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Simple Guide for TikTok Ads: How They Work + Cost, Review Process & Examples

In 2018, Chinese tech firm Bytedance acquired Musical.ly and combined it with their new app, TikTok. This move created an innovative platform for music sharing across the world!

It began as a way for users to showcase their lip-syncing and dance moves set to the latest music, but that’s only scratching the surface of what it has grown into. Nowadays, this unique video-sharing social network serves as an extraordinary creative platform for brands looking to express themselves in exciting new ways!

Following the merger, TikTok’s user base skyrocketed by a whopping 800%, with now over 1 billion monthly users. By leveraging TikTok Ads, businesses have access to this huge customer pool and can effectively advertise their products or services.

This article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of TikTok’s advertising platform, helping you assess whether or not it is worth investing in.

TikTok Business: What is it?

With TikTok For Business, marketers no longer have to waste time formulating their own unique strategies for advertising on the platform. This all-in-one tool makes it easy and efficient by walking you through every step – from creating ads to setting budgets, targeting audiences, and reviewing your campaign data.

The platform’s e-learning service provides businesses the opportunity to unleash their creative potential and discover how to create advertisements on the Ads Manager platform.

TikTok Ads Type

  • Branded Hashtags
  • TopView Ads
  • In-Feed Ads
  • Brand Takeovers
  • Branded Effects

Businesses on TikTok have a clear choice when it comes to marketingvideo advertisements. The powerful platform of the TikTok Ads Manager helps marketers craft these ads, with five formats available for your use. Unleash maximum impact and reach on this incredibly popular channel by taking advantage of all that TikTok has to offer.

Branded Hashtags

Looking to leverage the TikTok community? Try branded hashtags – a powerful advertisement tool exclusive to this platform. Through it, businesses can pay for an exclusive hashtag that inspires users and encourages them to create content around it. The exclusivity does come with its own expense though, as reports suggest the average cost of such campaigns is around $150 000 USD for six days.

It may be a worthy investment, as the median engagement rate of this ad type is an impressive 17.5%. Moreover, 77% of TikTok users appreciate when brands come up with new activities, trends, or memes for them to participate in – thus making this kind of advertisement highly pertinent to the user’s desires.

The hashtag challenge #converseallstar, sponsored by Converse, is featured on TikTok’s Discover feed, and the hashtag encourages users to show their creativity through a story from beginning to end whilst customizing their Converse. Clicking on the hashtag brings users to an internal landing page that features the sponsors’ logo, challenge description, and other videos using the hashtag.

TopView Ads

TopView ads appear once a day immediately after a user opens their app for the first time. Here’s an example of a TopView ad by Balenciaga that was launched over Christmas.

Source

Ideal for advertising products or services that require longer viewing times, such as movie and television trailers, TopView ads can last up to 60 seconds – making them the perfect choice. Not only do these extended-length ads fit perfectly within longer content, but 71% of users have reported they are more likely to pay attention when watching a TopView ad.

In-Feed Ads

TikTok In-Feed ads have been proven to spark 23% higher detail memory than traditional television advertisements, according to Neuro-Insight. These types of ads are listed in the ‘For You’ feed, where users land when they first open their TikTok app. This feed displays content that is considered relevant and interesting for them based on their usage history within the app.

Here’s an example of an In-Feed ad created by the jewelry store Smyth Jewelers.

@smythjewelers

Engagement Rings by your astrological sign Part 1 #fyp #zodiac #astrology #jewelry #engagement #diamond #leo #aries #virgo #cancer #taurus #gemini

♬ Send Me on My Way – Guy Meets Girl

Brand Takeovers

Uncover the power of Brand Takeovers! This ad format amalgamates TopView, In-Feed, and Branded Hashtags into a single package while remaining exclusive to one business daily. As this kind of advertising is becoming increasingly sought after by businesses everywhere, you can join in on the trend with an initial cost as low as $50k USD per day.

Just recently, Cosmetic store Too Faced launched an incredible TikTok Brand Takeover to promote their product Lip Injection Extreme. In just one day the Brand Takeover ad garnered an incredible 7.6 million impressions, 2.54 million unique. It gained 1.3 million clicks to the product page, earning an 18.38% click-through rate – exceeding the benchmark for the UK market.

Guess, a fashion company, ran a Brand Takeover on TikTok to advertise their denim jeans. Over six days, its TikTok account gained over 12 thousand new followers and generated a 14.3% total engagement rate. Its Brand Takeover included Top View, Branded Hashtag, and In-Feed ads.

Source

Branded Effects

Enhance your brand’s visibility on TikTok with Branded Effects ads! They enable you to insert images of your products into videos through 2D, 3D, and Augmented Reality filters or stickers that can be used when creating content. Not only do these increase engagement due to their fun challenges built around them, but they also promote awareness of your product in a lighthearted manner.

Kia joined forces with some of Russia’s hottest TikTok influencers, including DanyaMilokhin, Klava Coca, and Max Nemcev. These creators used the Branded Effect to put a unique spin on the challenge, inspiring their followers to join in and come up with creative dances for themselves. The effect has been used over 1.3 million times so far!

@danya_milokhin

Кто тут самый-самый? ? Покажи свой стиль в челлендже KIA встилеRIO!

♬ встилеRIO – KiaMotorsRussia

TikTok Ads: How do they work?

Creating a TikTok ad is easy-peasy!

To kickstart your journey, first, create a business account to serve as the foundation of your advertising endeavors. Move on by detailing what you are offering and setting up payment methods that best suit your needs. Afterward, manage and monitor all ads with ease!

Now, it’s time to get creative! You can pick either the simplified or custom ad manager mode and start creating awesome ads.

With either choice, you construct your advertisement step-by-step. Begin by scheming out your campaign and then categorizing each ad group before building individual ads.

Let’s compare and contrast these two modes to observe the disparities.

  • Simplified mode makes creating ads effortless, allowing the algorithm to do all of the hard work for you.
  • Custom mode, advertisers can leverage advanced customization settings beyond their wildest dreams. A/B testing, audience targeting based upon video and creator interactions to name a few – this is the ultimate control tool that will bring your campaigns to life! Ad combinations are also an option in order to further optimize results.

You don’t have to settle for a single mode; you are free to switch between modes as needed.

Armed with the knowledge of how TikTok ads operate, you’re ready to initiate your account and launch your advertisement.

How to completely set up your TikTok Ad account

1. Make your TikTok Business Account – You can easily create a TikTok for business by either signing up or using your existing TikTok account.

2. Describe your business – Once you have created your business account, you can continue by describing your business. Information like country, industry, business name, time zone, phone number and currency will be the only information you need to completely register your business account.

3. Add your billing method – You can easily find this at the Dashboard tab and then clicking on Payment section.

4. Create your campaign – Start creating your TikTok Ad by going to Campaign and choosing what type of mode you want.

5. Set your goal – Each campaign you create, you can choose either to get traffic, community interaction, lead generation or website conversations.

6. Select your audience – Targeting your audience has never been easy, you can choose your desired location, age range, and even interest & behaviors.

7. Set your budget – You can set how much daily budget you want for your campaign.

8. Create your Ad – After all that’s done, you can now create and submit your campaign.

TikTok Ad Review Process

To ensure a speedy review process and avoid any setbacks, make sure your ad is compliant with the platform’s policies and fulfills its requirements. Typically, reviews take up to 24 hours before completion.

Before you submit your TikTok ad, use this checklist to make sure it is ready:

The landing page:

  • Is designed to operate optimally and is mobile-friendly.
  • Lives up to its advertised promise.
  • Make sure the product name in your ad is an exact match.
  • Speak the language of your target region for a successful campaign.
  • This feature will not autonomously download files to a user’s device.

The ad:

  • Is accurate and error-free in its spelling and grammar.
  • Contains audio.
  • Takes anywhere from five to sixty seconds.
  • Refrain from utilizing too many symbols, spaces, numerals or uppercase letters.
  • Perfectly accompanies the caption.
  • To reach its desired audience, the content must be in their native language or feature subtitles.
  • Ensure that the products and services you plan to offer are free from any prohibited items by consulting this full list.
  • Is crystal-clear with no pixelation.
  • Conforms to the standard sizes of 9:16, 1:1, and 16:9 for all videos.

TikTok Ads Example

1. Mercedez Benz

Source

Mercedes-Benz’s marketing team knew that to engage Gen Z and Millenials, they would need a one-of-a-kind campaign. So, they rolled out remarkable Brand Takeover commercials paired with In-Feed advertisements which pulled in user-generated content -all as part of their #MBStarChallenge Hashtag Challenge featuring its own exclusive effect!

The campaign became viral, resulting in:

  • Over 185,000 videos uploaded by 73,000 people 
  • 180 million video views 

Their brand takeover CTR was an impressive 17.5%, and it significantly advanced their reputation as well. Following the campaign, research revealed a 66.3% increase in ad memory, 18.2 percent rise in favorability of their brand among customers, and 30,000 new followers on social media platforms! Moreover, page visits went beyond one million for both the UK and German campaigns – truly monumental outcomes from this venture!

2. Maybelline

Maybelline New York partnered with TikTok to bring to life their Break Free campaign, highlighting the importance of how the colour of a lip product can change the way you feel.

Source

The Maybelline New York campaign was an incredible success story, demonstrating the positive impact that brands can have when they use creators to keep TikTok ads native and entertaining. Their TopView Ad had a 5% click-through rate above benchmarks with 2% higher engagement rates. Ultimately, the ad led to 22 million views, allowing their brand message to reach many more people than expected!

Cost of TikTok Advertising

When it comes to budgeting for your Tiktok ad campaigns, you can opt between a daily and lifetime budget; both of which can be modified as needed throughout the course of your campaign.

To run a successful campaign, you need to invest at least $50 USD daily and total budget on the campaign level. In contrast, for maximum success within each ad group level, your investment should exceed $20 USD per day.

Although TikTok has yet to publish its pricing strategy, there is still some information available for potential advertisers.

In 2020, Digiday found that TikTok advertising cost remarkably little, with a reported cost-per-mille as low as one dollar. JungleTopp conducted their own experiment and saw even lower costs – an astonishingly low $0.19 per click—far cheaper than the fees for Facebook or Instagram ads!

This platform offers you a choice of several bidding strategies, all individually tailored to help achieve your desired objectives.

Is TikTok Ads the missing piece of your marketing strategy puzzle?

In 2020, TikTok saw its peak in popularity and since then, many brands have made it their go-to advertising platform. Consequently, the number of ads seen by users on this app also shot up from 19% to 37%, as more people joined the network.

The 2021 Kantar report unveiled that the short-form video platform was number one in ad equity, outshining Amazon, Instagram, Google and Twitter. Notwithstanding this achievement being a recent success for them, it is worth noting that they also held the same ranking from the year before!

Although this ranking is impressive, the data shows that marketers are still hesitant about TikTok. Many people view it as a cutting-edge platform but not quite reliable yet.

Consumers flock to TikTok for its authenticity and the sense of community it provides.

A 2020 Nielsen study found that a whopping 59% of TikTok users felt an immense sense of community when using the app. Moreover, 55% reported discovering new products and content through their use of it – making it a great resource for learning as well!

The audience is eager and willing to engage, thus the decision of incorporating TikTok For Business into your marketing plan ultimately relies on your desired campaign results and business goals.

However, having objectives in place and working towards them are two very different things. Subsequently, your plan should include the perfect tools to help you meet these goals. Taking lead data manually might not be as efficient as integrating TikTok Lead Generation with your CRM or other marketing applications; automation will ensure that this process is smooth and effective.

To maximize lead generation goals, you can integrate your marketing system with a TikTok partner like LeadsBridge. These data bridges streamline the synchronization of information between different tools and make it easier for marketers to manage their leads. For example, incorporating HubSpot into TikTok Lead Generation helps automate the transfer of new responses from potential customers to HubSpot so that no lead is ever lost in transition or forgotten about.

To assist with the decision-making process, we have created a comprehensive list of pros and cons to help marketers evaluate their options.

Advantages and Disadvantages of TikTok for Business

Is TikTok the ideal platform for your brand’s advertising? Let’s evaluate some of its advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages

TikTok Ads Manager will help you reach new audiences and expand the visibility of your content.

With 1 billion global active users and availability in 155 countries, TikTok’s ad reach is astounding – reaching nearly 885 million people! This immense potential puts your TikTok videos right at the fingertips of so many viewers.

With the Similar Audiences feature in TikTok Ads Manager, you can effortlessly choose lookalike audiences that mimic your ideal target for increased visibility and heightened brand recognition within alternate groups.

Out of the TikTokers polled, a staggering 78% agreed that you don’t need thousands of followers to go viral on their app- meaning there is potential for businesses regardless of size or following to generate brand recognition and engagement.

TikTok is invigorated by off-the-cuff, ‘backstage’ material.

A vast majority of users are in consensus that videos from brands on TikTok should feel raw and authentic, as opposed to polished or professional. After all, the real pleasure lies in getting an inside look into their everyday lives – both those of companies and their employees!

With TikTok, you’ll be able to produce content for much less money than other platforms and still achieve higher levels of engagement from your audience. This decreases production costs while ensuring that the videos you create will have greater reach.

TikTok’s levels of engagement are unparalleled, and customers often make purchases on the platform in response.

If you’re looking to get your content out there, TikTok is the platform for you. Users on this app are far more engaged than users of other platforms, meaning that when posting here, your engagement rate is nearly guaranteed!

Astonishingly, two-thirds of TikTok users are likely to make a purchase while on the platform. Moreover, these customers are twice as liable to suggest products or services they’ve discovered compared with other social media users! This suggests that when combined with elevated engagement rates your consumers will act upon their interaction with you and consequently improve sales opportunities.

Disadvantages:

TikTok’s user base is not reflective of the full range of demographic groups.

The majority of the app’s users, 43%, are ages 18 to 24; this could mean that your intended audience is younger than planned. Therefore, when marketing to these individuals you should take their age group into account and tailor your content accordingly.

Thus, advertising on the app may necessitate connecting with an audience that might not realize why they would need your product or service.

To thrive on TikTok, producing unique content is essential.

The content that TikTok requires might not align with the purpose of your brand.

If you possess a serious, results-oriented business mindset, adjusting to the lighthearted and captivating content necessary for TikTok instead of just concentrating on sales may be an intimidating skill to master.

TikTok For Business is severely lacking in regard to seamless integrations.

As all savvy marketers recognize, data is vital to comprehend a campaign’s success. Unfortunately, the platform currently has confined integration with other insight tools.

Not only does TikTok offer Ecommerce partner platforms, but it contains some of the world’s most renowned tools such as Shopify and WooCommerce.

If you’re looking to increase your brand’s reach and grow a new audience, TikTok is an ideal platform that should be included in your advertising strategy. While the app necessitates content specifically tailored for it, brands can still diversify their approach and connect with different customers while utilizing its powerful toolkit.

No matter the outcome of your deliberations, those who want to take advantage of TikTok For Business’s promotional potential have that opportunity.

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