Advertising On TikTok In 2023 – A guide To Using TikTok Ads

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Let’s face it; we all know about TikTok. Even if you don’t use the app, you have to at least heard of it, assuming you don’t live under a rock, that is. But for those who don’t know much about what it is, TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service that lets users make short videos, usually no more than fifteen seconds long, in different types of genres, such as dance and comedy. TikTok is the sixth-largest social media network worldwide, considering it has more than 600 million monthly users who are active.

Because of its popularity, TikTok is a good social media advertising option for your brand. TikTok advertising campaigns can give you good returns on your ad spend, whether you plan on selling more of your products or services or plan to drive targeted traffic to your website. The ads of TikTok can help you reach a younger, spirited audience that loves great content.

TikTok advertising helps brands in reaching younger, content-hungry demographics. Follow these important tips and start making your own winning TikTok ads.

Are you thinking about how to run ads on TikTok? We have put together this guide to show you how to create ads on TikTok and how to make the most out of all of it. The ad creator can be used to create quality ads using a variety of different tools.

First off, we need to take into consideration who uses TikTok. TikTok is available in over 155 countries and in 75 languages. There are currently more than 600 million active users worldwide, including both males (53%) and females (47%).

TikTok’s largest audience is in the United States at 109,538,000 people. What’s fascinating is the percentage of the adult population TikTok ads can reach in countries outside of North America, especially the Middle East and Asia. It’s abnormally high. So, ads on TikTok offer an excellent reach if you’re marketing to an international audience. Who should invest in advertising on TikTok? While brands with a wide range of audiences may find it worthwhile to test a small TikTok campaign, TikTok ads will likely have the best results for:

  • Brand targeting women, especially those aged 18 to 25, young adults
  • Brands marketing to customers 35 and under
  • Brands with (or hoping to build) a strong presence in Asia or the Middle East

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Types of Tik Tok ads

Here are all the kinds of ads you can run on TikTok’s ad platform and its family of apps. Keep in mind that not all ad types are available in all areas.

  • Infeed ads
  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Spark ads
  • Pangle ads
  • Carousel ads

Here are TikTok ad formats available to managed brands:

  • Topview ads
  • Branded hashtag challenge
  • Branded effects

How to set up a TikTok campaign:

To set up a TikTok campaign, you’ll need to head over to the TikTok ads manager. If you haven’t created a TikTok Ads manager account, you’ll need to do that first.

Choosing your objective is the next important thing. You’ll need to log into the TikTok Ads Manager and click the Campaign button. TikTok has seven ad objectives broken down into three categories:


  • Reach: Showing your ad to the maximum number of people (in beta).


  • Traffic: Driving traffic to a specific URL.
  • App Installs: Driving traffic to download your app.
  • Video Views: Maximizing video ad plays (in beta).
  • Lead Generation: Using a pre-populated Instant Form to collect leads.


  • Conversions: Drive specific actions on your site, like a purchase or subscription.
  • Catalog Sales: Dynamic ads based on your product catalog (in beta, and only available to those with a managed ad account in supported regions).

Now it’s important to name your campaign and to set a budget. Your campaign needs to have a name that is recognizable to your team, and it needs to have up to 512 characters.

Naming your ad groups and selecting placements.

Every campaign includes from one to 999 ad groups. Each ad group name can be up to 512 characters.

You can choose different placements for each ad group.

  • TikTok placement: In-feed ads in the For You feed.
  • News Feed App placement: Ads within TikTok’s other apps—BuzzVideo, TopBuzz, NewsRepublic, and Babe.
  • Pangle placement: The TikTok audience network.
  • Automatic placement allows TikTok to automatically optimize ad delivery.

Choosing whether to use Automated Creative Optimization – Until you get to the stage of creating individual ads, you won’t be able to upload your creative.  But for now, you can decide whether to let TikTok automatically generate combinations of your images, videos, and ad text. The ad system will then only show the one who performs best. TikTok recommends that new advertisers turn this setting on.

Targeting your audience TikTok allows you to show your ads specifically to your target market. You can use a custom audience, or target your ads based on:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Language
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Device details

Setting your ad group budget and schedule After setting a budget for your overall campaign, now it’s time to set the budget for the ad group, and to set the schedule on which it will run.

Choose a daily or lifetime budget for your ad group, then choose the start and end times. Under Dayparting, you can also choose to run your ad at specific times throughout the day (which is based on your account time zone).

Setting your bidding strategy and optimization

First, you have to choose your optimization goal: conversion, clicks, or reach. Your campaign objective may automatically determine this goal by itself.

Next, you must choose your bidding strategy.

  • Bid Cap: Maximum amount per click (CPC), per view (CPV), or per 1,000 impressions (CPM).
  • Cost Cap: An average cost per result for optimized CPM. The cost will fluctuate above and below the bid amount but should average out to the set bid.
  • Lowest Cost: The ad system uses the ad group budget to generate the maximum number of results possible at the lowest cost per result.

Finally, you need to choose your delivery type: standard or accelerated. Standard divides your budget evenly over the scheduled dates of the campaign, whereas accelerated delivery spends your budget as quickly as possible.

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Creating your ad(s)

Each ad group can have up to 20 ads. Each ad name can be up to 512 characters, and is for internal use only (it does not appear on the ad itself).

You need to first choose your ad format: image, video, or Spark ad. If you’re sticking to TikTok itself (rather than the family of TikTok apps), you can only use video or Spark ads.

Add your photos or video, or create a video within Ads Manager using the video template or video creation tools. Note that TikTok research shows using the TikTok video editor can decrease cost per action by up to 46%.

Choose one of the default thumbnails, or upload your own. Then, enter your text and link. Check out the preview of your ad on the right of the screen, add any relevant tracking links, and click Submit.

Your ad will go through a review process before going live.

Or, boost existing content with TikTok Promote

TikTok Promote allows anyone aged 18 or over to promote existing content. It’s the TikTok equivalent of Facebook Boost.

Here’s how to boost a TikTok:

  1. From your TikTok profile, tap the three line icon for settings, then tap Creator tools.
  2. Tap Promote.
  3. Tap the video you want to promote.
  4. Choose your advertising goal: More video views, more website visits, or more followers.
  5. Choose your audience, budget, and duration, and tap Next.
  6. Enter your payment info and tap Start Promotion.

TikTok ad specs

In this section, we will be focusing on ads that run on TikTok itself, rather than the family of TikTok news apps.

TikTok video ad specs

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9. Vertical videos with a 9:16 ratio perform best.
  • Minimum resolution: 540 x 960 px or 640 x 640 px. Videos with a resolution of 720 px perform best.
  • File types: mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi
  • Duration: 5-60 seconds. TikTok recommends 21-34 seconds for top performance.
  • Max file size: 500 MB
  • Profile image: square image less than 50 KB
  • App name or brand name: 4-40 characters (app) or 2-20 characters (brand)
  • Ad description: 1-100 characters, no emojis

Spark ad specs

  • Aspect ratio: Any
  • Minimum resolution: Any
  • Duration: Any
  • Max file size: Any
  • Account mentions and emojis allowed
  • Display name and text come from the original organic post

How much do TikTok ads cost?

Minimum budgets

TikTok ads are based on a bidding model. You can control costs through daily and lifetime budgets for campaigns and ad groups. The minimum budgets are:

Campaign level

  • Daily budget: $50USD
  • Lifetime budget: $50USD

Ad group level

  • Daily budget: $20USD
  • Lifetime budget: Calculated as daily budget multiplied by the number of days scheduled

TikTok is tight-lipped about specific ad costs, but they do reveal the following tips and insights:

  • If using a Bid Cap or Cost Cap bidding strategy, set your initial campaign level budget at No Limit and the daily ad group budget to at least 20x your target cost per action (CPA).
  • For App Event Optimization, set an initial budget of at least $100 or 20x your target (CPA), whichever is higher.
  • For Conversions campaigns using the Lowest Cost bid strategy, set an initial budget of at least $100 or 20x your target (CPA), whichever is higher.

TikTok advertising best practices

Mixing and matching your creative styles

Rather than using one type of creative, or very similar creatives, it’s a good idea to switch up your style. TikTok recommends updating your creative every seven days to avoid audience fatigue.

Switch it up within each video, as well. TikTok recommends varied scenes with B-roll or transition footage.

Get to the point!

Video ads can be up to 60 seconds long, but TikTok recommends keeping them to a mere 21-34 seconds.

Make the first 3 to 10 seconds especially noteworthy and engaging to avoid losing viewers. The best-performing TikTok ads highlight the key message or product within the first several seconds.

Stay positive and authentic

TikTok recommends that videos stay “positive, authentic and inspiring.” This is not the place to test out your dark and moody content or use a heavy-handed sales pitch. You also don’t want a video that looks too “produced.”

Try using user-generated content in your ads to keep them truly authentic. For example, one in three of the top auction ads involves someone looking directly at the camera and speaking to the audience.

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