Using TikTok to Advertise Your Small Business: A Complete Guide



Social media platforms offer some of the most effective digital marketing available. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, and some can reach more targeted audiences than others.

However, what remains true for every platform is that it's a place for brands to connect with consumers. Social media allows companies to establish an authentic relationship with their customers, as social media is inherently personal and emotional.

While most companies are already taking advantage of the commonplace social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, newer

platforms should be utilized as well. TikTok is one such platform that offers a unique and innovative marketing system for businesses of all sizes.

What Is TikTok TikTok​ launched in America in 2018, though it was available to Chinese audiences before then. The app allows users to record and upload short videos to share. Users have a For You page curated by TikTok's unique algorithm to target specific audiences.

Initially, the app was used mostly by younger audiences, having started as the popular app, Musical.ly. However, a Chinese tech giant, ByteDance, bought Musical.ly and combined it with a similar app, re-launching the app as TikTok.

TikTok has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Its use was already growing steadily, but controversy over the app in recent months seems to have accelerated that growth.

There are more than ​one billion users​ on TikTok right now, with nearly 850 million active monthly users. The average TikTok user spends 50 to 80 minutes on the app each day, with younger demographics spending more time on it.

Advertising On TikTok

Why You Should Advertise on TikTok As you can see, there is a massive audience on TikTok. It has become one of America's most popular social media platforms, competing with Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram.

While the app is incredibly popular, it is still new and developing. TikTok did not have ads until recently, meaning the platform is not as saturated as

others. On a site like Facebook, users are so used to the ads that they can start to tune them out. On a newer app, however, users have not adjusted to the presence of ads yet.

Additionally, TikTok is unique for its fast-paced virality. Videos can go viral within hours, and there are thousands of viral videos on the app.

Considering all of these factors, TikTok is an excellent platform for businesses to advertise their brands. Large and small companies can use TikTok to grow their brand and their business.

TikTok For Business TikTok's advertising function is called ​TikTok For Business,where you can set up an account and create an ad campaign for TikTok. The engaging and immersive format of TikTok allows brands to authentically connect with their audience, growing their brand through emotional relationships. Major companies like Grubhub, Nike, Fenty Beauty, and Apple Music have used TikTok to target their key audiences.

Your Target Audience While there are many benefits to advertising on TikTok, it might not be the right platform for your business. If your target audience is older or less tech-savvy, you may not want to use TikTok. Sixty-six percent of the app's users are under 30.

The average age of TikTok users is growing as the app becomes more popular. However, you might be better off using Facebook or another established platform if you are trying to reach an older audience.


The Cost of a TikTok Ad Campaign TikTok ad campaigns can be expensive. The minimum campaign budget is $500, and the minimum ad group budget is $50. Depending on the type and duration, the average ad campaign can cost between $50,000 and $120,000.

While small businesses can see just as much brand growth as larger companies through TikTok ads, they also need to be conscious of their budget. Smaller businesses have less money to spend and more to lose if their investments don't pan out. If you want to use TikTok for your ad campaign, make sure that you have the resources for it and that it is the right choice for your company.

Getting Started If you decide to take advantage of TikTok's huge active audience, here's how to get started.

Creating An Account The first step is to create a business account. TikTok Ads is still in beta, so only part of the process is online. The rest is conducted through a representative that will get in touch with you.

Head to the ​TikTok Ads homepage​ and click 'Create an Ad.' A form will pop up. Fill it out with accurate information about your business. A representative from TikTok will contact you to complete your account setup.

Creating Your Campaign Once you have a business account, you can start creating your ad campaign. Go to your business account's dashboard and click 'Campaign.' This

dashboard is also where you can manage active campaigns and view past ones.

Click 'Create.' Choose your campaign objective or the main goal you hope to achieve with your campaign. TikTok offers three options: traffic, conversions, and app installs. Consider which of these would grow your business most effectively and help you build a loyal customer base.

Set Your Ad's Budget and Schedule TikTok allows you to set your ad campaign's budget and schedule. You can choose to have a daily or total budget. Daily budgets have to be at least $50, and total budgets have to be at least $500. Remember that you can go back and adjust your budget at any time.

Once you know your budget, you can schedule how long you want your ad to run. Examine your budget and your campaign goals to figure out the most effective run time for your campaign to get the most out of your investment. You can choose to have your ad run at specific times or on certain days of the week.

After deciding your budget and schedule, you can choose the pacing. Pacing determines the speed at which your budget is spent throughout the ad campaign. TikTok has two options for pacing: standard and accelerated.

Standard pacing spaces your budget out evenly across the campaign. Accelerated pacing spends your budget as quickly as possible during the scheduled time. The pacing you choose depends on the effect you want your campaign to have.


Set Ad Details After filling in the initial information about your campaign, you can add in the details.

  • You can create an ad group if you have more than one ad.

  • TikTok allows you to choose which of their platforms you want your ads to run on. Any of TikTok's other platforms are available, like Vigo Video, BuzzVideo, and New Republic. Vigo Video is specific to India, but the rest are international. There is an option for automatic placement, where TikTok will put your ad on the platform that fits your ad best.

  • Add in any other necessary details, like URLs, display names, images, or categories. This is information that is vital to your ad campaign.

  • You can choose up to 20 keywords that describe your app or website. TikTok uses these keywords to match your ad with the right audience.

  • Define your target audience. Set parameters for location, age, gender, languages, interests, and devices. TikTok uses these guidelines to ensure your ad reaches the users you want it to reach.

  • You can also create a custom audience by uploading the IDs of existing TikTok users.

Optimization Goal Lastly, you can choose your optimization goal. Your optimization goal is the key metric you are hoping to achieve. TikTok offers optimization for Conversion, Clicks, or Impressions. Your bidding will be optimized for your selected goal.

  • If your goal is conversion, you can choose to measure app installs or elements of your landing page. Conversion is priced through the Optimization Cost Per Click bidding method.

  • Clicks are billed on a Cost Per Click basis.

  • Impressions are billed on a Cost Per Mille basis. CPM denotes the price of a thousand impressions.

  • You also have the option of Smart Optimization. Smart Optimization adjusts and optimizes bidding to increase conversions, so you may want to turn it off if your goal is clicks or impressions.

Designing Your Ad Optimize Ad Designing an ad for a TikTok campaign is different from creating an ad for another platform. TikTok's unique features require unique marketing.

For that reason, TikTok offers a Video Creation Kit that provides you with video and image templates. You can customize the templates with existing images, and there are also more than 300 options for free background music.

Here are some tips to optimize your ad and ensure that you run a successful campaign:

  • Use high-resolution images to grab users' attention.

  • Focus on one Call To Action. Multiple CTAs can confuse users and dilute your ad's effects.

  • Place important elements in the middle of the screen for minimal congestion.

  • Know TikTok video's formatting to ensure that the description and features do not cover elements of your ad.

  • Experiment with targeting options and creative elements.

  • You only have 80 characters for your ad description, so make them count.

Choose Your Type TikTok offers five types of ads. Figure out which one is best for your business by looking at the effects of each ad format and your resources.

Brand Takeovers Brand Takeovers appear as soon as a user opens the app. They are a full-screen video that can redirect to an internal or external link. As such an in-your-face ad, brand takeovers are designed for mass awareness. Advertisers can only have one Brand Takeover per day, but the ad can continue to appear on users' For You pages as images, GIFs, or videos.

Brand Takeovers are costly but effective. You can expect to have a lot of eyes on your ad with little competition.

In-Feed Ads In-Feed Ads are native ads at the bottom of organic TikToks or in a user's feed as part of the video queue. Similar to Instagram Story Ads, these ads can redirect to a site or app.

The important thing to remember about In-Feed Ads is that they are part of a user's organic feed. That means that users can quickly scroll past, so you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. However, it also means that users can interact with your ad. They can like, comment, and share the video.


Hashtag Challenges Hashtag Challenges are an ad format that is exclusive to TikTok. With this ad, you can partner with TikTok's marketing team to create a sponsored hashtag challenge. They usually last six days and encourage users to share original content with your hashtag.

If a user clicks on your sponsored hashtag, they will be taken to a TikTok landing page with your logo, a link to your website, a description of the challenge, and popular videos using the hashtag.

To capitalize on your Hashtag Challenge, you can also partner with popular creators and pay them to use your hashtag. This ensures that your hashtag is reaching an audience and that users will be encouraged to use it.

TopView TopView Ads build on Brand Takeovers. They are the first in-feed post after three seconds, meaning it is one of the first things users see on the app.

The ad shows up at the top of the For You page. It can be up to 60 seconds of full-screen video.

Branded Effects TikTok's Branded Effects are similar to Snapchat's Branded Lenses. They are custom stickers, AR filters, and lenses that can live up to 10 days. Branded Effects directly engage users with a brand, as they will associate the effect with the company behind it.

Final Thoughts TikTok is an incredibly popular and immersive social media platform. It offers advertisers a unique, effective method of reaching their target audience. If you are looking for new ways to advertise your small business, consider creating a TikTok ad campaign.

For additional info or to learn more about growing your small business go to www.theSBMag.com

26 views0 comments