Learn how TikTok advertising works with this free guide

TikTok explains how its advertising campaigns and tools work in a free course for businesses, which includes several videos and a downloadable guide.

The new course, called TikTok Tactics, is divided into four main components:

  1. Attribution (web + app)
  2. Targeting, bidding and optimization
  3. Product catalogs
  4. Advertising creation

TikTok’s easy-to-follow guide is a universal set of best practices to help any business succeed, regardless of their advertising goals.

Before going through the tactics included in the course, let’s review what makes TikTok’s audience unique compared to users of other social media platforms.

TikTok’s audience in numbers

TikTok provides the following statistics to help businesses understand who TikTok’s audience is and what they want to get out of using the platform.

  • 75% of TikTok users want to be entertained
  • 42% of TikTok users discover new things on the platform
  • 68% of TikTok users are inspired by the content they see
  • 91% of TikTok users act on the content they see
  • 25% of TikTok users searched for/purchased a product they saw advertised
  • 61% of TikTok users believe its advertising is unique compared to other major social platforms
  • 45% of ‘heavy’ TikTok users feel advertising gets confused with other content

TikTok Advertising Tactics

TikTok Ads Manager

TikTok advertising starts with the TikTok Ads Managerwhich is a self-service platform that can drive full-funnel results for your business.

In TikTok Ads Manager, businesses can use four tactics to achieve their marketing goals.

Each tactic has three levels which unlock additional advertising features.

Here is more information about each tactic and the different levels they contain.

1. Attribution (Web + App)

Attribution means knowing where your conversions are coming from so you can make informed decisions about your campaigns.

Setting up your business on a solid attribution foundation is the first requirement for building a successful advertising strategy on TikTok.

TikTok offers several ways to attribute events from your website to your TikTok ad.

First, you need to implement a web attribution tool — either the Pixel TikTok or the Events API.

When you use this tactic, you start at level one and unlock additional features as you move up the ladder.

  • First level: Standard Pixel mode for basic conversion tracking (best suited for businesses that don’t have a dedicated web development team).
  • level two: Pixel Developer Mode (a more advanced solution for companies that have a dedicated development team).
  • level three: Events API – a server-to-server integration that allows you to share website events directly with TikTok.

2. Targeting, bidding and optimization

This tactic involves analyzing and adjusting campaign settings to achieve your goals.

Targeting, bidding and optimization are three levels in one, all working together in harmony. Unlike other advertising tactics that work in a hierarchy,

TikTok stresses the importance of having resources dedicated to the day-to-day management of advertising campaigns.

Indeed, the TikTok advertising platform is evolving rapidly and always introducing new tools to improve campaign performance.

Having a dedicated resource in-house, or through an agency, can help keep you up to date.

3. Product catalogs

This tactic is exclusively for businesses that sell products, as it focuses on a suite of tools that will help get those products in front of the right audience.

The catalog tactic helps your business create large-scale advertisements.

Let’s say you have three products and three audiences. It would be easy to go to TikTok Ads Manager and create nine ads, one for each product and audience combination.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t be so easy to create ads manually if you have more than 100 or 1000 products.

Instead, you can let TikTok’s platform dynamically create ads for you using your product catalog.

All you need to do is upload your product catalog and choose the level of the three-step system that’s right for your business.

  • First level: Download products manually
  • level two: Download product catalog from CSV template
  • level three: Download a catalog feed

Again, it’s a hierarchy. As you level up, you will unlock additional ad formats.

So, uploading a catalog feed will give you access to the maximum number of ad formats available.

4. Advertising creation

Every TikTok video is a full-screen, immersive, and sonic experience. This also includes TikTok ads.

Greater immersion results in higher levels of engagement and richer interactions.

But it also means having to constantly update your brand message in order to maintain a high level of performance.

Businesses are recommended to have a steady supply of new ad creatives introduced into their account, ideally on a weekly basis.

Here are the three levels of TikTok creation, each unlocking more advertising capabilities.

  • Level 1 – Reusing creations: The creative tools available in the Ads Manager will allow you to reuse existing advertising elements.
  • Level 2 – Dedicated TikTok Ads: At this level, you engage with creators, either directly or through the TikTok marketplace, to create a steady stream of Spark ads (TikTok’s native ad display format).
  • Level 3 – Ecosystem of creative partners: At this level, you will have a TikTok Creative API Partner who will provide you with five to ten new creations per week.

TikTok Advertising Best Practices

Now that you know TikTok’s four advertising tactics, which you can learn more about in the company’s comprehensive guide, let’s quickly run through some best practices.

Screenshot from tiktok-tactics.com, January 2022.
  • High resolution: Aim for a video resolution of 720p or higher.
  • Use sound: Experiment with sound and jump on emerging musical trends.
  • Adapt to the screen: Perfectly fit your video to the screen with an aspect ratio of 9:16.
  • Keep creativity at the center: Make sure important information is not covered by overlays in the app.
  • Mobile-treest: – Create ads in a vertical video format, ensuring key visuals are in frame.
  • call to action: Drive action with a clear CTA at the end of each ad.
  • Be brief: The ideal length of a TikTok video ad is 21-34 seconds

Source: TikTok Tactics

Feature image: Miguel Lagoa/Shutterstock

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