How to use Tiktok ads for your business?

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Posted On : 20th, March 2020

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How to use Tiktok ads for your business?

20th, March 2020    -    Startup Event

TikTok, owned by ByteDance, a China-based company, is video-sharing social networking. Globally, it is ahead of Facebook and Instagram when it comes to downloads. 31% of the unique downloads of TikTok come from India only. India has more than 120 million monthly active users of Tik Tok. The average time spent on TikTok in India is about 30 minutes per day.

In the initial days, Tiktok went through a lot of roller coaster rides as many Governments like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Partially India, and the US imposing a temporary ban on app usage. But the way Tiktak created a buzz in the market is the evidence that brands are now planning to use Tiktok to reach a customer. 

Why Tiktok?

Tik Tok is known for it’s highly engaging 15-sec/60-sec long user-generated videos across various content formats like lip-syncing, comedy, memes, tutorials, etc. Creating music videos on TikTok is quite simple, and apart from adding their videos, users can also generate reactions or duet videos on other videos. The hashtag is a popular feature using which the audience can quickly discover videos. Trending hashtags are featured on the explore page. Famous brands and influencers also introduce their hashtag challenges.

Is TikTok advertising recommended for your business?

To check whether TikTok advertising is beneficial for your company or business, let’s have a look at the demographics of TikTok users. Around 43% of its users are from India, so if you want to target the Indian audience, then TikTok is the platform for you.

Indian brands will enjoy a greater advantage than others due to this geographic distribution. And then, if we look at the gender diversity of users, there are 56% males and 44% females. It is engrossing to see male users more because on a number of other social media platforms women are more dominant.

Finally, the most important factor of all i.e. age group. You are not going to get all generations here. TikTok has taken on the younger generation all over the world with approximately 41% of users belonging to the 16-24 age group. About 66% of TikTok users are below 30. So, if the above description suits your target audience, then you can go for it. But before that, you must be aware of the monetary investment which will be needed for setting up advertisements.

Facts and Figures about TikTok

  • ​70B Monthly video views
  • 29Min Average daily time spent
  • 5 Times Average daily usage


What is the investment for a business?

TikTok video advertising rates are determined by the pricing model selected. TikTok advertising rates are available in Cost Per Mille (CPM), Cost Per Click(CPC) as well as Cost Per View (CPV) basis.

Do you need any extra skills to excel in TikTok advertising compared to Instagram, Facebook?

On Instagram or Facebook, advertisements are simply in the form of an image or a regular video. And if you are planning to do the same on TikTok, then for God’s sake or at least for your money, re-read this article. Don’t expect TikTokers to see a video (just like TV advertisement) and rush to the nearby shop to buy that product.

TikTok is known for short videos blended with entertaining background music, and other features, and users expect to see the same in your ad campaigns. That’s why you need to make this extra effort of infusing creativity in your normal videos using TikTok features.

Even TikTok offers a video creation kit to those who want to run an ad campaign. It is an in-app tool that provides many images and video templates to customize the ad. There are over 300 free background music templates to apply to your advertisement to make it more likable. If you find this task difficult, you can hire influencers for this. Let me recall one example of how brands have advertised on TikTok. Many of us would relate to “The Washington Post” as a severe content presenter. But when this Newspaper took on TikTok, it changed the scenario completely. Surprisingly, this prestigious Newspaper used its account to post comedic behind the scene videos and skits from the newsroom. And users on the platform even absorbed these videos as they were both funny and musical. Here, Newspaper is not trying to pose itself as comedic. Instead, it is trying to present the information to young users in the way they accept. These videos completely resonated with TikTok users. For this reason, fans might go to The Washington Post as a trusted news source when they want to read something written by sources they identify with.

How effective is Tiktok Advertising?

Are there any real-life examples or statistics that prove that Tiktok advertising has changed the attitude of users towards the brands?

Yes, there is! Around 52% of TikTok users would buy a product just to become part of the community built around that product.


If we compare TikTok users with internet users worldwide, then tiktokers are 40% more likely to buy that product than overall internet users. Besides, 61% of tiktokers tend to buy the brands they see advertised. Even this tendency is 35% more among tiktokers than internet users worldwide. Lastly, 49% of users say that they are easily swayed by other people’s opinions (Source: GlobalWebIndex).

If you are planning to start Tiktok ad campaign you can follow these steps:

(i) Create your TikTok ad account

 You need to have your TikTok ad account to design your ad campaign. There is no relation to this account with the regular TikTok user account,both are separate. Even TikTok advertising platform has separated from the normal platform. Go to ‘TikTok ads’ and enter your details to create your account. Once created, you just need to ‘Sign In’ each time you wish to operate.

ii) Design your ad campaign

Once signed in, you have to frame a layout for your ad campaign. To do the same, you are given a dashboard where one can also draft new ads as well as keep track of previous ad campaigns. On that dashboard, click on the ‘campaign tab’ (at the top of page) followed by the create button. Then you will be asked to choose the goal of your campaign. Like, what are you expecting from it: more traffic or more number of app downloads? Next, give an appropriate name to your campaign, and lastly, the essential input – campaign budget (Daily or Total).


After creating an ad campaign, click ‘Next,’ you will be taken to the ad group creation page, where you will need to do the following things.


(iii) Specify ad details, position, targets, budget and optimization

(a) Ad Details

In this section, you can fill out the information on the app or landing page you want to promote. Enter your app ID, Market Link/URL, product category. Upload the profile image that will be shown to users as part of your ad. Also, mention a few keywords (Use precise keywords here; it will help algorithms to find the audience matching your product). You can also keep a provision for users to comment on your ad.


(b) Placements

Set the location on TikTok wherein you want TikTok to show your ad. Whether you want your ad to be placed in the TikTok videos feed or in between the stories of users or both? It gives you complete freedom in this case. TikTok ads even offer you the chance to explore advertising on other familiar apps like News Republic, Buzzvideo, etc. Also, as an alternative, there is an option of “Automatic placement” wherein TikTok itself will optimize the delivery across all placements.

(c) Targeting

Done with the positioning of your ad, a lengthy targeting form awaits you. This is the most complex and time-consuming portion. You have to check the type of ad targeting, customize audience in numerous ways. Though we know what kind of demographics it offers, there are loads of filters available in this form to customize your audience. This includes parameters like gender, location, age, languages, and interest (e.g., “Game”). You can even go for the audience and device targeting. Device targeting includes factors like connection type (WIFI, 2G, 36, 4G), carriers, device price, operation system (Android, iOS). There is also a feature called ‘Create lookalike audience,’ which helps you find groups of the audience that share commonalities with your existing customers.


(d) Budget and Schedule

In this section, you have to set your ad budget. As stated earlier, it can be “Daily budget” or “Total Budget,” but it must not be less than $50. After fixing your budget, go to the ‘pacing’ option to decide the way you want your budget to be spent: Standard or Accelerate. Under the ‘Schedule’ section, select the time frame during which you want your ad to run. Apart from just the ‘start and end date’ method, there are many more arrangements like Continuous run or Dayparting.


 (e) Bidding and Optimization

For achieving more results, TikTok offers you to set Optimization goals for your ad campaign. Currently, you can set 3 types of optimization goals (in accordance with your campaign goal). First, if your optimization goal is “Impressions,” TikTok will show your ads to the right people to get the possible ad impressions, and then your ad will be billed as CPM (Cost per mille). If you select an optimization goal as “Clicks,” it will try to get you maximum possible clicks on your ad, and then your ad will be billed as CPC (Cost per click). A similar process is there if you select “Conversions.” And depending on your optimization goals, you can also set how much you are willing to pay per thousand clicks, impressions, or conversions. Then according to these bids, the algorithm will deliver your ads. This is called bidding in TikTok.


(iv) Create an Ad

As we have discussed earlier, what makes TikTok ads different from ads on other platforms? It is its creativity. In this section, you are provided with sufficient tools to make it creative. Please refer to the video creation kit if you don’t know how to use a template. Also, fill other fields like “Add Name,” “Add Text,” and “Call to Action.” Using this CTA button, you can give options like ‘Download Now,’ ‘Learn More’, ‘Shop Now,’ ‘Book Now’ etc.


(v) Results

It represents the number of achievements based on your optimization goals. You can view the overall status of your ad campaign with detailed analysis on the dashboard, as shown in the image below:


Types of TikTok Ads

By this point, you are familiar with the process of starting an ad campaign. But you are unaware of the kind of ads that TikTok offers. So, here are four different types of ads you can try for your product.


(i) In-feed Native Advertising

Depending on the type of product, these ads appear either at the bottom of an organic TikTok video or in the feed. These ads may come with website links or buttons like ‘Order Now’ or ‘Download Now’, clicking on them will land you directly on the page. But, these ads can be skipped. And there are multiple options available to design an overall ad. You can check the usage of your ad with the help of impressions, total views, click-through rates, and engagement received. This type of ad costs around $10 per CPM.

(ii) Brand Takeovers

This sort of ad appears instantly when you open the app. It is a full-screen ad, and it can be either a three to five seconds GIF, image, or video. These ads are used to link back to the brand’s profile or Hashtag challenges on TikTok or any external link ( e.g., website). You can see such advertisements on other platforms as well. On TikTok, these advertisements are given on a category basis, so only one brand can take a particular category on a specific day. This limitation makes these advertisements more costly than In-feed native ads.


 (iii) Hashtag Challenge ads

Previously also we talked about Hashtag challenges, but here these are sponsored challenges and are presented as advertisements on TikTok. You can team up with the TikTok marketing team for creative challenges, which should encourage users to try it and indirectly help you to reach more users. In such ads, a user will see a specific banner with ‘#Name_of_Challenge’ written on it and with an option to join that challenge. Clicking on that banner will take the user to the rules and instructions of the same. Usually, these banners will appear on the Discover page. You can also trace the usage of your ad using clicks, banner views, trending slots, and, most importantly, several user-generated contents. 

(iv) Branded Filters and Lenses

TikTok offers branded filters and lenses to its users. This feature is similar to AR filters on Snapchat and Instagram. If your brand can have its filters, this will result in new face filters, 3D objects, and more for users. And these are more likely to be used by users leading to the popularity and lots of engagement. So, whenever these filters and lenses are used by users, you will be shown to more and more people on the platform.


Thanks to a comprehensive offering of design and automation tools, TikTok ads are easy to set up and master. As it stands, the most challenging aspect of advertising on the platform seems to be the lack of guidance available due to how new the platform is. The step-by-step guide above will help you navigate the interface and get up and running in no time.



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Nidhish H

Nidhish H is a founder of & Presently he is working as an Assistant Professor at JKSHIM, Nitte.

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