How to Use TikTok Advertising To Promote Your Business (2023)

We have regularly written about the benefits of marketing on TikTok – not surprising, considering it is the fastest growing social network. One of our more relevant articles for brands suggested a TikTok marketing strategy and offered 10 TikTok marketing tips. For the last year, TikTok has made this easier for businesses with a formal TikTok advertising platform.

In this article, we look at why you would consider advertising your product on TikTok, and how to go about actioning the process.

How to Use TikTok Advertising:

  • Why Would You Consider TikTok Advertising?
  • Types of TikTok Ads
  • Potential Cost of TikTok Ads
  • Steps for Setting Up TikTok Ads
  • Don't Forget to Monitor Your TikTok Ad Campaign

Why Would You Consider TikTok Advertising?

If you're a Baby Boomer or somebody who hasn't kept up with the social media habits of youth, you might be surprised by the recent popularity of TikTok. As we showed in our Ultimate TikTok Benchmarks Guide, TikTok has quickly grown to become the world's 7th most followed social platform. It has a more sizable following than some of the arguably better-known platforms, such as Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Indeed, TikTok was the 6th ranking app globally by monthly active users in 2019, and its success has continued into 2020.

The nature of TikTok, featuring videos of 15 to 60 seconds, does limit the number of ad spots available, compared to some other apps, such as Twitter, meaning that your ad is less likely to get lost in a crowd of competing ads.

TikTok introduced a self-service advertising platform in 2019, similar in style to Facebook's offering, making it easier to create TikTok ads than it had previously been.

However, TikTok advertising isn't for every business. The first rule of social advertising is to market where your target audience spends its time. Therefore, there is little point advertising on TikTok if you sell to the wrong demographic. TikTok is overwhelmingly the realm of Millennials and Generation Z. As we found in the previously mentioned TikTok benchmarks article, 41 percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24, and roughly 50% of TikTok's global audience is under the age of 34. If you mainly sell to Baby Boomers, there is probably little point in having a presence on the platform.

Types of TikTok Ads

TikTok's self-service platform helps brands make in-feed ads. For most of the other options, you will need to work with a TikTok ad account manager.

1. In-Feed Ads

This is the most cost-effective option for small and middle-sized businesses. Being able to use the self-service platform makes the process more straightforward, and these ads are generally cheaper than other types. These ads appear in the native feed of TikTok users' “For You” pages.

2. Brand Takeover

These ads are more intrusive than native ads. They appear as soon as somebody opens their TikTok app, taking over the screen for a few seconds before changing into an in-feed ad. For obvious reasons, TikTok limits the number of brand takeover spots.

3. Branded Hashtag Challenges

Hashtag challenges have become a staple fixture of TikTok. Somebody sets up a challenge in an opening video, encouraging their viewers to repeat a particular act, videoing themselves, and uploading their attempt. Branded hashtag challenges are the same as those by ordinary TikTok members and influencers; however, they are paid for by brands and therefore given priority by TikTok. They can include a shoppable component for retailers.

4. Branded AR / Effects Content

These ads appear in some of TikTok's more creative places, such as branded lenses, stickers, and other items, such as 3D/AR content provided by brands for TikTok filmmakers to use in their videos.

Potential Cost of TikTok Ads

TikTok advertisements were initially eye-wateringly expensive. Only large businesses considered making ads for the platform. That has changed now TikTok has in-feed ads and a self-service platform.

Now you can set your budget and TikTok's AI bids on your behalf for advertising spots. The precise cost per ad depends on a range of factors, including your marketing objectives, the targeted keywords, the size of the audience you intend to reach, times of the day and week, and your competition for ads in people's feeds. The limited advertising slots (compared to platforms like Facebook and Twitter) may still make TikTok advertising less suitable for very small businesses.

According to the TikTok help files, the minimum budget at the campaign level (for in-feed ads) is $500, and the minimum budget at the ad group level is $50. Some of the other types of advertising are still considerably more expensive, however. According to a June 2019 TikTok pitch document, brand takeovers cost $50,000 per day, hashtag challenges $150,000 for six days, and branded lenses $80,000 – $120,000 depending on the complexity of the lens design.

Related Content:

  • How Much do TikTok Ads Cost?
  • How Does Advertising on TikTok Work?
  • 20 Step Social Media Marketing Strategy for Businesses in 2023

Steps for Setting Up TikTok Ads

1. Create a TikTok Ads Account

The first stage of setting a TikTok advertising campaign is to create your TikTok ads account. Obviously, you only need to go through this process once. You select your region and choose whether you are setting ads for a business or an individual account. You then answer a series of questions, giving your details. This isn't yet a fully-automated process, and after a page of questions, you receive a message saying that TikTok will get back to you. Assuming you meet TikTok's criteria, one of their account reps will set up an account for you.

2. Create Your TikTok Ads Campaign

Once you have a TikTok ads account, you can begin to set up your TikTok ads campaign. After your first campaign, this will always be the first part of any new campaign you set up.

TikTok uses the same type of system used by Facebook and most other social media advertising companies. At the top level, you have an advertising campaign with a stated goal, to which you allocate a specific budget. Within that campaign, you can have various ad groups. These are a collection of ads that you target to a particular audience using an identified portion of your overall budget. At the lowest level, you have individual ads that allocate to each ad group in your campaign.

To begin your campaign, you click on the Campaign button on the TikTok advertising dashboard and then click on Create.

TikTok asks you to set a campaign advertising objective. You can choose from Traffic, Conversions, or App Installs. Your choice here will alter some of the questions that you face at the later stages of the process.

You can also make some high-level settings here, including giving your campaign a name and setting an overall budget for your campaign. You can also set an overall daily budget limit.

3. Set Your Ad Placements and Add Details

At the next stage, you set up the ad groups for your campaign. You might start with a single ad group, possibly adding others later.

You then either pick Automatic Placement, or you choose Select Placement. Although we are mainly looking at TikTok here, in reality, TikTok is just one of ByteDance's apps. You can also opt to place your ads on Vigo Video (India only), BuzzVideo (Japan), TopBuzz (USA ), News Republic, and others.

TikTok then prompts you for details necessary for it to set up your ad group. These include any relevant URLs, display names, images, and categories. These questions depend on your selected advertising objective. For instance, if you previously stated that you wanted to promote App installs, you would provide details of the relevant app at this point.

4. Target the Audience for Your Ad Campaign

This next step is vital for a successful TikTok advertising campaign. TikTok asks you a series of questions so that they can target your ads to the correct audience. The better you can target your audience, the less "wasted" ads you will have, and the higher the likelihood that your ads will interest the people to whom TikTok serves them.

You can target your audience using such factors as gender, location, age, locations, interests, connections, or even OS versions. The latter category would presumably stop you from promoting an app to somebody who lacks the appropriate hardware (and operating system) for it to function.

You can also create custom audiences, based on such factors as your customer's contact data, website traffic, app activity, or ad engagement. If you intend to send traffic to a website, you first need to install the TikTok Pixel on your site to track visitors.

5. Set Your Ad Budget and Schedule

Although you had the opportunity to set an overall budget for your campaign in a previous section, TikTok now asks you to set your budget by ad groups and set a schedule. You can select either a total budget (the maximum you are prepared to spend for that ad group) or set a daily budget (the most you are prepared to spend per day).

You set your ad schedule here. You can opt to run your ad continuously over a specific date and time. Alternatively, you can choose to use Dayparting when you pick particular times of the day to serve your ads to your selected audience.

You also select a pacing option that gives TikTok an idea of how quickly it can use your budget. You can choose from Standard Delivery, which spends your budget evenly across the length of your campaign or Accelerate, which spends your budget more quickly.

6. Set Your Optimization Goal

There is little point implementing a TikTok advertising campaign without first setting some optimization goal. This is a quantification of what you hope to achieve with the campaign. You need to identify some key metrics that you aim to change as a result of your campaign.

TikTok asks you whether to optimize your ads for Conversion, Click, or Impressions. This affects your bidding, so it is vital that you know your optimization goal. TikTok tries to serve your ads to the people in your target audience that it believes most likely to do your preferred action (convert in some desired way, click, or watch your ad).

This also affects the way TikTok prices your ads:

  • Conversion – ads are priced by oCPC (optimization cost per click)
  • Click – ads are priced by CPC (cost per click)
  • Impression – ads are priced by CPM (cost per mille)

7. Design Your Ad and Upload Relevant Assets

Obviously, you can't set TikTok ads without creative assets. TikTok provides a useful tool, the Video Creation Kit, that helps with this process. We have previously detailed TikTok's video and specs and best practices.

Don't Forget to Monitor Your TikTok Ad Campaign

As always, there is little point setting up a TikTok advertising package unless you monitor its success. Once your ad runs, you can view its performance in your TikTok ads dashboard.

You can use various filters to drill down to discover detailed information about the performance of your ads, ad groups, and campaign.


How to Use TikTok Advertising To Promote Your Business? ›

How do I promote my small business on TikTok? You can promote your small business on TikTok by posting great quality content regularly, engaging with your audience, using popular hashtags and TikTok sounds, and working with influential creators.

How can I use TikTok to promote my business? ›

How do I promote my small business on TikTok? You can promote your small business on TikTok by posting great quality content regularly, engaging with your audience, using popular hashtags and TikTok sounds, and working with influential creators.

Is TikTok ads good for small business? ›

It Helps You Target Specific Demographics

A reason why advertising on TikTok is worth it for small businesses is that it helps you target specific demographics, in turn, helping you to get the most out of your ad spend.

How effective is TikTok advertising? ›

The answer is a yes, TikTok ads can be very effective for small, medium and enterprise sized businesses. In fact, a study by TikTok found that businesses that use TikTok ads see an average of 300% increase in brand awareness and a 200% increase in website traffic.

What are the disadvantages of using TikTok for business? ›

Cons of TikTok
  • It might break the bank. TikTok Ads Manager is an effective platform, but the minimum spends are pricey. ...
  • Only videos can make the cut. ...
  • You'll hear crickets if your audience isn't on TikTok. ...
  • Safety concerns for child-focused brands and content creators. ...
  • You'll lose control of your brand messaging.
May 31, 2023

How do small businesses get followers on TikTok? ›

How Your Small Business Can Gain More Followers on TikTok
  1. Work with influencers. Much like Instagram, TikTok is a visual platform that lends itself well to influencer endorsement. ...
  2. Interact with your audience. ...
  3. Create great content. ...
  4. Share videos frequently. ...
  5. Post at the right time. ...
  6. Use the Right Hashtags. ...
  7. Experiment with music.

Do you need an LLC to advertise on TikTok? ›

If you're considering starting a business on TikTok, you may wonder if you need to form an LLC. Strictly speaking, you don't need an LLC for your TikTok business, especially if you're just starting out and not generating much income.

How much does it cost to post a TikTok for a business? ›

TikTok Influencers pricing per post ($)
TierNumber of FollowersPrice per Post
Nano-influencer1-10k followers$5-$25
Micro-influencer10k - 50k$25-$200
Mid-tier influencer50k - 500k$100-$1,000
Macro-influencer500k - 1,000k$1,000-$2,000
1 more row
Feb 2, 2023

How much do companies pay for TikTok ads? ›

Similar to other social ad platforms, you can customize the amount you spend and personalize your bid strategy. Typically, advertisers on TikTok pay a median price of $1.00 for every click and a CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) of $10.

Do you need 1,000 followers to Promote on TikTok? ›

This rule requires users to have at least 1000 followers before they can access the live streaming feature. But don't worry, there are ways to bypass this rule and start going live on TikTok. The quickest and easiest method for how to go live on TikTok without 1000 followers is to use a follower growth service.

What is the difference between TikTok ads and Promote? ›

The biggest difference between Promote and Spark Ads is that Sparks Ads lets you boost content that other TikTok users have created in addition to your own content.

Do I need 1000 followers to sell on TikTok? ›

Presently, a TikTok user must be at least 16 years old and must have no less than 1,000 followers on the app to be eligible to host and run a TikTok Live Selling/Shopping event. The individual must also have a TikTok Shop account to facilitate direct transactions through videos or live sessions.

How long do TikTok ads take to work? ›

According to the firm's help center, TikTok approves your ad within 24 hours in most cases. To get approval within said time, your ad must meet their requirements. Therefore, always keep the advertising policies of TikTok in mind so your ads can get approved faster.

What is the minimum budget for TikTok ads? ›

TikTok Ad Costs

Minimum Spend: TikTok requires a $500 minimum ad spend, with a minimum campaign level daily budget of $50, a minimum AdGroup level daily budget of $20. A Brand Takeover: TikTok will guarantee five million impressions with this advertising strategy.

How much does TikTok charge per click? ›

The average TikTok Ads CPC is $1.

CPC defines the cost per click. Set the targeting options correctly so that the TikTok algorithm shows your ad to the target audience who is most likely to click on your ad.

What are the risks of using TikTok for marketing? ›

Companies will need to consider whether using TikTok clashes with their ethical and moral obligations. App users must have a clear idea of how their data is being processed. Yet, using the platform may be seen as unwittingly supporting TikTok's actions resulting in potential reputational damage for businesses.

How many followers do you need on TikTok to get brand deals? ›

Similar to other social media platforms, you should have at least 10,000 followers for brands to consider you. If you meet this requirement, in addition to the basic TikTok rules, it is likely you can get sponsored by a brand or business on TikTok.

What is the best time to post on TikTok? ›

According to a study by Influencer Marketing Hub, the best time to post on TikTok overall is on Tuesday at 9 a.m., Thursday at 12 a.m., and Friday at 5 a.m. These are additional high-engagement times to post content on the platform: Monday: 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 10 p.m.

How many followers on TikTok do you need for your business to be verified? ›

How Many Followers Do You Need To Get Verified On TikTok? Tiktok doesn't have followers or likes requirements for account verification. However, it has been noticed that if you have at least 1 million likes in total and 500,00 followers on your account, then TikTok might consider giving you a blue tick.

Do I have to pay taxes on TikTok income? ›

Unlike some employees, social media influencers and TikTok stars rarely receive W-2 forms. In some cases, they might not receive any tax documents at all. Most of the time, though, influencers receive 1099 forms from anyone who has paid them money. If you receive a 1099 form, you likely need to file taxes.

Do you have to pay taxes from TikTok? ›

For 2022, a single person under the age of 65 making $12,950 or more is required to file taxes. However, many influencers and content creators are self-employed. If you made $400 or more in self-employment income, you must file taxes.

Can you advertise on TikTok for free? ›

You can set up a free TikTok Ads account and create In-Feed ads with your own set budget and schedule. Currently, TikTok's minimum campaign budget is $500 and the minimum ad group budget is $50.

How much does TikTok pay per 1,000 views? ›

As for the TikTok Creator Fund, you can earn between 2 and 4 cents for every 1,000 views. This means you might expect $20 to $40 after reaching a million views. Learn more about the TikTok Creator Fund here.

How often should I post on TikTok for my business? ›

Most brands will benefit from posting 1 to 3 times per day, but this is no hard and fast rule.

How many hashtags should I use on TikTok? ›

According to experts, TikTok users should use hashtags with purpose and only add three to five hashtags in their captions to optimize their efforts.

Why are TikTok ads so expensive? ›

With the rapid growth of TikTok, the competition for ad space on the platform has increased, thus raising the cost of advertising. The good news is that TikTok offers a range of ad formats suitable for businesses with various budgets, such as in-feed ads, brand takeovers, and hashtag challenges.

What happens when you hit 100K on TikTok? ›

For reference, here's an average of how much money is made monthly according to the number of followers. Creators with over 100K followers typically make $200 to $1K a month, and those with over 1 million usually earn $1K to $5K monthly or more.

What happens when you get 10k followers on TikTok? ›

To join TikTok's creativity program for videos longer than one minute: a creator must have at least 10,000 followers and at least 100,000 video views in the past 30 days. Users can participate in the creativity program or the creator fund, not both.

Is it cheaper to advertise on Facebook or TikTok? ›

TikTok's advertising costs are generally lower than Facebook's, but they also vary depending on the targeting options, ad format, and ad placement. The average cost per click (CPC) on TikTok (in the conditions given above) is around $1.63, while the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) is around $10.5.

Is it better to advertise on Facebook or TikTok? ›

Although TikTok and Facebook offer near-identical targeting options, Facebook has the edge because it's sitting on a goldmine of historical data. (But we do break down some effective TikTok ads targeting strategies you should try here.)

What kind of ads work best on TikTok? ›

TikTok ad formats (plus examples of the best TikTok ads)
  • In-feed ads. In-feed ads are basically what they say on the tin. ...
  • Top-view ads. Top-view ads appear as soon as a user opens the TikTok app. ...
  • Brand Takeover Ads. ...
  • Spark Ads. ...
  • Branded hashtag challenge. ...
  • Branded effects. ...
  • Bonus points for influencer marketing.

How much does TikTok pay for 1 million followers? ›

How much does TikTok pay for 1 million followers? It is estimated that TikTok pays anywhere between $20 to $50 per 1 million followers – with brand deals, endorsements, and other revenue streams, the amount could be higher or lower depending on the type of deal agreed upon.

Can you make money with 5000 followers on TikTok? ›

You could have absolutely no followers and still drive traffic to your ecommerce store through influencer marketing and TikTok ads. However, if you want to be paid directly by TikTok through their Creator Fund, you need at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.

What happens when you get 500k followers on TikTok? ›

Micro-influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers (earnings of $60-$90 per post) 100k-500k followers – mid-tier influencers (payouts range from $200-400) 500k-1 million followers – macro-influencers (earn $400-600 per post) 1 million or more followers – TikTok royalty (earn $750 – $1000 or more per post)

How long should I run my TikTok ad? ›

How long does my TikTok ad need to be? All video ads on TikTok should be between 5 and 60 seconds. Ads less than 5 seconds and more than 60 seconds will not be approved. If the video is too long or too short, add a new ad to your ad group.

How much are TikTok ads per day? ›

TikTok advertising prices start at $0.50 CPM and $0.02 cost per click. A minimum budget of $500 is required to spend on a campaign, with a minimum daily budget of $50 at the campaign level and a minimum of $20 per day at the ad group level.

How many clicks do TikTok ads get? ›

In contrast, in-feed ads can boost your CTR to 5-7%. By and large, a CTR above 1% means you are headed in the right direction. However, anything less than that means you need to reconsider your advertising strategies. The average click-through rate for TikTok ads is 1%.

How much does it cost to sell on TikTok? ›

TikTok charges commission fees on sales through the platform, but they are lower compared to other marketplaces. For the first 90 days after setup, you will gain a lower commission fee of 1.8% for each product sale. After 90 days, the fee will increase to 5%.

How much does TikTok pay? ›

Top creators say that TikTok pays contributors between 2 and 4 cents per 1,000 views through its TikTok Creator Fund. Doing the math, that means creators stand to earn $20 to $40 dollars per 1 million views through the program. Follow The Leap on TikTok and Instagram for more monetization tips for creators.

How much money is 500k views on TikTok? ›

How much money is 500k views on TikTok? TikTok pays approximately $15 for 500,000 views.

Does TikTok pay you for likes? ›

The number of likes on TikTok you need to get paid varies depending on several factors. As mentioned earlier, TikTok pays its creators based on their video's engagement rate, including the number of views, likes, comments, and shares. However, there is no fixed number of likes that you need to get paid on TikTok.

Do TikTok ads work for local businesses? ›

Local Ads with a Small Budget

You don't have to spend too much of your marketing budget to tout your company on TikTok locally. On TikTok, just like on other platforms' ads managers, you can specify the location as narrow as you need to catch up with the customers that live nearby.

Why are TikTok ads good for business? ›

TikTok makes it extremely easy to advertise organic content created by content creators. More and more brands are using TikTok Spark ads to promote organic content that gets posted to a content creator's feed for a more natural way of brand advertising.

Is TikTok a good marketing tool for business? ›

If you're wanting to increase sales through your social media marketing, TikTok is a great channel to do so. The platform is on track to gain 9.6 million social buyers this year, making it the third most popular social commerce channel.

Is TikTok good for B2B advertising? ›

Ultimately, TikTok can be a difficult platform to do well for B2B marketing — it takes a bit of creativity and experimentation to succeed. However, the app is constantly evolving and attracting new people. It offers marketers the unique opportunity to get their brand known quickly and in a creative way.

Do business owners use TikTok? ›

All in all, TikTok has proven itself to be a highly effective social media platform for businesses. Its unique format makes it fun for customers while simultaneously giving your business the chance to show off new products or services that you have available for public viewing.

Should I register my business with TikTok? ›

Your business account can be verified on TikTok, which can increase your visibility across the platform and help you build trust with your followers. Access to the Promote feature: Business accounts can use TikTok's advertising tools to get more people to discover their content and gain more followers.

Can business TikTok accounts go viral? ›

Yes. The TikTok algorithm does not consider how many followers an account has when distributing videos, so you can potentially go viral even with no or few followers.

How do I advertise on TikTok for free? ›

Set up a Promote video
  1. On your Promotions page, tap the video you'd like to promote. ...
  2. Choose a goal for promoting your video, then tap Next at the bottom.
  3. If you choose More website visits, you'll enter your website URL and choose an action button for your website (example: Learn More, Shop Now, or Sign Up).

How often should I post on TikTok for business? ›

Most brands will benefit from posting 1 to 3 times per day, but this is no hard and fast rule.

Which companies use TikTok for marketing? ›

These Brands Will Inspire Your TikTok Strategy
  • Last Crumb. Last Crumb has arguably the best-tasting (and sexiest) cookies on the planet. ...
  • Vessi. Vessi is an awesome footwear brand based in Canada. ...
  • Spikeball. ...
  • Chipotle. ...
  • Elf Cosmetics. ...
  • Guess. ...
  • NBA. ...
  • The Washington Post.
Jan 20, 2023


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