TikTok Ads: What Is TikTok Advertising?


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In recent years, TikTok social network, created in 2018, has become one of the most relevant in the digital world. It has no more and no less than 3 billion downloads and 1 billion monthly active users.

It has managed to connect to the centennial audience, which has made it a perfect channel for brands to able to connect with young people. Below, we will take a look at some of the ad formats available on TikTok Ads to help advertisers reach their audience.


  • TikTok is an Asian social network based on sharing music videos, which in recent months has achieved incredible results in terms of downloads and active users.
  • TikTok Ads allows brands to offer their products and services to users in a much more visual way so that they can access them easily.
  • Creating a campaign in TikTok Ads will be very easy, but above all, it will make you get good results in your business.

What you should know about TikTok Ads

Next, we will try to clarify some key concepts regarding this social network concerning the different functionalities it has, the predominant audience, the potential, and of course, the advertising that brands can carry out through the platform.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media application that allows you to record, edit and share short videos between 15 and 60 seconds. In this application, you can find humour videos, music videos, videos with special effects or filters, duets, challenges, or challenges.

Currently, this social network has managed to expand internationally. As we can see in the graph, the countries with the highest number of active users are Brazil and China.

Which users use TikTok?

The vast majority of TikTok’s audience belongs to Generation Z, i.e., those born between 1994 and 2010, aged between 12 and 24. However, more adult users have also started to use this application. 66% of users are under 30 years old. Specifically, in 2020, the platform increased from 22.4% to 27.4% in the 24-34 age group. At the same time, the 35-44 demographic increased from 13.9% to 17.1% (1).

How can brands use TikTok to promote themselves?

TikTok has an advertising platform with many types of ads, including interactive formats that are unique to this social network. Ads on TikTok can be a great option for generating engagement, but there are also some other ways for brands to showcase themselves to the public and gain significant marketing benefits.

  • Firstly, create valuable content in your own brand profile, which is relevant to the user you want to target.
  • Secondly, by working or collaborating with influencers to take advantage of the audience of that public figure in networks.

Can your brand afford to advertise on TikTok?

There is the possibility to create a free TikTok Ads account and create ads with your own budget, location, and set time slots.

However, it is important to take into account that since it is an application that has recently incorporated the possibility of advertising campaigns, its cost is considered a premium service.

Its cost starts at 50 € per day per CPM (cost per thousand impressions) per day and can reach a total budget of 300,000 € per day.

Therefore, if you consider that TikTok Ads are a good investment for your brand and your digital marketing campaign, we recommend you register on the platform and get to work.

What formats do TikTok Ads offer?

Next, we will go on to show you which formats with their respective ad types are currently available on the TikTok platform. Depending on your marketing objective, you will have to choose between one or the other, since each of them offers different possibilities.

In-Feed Ads / Biddable Ads / Native Ads

This is the most used type of format since it appears among the rest of the organic content published by users. Its maximum duration is up to 60 seconds and allows segmentation between ad groups. It can be segmented by geographic location, age, and gender.

They are also known as “biddable” because they can be configured by dynamic bids and according to advertising spaces: CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per thousand impressions), or CPV (cost per view) There is no minimum advertising investment, although it is recommended to make a sufficiently large investment to see results (3).

Collection Ads

Collection Ads (currently available in selected countries), consist of product cards and in-feed video ads. Users can scroll through the different elements by swiping or tapping on one of them to open a gallery page.

Unlike standard in-feed formats, Collection Ads require users to leave TikTok and visit your e-commerce.

Dynamic Showcase Ads

This format consists of dynamic, personalized ads that are shown to potential buyers based on their interests, similar to Facebook Ads’ dynamic product ads. In order to use it, you need to set up the TikTok pixel and product catalogs and create product videos.

Shopping Features

This format allows small merchants to upload their products and manage sales directly from TikTok. Integrated e-commerce platforms include Shopify, Square, Ecwid, and PrestaShop. Among its functionalities, two ad formats stand out:

  • Product links: with this format, brands can showcase various featured products and send TikTok users to product detail pages.
  • Live Shopping: this functionality allows brands to share dynamic links to products in real-time during TikTok Live broadcasts. Live sales are one of the most telling e-commerce trends of what’s to come in the future.

Creator Marketplace

The Creator Marketplace is a platform specially designed for marketing with influencers on TikTok. This format is specially designed to help brands find popular influencers on Tiktok to partner with them and promote links to their e-commerce or products.


The Top View is an ad that appears instantly on the screen when a user opens the app, in full screen, and can last up to 1 minute. With this static or animated ad, users can access an internal link to the app or an external link (the brand’s e-commerce ).

Basically, it is about showing the brand in the best possible location on TikTok. Its objective is to have good visibility and attract maximum user attention. In addition, it presents a fixed cost per day and only allows one advertiser per day and under activation reservation.

Hashtag Challenge

Hashtag Challenges are the viral challenges that have made the platform famous. Brands use it to increase virality and generate more engagement than traditional ads. Brands invite users through a hashtag to participate by creating content around the theme of the campaign.

When they promote the hashtag, they get a unique banner within the “discover” tab for 6 days, which leads to a page with the instructions set by the brand and all the content that has been published with this hashtag. According to TikTok, this format offers an average engagement of 8.5% during the 6 days of the campaign (2).

Branded Lenses

In this format, brands can produce custom filters, stickers, and augmented reality effects, 2D and 3D, that users can add to their content. Brands need help from TikTok support to generate these filters and they can take up to 5 weeks to develop.

They are the perfect tool to encourage engagement. They can be used alone or in combination with other formats and types of campaigns, such as Hashtag Challenges.

Brand Takeover

The Brand Takeover consists of promotional content that is shown to users on the home page of the application on full screen. They also appear on users’ For You page and include links or Brand Hashtag Challenges.

The duration is limited to 3 seconds for static images and 3 to 5 for videos and this is what makes the difference with Top View format ads. This format is also limited to one brand per user per day. This makes it ideal for generating brand awareness, although its price is higher than other formats.

Importance of TikTok ADS. (Source: Adroaldo Sanchez/

TikTok Ads vs Facebook Ads

There are some relevant differences when deciding on which platform to develop a marketing campaign for a brand. Below, we will show you some of them:

TikTok AdsFacebook Ads
CostsIn TikTok they are minorsOn Facebook Ads they are higher
AudienceOriented towards a younger target audienceLarger user base in terms of demographics
SegmentationFewer options for audience targeting. Allows advanced retargeting to users of a video.More targeting options
InteractionBrands cannot respond to comments on a video advertBrands can respond to comments on ads
AccountsOrganic accounts can be linked to advertise from these accountsOrganic accounts can be linked to advertise from these accounts

How to create a campaign on TikTok Ads step by step

1. Create an account in TikTok For Business

In this step, you will only need to fill in some data to create the account where you will later develop the marketing campaign for your brand.

2. Create a campaign

In this step, you must choose the objective of your campaign: coverage, traffic, video viewing, conversions, and application installation. The same page explains the advantages of each of them and which one is the most suitable for your advertising objective.

3. Choose locations, details and audience

Now you must produce an ad group for your campaign and choose the locations where your ads will be shown. There is the possibility to select automatic placements so that the platform decides where they will perform best. As for the audience, in the “Targeting” section you can define to whom you want your ads to be shown. You can segment by location, year, gender, languages, interests, and device.

4. Control ad spend, ad duration, and targeting

Finally, you need to set the budget, duration, and targeting of ad groups. In the budget and schedule section, select the ad group budget you are willing to pay per day or the total amount to invest in the selected time period. The period allows you to choose specific times of the day or days of the week to show the ads.

5. Design your ad using TikTok’s Video Creation Kit

TikTok ads can be horizontal, vertical, or square images or videos. In the “Video Creator Kit” tool you will find video and image templates for you to customize. In addition, you will also find all the music available for use in the ads.

6. Optimize your TikTok ad

This is the last but not the least important step. Optimizing your ads will make you get better results in your advertising campaign. Here are some aspects that you can optimize:

  • For images in Brand Takeover format, high-resolution images should be used, as they will be very noticeable when displayed in full-screen format.
  • Text is limited to 80 characters. If more space is needed, it can be inserted into the images or videos.
  • The best option is to focus on a single Call to Action. This will focus the user’s attention and will not distract them from the real objective of your campaign.
  • Carrying out several tests with different creative elements and segments will improve your TikTok advertising more and more.
  • Experimenting a lot with different creative elements and audience segments will further improve your TikTok ads.

What results does TikTok Ads deliver?

By the end of this guide to using TikTok Ads, you will have realized the numerous benefits the platform offers to brands. TikTok Ads works as a medium for new brand discovery, a source of inspiration, a connection for both customers and users, or an increase in engagement and awareness for brands already in the market.

The TikTok pixel to evaluate results

The TikTok pixel is an event management tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your ads by knowing the actions taken by users who come to your website through the ads. If you insert the pixel and create some events on the platform you will be able to:

  • Measure ad effectiveness.
  • Optimize ad delivery: the more information TikTok has about what users do when they click on an ad, the better the optimization of who to show ads to so that only potential customers see them.
  • Define the right audiences: the history of visits to certain websites, or similar users or groups of people who have performed specific actions on the site, can be acquired as a new audience to use in our advertising.


As we have seen throughout the article, TikTok is in a full growth stage and its audience will start to diversify little by little. If you are a brand, and you want to carry out your own advertising campaign, it is not a bad idea to start using your creativity and get fully involved in this platform.

In a few years, Generation Z will become people with great purchasing power and quite recurrent buying habits, so keeping in mind their current behaviours can be a good digital strategy for the future of your brand.


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