Unlocking the Power of TikTok Advertising: Full Guide


Introduction to TikTok Advertising
The Fundamentals
How TikTok Ads Work
Costs of Advertising on TikTok
How to Run TikTok Ads?
Analyzing the performance of your Ads
Real World Examples

Introduction to TikTok Advertising

Launching in 2016, TikTok has skyrocketed to the forefront of social media, captivating audiences worldwide with its short-form videos. With over a billion monthly active users, TikTok has become a powerful platform for brands to connect with people from all over the world.

Advertising on TikTok offers a unique opportunity for brands to engage with users innovatively, increase brand awareness, and strengthen purposeful connections.

In this guide, readers can expect to discover the ins and outs of TikTok advertising, from understanding the platform's various ad formats and targeting options to optimizing ad performance and maximizing ROI. Let's dive deeper into space so you can become a TikTok master.

The Fundamentals

TikTok offers a variety of advertising options, each tailored to different marketing objectives and audience engagement strategies. Each of them offers unique opportunities for brands to connect with TikTok's extensive user base. Let's see closer.

1) In-Feed Ads

This is the main strategy brands are using daily. Every user who uses the app sees them in their feed and they appear as sponsored content among the organic videos. 

When people see an ad, they sometimes tend to scroll through it. A nice strategy TikTok uses is how they grab the attention of the audience. Ads allow brands to showcase their products or services in a very natural and non-intrusive way. It flows like a normal post.
We differentiate between Spark Ads and Non-Spark Ads where Spark Ads use posts from real TikTok accounts, which ensures that all views, comments, shares, likes, and follows gained from boosting your video during the promotion are attributed to your organic posts.TikTok-Spark-Ads-vs.-Video-Ads (1)

2) Top View Ads

The new way that TikTok has devised is so that the first thing users see when they open the TikTok app is a popular ad. 
These full-screen video ads instantly get attention and offer brands a powerful way to make a memorable first impression and engage audiences from the moment they start browsing.

3) Branded Hashtag Challenges

TikTok goes viral and invites users to participate in branded challenges and create user-generated content on a specific topic or challenge. 
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By promoting user participation and engagement, brands can increase their reach and generate hype around their campaigns, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among TikTok users.

4) Branded Effects

Branded effects allow brands to enhance user's videos with branded stickers, filters, and special effects, making their brand fit seamlessly into TikTok's natural space. 

These interactive and shareable effects provide an engaging brand experience and allow users to express themselves creatively while engaging with the brand message in a fun way.

It's also crucial to tailor your strategy to the different stages your target audience is in. To clarify what content you need to create for each stage of the customer, we've put together this article: Content Marketing for Different Stages of the Buyer's Journey.

How TikTok Ads Work

Understanding how ads work on TikTok is essential for marketers who want to effectively use the advertising capabilities of the platform. There are several things that we need to understand from ad creation to audience engagement and performance analysis.

The Beginning of Creating Ads

Advertisers first create their ads using TikTok Ads Manager, where they can choose from a variety of ad formats, upload creative elements, and define targeting parameters. 

Once an ad is created, it goes through a review process to ensure compliance with TikTok's advertising policies and guidelines.
When you create a promotional video, make sure you use the vertical 9x16 format.

Targeting Options

In addition, TikTok uses an auction-based system to determine which ads users see. In this process, advertisers bid on ad placements based on the metrics they choose. The ad auction takes into account ad quality and relevance to determine the winning ads that are shown to users.

TikTok offers a range of targeting options to help you effectively reach your desired audience. These options include demographic targeting (age, gender, location), targeting by interests and their device. TikTok also allows you to create custom audiences, or reach audiences who already know your business or have already met your business. This is a powerful tool for remarketing - reaching repeat customers. A minimum audience size of 1000 people is required.

Costs of Advertising on TikTok

Now that we know what types of ads we have on TikTok, let's talk about what influences their prices.

Understanding TikTok Bidding Strategies

Bidding plays a key role in helping determine the placement and reach of your TikTok ad. A strong bid can increase ad visibility and boost conversions, so it's essential to choose the optimal bid strategy based on your campaign goals.

1. Cost Cap vs. Maximum Delivery

TikTok offers two primary bidding strategies: Cost Cap and Maximum Delivery. Cost Cap bidding focuses on optimizing toward a target cost per action (CPA) while maximizing budget utilization. 

In contrast, Maximum Delivery aims to maximize conversions within a defined budget without setting a specific target CPA.

2. Choosing the Right Strategy

The choice of an appropriate bidding strategy depends on the objectives of the campaign. Cost Cap is recommended for advertisers who prioritize top tunnel goals such as reach or video views, while Maximum Delivery is ideal for those who prioritize conversion volume over controlling average cost per result.

3. Bidding Options

TikTok provides various bidding options tailored to different marketing goals:

CPM (cost per mille) optimizes for impressions
CPV (cost per view) charges for each view on a video - If the viewer watched the video for more than 6 seconds,
CPC (cost per click) focuses on driving traffic to external landing pages - best for selling products or installing apps, and
oCPM (optimized cost per mille) aims for the best price per conversion.

Pro Tip:
Match your bidding strategy with business objectives to ensure effective campaign performance. Think about using bid hybrids to change bid strategies based on seasonal priorities, and invest time in testing and experimentation to determine the most effective approach for your unique business objectives. 

Factors Affecting Cost

Targeting options such as demographics and interests can affect the cost of  advertisers by influencing relevance and reach. 

In general, competition between advertisers for ad placements can increase costs, especially for popular targeting niches and high-demand ad formats.

How to Run TikTok Ads?

First thing first, we need to make sure we have a TikTok ads manager. If you don't have one, you need to set one up. It's free and you can set it up even if you already have a TikTok account.


1. Create a new Campaign

Begin by navigating to the TikTok Ads Manager and selecting the "Campaign" option from the top menu. Once on the Campaign page, proceed to click on "Create."


When you start a TikTok ad campaign, you will be prompted to choose between:
Basic mode - quick setup (around 5 minutes),
Advantage mode - more advantageous configuration.

In this example, we'll use Advantage mode, but the process is similar for both options. TikTok ad campaigns, like other ad campaigns, consist of a series of ads with a common goal. For example, a game company might run a campaign to coincide with the release of a new game, while an ice cream company might promote a product during a summer sale.

Select an advertising objective

When choosing the right target for your ad campaign, TikTok greatly simplifies you to choose what your target is. 
Awareness goals focus on maximizing impressions (people are starting to know about your brand), consideration goals focus on engagement and interaction (As your potential buyers actively engage with your brand or product in a meaningful manner), while conversion goals encourage specific actions from your audience (selling then or downloading the app).

Campaign name

To keep everything organized and under control, name the campaign you want to run according to your category and goals. 
You can also optimize your campaign budget. With CBO, you can apply a single set of budget optimizations to all ad groups within a campaign, eliminating the need for individual settings. 

Finally, we have the campaign budget, which allows you to create a fixed budget for your entire campaign (for all groups and ads) You can also set them individually.

Specify your tracking

This step is optional. You can track your website, app events or third-party sites. If you are using Shopify link your pixel.

2. Create an Ad Group

Now we have the basic setting. Let's move on to creating your future Ad Groups.

Name Ad Group and set Interaction

First, name the ad group. In the advanced settings under Placement, you can also set whether users will be able to comment on, download, and share your video ads. For the placement, you want to use only TikTok.


Set your target for your Ad Group

Here you will see a table that you can fill in based on your customer's personality. By setting demographics, you can choose location, gender, age group, language, and even the audience and device that they are using.

Set up your Ad Group budget and schedule

Here you set how much you want to pay per day for your specific ad group. The daily minimum is 2O USD.

You will then schedule the release of your ad. We recommend scheduling it according to your schedule, or the following midnight.

You can also define the time your ad will show and when you will spend your budget. It all depends on the preference of the audience you are targeting.


Bidding and Optimization

Here you can decide how much to pay for a particular metric. You can adjust this later based on how your ads perform. Leave the Bid control blank. 


3. Ads section

Now it is time to show the world your ad creatives. You name them based on their content or order. Next, upload your brand identity. Your brand name & logo. Upload the final video that you have prepared. 

Pro tip: this is something on which you should spend as much of your efforts as possible because the results of your advertising will depend on the quality of your video. Try to make it the best and most elaborate as possible.

Next, upload your highly engaging description. Try to think of what would make them go to your page or app when they read it and use SEO strategy. You will see high-quality descriptions later on.

Set your destination page

Set up a landing page or product page where you want people to go to buy your product or service. Or you can set up an instant link to the page in the app.

Submit your Ad

Now you are done. TikTok will upload your ads to the system and control them If they are ready to go.

Analyzing the performance of your Ads

In TikTok Ads Manager, tracking campaign results is simple with the Dashboard and Campaign pages. The Dashboard offers a summary of campaign performance, while the Campaign page provides detailed insights. 

Key Performance Metrics to Monitor

On the Dashboard, users can monitor ad spend, campaign status, and performance metrics by various dimensions. The Campaign page allows for filtering, customization of displayed data columns, and analysis by audience segments. With these tools, advertisers can optimize their TikTok ad campaigns efficiently.

Interpreting Data and Optimization Strategies

Interpreting data from TikTok's ad analytics dashboard is key to optimizing ad performance over time. Advertisers can use the data to identify trends, patterns, and areas of opportunity, allowing them to refine targeting strategies, adjust ad creative, and optimize bidding strategies for better results.

Real World Examples

Creating a TikTok account gives you access to the Creative Center and access to libraries that you can use effectively. You'll find successful ads to get inspired by, popular music and hashtags. 

Set the country you want to see the ads, then select conversions/app install, and then reach. You can even select a date to show you the most successful ads that are doing well.

When you click on the ad you're interested in, you'll see the regions, the industry you've chosen, the objective, and even the caption. 

You can also look at their stats and analytics to see how their ads are performing.19


Advertising on TikTok offers brands a unique opportunity to reach a diverse audience through unique ad formats and precise targeting. By understanding the basics and choosing the right strategy, advertising, with the right approach and optimization, can deliver significant ROI and help brands playfully achieve their social media advertising marketing goals.

However, to get the most effective return on investment, you need an expert who has extensive experience in the field. Jumping headfirst into paid ads could have a negative impact on your campaign. That's why we invite you to join us for a short, no-obligation online consultation to discuss your ideas and ideas, and then come up with the ideal marketing strategy to meet your business goals.


1. What are the main advertising objectives of TikTok?

TikTok's main advertising objectives include Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.

2. How do I choose the right bidding strategy for my TikTok ad campaign?

Choose Cost Cap for stable CPA outcomes or Maximum Delivery for maximizing conversions within a set budget. 

3. What are the different bidding options available on TikTok?

TikTok offers CPM (cost per mille - optimized for views), CPV (cost per view - cost per video view or if the viewer watched the video for more than 6 seconds), CPC (cost per click - focuses on driving the audience to the website and is best for sales or app downloads), and oCPM (optimized cost per mille - best cost per successful sale).

4. How can I track and measure the performance of my TikTok ad campaigns?

Track campaign performance using TikTok Ads Manager's dashboard and analyze key metrics like ad spend, impressions, clicks, and conversions.

5. What are some tips for creating effective TikTok ad campaigns?

Create engaging ad content, leverage TikTok trends, and test different targeting options and bidding strategies.

Topics: Marketing Social Media

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