How Can You Use TikTok for Advertising?

How Can You Use TikTok for Advertising?

It’s the sound we interpret a clock to make. It’s also a lyric that is used in a lot of songs, especially country songs. It’s also a social media platform that has taken several countries by storm, and that is TikTok. TikTok is a video sharing app where users can create and share short videos typically featuring tutorials, music, dance, comedy, or other forms of creative expression. TikTok has gained immense popularity worldwide, particularly among younger demographics, and it allows users to interact by liking, commenting, and sharing each other’s videos.

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, TikTok has emerged as a powerhouse platform that cannot be ignored. Initially gaining popularity as a hub for creative and entertaining short-form videos, TikTok has rapidly transformed into a robust advertising platform, offering unique opportunities for brands to engage with a global audience in innovative ways. What sets TikTok apart from other social media platforms is its unique format, focusing on short-form video content that encourages creativity and authenticity.

TikTok offers advanced targeting options based on demographics, interests, and behavior, allowing brands to tailor their content to specific audience segments. This precision targeting helps maximize the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

When it comes to the type of ads that you can run on TikTok, it is video ads and carousel ads (only in a display format). When users are viewing content and interacting with TikTok, they are watching short bits of information and then moving onto the next thing. For TikTok ads, it is best to have videos that fall in the :05-:15 time frame. Users are swiping up quickly to get to the next video, so you want to be able to capture their attention quickly. As with any kind of advertising, you could be reaching the exact perfect audience, but if your ad isn’t good, it’s not going to resonate. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating video ads for TikTok:

  • Caption formatting is crucial, especially on platforms like TikTok where presentation impacts credibility. (We can add captions if we are creating the ad manually – if we are pulling from an organic post, the business has to have already added captions.)
  • Captions should be formatted in easily readable blocks.
  • Inconsistencies or odd formatting can lead to a loss of trust among viewers.
  • Studies show that user engagement drops by 33% with poorly formatted captions. Properly formatted captions are not just about readability; they play a vital role in maintaining the professional integrity of your video content.
  • Adding movement to video clips is key to retaining viewer attention.
  • Implementing movement techniques in video editing ensures a more engaging and visually appealing ad experience.
  • Ensuring text and visuals are within safe zones is critical.
  • Important elements getting cropped can lead to loss of crucial information or miscommunication.
  • Ads respecting safe zones show a 30% higher comprehension and recall rate among viewers.

For carousel ads, TikTok says that carousel posts get 3x more comments, 2x more likes and 2.6x more shares on average than video posts. However, unlike Facebook, you can only have one click through URL and the text must be the same for all slides with 100 characters being the max. You also can not use emojis or hashtags in the creative. Some form of audio is also required on carousel ads, which we can add if requested, or you can supply a voice over.

For how to reach that target audience, TikTok allows for Category Targeting which is showing your ads to TikTok users based on information they have provided about themselves and their viewing and posting habits. Since TikTok is gathering information about its users, that is considered first party data and that data includes information about the person such as age, gender, and household income, but it also looks at interests, purchase intentions, video interactions (actions that show users’ engagement with organic video content such as video completion, like, comment, and share) and creator interactions (targeting users that follow specific types of creators or users who have viewed the profile pages of specific creators). Some examples of the targeting categories that are available are:


  • Gender: All, Male, Female
  • Age: All, 13-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55+
  • Languages
  • Spending Power All or High spending power
  • Household Income: Top 5% of Zip codes,
  • Top 10% of zip codes, Top 10%-25% of zip codes,
  • Top 25%-50% of zip codes


  • Home Improvement
  • Travel
  • Food & Beverage
  • Financial Services
  • Pets

Purchase Intentions:

  • Life Services
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • E-Commerce (Non-app)
  • News & Entertainment
  • Apparel & Accessories

Video Interactions:

  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Culture & Education & Technology
  • Talents
  • Lifestyle
  • Family & Relationships

Creator Interactions:

  • Sport
  • Talent
  • Family
  • Society
  • Home & Garden

There is also another way to target with TikTok and that is through Hashtag Targeting. This is a different concept that, right now, is only available through TikTok. Hashtag Targeting is a type of behavioral targeting where we show your ads to TikTok users who watched or interacted with TikTok videos with certain hashtags. It works by targeting those searching or posting on hashtags, which we can use for targeting for adults 18+. Hashtag targeting can be very broad or very select depending on the campaign goals. Ideally it should be a mix of popular and trending hashtags along with more niche hashtags related to your business type. Keep in mind that not all hashtags will be available to target because it’s up to TikTok’s discretion, or there may not be enough users on a hashtag.

The final targeting strategy for TikTok is Retargeting. This is where we follow people after they leave your website and show them your ad when they go onto TikTok. For example, if a potential customer goes to your website and leaves, our ad tracking technology tries to collect information about them and then follow them and show them ads for your business when they are on TikTok. It creates that top of mind awareness for the potential customer that was interested in your website at one point. Since 98% of website traffic doesn’t take action on their first visit, Retargeting allows for that frequency to act as a tap on the shoulder to remind the customer to come back and take that next step.

TikTok represents a dynamic and rapidly growing platform that offers unparalleled opportunities for businesses to connect with consumers in a creative and authentic manner. By embracing TikTok as part of their marketing strategy, brands can tap into its vast reach, engage with a highly active user base, and drive meaningful results. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying adaptable and leveraging emerging platforms like TikTok will be essential for businesses aiming to stay relevant and resonate with the next generation of consumers.

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