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How to Launch a Successful Advertising Campaign on TikTok

John Beaton
November 4, 2022
Last Updated On
March 1, 2024
how to launch a campaign on tiktok blog header

TikTok campaigns may not be on your radar yet, but they should be. The rapidly growing channel now has a community of over 1 billion, and the most intriguing part about TikTok is its users’ propensity to buy things. Brands invested in TikTok marketing are seeing a significant lift from trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, as users share their favorite purchases and celebrate products that make their lives better. TikTok users are 1.4 times more likely to buy a product that they see on their feeds, as the channel is truly shaping up to be both a search engine and a product discovery tool for Gen Z. Put simply, without TikTok for Business, your brand can miss out on all the benefits it offers.

What Are TikTok Ad Campaigns and Who Do They Target? 

TikTok campaigns are in-feed advertisements that cleverly use short-form video to look like a natural part of a user’s content journey. TikTok’s global user base is typically on the younger side, but the channel is also growing in popularity with older generations. TikTok ad campaigns have changed quite a bit over the past year, as the channel has seen meteoric growth in active users and high international growth. All of these shifts indicate TikTok is shaping up to be an exciting platform for advertisers right now and in the future.

7 Popular Types of TikTok Ad Campaigns

Because TikTok is such a diverse platform, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to advertisement. Niche content thrives here, and TikTok’s algorithm-based content distribution means that every user experiences the channel differently. The best TikTok ad campaigns focus on a key segment and share content that users in that group want to see. We’ve included some examples of successful types of brand campaigns and TikTok ads to get you started.

In-Feed Ads

In-feed ads are a staple for marketers. These ads appear to viewers from the For You page and, when done well, are almost indistinguishable from good organic content (except for the indication that it is an ad). Ads like these are great for attracting more viewers and customers to your e-commerce site, especially if you use a TikTok link-in-bio solution or TikTok Shopping. We’ve written about how the TikTok algorithm works to help you develop your understanding of how organic content is displayed on the channel.

Brand Takeover

These ads take over the viewers’ screens as they open the app and are much more difficult to ignore than promoted TikTok's. These ads are beneficial for more extensive campaigns that aim to maximize impressions.

Sponsored Influencer Content 

Influencer marketing strategies also work well on TikTok. Many brands use creators to share their campaigns through sponsored content, and the advantage TikTok holds is that video is more entertaining. TikTok influencers can share real-life testimonials where viewers can see their favorite TikTokers use the product in action. Creator-led content receives much higher engagement than brand-led content, as it is perceived as being more authentic, and TikTok users gravitate towards authenticity over perfect brand images.

User-Generated Content Ads

User-generated content remains a cost-effective staple. It may even be more powerful on TikTok, as the audience a nano-influencer brings in is likely very different from your brand’s typical audience, which is a powerful method of expanding your reach and presenting your brand in a more relatable way.

Hashtag Challenge

Hashtag challenges are a great way to engage with users organically, earning potentially monumental numbers of impressions and sourcing user-generated content. Anyone can participate in a TikTok hashtag challenge, and the theme is really up to marketers to decide. For example, a makeup brand may encourage artists to show their best work using its products. Many challenges use incentives, such as prizes or giveaways, to encourage more users to participate.

Image Ads

These ads allow brands to place image ads in videos that appear on TikTok’s news feed apps, such as BuzzVideo, TopBuzz, and Babe. These ads are similar to In-Feed Ads in that they appear on viewers’ For You pages, but are more eye-grabbing and distinctive, which brands can take advantage of with a strong call to action.

Spark Ads

Spark ads allow you to use your existing organic content and content from creators (with permission) in your advertising campaigns. This tool will enable you to take advantage of existing content, keeping the metrics that it already possesses, and give it an extra push with paid spending.

How to Launch Your TikTok Ad Campaign

TikTok’s advertising tools are very intuitive, and you’ll be starting your first TikTok brand campaign in no time. To help you get started with TikTok ads, we’ve outlined the steps that you will need to take in order to start promoting your content.

Step 1: Create a TikTok Ad Account

You need an account in TikTok Ad Manager in order to create paid content similar to other social channels. Curious how to connect your TikTok account to Ads Manager? Once you fill in some basic information about your business and select your payment method, you will need to pass an account review to ensure your business is genuine. If you are rejected, it’s possible that the business name you submitted is different from your website or you included a typo in the URL. Brands that sell prohibited products (such as cigarettes) will also be rejected, so keep these in mind.

Step 2: Install the TikTok Pixel

The TikTok pixel is a snippet of code you can include on your website to track conversions, similar to pixels from other social channels. This is useful for retargeting, as it contextually serves users ads based on what products they’re most interested in on your site. 

Step 3: Create Your First Campaign

Once you’re logged into TikTok Ad Manager, select the Campaign button on the top of the page, and then select Create to get started. From there, you will need to choose an objective for your campaign, such as Awareness, Consideration, or Conversion, and more specific results under each category. From there, you can select a budget and a timeframe for your ad spend (No Budget, Daily Budget, or Lifetime Budget).

Step 4: Create TikTok UTMs

TikTok UTM parameters are snippets of code added to the end of a URL to track numerous things — teams can create UTM parameters for the specific TikTok campaign that brought traffic to their website, identify paid search terms and more. These UTMs will largely depend on the goals and KPIs you set for your TikTok ad campaign. While adding these to your URL are quite easy, the manual process can be time-consuming — because of this, there are many many free TikTok UTM builders online to help you set UTMs and get even more granular in your tracking. 

To track clicks, TikTok has created its own UTM for click tracking on URLs, called TTCLID. This lets brands see when users click on a TikTok ad that leads to a specific landing page. TikTok automatically includes this Click ID to all outbound landing page URLs, without manual configuration when editing ads.

Step 5: Create an Ad Group

TikTok has thorough segmentation for ads, and it’s essential to give it a lot of thought, as TikTok is a channel of many niches, and you want to make sure you’re delivering the type of content your audience wants. TikTok lets you define your Ad Group by location, gender, age, language, personal interests, and more.

Step 6: Submit Your Ad

Finally, when you submit your ad, TikTok will give you recommendations to ensure your ad looks the best it can be. After all, it will be viewed on a myriad of devices, so you must ensure it looks as high quality as possible. Once you’ve finished tweaking your ad, all you need to do is hit submit to finish.

TikTok Promote

TikTok Promote is an advertising tool in the TikTok app that optimizes your ad based on goals defined by you, such as views or follower growth.

Keep Up With Your TikTok Performance With Dash Hudson

It would be best if you had the right TikTok insights to know what content you should be promoting, and Dash Hudson’s TikTok management suite is the tool that some of the biggest brands in the world are using to measure performance and identify what content is resonating the most with audiences. 

Additionally, we’ve written at length about how to be successful on TikTok to help guide your organic strategy, which is the foundation of a high-performing paid TikTok strategy. It should set you up to launch your successful TikTok ad campaigns, ensuring they align with your business and marketing goals.


How much does it cost to run a TikTok campaign?

You can spend as much as you like. Your TikTok ad spend could be a simple, low-cost “Promote” (similar to “Boosting” on other channels), or you can incorporate TikTok advertising into a much larger campaign with a higher budget.

What is a campaign code TikTok?

A campaign code is provided to creators by a brand partner to link their content to an advertising campaign. When you add a campaign code, your post performance is shared with the brand partner you received the code from.

How do I cancel my TikTok campaign? 

All you have to do is go to the Campaign manager, click on the tab your ad falls under (Campaign, Ad group, or Ad), and then select On/Off to toggle the ad.

What is the best TikTok campaign? 

TikTok is so wide-reaching that the best possible campaign for your brand is entirely different from any other brand. This is why it’s so important to use a TikTok insights platform to measure your most successful content to build your ad strategy.

How long does TikTok ad review take?

While the review period for each TikTok ad differs, the TikTok ad review process should take up to 24 hours at most. 

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