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Quick Guide to Using TikTok Paid Ads for Your Business

Cover: TikTok Paid Ads a guide

TikTok – it’s not just for tweens and influencers. TikTok has grown exponentially since its release in 2016, and with around 1 billion users scrolling through the app, it has become a major tool for businesses to market to their audiences. And while TikTok prefers authentic content, it has added TikTok paid ads to its list of tools for businesses. 

As an added bonus, TikTok has made it really easy for businesses to use their platform to advertise. 

Need help with your brand’s TikTok? Check out what our TikTok experts have to say

So why should you advertise on TikTok?

Aside from the almost 1billion users, TikTok is a great place for businesses to advertise. This is particularly true for businesses and brands whose target market is anyone between the ages of 18 and 35. That is a large part of the market. That being said, there are also several users who are older than that age range. 

Because it is a new platform, it is easier to make your mark with your desired audience than on more established platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Additionally, the TikTok algorithm makes it easier for businesses and brands that may not necessarily have the biggest following to reach their target audience.

TikTok has an innovative approach to advertising with several different kinds of adverts available to businesses. 


Different kinds of Paid Ads can you run on TikTok

While TikTok offers a variety of different advertising options, businesses need to remember that it is a short-form video platform. 

Top View Ads

These are the ads that appear as you open the app. It is the first video that a user will see. This has a number of different benefits for brands and businesses. 

Benefits of TikTok top view ads: 

  • High visibility
  • Good engagement 
  • And 67% higher sale conversion rates than other formats

They are great for attention-grabbing awareness campaigns!

In-Feed Ads

In-Feed ads are exactly what they sound like, the ads that play as users scroll through videos on TikTok. These ads are full-screen ads that usually blend in with your user-created content. They are also one of the most popular forms of advertising on TikTok at the moment. 

The benefits of TikTok In-Feed ads include: 

  • An already engaged audience – the users you are targeting are already watching videos, this is just one more. 
  • Can be as successful as organic content.

Big tip – these ads need to be fun and engaging. The whole ‘gimmick’ with TikTok is that ads shouldn’t necessarily feel like ads.

Branded Hashtag Ads 

These ads are great for creating a buzz and level of recognition for brands/businesses. A key reason for success with Branded Hashtag Ads: they are designed to generate user engagement. This is commonly done with a ‘TikTok challenge’ created around your branded hashtag. 

Benefits of Branded Hashtag Ads: 

  • These are fantastic for creating familiarity with your brand
  • Branded hashtag ads also bring a large amount of user-generated content to your brand. User-generated content is always great!
  • They are a great way to engage with your audience 

Branded Effect Ads

Effects are a tool that a large number of TikTok users make use of. They can include make-up filters and Shrek hovering above the ‘city’. Additionally, they can include branded effects. This type of advertising on TikTok can work well with Branded Hashtag campaigns. 

The benefits of branded effects on TikTok:

  • Branded effect ads are a great tool to help you generate engagement 
  • It is a good way to create brand awareness 
  • Again it is a wonderful tool to help bring in user-generated content about your brand 

Spark Ads

Spark ads are similar in nature to boosted posts on other platforms. These allow you to put a budget towards “boosting” your organic and user-generated content (with the creator’s approval). Once boosted these ads, direct users, either to your account page or an off-platform landing page. 

Benefits of TikTok Spark Ads:

  • Content is organic in nature – this tends to be the best kind of content on TikTok
  • It leverages work you have already done
  • It directs your audience where you want them to go


How much does it cost to advertise on TikTok?

Paid TikTok ads have a range of associated costs now – from the relatively budget-friendly native video ads to the first formats they came out with, which remain incredibly expensive but high-impact. TikTok remains one of the more expensive advertising platforms, however. 

For native video ads, Tiktok ads give users a fair amount of control as their ads are based on a bidding model. This ultimately means that you can control your budgets from Daily budgets to Lifetime budgets. This applies to both campaigns and ad groups. 

At a campaign level, the minimum budget according to Hootsuite is $50USD (R724.08*)  for both their Daily and Lifetime budget. On an Ad Group level, this goes down to $20USD (R289.63*) for a Daily budget whereas the Lifetime budged is calculated on a per-day basis. You can expect to pay a minimum of $10 (R140) CPM (cost per thousand views).

On the higher end, on launch, a branded hashtag challenge could cost a flat $150000 (R2172231,00*), and taking over a popular channel could cost up to $100000 (R1448154,00*).

*All conversions are based on the current exchange rate. 



TikTok paid adverts are a great way to capitalise on the engaging and interactive nature of the TikTok app. While one of the key benefits is the sheer volume of users, another is the diverse nature of the adverts offered to businesses. 


The downside is that it can be incredibly expensive, so it’s important that you’re very deliberate with how you use the platform to meet your business’s goals – while keeping things fun, engaging and trendy.