in its beta stage, you may not be able to set up your ads account completely by yourself. You may also need to wait up to 2 days for someone to revert for the ads account set up.

Create an Ad Campaign on TikTok

In the TikTok ads dashboard, create an ad based on your campaign objectives, which can be traffic, conversions, or app installations. Then you need to set the budget of the ads that you’re about to run on the app. You can set your daily budget or total budget under the settings tab. 

However, you should note that for both types of budgets, the minimum budget should be $500. Since TikTok campaigns require a minimum investment of $500, they might not be a great option for small startups or home-grown businesses that have just started.

Content Development

While creating an in-app display ad, ensure that you use high-resolution images since the ads will cover the entire phone screen. Make your CTA clear to the user so that they are prompted to take actions based on your conversion goals. For the ad copy, you will only get an 80-word limit to describe the product or service that you’re selling. 

Set Your TikTok Ad Placement & Targeting

The next step is choosing your ad placement and targeting. You can use TikTok’s automatic ad placement, where the app would determine the best place to showcase your ad. Once you select the preferred placement, you have to enter other essential details like display name, image, categories, etc., to get your ad up and running. 

The targeting section lets you define your target audience for the ads based on parameters like age, gender, language, interests, etc. 

Control Your TikTok Ad

Once your ad goes live, you can control its budget and schedule. You can find options to choose how many times in a day or which times of the day you want your ads to be displayed on the app. You can also choose the pacing of the ad, through which you can control the speed at which your total budget will be spent. Your optimization goal denotes the ultimate goal you want to achieve from your ads. 

Finally, you need to determine the conversion goals for your ad, i.e., whether you want to set the conversion on Cost Per Click basis or Cost Per Mille basis. TikTok also offers a smart optimization option where your bidding will be optimized continuously to increase conversions.


With time, TikTok is going to attract more brands to advertise on its platform. Currently, there is a high cost associated with TikTok ads and limitations to reach out to people of all age groups. TikTok started as an entertainment app, but people are now using the platform to showcase their talents. 

In the future, we can only hope that the current limitations of this app will be taken care of and the app will reach out to a broader audience base who can utilize the app to its full potential. 

About the Author: Shreoshe has been writing professionally for more than 3 years. She enjoys writing across various domains and loves to learn new technologies. She’s also a movie buff and an amazing cook. She plans to start an animal shelter someday to work for the welfare of street animals.