Blue Rocket

How to Master TikTok Ads: The Complete 2023 Guide

Vasiliki Patsali

Vasiliki Patsali

SEO Specialist @BlueRocket

These days, a lot of businesses are on TikTok, trying to expand their reach and level up their brand awareness efforts.

TikTok ads, if implemented correctly can bring immersive value and become a lucrative marketing tool.

Business owners and marketers in order to reap TikTok’s benefits to its maximum, need to follow some effective practices and strategies that will potentially save them time and money.

In the following guide we’re going to cover:

Let’s get started.

What are TikTok Ads?

TikTok ads are promoted content that brands and marketers can utilize to target viewers based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.

B2B marketers and brands can create ads in the form of video, or hashtag challenges and they usually aim to spread brand awareness or sell a product or service.

After they are successfully created, TikTok ads are then shown to the target audience as sponsored videos, ads in the For You feed, hashtag challenges, or promoted trends.

What are the Different Types of TikTok Ads?

There are 7 different types of TikTok ads that come with distinct features that each brand can utilize based on their needs.

Let’s take a more detailed look.

Ad Type #1: In-feed Ads

In-feed ads are TikTok video ads that emerge in between user videos as a user scrolls through their FYP (For You page).

In-Feed ads length can be up to 60 seconds.

For better and more engaging results try aiming for 9 to 15 seconds.

Due to their native-like content interface, they seem more natural as if they were organic posts.

That is why they can help brands expand their brand awareness and drive traffic with the inclusion of a call-to-action button that links to a landing page.

For example, Vodafone, a multinational telecommunications company, in order to showcase how simple it is to sign up to a new contract and ultimately increase conversions, set up a number of In-Feed Ads on TikTok Ads Manager.

The campaign results were quite impressive, as Vodafone surpassed its objective, with the campaign bringing in an 18x ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) for client registrations, and a 14% conversion rate.

Ad Type #2: Spark Ads

Spark ads are another native ad format that gives brands the opportunity to create campaigns that leverage posts not only from their own TikTok accounts but also posts made by other creators, always with their permission.

Spark ads are great since they can enhance brands’ presence even if they don’t create the content themselves.

Afterall, as a marketer or brand, user-generated content is ultimately key to engage and forge strong bonds with your audience.

According to TikTok, Spark ads have a 142% higher engagement rate compared to Non-Spark ads.

Ad Type #3: TopView

TopView ads appear in users’ For You Page, after opening the app in a full screen form.

They can last for 5 to 60 seconds, with auto-play and sound.

TopView ads can contribute to a growing number of views as they capture users’ attention.

As part of its campaign, AIB, one of Ireland’s leading banks, in order to promote its fast and easy mobile current account application service, launched a TopView to expand its reach to its target market, young people and students.

A “Learn More” CTA featured at the bottom of the ad, which then directed users to AIB’s landing page.

Ad Type #4: Video Shopping Ads

Video shopping ads are videos that can offer a seamless and effective shopping experience for users.

The user journey starts from the “For You” page, ending at the checkout.

This is a great solution designed for businesses to drive sales, as it combines automation features to maximize performance and conversions.

It is available for testing globally.

Ad Type #5: Brand Takeover

A brand takeover is a full-screen ad which appears when users first open the Tik Tok app.

They are created for mass awareness and reach.

The brand takeover ad can be linked to a brand’s landing page or a hashtag challenge within the TikTok app.

Since the entire screen is clickable, it is really helpful guiding potential customers to both internal and external landing pages.

They usually last between 3-5 seconds, and the day they are featured, users won’t see any other Brand Takeover on that specific day.

This premium feature is more pricey, and thus is often taken advantage of by bigger brands.

Ad Type #6: Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads

Branded hashtag challenge ads can help businesses cultivate awareness, initiating trends and challenges by crafting distinctive branded hashtags.

This type of ads can generate full-funnel impact and encourage brand followers to create their very own content based on them.

Thus, it can be effectively combined with UGC and boost engagement.

According to TikTok, branded hashtags can amplify your brand voice as they have a median engagement rate of 17.5%.

As we can see from the example below, there is a hashtag challenge by the company HP:

By creating the hashtag #HPRadicalReuse, HP encouraged creators to interact and co-create through a Branded Hashtag Challenge, making a difference around the globe, promoting sustainability.

The results were impressive, as this Hashtag Challenge delivered a unique reach of over 68 million in the US and over 1.4 billion video views of the hashtag during the campaign.

Ad Type #7: Branded Effects Ads

Branded effects are a great way to combine creativity with brand awareness.

Creating branded stickers, filters, and special effects, brands can urge their audiences to interact with them in a meaningful way, as we can see from the following example by the famous beauty company, Mac.

What’s more, branded effects can be also implemented into a branded hashtag challenge for better results.

How Much Do TikTok Ads Cost?

Just like other social media channels, TikTok uses an auction and bidding model regarding ads.

Simply put, brands decide how much they are willing to pay per video view, click, or impression.

However, it is crucial to keep in mind that there is a minimum spend on both campaigns and ad groups.

According to TikTok, the minimum campaign-level budget is $50 per day.

That means that for every day that your campaign is running, you will spend at a minimum of $50.

Moreover, the minimum ad group-level budget is set to $20 per day.

Practically, this means that for every day that your ad group is running, you will spend at least $20.

Furthermore, TikTok requires a $500 minimum ad spend for short native video ads, while hashtag challenges, for instance, have a flat fee of $150,000 for one week.

TikTok uses a metric known as CPM (cost-per-mile), meaning the ad cost per 1,000 views, to charge for in-feed ads.

TikTok ads prices start at $0.50 CPM and $0.02 cost per click.

Looking to multiply your sales through TikTok Ads?

Book a free 30′ strategy call to see how we can help!

What are the Main TikTok Bidding Methods?

Currently, there are four bidding methods available:

Method #1: Cost per Mille/Thousand Impressions (CPM)

CPM signifies cost per thousand impressions.

If you choose this method, the TikTok platform will push your ad to get as many impressions as possible.

If your main objective and marketing goal is to reach as many people as possible, then you should consider it.

​Method #2: Optimized Cost per Mille/Thousand Impressions (oCPM)

oCPM means the optimized cost per thousand impressions.

Your ads will appear to audiences who are more likely to complete a conversion event, become a lead or install an app.

In case your marketing goal is to gain more followers, get app installs, or make sales, then this bidding method is for you.

Method #3: ​Cost per Thousand Views (CPV)

In essence, CPV bidding means that you pay when a viewer watches 6 seconds of your video (or the full video if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts in any way with your video.

If your marketing goal is to get more views, then this bidding method will probably suit you.

Method #4: ​Cost per Click (CPC)

The CPC bidding method is quite common, and essentially means your bid is the cost you are willing to pay per click.

Practically, your ads will be shown to users who are most likely to click them at a cost that is as close to your bid as possible.

​This method will probably suit your needs if your marketing goals include: Shop Purchases, Product Sales, Traffic, App Installs, Conversion, Profile Visits.

How to Set Up a TikTok Ad Campaign

To set up a TikTok ad campaign and create your first ad, you need to visit the TikTok Ads Manager.

To do so, we have created a step-by-step guide to walk you through this process as simply as possible.

Let’s begin.

Step #1: Select a Campaign Objective

First of all, you need to select your campaign objective according to your marketing goals.

There are three kinds of objectives on TikTok’s Ad Manager

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion

Each objective then has its own categories, such as reach, traffic, lead generation etc.

You can choose whichever one best suits your marketing goals and needs, to better monitor your performance and track whether your campaign is successful or not.

Next, name your campaign and if you want to, you can set a fixed daily budget for the entire campaign.

Step #2: Determine your Target Audience

Following up, it is important to determine targeting for a specific ad group.

In essence, you need to tell TikTok what your custom audience is in order for your ads to be shown specifically to them.

Next, select your target audience for this ad, defining your audience’s demographics, and more specifically:

  • Location
  • Language
  • Age
  • Gender

What’s more there are some advanced targets like audience, interests and behaviors, and devices used.

Step #3: Set your Ad Group Budget and Schedule

Following up, the third step includes your daily budget, the maximum amount of money that you can spend in a day on this particular ad group.

Then, you can set how long you want your ad to run for, and whether you desire the ad to run at set times of the day.

Step #4: Upload Creatives

A vital part of TikTok ads are the creatives, meaning the type of videos that you will upload as ads.

Firstly, the TikTok platform offers you the chance to enable Spark ads and what the display name will be.

Secondly, you need to specify your ad details.

For instance, will your creative be a single video, an image, or a collection of ads?

Moving up, you need to choose if you want to upload brand new creatives, upload existing ones from your library, or create ones within the platform using templates.

To successfully upload your ad, simply click submit and your ad will be live!

5 B2B TikTok Ads Best Practices to Follow

TikTok offers some endless opportunities for creativity and is the perfect place for brands to flourish and build solid connections with their audiences.

Following up, we have gathered some important guidelines for best practices to achieve your marketing goals.

Tip #1: Grab your Audience’s Attention

Nowadays, users and consumers have a quite smaller attention span than in the past.

Thus, it is important to keep in mind that in order to capture your audience’s interest, you need to act fast.

More specifically, the optimal is to grab the user’s attention within the first 3 seconds.

Otherwise, high are the chances for your post to be omitted, as people continue scrolling through their FYP.

Tip #2: Use TikTok’s Ad Library

The TikTok’s Ad Library is an excellent tool in your arsenal and a resource for inspiration, discovering trends and getting important insights and valuable information.

With TikTok’s Ad Library, you can get creative inspiration from top ads, keep an eye on your competitors, learn about top keywords, find sounds for TikTok commercial use and many more.

Tip #3: Localize your Ad’s Language

No matter how iconic and well-crafted your ad is, if the people watching it don’t understand it, your efforts will ultimately fail.

To avoid that, make sure you target locations with people who speak the language that your ad is in, and if needed you can always translate your ad for use in other parts of the globe.

Tip #4: Follow TikTok’s Image and Video Specs

Bear in mind that blurry content or content that doesn’t fit the screen looks quite unprofessional.

As a result, there is a possibility that users might dismiss your ad.

That’s why it is vital that you follow image and video specifications, so that you don’t get caught off guard.

To help you through this process, take a look at the optimal specs for a TikTok video ad:

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9
  • Minimum resolution: 540x960px, 640x640px, or 960x540px.
  • Video file type: .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi
  • Video length: 5 to 60 seconds (for best results aim for 9 to 15 seconds)
  • Video file size: 500MB maximum

Tip #5: Monitor and Track your Ad Campaigns’ Performance

Besides creating attractive ads, you should also keep an eye on your ads’ performance.

This way, you can be reassured that you’re not wasting time, money, or resources on ads that are not as effective as you thought or used to be.

Some important metrics you should consider tracking are total shares, total play time of the video, total video views and average watch time, to name a few.

How to Level Up Your TikTok Ads Strategy in 2023

To sum up, we talked in detail about the different types of TikTok ads, how to effectively create them and shared some strategic practices your brand can follow.

TikTok and TikTok ads are an integral part of innovative and well known brands across industries.

Thus, in order to take your business and your marketing efforts to the next level and achieve your goals, it is vital to invest in the game changing world of TikTok and your brand will see immersive growth, standing out from the competition.

If you are excited and intrigued to learn more about how you can master TikTok ads, don’t hesitate to book a free call with us to discuss your needs!