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The Complete Guide for Creating Killer Ads on TikTok

January 26, 2022

Deliver a Next-Level TikTok Ad Campaign for Your Clients 

At Conduit Digital, we have hundreds of conversations with agency owners each year. In recent months, TikTok advertising has become a ubiquitous topic that many agencies want to learn more about. 

Well, you asked and we’re here to deliver. Here’s our guide for creating killer ads on TikTok. If you are interested in launching TikTok campaigns for your client, schedule a quick 20-minute discovery call with us today:

Why TikTok is a Can’t-Miss Opportunity for Agencies in 2022

TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform in the digital ecosphere today. According to a report from SocialMediaToday, TikTok is projected to surpass 1.5 billion users this year. 

The largest age groups that use the platform are 10-19, 20-29, and 30-39. Each of these age groups has an average household disposable income ranging from 30,000$ to 89,000$ USD. This presents an incredible opportunity for agencies that serve B2C clients that are seeking to drive conversions such as online sales and app installs. 

However, this does not mean that opportunities are nonexistent for B2B clients. Approximately 37% of United States business owners are within the 20-40 years of age. This figure aligns directly with the second and third-largest age groups on TikTok. 

How to Get Started with Creating Ads on TikTok 

Similar to other paid social channels, TikTok features an Ads Manager platform for advertisers. Your client’s ads are then sorted into three categories in descending order: Campaigns, ad groups, and ads. 

Define Your TikTok Campaign Goals and Budget

The campaign is the stated objective of your advertising efforts and budget. It is the broadest category for organizing your TikTok ads. 

Think of campaigns as the “big picture” umbrella for your ad groups and ads to live under. For example, a campaign for a fashion company might be “Spring 2022 Collection” with the intention to promote the brand’s newest releases across the entire line. 

On a technical level, TikTok provides specific campaign goals for advertisers to select from. These are broken down into three categories: Awareness, consideration, and conversions. From there, you can choose which subcategories you want to build your campaign around. These might include maximizing reach (awareness), increased site traffic or app installs (consideration), product sales (conversions), and a variety of other objectives. 

After choosing your objectives, you may also opt to control the budget at the ad group or campaign level and have TikTok optimize the spend towards what it views as the top-performing ad groups within your campaign. 

During the campaign setup phase, you can also determine your client’s budget. You can choose to set a specific dollar amount or proceed without a budget limit. TikTok operates on a bid model for their ad placements, and advertisers can select one of three bidding strategies: Bid Cap (maximum amount per user action), Cost Cap (average amount), or Lowest Cost. 

Set Up Your Ad Groups 

Ad groups refer to specific sub-campaigns that all contribute to the larger initiative. These are campaign-related messages targeted to specific audiences. If you have separate creatives for a fashion company’s “Spring 2022 Women’s Collection” and another for “Spring 2022 Men’s Collection,” you can divide these into different ad groups with their own targeting parameters. 

Currently, TikTok allows advertisers to target users based on the following four criteria: 

  • Audience: Lookalike audience, custom audiences, and excluded audiences
  • Demographics: Age, gender, location, etc. 
  • Interests and behaviors: personal interests, in-app behavior, and engagements 
    • Video interactions: Specific user actions on videos (likes, comments, clicks, etc.) 
    • Creator interactions: Behaviors when interacting with other creators on TikTok
    • Hashtag interactions: Behaviors when interacting with specific hashtags 
  • Device: connection, model, carrier, price, etc. 

To further optimize your campaign, TikTok allows advertisers to create scheduling parameters for their ads. This ensures that your ads are delivered at specific times of the day or at a consistent rate to prevent creatives from serving at moments of typically low engagement. 

Upload or Create Ads 

Ads are the actual creatives that are served to users’ devices via impressions. Currently, ad groups can house up to 20 ads each. TikTok allows advertisers to create video ads directly on the platform or upload ones that were developed off-app. 

Another option that advertisers can select is Spark ads. Similar to boosted posts on Facebook or Instagram, you can create a Spark ad by allocating a portion of your budget to extending the reach of your organic posts to more users. 

TikTok also offers additional formats to managed brands, which are companies that work directly with the platform’s sales team. These other options include: 

  • Topview ads – full-screen ads that play at the moment the app is opened
  • Branded hashtags – short-term, engagement-focused content that displays on the hashtag challenge feed 
  • Branded effects – creative elements that users can use in their own videos 

At Conduit, we work directly with a dedicated Tiktok representative and have access to an agency-level business center that allows us to access managed brands formats. This creates new opportunities for your client to add dynamic new campaign creatives to best meet their advertising goals. In fact, we just finished running both the branded hashtag and branded effects campaigns right before we posted this! 

Creative Best Practices

Though there are multiple ad formats, TikTok divides them into two main categories: image and video. Keeping this in mind, here are some general creative guidelines for a high-performing campaign: 

Align Your Ads with Your Target Audience 

Develop creatives that appeal directly to the ideal users that receive your ads. Use your ad group’s targeting parameters to influence the messaging, visuals, and features that you will be including in your content. 

Keep Your Messages Short and Sweet 

TikTok built its entire platform on high-engagement, short-form content. Though you can create a video up to 60 seconds in length, try to keep your creatives under 35 seconds when able. This will help avoid the dreaded ad fatigue and prevent users from scrolling onward. 

Think “Mobile-First” 

When creating a new video for your TikTok campaign, do so with a mobile display experience in mind. Record videos vertically so that your ads can fill up the entire screen without any lost or unused screen space! 

Place Creative Elements Near the Center 

TikTok recommends placing your ad creatives near the center of the image or video whenever possible. This will prevent these assets from potentially being cut off by the screen dimensions of a user’s device. 

Variety is Key 

TikTok boasts over 50 million users daily in the United States alone. Social score and frequency are important, but serving the same creatives on a neverending loop can also contribute to ad fatigue among your client’s target audience and reduce a campaign’s performance potential. 

Treat your TikTok campaign as a living, breathing, evolving entity. Plan to update your ads with new creatives to keep your content fresh and relevant on the user’s feed. 

Prioritize the User Experience 

Utilize the wide variety of creative features that TikTok provides to advertisers. For example, include audio in your creatives along with text so that the user has a fuller understanding of your campaign messaging and can easily take the next action after experiencing your ad. 

Keep your ears close to the digital ground to identify new creative trends on the platform. Don’t be shy to integrate them into your ad creatives! This will aid in creating more “natural” feeling ads that will better complement the organic content your target audience is already consuming. 

Satisfy Technical Specifications

Like all social platforms that offer video advertising, TikTok provides technical guidelines to ensure that your creatives can be served to as many devices as possible. When preparing your assets, make sure they satisfy these requirements: 

  • Aspect ratio: 1:1, 16:9, or 9:16 (recommended)
  • User feed resolution: greater than or equal to 540×960 px, 640×640 px, or 960×540 px
  • News feed resolution: No restrictions, but greater than or equal to 720×1280 px, 640×640 px, or 1280×720 px is recommended. 
  • Accepted file types: .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, .avi (user feed only), or .gif (news feed only). 
  • Duration: 5-60s 
  • Bitrate: Minimum of 516 kbps 
  • File size: limited to 500 MB
  • Ad description: 100 character limit 
  • Brand name: 40 character limit 

Supercharge Your Agency’s TikTok Advertising with a White Label Partnership 

As the premier white label digital performance solution for successful agencies, our Paid Social Team at Conduit digital drives billions of impressions for our partners’ clients each year. With a direct business representative at TikTok along with our agency-level business center, we provide your agency with a secret weapon to confidently say “yes” to can’t-miss opportunities. 

The best part? We make it simple to get started. Just send us an Insertion Order with your client’s campaign goals, budget information, and creative assets and you’ll see your campaign data come to life with our custom 24/7 Live Reports! 

Make a resolution to scale your agency with the power of TikTok advertising this year. To get started, schedule a quick 20-minute discovery call with us to learn more about the power of partnership! 

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