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① TikTok Ad Formats: Types and Tips


Welcome to article 1/5 focused on our TikTok marketing guide! Wondering how TikTok will work for your brand? Discover everything you need to know about TikTok marketing.

TikTok, the trendy video-based social media platform originated from China, has generated the highest engagement rate based on 100K+ influencer accounts and is outperforming other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. From our previous article, we found out that TikTok started from 100+ million users. It has continued to grow in popularity since then at a rapid rate. TikTok would have increased its user base to 800 million since then. What makes TikTok different is that it offers users a unique experience to simply enjoy watching real videos made by real people.
With reportedly more than half of the users creating at least one video, everyone can be a creator on TikTok.
It is user-oriented and authentic, and this is why TikTok users spend a long time on the platform enabling TikTok to learn more about their users’ interests and to make trendy and eye-catching content more accurate.

Recently, TikTok officially launched a new platform called ‘TikTok for Business’, which provides marketing solutions for brands. It’s been around here for a while but it is launched precisely by adding it’s new developments – eLearning, testing of creator marketplace, etc. TikTok is working to roll out new solutions regarding buying and managing ad campaigns as well as its performance reporting process. The launch of the new platform aims to move TikTok to one that demands a place where marketers are in the business of advertising alongside other social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.

“TikTok For Business, our global brand and platform that is home to all current and future marketing solutions for brands. TikTok For Business solutions are designed to give brands and marketers the tools to be creative storytellers and meaningfully engage with the TikTok community.”

Katie Puris, Managing Director, Global Business Marketing, TikTok 

In this article, we’ll break down about TikTok ad formats to walk you through getting started with TikTok advertising with the reference examples.

TikTok ad formats for objectives:

For brands are seeking to increase the reach with branded content, TikTok offers a highly targeted media buying solution with different ad formats. Make your ad efficient by choosing the right ad format according to your marketing objective. The Below graph from TikTok explains how you should decide your ad format.

Types of TikTok ad formats:

① Standard Ads

The standard ads include Brand Takeover, Top View, and In-Feed Ads. It appears when users open or scrolls down on the app.

1.1. Brand Takeover: A full-screen takeover that increases brand awareness and maximizes your ad’s impact.

  • Objectives: Brand Awareness
  • Display on the first thing that users see when opening TikTok
  • Support external and internal landing page conversion
  • Purchasing method: Reservation on TikTok ads


1.2. Top View: A video ad format that showcases your brand immediately when users open TikTok to reach and engage audiences in a visually impactful way.

  • Objectives: Reach & Engagement
  • Display on the first screen that users see when opening TikTok, a sound-free environment
  • Support user engagement from like, comment, share, follow, etc
  • Support external and internal landing page conversion
  • Purchasing method: Reservation on TikTok ads


1.3. In-Feed Ads (Account): A storytelling video ad embedded within the ‘For You’ feed, designed to drive users to engage with your Business Account.

  • Objective: Engagement for Business Account
  • Users can engage from like, comment, share, follow your business account, create videos with your soundtrack
  • Receive additional organic impressions upon campaign completion
  • Supports external and internal landing pages, as well as APP downloads and deep-link
  • Purchasing method: Reservation on TikTok ads


1.4. In-Feed Ads (Diversion): A storytelling video ad embedded within the ‘For You’ feed, with multiple clickable elements to increase conversion.

  • Objective: Traffic & Conversion
  • Users can engage from like, comment, and share
  • Strongly traffic users to the very landing page with multiple touchpoints
  • Easy to create; no need to build an account first
  • Support external and internal landing pages, as well as APP downloads and deep-link
  • Purchasing method: Reservation on TikTok ads & Direct Response

②  Content Ads

2.1.  Branded Hashtag Challenge: Enable real global reach and launch your campaign across different markets simultaneously, to assure one-brand, one-voice while appealing to your audience with localized creatives. Branded Effect, Hashtag descriptions, and Branded Sounds are automatically rendered according to a user’s language setting on TikTok, offering global reach with localized assets.

  • Objective: Brand Awareness & Reach & Follower Growth
  • Reach mass audience
  • Average engagement rate of 8.5% through likes, comments, and shares.
  • Invite all users to participate and create content around your theme, with all UGC aggregating in the hashtag challenge page
  • Follow the brand and reengage in the future
  • Purchasing method: Reservation on TikTok ads


2.2. Branded Effect: Leverage user engagement with fun and interactive Branded Effects, boosting your brand among the mobile-first audience.

  • Objective: Brand Awareness & Engagement
  • Customized Branded Effects powered by intelligent video recognition technology.
  • Encourage a deeper level of user engagement and higher quality UGC.



TikTok Ad Targeting

TikTok Ads providing various targeting options to pinpoint the exact audience you want your ads to be displayed to. Targeting can be selected during the ad group creation process. The following options are available:


  • Create a Lookalike or Custom Audience (Customer file, Engagement, App Activity, Website Traffic)
  • Exclude Lookalike or Custom Audiences


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Age: 13-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55+
  • Location: country/region, state/province, or city (city targeting only available in India).
  • Language: Delivery to users based on app language.
  • Interest: Deliver to users based on interests. e.g. “Gaming”


  • Connection Type: WIFI, 2G, 3G, 4G
  • Operation System: iOS & Android
  • Operation System Version: Deliver ads to users based on the software version. e.g. iOS 10.0 or above, Android 4.0 or above.
  • Device Price: Deliver ads to users based on device pricing, ranging from no limit to $1000+.
  • Carrier: Deliver ads to users based on mobile phone carriers.

TikTok Ads Budget 

According to a leaked TikTok pitch deck from June 2019, each ad type cost the following:

  • Brand Takeover: US$50,000 per day
  • In-Feed Video: US$25,000 minimum per campaign with US$30,000 daily maximum
  • Hashtag Challenge: US$150,000 for six days.
  • Branded Effect: US$80,000 – US$120,000 based on the complexity of the lens design.

Yet TikTok doesn’t officially disclose the pricing for its ad tools and solutions. According to TikTok Business Help Centre, pricing is based on what the brand wants to achieve and the scope of its campaign. You can keep in mind that its budgeting requirements, like a $50 minimum on both daily campaign budgets and total budgets.


Having a success among the younger audience and video content consumers, TikTok has captured a new demographic with viral videos that enables it to learn about its users’ interests to better personalize content. This is a holy grail for the brands and marketers who seek engagement and conversion from the audience. It also provides a platform for easy collaboration between brands and content creators. Users can create the content more easily, while content creators and influencers are leveraging the filter functions to build their content within the framework. And most importantly, its large user base is continuously growing!

Interested to learn more about TikTok?
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