TikTok Advertising Overview for 2022

TikTok User Summary

TikTok has approximately 1 billion monthly active users according to Wallaroo Media’s report. We estimate monthly users will surpass 1.1 billion in 2022.  This growth has been near exponential since November of 2018 when TikTok reported its 680 million monthly active users.  As for the typical demographic, nearly 50% of the user base is under A29 and skews female, according to Statista.

TikTok Ad Creative

Paid TikTok ads can come in several forms, including:

Brand Takeover

TikTok Brand Takeovers are full-screen, high-impact ads that feature as the first thing a user sees when opening TikTok. Created for mass awareness, this format will also guarantee extremely high reach and great click-through performance due to the entire screen being clickable, reducing the friction between the ad and the desired destination. 

  • Brand Takeover ads are short and snappy, being either a 3-second image or a 3-5 second video, and allow brands to direct traffic to both internal and external landing pages.  
  • Brand Takeover ads have 100% Share of Voice for the day they are featured, meaning that users won’t see any other Brand Takeover on that particular day. This premium ad space does come with a high price tag and lends itself to large brands that are looking for maximum exposure.

In-feed Ads

These are videos that appear as users scroll – purchased on a CPM, CPC, or CPV basis.

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9. Vertical videos with a 9:16 ratio perform best
  • Minimum resolution: 540 x 960 px or 640 x 640 px. Videos with a resolution of 720 px perform best.
  • File types: mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi
  • Duration: 5-60 seconds. TikTok recommends 21-34 seconds for top performance
  • Max file size: 500 MB
  • Profile image: square image less than 50 KB
  • App name or brand name: 4-40 characters (app) or 2-20 characters (brand)
  • Ad description: 1-100 characters, no emojis

Spark Ads

TikTok’s version of the well-known Facebook boosted post – brands can boost organic content from your own account or from other users. Research shows that these ads have a 24% higher completion rate and 142% higher engagement rate than in-feed ads. The cost is similar to In-Feed Video.

  • Aspect ratio: Any
  • Minimum resolution: Any
  • Duration: Any
  • Max file size: Any
  • Account mentions and emojis allowed
  • Display name and text come from the original organic post

Branded Hashtag Challenge

A one-of-a-kind engagement format that taps into user passion for creation and expression. This approach can deliver strong brand awareness with a level of engagement that goes far beyond a simple click.

  • Invite all users to participate in “the challenge” by asking them to record themselves completing a specific action or following a set of directions around your campaign theme
  • 35% of users participate in challenges
  • Average engagement rate of 8.5% through likes, comments, and shares
  • Cost Per Day (CPD) model, $150k for a 6-day package

Branded Effect

Dial-up the fun with tailor-made sharable stickers, filters, and special effects. Unleash the potential of your creativity and watch its popularity grow.

  • 2-3D lenses developed in-house by the TikTok team
  • One lens can live for up to 10 days with placement in the top 3 lenses for the first 5 days
  • 64% of users have used face filters or lenses
  • Minimums range from $90,000-$180,000 depending on the complexity of the creative

It is very important to note that creativity on TikTok is very different from what you will see on any other paid social platform. Ads need to be relevant to pop culture trends usually (incorporating popular sounds or hashtags). Additionally, brands can run either automated placements or choose specific placements.  Automated creative opens up ads to serve on additional inventory, including partner apps like Buzzfeed.

Tips and Recommendations to Improve TikTok Ad Performance

  • Be authentic: TikTok is more casual than other social platforms, so it’s especially effective when brands adopt this same feel with their content.  53% of users say they trust others to be their real selves on TikTok.
    • TikTok is known for providing a focus on the brighter side of life vs. portraying an unrealistic image
  • Build for mobile: You want to run the 9:16 vertical aspect ratio. This is the aspect ratio 98.63% of top-performing videos use.
  • Mix it up:  99% of top-performing videos feature a variety of shots & angles.
    • Switching between standard width video and close-up feature shots indicates a 40.56% lift in impressions when compared to videos that feature one person on-screen continuously without b-roll or transitions 
  • Grab attention: Short-form video content is consumed much faster than other formats, so it’s important to grab the user’s attention within the first few seconds. 
  • Be concise: TikTok recommends keeping ads around 10 seconds to retain user attention.
  • Incorporate audio: On TikTok, audio is a key component of the user experience. 93% of top-performing videos use audio
    • Regulations are changing for the ability to license music, so brands are needing to approach in different ways such as creating their own sounds
  • Captions are important too: TikTok found that 40% of ads with the highest view-through rates included text overlays.
  • End with Call-to-Action: The ad’s CTA is what encourages users to take the action we’re looking for.
    • Ads can be optimized for a variety of different objectives, including reach, traffic, app installs, video views, lead generation, conversions, and catalog sales (still in beta, and only available to those with a managed ad account).
  • Work with an influencer or creator: Working with a proven, relevant TikTok influencer to promote your product can be a happy middle ground between spending thousands on TikTok commercials and trying to produce your own content. More information can be found on the TTCM (TikTok Creator Marketplace)  help center. 

Targeting Capabilities and Cost

  • The platform allows country, state, and DMA level targeting (no zip or county level targeting available).
  • Retargeting options include website retargeting (not traditional – only retargets those who have visited your site after clicking through the brand’s ad on TikTok), engagement retargeting (with your ad on TikTok), and app activity retargeting (activity within client’s app).
  • TikTok lets you target people based on age, gender, location, interests, and more. You can also create custom audiences and lookalike audiences to reach people like your existing customers. Go into depth with this TikTok Advertising Guide.
  • TikTok ads have an average CPM of $8-10
    • There is no longer any minimum spend requirements, but a good rule of thumb is about $5-$10K/month for the first month to ensure sufficient volume to get meaningful learnings.

Consumer Study Webinar

Please fill out the form below to watch the webinar

Consumer Study Webinar