User ratingUser rating
Get the white paper!
Real People, Real Results: Why authenticity trumps AI on TikTok, Instagram, and beyond
All posts

Best Practices: Optimizing Content For TikTok Ads

Lately, TikTok has been top of mind for a lot of marketers. Brands have already started sourcing TikTok creators from Cohley with awesome results. Everyone wants to try it, but the uncharted waters can be quite intimidating. That's why we have built a TikTok integration that makes sourcing creator
Tom Logan
August 21, 2020
April 11, 2024

Lately, TikTok has been top of mind for a lot of marketers. Brands have already started sourcing TikTok creators from Cohley with awesome results. Everyone wants to try it, but the uncharted waters can be quite intimidating. That's why we have built a TikTok integration that makes sourcing creators, deploying ads, and tracking performance a breeze.

We want to make it seamless for our clients to take advantage of this lucrative ad platform. Not sure where to get started? No problem - we’ve put together some valuable resources below to help you launch successfully.

Why TikTok Advertising?

As the platform grows, it becomes more and more appealing for brands to advertise on TikTok. With its variety of demographics and creative approach to portrait media, there’s always a space for new players in the TikTok advertising space.

While you may think of TikTok as a Gen Z haven, TikTok has become increasingly favored by 24-34-year-olds, and more recently, 35-44-year-olds. According to Comscore, the share of voice on the platform was split between 24-34-year-olds (27.4%), 35-44-year-olds (17.1%), and Gen Z coming out on top with 37.3 million users worldwide by the end of 2021 (AdWeek).

Yes, that outpaces Instagram, predicted to come in at 33.3 million Gen Z users by 2022.

The cardinal rule of advertising is to be where your audience is, and with the growth of older demographics on TikTok and the seemingly unstoppable growth of Gen Z on the platform indicates that this is a platform you want to jump on sooner rather than later.

The format of 15-180 second videos means these ad spots are in a prime position to gather attention and eyeballs, filtering in with the feed. The best part is the self-service ad model - similar to Facebook’s Ad platform - where brands can use existing tools and a version of TikTok to create their ads, allowing them to blend seamlessly into the platform.

As always, not all platforms are suitable for all brands - TikTok advertising lends itself well to those Gen Z through 44-year-olds, so if your target demographic is Gen-X+, you may need to reconsider where you’re spending your ad dollars.

Read more about TikTok marketing here.

Getting started on TikTok for Business

TikTok has made their self-serve ad platform extremely easy to navigate. Signing up is as easy as visiting the TikTok for Business homepage, but we recommend going here, which will get you a free $300 of ad credit with an additional 1-to-1 match of up to $2000 to start running TikTok ads!

Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be able to access tons of educational content explaining various pieces of the TikTok ad product. If you’ve ever used Facebook Business Manager, you’ll likely find the overall functionality to be very familiar--although the user experience might be just a bit easier to navigate.

Key Guidelines to Developing your TikTok Ad Strategy

Quality over Quantity

Every video has an opportunity to go viral on TikTok, regardless of post timing or cadence. One amazing video per day beats multiple average attempts.

Experiment Regularly

The best way to learn what creates a sticky following is to keep experimenting. TikTok recommends a mix of original concepts, trends, challenges and incorporating popular sounds

Celebrate diversity and embrace the platform

TikTok is comprised of a diverse community that reinterprets and embraces trends and challenges. Give users flexibility to repackage your content through their own lens. True success comes from actively using the platform and understanding the community. Use the app as an individual, and build from there.

TikTok Advertising Best Practices

TikTok, like any other social media platform, has a recommended way of advertising on their platform. Theres obviously community guidelines to follow, but there are specific guidelines around how your content should technically be, how it should sound, and what works best on the platform. The biggest rule is to keep it engaging, work on trends, and create videos that target your specific audience.

Here are our guidelines for TikTok ads

  • Vertical: Full-screen videos so it feels native to the platform!
  • Concise: 10-20 second content performs best, and all videos should be at least 6 seconds
  • Trend-Centric: Create around in-app trends, themes and memes
  • Be Authentic: No need to overproduce as you want the video to feel organic and natural like all other creators
  • Mobile First: No expensive camera or editing equipment needed
  • Make It Interesting: Use effects, filters and more to create stimulating content and grab attention
  • Sound On: Leverage music and sounds to grab attention - the app launches with sound on
  • Have Fun: People come to enjoy the content and feel inspired - remember that!

How to Test TikTok Ads 

Why is it important to test TikTok ads? TikTok, like any other platform, should be analyzed and optimized. TikTok ads are a great space to test a variety of content, CTAs, and trending content with minimal spend. Testing content and testing ads allows you to see which content works best with your audience and increases your click-through-rate. Here are some things to consider when you start testing TikTok Ads:

  • Test content for relevancy with target audience 
    • Do people interact with your content? Is there a better way to demonstrate your offering and entice people to click on your ad that is more relevant to your target audience?
  • Understand what motivates your target audience 
    • Consider using influencers and people to “influence” your audience in your ads. Cohley can help connect you with influencers on TikTok and other platforms to elevate your TikTok ads.
  • Set realistic performance goals during and after testing 
    • Goals for testing should be quickly achievable and create an environment that is high impact, high fail rate. You want to fail and weed out poor content and ads.
  • Start TikTok split testing 
    • Split testing is possible in TikTok! We love a good split test - it’s the easiest way to test creative against creative.

Leveraging Cohley Campaigns to Generate TikTok Ad Content

Run a Cohley Campaign to garner authentic TikTok-ad ready assets. Your dedicated Customer Success Manager will help you optimize your campaign brief according to your KPIs and ensure that the assets generated are optimized for TikTok ads. Here is what we’ll recommend :

Experiment as much as possible. 

TikTok’s Creative Library has templates and tooling designed to combine photos, videos, and rights approved music into dozens or hundreds of combinations. TikTok runs each of those combinations in campaigns, quickly learning which are the top performers. When combined with Cohley’s firehose of content, the TikTok // Cohley integration enables unprecedented amounts of experimentation and optimization for your ads. Your Cohley Content Library of assets will be your backbone to find the winning combinations of content that will perform best with your target audience.

Give your ads a “TikTok feel”

This means using vertical video, with lo-fi, organic feeling content that encourages a certain amount of spontaneity, humor, and authenticity. We’ll make sure the basic ad spec requirements are included in your Cohley campaign brief without restricting the creators’ creative freedom to bring the content to life in a way that is authentic to themselves. The Cohley Creator Marketplace offers brands the perfect way to generate this UGC-feeling, diverse, interesting content.

Use LOTS of variety 

TikTok’s official recommendation is to refresh each campaign’s creative set every week. Most brands balk at that frequency, but with the Cohley content firehose we can ensure a brand’s ads remain fresh, interesting, and effective. Because Cohley campaigns makes it easy to scale content with diverse creators, you’ll be armed with a Cohley Content Library of assets unique to each creators’ style to test in your ads.

See some of the top brands in the world using TikTok!

Additional Resources

Apply to Become a Content Creator

Book a Consultation

Tom Logan
Founder & CEO