The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Advertising

Are you considering venturing into TikTok advertising? With the extreme (and steady) growth the platform has been experiencing, we’d be surprised if you weren’t. In case you are confused as to how TikTok advertising differs from ads on other social media, or wondering how to create viral content, target the right audience and use the platform to grow your brand - we got you covered. Here’s what we’ll be discussing in our Ultimate Guide to TikTok Advertising:

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Chapter One: The Power of TikTok Ads

  • How TikTok Works

Chapter Two: Advertising on TikTok - The Basics

  • Is TikTok Advertising Right for Your Brand?
  • What Types of TikTok Ads Are Available?
  • How to Get Started with TikTok Advertising?
  • Optimizing Your TikTok Ads
  • How Much Does TikTok Advertising Cost?

Chapter Three: Specific Ad Types and Techniques

  • Creating Direct Response Ads on TikTok
  • Leveraging the Power of TikTok Spark Ads
  • Using TikTok Pulse for Advertising
  • TikTok Hashtag Targeting and How to Use It
  • How to Create a Captivating Hashtag Challenge on TikTok

Chapter Four: Driving Sales and Conversions on TikTok

  • Using Dynamic Products Ads to Boost e-Commerce Sales
  • Driving App Downloads Through TikTok
  • Driving Sales with TikTok Instant Pages

Chapter Five: TikTok Advertising Tips for Success

  • Why Your TikTok Ads Keep Getting Rejected and How to Fix Them?
  • Common TikTok Advertising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Chapter one:

THE POWER OF TIKTOK ADS

The story of TikTok often seems almost like a fairytale. In a time where new apps are sprouting like mushrooms after rain, one app rises high above the rest, breaking all records and soon becoming the number one social media platform in the world. And all that within just a few years after the platform launched. In fact, TikTok’s growth has been incredibly fast right from the get-go. The TikTok platform surpassed a staggering one billion active users worldwide. One. Billion. That’s something, isn’t it? And the numbers are growing. With such stats, it’s clear that TikTok represents an advertising opportunity that no business or brand can afford to miss.

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How TikTok Works

Even if you don’t know a single thing about TikTok and the way it works, you’ve probably heard about the so-called challenges or seen kids rehearsing intricate dances and filming themselves with their smartphones. Lately, it seems that all the viral content flows through TikTok, and TikTok alone. It’s a craze, but it’s not an accidental craze. A carefully structured algorithm and a cleverly organized platform are responsible for the virality.

TikTok is not your regular social media platform. It does not rely on followers, friends or likes for reach. In fact, you can have literally zero followers and still have a viral video. How come? TikTok is based around an algorithm and the use of hashtags. Users use hashtags to discover content that interests them, and then the algorithm proceeds to curate the content according to various criteria and serve it to users. The more time a user spends on the platform, the more accurately the algorithm will curate the content on the For You page. You get the picture.

The amazing thing about TikTok is that it’s actually rather easy to go viral with a hashtag or a piece of content, and that the reach can be out of this world. Consequently, the opportunities to reach a rather considerable audience through the platform are rather impressive.

So let’s see how it’s done.

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Chapter two:

ADVERTISING ON TIKTOK - THE BASICS

Now, it’s clear that TikTok can be an incredibly powerful advertising and marketing tool. But does it make it a good fit for any brand or business? Let’s find that out first.

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Is TikTok Advertising Right for Your Brand?

While advertising on TikTok can be relatively cheap, some marketers still feel that their organic content can perform much better and be more cost- and time-effective than advertising on the platform. That’s why before you venture into this field it would be wise to see first if TikTok is the right arena for your advertising efforts.

TikTok seems to be a good choice for certain industries and niches, and not so great for others. For instance, if your business involves beauty and fashion (apparel, makeup, skincare, jewelry, shoes…), you should definitely give TikTok advertising a try. Hashtags that have to do with beauty and fashion are among the most popular ones, right behind the pranks and various challenges.

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Similarly, TikTok advertising can be an excellent choice for businesses offering sustainable and eco-friendly products, for food industry brands, fitness and health businesses and, of course, tech brands.

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Your target audience is on TikTok. Although TikTok gained its early hyper growth from younger generations, now more than 50% of TikTok users are 24 years or older. Millennials, zoomers, and Gen X-ers are now the biggest segments of the TikTok crowd. If any of those segments coincide with your target audience, then you should definitely give TikTok advertising a go.

Now, if you want to give it a go, let’s move on to the actual how-to.

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What Types of TikTok
Ads Are Available?

TikTok offers several ad types for you to choose from:

TikTok In-Feed Ads - As the name suggests, these ads appear in the TikTok feed on the user’s For You page. Users can interact with these ads by liking, commenting or sharing.

TikTok Brand Takeover Ads - These ads appear the moment the user opens the app, they remain there for a few moments and then disappear as the regular feed takes over.

TikTok Top View Ads - These are similar to Brand Takeover ads, but the difference is they don’t appear straight away, and instead they pop in after three seconds as the first in-feed post. They come with autoplay and sound features and can go on for up to 60 seconds.

TikTok Branded Hashtag Ads - Designed to promote brand awareness and engagement, these ads involve hashtags proposed by the brand, with which they invite users to create videos related to the product in question, with the appropriate hashtag. These ads then appear in the discovery page and can lead to the page with all the content under the same hashtag.

TikTok Branded Effects Ads - Another great way to boost user engagement, this type of ad involves a custom branded filter that users can apply to their content.

TikTok - Branded AR Content: Appears as branded lenses, stickers, and other 2D/3D/AR effects for users.

The previous advertising opportunities are mostly reserved for big brands that can afford required budgets, but there’s a more favorable option for small businesses - the auction model. You can bid on in-feed video ad slots on the platform and TikTok requires a minimum budget of $50 for overall campaigns, with a $20 minimum for ad groups. TikTok ad campaigns can be run for various objectives such as:

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Optimizing for views

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Optimizing for clicks

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Optimizing for leads

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Optimizing for downloads

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Optimizing for purchases

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How to Get Started with TikTok Advertising

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How to Create a TikTok Ad Account

Visit TikTok Business homepage and click on Get Started. Fill in and submit all information required and you will be contacted in 5 business days by TikTok’s representatives to let you know if your business qualifies.

To start creating
TikTok ads,
you will first need
an account.

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Once your TikTok advertising account is ready, select the Campaign tab from the top of the page and click Create. Next, you should choose your campaign objective. TikTok advertising objectives fall into three main categories:

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Placement and Targeting

The following step is to create an Ad group for your campaign during which you decide on placement and targeting.

For placement, you can choose between automatic and manual options. The automatic option will calculate what is the best combination based on previous steps. If you opt for manual, you will have access to advertising on other platforms besides TikTok: Vigo Video, BuzzVideo, TopBuzz, Babe, and News Republic. However, make sure you understand which countries are available for targeting based on where your business is registered.

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After that, it is time to provide all of the details necessary to start your campaign: profile pictures, links to your landing page, categories, and keywords.

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Finally, the “Targeting” section will help you set the parameters for your ad to reach your target audience. At your hand you will have the option to choose a location, age, gender, languages, devices, and much more.

Make sure not to over-narrow your targeted audience. It’s always better to start with broader audience selection and with the assistance of the system, learn who will and who won’t convert. By excluding an audience you may miss some good chances because TikTok may find some users in those groups too, or exclude them for you over time with the help of their sophisticated targeting system.

Also, keep in mind that you don’t need multiple ad groups unless you are targeting different audiences or optimizing for different goals at the same time. The system will always prioritize ads based on their performance and separate ad groups could start competing against each other and cause artificial increase of prices.

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Budgeting, Scheduling and Optimizing Tiktok Ad Campaigns

Under the Budget & Schedule tab, you decide on the budget for your ad group. You can choose either the budget to be spent per day or the total budget to be spent during a selected period.

Choose the dates you want to cover with your ad and skip to the section where you set the pace of spending your budget. The Standard method spends your budget evenly through the selected period, while the Accelerated delivery utilizes it as quickly as possible.

You can then select the optimization goal for your ad group:

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Conversion: Optimized to show to people most likely to make a conversion action for your product or service

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Click: Optimized to provide as many clicks as possible

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Impressions: Optimized to reach as many times as possible

Always try to match your optimization goal with your chosen business goal. For example, with the right settings, and the help of TikTok’s system, you will have impressions that will most likely result in clicks, if you seek them. If you choose to go for manual bidding, aim for at least 50:1 weekly budget to bid radio, or no less than 20:1. The system needs some time and conversions to predict the performances in the right way. For more tips on bidding, check out the final section of this guide - “Common TikTok Advertising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.”

How to Create TikTok Ads

In order to make it easier for marketers to advertise on the platform, TikTok integrated a Video Creation Kit inside the TikTok Ads page. You will have at your disposal video templates, images, music backgrounds, and other options that will help you customize your material and make it more interesting for placement within the app. Some of the best practices on TikTok Auction Ads show that you should aim for five unique video assets for each campaign. Also, keep in mind these things:

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Turn it up – Keep the beat going or use dialogues and other sound effects. Always count on sound-on options for your ads!

Get your message out early – With so much entertaining content out there, you don’t have much time to catch someone’s attention. Highlight your key message or product within the first 3 seconds and keep viewers hooked until the very end.

Shoot natively for TikTok – Ads created vertically and especially for TikTok have much better reception as ads. Stay real, stay raw, stay loyal to the nature of the network at all times.

Edit videos in the TikTok way – With so many effects on your disposal, how do you choose the right ones? It doesn’t matter, as long as it feels it’s crafted by a true TikToker.

Drive urgency with CTA – Tell your story in unconventional ways, but at the same time briefly and directly. Get to the point right away, create a call to action statement at the end ot inspire the viewer to click.!

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Tips for Creating the Best TikTok Ads

  • Explore TikTok’s Inspiration section to see some of the best practices on the platform.
  • Create and try multiple creatives with each video. Refresh them each week, but only those that aren’t performing well or are declining.
  • Ensure that your landing page is optimized to accommodate an easy conversion flow. This will impact greatly on the conversion rate. Also, make sure it’s optimized for mobile devices.
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  • Focus on only one call to action at a time, such as downloading your app or using a coupon on your website, but not both at the same time.
  • Ensure to check the available budget on a regular basis to prevent delivery from being paused should the budget run out.
  • Consider using verified influencers in your niche. Follow them to get to know their content and see if they’re a good fit for your brand.
  • Having good creative material is super important. And make sure you have it in HD!
  • Having good creative material is super important. And make sure you have it in HD!
  • If you struggle with reaching your first goal, consider switching to a higher-funnel objective instead. We also recommend only adjusting one parameter of the campaign per day in order to see the real effect of the changes before making further ones.
  • When starting a new campaign/account it is recommended to keep targeting broadly. You can further optimize once a campaign is live. This will help you to gain as many insights as possible in the first launch stage.
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Optimizing
Your TikTok Ads

As we mentioned earlier, you can’t just shoot any video whatsoever, upload it on TikTok and expect it to kill. You need to keep in mind certain preferences and specifications and apply them to your ads:

Format: TikTok is a vertical video platform, so the aspect ratio of your ad creative should ideally be 9:16, although 16:9 and 1:1 can do fine, too. As for the Spark ads, they can use any format.

Resolution: Your videos should be at least 540 x 960 px or 640 x 640 px, however the 720 px ones usually perform best. File size and format: You can upload videos in MOV, MPEG, AVI and MP4. The maximum file size is 500MB, and there is no size cap for Spark ads.

Length: Ideally, you should aim for the length between 21 and 34 seconds, but everything between five and 60 seconds is allowed.

Ad description: TikTok allows for descriptions up to 100 characters, with no emojis (except for Spark).

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How Much Does
TikTok Advertising Cost?

Advertising on TikTok was more expensive in the early days of the app, when the opportunities were more limited. TikTok has been hard at work to increase the inventory of ads on their platform with new advertising opportunities.

TikTok has auction based video ads which are the most affordable and the platform is the best choice for brands looking to launch cheap and easy viral campaigns.

In general, ads on TikTok are half as expensive as ads on Facebook and Instagram.

It’s hard to tell how much a business will pay for TikTok ads should it decide to pursue this venture, since the cost of the ad inventory varies greatly based on the category and advertisers will pay a premium for a campaign that aims to go viral and reach millions.

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Chapter three:

SPECIFIC AD TYPES AND TECHNIQUES

So far we’ve mostly talked about the technical aspects of creating simple TikTok ads. Let’s now see what the platform has to offer in terms of advanced ad types and techniques.

Creating Direct
Response Ads on TikTok

Direct Response ads are a staple of digital marketing regardless of the channel and platform. These ads, which are often referred to simply as DR ads, are specific creatives designed to provoke specific action in users. That can include boosting the number of views on a website, ads intended to motivate users to sign up to a mailing list, and of course, ads designed to drive purchases.

We’ve talked about the how-to of creating TikTok ads, which covers DR ads as well, so let’s see what some of the best practices for this type of ads include.

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Show Your Product Immediately and Always Be Direct

In order to be as direct as possible in your TikTok ad, try to speak to the camera as if you were talking to your friends in a coffee shop. What does that mean exactly? Simply eliminate complicated, overly-pronounced words, as that can seem fake to users. Because of the youthful, immediate and informal nature of the app, what succeeds on TikTok is using your natural tone of voice, but make sure to enunciate the words correctly, without using unnecessary words or pauses.

Another very important piece of advice is to showcase your products and services as soon as possible in your TikTok ad. There is no need for long introductions, just jump straight to the point. With the dwindling attention span we all suffer from in the modern age, there’s no time to waste. Finding ways to engage with users may not always be as simple as it sounds, but you will get better at it over time. If you have no time to waste, you can always hire a proven content creator to do it for your brand instead.

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Don’t Worry Too Much
About the Production Quality

Unlike some other social media platforms, TikTok was adamant from the start that the originality and creativity of the content are much more important than sheer aesthetics. Engaging and entertaining videos that are not overly produced still represent most of the content that you’ll find on TikTok. Your direct response ads on TikTok should look like that too.

This is great news for brands,since they don’t have to invest large sums of money in order to create captivating ads on TikTok. Well, they do, but not for production. A decent mobile phone, good lighting and an eye for detail is all that’s necessary for even the most important campaigns. This is not only good from a budgeting standpoint, but it also means that on TikTok, you can be as creative as possible, without having to worry too much about spotless production quality.

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Always Provide Captions

At first glance, this might seem unimportant, but there’s a good reason why most popular videos on TikTok nowadays have captions. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, it’s a fact that most of us like looking at our phones when we’re feeling bored at work, school, or when using public transport.

All of these situations have one thing in common: it’s pretty difficult to watch TikTok videos with the sound turned on. However, if a video has proper captions, it becomes much easier to follow the story. Depending on your intentions, you don’t have to use captions for every sentence, just for those that you want to place emphasis on.

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Leveraging the Power of TikTok Spark Ads

Spark Ads is a native TikTok advertising option that allows brands to promote organic content to users, thus reaching a larger number of people and establishing better interaction. Let’s see why that’s important and how to get started using Spark Ads.

There are two ways brands can use Spark Ads:

  • Use your own brand’s organic TikTok content
  • Use organic posts created by other TikTok creators (with their consent).

The ads can appear whether as In-Feed ads or as TopView ads.

Depending on your goals and overall budget, each of these options can be very useful. Spark Ads allow brands to establish a connection with the users with or without the use of influencers and most importantly, instead of you slowly grinding away towards that goal, they can push your content and your brand to wider masses in no time at all.

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And the concept is really quite simple. Let’s say you’re a raw vegan food brand. You come across an organic post by a creator using or reviewing one of your dairy-free yogurts. If you feel the post might be useful for you, if it’s positive and engaging and especially if the creator already has quite a following, you can reach out to them and ask to use the post as an In-Feed or TopView ad.

Note that, while Spark ads are similar to Facebook’s Branded Content Tool, they can be optimized not just for engagement, but also for reach, views, conversion and traffic.

Before we look into the actual setting up of a Spark ad, let’s see some of its benefits.

Turning Viewers Into Customers

The most difficult job in marketing is to gain the attention of the end-users and spark (pun intended) interest in your products and services. Once that seed is planted, the job of making the final sale becomes that much easier.

Brands that use TikTok as their promotional tool are at a great advantage when it comes to gaining the trust of their customers. The fun and engaging nature of this platform is oftentimes the first talking point that can turn complete strangers into clients for years to come.That way, it serves as a great connecting point between the users and brands.

Captivating content that is boosted through Spark Ads has the possibility to go viral, thus reaching millions of users around the globe and inviting them to join in on the fun, whether through challenges, duet features or in any other way.

Once the content captures the attention of the user, brands can implement the option to direct the viewers towards their profile page, a dedicated landing page and invite the user to follow the original account that posted the video.

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Using Spark Ads to Define Your Business Goals

Captivating content that is boosted through Spark Ads has the possibility to go viral, thus reaching millions of users around the globe and inviting them to join in on the fun, whether through challenges, duet features or in any other way.

Whether you want to improve brand awareness by extending the reach of your content and boosting the number of overall views or if you aim for increased conversion rates and overall traffic, Spark Ads allow you to set up your strategy in that direction.

Brands and Users Working Together in Spark Ads

One of the best things that separate TikTok from other apps is the community of users who all interact with each other and with brands through challenges - a content form that is typical and unique to TikTok. When the challenges become viral, brands that know how to steer that attention towards their goals, such as increasing sales numbers or introducing a new service to the audience, can turn in a huge profit.

Sometimes, the original brand content works great in and by itself. Other times, a user-generated response might actually perform even better. Enter Spark Ads, which allow the brands to boost select user-generated content through paid campaigns, showing it to audiences around the world.

The only condition is that the original creator and the brands reach an agreement, where the user explicitly consents to their content being used for promotional services. It can be a match made in heaven, as the user gets to show their content to a wider audience and gain more exposure and followers, while the brands will receive a chance to reap the rewards of their effort.

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How to Create Spark Ads

Now that we’ve seen all the potential benefits of using TikTok Spark ads, let’s see how to create them.

  • Decide which post you want to use for your Spark ad. It can be your own post, but in most cases it will be a creator’s organic post that is already trending.
  • If it’s a creator’s post, you need to get in touch with them and, once they agree to work with you on this, they need to do the following:
  • Below the Comment button there are three dots that they need to click and go to Ad Settings.
  • Switch the Ad Authorization toggle to On
  • Select the preferred authorization period (7, 30, 60 or 365 days) and click the button that says Authorize.
  • Copy the code and paste it in the chat they have with you as a brand.
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Now for your part:

  • After you receive the code from the creator, log into your TikTok ads dashboard, go to Assets and select Creative.
  • Under the Spark Ads tab, select Apply for Authorization
  • Paste the code you got from the creator and hit Search
  • Once the video appears, click on Confirm
  • Check the ad group and ad campaign and click on Spark Ads next to the Create New item.
  • Give your ad a name
  • In the Identity section, choose the name of the creator of the post
  • Now head over to the Ad Details section, click on +TikTok Post, and then select the video by clicking its upper right corner. If the corner is already green, it means the video is already selected, and all you need to do now is click on Confirm.
  • Finally, choose your CTA, enter the ad’s destination URL and click on Submit.

It seems like there’s a bunch of steps to take but thanks to TikTok’s intuitive interface, it’s all actually pretty straightforward and can be done within minutes, once you reach an agreement with the creator. Now that you know how to do it, and how you can benefit from it, the only thing left to do is find some hot trending content that fits your niche and give TikTok Spark ads a go.

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Using TikTok
Pulse for Advertising

The main goal of TikTok advertising is to reach the target audience that has the need for your product or service. TikTok being a platform based around community and culture, it’s obvious that, for successful advertising, brands need to get inside the culture, get a front-and center spot and become its organic part.

Enter TikTok Pulse.

Pulse allows brands to embrace the relevant communities like never before and bring their content to those who will appreciate it. In this section, we’re taking a closer look at this feature and explain why it can be a game-changer for your brand, allowing you to supercharge your ad performance. Here’s where you can start.

What is TikTok Pulse and Why You Need to Pay Attention to This Feature?

TikTok spoiled its users with a custom “For You Feed”. This page displays content based on the user’s desires and interests, making it an endless source of interesting and engaging content.

Up until recently, this section was off-limits to most businesses, but with TikTok Pulse, brands have a chance to display their carefully crafted ads right next to the platform’s 4% of the most popular videos. The reach, as you can imagine, is incredible.

Pulse has turned out to be highly beneficial both brand favorability and brand recognition. It also has a positive impact on purchase intent among viewers. Just by showing your content to users who are open-minded and even actively searching for ways to entertain themselves, you have a much better chance to establish a stronger presence, compared to regular ads.

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What Industry Is Best Suited for Pulse Ads?

While it is true that all industries can profit from a good marketing plan, some products and services are simply better suited to capture the imagination of potential customers. On the other hand, a great creative idea is more than enough to highlight the advantages of your brand and turn those views into purchases.

TikTok Pulse Ads serve another excellent channel to get in touch with your target audience. Brands can choose between 12 available categories (including fashion, beauty, cooking and gaming, among others) to display their content.

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Additionally, even if your industry is not covered at the moment, that shouldn’t stop you from trying a creative approach and branching out a little bit. You can probably find a common denominator between your product/service and one of the available categories and take it from there. Ultimately, the list of available categories is going to expand in the future, but you may want to try out Pulse right away.

If TikTok Pulse is not yet available in your country, don’t worry. The initial rollout was reserved for the US market, with plans for gradual global market.. If you belong to the market that’s still in the “waiting room,” don’t waste your time and get ready to monetize this exceptional advertising opportunity.

If you need help along the way, or you want to have a team of experienced marketing experts to help you hone in on the details and allow you to separate from the competition, give us a call.

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TikTok Hashtag Targeting and How to Use It

Hashtag targeting is one of the most effective TikTok marketing features and one you should definitely consider employing. Let’s see what hashtag targeting is all about, and how you can use it to boost your brand visibility, reach and conversions.

Like other types of ad targeting, here you will be delivering your ads to the users that meet certain criteria. In this case, users who are interacting with certain hashtags.

You can target popular hashtags, which will help you boost visibility across various groups, while targeting specific ads will help you with your target audience.

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Finding the Latest Trends and Capitalizing While They Are Fresh

Between thousands of new hashtags that gain traction on TikTok every day, it can be overwhelming to keep track of the latest trends and decide which hashtag has the potential to work with and for your brand. However, if you just take a step back and analyze some of your competitors, as well as category trends, you will eventually be able to generate a list of useful hashtags that will match your brand’s audience.

Another thing you can do is combine popular hashtags with those that are less competitive. These will usually be more niche-specific hashtags. By doing that, you give your content the chance to reach wide audiences through popular hashtags, but also the more niche groups where you can engage with a specific audience. Just make sure to combine hashtags that are relevant to your message and brand, as randomly pasting a bunch of tags will serve no real purpose and may even make you appear incompetent.

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How to Use Hashtag Targeting on TikTok to Gain Views

Building a steady base of the target audience that follows your content is great, but if you ever plan to reach wider audiences, you need to utilize popular and trending hashtags from your industry. When you learn how to do that, you can then focus on pursuing your goals, which might be achieving better conversion rates, higher engagement or improved sales figures.

To gain inspiration when feeling stuck, you can visit the TikTok Creative Center, a platform that contains all sorts of useful tips and tools, such as royalty-free music, ad templates and tips on new trends that have the potential to go viral.

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Create Different Audience Personas and Test Your Strategy Accordingly

Every audience is specific, and depending on their interests, they will respond differently to your campaign. Even if you are an experienced marketer with a perfectly tuned ear for what people want, you may not want to employ a strictly intuitive strategy when it comes to hashtag targeting.

What you should do instead is test your strategy with auction advertising and then use the winning strategy for your hashtag targeting Trying to predict the outcome is fine, but having empirical proofs about how something will resonate with the audience simply cannot be matched.

With hashtag targeting, you can add additional hashtags and interests and create complete audience personas. By doing that, you will be able to test your strategy on real people and the data you gather at the end will be a lot more precise and reliable.

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Be More Visible and Gain Organic Followers

Increasing the number of followers can be done in a multitude of ways, but for brands, not all users are valued the same. Those who already have an inclination towards the type of content you’re trying to produce are a lot more integral to the brand, compared to other casual viewers who are just exploring and searching for ways to kill some time.

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If you keep creating quality content, the users will keep coming back to your page, thus increasing the list of your organic followers. With that in your back pocket, the next time you decide to create a campaign, you won’t have to spend any money to reach those who are interested in your products and services. Call it an investment into your future assets.

This is actually one of the unbeatable strategies in online marketing, but it never hurts to repeat. Combine this approach with hashtag targeting and other techniques discussed in this guide, and you’ll reap the benefits before you know it.

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How to Create a Captivating Hashtag Challenge on TikTok

We have already written about brands that found a way to harness the immense power of TikTok for their marketing campaigns, and we hope that we managed to spark some interest in you and open your eyes to the world of possibilities that is out there.

However, watching on the sidelines is one thing, but getting off the bench and entering the game is a whole lot tougher. While there is no clear formula for success, by studying previous campaigns, we can clearly point out the trends that give results, as well as pitfalls that you need to avoid at all cost.

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What is a Branded Hashtag Challenge on TikTok?

Hashtags offer the quickest way to reach your customers and generate engagement. You can do it by creating organic entertaining content, but branded hashtag challenges present the easiest way to create a viral campaign in your first attempt.

So, how does a branded hashtag challenge work? In essence, sponsored hashtags are displayed on the discovery page for the users to see, and they stay there for 3 to 6 days. During this time, your challenge has the best chance to get viral and reach millions of users around the globe.

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And what about the price? Unfortunately, a branded hashtag challenge comes with a hefty price tag – there is six figure flat fee for the 6 days of challenge, and additional resources need to be allocated for the challenge promotion.

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What Kind of Results Can You Expect?

It’s the first time that brands have potential to create virality on such a scale. Best branded challenges inspire millions of TikTok users to interact with your brand. Average engagement rate achieved through branded hashtag challenges is 8.5% through likes, comments and shares.

Subway’s campaign with their #bitemechallenge broke all records, drawing in more than 956 million video views, 167,000 entries and an impressive 14.55% engagement rate.

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Hire a Team of Influencers to Get the Ball Rolling

Perhaps the biggest issue that most brands face is how to gain any traction in the first place. Your job is simple, yet not so easy to do: to get people to react to your idea, you first have to make it cool. That’s easier said than done. But, on TikTok, the shortcut to a viral hashtag usually includes a team of trusted influencers. Why is it so important?

Well, influencers are people who can easily reach a large number of users, and when someone of their status starts a trend, suddenly everyone wants to join in on the fun. Before you know it, a hashtag challenge generates millions of views, and your brand is right in the middle of it, getting tons of free marketing. Furthermore, when you have several influencers working together, you increase the chances of starting a movement, and the end results could be limitless...

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Your Product Needs to Be the Focal Point

Your TikTok content needs to be centered around what you’re selling. If you fail to meet this goal, as your hashtag challenge gains popularity, and as more and more people start to join in, the whole idea can quickly drift away in a different direction, and out of your control. Pretty soon, people can ditch your product entirely or forget to even mention your brand, and that’s the last thing you want to happen.

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To avoid this, the challenge needs to be structured in a way which promotes a single or several important qualities of your products or services. By doing that, you will still leave some room for creative freedom, but steer the conversation in the direction towards your business bottom line.

Not All Ideas Are Created Equal

We all have our personal preferences, and sometimes, it’s not bad to stick to our guns and insist on things we find to be true. Still, when it comes to social media, the rules are never set in stone, and you have to retain at least some flexibility in order to adapt to the market demands.

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Here are some general rules you need to follow:

  • Hashtags need to be catchy and easy to remember
  • If possible, use your brand or product name
  • Create challenges that are fun and include people across all demographics
  • Everything becomes a lot easier with the right influencers by your side
  • Every product is different and specific, and the hashtag challenge built around it should be created in order to highlight its features in the brightest light.
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Chapter four:

DRIVING SALES AND CONVERSIONS

The ultimate goal of every marketing or advertising effort is to move past your benchmarks and closer to your business bottom line. In most cases, what you’re looking for is good traffic, good conversion rates and good sales. TikTok advertising is proving to be an excellent way to boost these metrics but that doesn’t mean you can just slap some ads around the platform and call it a day. We’ve seen the how, the why and other basics of TikTok advertising. Let’s see now which methods you can apply to actually drive your conversions and sales using TikTok ads.

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Using Dynamic Product Ads to Boost e-Commerce Sales

As we saw and reiterated numerous times in this guide, very soon after its inception TikTok managed to turn itself into a very potent and fertile advertising ground. With the big audience packed mainly with Gen Zers and Millennials, the app allowed brands to create brand love and awareness in a new way. But, TikTok now decided to capitalize on another thing that blossomed over the last few years (mainly due to the pandemic): e-commerce.

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After the introduction of a self-serve advertising platform that put small businesses in the game, partnership with Shopify, the launch of new formats like Instant Form, TikTok introduced a range of new, in-stream shopping tools with the goal of enabling brands to drive users to shop on the platform and create an increase in their revenues.

One of the recent additions that really pops out is the Dynamic Product Ad, a format that should definitely be on your radar from now on. In this section of our guide, we will discover how this new ad format can help you maximize your e-commerce potential and follow the steps of the leading businesses advertising on the platform.

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Exactly What Are Dynamic Product Ads on TikTok?

This is the right question to start exploring this fantastic new format. Dynamic Product Ads, or as the developers call it - ”Catalog Sales“, is a format that enables the most relevant product to be automatically shown to the people that expressed interest according to their online activities. In other, simpler words, the functionality automatically retargets users with relevant products based on their activity in the brands’ app or/and websites.

Everything that this format needs in order to work is that you simply upload your product line in the form of a catalog and user events from your platforms. After the intuitive setup of your campaign, TikTok will do the rest of the job, finding the right recipients for each of the products or services you are providing.

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Why Use Dynamic Product Ads?

TikTok pointed out 3 main reasons why this format is such a great asset, and we must agree.

  • Dynamic Product Ads are completely personalized

Instead of dropping bucks on a large-scale campaign, personalized marketing allows you to communicate with your potential customers completely based on their online behavior. And when you show them what they want to see, they get a much better shopping experience.

  • Dynamic Product Ads will improve your ROI

Based on the previous one, it is expected to see transactions and improvement of ROI thanks to the fact you know what your customers want and have a tool to do it. Dynamic Product Ads allow you exactly that.

  • Dynamic Product Ads save your time and money

These ads use retargeting instead of targeting. It is an automated process that helps you skip creating separate ads for each promotional item, therefore saving you time, labor costs and costs of your promotional activities.

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TikTok Dynamic Product Ads - Final Verdict

In its pursuit to broaden the base of advertisers on its platform, TikTok is integrating shopping into the app in various ways, including Dynamic Product Ads. Previous upgrades in these terms surely brought results, as TikTok claims, US ad business have grown more than 500% in the past year. The new ad formats are just a small step in the transition of TikTok becoming an e-commerce giant. And with the majority of TikTok’s users being relatively young, as they age up, the true expansion and growth are only at the beginning.

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Using Dynamic Product Ads to Boost e-Commerce Sales

We saw that TikTok can do wonders for driving e-commerce sales. But how about app downloads? With the ever-increasing number of businesses with apps as the main product, it’s only natural that the TikTok platform has excellent ad and targeting possibilities for this niche too.

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What Makes TikTok Ideal for Driving Your App Downloads?

Video content is now the driving force that has become a vital component of all social media apps. Just like Twitter, that made a massive hit worldwide by forcing the users to express their thoughts in the shortest form possible. TikTok is doing that right now by focusing on mobile-friendly videos that last no more than 60 seconds. This is the reason why video ads in vertical format have up to 9 times better completion rate compared to the ones in horizontal format.

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This is a blessing in disguise to all of those trying to use the platform for marketing. It basically forces the creative teams to come up with short, but highly effective and mobile-first campaigns that resonate with the audiences. With mobile apps, there is usually just a short window of time during which the idea is considered trendy and current. Because of that, TikTok, with its fast-resulting marketing plans, is the ideal tool to drive your app downloads in a hurry.

Reach Your Target Audience Easily Through TikTok

Reaching a huge number of people is important, but reaching your ideal target app user is even better. TikTok allows you to target potential users of your app by age, gender and interest categories. That is a truly important asset and a shortcut that allows brands to establish successful campaigns in the shortest time possible.

Why is this important? It’s really incredibly simple: if you bring your products and services right to the person who is already in the need for it, the chances of driving an app download and install grow substantially.

How to Create a Fail-Safe Strategy?

Because there are so many factors that come into play when it comes to successful targeting, including age, demographics, and language, as well as their interests and desires, it is necessary to create an all-capturing plan which will cover most of these points.

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Adopting a phased approach is something that is highly recommended if you want to successfully launch and scale your app installs.

Phase 1: Setting Up

Make sure to set up events most relevant to you and ensure that you’re tracking Lifetime Value (LTV). Use custom audiences, an option that allows you to create an audience of users who have completed certain events within your app. Available events are: Install, Activate, Register, Purchase, Day 2 Retention, Checkout, Add to Cart, and View Content.

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Phase 2: Creating Campaigns

Choose the right bidding strategies, creatives, and targeting for your goals. The App Installs objective is designed to drive more people to install your app by taking them directly to your app store page.

Make sure to have quality content for your ads and to refresh creatives regularly. The better the videos, the better they will perform.

Phase 3: Analyzing and Optimizing

Many businesses invest huge amounts of money in the marketing department, but they are not quite sure about the results they are getting from it. Collecting the results is not only vital because of the financial side of things. It will allow you to focus on customers that are driving the most value for your business. By determining precisely what works and what doesn’t, you’ll be able to change and adapt your marketing plan at any given time.

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Campaign for Your App

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  • Do not narrow down your target audience too much

The TikTok people are proud of the algorithms they have created, and for a good reason. This app truly feels more intuitive than most others. Therefore, there is no need to narrow down the target audience for p>your campaign too much, the platform will do it for you.

By narrowing down your focus audience more than you have to, you risk losing a ton of potential app downloads. So, put your trust in the developers’ hands, and they will make sure that your content reaches those who need to see it.

  • Build specific campaigns for clicks or conversions

While increasing your app downloads through TikTok needs to remain the primary focus, you may also want to create a clear separation between the things that you are trying to achieve. On one hand, you can use TikTok campaigns to increase the app awareness by scoring as many clicks as possible. Similarly, if you aim to create as many conversions as possible, you can do that instead, while still sticking to your original budget.

  • Create at least 5 unique videos for each campaign

After just one hour of using TikTok, you will quickly find out that creativity is the driving force that sets this entire thing in motion. That is what you’ll always have to work on if you want your business to stand out from the rest.

According to guidelines from TikTok, the best results can be expected if every campaign relies on at least 5 different videos. If you are struggling to find a way to express yourself, don’t be afraid to reach out to a few content creators, as they always have plenty of fresh ideas and tricks up their sleeve.

  • Be careful about the number of changes you make to your campaigns.

A lot of people tend to fiddle to much when it comes to their campaign management. It’s not that they don’t trust the creativity, it’s just that they somehow always seem to find a detail or two that requires editing.

Because of that, they tend to change their approach way too often, without letting the campaign to truly develop. We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t try to stay on top of things whenever you can, but know that it takes time before you can look at the data and determine whether your videos have boosted the overall app downloads or not.

Allow yourself some space every week to make the necessary changes, but don’t push it longer or more frequently than that. If you are satisfied with the way your campaign has been performing, don’t be afraid to leave it as is, as there’s no need to fix something that is not broken.

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Driving Sales with TikTok Instant Pages

One of the things that make TikTok so unique is the Instant Pages, a tool that if utilized correctly, can significantly increase brand exposure and ad revenue. Let’s see what makes these In-Feed ads so impressive and why they might be the missing piece to complete your marketing strategy.

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What Are the Advantages of Instant Pages?

First of all, in order to fully explain why you need to use Instant Pages to improve your sales figures, let’s see what it is that makes this feature so unique. Basically, it all comes down to the ease of use and speed.

Instant Pages are basically landing pages but they are native to the TikTok app, i.e. they are landing pages within the app. Because of this, their load times are much faster compared to traditional landing pages. Some might say that they are not even in the same universe when it comes to speed, as Instant Pages are up to 11 times faster than mobile web pages!

The other important factor is their simplicity, as brands can choose from a multitude of modern-looking templates. As if that was not enough, Instant Pages are also easily customizable, which grants businesses the freedom to rearrange the look of the page according to their needs. So, now that we covered why Instant Pages are a tremendous tool for brands, let’s focus more on how to use them to drive more sales.

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What Type of Advertising Objective Should You Set for an Instant Page?

Before you set out to make a tremendous Instant Page, the first step should be the creation of a TikTok Campaign and Ad Group, which we already covered earlier in this guide.

After that, there’s nothing left to do but to create an Instant Page. In total, there are four different ways in which you can optimize an advertising objective for your Instant Page, and these include:

  • Traffic
  • Conversion
  • Reach
  • Video views

Depending on the needs of your company, you can choose any of these options, or you can create several different campaigns which would cover all of these needs. Still, let’s take a minute and look into each option in more detail, further explaining the benefits of each type of optimization.

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Reach Fresh Audiences and Interest Them in Your Product

Before you can even hope to improve your sales numbers through the use of social media, there are some important steps you have to take into consideration. First of all, one of the best ways in which you can use Instant pages is to reach new audiences and inform them about your products and services in more detail. You can also use an Instant Page optimized for improved reach in order to showcase your brand values, thus establishing a deeper connection that you can later use to turn them into loyal customers.

If you are trying to establish trust between yourself and the users, try to be upfront about these things, but always do your best to wrap it up in a fun package that will increase interaction and engagement as much as possible.

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Reach Fresh Audiences and Interest Them in Your Product

We often see examples of brands that are very hesitant and almost afraid of using a clear and concise call to action in their campaigns. Although this is somewhat understandable, as most companies are afraid of scaring away their potential customers by asking a question too soon, this step is absolutely vital when it comes to making the final sale.

Instant Pages that are optimized towards conversions can help you with that. While the TikTok algorithm will bring warm traffic to your page, it’s still up to you to turn these views into customers. TikTok allows brands to choose a modern template that will help them to design a captivating experience for the users, which might impress them enough to become your loyal clientele.

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So basically it all boils down to being fun, honest, cool, direct (but not blunt), modern and dynamic in your Instant Pages. If this sounds like an impossible mission for you, try spending more time on TikTok watching organic content as well as ads. You will soon get a grasp of what this content feels like, and you will have an easier time reproducing it for your brand.

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Chapter five:

TikTok Advertising Tips for Success

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Finally, after having set everything just right, designing engaging ad creatives and making sure your targeting is on point, you may find yourself in a situation where your ads simply don’t perform well or other you are struggling to accomplish performance goals you may have set. For creating successful TikTok ad campaigns, there are a few more things to keep in mind.

Why Your TikTok Ads Keep Getting Rejected and How to Fix Them

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Because of its vibrant, innovative nature, TikTok has brought a major shift in the advertising approach compared to traditional digital marketing. It may not offer a lot of formats, but a huge audience is right there, waiting for brands and businesses to catch their attention. All the marketers have to do is what the users do every day – create attractive, immersive and original content.

And while users have an almost complete freedom in these fields, for brands, the situation is a bit different when advertising on TikTok. Numerous guidelines must be respected. Otherwise, your TikTok ads will be rejected. We created a comprehensive overview of some of the most important guidelines that will help you create cool content for both users and TikTok’s Advertising regulators.

Ad Consistency

TikTok offers tons of ways to make an outstanding ad for your business. Templates, songs, fonts, filters, you name it! But your ad elements, such as captions, texts, images, videos, calls-to-action and other stuff must always be consistent with the product or service you are promoting. For example, you feature one product in your video, but it leads to a completely different product on your landing page. This results in your ads being rejected. Also the ad caption needs to be consistent with the corresponding ad image or video.

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Ad Caption, Text, Image and Video Issues

Always watch your grammar! Ads must not contain any typos, spelling or grammatical mistakes. So, always double-check before submitting the ad.

Also, no matter how much it may look witty or creative, never use gimmicks with capitalization, spacing or symbols in your captions.

Keep the images clean, without any blurs, hidden spots or any watermarks on them. Videos and audio in the ad must be provided in high resolution, using standard dimensions we discussed earlier (9:16,16:9 or 1:1 ratio), otherwise your ad will never go live.

Adult Content Issues

Anything overly suggestive or provocative, displays of nudity, intimate body parts, some brands and businesses should keep in mind that ad creatives must not display excessive visible skin or the content gets blocked by regulations! Also, don’t forget that minors should not be featured in your ads.

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Even if it makes sense for your brand, do not use content that is overly suggestive or provocative, or content that includes nudity and intimate parts. These things, as well as excessive visible skin, will be penalized and blocked. Also, don’t forget that you can’t cast or feature minors in your ads.

Misleading Claims Issue

Some of those TikTok filters may come in handy to emphasize the superiority of your product or service, but keep them away from your ads. Why? Ads should not feature any exaggerated performances or promises. Be careful in your statements and try not to use absolute claims for your brand without related proof for them. Don’t show yourself off by competing with rival brands in a malicious manner or claiming how much cheaper your product is. Remember that creatives and landing pages for some types of businesses that feature performance promises and time limit claims may be subject to restrictions, too.

Sensational and Shocking Content

Advertisers must avoid using any gruesome imagery or graphic images that may shock and scare users in any way or create an uncomfortable experience for them. Accidents, crime and horror scenes, human or animal waste, excessive violence or cruelty and any dangerous behaviors without safety protection are out of bounds. This is very important for brands and businesses in the beauty industry, anything that shows dirt coming out of pores or hair being pulled out is strictly forbidden.

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Be careful with content containing alcohol, gambling and lottery, religion and culture, weight management. These topics are strictly forbidden.

Restricted Content

You might be surprised by the fact that some ad topics could be prohibited on your market, so it’s always a good idea to check, and double-check. For example ,ads for products or services that are specifically intended for children, such as toys, games, apps, clothing, etc. are not allowed in some TikTok regions. Advertisements marketed specifically toward children, even if the product may be for a general audience, are also prohibited in the United States.

To avoid making a mess, always make sure to check ad regulations for your country.

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Wrapping It Up

As TikTok continues to grow in all terms, deciding to skip the platform and its potential for advertising is the biggest mistake you can make as a brand.

Marketing on TikTok may require a lot of patience and effort in creating a perfect strategy. It may also require consistent and frequent analyses of your performance.

Yet, testing new channels and learning what suits your audience is bound to bring results in the long-term.

Also, you may want to consider hiring a specialized Tik Tok marketing agency like GrowMojo and take your TikTok presence a step further instantly. Feel free to contact us and get the best out of your ads in no time!

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