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TikTok Ads: How to Run Ads on TikTok

In September 2021, TikTok announced it reached 1 billion users. And there is no sign of the platform’s growth slowing down. With a worldwide audience this large, many businesses are rethinking their social media marketing strategy to include this platform in the mix. 

It was reported that in 2020, $1.3 billion dollars were spent on advertising on TikTok. While that’s great for the platform, is the return worth it for the advertisers? In short, yes. Unlike other platforms, TikTok users prefer their algorithm-based feed, not their follower-based feed. What does this mean? Basically, your content is in TikTok’s control – the more people interact with your videos, the better it will perform –regardless of your follower count. What’s more, your TikTok content isn’t limited to the people who follow you and has the opportunity to reach many, many more. 

The key with advertising on TikTok is to create a variety of content pieces, post them, see what does well, pay to boost it to reach even more people – and repeat the process. Let’s take a look at how to get started.

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How to Use the TikTok Ads Manager 

TikTok provides a platform for businesses to get creative and make some money in the process. But when you think about advertising on TikTok, think creativity and entertainment, not salesy! TikTok itself says, “Don’t make ads, make TikTok videos.” To run an ad on TikTok with either a Business or Creator account, you’ll need to create an account and pass an account review. Once you are approved to run ads on your account, here are the steps to getting an ad going in the TikTok Ads Manager:

  1. Choose your campaign objective. For example, do you want to raise awareness for your brand with more reach, drive traffic to your website, or convert sales? 
  2. Set your daily budget, targeting and bidding method. The bidding strategy is the level of competitiveness you want for getting eyes on your content. You can select from four bidding methods:
  3. Cost per Mille/Thousand Impressions (CPM)
  4. ​Optimized Cost per Mille/Thousand Impressions (oCPM)
  5. Cost per Thousand Views (CPV)
  6. Cost per Click (CPC)

There are two types of budgets you can have for each ad:lifetime (the total max you will spend for the ad) or daily spends. Lifetime budgets must be a minimum of $50 and daily budgets must be a minimum of $20/day. 

  1. Select your ad placements to determine where your ad will show up. While there are four types of placements currently available, certain placements are only available in select countries. One of the most common placements in the U.S. is TikTok placement which places the ads in the For You feed. 
  2. Define your target audience. You can target your ads based on certain audience demographics to help get your content in front of the right people. 
  3. Upload your created content and submit!
Pro Tip: If you already have content posted on TikTok that’s doing well and you want to boost it, it’s as easy as pressing “Promote,” entering payment information (if you haven’t already done so) and launching it! 

Best Practices for Creating TikTok Ads

Okay, now that you know how to get an ad running on TikTok, let’s go over the key points for creating content. 

Video details matter. TikTok recommends vertical format videos and making sure they are between 5-60 seconds long. Also, keep your video files to 500MB or less.

Beyond the screen action, you’ll also want to be just as mindful (and creative) with captions. Your video caption is a way to provide context for the video and should be creative. Use words, not emojis, and keep it concise. Speaking of being creative, sounds and sound effects are a big part of TikTok video success, so bring your content to life with lively sounds from effects to voice to music. Some of these best practices can be carried over into creating Reels content too.

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Related Article: How to Use TikTok: A Complete Guide for SMBs

The key to creating engaging, ad spend-worthy content for TikTok is to have a varied library of fun content. You don’t have to do it all alone either. Consider working with different creators whose work aligns with your brand and collaborate with them on various pieces of content. If you keep your content fresh, consistent, and entertaining, it will yield a great return and be well worth the time and money invested. 

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Allie Teegardin

Allie Teegardin is a contributing writer at PLANOLY. As a writer, adjunct professor, and baker, she makes sure to add value to whatever she creates.

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