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TikTok Ads Guide: Make Viral Videos & Grow Your Brand

A smartphone featuring the tiktok app with incorporated tiktok ads.A smartphone featuring the tiktok app with incorporated tiktok ads.

Some of you might hate it, but it is undeniable that TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms in many parts of the world, including Thailand. The application is somewhat seen as a creative arena where people compete to make the most exciting videos and exhibit their talent. Even more so for marketers who aim to make TikTok video Ads.

In the case of Thailand, TikTok had gained its fame in early March 2020 where the COVID-19 pandemic had just started to take form. The government issued social distancing measures, leaving many of us with more free time with nothing tangible to do. So they turned to this newly introduced social media as a form of escapism.

A report by We Are Social shows that in January 2021, the most downloaded application was TikTok, with the number of active users even surpassing Facebook and Line in that period. Furthermore, there are numerous ways to make TikTok Ads, so you have opportunities to create one that fits perfectly with your objective. This is one reason why many brands see TikTok as a potential digital marketing and advertising platform these days.

How did TikTok make its name in the Thai market?

  1. Because TikTok is full of challenges where the public can join in on the fun, and it's somewhat easy to go 'viral' on this platform. The 'Super Valentine' dance challenge, for instance, marks the start of the TikTok age in this country.
  2. Influencers and celebrities are flocking to this platform. Their followers from other platforms come along for their unique content, and they can duet with the stars they adore making them feel closer to their beloved celebs.
  3. There are tonnes of fun stickers, filters, games, and special effects to entertain both the creators and the audience.
  4. TikTok's algorithm does not take followers numbers into account for displaying videos on a feed, meaning anyone can make a name here expressing their creativity.
  5. The platform makes it easy for dummies to make great videos with creative tools and gimmicks to spice up their clips.
Types of TikTok Ads

Types of TikTok Ads

TikTok classified ads on their ads platform into 5 types to reach the target via TikTok for Business.

  1. TopView

This type of TikTok Ad pops up when the user opens the application, just like Brand Takeover, but only appears in fullscreen for 3 seconds. After that, it turns into In-feed Ad, meaning you can go bidding ads for as long as 60 seconds without being too aggressive. After 60 seconds, the Call-to-action button will show up.

  1. Brand Takeover

This one also shows up upon opening and appears in fullscreen for about 3-5 seconds to catch the user's attention. Compatible with both still images and videos.

  1. In-Feed Ads

This ad will only be displayed on the For You feed. It will appear like regular videos that the users can scroll through with a 'Sponsored' message and a CTA button at the bottom. The users can interact with it the way they would with other videos, making it very user-friendly. In-feed Ads can be as long as 60 seconds.

  1. Branded Hashtag Challenge

Creating branded hashtags on the Discovery page is a unique kind of TikTok Ads. It lets the public video makers join in on the fun by making their own version of the challenge, resulting in quality user-generated content (unpaid content from the general public with higher credibility than branded message). Branded Hashtag Challenge poses an 8.5% engagement rate and can stay on the feed for 3 to 6 days.

  1. Branded Effects

Video maker and brands can create their own stickers, filters, or effect related to the products or services. This is a fun and unique way to expose the audience to the brand and build recognition. This ad is usually incorporated with Branded Hashtag Challenge to add a fun gimmick to it a bit more.

Objective of advertising on TikTok

TikTok has divided the ad objectives into 3 phases and 6 objectives.

  1. Awareness Phase
    • Increasing reach
  1. Consideration Phase
    • Driving website traffic
    • Increasing app installs
    • Increasing video views
    • Lead generation
  1. Conversion Phase
    • Increasing conversion: sales, subscription, etc.

Audience Targeting

TikTok has made it possible for brands to use the Lookalike audience or a custom segment defined within the platform. It also has a function to exclude audiences that may not be the brand's potential customers.

Custom audiences in TikTok For Business are most likely already detailed enough to do advertising. The details of each topic are as follows.

  • Location
    • Country
    • City/Province
  • Gender
    • Male
    • Female
  • Age range
    • 13-17 years
    • 18-24 years
    • 25-34 years
    • 35-44 years
    • 45-54 years
    • 55 years and up
  • Interests
    • Travelling
    • Pets
    • Technology
    • Education
    • Beauty
    • News
    • Sports
    • Etc.
  • Behaviour in TikTok
    • Finishing videos
    • Pressing Like
    • Commenting
    • Sharing
  • Types of videos they interact with
    • Family
    • Lifestyle
    • Entertainment
    • Sports
    • Etc.
  • Engagement with Creator
    • Following
    • Viewing profile
  • Types of Creator they interact with
    • Funny
    • Talented
    • Family
    • Art
    • Sports
    • Etc.
  • Device
    • Android
    • iOS
  • Connection
    • Wifi
    • 2g
    • 3g
    • 4g
  • Internet provider
    • AIS
    • Dtac
    • True
  • Device price range

If you already have an audience, you can create a Lookalike Audience from old data by uploading a .csv or .txt file up to 1GB in size. This Lookalike Audience will relate to people who engage with the brand, download applications, visit websites, or even other prospective customers.

These TikTok affiliate applications can also launch the same campaign simultaneously with TikTok: TopBuzz, BuzzVideo, News Republic, Babe and Pangle.

Techniques and sizes for TikTok Ads

6 tips for creating impactful TikTok Ads

  1. Make vertical videos.

TikTok is designed to be watched vertically. To maintain a good viewing experience, your videos should be as natural and feel a part of the application as possible. This goes hand in hand with TikTok's recommendation to use a 9:16 aspect ratio for optimal performance.

  1. Start with something to hook the audience.

You should try scrolling the feed to see other people's clips. Answer this question: what makes us or our customers stop to watch that video clip? It could be something eye-catching or shocking. Use that answer to create and improve your videos to attract as many people as possible.

  1. Align the music with the video.

TikTok is a music-based app, lip-syncing (TikTok was previously part of popular American music app Musical.ly), and TikTok's videos automatically play music as soon as you open the app. Consider video and music pairing appropriately to make it more exciting and get people to watch.

Tip: Using locally popular music can help attract people.

  1. Cut it short.

TikTok users are constantly exposed to ads, so they often automatically skip when they know it is an ad.

Therefore, we should create the best content for that short time before they scroll past. We've found that most videos that are 10-25 seconds long tend to have more engagement.

  1. Keep up with the trends.

Try to keep your videos up to the latest trends. See what kind of music, effects, dance, or challenges people are into at the moment. This technique will give your ads more chances to get noticed and stand out from your competitors.

  1. Immitate User Genarated Content

It's a great challenge for marketers and brands as TikTok is an application focused on producing creative and out-of-the-box content. Marketers need to think like TikToker instead. Don't forget to measure and study audience behaviour to develop your strategy for your next posts.

And the most essential tip for successful TikTok Ads: don't create ads, create TikToks.

ภาพขนาดคลิปวิดีโอ TikTok Ads

Recommended TikTok video sizes

  1. Vertical
    • Ratio | 9:16
    • Size | 540 x 960 pixels
  1. Horizontal
    • Ratio | 16:9
    • Size | 960 x 540 pixels
  1. Square
    • Ratio | 1:1
    • Size | 640 x 640 pixels

File encryption and formats recommended by TikTok

  • File size
    • under 500MB
  • Formats
    • .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .avi and .gif
  • Video Bitrate
    • 512 kbps or more
  • Duration
    • 5 to 60 seconds
    • TikTok recommends 9 to 12 seconds
  • Safe zones
    • 44 pixels from the left
    • 140 pixels from the right
    • 130 pixels from the top
    • 483-484 pixels from the bottom

On the user's side

ภาพขนาดคลิปวิดีโอ TikTok

Video size and aspect ratio on TikTok

  1. Vertical
    • Ratio | 9:16
    • Size | 1080 x 1920 pixels

It is the most popular format in TikTok because the app is designed to support vertical playback.

  1. Horizontal
    • Ratio | 16:9
    • Size | 1920 x 1080 pixels

You can upload a vertical video and press the rotate button on the upload page to make it horizontal. It is a less common format as most video maker tend to make vertical content for mobile phone.

  1. Square
    • Ratio | 1:1
    • Size | 960 x 960 pixels

The square format is most often seen in horizontal videos with titles and subtitles inserted to make it easier for viewers to understand.

File encryption and formats

  • File size
    • Under 72MB for Android
    • Under 287.6MB for iOS
  • Formats
    • .mp4
    • .mov
  • Duration
    • 15 seconds
    • 60 seconds
    • Under 3 minutes

TikTok profile picture size

Ratio | 1:1

Size | 200 x 200 pixels

TikTok's minimum profile images size is at least 20 x 20 pixels, but we recommend images at 200 x 200 pixels for more sharpness. And only .JPG or .PNG images are compatible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which age group is the majority on TikTok?

A common misconception about TikTok is that every user is a GenZ. In fact, the platform is made up of 59% of users from the Millenial, GenX, and even Baby Boomer generations. The number of US adult TikTok users has grown over the past 18 months, with more downloads within the first quarter of 2020 than any other app in the history of the app.

Is TikTok a good advertising platform

It is easy and inexpensive to create campaigns with TikTok. Advertisers will have access to self-serving advertising features such as creative tools, flexible budgets, performance targeting, and business accounts. They can potentially reach millions of users worldwide and create brand content that shows creativity and drives engagement.  

How do you make a TikTok go viral?

Collaborating with TikTok influencer enables you to promote your brand via content that has the highest potential reach behind Facebook and Instagram. These influencers share their perspectives, recipes, families, dance moves and other aspects of their daily lives. The idea is to share experiences in the raw rather than using heavy editing, studio lighting, makeup, and camera work. This makes for more authentic and real content. 

How do you make an effective TikTok Ad?

Make smart decisions about who you partner with and how you deliver your promotions because TikTok users know when they're being marketed to. Work directly with video makers to align on a message and format that will work well for both you and your fan base, and at the same time produce real business results. In order to create these partnerships, TikTok matches brands with the best possible influencer.

How much do ads cost on TikTok

$10 per CPM is the starting price for TikTok ads. Depending on the ad format and duration, TikTok's cost of advertising can be between $50,000 to $120,000.

Is TikTok going to die soon?

TikTok is a great way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to social media marketing. In fact, it is only going to grow bigger from here. TikTok has created a new wave of creativity among people of all ages by taking over traditional forms of social media.

Need help with TikTok Ads for your brand?

If you are looking for help in advertising on TikTok, our team at Sphere Agency is here to help you create and plan your TikTok ads to help you achieve your objectives. See our social media marketing and content marketing service. If you're hooked, contact us now!

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By Yaya Adam on June 16, 2021


Sphere is a digital agency that helps brands create meaningful relationships with today’s highly-connected consumers. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, we offer end to end digital solutions built on strategy and driven by data.

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