Building a TikTok Ad Campaign? 3 Tips to Win

March 21, 2023

If you’re avoiding TikTok in your social media advertising strategy, you’re setting your business up for failure.

Yes, all social media platforms have become powerful tools for businesses to reach and engage with their target audience—but in the last few years, TikTok has become the fastest-growing platform among them.

Globally, users spent an average of 45 minutes daily on TikTok in 2022. No longer limited to the youth market, TikTok is starting to age up, with 56% of users ages between 20 and 29 in the US.

With its video-centric format, TikTok is becoming the go-to platform for businesses to demo their products, share testimonials, and build brand awareness. One of the most effective ways to advertise on TikTok is with user-generated content (UGC). UGC is perfect for TikTok because it matches the platform’s authentic, fun, and creative vibe. Don’t bother reusing your ads that were made for other platforms; they just won’t work on TikTok.

If you want to level up your ad strategy and connect with your audience on the most popular platform of the post-pandemic era—TikTok UGC videos are the answer.

@bambassad0rs Who watches commercials anymore? Advertising is turning into entertainment and UGC ads is where it's at. #creatormarketing #contentcreation #UGCads ♬ original sound - Bambassadors

The TikTok Basics

The way we think about ad campaigns has to change. Gone are the days of the professional sales pitch in ad form. Buyers are tired of stodgy corporate content and annoying salesy copy. The more authentic and genuine ads are, the better. And there is no better platform to showcase the authenticity of your brand than TikTok.

So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

As with any platform, TikTok has requirements for video ads that you’ll need to fulfill. You can see a complete list in TikTok’s help center, but here are some highlights:

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9
  • Video resolution: Resolution must be ≥ 540 x 960 px, ≥ 640 x 640 px, or ≥ 960 x 540 px.
  • File type: .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi
  • Length: Up to 60 seconds, but TikTok recommends 9-15 seconds.

And, as with any ad campaign, you should ensure you have clear goals and objectives before you get started. Ask yourself, what key performance indicators (KPIs) will illustrate that the ad campaign was successful? Or maybe—what will convince my CEO that my ad campaign was successful—just kidding (sort of).

Your KPIs, when running a TikTok ad campaign, may include:

  • Increasing views metrics
  • Increasing follower count
  • Increasing engagement and click-through rate (CTR)
  • Converting prospects into customers

Regardless of how you track success, one thing to keep in mind is ROAS.

What is ROAS?

ROAS stands for Return on Ad Spend—and it’s probably the metric your CFO will care most about. ROAS can be used to determine the profitability of your advertising campaign and can help businesses make informed decisions about how to allocate their advertising budget.

So how do you calculate it?

The formula for calculating ROAS is pretty simple: take the revenue generated by the ad campaign and divide it by the cost of the campaign. The math equation looks like this:

ROAS = Revenue Generated by Ad Campaign / Cost of Ad Campaign

So, if you spent $100 on your TikTok ad campaign and it brought in $500 in revenue, your ROAS would be 5 (500/100=5). A higher ROAS means a more effective campaign, while a lower ROAS may mean it's time to make some changes to get more bang for your buck.

Ready to get started?

Get your laptops and cups of coffee ready—it’s time to get to work.

Now that you’ve established KPIs and know the standards you must follow for uploading video ad content, you’re ready to set your ads in motion.

Here are three tips for planning your TikTok ad campaign.

#1 Choose video content that will resonate with your audience

Although trial-and-error (or a/b testing) is often the key to finding out which creative strategy works best, a few parameters will improve your TikTok ads’ chances of success.

This platform thrives on short-form video content that captures attention quickly, so it's important for businesses to create visually striking content and attention-grabbing content with a clear message.

ProTip: To grab attention fast, adapt your messaging to the latest trends—music, effects, dances, challenges, and so on. What is the latest viral challenge? What lifestyle influencers do your audience follow, and what content do they produce? Paying attention to these features will give your ad a greater chance of getting noticed. It will also help you determine the type of video content creator you want to partner with for a UGC ad campaign.

After figuring out what content will be the best for your ad campaign, it’s time to decide on the format. TikTok now has a formal advertising system that makes advertising on the platform easy. They offer three types of ads:

  • In-feed native ads: These ads seamlessly blend in with the user's organic content feed and appear in the "For You" or "Following" sections of TikTok. They are intended to capture users' attention and feel less intrusive as users scroll through their feeds.
  • Hashtag challenge ads: These ads are designed to be interactive and engaging, and they can generate UGC video content that can be used to promote your brand or product.
  • Brand takeover ads: These ads allow businesses to briefly take over the entire app screen. When users open their TikTok app, they see a full-screen video ad from the advertiser, which typically includes a call-to-action button.

The more you post, the simpler it will be for people to find your account and decide to follow you, ensuring that they’ll continue to see your ads.

#2 Build a strong relationship with your content creators

Using real people within your advertising campaign is the best way to build trust and foster deep connections with your audience.

Partnering with video content creators for your TikTok ads can take your campaign to the next level. There are a number of ways to build out this partnership. Whether you want a one-off ad campaign partnership or you’re looking for a long-term brand ambassador to make regular video ad content—a lot goes into finding the right content creators, vetting them, setting up contracts, managing timelines, and so on.

And that’s why we’ve got your back. At Bambassadors, we have a broad network of well-vetted creators that we help connect with brands. We handle the heavy lifting and contract management, so you don’t have to.

The point is UGC is only as powerful as the people creating it and the video content marketers incorporating it into a well-thought-out campaign, so don’t settle. Put in the time to really find the right video content creator, or work with experts that will find them for you.

#3 Give your campaign the best chance for success

Don’t work against the algorithm; use it. TikTok, like all social media platforms, has an algorithm in place that attempts to serve its users the content that will appeal to them. And the more you lean into these algorithm best practices, the more likely the TikTok Gods will help your ads flourish.

The TikTok algorithm prioritizes content based on popularity and the number of views. Since the platform was designed to feel like a community, the algorithm works mysteriously, giving every video a standing chance at going viral—but the more action you can get out the gate, the more the algorithm will help you gain even more success. So how do you get more views on TikTok?

  • Timing is everything. Make sure you're considering key TikTok posting times when launching your campaign. The best times to post on TikTok for extremely high engagement vary by the day. Usually, the best times are Tuesday at 9 am, Thursday at midnight, and Friday at 5 am.
  • Keep it short and sweet. While you can create an ad up to 60 seconds long, the most impactful ads are around 15 seconds and capture 100% of the screen space. TikToks shot vertically with a full screen experience have an average 25% higher 6-second watch-through rate.
  • Don’t ghost your audience. Like most social networks, TikTok supports frequent user engagement, and comments are a great way to keep the conversation going. After you launch your ads, track the comments your ad receives, and make sure to respond!

Now that you know the basics, you may be wondering: How do I succeed on TikTok?

The answer: Work with the experts. We’re happy to talk through campaign strategy, UGC, content creator and brand ambassador partnerships, and more. Slide into our DMs.