TikTok advertising: step by step towards the first ad

Donnerstag, 18. März 2021 | 0 Kommentare

TikTok has become the seventh-largest social media network in the world, making it a very fertile ground for advertising. 

Even better, TikTok advertising has now made it accessible to small businesses. Advertising on TikTok reaches a young, energetic audience that loves to share great content. 

As with all new marketing platforms, it can be difficult at first to use the platform in a profitable and targeted way. And that’s exactly what we want to help you with this blog article.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to run TikTok ads, what it costs, and which businesses should use them. 

You’ll also get a list of TikTok advertising best practices to get a little inspiration.

Who should advertise on TikTok?

The list of companies spending money on TikTok advertising is growing, both in terms of the number and range of products they sell. But not every company will succeed in this area. 

Will you? 

Here are three truths about TikTok that will tell you who should invest in TikTok advertising.

Companies looking for a large, engaged audience

The TikTok app was downloaded more than 2 billion times, 165 million of them in the US alone. And it seems that the TikTok trend is increasing rapidly.

The youngest users, children between the ages of 4 and 15, spend about 80 minutes per day on TikTok, on TikTok, which is almost equal to YouTube’s usage time for the same target group. And on average, TikTok users open the app eight times a day.

Companies sell to generations Z and Y with high purchasing power 

Even though the audience on TikTok is very large and continues to grow, it doesn’t encompass all demographics like Facebook does – yet.

Companies that specifically target Generation Z and younger Millennials will find the largest pool of potential customers on TikTok.

The majority of the German TikTok audience is young: 24% of the German TikTok-Users are under 18 years old.

However, more and more adults are discovering TikTok for themselves. For example, in less than 18 months, the number of adult TikTok users in the U.S. has risen from 2.6 million to 14.3 million. This is an Increase by 5.5 times. 

This trend suits advertisers very well, as they are the most valuable target group on TikTok.

Company with international audience

Unlike other social media networks, TikTok was not founded in the United States. This is quite evident in the user numbers. 

India has the largest number of TikTok users, and other nations like Germany, Russia, France, and Pakistan all have tens of millions of people on the platform.

In total, the app is available in 155 countries and 75 languages worldwide.

Place TikTok advertising

In order to run your first TikTok ad, you’ll need to register with the TikTok Ads Manager and create an account. 

Here we will break down the different ad types and show you how to create your own in-feed video ad.

Choose your ad format

TikTok offers several ad formats for paid advertising.

In-Feed Video Ads

In-feed ads are short videos that appear in users’ newsfeeds on the “For You” page. They look similar to native TikToks, so they blend organically into the feed. 

Right now, this is the only ad format available.

Brand Takeover

Brand Takeover Ads are full-screen, three- to five-second video ads that pop up when someone opens the TikTok app. 

Branded Hashtag Challenge

In a branded hashtag challenge, a company asks TikTok users to film themselves doing something, such as a choreographed dance, and then post the video with a specific hashtag.

These ads are placed at or near the top of the discovery page, and clicking on the hashtag takes visitors to a collection of TikToks of the same challenge.

TopView ads

Like Brand Takeovers, TopView ads are displayed across the entire screen. 

The difference is that these ads can be 60 seconds long and are played on a time delay, meaning they don’t start when the app launches.

Branded effects

Branded effects are custom stickers, AR filters, and lenses that users can add to their own video. They are similar to Instagram’s AR filters. Each new branded effect is available for 10 days.

By the way, in TikTok’s ad gallery, you can see examples of all ad formats and get inspired. 

Click here to visit the TikTok Inspiration Gallery. 

Create your ad account

Before you get started, you need a TikTok account.

  1. Go to the website TikTok for Business and klick in the upper right corner on ‘start’.

TikTok Werbung und Startseite von TikTok


You will then be redirected to the “Register” page.

Für TikTok Werbung registrieren


  1. Fill in all the input fields and then click “Register” at the end. 

That’s it. You have created a TikTok business account and have set the stage for TikTok advertising.

Let’s create your first TikTok advertising campaign

In TikTok Ads Manager there is a certain ad structure. First, you create a campaign, then an ad group, and at the end an ad. 

Here learn more about TikTok’s ad structure.

  1. Go to the “Campaign” tab at the top of Ads Manager and then click the blue “Create” button.

TikTok Ads Manager

  1. Choose your advertising target now. 

Depending on what your marketing goal is, you can choose between three options: 

  1. Website conversion (purchases, leads, etc.)
  2. Website-Traffic (bring many visitors to my website)
  3. App-Installations (Download your app).

TikTok Werbeziele

Once you have selected your advertising target, give your campaign a suitable name in the “Campaign name” field.

The campaign name is important in that you can later distinguish the individual campaigns from each other and immediately recognize the marketing goal. 

For now, that’s all you need to do to create your first TikTok campaign. Finally, click “Continue” to proceed to the next step.

Create an ad group

In the ad groups, you define where your ad will be played, who you want to reach with your advertising message, how high the advertising budget is, and the duration of the advertising campaign. 

  1. With TikTok Pixel, you can also create a custom audience from your customer files, website traffic, app activity, or previous ad engagement.

If you haven’t created a TikTok Pixel yet, then follow these steps.

TikTok Pixel

Click the icon with the leaf and a + sign to the right of the “Select a pixel” field.

You will then be redirected to the following page:

TikTok Pixel erstellen

Next, click on “Create Pixel”. You will be redirected again.

Weiter gehts mit TikTok Pixel erstellen

Now you need to give your Pixel a name. Then you choose how you want to install the TikTok Pixel. 

You have two options to do this:

  1. You install the pixel manually on your website.
  2. You install the pixel via third-party providers (Google Tag Manager, Shopify, etc.)

When you have decided on a variant, then click on “Next”.

To create a custom audience from website traffic, you need to install the TikTok pixel on your website. The pixel also helps you optimize ads and link the success of your ads to customer behavior on your website.

TikTok Platzierung und Targeting

  1. First, select a placement type. The “Automatic Placement” is the easiest for your first ad. This will display your ad on all supporting placements. 

TikTok Werbung Platzierungstyp

  1. Next, you define for which location your ad should be played. 

TikTok Werbung Standort

Thereby you have the possibility to reach your target group in one (or more) federal states.

If your target group is only in Bavaria or Hesse, then you can select your target group down to the individual federal states.

  1. Provide demographic information about your target audience. 

TikTok Werbung Demographie

You can select your target audience based on demographic data and interests. 

Currently, according to TikTok’s data security requirements, it is not possible to reach people under 18

  1. To ensure that your ad is actually displayed in your target group, TikTok offers you the possibility to narrow down your target group based on interest and behavioral targets.  

TikTok Werbung und Interessen

  1. In the following section, you can specify whether your target group must meet certain requirements in terms of operating system and connection types. 

TikTok Werbung und Geräte

In general, we recommend that you adopt the preselection as it is. 

  1. Choose between a daily or total budget. Note that if you select the daily budget, you must specify at least 20 euros per day.


TikTok Werbung und Budgets

Smaller amounts of less than 20 euros per day cannot (yet) be advertised. For more information on the subject of budgets, you can read more here.

  1. Finally, click “Next” and you can create a new ad.

Create a TikTok ad

  1. Upload your advertising video now. Make sure that you have selected “Single video”.  

TikTok Werbung und Anzeigenformate

Also, read the TikTok Ad Design Guidelines carefully.

Video format: 

  • Recommended format: .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .avi or .gif 
  • File size: Up to 500MB 
  • Resolution: Horizontal (960*540); Square (640*640); Vertical (540*960)
  • Bitrate: ≥ 516kbps
  • Duration: 5-60s

    Also, read the TikTok Ad Design Guidelines carefully.

TikTok Werbung und Video Uploads

After the video is successfully uploaded, confirm the process by clicking “Confirm”. 

  1. Fill in your ad text and call to action.

TikTok Werbung und Anzeigentexte

Also, include the URL of the landing page where the clicker will be directed after clicking on the ad. 

Additionally, upload a logo of your company. 

  1. Finally, click “Submit” and your campaign will be sent for review.

TikTok now checks your ad against its guidelines. Here you will find a checklist, with which you can ensure that your ads are approved at the first review. 

Best practices for TikTok ads

Creating an in-feed ad is easy on TikTok. Creating an ad that efficiently brings in new fans and customers is a little more difficult. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when launching your first TikTok ad campaign.

Be authentic

On a platform that claims to share creativity in its mission, your ads need to have some flair. 

TikTok says right on their help page that brands and businesses should be authentic. 

“Creative should match your brand image and resonate with your target audience. Serious brands should have serious ads, trendy brands should have trendy ads.”

Redbull is a good example of this.

The energy drink manufacturer is known for bringing extreme sports to the world. Their TikToks stay true to that mission.

Use influencers wisely

Influencers are creatives who work with you to share your message with their audience. Choose the right ones, and you’ll get great value from your TikTok ad spend.

A Tomoson study found that every $1 spent on influencer marketing returns $6.50 to the business.

When looking for the right influencer, pay attention to the following:

  • Relevance. An influencer known for makeup tutorials may not be the best option to promote your energy drink.
  • Influence. Both the number of followers and engagement metrics (likes, shares) are important.
  • Location. Whether your brand is local or national, you want an influencer’s core audience to have access to your products.

You can find influencers in the Users tab of the search. Just type a topic in the search bar.

TikTok Werbung und Influencer

You’ll immediately see the number of followers each person has. Click on a profile to find more engagement numbers, such as how many people have liked the videos.

TikTok also offers a platform for brands and influencers to collaborate under the name of “Creator Marketplace”

TikTok Werbung und Creative Marketplace

There you can search for the perfect influencer match using examples and data.


As you can see, the best way to effectively create TikTok ads is to go on TikTok and familiarize yourself with the kind of content that is trending right now. 

This will make your ad stand out to your target audience and help you achieve your TikTok ad campaign goals.

Have you already had your first experience with TikTok advertising or are you about to try it out? Let us know and write it in the comments.

By the way, to ensure that you or your accounting department always receive all invoices from TikTok on time, GetMyInvoices helps you store your invoices centrally in one place completely automatically. So you never have to search for your receipts again. 

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