TikTok Advertising Success Stories: Brands That Nailed It on the Platform

guide to tiktok advertising banner 1

In the digital age, social media is more important than ever for small business success. Independent entrepreneurs and micro businesses can now capture the same audiences despite not having the same resources as large enterprises. 

Today, sponsored content and ads can be pushed on all the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The newest entrant in the social commerce space is the video-sharing platform TikTok.

If you run a business that spends money on social media promotions, this guide to TikTok advertising for beginners will help you update your marketing strategy for 2024 and beyond. 

TikTok Video Ads: An Exciting Development in Digital Advertising 

Everyone knows how intrusive and off-putting branded ads on social media can be. But something very interesting is taking place in the world of TikTok advertising. 

Bucking the trend, TikTok users are much more receptive to ads than on other platforms. A study from 2022 showed that 38% of TikTok users did not mind advertising in exchange for free content, which is higher than the 34% average for other platforms. 

This means, more than any other social media app, TikTok is fertile ground where you can run your ads and see your business grow.

Companies are realizing the value of TikTok advertising and showing their faith by investing money and resources. TikTok’s global advertising revenue in 2021 was $3.88 billion. In 2024, TikTok is projected to earn $18.5 billion in ad revenue.

When you create a TikTok marketing strategy for your brand, you leave your mark on the world’s fastest-growing social media platform. With an estimated 1.5 billion monthly active users following a dizzying array of niche interests, brands can easily find their target audience through TikTok advertising. 

Investing in video ads on TikTok pays off, as the platform’s own data revealed that advertisers see a return of $2 for every $1 spent.

The Definitive Guide to TikTok Advertising

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TikTok’s format, made up exclusively of short 15- to 60-second videos, is uniquely designed to deliver ads to its users. This type of short-form content has strong recall value, especially if it’s entertaining and seamlessly fits into the algorithm. 

To create ads on TikTok, all you need to begin is a business account or ad account. This lets you access TikTok Ads Manager, a central dashboard from where you manage your ad campaigns. 

Once you have access to Ads Manager, simply follow these steps to create ads:

  • Create a new campaign.
  • Set your campaign objectives, choosing from options like increasing reach, raising awareness, or boosting conversions.
  • Name your campaign and set its initial budget.
  • Create an ad group for the campaign by selecting the ad placement, creative type, target audience, and delivery method.
  • Create the ad.
  • Track the ad’s performance on TikTok Ads Manager.

As you can see, TikTok advertising is a simple, easy-to-use platform that any brand can use to its advantage.

Types of TikTok Ad Formats

woman holding her ear in front of an advertising graphic

One of the best features of TikTok advertising is its versatility. Businesses can choose from a diverse collection of ad formats, each with its strengths in reaching particular audiences. 

It’s worth mentioning at this point that TikTok audiences skew toward the youth. A survey from January 2024 showed that over 60% of TikTok’s global audience is under 34 years old

Knowing the age, gender, and other similar demographics of your target audience is just the tip of the iceberg, as the various ad formats allow you to target campaigns with even greater specificity. 

TikTok ad formats include:

  • In-feed video ads
  • Brand takeovers
  • Spark ads
  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Hashtag challenges
  • Branded effects

TikTok is constantly experimenting with and debuting new ad formats. By switching them up, brands can continue to keep their TikTok followers interested in their content.

4 Reasons Why Businesses Should Advertise on TikTok

In 2024, it’s not wise to plan your digital advertising strategy without integrating TikTok. Advertising on this platform is increasingly popular, with 38% of marketers surveyed in January 2023 saying they would increase their use of the platform in the coming year. 

Let’s look at some of the reasons why more marketers are turning to TikTok.

Broad Reach

TikTok has a massive user base that has been growing year-on-year since its launch. With over 1.5 billion monthly active users spread across 150 countries, TikTok exposes brands to a broad audience that is extremely online.

High Engagement

Audiences on TikTok are more likely to engage with branded content. The average engagement rate for follower count on TikTok is 2.65%, placing it much higher than Instagram, which comes second at 0.70%.

Precise Targeting

The TikTok advertising platform allows brands to create custom audiences for every ad campaign. You can fine-tune details like audience age, gender, location, interests, and others. This way, all of your ad content is always pushed to the right audiences.

Transparent Data

When you run ads on TikTok, you can access detailed data analytics from the Ads Manager dashboard. When you open your TikTok ad account, a tracking pixel is installed to record the data and behavior of users interacting with your ads.

TikTok Ad Campaigns Done Right

laptop screen displaying online advertising text

TikTok will continue to be a crucial part of brands’ social media strategy in the coming years. 

Here are some TikTok ad examples where brands used the platform’s unique features to create memorable and highly effective campaigns:

Netflix: #WhatsYourPower

With 23 million followers, Netflix is the second-most followed brand account on TikTok. The streaming service treated its audience to a fun promo campaign for the release of the film Project Power. 

A branded filter showed users their superpower, leading to a wave of user-generated content (UGC) of TikTokers showing off their inner superheroes. 

GymShark: Change Your Life

The sportswear brand GymShark also leveraged UGC in a viral campaign encouraging audiences to become better versions of themselves. Their Change Your Life ad campaign invited followers to participate in a 66-day fitness challenge, with a year’s supply of GymShark goods as the prize. 

On 1st January 2019, GymShark asked its TikTok followers to set a fitness goal for themselves. And then, 66 days later, to upload a video that showed them achieving that goal using the #gymshark66 hashtag.

eBay: Sneaker Showdown

The massive online marketplace eBay showed how knowing your audience and using the right format can drive up engagement. Its TikTok advertising campaign, Sneaker Showdown, was incredibly successful. 

Knowing that their customer base included a fair share of sneakerheads, they launched a campaign using spark ads with voting stickers. Followers could vote for which sneaker the platform would sell at discount prices. 

The Sneaker Showdown was an instant success, with over 1.2 million TikTok users participating in the poll.

Crocs: #CrocTok

TikTok is known for creating close-knit online communities bound by a shared passion. While #BookTok, #FashionTok, and #FoodTok were natural outcomes of the algorithm, nobody could have predicted #CrocTok. 

Crocs, the footwear brand best known for its chunky sandals, has made the hashtag part of its identity on the platform. The brand routinely showcases UGC with #CrocTok to show off its unmistakable, cartoonish designs. 

Kroger: #TransformYourDorm

The supermarket and department store, Kroger, integrated TikTok’s social commerce platform into a successful ad campaign. 

TikTok Shop, an in-app shopping solution, lets users enjoy special discounts on products tagged with #TransformYourDorm in Kroger’s TikTok Store. The brand also triggered a bounty of UGC, as shoppers uploaded videos of how they reimagined their living spaces thanks to items from Kroger.

In Summary

sticky note of paid advertising

As these examples show, brands can leverage TikTok ads to express their creativity while building a better relationship with their audience. 

Regardless of your industry, advertising on TikTok will get you better brand recognition and add tremendous value to your business.

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