How To Get Started With TikTok Ads

With over 15 million active daily users, TikTok is the seventh most used social media platform worldwide. The entertainment social platform has an engagement unlike any other social app with users spending an average of 81 minutes in the app per day. 

TikTok offers a unique space for brands to creatively elevate their marketing strategies. The social app has revealed four best practice tips that have resulted in increased impressions for video ads. They also published some advice for eCommerce brands as well, as TikTok has recently announced that they are partnering with Shopify to integrate a new shopping feature into the app. One of the advantages of advertising on TikTok is the ability to reach a new audience of users that aren’t necessarily on other social platforms. However, advertising on TikTok can be intimidating, so let’s break down the basic ad formats so that you can make the most out of your TikTok ad experience. We will also include some tips on how to increase your ad performance and some advice for eCommerce brands as well, so let’s dive in! 

Types of TikTok Ads 

There are currently five advertising formats on the app which include TopView, Brand Takeover, In-Feed Video, Hashtag Challenge, and Branded Effect. This gives brands a chance to creatively elevate their marketing strategies since all the content in the app is unique. 

TopView: Upfront premium placement for sound-on storytelling reaching the entire audience. 

  • 100% SOV (share of voice) for the day. 
  • 5-60 second videos with auto-play, sound on optimized for 15 seconds. 
  • These ads average a 16-18% clickthrough rate (CTR). 

Brand Takeover: A full-screen splash page to amplify your brand message. 

  • 100% SOV for the day. 
  • 3-second image or 3-5 second video (sound off).
  • The entire ad is clickable. 
  • These ads average a 7-10% CTR.

In-Feed Video: In-Feed videos are the easiest way into the most engaging experience on mobile. Advertisers can create in-feed ads that are inserted into the personalized feed of users which can run against reach, traffic, app installs, video views, or conversion objectives.

  • Can be used either as an Auction (self-service platform with full flexibility) or reservation (turnkey managed service with impressions guaranteed). 
  • Pro Tip: Plan to create multiple pieces of content for testing. 

Hashtag Challenge: An engaging space to generate mass exposure. 

  • Multiple in-app placements to promote engagement.
  • CTA button to drive incremental traffic. 
  • Targeting capabilities to re-engage audience participants. 

Branded Effect: Visual branding element to drive stronger recall and engagement. 

  • Ability to develop a standalone campaign or integrate into Hashtag Challenge. 
  • The clickable effect can drive to an external landing page. 
  • Branded Effects can be compared to Snapchat filters and lenses. They can create an interactive and fun experience for the user. 

4 Tips to Improve TikTok Ad Performance 

Now that we have learned about the different ad formats, let’s find out how to get the most impressions for your ad content. TikTok found that these four tips improved overall ad impressions compared to other video ads that didn’t use them. These four tips include:

  1. Vertical Aspect Ratio

Of the top-performing videos on the social app, 82.13% of them utilize a vertical aspect ratio. This brought a 40.08% rise in impressions compared to videos with horizontal or square ratios. 

  1. Use Of Audio

93.02% of the highest-performing videos on TikTok used audio, which led to a 16.05% increase in impressions. 

  1. 9:16 Aspect Ratio 

98.63% of the highest performing videos had this aspect ratio, which saw a 60.45% lift in impressions. This is compared to videos that don’t properly fit the screen and resulted in a black, empty space in some parts of the screen. 

  1. Video Resolution Of At Least 720P

83.19% of the platform’s top-performing videos have a minimum of a 720P resolution. Having this as a benchmark means that you could increase impressions by 5.39%. 

Advice For eCommerce Brands 

TikTok also released three more pieces of advice for marketers to increase campaign performance for eCommerce brands. These pieces of advice include: 

Include Some Sort of an Offer 

Whenever you are marketing a product or service, including some sort of an offer can create an incentive for potential customers to buy your product or service. This can be a promotional code or a seasonal discount and can be a great way to attract first-time customers. 

Feature Scene Variations 

Fun Fact: Have you ever noticed that movies and TV shows only show the same camera angle for no longer than 6 seconds? 

TikTok found that 99.29% of the best performing TikTok videos made use of different angles and shots. This resulted in a 40.56% overall increase in impressions. Showing different shots and camera angles makes the ad exciting for users to watch. It can also potentially increase the viewer’s attention span for viewing the ad, as the app’s platform already incentivizes a high scroll rate. 

Utilize Closed Captioning 

Although TikTok is a video-based platform, it’s never good practice to assume all viewers will be watching with audio. This will not only make your videos more accessible but can also increase impressions by 55.69%. Including closed captions can also potentially show a spike in other performance metrics and it is always recommended that you include a CTA or offer in-text within the video as well. 

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