Learn How TikTok Advertising Works With This Free Guide

TikTok explains how its advertising campaigns and tools work in a free course for businesses, which comes with multiple videos and a downloadable guide.

The new course, called TikTok Tactics, is broken down into four core components:

  1. Attribution (web + app)
  2. Targeting, Bidding, & Optimization
  3. Product Catalogs
  4. Advertising Creative

TikTok’s easy-to-follow guide is a universal set of best practices to help all businesses achieve success regardless of what their advertising goals are.

Before going over the tactics included in the course, let’s go over what makes the TikTok audience unique compared to users on other social media platforms.

TikTok Audience By The Numbers

TikTok provides the following statistics to help businesses learn who the TikTok audience is and what they want to get out of using the platform.

  • 75% of TikTok users want to be entertained
  • 42% of TikTok users discover new things on the platform
  • 68% of TikTok users are inspired by the content they see
  • 91% of TikTok users take some action following the content they see
  • 25% of TikTok users have researched/purchased a product they saw advertised
  • 61% of TikTok users feel its advertising is unique compared to other top social platforms
  • 45% of “heavy” TikTok users feel that the advertising blends in with other content

TikTok Advertising Tactics

TikTok Ads Manager

TikTok advertising begins with the TikTok Ads Manager, which is a self-serve platform that can drive results across the funnel for your business.

Within TikTok Ads Manager, businesses can utilize four tactics to achieve their marketing goals.

Each tactic has three levels that unlock additional advertising features.

Here’s more about each tactic and the different levels within them.

1. Attribution (Web + App)

Attribution means knowing where your conversions are coming from so you can make informed decisions about your campaigns.

Setting your business up on a solid attribution foundation is the first requirement to building a successful advertising strategy on TikTok.

TikTok offers multiple ways to attribute events from your website to your TikTok advertising.

First, you need to implement a web attribution tool — either the TikTok pixel or the events API.

When utilizing this tactic you begin at level one and unlock additional features as you move up the ladder.

  • Level One: Pixel standard mode for basic conversion tracking (best suited for businesses that don’t have a dedicated web development team).
  • Level Two: Pixel developer mode (a more advanced solution for businesses that have a dedicated development team).
  • Level Three: Events API — a server-to-server integration that lets you share website’s events directly with TikTok.

2. Targeting, Bidding, and Optimization

This tactic is all about analyzing and adjusting campaign parameters to hit your goals.

Targeting, bidding, and optimization are three levels in one, which all work together in harmony. Unlike the other advertising tactics that work in a hierarchy,

TikTok emphasizes the importance of having resources dedicated to the day-to-day running of advertising campaigns.

That’s because the TikTok advertising platform evolves quickly and is always introducing new tools to enhance campaign performance.

Having a dedicated resource in house, or via an agency, can help you stay up to date.

3. Product Catalogs

This tactic is exclusively for businesses that sell products, as it focuses on a suite of tools that will help get those products in front of the right audience.

The catalogs tactic helps your business create ads at scale.

Let’s say you have three products and three audiences. It would be easy to go into TikTok Ads Manager and create nine ads, one for each combination of products and audiences.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t be so easy to create ads manually if you have upwards of 100 or 1000 products.

Instead, you can let TikTok’s platform create ads for you dynamically using your product catalog.

All you have to do is upload your product catalog and choose the level in the three-step system that’s right for your business.

  • Level One: Upload products manually
  • Level Two: Upload product catalogue from a CSV template
  • Level Three: Upload a catalog feed

Again, this is a hierarchy. As you level up you will unlock additional ad formats.

So uploading a catalog feed will grant you access to the maximum amount of ad formats available.

4. Advertising Creative

Every TikTok video is a full screen, immersive, sound-on experience. This includes TikTok ads as well.

Greater immersion translates into higher engagement levels and richer interactions.

But it also means constantly having to keep your brand message fresh in order to maintain a high level of performance.

It’s recommended that businesses have a steady supply of new advertising creative fed into their account, ideally on a weekly basis.

Here are the three levels to TikTok creative, with each one unlocking more advertising capabilities.

  • Level 1 – Repurpose Creatives: Creative tools available in Ads Manager will allow you to repurpose existing ad assets.
  • Level 2 – Dedicated TikTok Ads: At this level you engage with creators, either directly or through the TikTok marketplace, to create a steady flow of spark ads (TikTok’s native ad display format).
  •  Level 3 – Creative Partner Ecosystem: At this level you will have a TikTok creative API partner on retainer feeding you five to ten new creatives per week.

TikTok Advertising Best Practices

Now that you’re familiar with the four TikTok advertising tactics, which you can learn more about in the company’s full guide, let’s quickly go over some best practices.

tiktok advertisingScreenshot from tiktok-tactics.com, January 2022.
  • High resolution: Aim for a video resolution of 720p or higher.
  • Use audio: Experiment with sound and jump on emerging music trends.
  • Fit to screen: Make your video a perfect fit for the screen with a 9:16 aspect ratio.
  • Keep creative in focus: Ensure important information isn’t covered by in-app overlays.
  • Mobile-first: – Create ads in a vertical video format, ensuring key visuals are in frame.
  • CTA: Inspire action with a clear CTA at the end of each ad.
  • Keep it short: The ideal length for a TikTok video ad is 21 to 34 seconds

Source: TikTok Tactics

Featured Image: Miguel Lagoa/Shutterstock

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