How to Advertise on TikTok [2021 Update]

Today, TikTok isn’t just for teens. It has quickly become one of the fastest-growing apps and social media networks out there. And as the first US Independent Agency to receive the TikTok Campaign Management Agency Partner badge, Tinuiti knows a thing or two about how to help brands create engaging successful TikTok campaigns.
Similar to Brand Takeover, this ad appears when the app is opened. However, Top View allows videos such as In-Feed Video to be used as advertising material.
“Elf’s music video ended up going viral on TikTok, and since it became so known on TikTok, it brought significantly strong performance when incorporating it across other channels, specifically Instagram,” says Corpus.

You can also follow other users to stay up to date on their content or use the search function to look up specific challenges, keywords, hashtags, and more. There’s also a trending area to find up-and-coming videos.

You’ll have to choose the right influencers and communicate effectively for influencer campaigns to be successful. They need to maintain their personal style and be trusted to make content that appears authentic to their followers.

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What is TikTok?

When setting up the budget for an ad campaign there are two choices: Daily budget and Lifetime budget. These are the maximum amounts set to be spent on either a daily basis or on an entire campaign. It should be kept in mind that TikTok advertising has a minimum budget requirement depending on the user’s choices.
Setting Objectives “TikTok is the #1 downloaded platform across mobile. It’s no longer the best-kept secret for advertisers, but the platform is spreading its wings against wider demos and we expect this to continue.”
“TikTok hashtag challenges leverage a user’s tendency to create and share content around unified themes. Brands can build affinity by turning users into co-creators. TikTok understands the ripple effect one challenge can have, so incorporating brands elevates the idea even more!”

Just like Chipotle, Kool-Aid decided to use hashtag challenges to their advantage during a holiday launching the OhYEAHChristmas challenge.
kool aid tiktok ads
They took a well-known part of their previous traditional ad campaigns and made it into something their audience could directly participate in. Influencers also brought in millions of views when they participated in the challenge themselves.

Factors that influence these recommendations include user interactions, video information, and device/account settings. TikTok favors organic content that can help influence your paid ad strategy (specifically as it relates to ad creative).
Factors that influence these recommendations include user interactions, video information, and device/account settings. TikTok favors organic content that can help influence your paid ad strategy (specifically as it relates to ad creative).

How to Advertise on TikTok

Awareness will help new brands to develop brand awareness. Consideration is better for more established brands to encourage users to seek more information and to drive traffic to the brand. Conversion will help to bring users to take action towards the brand using TikTok advertising. 
Chipotle has been capitalizing on Hashtag challenges for a while now, using holiday promotions like the #Boorito challenge during Halloween, and celebrating national Avocado day with the #Guacdance challenge.
chipotle tiktok ads
While some may find it silly, these challenges grab attention and get users involved in their brand persona.
A brand takeover is when your ad appears immediately after a user opens the app, “taking over” the opening screen. Once opened, the brand has the option of bringing users somewhere else, whether it’s a TikTok profile or an external site.
Katy Lucey, Director, Paid Social at Tinuiti
“With engagement becoming more costly on Facebook, brands should look to emerging social channels for more affordable growth opportunities. This is why it’s necessary to diversify your media mix and pivot to inventory where there is faster growth potential, such as TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest and others.”
Ready to fuel your TikTok advertising strategy? Download our guide today!
A GIF showing a clip from one of Michael Eckert’s TikToks. Credit: Washington Post
Source: TikTok
— Katy Lucey, Director of Paid Social
TikTok, in some version or another, is currently available in 150 markets across the world and in 75 unique languages. Its most popular posters have millions of followers and billions of views per month.
On the social side, users can “react” to videos, filming their reaction when watching something, or “duet,” instead filming a side-by-side video along with the existing content. Duet videos are often used in challenges or competitions (the #WrapBattle challenge is a great example!) Users can also interact with content, “heart” videos, leave comments and send messages to others within the app.
Start a TikTok Ad Account
When sports organizations advertise, they often display player stats, highlight reels, or gameday predictions, but the NBA has used TikTok as a platform to show a more human side of the organization.
nba tiktok ads
Music-backed clips of inspirational messages from players or funny clips of mascots help engage their audience in more endearing ways and make the brand more relatable.
Create a TikTok Ad Campaign
To get started, create a user account through TikTok ads by clicking “create an ad”. After verifying the account and agreeing to TikTok’s terms of service a TikTok ad campaign can be created.
“What I love most about working on this platform is how advertisers are rewarded for enhancing the user experience rather than disrupting it. We see much stronger engagement and touchpoints to purchases when we embrace TikTok trends and the native content experience that is led by the consumer, Haley Kimmen, Senior Specialist, Paid Social at Tinuiti said.
While the highest number of TikTok users fall within a decidedly younger age range than many other popular social platforms, the overarching audience is diverse. Users are still spread across a wide range of ages, geography, and gender and each individual user has unique preferences for the video content they are most interested in seeing. As for determining what content to show which users and when? That’s where the TikTok algorithm comes into play.
This coincided with TikTok’s release of a subset of the Hashtag Challenge called Hashtag Challenge Plus, which allows users to shop for products featured in a Hashtag Challenge without leaving the app.

  •  Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Location 

Many brands are finding success advertising on TikTok using influencer marketing and hashtag challenges. Let’s take a look at a few examples:
As one of TikTok’s main ad types, these challenges prompt the user to engage directly with the brand and produce their own videos taking the challenges. This is an easy way to make your brand go viral if you leverage your creative correctly.

Getting the most out TikTok Content

Hashtag Challenges

Dynamic product ads automatically retarget people with products according to their online behaviors.

User-Generated Content


Influencer Marketing

With such a limited range of TikTok ad types and filtering options, any brand that wants to conduct a TikTok marketing campaign has to take extra pains to create the best and most relevant content possible.
If you’ve heard that catchy “Baby Shark” tune, then you’ve got TikTok to thank (or blame?) for it. Though the tune has been around a while — the TikTok app, formerly known as, is what brought the silly song to the forefront of pop culture years ago.

Creative TikTok strategies to consider:

Like many retail giants out there, Walmart looked to social media to promote Black Friday deals with a combination of influencer marketing and a hashtag challenge called the #DealDropDance.
walmart tiktok challenge
To reach more of their audience they worked with six influencers, including Terry Crews, to reach a combined 17 million users.
katy lucey

  1. Leverage native TikTok sounds—Use commercially licensed tracks to make music an essential part of the storytelling
  2. Get the brand message out early—Nearly 63% of all Auction Ads with the highest CTR highlight their key message or product in the first 3 seconds
  3. Stay trendy—1 out of 5 Auction Ads with the highest view-through rates leverage popular trends, effects, or music
  4. Think like a creator—Use the native interface to find the right balance between authentic-looking content that fits in with UGC and the look of polished advertising
  5. Highlight the main takeaways—4 out of 10 Auction Ads with the highest view-through rates use graphic overlays to highlight relevant information or tell the story in fast-paced ways

There are three great ways to make sure your content is reaching new audience members and even generating more content on its own to drive brand awareness.

Successful TikTok Ad Campaign Examples

TikTok’s ad targeting options are pretty basic, as well. So far, the targeting filters only allow you to include/exclude by Age, Gender, and Location. You can also use your own targeting lists.

TikTok’s #eyeslipsface Campaign

“While Facebook has historically been the king of direct response, each social channel has a unique offering that aligns with real business goals. TikTok should be considered when pulling together a holistic paid social strategy,” Katy Lucey, Director, Paid Social at Tinuiti said.
TikTok allows the advertiser to pick and choose what platforms the ads run on, not just TikTok itself but its affiliate platforms. These include News Republic, BuzzVideo, Vigo Video, TopBuzz and more. Some of these platforms are only used regionally such as Vigo Video. 
“They also have an upgraded version called the Hashtag Challenge Plus which is basically an upgraded engagement solution that drives engagement and UGC, as well as sales potential. Users are able to discover more about the brand with an additional “Discover” tab directly within the Hashtag Challenge Page. Brands are allowed to customize their Discover Page with different interactive components (Discover Banner, Product carousel, survey, offline store, related hashtags),” explains Corpus.

Chipotle’s #Boorito Challenge

With the personal details taken care of, the user can choose from three sets of objectives for their TikTok ad campaign: Awareness, Consideration, or Conversion.

Kool-Aid’s #ohyeahchristmas Challenge

elf cosmetics tiktok challenge

Walmart’s #Dealdropdance Challenge

For more specific targeting and retargeting TikTok allows advertisers to upload the IDs of existing TikTok users from previous engagement through ZIP, CSV, and TXT files.

The NBA’s TikTok Ad Campaign

The minimum for both doily and lifetime budgets is 50 USD, but ad groups can run on a daily minimum of 20 USD.

The Washington Post’s TikTok Campaign

5 Tips for Improving TikTok Ad Creative*:

Final Takeaway

TikTok is a social media, video, and music platform all in one. From its humble beginnings in 2016, to securing its spot as the most downloaded app in 2020, the social media platform has captured the imaginations of people and brands all over the world, inspiring no shortage of dances and ‘challenges’ along the way.
Each in-stream video ad can use one of three available action models: CPclick, CPM, and CPView. In order to count for CPView, a user has to watch your ad for more than 6 seconds.
After signing up for TikTok advertising, under account setup there will be a section for “business information” made up of six sections: business name, promotion link, industries, street address, state/province, and postal code. Next will be sections for contact information, tax information and payment information. 

Posted by Contributor