4 min read

An Intro to TikTok Ads

An Intro to TikTok Ads

In the ever-evolving world of social media marketing and advertising, TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular and successful advertising tools for businesses who want to communicate with vast audiences. 

The app shot to success shortly after its 2016 launch when it quickly became popular among younger Gen Z users. Flash forward 7 years, and it is now the leading social platform for user engagement and with over a billion monthly users.

TikTok is accredited for its ability to show personalised content on the ‘For You’ page, where the algorithm allows for content to target users based on age, geographical location, interests and demographic. 

Businesses can also use this in TikTok Ad campaigns when targeting their audiences. Since the size of the TikTok community transcends continents and languages, this targeting is essential for brands when pushing out content or creating ads.

When TikTok ads were first initiated, it was a great place to drive engagement, push brand awareness campaigns and try to drive some traffic to site. 

One of the most relevant TikTok developments is the growth of the “TikTok Shop”. This feature has skyrocketed in the last year for being ideal for low-risk, cheap purchases. This can be put down to the growth of the trust in the feature.

The TikTok shop is also a great opportunity for retailers to highlight items with a low price point that have a high chance of generating a sale if the video creative is strong enough. For example, one user sold hundreds of £4 hand grip strength items by demonstrating the different settings and availability in a short, snappy video.

Flash sales are also a strong technique, with the patience of users being very low due to being able to skip to the next video in seconds. However, utilising influencer marketing to link directly from the video to your site, alongside hugely discounted sales that are hard to ignore, businesses are increasing the amount of first-time buyers substantially.

This year’s Black Friday will be an intriguing one, with TikTok in a more progressed state than last year, and businesses already utilising it for flash sales - we predict it will be the main platform used by advertisers this month, potentially surpassing Meta.


There are 5 types of TikTok ads you can make as part of a campaign.

These include: 

  • In-Feed Ads
  • Branded Hashtag Challenges
  • Branded Effects
  • Branded Takeover Ads
  • Top-View Ads.

In-Feed TikTok Ads

In-Feed Ads are adverts that appear when a user is scrolling through the app. They appear in the form of a short video with a clear link as a CTA making it easier for the user to click.


Branded Hashtag Challenges

Branded Hashtag Challenges are a great way to increase user engagement within the TikTok community. These ads allow brands to create a hashtag and a challenge so users can access it through the discovery page and user-generated content is created with the brand.


Branded Effects

Branded Effects allow users to apply augmented reality filters and stickers to their videos. These effects can be branded and makes user-generated content more interactive with the brand.


Brand Takeover Ads 

Brand Takeover Ads present a full screen advert when a user initially opens the app. They last between 3-5 seconds and can also appear on the ‘For You’ page as images, GIFs and videos. These ads are a great way to initially grab the users’ attention.


Top-View Ads

Top-View Ads are similar to Branded Takeover Ads, however these don’t appear immediately after the user opens the app but instead are the first in-feed post after 3 seconds.

TikTok ads are a great way for brands to reach vast audiences, however it is important to choose which ad type best suits your business goals. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to creating TikTok content as a brand:

  1. Keep it short and sweet 

When targeting an audience with a depreciating attention span it's important to keep videos short and snappy. Aim for videos between 15 and 30 seconds.

  • Know your audience

Even though TikTok is dominated by Gen Z, their user base still consists of a diverse range of ages, interests, and demographics. Ensure you are creating content for your customers.

  • Don’t be boring

TikTok is short video content, when creating content you need to ensure you are capturing your audience in the first 3 seconds of your video. Jazz up your content with different sounds, trends, and challenges, and don’t be afraid to start your own challenges.

  • Engage Engage Engage

TikTok has the highest social media engagement rate. Ensure you interact with the TikTok community by participating in trends, responding to comments, tags, and encouraging user-generated content.

  • Track and Optimise

It's important to track your ad's key performance metrics. The basic metrics to track are your Impressions, Click-through Rate (CTR), Engagement Rate, Conversion Rate, and Return on Ad Spend.

  • One ad type doesn’t fit all 

As previously mentioned, ad type is important when capturing your audience. Be sure your ad type reflects your business objectives and aligns with your campaign goals and budget.

Honchō x ASUS TikTok Case Study


More recently, Honchō was able to launch a TikTok competition for computing company ASUS. The student-based targeting and interactive entry requirements made TikTok the perfect channel for this brief, with users offered the opportunity to win a free laptop by sharing their top tips for living at University.

Honchō accumulated 90% of the competition entries as well as driving 42,652 visits to the landing page on site, massively bolstering our middle-of-funnel activity and providing key data to the TikTok and Meta Pixels, to benefit future retargeting.

Additionally, posts on the organic account blew up engagement wise. With the account starting from scratch, we were able to generate 1699 followers in a 10 day period, obtain millions of views and interaction with the student community.


Should we use TikTok Ads as part of our marketing strategy?

TikTok ads give brands a new and unique way to connect with their audiences and expand their brand reach by interacting in a variety of different formats. 

The engagement rate TikTok offers makes it a must for brands. Brands can create a relationship with their audiences by staying relevant, making meaningful content and interacting online with users. These are all ways in which brands can establish brand loyalty with their target market on the app. 

TikTok is still an evolving platform with an audience that is only expanding, making it a very powerful marketing and advertisement tool that brands shouldn’t ignore.

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