TikTok Advertising Best Practices: How to Make Great TikTok Creative

In the past couple of years, TikTok has quick become one of the top acquisition channels for startups and established brands. The platform now has over 100 million monthly active users in the US and recently surpassed Google and Facebook as the most popular web property

On most channels, it’s relatively easy to repurpose your ad creative. With a few light edits, a Facebook ad can easily become a display ad or a LinkedIn ad. But on TikTok, each ad needs to be created specifically for the platform and getting it right is critical: you only have a few seconds to grab your target audience’s attention before they scroll past your ad.

So how do you make the right asset? How do you communicate your brand’s value proposition in less than 15 seconds? How do you create a diverse suite of low-budget videos in-house (with an intentional range of messaging, formats, creators, and styles) that you can test quickly and learn from? 

This article is here to help you answer these questions. I’ll cover the basic details for TikTok ad creative, including the length limits. Then, I’ll walk through several examples, some that we’ve produced in-house at Tuff for partners, to help outline why and how they work on TikTok. 

TikTok video length limits

Before you start planning your creative, you need understand the boundaries that you’re working in. At most, TikTok ads can be 60 seconds long, but it’s best practice for videos to be much shorter: TikTok themselves suggests videos be just 9-15 seconds in length

Length isn’t the only consideration when it comes to creating winning ad creative. Here are some other variables our creative team at Tuff considers: 

  • Resolution: professionally produced content tends not to perform well on TikTok. Instead, grab your smartphone and start playing around in the TikTok app creating videos – it’s fun, easy, and effective. 
  • Sound: TikTok is a music-first app, and the backing music you choose for your ads is super important. Select music from TikTok’s library – you’ll find trending music that helps your ad get discovered and also avoid any copyright issues that could see your account suspended. 
  • Subtitles and Text Overlays: including subtitles and text overlays is just as important as choosing the right music. That might seem counterintuitive, but many people watch TikTok videos on mute. Including captions or other text ensures you capture their attention. 

Five examples of powerful TikTok ad creative

Telling your story and communicating your brand’s value proposition in less than 15 seconds is not easy, even before considering all the limits above. But it’s absolutely possible, and if you can crack the code, TikTok can be a huge growth driver for your brand. 

Let’s take a look at five successful TikTok creatives and explore what our team has learned from them as we develop more and more TikToks for our clients. 

1. Soona

TikTok Creative Here

tiktok ad example

Insight: This ad concisely explains how Soona’s process works, walking the audience through the key steps in working together. It clearly states the problem Soona solves, introduces various products, and highlights the key benefits brands can get from working with Soona. 

Despite the fact Soona is a photography business focused on creating beautiful images, this TikTok video has a production quality that’s more in line with other videos on the platform, helping it to feel more like organic content than an ad.

What to Do: To effectively introduce your brand to new audiences, focus on defining the key value drivers you need to convey in a short video. Consider incorporating them into a “how it works” ad creative like this one – these help potential customers understand the process much better, removing any uncertainties and boosting conversion rates. 

2. Sesh

TikTok Creative Here

tiktok ad examples

Insight: This TikTok is created from the perspective of a Sesh user and shares what the experience of attending a Sesh is actually like. Shooting the ad from the perspective of the user helps your audience understand what’s involved in a Sesh, and the positive feelings that come from it: in this case, the feeling of getting a big hug. 

The ad also uses plenty of text overlay that summarizes all of the key points of the video. Emojis are included in every line of text to make the text more natural – it’s more like receiving a message from a friend than an ad from a business. The video finishes with a Call To Action (CTA) that clearly directs viewers where to go to learn more. 

What to Do: Turning the creative reins over to your users is a great strategy for creating meaningful TikTok ads that truly connect with your audience. Your most loyal users can express their feelings about your brand with real authority. This helps you connect with your audience and builds higher levels of trust through social proof. 

Don’t forget to make use of text overlays: these are crucial in emphasizing key points and ensuring you connect with viewers who are watching the video without sound. End your ads with CTAs that tell watchers what you want them to do next. 

3. Multiverse

TikTok Creative Here

tiktok ad creative example

Insight: This ad tackles a key concern that prospective Multiverse students might have before committing to a Multiverse apprenticeship. It uses a video format TikTok users are used to seeing elsewhere: a statement, followed by a series of text overlays that directly address that statement. 

This makes the video feel less like an ad, and more like a regular TikTok video – making your audience more likely to pay attention. The video is short, features music commonly used in other TikTok videos, and finishes with a CTA directing interested viewers where to go next. It’s a proven approach, helping Multiverse drive quality conversions at scale. 

What to Do: Pay attention to video formats that are currently trending on TikTok, and develop the ability to quickly create ads that leverage these trends to more effectively connect with your audience. In doing so, use all of the features available on TikTok: including text overlays and backing music.

4. Pizza Express

TikTok Creative Here

pizza express tiktok example

Insight: this ad, from British pizza chain Pizza Express, makes use of TikTok Spark Ads. When you adopt this strategy, you recruit influencers to create and post sponsored TikTok videos. The brand then boosts the top-performing influencer TikToks with ad spend, adding a link to the landing page. Pizza Express saw great results with this strategy: the ad received over 2.5 million views

This approach, also known as whitelisting, makes your TikTok ads seem native. Using popular influencers builds trust with your audience and outsources content creation to individual creators with proven TikTok creative skills and a built-in audience. 

What to Do: consider working with influencers who have a following that closely aligns with your target audience. Approach them to explore working together, and then use Spark Ads to boost their top-performing content toward a targeted audience. Don’t be afraid to let your influencers drive the creative direction of the ads – it’s likely they know better than you what will resonate with their audience. 

Start Creating TikTok Ads Today

You don’t need a big media budget or a fancy creative agency to start producing TikTok ad creative – all you need is a smartphone and some imagination. Producing winning creative holds the key to a successful TikTok marketing campaign, but you might not get it right the first time. 

At Tuff, our TikTok Ads team is constantly testing out new creative assets for our clients. If it doesn’t work, we’ll drop it right away, and keep testing out new ideas until we land on the winning formula. 

Got some TikTok ad ideas you want to try for your brand? Hit us up – our team of TikTok experts has the skills and experience needed to supercharge your campaigns.