TikTok Advertising: How Do TikTok Ads Work?

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With the growing reach of TikTok and the power it brings to influence a global audience, it is creating waves in the social media marketing community.

Initially started with the concept of doing lipsync and sharing funny videos by a young audience, it has rapidly evolved into a profitable marketing platform.

TikTok advertising is a cost-effective shortcut for those looking to boost their reach and inspire more sales for their online stores.

If you are new to TikTok advertising, this blog will cover how TikTok ads work, how much they cost, and more.

Let's dive right into it.


What Is TikTok Advertising?

TikTok advertising offers a faster way to show your products and services to your target audience and generate sales.

The platform launched this feature as a way to generate revenue as well as empower businesses to target their potential customers and drive sales.  

TikTok ads are vertical video ads that users watch as they scroll their feeds. After the launch of TikTok ads, they have become a proven and cost-effective way to generate leads and sales at a way little cost compared to other social networks.

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, you can buy TikTok followers from a trusted source and boost your visibility fast.


How TikTok Ads Work?

TikTok advertising structure consists of campaigns, ad groups, and ads. Here is a breakdown of each;



Every ad starts with creating an ad campaign and choosing the objective of the campaign. TikTok offers different objectives to choose from including website traffic, and app installs, among others.

At the campaign level, you can select a budget (daily, lifetime, or limitless) before setting up your ad groups.

Inside each campaign, you can set multiple ad sets. This allows you to monitor individual ad sets and optimize for conversions.


Ad groups:

Inside each ad group, you will have to choose the ad placements, complete the ad details, choose your target audience, set up your ad budget, and schedule your ad. 

Finally, you have to set your optimization goals and select the bidding method for your ad campaign. From here, you will have to create the individual ads.

Each ad group can have one or multiple ads which allows you to compare them for conversions and optimization of your campaigns. 



This is the most fun part of creating a TikTok advertising campaign. Here you have to select the images or videos that will be shown to your audience.

You can be as creative as you want when it comes to creating interesting and engaging ads that grab the attention of users and get maximum engagement.

Ads creation process simply takes two steps; Uploading images and videos to your ad, and writing copy and adding call-to-action buttons. That's it. You are ready to hit the ‘Publish' and your ad will go live.

Note: If you are struggling with low reach and engagement on your videos, you can buy TikTok likes to gain an instant boost for your content.

TikTok Advertising

How Much Do TikTok Ads Cost?

TikTok advertising is fairly new, which means they can charge premium fees to advertisers. The ads start at $10 per 1000 impressions and the minimum spend they allow is $500.

That is a big difference for small brands and content creators but not a big deal for global brands like Nike or Disney.

A hashtag challenge will cost you $150,000 per week, while the brand takeover campaign will cost you $50,000 per day.


What Are Different TikTok Advertising Options?

Advertising is fairly new to the platform and so things will get better in terms of generating even greater ROI for brands as well as the business-friendly process to create campaigns.

Right now, you have to contact a TikTok ads representative if you want to run advertising campaigns on the app. This is a bit annoying for someone who's used to running campaigns by themselves.

This is expected to change with time as the platform is testing a self-serve platform which is likely to improve the performance of the overall ads. The key settings like targeting, interface, and metrics are not yet available.


What Are Different Ad Formats On TikTok?

While the self-serving feature is not yet there, TikTok still offers various ad formats to be used to run winning ad campaigns;


Biddable Ads

The only biddable TikTok ads are in-feed ads. These ads are shown to users in their regular feeds. These are not as disruptive as other formats. This is why they are easily overlooked and don't bring encouraging statistics of conversions.

You can use different bidding models to run in-stream ads like CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per million impressions), and CPV (cost per view, cost per 6 seconds view).

You can customize your ads using age, gender, device type, interest, and location selections to have better targeting.


TopView Ads

These are ads that are shown to users as soon as they open the app. These are audio-on, full-screen ads that are great for maximum exposure and greater reach.

They are targeted toward a larger audience on TikTok that have a playtime of up to 60 seconds. Users can also be directed toward a landing page or any other external destination.


Brand Takeover

Brand takeover ads are served as soon as users open the app. They are limited to one advertiser per day to minimize the bounce off from the platform.

These are more expensive than the biddable ads and are not recommended for everyone. If you have a budget and want to send paid traffic to your website, then this can be a great option.


Hashtag Challenge

These ads involve creating hashtag challenges with TikTok advertising representatives onboard. TikTok is known for viral and creative challenges.

These challenges are great for reaching wider audiences with a dramatic boost in the engagement and shares of the videos. TikTok users get excited to take part in these challenges.

These challenges encourage viewers to create and publish videos while using the challenge hashtag. This inspires a lot of UGC or user-generated content and massively grows brand awareness. These ads last for 6 days.


Shoppable Ads

This feature is currently in the beta stage and is available only to influencers. These are similar to Instagram's shoppable ads in which brands can embed their website's link and drive traffic to their offers.

E-commerce brands are eagerly looking for this option to be made available as it can drive a lot of sales thanks to the captivating visual appeal of TikTok.


Final Words

TikTok ads can be a huge win for brands and businesses if they know how to run winning campaigns. We have dived into different aspects of TikTok advertising and how much you should expect to pay if you decide to run ads on the app. This takes a little bit of trial and error to ultimately find the winning combination that you can scale up for maximum ROI.


Azeem Ahmad is an avid digital marketer, guest blogger, and content writer with extensive experience writing about social media marketing, search engine optimization, inorganic marketing strategies, and lead generation. Besides writing, he enjoys playing table tennis, reading blogs, and surfing the internet.

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