How TikTok Ads Work and the Results of Our Testing

We’re kind of excited about TikTok ads. Okay, we’re really excited.

See, we just started running ads for a few of our clients on TikTok, and there’s SO much potential to reach a bigger audience on this platform. 

Plus, TikTok is a great place for brands to actually interact with their target audience, meaning you can get a better sense of what your customers want.

How TikTok Ads Work

Sounds great… but how do TikTok ads actually work?

TikTok has exploded in popularity over the past couple of years. It’s a platform that gives users the tools for creative short-form videos they can easily shoot, edit, and post to reach people who are interested in what they have to offer.

What sets TikTok apart is the For You Page (FYP), where users scroll through video after video of content the algorithm thinks they’re going to be interested in. This makes it way easy for creators to get their vids in front of a lot of people — even people who aren’t following them.

For you as a business owner, that means you’ve got a real opportunity to be a thought leader using the platform. You can share your insight and resonate with people in a way that demonstrates you’re an expert in your industry.

And can I actually run ads?

Yes. But here’s the thing: Your ads shouldn’t feel like ads. That’s true of pretty much every social media platform, but it’s especially true for TikTok.


Well, because your paid ad is going to show up in a person’s For You Page. If it’s a good video (that is, it’s entertaining and relatable and totally shareworthy), then people will stick around to watch it. If it’s bad, especially if it’s spammy, they’ll just keep on swiping.

So even though these are technically ads because you’re paying to have them reach thousands of users, they still need to feel like entertaining content.

So what kind of content should I be creating?

The best TikTok videos are the ones that catch a user’s attention within the first second or two. 

Many users like to see videos of a person talking directly to the camera to provide advice or tips in an area of expertise. Another popular format is a behind-the-scenes look at your industry.

Remember to use the editing tricks the platform makes available to you. Things like captions, background music, stickers, and filters will make your video much more entertaining (plus, they’re just one more way to deliver information).

As you spend more time on TikTok, you’ll start to notice certain trends that come and go from week to week. Get creative in finding ways you can spin these trends to fit your brand or show off what you have to offer.

What’s the bottom line on TikTok ads?

TikTok isn’t a place where you have to be a big name or have a huge following to get attention. 

As long as you have good content, you can resonate with other users. And if you pay to boost that content, you have a guaranteed way of showing up in a good number of For You Pages.
As we start to curate TikTok content for our clients, we’re going to be taking note of what we learn along the way ­— including what works and what doesn’t. We’ll follow up with you in a few weeks to report on what we discover.
We’re always trying to gain deeper insight into the way social media works for businesses like yours. You might recall that a few weeks ago, we ran a few Facebook tests and made some interesting discoveries. We’re excited to be doing the same thing now for TikTok.

Did you miss the results of those Facebook tests?

P.S. Don’t forget the other niche platforms that work really well for certain audience targets. We recently discussed the benefits of Pinterest, which works GREAT for visual businesses like photographers and designers.