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Everything You Need to Know About TikTok Ads

TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with over 1 billion monthly active users. TikTok is a short-form video app that allows users to create and share engaging content with music, filters, stickers, and more. TikTok is also a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes, as it offers various advertising options to reach and connect with your target audience.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about TikTok ads, including the types, benefits, costs, best practices, and examples of successful campaigns. Whether you are new to TikTok or already have an account, this article will help you understand how to use TikTok ads effectively to grow your brand awareness, engagement, and sales.

Types of TikTok Ads

TikTok ads are divided into two main categories: self-serve ads and managed service ads. Self-serve ads are those that you can create and manage on your own through the TikTok Ads Manager platform. Managed service ads are those that require the assistance of a TikTok representative or agency partner to set up and run.

Within these two categories, there are several types of TikTok ads that you can choose from depending on your goals, budget, and creative preferences. Here are some of the most common types of TikTok ads:

TopView Ads

TopView ads are full-screen video ads that appear when users open the TikTok app. They can last up to 60 seconds and have sound. TopView ads are ideal for capturing users' attention and creating a strong impression of your brand. TopView ads are only available through managed service.

In-Feed Ads

In-feed ads are video ads that appear in between user-generated content on the For You page, which is the main feed where users discover new content. They can last up to 60 seconds and have sound. In-feed ads are suitable for driving traffic to your website, app, or landing page. In-feed ads are available through both self-serve and managed service.

Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads

Branded hashtag challenge ads are interactive ads that invite users to participate in a themed challenge created by your brand. They appear on the Discover page, which is where users can find trending hashtags and topics. They also have a dedicated banner that links to a landing page with your brand logo, challenge description, and user-generated content. Branded hashtag challenge ads are great for boosting user engagement, generating user-generated content, and increasing brand awareness. Branded hashtag challenge ads are only available through managed service.

Branded Effects Ads

Branded effects ads are custom-made filters, stickers, lenses, or animations that users can apply to their own videos. They appear in the TikTok camera and can be accessed by users for up to 10 days. Branded effects ads are perfect for enhancing user creativity, showcasing your product features, and encouraging word-of-mouth. Branded effects ads are only available through managed service.

TikTok Ads Cost Breakdown

Type of AdBidding MethodMinimum BudgetAverage Cost
TopView AdsCPM (cost per thousand impressions)$50,000 per day$10 per CPM
In-Feed AdsCPC (cost per click), CPM, CPV (cost per view), oCPC (optimized cost per click)$20 per campaign, $50 per ad group$0.10 per CPC, $10 per CPM, $0.01 per CPV
Branded Hashtag Challenge AdsCPT (cost per time)$150,000 for six days$25,000 per day
Branded Effects AdsCPT (cost per time)$100,000 for 10 days$10,000 per day

TikTok Ads Best Practices

TikTok ads can be a powerful way to reach and engage your target audience, but they also require some planning and optimization to achieve the best results. Here are some tips and best practices to help you create effective TikTok ads:

Know Your Audience

Before you create your TikTok ads, you need to have a clear idea of who you are trying to reach and what they are interested in. TikTok has a diverse and global user base, with over 60% of users being between 16 and 24 years old. You can use the TikTok Ads Manager platform to access various targeting options, such as age, gender, location, interests, behaviors, and device type. You can also create custom audiences based on your website or app visitors, or lookalike audiences based on your existing customers or followers. Knowing your audience will help you tailor your message, tone, and style to suit their preferences and needs.

Be Authentic and Creative

TikTok is a platform where users express themselves and have fun with their content. Therefore, your TikTok ads should also reflect this spirit and match the user-generated content on the app. Avoid using overly polished or corporate videos that might seem out of place or intrusive on TikTok. Instead, use authentic and creative videos that showcase your brand personality, value proposition, and unique selling points. You can also use humor, music, challenges, effects, or influencers to make your TikTok ads more engaging and appealing.

Optimize Your Video Quality and Length

Video quality and length are important factors that affect the performance of your TikTok ads. You want to make sure that your videos are clear, crisp, and high-resolution, as well as compatible with different devices and screen sizes. You also want to make sure that your videos are not too long or too short, as this might affect the user experience and retention rate. According to TikTok, the optimal video length for TopView ads is 15 seconds, for in-feed ads is 9 to 15 seconds, and for branded hashtag challenge ads is 3 to 5 seconds. You should also include a clear and compelling call-to-action at the end of your videos to encourage users to take the desired action.

TikTok Ads Examples

To inspire you and give you some ideas of what works on TikTok, here are some examples of successful TikTok ads from different brands and industries:


Gymshark is a fitness apparel brand that used a branded hashtag challenge ad to promote its products and increase its brand awareness on TikTok. The challenge was called #gymshark66 and invited users to share their fitness journey and goals for 66 days, which is the time it takes to form a habit. The challenge generated over 2 billion views and thousands of user-generated videos featuring Gymshark products.


Chipotle is a fast-food chain that used an in-feed ad to drive app downloads and orders on TikTok. The ad featured a popular TikTok influencer who demonstrated how to order a customized burrito bowl using the Chipotle app. The ad also included a catchy song and a discount code for users who downloaded the app. The ad resulted in over 1 million app downloads and a 4.4% click-through rate.


Nike is a sports brand that used a TopView ad to launch its new Air Max 2090 shoes on TikTok. The ad showcased the shoes in different scenarios and settings, such as urban streets, basketball courts, and dance studios. The ad also used a dynamic soundtrack and a slogan that said "The future is in the air". The ad achieved over 100 million impressions and a 9% click-through rate.

FAQs About TikTok Ads

What are the benefits of using TikTok ads?

TikTok ads can help you reach a large, young, and active audience that is interested in discovering new content and products. TikTok ads can also help you increase your brand awareness, engagement, traffic, conversions, and sales. TikTok ads can also help you leverage the power of user-generated content, influencers, and viral trends to boost your brand image and loyalty.

How do I create a TikTok ads account?

To create a TikTok ads account, you need to visit the TikTok Ads Manager website and sign up with your email address. You will then need to fill in some basic information about your business, such as your name, industry, location, phone number, and website. You will also need to choose whether you want to use self-serve or managed service for your ads. Once you create your account, you will be able to access the TikTok Ads Manager platform where you can create and manage your campaigns.

How do I measure the performance of my TikTok ads?

You can measure the performance of your TikTok ads using the TikTok AdsManager platform, where you can access various metrics and reports. Some of the key metrics that you can track include impressions, reach, views, completion rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per result, and return on ad spend. You can also use third-party tools, such as Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel, to track the actions that users take on your website or app after seeing your TikTok ads.

How do I optimize my TikTok ads?

You can optimize your TikTok ads by testing different elements of your campaigns, such as your target audience, ad type, video content, call-to-action, and budget. You can use the TikTok Ads Manager platform to create different versions of your ads and compare their performance. You can also use the insights and feedback that you get from your TikTok ads to improve your future campaigns and strategies.

What are some of the challenges or limitations of using TikTok ads?

Some of the challenges or limitations of using TikTok ads include the following:

  • TikTok ads can be expensive, especially for small businesses or startups that have a limited budget.
  • TikTok ads can be competitive, as more and more brands are using the platform to reach their target audience.
  • TikTok ads can be subject to strict guidelines and regulations, as TikTok aims to maintain a safe and positive environment for its users.
  • TikTok ads can be affected by external factors, such as algorithm changes, user preferences, or market trends.


TikTok ads are a powerful way to reach and engage your target audience on one of the most popular and influential social media platforms in the world. TikTok ads offer various types, benefits, costs, best practices, and examples that you can use to create effective campaigns for your business. Whether you want to increase your brand awareness, engagement, traffic, conversions, or sales, TikTok ads can help you achieve your goals and grow your business.

If you want to learn more about TikTok ads or other digital marketing topics, check out our other articles on our website. We have plenty of resources and tips to help you succeed in the online world.

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