TikTok is fast becoming a viable advertising platform for many small businesses. Beyond simply posting videos, marketers are starting to see how placing paid ads on the platform can really pay off if done correctly. Here’s how to get better performing ads on TikTok.

What is TikTok: a refresher

what is TikTokIf you’ve heard of TikTok and perhaps watched a video or two, you may have a bit of an understanding of what the platform is all about. Still, it’s good to really understand TikTok as it will help guide your marketing efforts. TikTok is a video-sharing-focused social networking service used to make a variety of short-form videos, from genres like dance, comedy, and education, that have a duration from fifteen seconds to three minutes. It allows users to create videos and share them across a community. A big reason why trends emerge on TikTok and why the platform has just exploded in popularity is its audio system. When users upload a video, the audio of that particular video can be lip-synced or used by other users. It’s a huge and growing platform, with millions of monthly active users within the US!

How are marketers using TikTok?

Small business marketers are hopping on to TikTok because it’s still a fairly untapped platform with little competition. Chances are if you’re marketing on the platform, you won’t be up against any of your competitors for market share. The easiest way to get started on TikTok is simply to create an account and create a video, which you can do right from the platform on the TikTok app. You can edit the video with a variety of tools found right in the app, including combining videos, adding animation, and much more. Then you upload your video, add hashtags, and post. What’s nice about TikTok videos is that you can also share them on your social channels for additional exposure.

Taking TikTok marketing to the next level

TikTok marketingWhile creating videos for your brand is an easy way to start building a presence on TikTok, you can gain even more traction through TikTok ads. According to a great article about TikTok marketing, ads are very simple to set up, and reaching your target audience can be achieved fairly quickly. There are 5 kinds of ad options on TikTok:

  • In-feed ads
  • Branded hashtags
  • Top view ads
  • Branded effects
  • Brand takeover

Most advertisers that are new to TikTok advertising opt for in-feed ads.

Start by setting up a new ad account. You’ll be asked for an email address and a password then prompted to enter a code you’re sent. First, you’ll have to prove you’re human with a little verification task, then you get the email. Once you’re in, you can actually create your account. Choose your account manager mode (either works fine; we liked the simplified mode to start):

Pick your advertising objective from the provided list. Create a campaign name.  Keep following the prompts until you’re ready to launch your campaign. If you’re feeling unsure how to set up your campaign, check out the “Inspiration” section on the TikTok website for some great ideas. Hootsuite also wrote a great step-by-step on how to set up a campaign which is great to review before you jump into it.

How to set up campaigns that work

Any paid campaign effort you do, regardless of platform, is going to involve a bit of guesswork until you can run a few ads and measure what works and what doesn’t. However, here are a few tips to help you have a better chance of a winning TikTok ad.

  • Do check out that “Inspiration” section mentioned above, as these were successful campaigns.
  • Let TikTok choose placements automatically. This will allow your ad to appear on TikTok partner apps.
  • Take time to really build a custom audience so you are truly targeting the ideal group of viewers.
  • Bid conservatively at first until you get your feet wet with the advertising platform and audience you’re trying to reach.
  • Be sure to follow TikTok’s image and video specifications to create ad content that will look best on TikTok and partner apps.
  • Monitor your campaign frequently to see how it’s performing
  • Adjust your ad based on analytics
  • Connect with TikTok influencers (You can look for TikTok influencers under Users. You will be able to scroll through the list of search results to see how many followers each user has and how many videos they have posted.)
  • Look at TikTok content to understand what is trending

Using the TikTok analytics tool

Your dashboard will show you a few important pieces of information that will help guide your advertising efforts:

  • Overview of daily spend
  • All your campaigns
  • Your ad groups
  • Your ads
  • Trends
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Conversions

Get familiar with the reporting filters provided that include ad creative, audience demographics, device type, and placement. Use your small business marketing strategy to help guide your choices for better targeting. Together, this will help you see in greater detail how your ad is performing.

Committing to the platform

TikTok ad platformTikTok requires a fair budget to advertise on their platform, more than most other social profiles. TikTok ads start at $10 per CPM (cost per 1000 views). They also require you to spend a minimum of $500 on a campaign, which might be more than some small businesses are willing to spend. However, if budget permits, TikTok opens up advertising opportunities that others can’t since the platform’s advertising options are still fairly untapped by many industries. If you choose to advertise on TikTok, do your homework on the platform, familiarize yourself with how the ads manager interface works, see what’s trending, and take your time to set up audiences and goals that make sense for your small business. Combined, these efforts will help you get better performing ads on TikTok over time for better ROI.

Patty Hughes
Follow Us!