How To Advertise On TikTok

By: Richard Michie

Since its release in 2016, TikTok has become one of the most hyped social media platforms in the world. Even technophobic grandparents have heard the name, and with around 30 million daily active users, and as the seventh most popular social platform in the world, if you’re not already advertising across TikTok, you probably should be.

TikTok is unique in the world of social media, with the power to both shoot savvy users to celebrity status, and drive consumer trends. Leading many business leaders to rifle through google results pages seeking the secret to how to advertise on TikTok. We’re here to help.

Described as a mash up of Twitter, Instagram, and the now defunct Vine, TikTok initially started as a fun, video sharing platform, combining short clips, stories, filters, lenses, and music, into one unique package.

How to Advertise On TikTok – For B2B and B2C brands.

No longer just an app for dancing teens, TikTok is the perfect platform, not only for content creators and budding social influencers, but for B2C brands with lustable products and visual content, and for B2B brands with a considered approach to content creation across the platform.

The platform has taken the world of social media by storm, reaching its height during the first lockdown of COVID-19, as the perfect antidote to isolation.

Due to its massive growth in such a short space of time, developers created a new side of TikTok, one that’s aimed at business owners, enabling them to advertise, promote, and sell their products directly through the platform, whilst offering consumers a new visual way to shop and browse exciting new products and services.

Research shows that we favour visual content when it comes to solving the problems, and answering the questions we type into online search engines – and make no mistake, TikTok is definitely a search engine. Infact, TikTok might just be one of the most important platforms to consider when marketing your B2B services, as it’s now one of the most used “search engines” across the web.

With 29.5% of users aged between 20 and 29, and 16.4% aged between 30-39, whether you’re B2B or B2C, your customers are using TikTok. The tricky part is figuring out how to reach them, and uncovering how to advertise on TikTok to drive interest in, and sales of your specific products/services, with targeted, unique, stop-scroll worthy content.

how to advertise on TikTok

So, how do we grab the attention of these millions of users?

When it comes to TikTok marketing that clicks, you must first accept that your platform will not blow up overnight. The journey from “how to advertise on TikTok”, to curating a profile that converts, can be a slow one, but once you’ve patiently grown your TikTok community, the sales, calls and queries are bound to follow.

A Simple, Organic Guide to How to Advertise on TikTok

TikTok’s algorithm lends itself to displaying hyper-relevant content to its users, meaning users engaging in content similar to yours will be likely to come across your page, helping you find new customers. Like any social platform, organic marketing (or advertising’) on TikTok can be a slower process than paid, but with dedication, the payoffs can be huge.

The Basics

  • Making sure you have quality content that targets your audience directly is absolutely essential.
  • It’s important that you’re using easy to understand language in your descriptions, that comprehensively summarises the product, service, or message in the video.
  • Ensure that you use relevant hashtags, and add text/captions that summarise the post, to help people find you across various TikTok searches. Think in terms of SEO keywords.

So, what are the first steps to organic TikTok success?

  • Know Your Audience – The journey to answering how to advertise on TikTok starts and ends with Audience. Sector based research should always be the first step in creating any social media profile. Discovering who your competitors are, how they’re using the platform, and identifying who your range of customers are, where to find them, and what they’re engaging with across the platform, is essential. This way, you can give your content the strategic attention it needs, enabling you to create content tailored to your customers, and add hashtags relating to your content, topic, service or products, to target your ideal customers across TikTok.
  • Make It Interesting – TikTok is a video sharing platform, which has a time limit of 3 minutes. Research shows that after the first 30 seconds of your video, you will lose 33% of your viewers, which is why it’s essential that you create engaging, quality content to keep the further 67% intrigued until the end. Have fun with your content and make it different. Everything hangs on your content. Ensure it’s of the highest quality, but not so slick that it’s at odds with the more user-generated-content-form favoured by TikTok users.
  • Utilise “Creator Tools” – TikTok’s suite of creator tools is, in part, what makes the platform such a viable marketing tool. Look behind the scenes of your account, where you can take a peek at analytical data, create Q&As, as well as access helpful, educational content made by TikTok that provides tips on how to advertise on TikTok. This analytical data enables you to compare the performance of videos, and work out which topics and content styles are most successful, helping you to tailor future content.

how to advertise on TikTok

How to Advertise on TikTok – A Simple Guide to Paid TikTok Ads

Ok, that’s organic. What about paid advertising on TikTok? There are a number of different approaches to paid advertising across the platform. But, to narrow it down, here’s three.

  • Video Ads – One of the most common paid advertisements on TikTok, Video Ads are full screen ads that appear on the “For You” page. These ads enable you to add a URL, which can be most effectively utilised by providing a link to a relevant landing page on your website, where the user can convert.
  • Spark Ads – TikTok created Spark Ads in 2021, allowing brands to promote organic videos that did significantly well, in regards to views and engagement. Similar to Instagram and Facebook promotions, organic content can be sponsored, so it appears on the feeds of a specific, targeted audience of your choosing.
  • Sponsored Influencer Content – It’s the age of the influencer, and TikTok is a platform that not only creates influencers, and “popular pages”, but facilitates their collaboration with brands. Usually B2C’s. B2C’s like yours? Reaching out to influencers and popular pages to promote your products and services can widen your audience with relevant users, and generate more interest in your profile, brand, and products/services.

No single content style, decision you make across the different elements of organic TikTok marketing, or paid ad-type, is the answer to how to advertise on TikTok. A combination will be required to achieve TikTok marketing success, as well as solid platform, social media, and wider marketing strategies.

Our advice to getting started on TikTok? – Just jump in. TikTok marketing that clicks isn’t achieved in a day, but putting it off, or overthinking about some distant possibility of becoming an industry meme due to poorly conceived social, achieves nothing. Trust in your marketing department, or social media marketing agency supplier (like us), and get stuck in.

Take the leap, led by our guide to how to advertise on TikTok, and you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve.

Interested in speaking to The Optimists?

Right from the beginning of our time working with The Marketing Optimist, they’ve taken the time and effort to get to understand Sharp Consultancy as a business and not just a client. We’ve seen a huge increase in the effectiveness of our social media strategy, particularly on Linkedin and we’re delighted with the impact it’s had on the business.

Jamie Caulfield

Regional Director, Sharp Consultancy

It was a pleasure to work with The Marketing Optimist on this project. It felt like a true collaborative effort on the day and they made the interviewee's feel at ease whilst talking about their journey on our RISE programme. The final video was professional and engaging, we have received great feedback around the quality and creativity of the case study. Including the video in our presentation made it come to life, with real humans sharing their stories, so thank you to the Marketing Optimist!

Hannah Prole

Impact Manager, Better Connect Limited

Case Studies


Marketing for Local Government

Moresby Hall Hotel

Hotel Rebranding

Sharp Consultancy

B2B Social Media for recruitment

The Edit LDN

Managing advanced eCommerce SEO

Better Connect

Digital PR and video production for events

Tango Networks

Marketing support for a global telecoms business

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