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The beginner’s guide to TikTok advertising

TikTok on the rise

Did you know:

– There are 800 million active users on Tiktok

– 1.5 billion is how many times Tiktok was downloaded – a record that happened during a global pandemic

– 150 countries have adopted this new interactive social media platform.

(We are Social & Hootsuite)

In just a short time, TikTok witnessed its rapid growth across the globe. TikTok provides the most opportunities to go viral. It is not overreacted to say, TikTok is rewriting the ways social media works.

However, many businesses have missed the chances or underestimated the power of TikTok. There are many myths and doubts around this new raising social media platform, which leads to the question: “Is this worthy of starting to invest in TikTok Advertising?”

In this blog today, let’s discuss whether TikTok Advertising is the right option for you and get yourself prepared to build a successful TikTok Advertising Campaign. We will walk you through a real case study that we implemented in February 2021 for one of our clients.

Misunderstandings about TikTok

TikTok is only for young adults

TikTok has hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging with young adults worldwide. According to a recent study, 60% of TikTok users are under 30 years old.

But even though the app is still overwhelmingly more popular among teenagers, the latest figures show a shift away from this trend. The number of adults joining the platform grows six times after a year. TikTok starts to partner with celebrities and influencers to target people from the older generation.

TikTok is a complicated platform and takes a lot of time to fully understand how it works

Indeed, no. TikTok provides all the tools needed to bring your marketing campaigns to the next level. From targeting, ad creation, insight reports, and ad management tools, TikTok offers a powerful yet simple platform to help businesses build their brand awareness among millions of users across the globe.

If you are already familiar with Facebook Business & Ads Manager, you will surely get on board quickly with TikTok.

There are not many themes on TikTok

There is something for everyone on TikTok. Whether your companies operate in Saas, technology, design, e-commerce, hospitality industry, or you want to increase visibility for your products and services, there is a place for you on TikTok.

Why you should invest in TikTok Advertising?

Now that the misconceptions are clear let us convince you with a few more reasons why it is wise to invest in TikTok Advertising.

Reach diverse audiences on TikTok

While TikTok Ads aren’t as popular as Facebook or Instagram ads (yet!), they’re an incredible opportunity for companies to build brand awareness. And since not many businesses are on TikTok, it would be the perfect time for you to get started and become a pioneer. 

Whether you’re a small business with a limited budget or you want to run a continuous campaign, TikTok Ads offer several unique tools to help brands and companies excel. 

While there is an exceptionally terrific opportunity to advertise to the GenZ demographic on TikTok, if your company matches that demographic, you will still be able to reach countless age groups and other specific demographics by advertising on TikTok.

Increase brand exposure

The graphs below show an impressive user engagement rate, which is genuinely significant from a marketer’s point of view.

© Statista 2021

In addition, not only celebrities and influencers can drive trends. With TikTok, everyone can participate and become the trend makers. Making the video ads based on current trends would increase ad relevancy and the chance to show up on someone’s feed.

Contribute to video marketing efforts

Now you might wonder, can we do video marketing on Facebook or Instagram? It’s true. However, TikTok is only about videos, which provide better opportunities to connect with the audiences through sound.

Besides, a recent study shows the increasing trends of visual data and videos in marketing. Take a look at how YouTube grew over the past years or how Facebook and Instagram adapt to this trend by setting up new features for video hosting.

TikTok can be used both as a video content publisher and advertiser at the same time.

Stay ahead of the social media curve

TikTok will not just stop here! We predict that TikTok is going to grow even more from here. If you are still hesitant, now is the perfect time to get started!

How can you build TikTok Ads Campaigns? A case study of Tramdecor

In the next section, we will walk you through our small experiment on TikTok for one of our customers.

Client name: TramDecor

Location: Vietnam

Industry: Interior design

Campaign objectives: drive more traffic to the landing page where visitors can sign up through a registration form or chat with the sales team to make an order.

The preparation

First of all, you need a business account to run ads. 

Head to https://ads.tiktok.com/ and click to “Create an Ad”

Then fill out your business details 

Once the registration process is completed, you will be redirected to TikTok Business Center. Here you can access your business account to start your campaign.

At first glance, you might find it similar to Facebook Business Manager but easier to navigate and change the settings. Don’t forget to add your billing details in Business Settings.

Click “Ads Accounts” and on the right side “, Open in TikTok Ads Manager.”

Once you are in Ads Manager, you will see the navigation menu look like this:

Source: TikTok

It is vital first to understand the functions of each element so that we can continue from here:

  • Dashboard: where you find the summary from your latest campaigns. You can also review demographics information and take away some insights for your next campaigns.
  • Campaign: where we will go next to set up the advertising campaign
  • Assets: store all the Events, Creatives, Audiences which will support your campaign later. Our advice is to have all of them ready and uploaded here before setting up any campaigns

Pixel and events

Talking about inserting pixels and creating events, TikTok has redesigned its event tracking to make it easier for beginners. No complex setup, no coding knowledge needed, no requirements to connect with Google Tag Manager. We have to insert the pixel to the website, then type in the URL to the landing page in this box below and wait for them to load. You can click on different elements on the site to create “Click Events”, then a CSS selector will be automatically inserted in the rule tracking. 

It would work best when you have, for example, an e-commerce store and you want to create an event where people click the button “Add to cart” since it will automatically include all elements with the same CSS selector on all pages.

  • Reporting: here you can customize your version of the report using drag and drop features.

Now, let’s set up your first advertising campaign.

The implementation

Head over to Campaign, here you will see the list of all campaigns (if you have created some). 

Similar to Instagram Ad Manager, TikTok’s advertising platform tools automate the process of creating, delivering, and optimizing your ads.

Now, click “Create” on the left side

Step 1: Choose campaign objectives

For the objectives of this campaign, we would like to create brand awareness and drive as many visitors to the landing page as possible. 

Step 2: Identify target audiences

– Placement Type: In addition to TikTok, you can decide whether you want to publish your ads on TikTok’s partner apps or not. 

Since our client company does not belong to the entertainment industry, we only proceed and distribute the ads on the TikTok platform.

– Location: this targeted region is related to the language you will use in the ad. You can refer to some policy about the ad language here

– Demographics: here, you can define some characteristics for your audiences. Another alternative is to create your audiences in Assets > Audiences beforehand and choose from the list

Since TramDecor’s target audiences are shop owners, startup founders and families, we decide to narrow the age group to 24+, location in Vietnam and interests in Home & Decor.

Step 3: Set Budget & Bid

TikTok Ads currently has two budgeting options: daily or lifetime. TikTok sets a minimum budget of 40$ per day at the campaign level and 10$ per day at the ad group level. This minimum spend is meant to ensure that your ad has enough budget to spend to reach your ad objectives. The minimum budget is quite the same as LinkedIn Advertising Campaign, but higher than Facebook Ads or Google Ads.

However, TikTok Ads are new to the scene — brands and businesses are still experimenting with the platform. As many advertisers join the platform, the cost will likely decrease, making it more affordable for small businesses.  

Return on investment

Understanding the average spend or return on investment (ROI) is still difficult. But if you’re a small business and want to give TikTok ads a try, don’t let the uncertainty scare you off right away – we are here to learn and experiment. Start with a small budget and review the campaign performance after a few days, then adjust based on the results – that is what we have done for this campaign for TramDecor.

Bidding strategies

Different types of brands will have different bidding strategies. On TikTok, you have the option to select from multiple bidding strategies that can be optimised based on your goals. Below are the two most common bidding strategies:

  • Standard Bid: you will set a specific bid price that you’re willing to pay per optimization goal (clicks, conversions, impressions, etc.) However, this strategy has some drawbacks as it is dependent on your competitors – if they bid higher, you will likely lose your place.
  • Max Conversion: you have no restrictions to your cost per conversion, the only thing you need to do is to set a total campaign budget. TikTok will automatically adjust to maximize the conversions. 

The budget we set is 2 00 000 VND per day (~10 EUR) and the campaign run in 5 days from 8.00 AM to 7.00 PM, during which there comes the most traffic. We chose to go with Max Conversion since it offers a more stable daily spend, through which we can also calculate the cost and determine our standard bid for the next campaigns.

Step 4: Complete ad assets

With TikTok ads, you can increase the creativity within your team. There is plenty of ad format you can choose from and test with to figure the most suitable ones.

Here are a few:

– In-Feed video: video ads appear in the TikTok newsfeed on For You page. It is simple to create and is currently the most used format

– Brand takeover: an interactive ad format that will take over the whole screen when the users open the app.

– Hashtag challenge: this ad format will encourage users to create their content and participate in the challenges

– Branded AR content: with this format, the company will design stickers and 2D/3D/AR content for TikTok users to use in their videos

– Custom Influencer Package: the ad will appear as sponsored content from an influencer account 

Source: TikTok

We prepared three different videos for In-Feed Ads to introduce the service offerings by TramDecor:

  • First – Video 1: Introduce 4 services, with the call-to-action placed at the end of the video
  • Second – Video 2: Introduce 4 services, however, the call-to-action is placed within the first 3 seconds of the video
  • Third – Video 3: Client testimonials about TramDecor, with the call-to-action placed at the end of the video

You can add a maximum of 5 text descriptions. The intelligent features will mix the video and the text to create different versions of the ads. 

In addition, TikTok has a built-in feature for creating quick and simple videos – which we will try next time.

The results

After TikTok approves your ad campaign and begins to run, you can monitor your ad’s performance in Dashboard. 

Once the campaign ends, head over to Reporting. Use filters within campaign reports to drill down into your data. Learn how your ads are performing based on specific dimensions and metrics. These filters include ad creativity, audience demographics, device type, and placement. You can later export the customised data and insights as an Excel file. 

Here are our results after this 5-day campaign:

What surprises us the most is the number of impressions and clicks: 121 714 impressions and 2 700 clicks in just five days, which is the most significant proof for the opportunity to go viral with this platform. The cost per click is also very cheap, for around 370VND (0,02 EUR) per click.

Refer to the three video ads we created; it was interesting to see that video 2 gained the most clicks, meaning first impressions are essential to attract and engage the audiences.

A glance compared to previous Google Ads and Facebook Ads campaigns we have run for TramDecor:

Google AdsFacebook AdsTikTok Ads
Budget (5 days) (in EUR)1203040
Impressions15 26613 106121 714
CPC (in EUR)0,20,10,02
Data comparison

Google Ads and Facebook Ads are still of high importance and among two of the most efficient advertising methods. However, we can not deny the potential of TikTok Ads, with the possibility to help your company reach a vast pool of audiences. 


With TikTok Ads, whether you want to drive more visitors to your website, lead them to download your app or land them at your e-commerce portal, you will always find features that are customised for your own needs. You can reach more audiences, get more engagement which turns into qualified leads.

It is crucial to keep in mind that TikTok evolves fast and is changing every day. Therefore, don’t stop learning and experimenting.  Try out new ad formats, adjust your budget, and most importantly, have fun with TikTok!