With more than 1 billion active users, TikTok has quickly become one of the most powerful social media platforms on the market. The short-form video app is even poised to surpass both Twitter and Snapchat in ad revenue in 2022, with its earnings projected to reach $11 billion.
As a result, there’s never been a better time to explore the art of TikTok advertising. Here is everything you need to know about TikTok ad formats, TikTok Ads examples and TikTok advertising best practices.
What is TikTok Ads?
TikTok Ads (also known as TikTok Ads Manager) is the portal through which users can post and oversee their advertisements on the app. From learning how to set up a TikTok ad campaign to targeting, management and insight reports, TikTok Ads has all the tools businesses need to effectively reach customers.
Here companies can experiment with a variety of TikTok Ads formats including:
- In-feed ads: This is the most cost-effective form of TikTok advertising. These ads appear seamlessly on users’ “For You” pages.
- Brand takeovers: These full-screen display ads display for a couple of seconds immediately when a user opens the app.
- Branded hashtag challenge: A trend in which a TikTok user shares an original clip where he/she dances to audio, inspiring others to mimic the video themselves. Brands often use this trend-oriented approach in accessing audiences and sometimes include a shopping component.
- Branded lenses: These TikTok ads appear in the app’s more creative and AR-based spaces.
TikTok Ads examples
Many companies have embraced TikTok advertising, achieving high levels of reach and brand awareness. Below are some of the best TikTok Ads examples we’ve seen so far.
“Red Bull gives you wings” is one of the most widely recognized slogans around the world. With that in mind, it’s unsurprising that the company has capitalized on it in its TikTok advertising. In several of the TikTok ad examples on the Red Bull account, you’ll not only see the slogan, but you’ll see visuals to reflect its sentiment. For example, in the video below, a skier is seen doing gravity-defying flips while sipping a Red Bull energy drink. The caption reads, “you can drink a Red Bull, even mid-air” along with the hashtag #givesyouwings.
Why it works: These TikTok ad formats represent Red Bull’s brand image in a compelling and accurate way. The visuals and company slogan act as a powerful combination in spiking brand awareness among the account’s 6.5 million followers.
Ryanair is an Irish airline offering extremely cheap flights around Europe. In an effort to appeal to the Millennial and Generation Z demographics (which dominate the app), Ryanair’s TikTok ads’ formats are funny and youthful. The videos regularly feature popular trends and ultra-casual language, such as “bestie”.
Why it works: The perfect mix of silly and savvy, Ryanair has done an outstanding job in establishing its unique brand identity through TikTok advertising. Additionally, it’s never failed to showcase its primary USP: low-cost flights you can’t find anywhere else. With 1.6 million followers and 9.5 million likes, the airline is a masterclass in how to advertise on TikTok.
Kraft specializes in the ultimate comfort food: macaroni and cheese. In a 2021 TikTok ad campaign, the company prompted TikTok users (including its 215,000 followers) to reimagine how they view comfort and comfort foods. Using an emotion-driven approach, the brand launched a branded hashtag campaign with the hashtag #KraftMacMeSkip. Users were encouraged to Duet Kraft’s original video linked below with a video of them mimicking the same skip-dance shown in the ad.
Why it works: By encouraging users to Duet the video and use the hashtag, Kraft’s TikTok advertising campaign directly boosted engagement. When users showed themselves skipping gleefully, they helped create an association between the product and feelings of joy. The simplicity and virality potential of the trend played a huge role in its success, with the introductory ad gaining over 6 million views.
Known as a one-stop shop for all your homeware needs, Bed Bath & Beyond is an internationally recognized brand. Since joining TikTok in July 2021, the company has garnered over 30,000 followers and 1.6 million likes, the vast majority of which came from one ad targeted at social media managers.
Why it works: The video takes a comedic approach, using a popular filter effect and adding its own spin on a trending TikTok sound. By using humor, the company conveys that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and creates a sense of relatability. The approach clearly resonated well with its audience, accruing 8.1 million views and 1.5 million likes – and counting.
If you wear nail polish, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Essie. Founded in 1981 and acquired by L’Oréal in 2010, the American company has become a major player in the nail care industry. Its TikTok advertising efforts have been equally impressive, gaining the account over 26,000 followers and 1 million likes. One of its key strategies has been a branded hashtag challenge, in which the brand has partnered with multiple TikTok influencers in spreading its unique hashtag, #exprESSIEyourself.
Why it works: As mentioned above, branded hashtag challenges are an extremely effective TikTok advertising strategy. By partnering with influencers, the brand is expanding its reach to include other users’ fanbases and boosting awareness. Additionally, with more users encouraged to use the hashtag, Essie is spiking its engagement levels to new heights.
TikTok advertising best practices
While these are some excellent TikTok Ads examples, you may still be wondering how to advertise on TikTok for your brand. To simplify the process, here are a few TikTok advertising best practices to keep in mind when crafting your social media marketing strategy.
Create content with the app in mind
One of the most important considerations in TikTok advertising is the interface of the app itself. You need to remember that users are going to be watching these ads on their smartphones. As a result, the content must fit the recommended specifications, which is most easily achieved by shooting your content vertically. If you fail to prioritize the app’s layout and specifications, your ads won’t have the same impact on users.
Limit video length
While the maximum length of TikTok videos has increased to 10 minutes, it’s best to keep ads short on the platform. Not only is TikTok known for being a short-form video app, but businesses run the risk of losing user interest if ads are too long. To avoid this, keep your videos between 7 and 15 seconds long.
Leverage existing trends
One of the TikTok algorithm’s key priorities is the number of views on a video. The higher the number of views, the more that video will get boosted in the algorithm. An excellent way to increase your views is to engage in a popular trend that is performing well on the app. Whether it’s using a trending sound, filter or hashtag, leveraging trends is extremely effective because you already know it attracts views. It also offers an opportunity to infuse a widespread trend with your unique sense of personality.
Post at the right time
When it comes to TikTok advertising, timing is crucial. The best time to post on TikTok will vary depending on your target market. Perform thorough market research into your audience members and their behaviors on the app. Once you determine the optimal times to post for your audience, create a unique posting schedule tailored to those behaviors. Posting at these times helps your content perform better in the algorithm and increases your chance of appearing on the native “For You” page.
Don’t forget a call to action (CTA)
What is the main objective of your TikTok ad campaign? Whether it’s selling a product or increasing web traffic, your goal needs to be clearly communicated to your audience. A CTA is a key tool in conveying the desired action to users and incentivizing them to perform it. Incorporate your CTA in the text on the video itself, in the caption or both to ensure your audience knows exactly what to do next.