7 Useful TikTok Ads Details You Should Know About

April 18, 2023



TheOptimizer Team

TikTok Ads has become the place to be for many performance marketers. Each month, the platform counts as many as 1 billion active users. Like any other traffic source, it too has its tips and tricks, best practices and guidelines, that you can master. In this article we’ll go over 7 details you should know, to make the most out of TikTok Ads.

Choosing Your Campaigns’ Objective in TikTok

Inside TikTok Ads there are three categories of objectives you can choose from for your campaigns: Awareness, Consideration and Conversions.

In Awareness, you’ll find Reach, which is selected when you want to get as much awareness as possible for any of your ads.

In Consideration, there are 4 objectives from which you can choose:

Traffic – when you want to direct audiences to a specific URL (e.g. a landing page, a blog post)

Video Views – when you want to increase the number of plays on your video ads

Lead Generation – when you want to collect as many leads as possible

Community Interaction – when you want to drive viewers to your TikTok account

In Conversions, there are 3 objectives you can choose from:

Product Sales – when you want to sell products from your TikTok shop, website or app

Website Conversions – when you want users to take a specific action on your site (e.g. add an item to a cart, download an app or make a purchase)

App Promotion – when you want new users to use an app, or existing users to re-engage with it


Image by TikTok

Ad Formats in TikTok

TikTok offers a few different ad formats, knowing a bit about each of them, can help you better optimize your ads, reach your desired audiences and increase conversions.

In-Feed Video Ads – a video ad that auto-plays on a user’s “For You” feed. They look similar to a normal post, blend extremely well and appear as native content

TopView Ads – these types of ads appear on the top of “For You” feed; perfect for brand awareness as they guarantee a large number of impressions

Branded Effects – through elements such as stickers, filters and other video effects, TikTok users can promote your page/brand on their own by adding these elements to their videos

Brand Takeover – a premium option for those who want to get maximum exposure. These types of ads are the first thing users see once they log into TikTok. What makes them particularly effective is the fact that on the day they are being promoted, they will be the only Brand Takeover ad that will be showcased to users

Branded Hashtag Challenge – A type of ad that encourages users to take part in a challenge and spread your hashtag. While you have “to start the fire”, users will then keep the flame alive for you

Mastering the TikTok Algorithm

There’s no single thing or set of things that work all the time in TikTok, but the set of tips below tends to guarantee an increase in exposure.

Keep an eye on the latest TikTok trends and utilize them to your advantage. Things such as hashtags, memes, songs, creators and videos that are the most popular in either the last 7 days or month

Have a TikTok-first mindset, meaning shape your ads to be mobile-first, vertically formatted, sound-on, aligned with the current trends and authentic

On that last note, TikTok users really notice when something doesn’t fit into TikTok’s usual type of content; 71% of TikTok users prefer posts that aren’t too polished

Additionally, 3 out of 5 users, state that their main purpose for opening TikTok is entertainment

77% of users say that they like when brands hop into trends, know their memes, or start participatory challenges in TikTok

78% of users say that they like when brands collaborate not just with celebrities, but also with regular users

A top tip to have TikTok’s algorithm on your side is to regularly post original content

Videos that include people in them are always more preferred


Image by TikTok

Targeting in TikTok

Like other traffic sources, TikTok Ads, has its very own list of targeting options, some of the most interesting and powerful ones are:

You can target users based on the type of content they have interacted the most with (e.g. finance, history, news)

You can target users that have or are actively looking to purchase a specific type of product or service (e.g. tech gadgets, travel packages, etc)

You can deliver ads to those users that have interacted with specific videos or creators. Video behaviors include: liking, commenting and sharing videos based on category (e.g. travel, fashion, sports). Creator interactions include following or viewing a creator’s profile by category (e.g. food, gaming)

Target those users that have interacted with any given hashtag in the last 7 days

Target users based on the price of their devices, from no limit to $1000+

For a full list of targeting options in TikTok Ads, head here.

Best Practices in TikTok

Quality is important at all times, meaning no grainy videos where a viewer can’t see or properly read your message. 83% of the best-performing videos in TikTok have a resolution of 720p or higher

Videos that have sound drastically outperform those that have no type of sound (e.g music track, voiceover or even someone talking directly to the camera). According to TikTok, more than 93% of their best-performing videos include some form of audio

1 in 4 top-performing videos in TikTok is between 21 and 34 seconds long. Shorter videos usually perform much better than longer ones

98% of the top-performing videos in TikTok provide an immersive full-screen experience, so no videos that don’t fit well, or empty black spaces and screen edges. The best format for videos in TikTok is 9:16

The vast majority of TikTok videos are shot and viewed in vertical format; they have a 40% lift in impressions compared to square or horizontal-shot videos


Image by TikTok

> More Best Practices

TikTok users appreciate a product that is showcased from different angles and settings. TikToks with varied scenes see a 40.6% lift in impressions compared to videos that apply a more traditional approach

Have a CTA in your videos. TikToks that include a CTA have a 55.7% lift in impressions compared to videos that don’t

Captions also have a strong impact on viewers. Combined with a CTA, they can make for a killer combo that drives a lot of engagement

TikToks that include people emphasizing at least one offer have a 67.4% lift in impressions

Videos that include an end card summarizing key information (e.g download details, tips and tricks list) see a 47.3% lift in impressions

63% of all videos with the highest CTR in TikTok highlight their message or product in their first 3 seconds

Address your viewers directly, look them straight in the eyes, or ask them questions to provoke a reaction

Things to Avoid in TikTok Ads

Avoid using transparent or white backgrounds in your creatives

Avoid using videos that are stretched or compressed

Avoid having interruptions in music, pace or overall style in your videos

Avoid using videos that aren’t localized. Creatives that don’t use the local language of your target country may even not be approved

No watermarks (including the TikTok watermark) are allowed in creatives

The ad creative should not mimic the TikTok interface


Image by TikTok

Recommendations for Your TikTok Campaigns

It is recommended that you use at least 5 different creatives for an ad group, as well as changing creatives every week

Feature products that users can purchase more impulsively; usually under the $50 range

Use vivid colors, text, voiceovers, and visual effects to aid your storytelling

Place your ad’s key elements (e.g. product, text, logo) in the middle of the screen, to minimize the chances of them getting cropped or covered by buttons

Mix and play with new sounds, songs and transitions

TikTok suggests waiting at least 2 days before making any changes to your bids, budget or targeting changes

TikTok suggests using daily budget instead of lifetime budget for your ad group budget

​Start by including a broader target audience and then narrow it down to higher-performing segments, so that the most relevant audience sees your ad

​If you see an ad group’s performance starting to decline ( e.g. drop in traffic, or increase in CPA), try first making adjustments to the targeting, bid, or creative rather than creating a new one.


For details on other traffic sources, you can check our excellent articles on Google Ads, Taboola and Outbrain.

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