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TikTok Marketing 101: How to get started

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Social media is everywhere and it's getting bigger and bigger by the hour. Nowadays, everyone is on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, or TikTok. This trend is likely to grow even further with everyone being on at least one app sooner or later. 

In the case of Facebook and Instagram, they are well utilized in the advertising space. Facebook has been one of the most popular places for affiliates in the last decade and since they bought Instagram, the platform has acted as a continuation of FB. The only problem with it is that in the past 2-3 years, they have introduced so many regulations and rules that it's almost impossible to navigate the advertising marketplace without getting restrictions or bans. 

This means that newer platforms like TikTok that have an active user base and still don't have a bunch of rules you need to follow are rapidly gaining popularity in the advertising space. 

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to create and share short-form videos, often set to music or other audio. The app, which was first launched in 2016, has quickly grown in popularity, particularly among younger users. TikTok is available on both iOS and Android devices and can also be accessed via a web browser.

One of the unique features of TikTok is its algorithm, which uses machine learning to personalize the content that is shown to each user. This means that the videos that appear on a user's "For You" page are tailored to their interests and engagement history. The app also includes a variety of editing tools and filters, making it easy for users to create high-quality videos even if they don't have professional video editing experience.

TikTok has a wide range of content, from comedic skits and lip-syncs to dance challenges and educational videos. The platform also has a strong sense of community, with users often participating in challenges and trends together. This has helped to create a vibrant and active user base, making TikTok a popular choice for creators and marketers alike.

Why Is It Important?

TikTok has become an important platform for businesses and marketers because of its large and active user base. With over 1 billion active monthly users worldwide, TikTok presents a significant opportunity for businesses to reach new audiences and promote their products or services.

One of the major benefits of TikTok is its algorithm, which allows businesses to target specific demographics and interests. Additionally, TikTok's focus on short-form videos makes it an ideal platform for promoting products or services creatively and engagingly.

Another important aspect of TikTok is its sense of community. Users often participate in challenges and trends together, which can provide businesses with a unique opportunity to interact with and engage their audience. This can help to build brand loyalty and create a more personal connection with customers.

TikTok's popularity and active user base make it an important platform for influencer marketing. Many TikTok creators have large followings and can help to promote a business or product to a wider audience.

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages?

TikTok is incredibly popular and due to this, it is great for advertising. By some estimations, the platform is host to close to 1 billion active users monthly. This audience comes mostly from western countries and China, where TikTok’s founding company Bytedance is based from. 

Most teens and young adults are on the platform and this gives advertisers a huge audience to market to that is usually quite hard to reach. As an example, Facebook is great for older generations and Instagram is mostly aimed at adults even though it started as a teen-focused platform.

Another advantage of TikTok is its creative and engaging format. The platform's focus on short-form videos makes it an ideal platform for promoting products or services creatively and interestingly. The app also includes a variety of editing tools and filters, making it easy for users to create high-quality videos even if they need professional video editing experience.

However, there are also some disadvantages to consider when using TikTok for marketing. One potential disadvantage is that the platform is primarily used by younger users, so businesses targeting older demographics may not find it as effective. Additionally, TikTok's algorithm may make it difficult for businesses to reach their intended audience if they don't have a strong following or engagement history on the platform.

Another disadvantage is that TikTok is relatively new, and the marketing landscape is still evolving. Businesses may have to experiment with different strategies to find what works best for them, and it may take some time to see measurable results.

Overall, TikTok is a powerful platform for reaching and engaging with customers, but businesses should weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully before deciding to invest in TikTok marketing.

How to Get Started?

Getting started on TikTok is relatively simple. The first thing you need to do is create an advertising account. Usually, it is linked to your private TT account, but you can make an agency account that doesn’t need such requirements at all. Once you create your business account you will be able to access all the tools and analytics you need to create, launch, optimize and scale campaigns to the full!

Here is a full breakdown of how to launch your first advertising campaign!

1.  Campaign Level

Speaking of campaigns, TikTok offers a lot of different goals including:

  • Reach: Showing your ads to the maximum amount of people in general
  • Traffic: Sending people to a specific app or website
  • Video views: Getting the most views and engagement on your ads
  • Lead Generation: Collecting quality leads for your business
  • Community Interaction: Get people to follow and visit your profile
  • App Promotion: Get more installs for your app
  • Website Conversions: Get more actions for your website

After you select a specific goal you can continue giving it a name. You can then select one of 3 options (or none if you prefer). Those are:

  1. Create Split Test (for A/B testing)
  2. Campaign Budget Optimization (It adjusts your ad group budgets according to the TikTok algorithm in the hope of getting the best results for your campaigns)
  3. Set Campaign Budget (this is a standard feature that you should already know about)
  4. Select nothing (In this case you will default to giving your ad groups specific budgets instead of doing it on a campaign level)

The next step is setting up your ad groups. 

2. Ad Group Level

As always it starts with choosing a name for your ad group. After that, you will be presented with a specific choice that asks you different questions based on what goals you have. In case you are a regular affiliate, you probably selected Website conversions, so you will have the choice of using an external website (you will have to select a predefined pixel here to track) or using TikTok Instant Pages. 

The next step will be selecting your placements. Currently, this is limited to TikTok and Pangle. You can also try out the advanced settings where you can disable comments, sharing, and downloading of your videos. 

After that, you will be able to select or deselect “Automated creative optimization”. This is a feature that will let TikTok decide on a combination of ad creatives and ad texts to show users to try and find the best one automatically. Usually, it is recommended to use this when possible. 

Targeting is next. You can manually choose your audience or leave it up to TikTok. You can pick a variety of things including location, language, gender, age, income brackets, custom audiences, interests, behaviors, devices, and more. 

Compared to other platforms, TikTok prefers broad targeting as their algorithm is very fast and will make decisions much faster than you might expect. This isn't the case on platforms such as Facebook which might confuse newcomers to TT Ads!

After you got your targeting honed in, it is time to give your campaigns a budget and schedule. You can give daily budgets ($20 being the lowest) or lifetime budgets. As well as pick scheduling, dayparting, and selected times when to run. 

You can also do biddings and optimizations where you can decide on an optimization goal and tell TikTok what your preferred bid strategy is. You can go with the cost cap option which will try to match your desired cost and cap it at that or select the lowest cost where TT tries to find the lowest bid on its own. Utilizing a combination of both in your campaigns is the best strategy in most cases. 

3. Ad Level

The Last step consists of picking an Identity (basically the profile your ads will be running from), Uploading Creatives, putting the ad text, and pasting the desired URL or creating the Instant Page (if selected on the Ad Group Level). If you do all of this, your campaign is ready to launch and start its journey!


Overall, TikTok can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to reach new audiences and promote their products or services in a creative and engaging way, but it's important to keep in mind the challenges and the opportunities it presents.

To make sure your ads reach the most people you need to dial in proper targeting, create engaging content, utilize hashtags and trends, collaborate with influencers and creators, and of course, optimize your campaigns to reach your desired results! 

With a bit of practice, this should be easily achievable!


Have you tried out TikTok Ads in your campaigns? What is your experience with the new Ad platform? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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