TikTok Ads: What you need to know

In this post Phillip Hui-Bon-Hoa, one of our partners at Slope, shares some of his thoughts on best practices for companies seeking to leverage TikTok’s amazing ad potential.


What’s your elevator pitch for why brands should invest in TikTok right now?

Because it’s a wide-open platform.

TikTok marketing is currently the Wild West of social media advertising—companies that take the plunge early stand to reap huge benefits of being a first mover in the space.

TikTok also makes it easy to get crafty with ad targeting.

Their ad platform resembles the Facebook ad platform of 2015—there’s many things you can do now that you won’t be able to do in a year. Moreover, the nature of TikTok’s platform makes it possible, with some clever marketing strategies, for your brand or company to achieve virality without a large budget. 

What’s the wrong way to do TikTok?

Over-produced, gimmicky, unnatural content.

That’s the surefire way to fail at TikTok.

The platform lends itself to natural, fun, casual videos and challenges. Authenticity is the name of the game on TikTok. If you can personalize your brand and figure out how to legitimately connect with your target audience, TikTok will work wonders for your brand or business.

How long until TikTok is just as saturated as IG and Facebook?

Honestly, I think to answer this question, we have to first acknowledge that it’s hard to win on TikTok with a small budget (<3k/month).


Because TikTok’s single window attribution for conversion deters many smaller brands with tight budgets from entering the platform. That’s why TikTok Ads mainly serve brands with budgets >5k/month. 

In other words, small businesses with financial constraints invest more in Facebook ads as opposed to TikTok ads.

That's why Facebook is an ad-saturated platform—and TikTok isn’t.

Until TikTok ad pricing becomes more friendly for small businesses, saturation won't occur.

What’s the ROI like?

TikTok’s ROI varies depending on the product, campaign objective, and the marketer’s overall understanding of the platform.

Awareness (CPM) and App Installs (CPI) are the best metrics on the platform right now.

Although conversions are hard, given TikTok’s single window attribution, a well-planned, well-executed creative campaign powered by paid ads will net positive return on ad spend (ROAS).

Influencer content, paid ads, or both?

TikTok remains unlike FB, IG, or other platforms because creative content is meant to look user generated—not professionally done.

In other words, TikTok users have a high ‘BS’ meter; if you don’t engage your TikTok viewers within 3 seconds, they’re gone.

Unsurprisingly, the best TikTok paid campaigns often emerge from content generated by the people who know the platform best—from influencers.

At Slope, we always work with a select group of influencers to generate our paid creatives. The paid ad boost coupled with TikTok’s powerful lookalike targeting make it easy to find people who engage well with that influencer content.

Bottom line, sure. You can do a paid campaign and generate your own content, or run a pure influencer campaign—but the winning combo is always a bit of both.

Let’s Chat: hi@slope.agency