TikTok Ads

The Complete Guide to TikTok Advertising in 2023

Best TikTok Ads Practices & Top Ad Examples

In just a few years, TikTok has become a cultural phenomenon and a dominant force in the social media landscape.

With its short-form videos and creative filters, TikTok has captivated millions of users worldwide.

1 billion users

TikTok officially has over 1 billion monthly active users

20 hours/month

20 hours per month on the app on average per user

TikTok Ads can reach 18% of adult internet users, with an audience potential of 1 billion users. The average TikTok user spends nearly 20 hours per month on the app.

As the platform continues to grow, it has also emerged as a powerful advertising platform for businesses to reach their target audiences in new and engaging ways.

This comprehensive guide will explore the best practices and strategies for TikTok advertising in 2023.

Table of Contents:

1. Understanding TikTok’s Advertising Options

TikTok offers several advertising options to suit different marketing objectives and budgets. Here are the key opportunities available:

a) In-Feed Ads: These ads appear in the user’s “For You” feed as they scroll through videos. They can be up to 60 seconds long and include clickable links and call-to-action buttons.

b) Brand Takeovers: Brand Takeovers are full-screen ads that appear when a user opens the TikTok app. They can feature images, videos, or GIFs and be linked to internal or external landing pages.

c) Hashtag Challenges: Hashtag Challenges encourage user-generated content by inviting users to participate in branded challenges. Brands create unique hashtags and encourage users to create and share content using the hashtag.

d) Branded Effects: Branded Effects allow brands to create custom filters, stickers, and augmented reality (AR) effects that users can apply to their videos. This option enhances brand visibility and user engagement.

e) TopView Ads: TopView Ads are similar to Brand Takeovers but have a longer duration. They appear as the first ad users see when they open the app and can be up to 60 seconds long.

2. Defining Your TikTok Advertising Goals

Before diving into TikTok advertising, it is crucial to define your goals clearly.

Consider whether you want to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, boost app downloads, or generate leads.

Aligning your objectives with specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will help you measure success accurately.

3. Identifying Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is vital for effective TikTok advertising. With TikTok’s extensive user base, you can reach diverse demographics and interests. Utilize TikTok’s ad targeting features to narrow your audience based on age, gender, location, interests, and behaviors.

4. Creating Engaging and Authentic Content

TikTok thrives on creativity and authenticity. To significantly impact your audience, your ads should align with the platform’s culture and resonate with the TikTok community. Consider the following best practices when creating your ad content:

a) Keep it Short and Snappy: TikTok is known for its short-form videos. Capture attention within the first few seconds and maintain a fast-paced and engaging storytelling style.

b) Leverage Trends: Stay updated on TikTok trends and challenges. Incorporate popular hashtags and cultural references to make your ads relatable and shareable.

c) User-Generated Content: Encourage user-generated content by leveraging Hashtag Challenges. This strategy fosters brand loyalty and increases organic reach.

d) Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with TikTok influencers who align with your brand values and target audience. Influencers can create authentic and engaging content that resonates with their followers.

5. Start Creating TikTok Ad Campaign

From your TikTok’s Business Center, navigate to your Advertising account.

tiktok ads manager

Navigate to Campaigns click Create

tiktok ads guide dashboard

tiktok ads create campaign

Select the Campaign’s Advertising Objective

There are several advertising objectives based on your campaign goals.

tiktok ads guide advertising objectives

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Video views
  • Community interaction
  • App promotion
  • Lead generation
  • Website conversions

Choose Lead generation if you’re willing to drive leads to your website.

Give your campaign a name & set up a desirable budget.

tiktok ads guide campaign creation

Name your ad group and select how you’d like to drive the leads.

In our case, we’d choose a Website. Then choose the pixel that will track the events and set the optimization event – Complete Registration, in our case.

tiktok ads ad group name and events

Select placements where you’d like your ads to be shown. We would leave just TikTok.

tiktok ads placements


tiktok ads targeting

Select targeting mode

Choose between Custom targeting and Automatic targeting.

tiktok ads targeting mode

Select target location: countries, states, regions.

tiktok ads targeting location

Select the target language (if necessary), Gender, Age.

tiktok ads targeting language gender age

Select a custom audience.

tiktok ads targeting audience

Select Interests and Behaviours

tiktok ads targeting interests

Select specific devices if necessary.

tiktok ads targeting device

Select Targeting expansion to deliver your ads across your targeting allocation for users similar to your audience.

With targeting expansion, you’ll get a broader allocation.

tiktok ads targeting expansion

Choose the budget and scheduling options.

tiktok ads targeting budget dayparting


Set up your ads to run at a specific time only.

tiktok ads targeting dayparting

Bidding and Optimization

tiktok ads targeting bidding and optimization settings

Choose between the Lowest cost and Cost cap if you’re sure how much you know your average cost per result (CPR or CPA) and you want to pay lower than your bid.

NOTE: With the Cost cap bidding, you may not spend your budget fully.

Advanced settings

tiktok ads advanced settings

Create your campaign’s ads

Smart Creative ads

tiktok ads smart creative ads

The Smart Creative Ads option is very useful if you want to continuously diversify your videos in an auto-generative mode to avoid ad fatigue.

With the Smart Creative feature enabled, you can upload up to 30 videos and five headlines.

Once TikTok’s Smart Creative algorithm detects creative fatigue, it auto-refreshes your creatives to prolong its lifespan.

Ad name

Add name of your add

tiktok ads ad name


Create a custom identity for your ad or choose from existing ones.

tiktok ads identity

Ad details

tiktok ads ad details

Ad creative

Upload your videos and add text for the ad’s headline.

Learn more about TikTok Video Ad Specs

Call to action

tiktok ads call to action
You can leave this option to be Dynamic or change it to a custom one, such as:

  • Shop now
  • Learn more
  • Order now
  • Visit store
  • Contact us
  • Book now
  • Apply now
  • Get quote
  • View now
  • Listen now


tiktok ads destination url

Enter the URL with your landing page.

After this, you can submit your TikTok ad campaign for review.

5. Optimizing TikTok Ad Campaigns

Continuous optimization is essential to maximize the performance of your TikTok ad campaigns.

Monitor your campaign metrics, such as impressions, click-through rates (CTR), conversion, and engagement levels.

Adjust your targeting, bidding strategies, and ad creative based on the data insights to improve results.

TikTok offers automated rules to simplify ad campaign optimization by allowing users to set predefined conditions.

6. Leveraging TikTok Pixel and Tracking Conversions

TikTok Pixel is a powerful tool that tracks and measures conversions on your TikTok ad campaigns.

By placing the TikTok Pixel pixel on your website, you can gather valuable data on user actions, such as purchases, sign-ups, or downloads, directly attributed to your TikTok ads.

This data enables you to optimize your campaigns, refine your targeting, and improve ROI.

7. A/B Testing for Continuous Improvement

A/B testing is a crucial practice in TikTok advertising. Experiment with different ad creatives, formats, targeting options, and bidding strategies to identify what works best for your brand.

Test video length, captions, visuals, and calls to action to determine the most effective combinations for your campaign objectives.

8. Setting an Appropriate Budget

TikTok advertising can be tailored to fit various budgets. Start with a modest budget and gradually increase it as you gain insights and see positive results. Set clear budget limits and bid strategies to control your ad spending effectively.

9. TikTok Video Ad Specs

When creating video ads for TikTok, adhering to the platform’s specifications is crucial to ensure optimal display and user experience. As of 2023, the recommended video aspect ratio for TikTok ads is 9:16, with a 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

The supported video file formats include .mp4 and .mov, with a maximum file size of 500MB. Keep your video duration between 5 and 60 seconds for best results, as shorter videos perform better on the platform.

Additionally, capturing attention quickly is crucial, as TikTok users have a short attention span.

Consider incorporating subtitles or captions to make your ad accessible and engaging, even without sound.

Following these video ad specifications ensures that your ads are visually appealing, compatible with the platform, and optimized for a seamless TikTok experience.

10. Monitoring Ad Performance and Analytics

Regularly monitor your TikTok ad performance using the platform’s analytics tools. Analyze key metrics such as impressions, reach, engagement, and conversion rates to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Use these insights to refine your targeting, messaging, and overall strategy for future campaigns.

11. Staying Updated with TikTok Trends and Features

TikTok is a dynamic platform that evolves rapidly. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends, features, and updates to maximize your advertising efforts.

Explore new ad formats, creative options, and targeting capabilities as they become available to ensure your campaigns remain fresh and engaging.

12. Compliance with TikTok’s Advertising Policies

When running TikTok ads, adhering to TikTok’s advertising policies is essential. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines to ensure your content meets the platform’s standards. Please comply to avoid your ads being rejected or your account being suspended.


TikTok advertising presents a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with a vast and engaged audience.

By understanding the various advertising options, defining clear goals, creating compelling content, and optimizing campaigns based on data-driven insights, brands can unlock the full potential of TikTok advertising in 2023.

Stay adaptable, embrace creativity, and leverage the platform’s features to captivate users and achieve your marketing objectives in the dynamic world of TikTok.

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