TikTok Advertising: Is It Right For Me?

TIk Tok Advertising

Are you trying to crack the TikTok code? We’ve been there! After months of experimenting with TikTok content, advertising, and all of its intricacies, we’re ready to share what we’ve learned… and our findings might surprise you! We’ve broken down some investment levels to show you the different options you have when it comes to having a presence on this platform. 

TikTok Advertising: Is It Right For Me?

Full Force TikTok Strategy 

If you’re wanting to go BIG on TikTok, first and foremost, it’s important to decide what level of investment you’re capable of making financially as well as physically to this platform. To remain relevant and be successful on TikTok, it’s crucial for you to be able to hop on any trending sounds and videos to create organic content that will resonate with your audience. In fact, TikTok recommends that you post between 1-4 times per day in order for your content to be distributed correctly in the algorithm and actually receive views and interactions. If it sounds like a big commitment, it is! If you are wanting to go full force into TikTok, we highly recommend having a team member dedicated specifically to managing this platform as well as a healthy budget for advertising.

Remember, TikTok is not for every brand – especially at this level! So don’t panic if this kind of commitment doesn’t sound doable. For plenty of the brands we manage, it would not be strategic to spend countless hours and dollars to make your TikTok great, because the platform just isn’t conducive to the personality of the brand, or the product doesn’t lend itself well to things like “hack” cooking! However, there are also plenty of brands whose notoriety came solely from TikTok and it has completely changed their business for the better. Before jumping in full force on TikTok, ask yourself questions like the following:

  • “Can I make videos on this app that people truly want to see?”
  • “Is the audience on TikTok the right target for my product/service?”
  • “Is it fitting for my brand personality to be jumping on funny internet trends?” 
  • “Do I have a product that is conducive to some life-changing cooking hacks or delicious easy recipes?”
  • “Are there influencer partners I could utilize to help support my TikTok content?”
  • “What does my advertising and partnership budget look like?”

Active Account with Some Advertising

If you feel like you are getting steady results on your other social platforms but are looking to dip your toe in the TikTok pool without diving in head first, this option is probably for you! Instead of worrying about creating and posting four videos per day, you can just share a couple of times per month so that you consistently have new content available on your profile, with your main focus being on advertisements or boosted videos (spark ads). An added bonus is that if you’re already sharing videos to Reels, this is an easy transition as you can share those videos to TikTok as well! I would argue that your brand still needs to be the right fit in order to move forward with this level, so I would recommend asking yourself some of those same questions listed above. With monthly posting and a moderate advertising budget, I would expect some healthy exposure from TikTok, but if you aren’t posting daily and aren’t spending a good chunk of advertising dollars, you probably won’t see TikTok moving the dial for you in a big way.

Advertising Only 

One huge benefit that we have found with being active on TikTok is that this platform allows you to connect with a younger audience! Believe it or not, the younger generation can be quite hard to reach on platforms like Facebook and even Instagram! So, having a presence on TikTok gives you access to this group. If you go this route, you can create ads whenever it makes sense for your brand – around key times of the year, promotions, etc. This is definitely the least involved and most simple option from a management perspective as you aren’t having to create relevant content to live on your page and you have complete control over the investment. The downside, however, is that if people start to talk about your brand on the platform or they see an ad and are looking to interact with you, there is no account for them to visit to learn more or connect.


Getting Started On TikTok

How to Get Started

If you are ready to move forward, creating a TikTok Business account is simple – just follow the link and create your account.

  • If you decide to go the advertising-only route, you are ready to start!
  • If you are planning on having a profile with active content as well, you will create your business account and link the business and ad accounts together! 

Make TikToks Not Ads

The last, and arguably most important thing we have learned from TikTok advertising is to make TikToks, not ads. You have probably heard it before, but with a platform so different from all of the others, it only makes sense that our content and advertising tactics would be unique as well.

When creating content and ads, no matter the type, use your creativity! Lean into the fun and informal nature of TikTok videos and allow that to help get your message across.

Here are some examples of food brands doing a great job on TikTok: 

Types of Ads TikTok Has Available

  • In-Feed Ads – These types of ads appear as a user is scrolling through their “For You Page” (FYP). Videos can be as long as 60 seconds, however, 9-15 second videos are said to be the ideal time frame. These types of ads are great for linking out to a landing page and directing traffic somewhere other than TikTok. 
  • Spark Ads – These are TikTok’s version of boosted posts. This allows you to advertise videos that have already been shared on your account. TikTok users can view and interact with your posts in the same way they do In-Feed Ads, however, the ad will link back to your TikTok page and any comments, likes, or shares will be attributed to your native post. 
  • Top-View Ads – This type of TikTok video is the first thing that comes up as a user opens their TikTok app. Videos can be up to 60 seconds long and “take over” your screen. While these ads don’t necessarily feel organic, they certainly make an impact, in fact, 71% of TikTok users say that top-view ads grab their attention. 
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads – Trending hashtag challenges are featured at the top of the discovery page, and advertised hashtags challenges will appear in your TikTok feed to click the link and join in on the hashtag. The goal of these challenges is to spark trends and participation through challenges posed to the TikTok community. These ads encourage user-generated content and typically result in higher engagement. They have an average engagement rate of 8.5%, while others have an average engagement rate of 5.7%.
    • If you decide to go this route, we highly recommend you do it right! Invest in TikTok influencers to participate and do the challenge with you to really kick things off. 
  • Branded Effect Ads – Lastly, TikTok allows you to create a fun visual experience by creating branded effects like stickers, filters, and other special effects. This is another route that if done correctly, can spark a ton of user-generated content, but may not be the most seamless fit for food brands.


Now that you have the know-how and understanding of what it takes to jump into TikTok and a few different commitment-level options, it’s time to decide if you are ready and willing to test what TikTok can do for your brand! If you would like to discuss this topic in-depth and determine if or how it should be implemented into your strategic social media plan, contact us to set up a discovery call!