TikTok Advertising: 4 Essential Hacks to Improve Key Metrics

Successful TikTok advertising is a matter of designing your content in a way that engages Gen Z. We have three hacks to help you do just that.
Fanbytes | TikTok advertising

In 30 seconds:

  • TikTok Advertising – it’s the fast track to Gen Z. If your brand wants to target younger audiences, TikTok is where you’ll find them.
  • The platform recently announced an expanded advertising offering, making the process safer and smoother for TikTok users.
  • Streamlining your TikTok Advertising strategy? We’ve got the inside track to help you create better TikTok ads, scale effectively, influence your target audience – and measure your results.

It’s safe to say that TikTok has gone from strength to strength. The TikTok app has over a billion monthly active users, and app installs have increased to over 3 billion. It was the most downloaded app of 2021; easily beating other social media platforms. In fact, TikTok received even more traffic than Google last year.

Gen Z in particular have made the TikTok app their home. The generation of digital natives makes up almost half of the audience on the app, and that number is only growing. 

For large and small businesses alike, then, TikTok advertising represents an exciting opportunity to reach and engage young demographics. Here’s how to get stuck in. 

Does TikTok offer advertising?

Absolutely it does. In fact, while it’s possible to simply set up a standard TikTok account and share “regular” content to effectively market to Gen Z, there are a variety of specialised advertising options available on TikTok for brands to explore. 

To access these, you’ll need to set up your TikTok account as a TikTok Business account. This gives you more benefits than regular users – including the ability to set up your TikTok ads manager account. 

In September 2021, TikTok Advertising got a refresh, announced via the TikTok World event. Among the new creative solutions debuted were customised instant pages – allowing brands to create custom landing pages that load 11 times faster than standard mobile pages – and the TikTok Inventory Filter, which gives you more control over where TikTok ads run adjacent to. 

Given that TikTok ads can now reach an estimated 825 million adults worldwide, the ability for advertisers to better target their TikTok campaign means companies can be even more confident that their ads are landing in front of the right audience

But what are the main types of TikTok ads, and how can you use a TikTok advertising strategy to get inside the heads of Gen Z, scale your TikTok presence and bring meaningful benefits to your business?

100 Days to Engage Gen Z

Gone are the days where brands had 12 months to plan an advertising campaign. Effective TikTok advertising thrives on agility and pace, which means brands need to innately understand Gen Z and leverage trends, brand creative, influencer marketing and paid media fluently to advertise successfully.

Fanbytes | Fanbytes Live Event 2022 Guide: Create

Fanbytes hosted a day of insights, discussions, case studies and workshops to help you create better TikTok content and TikTok ads, scale effectively, and influence your target audience.

Click the link to read our top takeouts from the event, to help you nail your TikTok advertising:

Types of TikTok ads

When you’re setting up an advertising campaign on TikTok, there are a whole host of ad formats to choose from. It can even feel a little overwhelming. 

Do you want takeover ads or feed ads? Could your TikTok marketing take places as a hashtag challenge? Are you sure you wouldn’t rather go for Spark ads? And what about reaching out to TikTok influencers

But don’t fret – we have all the social media marketing information you need to know to make the right choice for your brand. Here are some of the most popular available TikTok ads examples to get you started:

Top View Ads

These appear at the very top of a user’s feed – the first thing they’re shown on opening the app. It ranks first in engagement and has a 67% higher sales effectiveness than other TikTok ad types. Something to keep in mind, if you have the cash to splash. 

Branded Hashtag Ads

Launching a branded hashtag is one way to encourage on-platform engagement and the creation of user-generated content (UGC). Simply set up a challenge, or create a prompt around the hashtag, and watch users respond. 

Branded Effect Ads

Similarly to branded hashtag ads, the effects offer ways for users to get involved with brands – this time via a filter or video effect that they can apply to their own videos. It’s a great way to raise brand awareness. (And if it’s entertaining, your brand can score extra bonus points with Gen Z audiences who appreciate when brands join in the fun.) 

Spark Ads

These allow advertisers to effectively “boost” posts that are then used to direct users to a landing page or your brand’s account. You can either put your budget (apart from your ad spend) behind creating video content of your own, or use UGC instead. 

In-Feed Video Ads (& Collection Ads)

These full-screen, full-sound TikTok ads play as users scroll through their feeds – which means they blend in with native content. Since Gen Z distrusts traditional advertising methods, the main benefit of in-feed ads is their ability to blend seamlessly into the user experience. 

Product Links

These links can be used to highlight one (or more) products directly from a TikTok video – leading users to product detail pages. We wrote more about the opportunities around Shopify integration, including these product tags, here.

LIVE Shopping

With reportedly one of the higher returns on investment, it’s no wonder that live streamed shopping events are appearing more and more often across TikTok – with the platform itself even hosting one in December, where dynamic links to products will be shared alongside real-time video content. Live-stream shopping can see conversion rates of 30% – so this is an ad placement opportunity that could be particularly lucrative.

Dynamic Showcase Ads

TikTok for business describes their Dynamic Showcase offering as a way for brands to “serve users personalised, targeted ads based on [their] interests”. Dynamic Showcase Ads (DSAs) allow you to create TikTok ads based on product catalogues. These are personalised video ads which are created in real-time based on an ad template.

For a full breakdown of the various types of ads and examples on how to nail them, check out our in-depth article on the TikTok ads formats here

How to set up a successful TikTok ad campaign

To run an ad on TikTok, you need to create a campaign, set your campaign objectives – which you’ll bring in line with your key metrics – and set your campaign budget. 

One vital metric to measure is engagement. This indicates how *actively involved* with your content your audience is. On TikTok, a high engagement rate looks like videos with a high number of likes, shares and comments. It’s a good indicator that viewers are interested in your message and brand.

Another key metric is reach. A third marketing strategy could target brand sentiment or perception. You could also assess website traffic, clicks and installs (if you’re marketing an app). You’ll measure these as cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-install (CPI).

Follow these quick steps to set up your TikTok advertising campaign:

  1. Sign up for TikTok Ads account and log into the TikTok Ads Manager.
  2. Click ‘Campaign’ and then ‘Create’
  3. Choose an objective. This should be in line with your business goals. You can choose ‘awareness’, ‘consideration’ or ‘conversion’.
  4. Set a campaign name and budget. You can choose to have an unlimited budget, a lifetime budget or a daily budget.
  5. Create an ad group that includes your ad placements, target audiences, budget, schedules and bids. This is also where you’ll add details such as your display name, promotion type and profile image.
  6. Upload your creative and add  your ad copy and call-to-action (CTA) buttons.
  7. Track your ad performance. You can do this on your TikTok ads manager from the dashboard.

If you’re after more detail on how to set up a TikTok advertising campaign, check out our in-depth article here

Now you know the basics for your TikTok Advertising campaign, it just remains to make it as successful as possible. How can you ensure this?

Here are some essential tips to improve these metrics and get your TikTok ads capturing your target audience

Fanbytes | Know your TikTok ads audience

1. Know your Audience

You need to understand your target audience. TikTok allows advertisers to choose a precise audience for your ads, with options to segment by age, gender, location, interest categories, languages, and device type.

Knowing where your branded content is most likely to land, and aiming to resonate that custom audience specifically, will give you better returns on your efforts. 58% of Gen-Z will pay more for products that target their individual personalities. 

But how can you understand what will resonate with them? Consider getting involved with the community most likely to appreciate your brand’s output. TikTok is home to numerous micro-communities all sharing their enthusiasm for niche interests – check out #BookTok, #SkateTok or #SmallBusinessTikTok for inspiration for where your brand could fit. 

Fanbytes | Nail the TikTok ad creative

2. Nail the Creative

You need to create content that appeals to your target market. What kind of personality do you want your TikTok ads to portray? 

On TikTok, Gen Z expects brands to be fun, for ads not to look like ads, and all kinds of content to be engaging – even the paid kind. 65% of Gen Z report using TikTok primarily for entertainment, after all. This can mean the most effective ads involve popular influencers, or create challenges that embrace some of TikTok’s favourite trends. 

We’ve outlined some of our favourite TikTok ads for you to learn from here.

Fanbytes | Test different ad creatives

3. Try, Test, Repeat

You need to scale your TikTok ad, but you need to do it effectively. In our experience, rolling out a paid ad campaign is best done with three different creatives. This way you can split-test creatives and video templates, then choose to boost whichever one proves the most effective. 

Plus, by spreading your ad spend over a number of creatives, you can build different ad groups with different targeting options on your TikTok ads account. Testing out different content combinations allows you to find the audience who resonates best with you – and how you can best influence them. 

Once you’ve unlocked this, the algorithm will reward you by surfacing more of your content on TikTok’s For You page

Fanbytes | Measure your TikTok advertising impact

4. Measure your impact

What does success look like for your TikTok advertising campaign? Bear in mind that Gen Z see more ads than any other generation, and while they’re highly engaged on TikTok, they’re also watching a huge number of TikTok videos while they’re there. Your ad needs to stand out – and it needs to be part of a wider strategy to reach Gen Z.

Brands should always consider ad retargeting to ensure they get the most from their TikTok advertising efforts. But our advice is to think beyond this. A TikTok ad can help send an impactful message, but Gen Z expects more from the brands they choose to champion. Consider how your TikTok advertising fits into your social media marketing as a whole, and how you can use your brand to establish a deeper relationship with your audience.

Gen Z become dramatically more brand loyal as they age, so now is the perfect time to use your TikTok advertising to learn about them, and use this understanding to establish a long-term strategy.

How to advertise on TikTok

Running a successful and engaging ad campaign on TikTok can look different for every brand. While it works for fashion brand Boohoo to run Top View Ads or a brand takeover, for example, smaller businesses have found success with product links and branded hashtags on TikTok’s advertising platform

Whichever ad type you choose, ensuring that your content engages your target audience is vital. With 7 out of 10 users saying that TikTok ads are enjoyable, it’s vital to ensure that your content aligns with their expectations of branded output being fun and entertaining.  

So don’t be afraid to embrace the nature of the TikTok ad platform! Get involved, have fun, experiment, and don’t lose sight of the generation you’re best placed to capture on TikTok: Gen Z are ready when you are. 

Want to get started? Get in touch with us at Fanbytes and we’ll walk you through how to create the best TikTok advertising campaign for your brand.

We have more advice on TikTok advertising best practices, as well as a whole host of advice available to get your ads on users’ homepages below: 

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