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How to Advertise on TikTok

October 28, 2021
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TikTok is more than just a place to uncover cooking hacks or to get your friends and family involved in at-home dance-offs. It’s a widely used platform that is quickly becoming prime real estate for advertisers. With more than 837 million monthly active users, it’s the perfect place to get your brand’s story heard loud and clear.1

Plus, with a user-friendly dashboard and a wide selection of ad types, it’s easy to manage and to make it your own. In this blog, you’ll learn the ins and outs of TikTok marketing, how to advertise on TikTok, and how your brand can capitalize on its unmatched benefits. 

Tic tock…the time to maximize your potential is now. 

TikTok at a Glance

So, you already know just how wide of an audience TikTok has managed to create since its genesis in 2016, but let’s dive a bit deeper into how, exactly, people are using this social media channel and what’s projected for its future. 

Consider the following: 

  • As of 2020, TikTok reported a total of 2.6 billion cumulative downloads.
  • In 2020, TikTok earned around $1.9 billion in revenue. 
  • 14% of marketers plan to increase their spending on TikTok in 2021. 
  • TikTok has been given several thumbs-up ratings by its users, earning 88% positive reviews.1

Not only do these numbers show TikTok’s immense popularity amongst users, but also its potential to remain as an on-the-rise trend that doesn’t appear to be losing momentum any time soon. 

But what exactly does advertising on this social media platform look like? Read on for all the specifics. 

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Who Can Advertise on TikTok?

TikTok presents itself as a particularly inclusive platform on which businesses of all shapes and sizes can display their advertisements. Whether you’re a startup company looking to get your clean beauty products in front of a larger audience or a well-established brand interested in engaging with their audience in a new way, TikTok makes it easy for advertisers of all types to share their stories. 

Here are a couple of success stories from brands who have taken their marketing strategies to the TikTok platform:

  • From just one advertising campaign, Universal Pictures was able to boost their followers by 11k and spark 19k user-generated videos thanks to TikTok’s branded hashtag challenge.2>a-level=”1″>Clean & Clear also took advantage of the branded hashtag format to rack up 1.9 billion TikTok video views and 2.6 million user-generated videos.3

Advertising on TikTok

Feeling inspired? Now’s the time to figure out how your own TikTok marketing strategy can take shape on this one-of-a-kind platform. Follow this step-by-step guide for TikTok advertising success. (Trust us—it’s easier than those choreographed dance moves you’ve been trying to get the hang of for months.) 

  1. First thing’s first: Get set up on TikTok, (if you haven’t already). You’ll proceed by entering some of your company’s basic information and objectives which will later be reviewed by the TikTok team to be sure your business qualifies for an advertising account. 
  2. Next, you’ll need to determine which type of advertising format you’d like to use to display your desired content. From in-feed ads to branded effects, you’ll find there are a number of different options to showcase your brand’s message in a unique way. (More on the specifics of those options below.)
  3. From there you’ll be on your way to building your first campaign. This is where you’ll define your campaign objectives, select your target audience, manage your ad budget, and customize your ad type. 
  4. You can set up multiple ad groups within each campaign which allows you to reach a wider TikTok audience by location, demographics, and on a number of different schedules and devices.
  5. Upload an image or video to reflect the aesthetic of your campaign’s vision. Don’t worry—before going live you’ll be able to see a preview of your ad to be sure it fits the design mold. 
  6. Your final ad proposal will need to be reviewed by TikTok and, if approved, you’ll be ready to go live! Be sure to track your ad performance by reviewing the data in TikTok AdsManager. The dashboard will give you insights regarding spending, impressions, conversions, clicks, and more. 

Now that you’re familiar with the general process of building a TikTok advertising campaign, let’s take a closer look at what, exactly, those ads will look like. 

Types of TikTok Ads

Perhaps one of TikTok’s most appealing features for brands interested in marketing on this platform is the diversity of advertisement options available. Whether you’re focusing on quick, snappy statements or engagement-oriented videos, TikTok offers a number of avenues through which to express your brand’s creativity and to foster authentic company-consumer interactions.  

If variety is the spice that brings life to your advertising campaigns, take a closer look at this colorful mix of TikTok ad formats:

  • In-feed ads – As TikTok users peruse through curated content on the For You page, they’ll come across recommended videos that the TikTok algorithm delivers to them based on their browsing behaviors on the platform as well as their supposed interests. This is also where in-feed ads will be showcased in videos averaging about 15 seconds in length. In addition to the video, a clear call-to-action button will be clearly displayed for users who have taken an interest in the advertisement and are curious to learn more. 
  • Top view ads – Launching a top view ad on TikTok is a bit like claiming the top spot in Google search results. As you may have guessed, these ads grab users’ attention by appearing at the very top of the content displayed on the ‘For You’ page. With an engaging 60-second video, it’ll be hard for TikTokers to miss whatever message your brand is trying to share. 
  • Branded hashtags – If engagement is the focus of your advertising campaign, you may want to consider tapping into your brand’s creative side by getting involved with a branded hashtag challenge. TikTok calls this its most popular format because it allows users to get involved with your TikTok ad campaign by producing their own videos through your hashtag and sharing your brand’s story alongside you.4
  • Branded effects – Following a similar format as branded hashtags, branded effects are another way to boost audience engagement with your brand. Whether you opt to create a green screen or interactive effect, one thing’s for certain: It’s a powerful way to get platform users directly involved with raising awareness for your brand. Mucinex’s branded effect campaign, which resulted in a 42.7% increase in purchase intent, is a testament to how community engagement can play a valuable role in guiding the flow of the sales funnel.5
  • Takeovers – This sponsored ad format allows companies to create both still images and dynamic videos to display as full-screen advertisements. Although users don’t have the ability to interact with these ads in the form of likes and comments, brands can still make use of this valuable advertising space for short, powerful statements. 

Benefits of Advertising on TikTok

Come to TikTok for a wide range of creative advertising formats, but stay for the layers of benefits that are hard to find anywhere else. 

What do marketers have to gain from incorporating TikTok into their digital campaigns? Read on and see for yourself how this platform is making a nearly unbeatable splash. 

  • Increased brand exposure – We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: TikTok has a massive following—and not just in North America. Brands who want to put their TikTok content in front of millions of people around the globe will find plenty of reasons to launch their awareness-oriented campaigns on this channel. 
  • Highly engaged audience – Perhaps more important than the number of total users, however, is the number of engaged users. It might feel good to have your ad campaign seen by millions of people but what if it doesn’t garner much of a response? Advertisers on TikTok can rest assured knowing that their audience isn’t likely to simply pass by their TikTok content without interacting.

    Consider this: Ad Age reports that “mega influencers had an average engagement rate of 11.83%—vs. 0.35% on Instagram.”6 This is a good indicator that conversion-driven campaigns are likely to see a high return on investment when channeling their efforts towards TikTok. 
  • Precise targeting by location – Another way to ensure your marketing dollars are being carefully spent is by customizing your campaign objective to match the age, interests, and location of your target audience. When you have full control over TikTok demographics towards which your campaign is directed, it’s more likely that it’ll be seen by someone who is already interested in supporting a brand like yours—instead of pouring money into an audience that might not have much of an interest in the goods or services you offer to begin with. 

Time to Unlock Your Potential With Power Digital Marketing

Whether you’ve decided to take the leap into TikTok’s vibrant advertising scene or are looking to polish up your marketing strategies in some other way, look to Power Digital Marketing to help you draw up the playbook. 

Specializing in social media, SEO, content marketing, and more, the key to a dynamic, integrated marketing approach is just a click away. See for yourself why brands are reaching out to us to bring their business to the next level. Profound impact and limitless potential start with our TikTok marketing and other digital marketing services



  1. Business of Apps. TikTok Revenue and Usage Statistics (2021)
  2. TikTok for Business. Universal Pictures
  3. TikTok for Business. Clean & Clear
  4. TikTok for Business. 7 tips for an effective Branded Hashtag Challenge
  5. TikTok for Business. Branded Effect: Place your brand center stage
  7. Hootsuite. The Complete Guide to TikTok Advertising for Marketers

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