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How to Make TikToks, Not Ads

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While advertising on TikTok may be relatively new, there are still best practices that you should follow if you want to have the best chance at success when advertising on their app.

We’ve developed a list of tips on how to make the most of advertising on the platform.

So strap in, maybe sip a cup of tea, and prepare to become a TikTok advertising expert by the end of this article!

Make native inspired content

Advertising with TikTok works best when your adverts don’t stand out like a sore thumb. Instead, you should try and create an advert that has similar vibes to regular TikTok videos.

As our Paid Media Manager, JP, says:

‘People don’t like looking at ads. Reminding yourself to ‘make TikToks, not adverts’ is a great way to consistently create content for this platform in a way that feels natural to users and won’t result in an instant swipe to the next video’.

Leading on from this is our next tip…

Have a hook in the first 5 seconds

In the same vein as the previous tip, ensure that you have a very clear hook in the first 5-10 seconds of your video.

What you want to do is encourage the user to give you their attention for as long as possible. That’s why the first few seconds can be the hardest when running adverts. If people don’t think your video has any value to them then they’ll give you no chance.

If you can grab someone’s attention immediately by identifying a pain point of theirs, then you are more likely to capture their attention for longer…and then win them over with the rest of your ad that tells them about your business and products.

Direct the user to the top of the screen

If you’re a seasoned TikTok scrolling professional, then you’ll already be aware that adverts are clearly labelled as ‘ads’ with a little grey icon at the bottom of the screen.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I see this icon, I almost instinctively just swipe the video away. Give me back my puppy videos!

By creating content that directs your audience’s eyes to the top of the screen, you divert their attention from the ad icon and stand the best chance of the user being hooked by your advert.

Use content creators

TikTok has a Creator Marketplace where successful content creators advertise themselves to businesses such as yourselves and make the content for your ads for you.

The best content creators automatically know what works and what doesn’t. They can use the right angles, transitions, and creative elements to make your advert appeal to TikTok users.

Say you’re advertising with TikTok and want to advertise a range of hats; you can get in touch with a creator on the Marketplace and send them over some hats so they can create content. It’s also up to you on how much guidance you want to give them. If you want something specific then you can ask for that, or you can provide them with creative freedom to do what they do best.

Jump on current trends

Just as you would with your own personal TikTok account, try to do more of what’s popular at the moment.

There’s a reason why certain topics trend, and when something trends it can be like a snowball rolling down a hill. There’s a reason the term ‘viral video’ exists, for example.

Getting your brand/products in front of the huge number of eyeballs that a trending topic can cultivate is a sure-fire way to increase your brand awareness – and you might even have fun doing it!

Don’t over-produce videos

We’ve found that TikTok works best when the videos look organic and not like they’ve been produced by a Hollywood company.

All you need to make your videos should be:

  • A decent mobile phone with a good camera
  • A tripod

And that’s it!

Of course, there are other things that you might want to have as well like a ring light or a microphone (and if you have these then fantastic, definitely use them!), but you can 100% create some great adverts with just your phone and something to keep it steady.

Check the TikTok Ad Library

If you’re a complete beginner then it’s definitely worth checking out the TikTok Ads Library before you start making your own so you can see what works and what doesn’t.

Just like with Facebook Ads, TikTok has an Ad Library where you can view any adverts that have previously ran on their platform.

This is a great place for you to come up with ideas and find inspirations for your own videos. You may even be able to spot recurring trends before they become massive on TikTok, meaning you can get in on the ground floor!

Use TikTok Spark Ads

Another useful feature that TikTok promote is Spark Ads.

With Spark adverts, your advert is allowed to be shown natively on content creators’ profiles rather than your own brand page. Or, select an organic TikTok post that you made that’s performing well and use Spark Ads to turn this into an advert, boosting its reach without having to make a new video which would destroy its engagement statistics.

If you make use of content creators, when a TikTok user is scrolling through TikTok they’ll see the advert as if it was on their profile and not yours. This adds social proof to your brand and shows potential customers that your products are trusted by real customers (even if they were sourced through the TikTok Creator Marketplace!).

To anyone who has doubts about the efficacy of Spark Ads, TikTok Business Help Center has this to say:

‘We are seeing overall positive campaign results of using Spark Ads on Video Views, Engagement Rate, CVR [Conversion Rate] and CPM [Cost per 1000 Conversions] compared to Non-Spark Ads. With Spark Ads, you can also reduce unintended clicks to achieve higher CVR’.

There you go. More bang for your buck and more engagement on your videos. Success all round!

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