MaxWeb Blog

TikTok Ads Structures and Testing Systems That Work

Become an Affiliate

Are you ready to take your advertising game to the next level? Then buckle up and get ready to learn about the ins and outs of TikTok ads! 

In recent years, TikTok has taken the world by storm, becoming one of the most popular social media platforms among young people. With over one billion active users worldwide, TikTok has become a cultural phenomenon and a marketing powerhouse. However, as with any social media platform, the key to success is creating effective ads that engage and resonate with the target audience.

To create ads that stand out and connect with users, advertisers must understand the different TikTok ad structures and testing systems that work. In this article, we will explore the various structures and best practices for creating effective ads. So, let's dive into the world of TikTok ads and explore the structures and testing systems that work!

Tiktok Ads Structures

TikTok offers five types of ad structures: in-feed ads, brand takeover ads, top-view ads, branded hashtag challenge ads, and branded effects ads. Each structure has its unique features, benefits, and challenges.

In-Feed Ads

In-feed ads are short videos that appear in the users' TikTok feed, much like regular TikTok videos. In-feed ads can be up to 60 seconds long and can include a variety of call-to-action (CTA) options, such as app downloads, website visits, or product purchases.

To create an effective in-feed ad, it's essential to make it visually engaging, use eye-catching music, and keep the video short and attention-grabbing. A clear branding message and targeted audience are also key.

These are the ads we will be focusing on today! But let's first cover the rest so you have an idea of what TikTok has to offer.

Brand Takeover Ads

Brand takeover ads are full-screen ads that appear when users open the TikTok app. These ads can include images, videos, and GIFs and link to a landing page or hashtag challenge.

To create an effective brand takeover ad, it's essential to make it visually appealing and attention-grabbing, use a clear CTA, and ensure that the ad aligns with the brand's message and values.

TopView Ads

TopView ads are full-screen ads that appear immediately after users open the TikTok app. These ads are similar to brand takeover ads but have longer playtime and more CTA options.

To create an effective TopView ad, it's essential to make it visually engaging, use attention-grabbing music, and ensure that the ad aligns with the brand's message and values.

Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads

Branded hashtag challenge ads are ads that encourage users to participate in a branded hashtag challenge. These ads can include images, videos, and GIFs and can link to a landing page or in-app store.

To create an effective branded hashtag challenge ad, it's essential to make it engaging, use a clear CTA, and ensure that the ad aligns with the brand's message and values.

Branded Effects Ads

Branded effects ads are ads that allow users to incorporate branded effects into their TikTok videos. These ads can include filters, lenses, and stickers.

To create an effective branded effects ad, it's essential to make it visually appealing, easy to use, and aligned with the brand's message and values.


TikTok Ad Objectives

TikTok ads have three primary objectives:

1. Awareness

Awareness campaigns aim to reach as many people as possible, making them aware of a brand or product. The goal of these ads is to reach a maximum number of people!


2. Consideration

Consideration campaigns encourage users to engage with a brand, either by clicking through to a website or participating in a challenge. They are split into:

  • Traffic
  • Video Views
  • Community Interaction

3. Conversion. 

Conversion campaigns focus on driving sales, sign-ups, or app installs. They are split into:

  • App Promotion
  • Lead Generation
  • Website Conversions
  • Wproduct Sales (beta)

For most affiliates, website conversions are the ones you will use the most, as they will drive valuable actions to your website and drive conversions to your campaigns!

Key Differences Between Campaign Types

When launching your first TikTok campaign you will quickly be bombarded by multiple options and decisions that you will have to make to ensure the best results. The differences between these decisions are usually between the budgets and how the campaigns utilize them most effectively. Let’s cover them all so you can see a bit more about what we are talking about!

Smart Campaigns

Smart campaigns are a new addition to TikTok and their goal is to optimize everything for you. They take away the possibility to pick and chose a bunch of stuff and instead of you deciding, TikTok does the heavy lifting for you. In most cases, TikTok does a great job at it and you can get some great results by just utilizing smart campaigns. 

With them, you will have the choice of budgets, creatives, ad text, and GEOs. Thats it! TikTok will do all the rest. They are really simple to launch and take just a few minutes to set up and get running. The only downside is that sometimes they are unpredictable and can lead to a rapid increase in CPAs for no specific reason. Because of this you should monitor them or set up automated rules to not lose money in vain. 

If your account doesn't have smart campaigns as an option, you will have to contact your Account Manager representative, as the feature is still in beta and needs to be enabled!

Classic Campaigns

  • Regular Daily Budgets

The default setting is to create a regular campaign that has a specific daily budget (minimum is $20 in most cases). These campaigns have a structure of Campaign > Ad Group > Ad. And the budgets are based on Ad Groups, so you can have a lot of Ad Groups inside of one campaign that all behave in a specific way. 

There are a couple of settings you should toggle when using regular campaigns. This is “Automated Creative Optimization” or ACO. This setting takes your creatives and ad texts and mixes and matches them as TikTok sees fit. This usually gives the best results as the algorithm adjusts quickly

  • Campaign Optimized Budget

CBO campaigns take things a step further by not only testing creatives against each other but also testing entire ad groups. CBO campaigns work best when you have multiple ad groups with multiple ads inside of them. With a high enough budget, all of them will go through TT’s algorithm and the algo will decide who the winners are. These videos will then be pushed out and utilized. 

The minimum budget for a CBO campaign is $50, but in most cases, you want to start it off with a bit more so you make sure that everything gets to be tested properly!

  • Bidding

Bidding is the most hands-on type of campaign that you can try out right now. It requires you to find the ideal sweet spot for CPA goals and tell your campaigns to spend and run only if that goal can be met. This usually gives incredibly high ROI results but with really low spending. Depending on how realistic your goals are, you can have campaigns with potential budgets of millions that spend only a few dollars during an entire month. So finding the right targets is key to making it work. 

Testing Methods

TikTok is still relatively new and its algorithm is not completely figured out, so if you want to make sure that your campaigns have a chance to flourish you have to do a lot of testing to find the ideal thing. 

Here are a couple of things you can do to test out your niches and creatives!


1. Split testing “Smart Campaigns” 

You can try testing with different creatives, landers, and ad texts. Create 2 or more campaigns about the same niche with 3-5 creatives per campaign and 5 ad texts and let them compete against each other. 

2. Testing Ad Groups with Interests

For this, CBO Campaigns are the best! You can create a campaign for a specific niche and make it a CBO camp. Add 5 different creatives and split them up so that each ad group has 1 creative and 5 ad texts. Make sure these ad groups don't have any targeting set up. After you do that, duplicate the same 5 ad groups with the corresponding ad texts and adjust the targeting so that they target your ideal audience. 

Because of the way CBO campaigns work, the algorithm will quickly push out the best 2-3 performing ones and you will quickly see if your targeting has helped or hindered your performance!

3. Splitting Normal (ACO) Campaigns

One thinking the TT Algo loves doing is ignoring not the best-performing creatives. That is usually good but if you think about it, some creatives are not as good as the best ones, but they can still be profitable and perform well, maybe even resonate with other audiences. For this what we can do is split-test the normal campaigns. 

If you have 4 creatives, what you can do is as follows. Create one Automated Creatives Optimization Ad Group with all 4 creatives and then copy that Ad Group 4 times, and remove excess creatives from each copy so there is only one creative in each ad group (except the main one, that has all 4)

This way you will test out each creative separately and find out what works for sure!

4. Bidding

Once you know what metrics are good for your campaigns through normal testing, you can try bidding! Bidding means that you give your campaigns specific goals (like CPA cap) that they will try to match and only spend the budget you give the campaigns if that goal is reached. This is great for really optimizing and getting the most out of your campaigns for a small budget. 

You can split test creatives, ad groups, and ad texts. Find which of them works the best and then double down by creating similar creatives and spamming the algorithm with the things that work. 

Best Practices for Creating Effective TikTok Ads

Keep it Short and Sweet

TikTok is all about short-form content, so keep your ads short and sweet. In-feed ads can be up to 60 seconds long, but the optimal length is 9-15 seconds.

Be Creative and Authentic

TikTok is a platform that celebrates creativity and authenticity. So, make sure your ads are both creative and authentic. Use humor, music, and bold visuals to catch the user's attention.

Test Different Ad Formats

TikTok offers various ad formats, so test different formats to see what works best for your brand. You may find that a branded effect works better than a hashtag challenge ad, or vice versa.

Target Your Audience

TikTok allows you to target your ads based on age, gender, location, interests, and behavior. Take advantage of this feature to ensure your ads reach the right people.


TikTok ads are an effective way to reach a massive and engaged audience. By following best practices like keeping your ads short, being creative and authentic, and testing different ad formats, you can create successful TikTok ad campaigns. So, get out there and start creating!


Have you tried out TikTok Ads? What is your experience with them? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Please log in to Facebook to access the comments section