TikTok Ads | A Short Comprehensive Guide

TikTok Ads

TikTok has been underestimated by digital marketers for the longest time, mostly because it’s relegated to being a silly video app for kids. However, as of 2023, TikTok has over one billion users. The average user opens the app at least 19 times per day according to data, so the opportunities you open up by using TikTok ads are huge. Not only are you sending out ads to a huge audience, but you’re sending them out to a global audience. So, if you’ve struggled to target a certain region, TikTok is the perfect solution. I recently interviewed Lazar Zepinic from Sellers Alley to discuss how we can most efficiently use TikTok ads. You can view the full interview below.

If you don’t have the time to listen to the full podcast right now, don’t worry because I’ve provided a brief overview of it in writing. I do strongly advise giving the episode a listen when you can, however, as I got a lot of good information and knowledge from Lazar. He has some great insight because he and his team work with TikTok and were able to test the various ad campaign types before they were released to the public. I won’t be able to get it all in writing, so you do risk missing out if you don’t give the full episode a listen. 

Why use TikTok Ads?

People don’t hesitate to use Google Ads. It makes sense right? You want to get traffic to your website, so you use Google Ads to get them there. Google is, after all, the biggest and most popular search engine. If you want traffic, Google is the way to go. However, what if I were to tell you that TikTok actually has more traffic than Google? Over lockdown, TikTok grew massively and that growth hasn’t slowed down since. It’s also well publicized that TikTok gathers a questionable amount of data, so obviously the capacity for ads there is great. They know exactly what people like and want. 

Leveraging different platforms is important if you want to be as successful as possible. Writing off any one platform because it’s used for dances rather than ‘serious’ content, is a big mistake. If something has a huge audience, make use of that audience to make yourself money. 

TikTok Ad targeting

So, the reason that I personally never used to bother with TikTok ads is that when I first tried, the targeting wasn’t great. However, it has changed a lot since then, and it’s still changing and improving. According to Lazar, when it comes to TikTok, you want to send traffic to your website or whatever, in three different ways; organic, TikTok ads, and UGC (user-generated content). As it stands, the algorithm doesn’t recognise a connection between the three. You don’t need to have organic to be able to run ads and be successful with ads, but obviously, you should do so anyways mostly as a trust signal to users. 

When it comes to targeting, there are a ton of options depending on campaign types. There are around about twenty different filters when it comes to TikTok ad targeting including; gender, device type, and age. So you can really narrow down the exact audience that you are looking for. If you have an email list with at least one thousand users, you can very easily upload it to TikTok. You can also create lookalike audiences and they can work pretty well as well. Beyond that, remarketing is also huge on TikTok. 

Cost of TikTok Ads

So targeting isn’t an issue anymore, but what about the cost of TikTok ads? People are used to Facebook ads and Google ads but don’t really have a concept of what the costs of huge but newer platforms like TikTok. According to Lazar, TikTok ads are typically 10 – 20% cheaper than Facebook ads. However, like with anything, you need to spend money to make money. If you want to sell a product, you’ll need to spend $5,000 to get enough traction to get past the algorithmic learning curve. That lasts for about fifty conversions, but it works a lot better once you get passed that. Spending money to make money is universally true throughout digital marketing, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to many. 

Lazar shares examples in the podcast of what a big budget can do. He has one client that initially spent $15,000 a month and they upped it to half a million per month after they got such good results. Obviously, you don’t have to go this far, but you do want to have a decent budget.

What type of businesses should use TikTok Ads?

There has been this idea flung about that only e-commerce businesses should make use of TikTok ads, so I asked Lazar whether local businesses could also benefit from them. Apparently, this all comes from a misconception about the users of TikTok; namely that they aren’t all chronically online teenagers. That was the case in the beginning, but now there are a lot of older people on TikTok. The number of users over 25 years old has grown massively as of late. So, while TikTok ads were once limited, over time it has expanded. It’s all about the creativity and landing pages; funneling is key.

There are also different kinds of campaigns that you can experiment with depending on your business type. You can choose different targeting and send traffic in different directions depending on the results you want. So yes, local businesses can definitely benefit too. 

So, that’s just a small insight into TikTok ads and how they can work for you. Make sure to watch the full episode because there are tons of knowledge bombs dotted throughout it that I haven’t even begun to touch upon. 

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