The ultimate guide to running successful TikTok ads in 2024

Experts at Shyftup share tips and tricks on how to run successful ads on TikTok. In this detailed guide, they delve into the details of ad types, things to consider before creating and running an ad campaign, and various ad types on TikTok.

An average person spends hours on social media daily. This fact alone makes social media platforms attractive for those who want to reach the masses. TikTok is a prominent one among those platforms; therefore, it’s a major medium for marketing purposes. ShyftUp is a Paid User Acquisition and ASO Agency. It stands out as a top user acquisition agency known for its expertise and experience in driving profitable user growth.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the details of how to run TikTok ads effectively and take advantage of this platform.

Above all, TikTok is a short-form video-hosting service. This single definition is the essence of TikTok and its purpose. When running TikTok ads, this definition must be kept in mind since it determines how users interact with the platform and the efficiency of different ad formats.

Since this is a “comprehensive” guide on how to run TikTok ads, we’ll cover the basics, including the definition of some terms and TikTok ad types. After covering how to get started with TikTok ads, we’ll transition to more complex topics.

What is TikTok Ads Manager?

TikTok Ads Manager is the backend of TikTok’s advertising platform, used for creating, managing, and optimizing ad campaigns on TikTok. TikTok Ads Manager assists the user by streamlining the process into six steps. Advertisers first choose their goal, like driving website traffic or growing online sales. The next step is to select the audience, utilizing options like “Custom Audiences” and “Lookalike Audiences” to ensure the ads reach the right people. Third phase is to set the budget by determining daily or lifetime budgets to maintain full control of the ad spend.

TikTok Ads Manager also allows the user to design their ads. The users or advertisers can upload videos or images for the ads or take advantage of TikTok’s AI-powered tools and native editing features. TikTok Ads Manager utilizes a smart auction system to ensure the ad is showcased to the right audience at the optimal time.

The manager also provides reporting tools, allowing the user to track and optimize campaigns. Customize and visualize campaign analysis based on the metrics that matter the most for the advertiser’s business.

Secrets to Successful TikTok Ads

Crafting effective creative assets

According to experts at ShyftUp, To stand out, the ads must be visually stunning, encapsulating the brand essence in 11-31 seconds, which is the optimal time recommended by the platform to capture a user’s interest. Concise, engaging videos aligned with user preferences must be utilized. 

Riding the Viral Wave

Stay attuned to TikTok trends. Integrate elements that encourage user interaction, leveraging the platform’s ability to propel the content into the spotlight.

TikTok’s dynamism thrives on trends. Staying attuned to the platform’s ever-evolving trends and challenges ensures that the content remains relevant and has the potential to go viral. Users actively engage with content that aligns with ongoing trends, providing the opportunity to ride the viral wave.

Strategic Audience Targeting

Understanding the target audience is paramount. TikTok has extensive audience segments spanning demographics, interests, and behaviors that provide valuable data. Explore Custom Audiences to refine targeting for maximum ROI. Audience segments allow advertisers to tailor campaigns and dive deeper by utilizing Custom Audiences, ensuring that the ads reach the most receptive audience.

The steps of creating TikTok ads in TikTok Ad Manager

Choosing the goal

TikTok Ads Manager allows the advertiser to select a specific objective for their advertising campaign. Whether they want to drive traffic to a website, increase app installs, grow online sales, or attract new sales leads, choosing the right goal helps TikTok optimize the campaign for better results.

Selecting the audience

TikTok offers a range of targeting options to ensure the ad reaches the right audience. Advertisers can create “Custom Audiences” based on their existing customer data and “Lookalike Audiences” to target users with similar characteristics. This step is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of the ad.

Setting the budget

Determining the budget is crucial for every ad campaign. TikTok Ads Manager lets advertisers to set a daily or lifetime budget, giving advertisers the control control over their spending. The flexibility to adjust or pause the ad spend at any time allows for better financial management.

Designing the ad

This step involves creating the visual and creative elements of the ad. TikTok Ads Manager allows advertiser to upload their own videos or images. Alternatively, they can leverage TikTok’s suite of intuitive video creation tools, which are powered by AI. This makes it easy to produce engaging content that aligns with TikTok’s dynamic and creative community.

Going live

Once the ad is crafted and ready, TikTok Ads Manager employs a smart auction system to determine when and to whom the ad should be shown. This ensures optimal visibility and engagement. Going live means the ad is actively running and being displayed to the target audience.

Measuring results

TikTok Ads Manager provides intelligent reporting tools to track the performance of the campaigns. Advertisers can customize and visualize campaign analysis based on the metrics that matter most to their business. Monitoring results allows advertisers to make data-driven decisions and optimize their future campaigns for better outcomes.

How to create different types of TikTok ads

How to Make TikTok Video Ads

Access TikTok Ads Manager by logging in with TikTok account credentials. This platform provides the tools needed to create and manage video ads on TikTok. On the TikTok Ads Manager dashboard, find and click on the “Campaign” section. This is where advertisers manage their existing campaigns and begin the process of creating a new one.

Identify the primary goal of the campaign. TikTok offers various objectives, such as driving website traffic, increasing app installs, boosting online sales, or attracting new sales leads. Choose the goal that aligns with the particular advertising strategy.

Effective targeting ensures video ads reach the right audience. Utilize TikTok’s targeting options to create “Custom Audiences” and “Lookalike Audiences.” This allows advertisers to reconnect with existing customers and expand their reach to users similar to the current customer base.

Enter daily or lifetime budget based on financial preferences. TikTok Ads Manager provides flexibility, allowing advertisers to adjust or pause ad spend as needed during the campaign.

Advertisers then can upload pre-made videos or images or use TikTok’s suite of AI-powered tools and native editing features to craft engaging video content. Advertisers should ensure their ad aligns with the campaign goals and captivates the target audience.

After this step, advertisers may proceed to publish it. TikTok Ads Manager’s intelligent auction system will then display the ad to the right audience at optimal times.

After the video ad is live, TikTok’s reporting tools can be used to monitor its performance. It can track key metrics such as impressions, engagement, and conversions. Advertisers can optimize campaigns based on this data to ensure ongoing success or consider letting ShyftUp lend a professional hand.

How to Make TikTok Spark Ads

TikTok Spark Ads offer a distinct way to enhance organic content from any user’s TikTok account. Unlike regular video ads, Spark Ads persist on advertisers’ profiles even after the promotional period concludes, allowing for a more genuine and lasting connection with their audience.

Spark Ads are positioned on advertisers’ profiles akin to regular TikTok content. The unique feature of being duetted or stitched sets Spark Ads apart, enabling users to interact more meaningfully with the advertiser’s content.

To create Spark Ads, access TikTok Ads Manager with TikTok for Business account. Upon logging in, the process involves establishing a new campaign with a defined objective aligned with the advertiser’s marketing goals, such as awareness, traffic, or conversions. Customize the campaign by naming it, declaring special ad categories if applicable, and setting a budget.

In the next step, the creation of an ad group is crucial. This involves naming the group, adjusting interaction settings, targeting the desired audience, and specifying content exclusions to align with the brand’s values. The next step is determining the ad group’s budget, schedule, and bidding strategy based on the campaign objectives.

Submission of Spark Ad involves uploading creative content adhering to TikTok’s image and video specifications. Advertisers then should set the destination page, either linking to their website or an in-app page and consider optional tracking settings for monitoring events. Once all details are in place, they submit the Spark Ad for TikTok’s review, with the platform typically taking about 24 hours for the review process.

How to Make TikTok Image Ads

TikTok Image Ads are static visuals comprising a brand or app name along with ad text. Exclusive to the Global App Bundle and Pangle Placements, these ads offer a visually appealing way to showcase a brand or product. However, their availability varies by country.

Despite the static nature, image ads are more successful when they tell a visual story through the images. Therefore, it’s crucial to use captivating imagery to convey emotions and messages. Advertisers should maintain consistency with the brand’s visual identity. This consistency builds brand recognition among TikTok’s diverse user base.

When creating or picking the image to be used in the ad, advertisers should keep in mind to craft visually striking images that immediately grab attention. The limited nature of a static image requires a compelling design to convey the ad’s message effectively. It’s important to ensure that the brand or app name is prominently featured. Concise and compelling ad text that complements the visuals should also be written to communicate key messages effectively within the limited space available.

TikTok Image Ad Formats

Global App Bundle: Global App Bundle can be utilized to access TikTok Image Ads. Availability in specific countries can be checked through TikTok’s provided breakdown.

Pangle Placements: Pangle Placements present additional opportunities to showcase the Image Ads. Advertisers must take into account in which countries Pangle Placements are available.

The specifications of the image are important when preparing the image ads. Advertisers should comply with TikTok’s recommended specifications like aspect ratio, resolution, and file type to maintain a polished appearance. It’s also important to tailor Image Ads to local languages and preferences for a more personalized and relatable connection with the audience.

To set up a TikTok Image Ad, the advertiser must access TikTok Ads Manager and select Image Ads to initiate the campaign. Then, they should clearly define campaign objectives, whether it’s brand awareness, traffic, or conversions. 

The next step is to specify the target audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors to maximize the impact of the Image Ad. This step is followed by allocating a budget for the Image Ads campaign, considering the minimum daily spend. Then, the advertisers can set a schedule that aligns with their marketing strategy and choose a bidding method aligned with their goals, such as CPV, CPM, oCPM, or CPC, to optimize for the desired outcomes of the campaign.

How to Make TikTok Collection Ads

TikTok Collection Ads offer brands a robust platform to present a series of products or services in a visually appealing and interactive format. These ads seamlessly integrate engaging content with a direct shopping experience, establishing them as valuable tools for driving conversions.

The process of making TikTok collection ads begins with curating visually attractive and cohesive content. Collection Ads typically showcase a cover image or video, followed by individual tiles highlighting specific products. Products featured in the Collection Ad should be carefully chosen, focusing on alignment with campaign objectives and resonance with the target audience.

Collection Ads consist of tiles, and each tile within the Collection Ad contributes to the narrative. A logical flow guides users through the story, encouraging exploration and engagement.

The ad creation process is initiated by logging into TikTok Ads Manager and selecting the objective to optimize Collection Ads for driving actions such as website visits, app installs, or purchases. The next step is to define the campaign and ad group settings. Target audience specifications include demographics, interests, and behaviors. A daily budget and schedule are set to align with the marketing strategy. Then, in the Ad Format section, “Collection” is selected as the preferred format to offer an immersive and shoppable experience for TikTok users.

ShyftUp’s experts emphasize that a captivating cover image or video representing the essence of the Collection should be chosen and uploaded. Individual tiles follow, showcasing different products or campaign aspects. In TikTok Collection Ads, each tile is populated with product details, including images, names, and brief descriptions. Clarity and conciseness encourage quick decision-making by users. A CTA button aligning with campaign goals is crucial, whether it’s “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” or another relevant action, serving as a direct prompt for user engagement and easing the quick decision-making process. When all these steps are complete, a thorough review of the Collection Ad ensures visual coherence, accurate product information, and seamless navigation through the tiles before confirmation. This is followed by tracking the ad’s performance by TikTok’s analytics tools and optimizing it as necessary.

Maintaining a consistent visual theme across all elements of the collection ad enhances brand identity and user experience. Considering TikTok’s mobile-centric user base, Collection Ads are optimized for mobile viewing. Testing on various devices guarantees a seamless experience.

It’s advised to craft a compelling narrative through Collection Ads, encouraging users to explore the entire collection by strategically unfolding a story across the tiles. Products should be arranged thoughtfully within the tiles, considering user flow and engagement. Key offerings and promotions are highlighted for effective attention capture.

How to Make TikTok Shopping Ads

To create a TikTok Shopping Ad, advertisers log into TikTok Ads Manager with a TikTok for Business account and start by setting a conversion objective to optimize Shopping Ads. The conversion objective can be actions like website visits, app installs, or purchases. 

Then, the advertiser needs to define the campaign and ad group settings. The target audience should be specified based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. The daily budget and schedule should be aligned with the overarching marketing strategy.

In the Ad Format section, the advertiser should choose “Shopping” as the preferred format. The choice made here will directly impact how users interact with and navigate through the Shopping Ads. The next step is to choose or create visually captivating images or videos for the Shopping Ad. These creative assets should not only represent the brand effectively but also highlight key products or aspects of the overall campaign.

Next, the advertiser should populate the Shopping Ads with detailed product information, including high-quality images, product names, and concise yet compelling descriptions. Clarity in product presentation is vital for facilitating quick decision-making by users as they engage with the ads. A Call-to-Action (CTA) button is also needed, prompting users to “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” or encourage another relevant action. The CTA serves as a direct guide for user engagement.

Before finalizing the TikTok Shopping Ads, a thorough review should be conducted. Ensuring visual coherence, accurate product information, and a seamless navigation experience through the shopping journey is crucial. This step is essential for optimizing user engagement and conversions. Then, the process of tracking and optimizing the ad begins.

In terms of types, TikTok Shopping Ads encompass Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads, and Live Shopping Ads. Each of these serves a specific purpose in creating a dynamic and shoppable experience for TikTok users.

How to Make TikTok Playable Ads

These ads typically consist of full-screen videos that are strategically designed to capture attention and promote brand awareness or specific products. Playable Ads introduce an interactive element, allowing users to participate in simple games directly within the ad interface. However, it’s crucial to note that the availability of Playable Ads is currently limited to select countries.

The interactive nature of Playable Ads makes them an effective tool for enhancing user engagement. By incorporating gamification elements, brands can create a more immersive experience, enticing users to participate rather than passively consume content. This dynamic approach contributes to a more memorable interaction, fostering a connection between the user and the brand.

The integration of TikTok Playable Ads involves careful consideration of the game’s design and mechanics. Brands should focus on creating games that align with their messaging and resonate with the target audience. The game should entertain and convey the brand’s identity and key marketing messages.

Playable Ads, as in any other ad TikTok ad type, must comply with TikTok’s guidelines to ensure optimal performance. The visual and interactive elements should align with TikTok’s recommended specifications for aspect ratios, resolutions, and file formats.

TikTok’s auction and bidding model also applies to Playable Ads, allowing advertisers to determine the cost per interaction or engagement. The bidding strategy should align with the campaign objectives, whether it’s focused on maximizing views, interactions, or specific conversion events within the game.

As with other TikTok ad formats, the creation of Playable Ads involves navigating the TikTok Ads Manager. Advertisers can access the platform, select the campaign objective, and proceed to create an ad group specifically tailored for Playable Ads. This involves setting parameters such as target audience, budget, and bidding strategy.

Advertisers can then proceed to design the interactive game and upload creative assets. The game should seamlessly integrate with TikTok’s platform, offering users a smooth and enjoyable experience. Testing and refining the Playable Ad ensure that it aligns with the brand’s objectives and resonates with the TikTok audience.

How to Make TikTok Pangle Ads

Pangle ads or Pangle Placement enables advertisers to effectively reach broad audiences by running ads in placements on 3rd party apps while benefiting from app monetization solutions for publishers (i.e., app developers). In a nutshell, Pangle provides immersive ad formats that make for a better ad experience for users, with the purpose of driving impactful results for businesses.

Pangle supports a variety of engaging ad formats that can help ads better blend in with the native content of the media on which ads are shown. Each ad format has its own unique benefits when leveraged across different scenarios. 

The available ad formats include: 

Rewarded Video Ads: Full-screen video ads with in-app rewards for users who watch the video for the entire duration.

Interstitial Ads: Ads that are displayed during certain transitions within the flow of the app, such as post-level clearance or during pauses between game levels.

Native Ads: A type of ad that matches the style of the original content that’s found on the app, blending in to provide a consistent and seamless viewing experience to end users.

Banner Ads: Ads that are displayed in the form of rectangular banners across the app.

App Open Ads: A type of ad that’s displayed when the app is opened and the user begins a session.

Icon Ads: A type of ad that only displays the app icon and app name.

Pangle Ads or Pangle Placement also provides interactive customization services such as Endcard and Playable Ads, designed to help boost advertising performance. For details, please see below. 

How to Make TikTok TopView Ads

TikTok TopView Ads are full-screen takeovers lasting from 5 to 60 seconds, ensuring that brands command undivided attention during the critical initial moments when users open the TikTok app. Exclusive to managed brands collaborating with TikTok sales representatives, access to TopView ads becomes a strategic advantage. Positioned at the forefront of a user’s TikTok journey, these ads offer an unmissable opportunity for brands to showcase their products, services, or messages with maximum visibility. 

To create TikTok TopView Ads, advertisers navigate the TikTok Ads Manager and start by setting the campaign objectives, defining ad groups, and establishing targeting parameters. Audience demographics, behaviors, interests, and device preferences should also be considered.

The visual should have an aspect ratio of 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9, where the vertical 9:16 is recommended for optimal visual appeal. Resolutions of 540x960px, 640x640px, or 960x540px ensure clarity, while supported video file types are .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi.

Video length may range from 5 to 60 seconds. TikTok recommends a sweet spot of 9 to 15 seconds for optimal engagement. The maximum file size for the videos of these ads is 500MB

TikTok TopView Ads, although having an auction and bidding model, has a minimum campaign-level budget of $50 USD per day. As in all other ads, these ads are also subject to a review process, which usually takes around 24 hours.

How to Make a TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenge

This interactive ad format is a potent tool for engaging users and fostering a sense of community around the brand. A Branded Hashtag Challenge spans three to six days, immersing users in an interactive campaign that encourages content creation and engagement. It’s a dynamic format that brings user-generated content to the forefront, creating a vibrant tapestry of brand interactions within the TikTok community.

Like the Topview TikTok Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenges are also exclusive to advertisers who work with a TikTok sales representative. It begins with the creation of ad groups, managing interaction controls, targeting parameters, and Defining the target audience through demographics, interests, behaviors, and device preferences. 

The budget and schedule of the ad must also be set. These ads are placed and billed according to  TikTok’s auction and bidding model with options to pay per video view, click, or impression. Bidding methods like CPV, CPM, oCPM, and CPC can be preferred to fine-tune the campaign and budget efficiency. 

Content creation involves the uploading of captivating videos, crafting compelling captions, and selecting brand identity, either through a display name or the brand’s TikTok account. Destination pages and tracking options should be managed in detail in this ad type too. As usual, ads of this type are also subject to approval, which may take around 24 hours.

TikTok Ads Library

TikTok Ads Library is a crucial element for anyone who wishes to master TikTok ads. It’s also a valuable source for beginners. Therefore, it would be beneficial to cover it before going to a few frequently asked questions about TikTok Ads.

What is the TikTok Ads Library?

The TikTok Ads Library is a global repository, a source of information for anyone keen on delving into the intricacies of TikTok advertising. This resource isn’t exclusive to TikTok users or advertisers; it’s accessible to anyone worldwide. Currently, the TikTok Ads Library concentrates its data collection on ads running in Europe.

Global Insights

While its primary focus is European data, the TikTok Ads Library remains a valuable tool for businesses beyond Europe. It provides a panoramic view of how TikTok Ads within a specific industry are approached by businesses similar to that industry.

Alternative Resources

For businesses outside the geographical scope of the TikTok Ads Library, the TikTok Creative Center becomes a beacon. Within its “Inspiration” tab, the “Top Ads Dashboard” opens the door to top-performing ads across all countries where TikTok operates. It must be noted that this view emphasizes top-performing ads, not a comprehensive directory like the TikTok Ads Library.

Functionality and Comparison

Drawing a parallel with the Facebook Ads Library, the TikTok Ads Library operates similarly, serving the dual purpose of providing transparency for users and acting as a wellspring of inspiration for businesses.

Sorting Features

One notable advantage of the TikTok Ads Library over its Facebook counterpart is its sorting features. These features enable users to filter and find the best or worst ads based on various parameters, elevating the user experience.

In-Depth Detail Pages

The TikTok Ads Library’s detail pages offer a deeper dive into ad specifics compared to the Facebook Ads Library. Incorporating data on targeting and reach, these pages empower businesses with comprehensive insights.

Additional Tabs and Features

All Ads Report

The standard TikTok Ads Library for European data expands into additional tabs, enriching the experience for users seeking broader insights. The “All Ads Report” unveils the total number of ads posted by country and day, facilitating strategic planning for seasonal marketing.

Other Commercial Content

For a glimpse into non-paid, organic TikToks with a commercial touch, the “Other Commercial Content” tab within the TikTok Ads Library proves invaluable. It focuses on content designated as “commercial,” weeding out entertainment-focused TikToks to spotlight those promoting products or services.

The Creative Center Connection

The TikTok Creative Center complements the TikTok Ads Library by offering additional resources. Noteworthy among them is the Commercial Music Library, aiding businesses in finding inspiration by combining different audio clips with TikTok Ads.

Key Terms and Metrics

Understanding the core terms within the TikTok Ads Library is essential for leveraging its full potential:

First Shown: The day an ad receives its first impression, irrespective of its publication date.

Last Shown: The day an ad receives its last impression, regardless of its takedown date.

Unique Users Seen: An estimate of the unique TikTok users who have viewed the ad at least once.

11 ways to create better content and utilize the TikTok Ads Library for business

  • Filter for Top Performers
  • Learn from Dislikes
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Stats and Goal Setting
  • Discover Popular Hashtags
  • Fresh Audio Ideas
  • Trend Analysis
  • Identify Influencers
  • Business Collaboration
  • Client Prospecting
  • Targeting Tactics

Before finishing the comprehensive guide on TikTok Ads by ShyftUp, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions About TikTok Ads

What are the secrets to successful TikTok ads?

  • Captivating Creativity
  • Adaptability and Updates
  • Adhere to TikTok’s Aesthetics
  • Strategic Use of Hashtags
  • Interactive Elements
  • Localized Approach
  • Strategic Bid Management
  • Frequent Testing and Optimization
  • Ad Library Utilization
  • Community Interaction
  • Responsive Engagement
  • Strategic Campaign Setup

How to get started with TikTok advertising?

  • Create a TikTok Business Account
  • Familiarize with TikTok Ad Types
  • Set Clear Objectives
  • Explore Targeting Options
  • Budgeting and Bidding
  • Choose a Bidding Method
  • Create Compelling Ad Creatives
  • Utilize the TikTok Ads Manager
  • Monitor and Optimize
  • Leverage TikTok’s Creative Center
  • Engage with the TikTok Community
  • Measure Success

What to consider in TikTok ads in 2023?

  • Trends and Virality
  • Diverse Ad Formats
  • Audience Understanding
  • Creative Content
  • Engagement and Interaction
  • Localization
  • TikTok Ad Library
  • Budgeting and Bidding
  • Analytics and Optimization
  • Influencer Collaborations
  • Emerging Ad Features
  • Adapting to Algorithm Changes
  • User-Generated Content
  • Legal and Ethical Considerations
  • Community Engagement
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Effects

ShyftUp services include App Store Optimization (ASO), Apple Search Ads, Google App Campaigns, Facebook Ads, TikTok Ads, and Snapchat Ads.

If you’re looking to excel in crafting and executing effective TikTok ads, ShyftUp is your go-to partner. With a focus on aiding app developers and marketers, ShyftUp optimizes ad performance to achieve better conversion rates.

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