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TikTok ads: types, formats and settings | Digital marketing for digital dinosaurs

We continue our analysis of social media advertising with one of the most dynamic platforms, TikTok.

Tiktok is a very different platform with some specific characteristics that make it unique: it is a space where people generate their own content that opened opportunities for brands to develop new marketing techniques to reach a demographic like Gen-Z that we know is pretty volatile and difficult to market to.

The dimensions are pretty big, as of January 2022, TikTok had 1 billion Monthly Active users worldwide.

Statista found that TikTok users watch 167 million hours of videos on the app in a sample minute.

Majority of those videos are entertainment, dance, pranks but also a lot of interesting verticals like sports, home renovation, beauty and skincare, fashion, cooking and pets

Marketing on TikTok is definitively a reality for a lot of brands.

Again the platform is structured in a very similar way as the others we have analysed with the starting point of each campaign being the primary objectives

TikTok is definitely the place to advertise when you want to build awareness and consideration amongst an audience you wouldn’t reach easily otherwise.

This means mostly using the platform for visibility purpose. You can also try to build your brand within the platform but this requires a lot of effort with producing content and probably something a lot easier to do for a single person that has not many constraints but a lot more complicated for a brand, therefore i wouldn’t suggest it unless you’re serious about it

When using the platform for awareness and consideration purposes there are a series of type and formats of ads you can create there

  • In-feed ads will appear in the feed with images or video, carousel and text

  • Spark ads allow your brand to boost organic content from your own account or from other users. This can be used to boost influencers content

In terms of formats there are lots of things we can do on TikTok

  • TopView ads - Video ads that appear as a full-screen takeover for 5 to 60 seconds when users open the TikTok app.

  • Branded Hashtag Challenge - A three- to six-day ad campaign format to encourage engagement, in which user-generated content appears on the hashtag challenge page.

  • Branded Effects Branded stickers, filters, and special effects to get TikTokers interacting with your brand.

Just like in FB, you can buy ads per auction or through Reach and Frequency but this is only available for specific clients

KPI's on TikTok

When we want to monitor the success of our campaigns on TikTok we should look at the following KPI’s


  • Video views but most importantly Total play time. A cumulative total of the time people have spent watching your video. An individual post’s play time does not reveal much on its own, but can be compared with other posts’ performance to determine your account’s average total play time.

  • Average watch time. The average amount of time people spent watching your video. This will give you a good indication of how successful you were at maintaining attention.

  • Watched full video. The number of times the video has been watched in full. Reach of a specific hashtag

Engagement: Number of likes, comments and shares Virality: Number of videos in which the campaign hashtag is used. Number of videos in which the brand song is used

Conversions: Due to the unique nature of this platform, there are some metrics, beyond the traditional ones, that is worth mentioning:

  • Increase in sales through the campaign

  • Increase in traffic to the website or social media channels.

  • Videos your followers watched. This section allows you to get a sense of the content that is most popular with your followers. Have a look at this section often to see if it sparks any ideas for content. It’s also a good place to scope out potential collaborators.

  • Sounds your followers listened to. TikTok trends are often underscored by audio tracks, so check the top sounds your followers have listened to to see what’s popular. Trends move fast on TikTok, so if you use these results for ideas, plan for a quick turnaround.

Sources: above material is mainly taken from Google, I will post a series of links to useful sources towards the end of the series of those blog posts.

For now if you want to learn more about Facebook ads I suggest you to study here

Hope you're enjoying those posts, please get in touch!


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