Should Your Business Advertise on TikTok?

With the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, short video content is everything when creating social media content—and that’s why you should use it in your advertising.

 If you’re a B2C brand already advertising on platforms like Meta, then TikTok is the perfect way to expand your social media advertising strategy to tap into TikTok’s giant user base (with over 1 billion active users). However, if you’re a B2B brand currently advertising on LinkedIn, TikTok ads may not be the best fit depending on your business’s goals and target market.
But be quick with your decision-making! American brands may run out of time to test TikTok ads if, “Congress passes a new bill that could be used to ban TikTok and other technology products that pose a threat to American national security interests.”

What Are TikTok Ads?

If you’re familiar with Meta, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat ads, it’s time to meet the newest addition to the advertising platform family: TikTok ads. 

TikTok has a variety of ad types to work with. Some ad types are similar to advertising platforms you may already use like Meta, and some ad types are new to spice things up and add variety to your creative. TikTok ads have multiple campaign objectives to meet your business goals, which will help you decide if advertising on TikTok is right for your brand.

A gif of a video advertisement on TikTok
TikTok ad example from NexVR on TikTok

Types of TikTok Ads

If you’ve runads on Meta before, or any other social media advertising platform, you will find very similar ad types on TikTok, like video ads and even image ads. 

Let’s dive in and take a look at all of the different ad types TikTok has to offer:

In-Feed Video or Image Ads

The most common TikTok ad type is in-feed ads. In-feed ads are the most cost-effective for companies to create and run. You can easily utilize video assets that you’ve already created for Instagram stories or reels, or you can create new video content that is specific to TikTok. 

Typically, these ads look organic as users scroll down their feeds and are usually about 15 seconds long. If you are selling e-commerce products, this is where you can collaborate with influencers or record an employee talking in a video to add a more relateable feel to your ad content. You can launch in-feed ads using TikTok’s self-service auction advertising platform.

TopView Takeover Video Ads

The next kind of ad type is TopView ads. These ads capture the user’s attention because they appear at the top of people’s ‘For You’ page when they first open the TikTok app on their phone. With this format, videos can be up to 60 seconds long, offering a great viewing experience with no other ad competition while your TopView ad is playing. 

This type of ad is very similar to when a pop-up ad takes over the full screen of a website, and you have to exit the pop-up before you can carry on. TopView ads require a higher budget than in-feed ads because they have a more powerful impact in raising awareness in impressions.

Branded Hashtag Challenge Video Ads

With a branded Hashtag Challenge Ad, you can encourage your target market to actively participate with your brand’s message. Hashtags play a major role on TikTok since they help users find videos that they are interested in and can join conversations or build communities around hobbies they enjoy. Branded Hashtag Challenge ads can give your brand the opportunity for the hashtag challenge to go viral on TikTok for additional brand awareness.

Spark TikTok Account Video Ads

Unlike in-feed ads, Spark ads are a new ad type that uses posts from your brand’s TikTok account or branded posts made by other creators that have given you the authorization to use their content. Spark ads allow your brand to build up trust and credibility with your audience through utilizing already-made organic TikTok content. Spark ads drive more engagement because you can incorporate organic video features like Duets, Stitches, or Stickers.

Branded Face Filter Effect Video Ads

If your brand wants an out-of-the-box way to advertise on TikTok, then you can use Branded Effect ads! This ad type lets you tell your brand’s story through augmented reality (AR) filters. AR filter effects have become increasingly popular on apps like TikTok and Instagram. 

With this ad type, you can invite other TikTok users to engage with and share your brand story by using your Branded Effect. Branded Effect ads can come in handy at all stages of the marketing funnel and they give your brand increased awareness by making your Branded Effect searchable on the app.

Promote: Boosted Organic Video Ads

If you want to take a more subtle approach to advertising on TikTok, you can use TikTok’s ‘Promote’ feature to boost your organic brand posts on your TikTok account for extra visibility. This feature is very similar to boosting a post on Facebook or Instagram. 

This feature is also the most cost-effective option, besides using in-feed ads, because you can boost a post for a small amount of money, and you can pick and choose which posts you want to boost instead of creating a whole new campaign. This feature can be very beneficial because it can help more people discover your TikTok videos, guide them to your website, and improve your chances of gaining followers.

Search Ads (New!)

TikTok is now entering the paid search advertising market. Like the market leaders, Google and Microsoft, TikTok will allow advertisers to bid on keywords and phrases. This means you may have access to better targeting options than previously available – dimensions like interests, behavior, or demographics.

While it remains to be seen how effective this new advertising platform will be, search ads may be a great option if TikTok’s other ad offerings aren’t a good fit for your business.

How Much Do TikTok Ads Cost?

TikTok ads are fairly cost-effective because you can tailor how much you want to spend to your brand’s advertising budget. TikTok allows you to have a flexible marketing budget for businesses of all sizes. 

TikTok ads typically have a CPM of about $10 and a CPC of about $1, depending on your campaign objective. TikTok ads also require you to spend a minimum of $50 a day at the campaign level and a minimum of $20 a day at the ad group level. You must spend about $500 minimum when running tests or planning your budgets.

Are TikTok Ads Effective?

A new advertising platform brings new opportunities for brands. Depending on the type of brand you have, TikTok ads can be a very effective way to advertise and get out in front of and grow your target market. You might even reach a new audience that isn’t on the typical social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram!

Pros of TikTok Ads

These days, people’s attention is spread across more and more social media apps. So instead of having all of your eggs in one basket, it’s important for brands to diversify their social media channels. Particularly for small businesses, social media can be a great avenue for advertising. 

Let’s take a look at some of the pros when it comes to advertising on TikTok: 

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has become an increasingly popular way to advertise on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and more. TikTok’s Creator Network gives brands the tools they need to easily collaborate with influencers and promote their products or services in a very indirect, doesn’t-look-like-it-is-coming-from-the-brand not-annoying way.

Targeting options

If you’re tired of Facebook’s boring interest-based audiences that have been impacted by Apple’s iOS14 update, now is your chance to utilize TikTok video engagement behavior, creator audiences, hashtags, and so much more. Facebook could never!

Unique tools, analytics, and insights

Access to TikTok advertising also gains you access to exclusive tools and analytics through TikTok’s Creative Center. You can find inspiration with TikTok’s ad library and see what competitors are running for ads. See what’s trending on TikTok through hashtags, songs, creators, videos, and more. 

If you don’t have an in-house video editor, TikTok also has creative tools and an audio library so you can easily create new content that will thrive as TikTok ads.

Opportunity to go viral

If your brand, product, or service has a special razzle dazzle compared to other brands in the space, you will also have the opportunity to go viral and earn fame organically or through paid advertising on TikTok. 

There are a lot of eyes looking at TikTok’s huge amount of trending and viral content. If your brand, small or enterprise, is not already on TikTok, you are missing out on the chance to increase your brand awareness, grow your audience, increase website traffic, drive more conversions, and generate ROI.

Cons of TikTok Ads

All great new platforms come with their own set of challenges for the platform and the users. 

Meta has faced multiple challenges with their community regarding data privacy and brands being transparent with their customers. TikTok has also been a trending topic in the news lately. 

Using a new advertising platform also means there is a learning curve for anyone who hasn’t done this before. The nice thing about TikTok’s advertising platform is that it looks very similar to Meta, LinkedIn, and Twitter ads since it is separated by campaigns, ad groups, and ads. The learning curve comes for optimization decisions, algorithm changes, audience targeting options, and making top-performing ad creative. We’ve all heard the best way to learn is by doing…so test out TikTok ads for yourself ( if it makes sense for your brand).

New Data Privacy Concerns

Since TikTok is a newer social media platform in general, they are not as developed as other platforms like Meta when it comes to connecting an API or connecting to GA4. There are also concerns around data privacy, with TikTok being owned by a Chinese company and the possibility of the Chinese government having access to users’ data. This has been a current topic of discussion in the news since the US is considering banning TikTok altogether.

TikTok Ads Are Not a Great Fit for Every Business

If you are advertising a B2B product or service, TikTok ads may not be the best fit. Right now, TikTok ads cater to B2C brands, with the overall average age of TikTok users being lower than other platforms. E-commerce brands and brands that work with influencers–this is your time to shine. B2B brands may want to wait until more targeting features are rolled out so they can accurately reach their customers like you can on LinkedIn ads.

How to Decide if TikTok Advertising is a Good Fit For Your Business

Are your competitors already advertising on TikTok? Is the product or service you are advertising trending right now, or does it have the opportunity to go viral? Does TikTok’s advertising solutions work with your marketing goals? If so, you can tap into your target audience and get in front of competitor brands by advertising on TikTok.

Ask yourself these three questions to help determine if advertising on TikTok is right for your business:

1. Is Your Target Audience on TikTok?

Once you create a TikTok advertising account for free, you can create a draft campaign, walk through the ad group settings, and pick your audience details to see what your estimated audience size looks like. You can also utilize other tools and resources TikTok offers, like case studies and the TikTok ad library, to see if similar businesses are already advertising on TikTok.

2. Do You Have a Product That Works Well With a Visual Medium?

It is best practice for businesses to use TikTok for organic posts and paid advertising. By using both methods, your content will have the opportunity to go viral or become a new trend, especially if your content is aesthetically pleasing.

3. Do You Have the Resources?

When planning your advertising strategy, set your strategy up for success by allocating some of your budget to tests. The best way to learn if TikTok ads are right for you will be by testing it to see how it goes. Create a hypothesis to test with your marketing strategy and see if TikTok can help you achieve that goal or prove your hypothesis wrong.

Examples of TikTok Ads

You can see what kind of ad creative performs best on TikTok by looking through TikTok’s case studies of successful campaigns.  With TikTok’s Creative Center, you can customize your creative search by location, industry, campaign objective, and more.

Let’s look at some examples of TikTok ads to spark some inspiration:

Influencer TikTok Ad

Influencer TikTok ads have a lot of power when it comes to advertising on TikTok. Because TikTok has a large creator network of influencers, when brands work with influencers to create their ads, it gives the ads more of an organic feel and it builds brand awareness and credibility with new customers when an influencer is speaking about the product or service. 

Here is an example of an Influencer TikTok ad for a bedding product:


#ad link’s in my bio, code is DRJESS #brooklinen @brooklinen #sponsored

♬ original sound – DoctorJesss
Example Influencer Ad from DoctorJesss on TikTok

E-Commerce TikTok Ad

TikTok users are more likely to buy something after hearing about it on TikTok, especially when it is at a more affordable price point. Since e-commerce products are so visually appealing, like clothing, makeup, skincare, and more…that makes TikTok the perfect choice for advertising your products and getting in front of your target audience. 

Here is an example of an E-Commerce TikTok ad for a clothing brand:

Example E-Commerce Ad from Jones Menswear on TikTok
Example E-Commerce Ad from Jones Menswear on TikTok

TikTok Ads for Apps & Games

Since TikTok is already a mobile-first platform, it is a great place to advertise mobile apps. A lower average age range on TikTok means more app downloads for games and other apps, depending on your target audience. With app and game ads, it is important to address the needs of your customers in the ad. 

Here is an example of a TikTok ad for a social app:

Example TikTok Ad
Example App Ad from Bumble on TikTok


If you are a B2C brand…then meet your new favorite advertising platform! TikTok ads make it easy for brands to connect with influencers, create trending or viral content, and tap into a new audience. 

If you are a B2B brand, it may be best to wait until they expand their tools and add new targeting options. Search ads may offer the kinds of targeting options that make TikTok attractive to B2B brands. Keep an eye out.

If you are interested in increasing your brand awareness and content engagement, then TikTok is the right advertising platform for you. Give it a try and see how it goes! You can also reach out to Portent for all of your social media advertising needs.

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