Tag Archive for: tiktok ads

How These Three Companies Use TikTok for B2B Marketing

B2B Marketing Proposal

Is your B2B brand on TikTok? If the answer is no, you might’ve read that question and thought “No, our target audience is not using TikTok so why would we be”, or,  “Isn’t TikTok mainly used by Gen-zs or Millennials”. If any of these thoughts crossed your mind, keep reading, because it may surprise you how Tuff partners use TikTok for B2B marketing.

Oftentimes, when we’re working with B2B brands, they think the best social ads channel for their business is either LinkedIn or Facebook. Historically, yes, these have been two of the top-performing social channels for B2B advertising, but the times are changing and the way B2B brands are advertising on social media is too. Within the past year, TikTok ads have become a large portion of Tuff partners’ paid social budgets across all different types of industries, and many of our B2B partners are now joining in on the buzz. 

It’s not just Gen-z on TikTok

Did you know that only half of the users on TikTok are below the age of 30? According to Statista’s 2022 TikTok demographic stats, 41% of all TikTok users are between the ages of 30-49 and 11% of users are 50+.  

TikTok percentages for age demographics

TikTok has become a popular platform where people go to unwind for the day or get a laugh during their lunch break which makes it the perfect place to connect with your audience in a creative way. 

Think about it, how often do you log into LinkedIn on the weekends or when you’re unplugged from work? 

TikTok is a different experience. A lot of our B2B partners at Tuff are discovering that TikTok is where their audience is spending a majority of their free time when they’re not working, often times even more than Facebook. 

How we approach B2B TikTok campaigns at Tuff

As a growth marketing agency, before we launch ads on any new channel for our partners, the first thing we’ll do is a channel deep dive on the audience targeting options to make sure we’re able to reach their audience on that platform. 

On TikTok, you can target users by location, gender, age, languages, interests (including industry interests like ecomm, education, financial services, etc.), video interactions, creator interactions and hashtag interactions. 

Once we’ve built out the target audiences, we’ll look into how we can reach these users and convert them into a lead and/or customer. There are two approaches to lead generation through TikTok ads. 

  1. Option one: You can set up a campaign using TikTok’s native lead gen objective which will populate a form within the platform with custom fields for the user to fill out once they click on the ad 
  2. Option two: You can set up a conversion campaign and send the user to your website and optimize for users to submit a lead gen form on your site. 

Once we launch campaigns, we’ll monitor the lead quality to see how the MQLs and SQLs compare to the more traditional B2B social ads channels like Facebook and Instagram. 

How Teachable is using TikTok to acquire new leads

We recently launched a TikTok campaign for our partner Teachable –– a platform that allows individual creators with an array of skills and talents to create courses and sell them so that they can teach others to do what they do. So naturally, we wanted to go after an audience that aligned with Teachable’s product––people that are likely to have hobbies and talents that they’d want to teach courses on.  So we brainstormed different interests and hobbies that we see courses being created from across the web, and we matched those up to interests available in TikTok. After some hashtag research to find effective hashtags, we combined them all into one Interest and Hashtag campaign. 

After we settled on the audience, we researched which TikTok optimization event would help us best accomplish our goal. Looking at the standard events for TikTok we saw quite a few options that could help us target people at different stages of the user funnel, but ultimately our goal was to get users to sign up for a free trial though, so we settled on complete registration, which tracks when users create an account on the Teachable website. 

Even though this campaign was going to be for a B2B audience, we didn’t want the creative to be too corporate-y and abandon the fun nature of TikTok videos. We recognized that TikTok as a platform responds well to ads that look and feel native, and we know that even though we’re targeitng a B2B audience, it’s still people on the other end. So we just needed creative that would appeal to actual people who would want to use Teachable to sell courses.

The result was an array of creative options that ranged from motion graphics to UGC. After running them for a week, we quickly saw that we had made the right decision. Our CAC numbers outperformed Facebook, and our CTR was incredible. We had two separate campaigns and our contest campaign outperformed our evergreen campaign by a pretty significant margin–– likely because it leveraged better offers and incentives than the evergreen campaign did.

 

Channel CAC  CTR
TikTok $21.63 1.45%
Facebook $37.19 .58%

 

Now that we know TikTok ads work for our B2B partner Teachable, we’ve continued to experiment with new creative and audience targeting, but one thing is salient for us: Treat the people on TikTok like real people. Address their concerns, show them the benefits, grab their attention, and they’ll convert just like a B2C user would. It just might take a bit longer.

How Thnks is using TikTok to acquire new leads

For our partners Thnks we knew it wasn’t going to go be as easy to jump right in and drive quality conversions. Due to this, we took a two-pronged approach to work our way into a conversion-based campaign getting potential customers to sign up for a demo using TikTok for B2B marketing. 

Our first phase was prospecting to find out exactly what audiences and creative resonated best with potential customers. For this campaign we used the Traffic objective optimization toward a view content event that fires every time someone lands on the TikTok specific landing page. 

Replicating where we have seen success on other social platforms we structured our campaign to target three main interest based audiences:

Business Growth:

Targeting options for Business Growth

Sales:

Targeting for Sales

HR:

HR Targeting options on TiktTok

Our second phase of this campaign will be to evaluate key metrics of our prospecting campaign and determine what audiences and creative will get carried over to a conversion-based campaign. With phase one of this test being a prospecting traffic campaign we looked specifically at metrics like clicks to the site, CPC, CTR and CPM. Compared to Facebook our initial findings are that CPC was 84% cheaper than Facebook and CPMs compared to Facebook were 1/4th of the cost.

Something that gets overlooked in the prospecting phase of campaigns is the data the pixel is collecting and how to leverage it. By running a traffic campaign to start, not only are you able to drive a large amount of traffic to your site, you are also able to collect valuable data through the pixel to further target those potential customers in the conversion phase of your campaign. In addition to carrying over the top performing interested based audiences. We will also be able to build out custom pixel based audiences based on users interactions with our ads and landing page. For this client we will be building out two custom pixel based audiences to retarget potential customers. One going after anyone who has visited our specific landing page in the last 90 days and has not taken any actions. The other being anyone who has watched 50% of our ad, and not taken any action to the site. These both are great ways to re-engage potential customers and get them to take action!

How B2B Brand Visory is using TikTok to acquire new leads

For our B2B partner Visory, we did some initial research on potential audiences on TikTok and found some interest targeting options that would allow us to reach their target audience. We kicked off our campaign by identifying two main interest based audiences that we have seen perform well on other social platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn. 

Broad interests around money management and bookkeeping:

eCommerce specific interests:

eCommerce Targeting Breakdown

One thing we’ve learned about targeting on TikTok is that broader is usually better (for prospecting or retargeting campaigns). The reason we separated these out was because they were roughly the same size + eCommerce (alone) has been a top performing audience for us in the past.

Prior to considering TikTok for Visory, we were able to test out some user-generated content on our other social platforms, which allowed us to determine what resonates most with Visory’s B2B audience and then repurpose the top performing creative for TikTok. Creative is SO crucial on any social platform but specifically on TikTok. If you want to dive deeper into the creative world, here is an additional resource: The 5 Main Components of Effective TikTok Ad Creative.

We knew that TikTok was going to be more of a top of funnel channel for Visory (similar to how we’ve viewed Facebook), so we’ve been optimzinig our campaigns for traffic to the site. To measure success, we are looking at clicks to the site, CTR, CPC and site engagement in Google Analytics. The result? Compared to Facebook, we have seen comparable CTRs but lower CPCs. Looking in GA, we’ve seen time on site as high as 00:06:25! While we have yet to see any last-click conversions from this site, we’ve learned that more traffic to the site historically results in more conversions over time. 

Conclusion

TikTok ads are becoming very popular among B2B brands and it’s an effective & cost-efficient way to reach your target audience in a creative way. If you’re ready to see how TikTok Ads can work for your business, give us a shout!

Ad Creative Types That Constantly Drive Performance (Regardless of Industry)

Testing, testing, testing! As a creative team tucked inside a growth agency, we throw around that word a LOT. Especially because we partner with scaleups looking for quick, efficient (and sustainable) paths to growth. Making sure we’re clear about what we’re testing—and executing it within rock-solid social ad campaigns—ensures that on the other side of a few thousands of dollars worth of ad spend (and oftentimes even less), we can take a step back and confidently say, “here’s what worked; here’s what underperformed.” You can read all about that and get our tried-and-true templates in this blog!

How we set up an ad creative test at Tuff:

  • Most often when we begin to outline our tests for a new partner, we’re talking value props. Our question: “Which of your core messages is most likely to stop a scroll and win a click?” During this testing phase, we’re keeping the creative formatting relatively simple and getting very particular about the creative messaging. This way, we can isolate that variable and come to a cleaner, more definitive conclusion after our test period has ended. For one of our partners, Betterleap, this is what this looked like!

Betterleap Creative Example

  • After we’ve run a few tests and feel confident that we’ve honed in on our strongest message, we’ll begin to experiment with look and feel of ad creative. In this phase we’ll diversify creative type and formatting, launching a suite of creative that includes user generated content, UX animation, simple/bold copy statements, offers, and more.
  • Our goal in these subsequent phases is to hone in on what elements of creative assets drive those clicks. And THAT is what this blog is all about. Although the companies we partner with span across a wide range of industries, after publishing hundreds of creative assets and running dozens of tests, there are three main types of ad creative types that reign supreme. 

Note: while we run campaigns on a multitude of different platforms, this blog centers primarily on what we’ve found to drive the best performance on Facebook/Instagram.

The three types of ad creative that constantly drive performance:

1. Split-Screen Creative

Believe it or not, REGARDLESS of industry or company type, split-screen creative is consistently among our top performers. We’ve even pitted it against bold, colorful branded videos, 3D animations, custom illustrations…you name it. And split-screen creative still drives better performance. When we first spotted this trend (with our partner, AKKO) we scratched our heads and thought, “okay let’s create a fresh version in our next round and see if the trend holds up.” Spoiler alert: it maintained it spot at the top of our performance pyramid and hasn’t wavered since. 

If you’re over there thinking, “no way, jose! Video ALWAYS wins!” Well…that’s what we thought too before we saw the numbers!  

2. Made-On-TikTok Creative

TikTok is unequivocally the fastest-growing social platform. It’s a hotbed for sprouting new trends that permeate every other. It’s also the channel we get asked about the most by organizations looking to partner with a growth agency like Tuff. “Can you run ads on TikTok for me?” is arguably the question that we see most often in our “Let’s Talk” form fill

So, we started building a network of creators and making high-impact ad creative for TikTok! We also spotted an easy opportunity to test this creative outside of the TikTok ad platform. Our results: regardless of channel—but most clearly on Facebook/Instagram—our made-on-TikTok ad creative type drives incredibly strong performance (even when resized in 1080×1080 for in-feed placements). (Note: click the image to see the full video!)

TikTok Creative for Teachable

3. UX Animation

The third type of creative that consistently puts up strong click-through rate numbers is UX animation. This doesn’t just apply to SaaS businesses, though, when we can show what the user experience of any platform is like (even if it’s just a checkout flow or onboarding process—something the user might only experience once) we see performance inching higher.

Our hypothesis: when we can demystify the “how it works” part of the equation right out the gate at the top of the funnel, we subliminally communicate to our audience that we really care about their experience. So much so, we want to show them ALL the inner workings before they even click! Especially because the most-used sites on the internet are user obsessed, your potential customer has a low tolerance for clunky interfaces or ugly design. Positioning yourself as a winner in UX from the get-go is consistently a win! (Note: Click the image to view the full video!)

 

There you have it! While we’re always generating new ideas and hypotheses, these three ad creative types are ones you’ll consistently see within our ad creative suites. Because they work!

Have you been experimenting with creative formatting? We’d love to hear about it! Or, if you’re curious about what we could uncover about your organization and target audience through creative testing, let’s chat!

watching tiktok ads on mobile

The 5 Main Components of Effective TikTok Ad Creative

watching tiktok ads on mobile

TikTok…it’s a tough nut to crack. Not only because it’s notoriously the most ephemeral channel (who, who, WHO is responsible for all of these amazing trends?!) but also because TikTok users are extremely adept at sniffing out BS. It takes a smart, authentic, real story to capture the attention of a TikTok scroller. And we’ve spent a LOT of time this past year and change developing the perfect TikTok ad recipe. 

And, as your trusty TikTok Ads Agency, we’re here to spill the beans. 

1. Get Vulnerable – Tell a Real Story

Okay, I’m admittedly a serial TikTok scroller here, but one of the things that I (and MANY others) love about the platform is the way it amplifies real people’s stories. And when I say “stories,” I’m not talking about the airbrushed, Face-Tuned stories we see on Instagram, or even the HD, studio-lit stories of YouTube. The great thing about storytelling on TikTok is that it gives you access to someone who picked up a phone in the spur of a moment and shared something personal! No joke, the third video that popped up for me when I opened the app just now was this vulnerable, real, and in this case, heart wrenching story. The courage! (The makeup!). Another example is this video in which a woman captured a funny-not-so-funny email she received from Facebook support.

Did you click on those links? Even if you did, swing back by to check out the view/like count. DANG. Proof that people are drawn to stories that feel human! For marketers and creators looking for our audiences out there in the app, this is a crystal clear nudge to get vulnerable ourselves. Here are a few examples of our approach:

What are the pain points your audience experiences that drives you to create a better product/solution every day? Start there and then get real.

2. Don’t Overthink It – Keep it Lo-Fi

As mentioned above, false peeks into curated lives and expensive camera equipment really have no place on TikTok. If you find yourself reading from a script, directing a scene, or breaking out the Red camera…STOP. 

Take a moment to scroll through the app yourself. Almost every single video looks like it was shot on an iPhone. And even the ones that were shot with nice equipment get some sort of filter or treatment that *suggests* it was casual or off-the-cuff.

Our approach: sketch out a general idea or main ideas you’d like to cover then jump into the app! Creating a video is so quick and easy that it’s fun to work through a few iterations in the app, scratch them, workshop them, and refine in real time. 

3. Uplift Diverse Voices – Find Great Creators

Part of building trust and resonating with your audience is dependent on finding real, personable creators. This one is without a doubt the trickiest. There’s no easy way to track down, hire, brief, manage, and get great creative from creators, but we’ve learned first hand that when you put in the effort, it pays off in spades. 

The really effective piece to this puzzle, for us, has been CLLCTVE. For a reasonable monthly subscription price, we’re able to submit a form that includes information about what the organization is about, the type of creator we’re looking for, and other relevant information to the job. Then, CLLCTVE’s team of creator recruiters will compile a list of people that fit our criteria. From there, we’re free to reach out directly to each creator and roll with the project however we please! Here are a few fun examples of videos we’ve made with creators:

4. Shake Your Booty – Create with Music in Mind

TikTok is a supremely sound-focused app. Unlike Facebook—which most seasoned ad creative makers are used to—”88% of TikTok users said that sound is essential to the TikTok experience.” (source). Oftentimes, when we begin to make ad creative, we’ll find the sound we want to use even before we begin to concept out the rest of the aspects of the ad. 

Disclaimer! It’s super important to ensure that when you create a video to use as an ad that you select from TikTok’s library of commercially-licensed sounds. There’s admittedly a notably lesser selection, but TikTok’s AI is quick to ding your account if you’re caught using unlicensed tunes. 

How to use commercially-licensed sound:

  1. Open the video creator, and tap “Sounds”
  2. In the dropdown, tap “Commercial Sounds”
  3. Choose the one that best fits!

settings in tiktok for adding music to tiktok ad

5. Cover Your Ass – Drop the Watermark!

It’s a small detail but one of the most important—never publish an ad on TikTok without first removing the watermark. Trust us on this one, we learned the heard way that TikTok AI is swift in its abilities to find ad creative with that pesky watermark and ding your account. They also aren’t super into second chances. So if you aren’t trying to get your account suspended until you can reach a TikTok rep, make sure you’re dropping that watermark!

Thankfully, it’s simple to do:

  1. Cruise to a site like SnapTik or SSSTikTok
  2. Drop in a link to your published/public TikTok video
  3. Voila!

So, are you feeling inspired? If so, drop us a line, we’d love to see what you create! If you’re feeling a bit intimidated and not quite sure where to start, let’s chat!

two women scrolling on TikTok

TikTok Ads for Startups: How Multiverse Drives Quality Conversions at Scale (with a CPA lower than any other channel)

two women scrolling on TikTok

When it comes to driving more traffic and applications online with growth marketing, the big challenge is how to scale and which marketing channels will help you grow fastest. With limited time, money, and people, you can’t afford to waste it on strategies and tactics that are sub-optimal. 

When we first partnered with Multiverse (a start-up company that provides an outstanding alternative to college through corporate training and professional apprenticeships) as their startup marketing agency, we wanted to test different campaigns with clear metrics to figure out which ones work and then focus on scaling those channels.

In this post, I’m going to focus in our our paid social strategy, with a focus on a deep dive on TikTok ads. We’ll look at why we selected TiKTok ads, the campaign structure, the best performing creative assets, and the results compared to other channels in our mix. (Spoiler: TikTok generated 3x times more applications than Instagram with a 52% lower CPA.) 

Diversified Channel Mix 

In our growth marketing strategy for Multiverse, we prioritized testing campaigns with social ads and PPC. 

For social ads, we focused on Instagram as the primary channel where we allocated 67% of our total budget and then we dedicated a portion of the total budget (33%) to testing other social ad channels. With the Multiverse target audience being between the ages of 18-26, we were super eager to test TikTok to see if this channel would be effective in driving applications and if effective, if it would be scalable. 

Clearly Defined CPA Targets and Goals 

Our goal for Multiverse was to prioritize high-impact growth campaigns to quickly drive key learnings, then invest in additional campaigns to scale up on what works. Since Multiverse didn’t have a ton of historical data in the US for us to learn from, we did some research on competitors and the average costs for TikTok ads and Instagram ads to come up with our KPI goals. 

Instagram KPI goals (for the first month): 

  • Cost-per-click: $3.00
  • Cost-per-application (CPA): $65

TikTok KPI goals (for the first month): 

  • Cost-per-click: $2.00 
  • Cost-per-application (CPA): $80 

Identifying the Target Audience & Funnel Stage 

When launching campaigns for a new partner, our social ads team at Tuff will put together an audience targeting strategy for each stage of the audience funnel. However, since we were starting from scratch and building campaigns on new platforms for Multiverse, we knew we needed to focus on the top of funnel audiences since we haven’t built up the brand recognition or audience size to retarget users based on previous ad interactions through bottom-funnel audiences. 

For TikTok, our primary focus was targeting a large, top of funnel audience that we could then educate and convert to applicants through our video creative. 

A Campaign Structure for Scale 

For Multiverse’s US paid acquisition, we were focused on six markets, including New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Phoenix and Boston. We knew we needed to drive as many applicants on TikTok as possible in each market, so we set up a prospecting campaign for each location, that way we could control the budget at the campaign level based on demand needs per market. 

Within each campaign, we wanted to test two different audiences on TikTok: 

  1. A broad audience with no interest targeting, ages 18-26 
  2. Education or motivation interest targeting, ages 18-26

After a few weeks of testing, we saw that the broad targeting was outperforming our interest-based targeting with a lower cost per application. Compared to other social ad platforms,  the TikTok algorithm is extremely accurate in serving your ads to your target audience (just think about how it perfectly curates a For You Page that’s specific to each TikTok users’ interest). So removing the interest targeting allowed us to widen our audience pool and let TikTok do the work of finding the users who were likely to apply for a Multiverse application based on the algorithm data.  

High-Peforming TiKTok Ad Creative 

When it comes to TikTok creative, videos that feature trending and relevant content are the key to success (check out our tips for creating trending video content). For Multiverse, we wanted to move QUICK, which meant that we needed to develop 3-5 TikTok videos fast to be able to launch on TikTok. 

For the creative, we wanted to lean into the Multiverse value props to educate our top-of-funnel audiences about Multiverse in a fun, trending and captivating way. 

Check ‘em out!

  1. Job without degree
  2. College vs. Apprenticeship 
  3. Student Loan Stress

Results

So how did these TikTok campaigns perform? The short answer: we far surpassed our goals for applications and cost-per-application which allowed us to scale the monthly budget on this channel by 5x. 

  • Average cost-per-click (CPC): $0.47
  • Applications: 357
  • Average cost-per-application (CPA): $16.77

But how does this compare to the other paid channels (like Instagram)?

Channel CPC Applications CPA
TikTok $0.47 357 $16.77
Instagram $2.24 164 $34.71

TikTok generated 3x times more applications than Instagram with a 52% lower CPA. 

For Multiverse, we measure apprenticeship applications based on last-click attribution in Google Analytics, so while these results far exceeded our expectations, we also wanted to see how our campaigns have helped increase non-last click conversions. 

Since launching TikTok ads, we’ve seen a 110% increase in Multiverse Google Search branded conversions in the US. 🚀

Based on these learnings, we’ve continued to scale our TikTok campaigns and have found it to be the most cost-efficient paid channel driving the lowest CPA for Multiverse in both the US and UK. 

Are you interested in launching TikTok ads to help grow your business? Let’s chat! 

creative a video for facebook

How Do Successful Startups Make Their Video Ads?

creative a video for facebook

“Video, video, video…” that’s all the algorithm ever talks about! But truly, it’s because video (more than any other type of ad creative) has the power to do three amazing things:

  1. Simplify complicated concepts
  2. Make a personal connection 
  3. Snag the attention of overstimulated scrollers

So, as a startup marketing agency, we’re constantly trying to unlock new, powerful, and simple ways to get more video content. We’re also on a mission to empower more startup founders, scaleups, and everyone in between to get their hands dirty and make their own (ESPECIALLY if they’re strapped for cash).

Ultimately, if there’s one major takeaway from this article, it’s that creative doesn’t have to be a production. If you hang around here long enough you might start a drinking game centered on the number of times you’ll hear that phrase. But it’s true! We believe that creative should always be beholden to data. And if it can’t prove itself in the face of Facebook Business Manager—or better yet, Google Analytics—then it probably should be kicked to the curb…even if you did shell out for that $20k brand video. (It’s okay, there’s still a great place for that on your “about” page!).

The following 3 tactics for making video ads have become staples around our creative team. And you’ll find evidence of all three tucked into our Creative Portfolio. What’s more, is that all three video types have proven themselves on the battlefield. And are consistently generating lower CPCs and higher CVRs, indicating that they’re at once attention-grabbing and fueled with enough information to make for a smooth path towards conversion once a user hits the site. Winning.

1. Make TikTok Videos

Cost = $0

Wipe those sweaty palms on your jeans and plop yourself in front of the camera. No, really! It’s MUCH more cost effective to test out your messaging and explore with the format when you whip up a video yourself than shelling out thousands for an influencer’s time. 

We take the same approach. Before we reach out to influencers or professional creators, we’ll map out our 2-3 best “storylines” and create a TikTok video that corresponds to each. Then, after we’ve run that creative for a few weeks in our campaigns, we’ll be armed with tons of great information that will help us get exactly what we need from creators. 

Tips for trying your hand at your own TikTok videos:

  • Skim through this video (skip to 1:30)
  • Take some time to scroll through TikTok to get a feel for trends
  • Make sure you pick a “commercially licensed sound” 
  • Don’t hesitate to delete it and start over approximately 600 times while you’re getting the hang of it 
  • Even if its not perfect, that’s okay! 

Here’s an example of TikTok creative we’ve made in house.

2. Record a Zoom Conversation

Cost = $150 for editing/resizing

Testimonial videos are a super powerful tool for building trust and allowing prospective customers to hear from actual people. But hiring a production company to make them or asking your customers to record themselves is simply hard to achieve.

So, we’ve started asking our partners’ power users to sit down with us in a simple, conversational, 20-minute Zoom call. Whether they’re taking the call from their phone or hanging out in their office, being able to see their face and have a casual chat about why they enjoy the ways your company has improved their lives makes AMAZING ad creative.

Then, we’ll tap a video editor to splice together the best soundbites, resize it to fit our various ad placements, and voila!

Tips for having a successful recorded Zoom:

  • Help prep them/give them some background information. (The more context you can provide, the better they’ll tailor their answers).
  • Take a moment to small talk and help them relax before you hit record.
  • Get personal! Ask them about concrete ways their lives are better because of what you do. 

Here’s an example of ad creative we’ve made from a Zoom call.

3. Hire a Motion Designer

Cost = $1000 for motion design 

When done right, motion design can become powerful ad creative as well as a strong conversion tool on your website. But, it takes the right contractor to capture your vision and create something that can straddle that fence. 

This is where it helps to have a dialed-in vision and a rock solid brief. Check out this brief we made when we originally tapped a video editor to make us a motion graphic for our partners, AKKO.

video storyboard example

It’s important to note that I am NO designer—I just have tons of ideas and a deep understanding of AKKO’s most important value props! So, if this looks intimidating, first write out the “script” or on-screen text. Then imagine how to best bring this to life with animation. A google search for “animated brand videos” or “animated explainer videos” can really help here.

Then, comb through UpWork, our favorite place to find creative talent. The more you can bring to your brief in UpWork, the better, more detailed responses you will get (and the more accurate the estimates!).

Here’s an example of motion graphic ad creative.

Above all, don’t overthink, just start! It’s so easy to get stuck on the starting line with ad creative. TikTok can feel intimidating, asking people for their valuable time is tough, finding the right motion designer can feel scary, but the great thing is that ad creative is ephemeral. This is all about test, test, and test again. Then test some more. Be ruthless about throwing out creative that’s not converting and making more of what is! Need a little boost in this department? Let’s talk.

tiktok ads on a phone

TikTok Ad Examples: 7 Video Ideas That Work

tiktok ads on a phone

In just a couple of years, TikTok has risen from a niche social network to become one of the leading players in the industry, racking up weeks at the top of app download charts and passing 1 billion global users. That’s more than Snap, Reddit, Pinterest, and Twitter, and TikTok is even gaining fast on Instagram, which launched Reels, a similar product, just a few months ago. 

Understandably, growth marketers are desperate to incorporate TikTok to their brand’s strategy. But it can be difficult to know where to start. Not every TikTok ad agency has a team of in-house experts (Tuff does though, and Jack, McKenzie, David, and Kate are great!), and it’s hard to navigate an entirely new platform without support.

We covered the basics of running a successful TikTok ad campaign previously, but today, we’re going to focus on how to create high-performing TikTok creative. We’ll look at six successful campaigns, explore what made the creatives work, and share how you can apply these lessons to your own TikTok campaigns. 

We’ll share creative from huge brands like Chipotle and Burger King, as well as creative from a campaign we ran for Sabio, which delivered a huuuge 12x ROAS. Ready to learn how to make outstanding TikTok creative? Let’s dive in!

Chipotle & Roblox: Boorito Campaign

Every Halloween, Chipotle hosts their Boorito event, a long-running fan favorite promotion that offers discounted burritos to customers who come into Chipotle stores dressed in costumes. This year, Chipotle decided to do things a little differently, and partnered with Roblox to open the first virtual Chipotle location and launch the first ever metaverse burrito giveaway.

> Watch the Chipotle and Roblox Boorito TikTok

The campaign was anchored by TikTok creative that shared how fans could claim a free burrito from Chipotle. There was also a virtual maze, Chipotle themed Halloween costumes, special unlockable rewards and more. In a 30 second TikTok video, Chipotle and Roblox seamlessly explained how fans could claim a free burrito and experience the Roblox universe. 

Using TikTok creative to drive in-person visits to stores proved a huge success, with $1 million in burrito giveaways, huge exposure for Roblox and Chiptotle to high-interest audiences, and increased traffic to both the Roblox ecosystem and Chipotle stores nationwide. 

Sabio Coding Bootcamp with Tuff

You might think that TikTok ads are best suited to glossy consumer products in the cosmetics and fashion categories, but we’ve had success with all kinds of brands, including Sabio, an online coding bootcamp.

> Watch our Sabio TikTok Creative

Your creatives should mimic the style of other TikTok videos. Get this right, and your target audience shouldn’t even realize they’re watching an ad. Here’s a few best practices to keep in mind from this Sabio creative:

  • Add text overlays that highlight your brand’s core value proposition, but keep them brief.
  • Make it short and sweet – 10-15 seconds is the perfect length. 
  • Use background music that adds to the video – bonus points if the song’s currently popular on TikTok!
  • Feature real people, and add lots of color contrast to make text pop.

The results when we applied these principles to Sabio’s TikTok creatives? A 12x ROAS, with TikTok CPA’s coming in 62% lower than other paid acquisition channels. 

HP – #HPRadicalReuse

When you think of a brand with huge TikTok reach, HP – makers of computers, printers, and IT accessories – probably isn’t the first brand that comes to mind. But with their #HPRadicalReuse campaign, HP redefined what legacy brands could do on TikTok, inspiring millions of viewers to think about reusing everyday plastic items. 

HP partnered with Avery Cyrus, a TikTok influencer with more than 7 million followers, to produce a short ad showing Avery recycling plastic soda bottles to create planters. At the end of the video, Avery challenges her followers to share their creations, helping the campaign to spread far beyond the initial ad creative. 

The campaign reached millions of TikTok users, with the most popular creative pulling in more than 36 million views. Sometimes, it’s best to let influencers who know their audience drive the direction of your creative.

> Watch the #HPRadicalReuse TikTok with Avery Cyrus

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star CX by Obviously

Shoes don’t come much more recognizable than the iconic Converse Chuck Taylors. But when it came time to launch an exciting new shoe, Converse turned to TikTok. 

By working with influencer marketing agency Obviously, Converse was able to partner with 24 different influencers to launch their new shoe. The campaign used a variety of personalities, from skaters to artists, helping promote the shoe to diverse audiences. All creative told the Converse brand story and prominently featured the shoes in all kinds of hero shots. 

> Check out the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star CX Creative

When all was said and done, the campaign generated over 2.3 million impressions, delivering a 1,554% ROI and winning an award for the Most Effective TikTok Campaign at the 2021 Effective Digital Marketing Awards.

Fanbytes x Burger King

When it comes to fast food, there’s a lot of misconceptions out there, and with this campaign Burger King was keen to dispel them. But simply publishing an ad saying their burgers used 100% real meat wasn’t enough – the message needed to be delivered in a way that would resonate with their target audiences. 

Enter the Burger King Conspiracy Challenge, which featured amazing creative from eight popular TikTokers. Each influencer was tasked with dreaming up the most unimaginable conspiracies about the contents of Burger King’s burgers, and then refuting them by championing Burger King’s talking points to their audiences.

> Watch the Fanbytes x Burger King Campaign

The campaign delivered success, with an innovative format and support from multiple different TikTok personalities, each with their own audiences. This creative leveraged the trust between influencers and their audiences, underscoring the importance of harnessing influencers in TikTok campaigns. 

With 575,000 views in just a week, and a 16.8% engagement rate, the creative helped Burger King cut through the misinformation and highlight the best attributes of their food to important audiences.

NeoReach and DraftKings

As sports betting becomes legalized in an ever-increasing number of U.S. states, DraftKings, a leading operator in the space, is experiencing huge growth. That’s especially true at the start of a new NFL season, and with their #MakeItReign campaign, DraftKings were keen to take advantage.

The campaign leveraged 50 different influencers, and challenged each of them to create their own touchdown dance. Football fans loved it, with more than 34 million views, 400+ fan created videos, and tens of thousands of new followers on DraftKings’ TikTok account. 

The key to success? Letting influencers unleash their creativity to create winning creative that connects with each individual audience, while challenging their fans to create their own TikTok videos. DraftKings achieved a 1.83x ROI, underscoring the fact that not all creative has to be professionally produced – sometimes it’s best to let your influencers get creative. 

> Check out the Draft Kings #MakeItReign TikTok Campaign

Key Takeaways: How to Produce Great TokTok Creative

There’s plenty you can learn from the TikTok creatives we’ve shared here, but it’s also worth sharing some fundamental principles that you should keep in mind when developing TikTok creative for your brand.

Here’s some of our key takeaways:

  • Use the TikTok Creative Center: TikTok’s Creative Center helps you discover what’s popular on TikTok right now. There’s templates to help you create your ad, tools to help you add the perfect captions, and detailed breakdowns of high-converting ad creatives.
  • Lighting is Key: all great creatives have one thing in common: the lighting is perfect. Make sure your video is clear and well-lit – shooting at golden hour is your friend.
  • Leverage UGC and Testimonials: the more natural your creative seems, the better it converts. Recruit customers to talk about their journey with your product.
  • Use Native TikTok Text: this helps your ad look less like, well, an ad. Be sure to add color contrast to make your text stand out – we like to use a red background on our text.
  • Lean Into Trends: there’s always new trends popping off on TikTok. Share your brand’s take on them, but be quick! These trends are often fleeting, but catching them at the right time can be a major boost.

These principles will take you a long way, but as with all digital advertising, the key to success really lies in continuous testing. Start with at least three very different ads, and run experimental campaigns with smaller budgets to learn what works best. And have fun with it – TikTok is a great platform, and nailing your strategy will see huge returns for your brand!

Got some awesome TikTok ideas for your brand? Reach out and let us know – we’d love to help you make them a reality!

Running a TikTok Ad Campaign: 5 Tips for a Successful Launch (Updated for 2022)

Author’s Note: This post was originally published in 2021, and has been updated for 2022!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen how TikTok has changed the social media game. What once started as a quirky music platform for preteens quickly – and I mean QUICKLY – climbed the ladder to become one of the most popular social media apps. Today, we’ll dive in on how to successfully set up a TikTok ad campaign!

Here are the TikTok facts:

  • TikTok has over one billion monthly active users.
  • TikTok ads reach 17.9% of all internet users age 18+. 
  • 67% of users say TIkTok inspires them to shop – even when they weren’t planning to do so.
  • TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021, with 656 million downloads. That’s over 100 million downloads more than the runner-up, Instagram, which was downloaded 5445 million times last year.
  • TikTok is the top app for consumer spend, increasing by 77% in 2021, with $2.3 billion dollars in the app.

Aside from the sheer growth in monthly active users, TikTok has fundamentally changed how we consume video content online, and other social media giants are emulating that same style – we see you Instagram Reels. We want it vertical, we want the cleverly-edited music to add umph, and we want it short and sweet.An overview of Tiktok Performance in January 2021

 

Source: Hootsuite

Pair TikTok’s insane growth with the need to diversify channel mix due to iOS14 and updates to Facebook advertising, and you get one big question.

How can I use TikTok ads to scale up my social presence and grow my business?

We’re so glad you asked! Almost all of our partners at Tuff are running ads on TikTok – or are trying to figure out how they can. We’ve found that success is determined less by the industry of your business and more by the video creative you have + ability to produce new video creative.

Check out these 5 tips for successfully launching your first TikTok campaign! 👇

1. Set Up Your TikTok Pixel and Events

Just like every other social channel, TikTok also has an events manager tool that allows you to track app events and activity on your website with a piece of code. The TikTok pixel has the ability to integrate with a variety of partners, namely Shopify and Google Tag Manager, for easy setup. TikTok also  provides the option to manually install the pixel in the header of your website.

Once the pixel’s base code is installed on your site, you’ll be prompted to set the event rules using either Standard Mode or Developer Mode. The method you choose is based on your business and conversion path – We’ve set up events both ways successfully! TikTok’s Standard Mode is most similar to Facebook’s Event Setup Tool (if you’re familiar with that).

2. Build Custom Audiences and Create Lookalikes From Them

Once you have your pixel installed, take a second to create custom audiences based on website, app activity and your customer lists. These typically take a day or so to populate. Once your custom audience reaches a minimum of 1,000 people, you can then  create lookalike audiences.

These lookalikes will come in handy when you’re creating target audiences for prospecting campaigns, and you’ll be able to exclude some of your custom audiences from ad groups to prevent waste and minimize audience overlap.

3. Create Target Audiences that Aren’t Too Small

We have tested A LOT on TikTok from completely broad targeting relying on the advanced algorithm to find qualified users to refined retargeting audiences leaning on our website data and or customer lists, and a takeaway that we have seen apply to most of our partners is that broader is better. 

Maybe not completely broad – but grouping together relevant interests, interactions with specific videos, creators and hashtags to make one, large audience has consistently generated the strongest and most efficient results for us. This even applies to retargeting campaigns – Pairing website visitors with video viewers with cart abandoners vs. isolating these in their own ad sets. Larger audiences (caveat: with relevant targeting) typically yield lower costs per results.

Here are a few additional tips on audience targeting that we’ve learned the hard way on TikTok:

  • Ditch the age targeting. We know that most TikTok users are under the age of 35. If your target audience’s age range is above that, TikTok might not be the right channel for you anyway. Targeting by age can narrow your audience size without improving results.
  • Watch for ad fatigue. Smaller audiences mean that your frequency gets higher, faster. You’ll want to keep an eye on your results – if you see costs start to increase, try rotating in new creative first. TikTok recommends updating creative every 2-4 weeks and keeping 3-5 assets in each ad group.
  • Narrow your placements to TikTok only if you want to utilize Spark ads – TikTok’s native ad format that allows you to leverage organic content to publish as an ad. Spark ads allow you to swap out creative more regularly based on popular trends and organic engagement.

 

4. Develop Video Ads Made With TikTok Trends in Mind

To grow your business with TikTok ads, relevant 👏 creative 👏 is 👏 key👏 to 👏 success.

One more time for the people in the back (and because this is so, so important). You’re interrupting someone’s feed with a brand ad that the user didn’t ask for, but got anyway. Your content should be captivating, designed with TikTok consumption in mind, and concise – Oh and sound! TikTok is a sound-on optimized platform and requires a thumb-stopping music or voice overs.

Based on the campaign results we’ve seen so far for our clients, here are a few TikTok ad creative tips to help get you started:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Our best ads have been 15-20 seconds long.
  • Make sure your product is at the forefront of your creative, ideally showing how it works.
  • Strategically test creative so that you can test and learn what works for your brand. Pinpoint a few themes and go to town! You want to make sure your videos differ so that you can draw meaningful insights as to what’s performing best. If they’re all similar, it’s hard to understand what type of content will yield the best results.
  • Shoot your videos in a UGC-style fashion. Lofi is the name of the game – Making sure your creative does not feel overly polished is the best way to appear more natively in the platform and build brand authenticity.
  • TikTok has a pretty strict ad approval process. Make sure you’re buttoned up and familiar with their advertising policies before you put your ads in review.

Peek here if you want to get some insight into what the top performing ads are on TikTok – You can filter by region, industry and campaign objective to get a look at how your competitors are advertising or here to read through  5 Tips for Making Great (and Cost Effective) Video Ad Creative from one of our seasoned creative team members, Elle!

5. Use UTMs to Track Attribution in Google Analytics

Like any social media platform, native attribution in TikTok’s ad manager using data from the pixel is often inflated compared to Google Analytics so we will typically use GA as our north star when defining success

To know what worked and what didn’t on TikTok, we recommend using an organized naming convention for your UTM parameters that will give you insight into how both the audience you’re targeting and the creative you’re running performed in Google Analytics.

Common TikTok Ads Questions

Q: How much does it cost to advertise on TikTok?
A: Currently, the minimum spend requirement on TikTok is $50/day. The campaigns we’ve run here at Tuff have had CPMs in the $4-$7 range. Naturally, performance varies based on the industry, your campaign optimization, audience targeting and creative, but we have seen more efficient CPCs and CPMs on TikTok than most other social platforms we run.

Q: Do I need an organic presence on TikTok to run ads on the channel?
A: Unlike other social channels, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., where you’re required to have a business page or profile built to run ads, you can run ads on TikTok without creating an organic channel. In fact, you access TikTok’s ads manager through a completely different login portal than where you’d login to an organic account.

Q: Is my audience on TikTok?
A: While the channel has grown exponentially over the last few years, the demographic on TikTok still skews younger compared to other channels, like Facebook. . That being said, eight new users join TikTok every second, with an average of 650,000 new users joining daily. Don’t rule out TikTok advertising yet!