How to Advertise on TikTok

advertising on tiktok

Tell us you’re looking for new marketing strategies without telling us you’re looking for new marketing strategies. You just went first by navigating to this blog! Not sure what we’re talking about? Then you’re probably missing out on the huge marketing opportunity that is the TikTok app! Read below to discover how to advertise on TikTok.


At the beginning of 2021, TikTok had an impressive 689 million active users viewing over a billion videos each day and spending about 52 minutes on the app. Considering that the majority of users on this hit platform are under the age of 30 and represent 40% of online consumers, you can’t afford to miss out on the exposure and opportunity that TikTok presents.

So what is TikTok, exactly, and how can you use TikTok advertising to gain effective exposure for your brand? Let’s discuss it — because it may just be the key to success for your business.

gen z tiktok

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media app launched in 2018, centered on sharing videos of 60 seconds or less in duration. Anyone in the world can browse endless creative content or create a profile for posting dance videos, lip syncs, comedy sketches, fitness videos, makeup tutorials, recipes, or practically anything else. The only limit is the user’s creativity. 

Because the primary demographic that uses TikTok is Gen Z (people born between 1997 and 2012), companies that market here need to appeal to a younger audience or find a way to present their products or service offerings in an edgy, youthful, or comedic way. Inherently youthful brands that have succeeded in TikTok marketing are ones like Chipotle, GymShark, Fortnite, and Elf Cosmetics, but even the Washington Post has made a name for itself on TikTok by posting funny sketches surrounding current events.

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Ways of Advertising on TikTok

The platform is still in its infancy, but marketers have recently discovered ways to get their ads out there — many of which are creative and unconventional. You don’t need a lot of money to succeed here, either, as long as you’re producing quality content. Here are some of the new ways to earn brand exposure in this new era of digital marketing.

Create a Profile

Yes — it can be as simple as creating a profile and putting out content periodically to build up an audience. While this way takes some time, it’s a low-budget option that can generate a lot of followers as long as you’re uploading engaging content and not being overly promotional. A good rule of thumb is to remember that people come to TikTok to be entertained, not to watch commercials, so be relatable and know what’s trending on the app before you start creating content.

Pre-Roll Ads

You’re probably familiar with the concept of pre-roll ads from YouTube. Pre-roll ads are the quick video ads that play before you access the content. TikTok’s pre-roll ads play automatically whenever a user launches the app, so they’re almost guaranteed to see it. What more effective way to get your name out there than to be the first thing all 2.6 billion TikTok users see every day?

Branded Effects

Part of what makes TikTok so fun is the filter features that creators can implement in their videos, much like what you see on Instagram and Snapchat. As a business, you can pay to have your own branded effects available to content creators with company-specific information that is recognizable to anyone using your custom filter effect. 

In-Feed Ads 

In-feed ads are video ads that play automatically in a user’s “For You” feed, or the queue of videos suggested according to their liked and saved videos. These ads can be up to 60 seconds long, but it’s best to keep them to 15 seconds. The most successful brands on TikTok are the ones creating in-feed ads so entertaining that the user hardly realizes they’re watching an ad. In-feed ads have the same user interface as organic videos, which makes them almost indistinguishable from native content.

Influencer Marketing

Certain content creators on TikTok have millions upon millions of followers because of their useful or engaging content. Some of them are open to collaborations with companies that fit their brand, so it’s worth doing some research to identify influencers who are best suited to promote your products or services and increase your brand exposure.

Hashtag Challenges

Hashtag challenges arise when a user gives other users specific tasks to complete and challenges them to post their results along with the given hashtag. Anyone on the app can participate or issue a hashtag challenge, but it relies on widespread participation to go viral. 

As a business, you can pay to promote your own hashtag challenge for a set number of days with a link to your products. You can start your own challenge, or you can navigate to the Discover Page and see what’s trending to find out if there are any hashtags already trending that suit your products. 

One of the most viral hashtag challenges on TikTok was issued by e.l.f. Cosmetics. They invited users to flaunt their natural beauty in a video with the hashtag of #eyeslipsface for a chance at free makeup and skin care products. The challenge not only engaged millions of people but also got everyone talking about e.l.f. Cosmetics in the positive context of natural beauty.


Dance Challenges

Dance challenges are a TikTok hallmark. When a user choreographs a particular song, it often inspires others to recreate the dance themselves. Think The Git Up by Blanco Brown. While the artist had nothing to do with that dance, The Git Up dance challenge along with its associated hashtag (#thegitup) went viral with over 150 million participants. Your fast track to brand recognition could involve coming up with a viral dance!

The Creation of Sounds

Most TikTok videos are accompanied by sounds, which are snippets of songs, speeches, random dialogues, or any other sound played in the background. Once a sound is created, anyone on the app can reuse it. When used in conjunction with a hashtag or dance challenge, sounds create the opportunity for a lot of notoriety. If you don’t have any custom sounds to offer, create a video reusing one of the trending sounds on TikTok. Doing so will make you more relatable to those on the app — and they’ll love you for it!

How to Get Started

If you haven’t jumped on the TikTok marketing bandwagon yet, it’s not too late to start. Anyone on TikTok could be nonexistent today and viral tomorrow. Get started by creating a profile, determining your budget, researching the current trends, and finding out which of those trends may be most affordable and relevant to your products or services. 

If you’re feeling lost along the way, Avalaunch Media is home to a world-class social media team that can help you navigate the world of TikTok and succeed in your marketing efforts. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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