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TikTok Ads Specs and Best Practices

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So, you want to advertise on TikTok? While it may look like a lot of fun (because it is!), it’s also a lot of work! You need to plan your content, potentially find creators to work with, and learn how to optimise your uploads using Ads Manager.

But first and foremost, what does TikTok actually require from your content before they can show your adverts to its users? What specifications do your adverts need to meet so that they can thrive, tapping into an audience that’s primed to connect with your brand and buy what you’re selling?

Find out now from our Liverpool Paid Ads agency!

P.S., we’re going to be referring to the video formats that are available in app, so TikTok TopView and In-Feed Ads as opposed to image formats that you can use to advertise elsewhere within the TikTok platform family.

Required TikTok Ads specs

If you don’t know anything about TikTok, then the first thing you should probably know is that it’s a social media platform optimised for mobile use. Users navigate through content vertically by swiping up and down, so it is important that your content is filmed vertically so that it looks at home on TikTok.

This isn’t just so your adverts look the best, TikTok can actually refuse your content if your video doesn’t meet the required TikTok video size ratio of 9:16, 16:9, or 1:1.

Then you have to turn your attention to how your ad will look to users scrolling through TikTok on different devices and with things like menus, captions, and profile information taking up space on their screens. So, there will be a portion of the screen near the centre where you can be certain that your content and your creative will be easily seen. This is called the TikTok safe zone. There are different ways you can work out what your safe zone is, but one easy method is to plan your ad through TikTok’s Ad Preview Tool.

And finally, resolution. You want your ads to look the best that they can, and you’re more than likely equipped to do so if you have a recent smart-phone. No expensive Canon cameras needed! TikTok requires minimum resolutions of ≥540 x 960p, ≥960 x 540p, or ≥640 x 640p depending on aspect ratio, but we advise that you use the highest resolution possible while keeping file size low. As long as your file size is less than 500MB, you’re all good.


Other quick-fire specs

Of course, there’s so much more to making TikTok Ads than this! So here are some highlights of other specs required by TikTok:

  • Must be .mp4, .mpeg, .mov, or .avi files
  • Adverts between 5 – 60 seconds are allowed
  • Your advert should be paired with a description that’s up to 100 characters long
  • Your advert must contain audio. Whether it is direct from the video or background music added in is up to you
  • Brand names can be up to 20 full-width characters
  • Descriptions can be up to 100 characters

TikTok creative best practices

So now you know what TikTok needs you to provide in order to meet their specifications, but is there any more that you can do to help your ads perform as well as they possibly can? Drumroll please…

Yes, there is! These are called best practices, and some are provided by TikTok themselves but others are just facts that have been worked out by TikTok advertisers through trial and error.

For example, while you may be allowed up to 60 seconds for your content, adverts perform their best when between 9 – 15 seconds. This is the general sweet spot that agencies like ourselves have worked out, yet there’s nothing to stop you experimenting with content outside of those boundaries. Who knows, you might hit a goldmine!

The creative that you use in your ads should be localised to your target audience. If you use languages that are not localised then TikTok might punish your ad by not approving it or showing it as often.

It’s also really important that you consider how your creative corresponds to TikTok’s UI. For example, if your creatives are transparent or white, then they can be easy to miss because TikTok use white icons too as standard.


What next?

You can view a full list of specifications required by TikTok if you would like to give advertising on TikTok a go.

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