TikTok is a hot spot for mobile app advertising right now. It is not hard to see why. The platform’s massively growing userbase and affinity for short-form video make it an ideal environment for all mobile app advertisers. Learn what TikTok is, its platform capabilities, and the TikTok culture in this Definitive Guide to TikTok Advertising.

Here are just a few reasons why TikTok has become a must-use advertising platform so quickly:

  • It is big! With 800 million monthly active users, TikTok has a user base more than twice the size of Twitter (340+ million) and almost double the size of Reddit (430+ million). That makes it the sixth most popular app globally based on the number of monthly active users, and one of the most downloaded apps in 2020.
  • It is global. TikTok users span 150 countries worldwide (so you can do plenty of testing to smaller countries before you roll out to the US audience).
  • Its userbase is well-off. 51.8% of TikTok users in the United States make over $75,000 per year.
  • It is insanely video-friendly. “TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video.” The platform has video ads and influencer marketing built into its DNA.

Definitive Guide to TikTok 101: What it is, platform capabilities, and culture


TikTok is, at its essence, a video-sharing social media platform. It lets users create videos by recording them directly from their phones using the app. This direct recording often looks the most “native” on the app, but you can also upload video from outside sources. Just make sure they’re short – TikTok videos can only be 9 to 60 seconds (unless you use a special trick to stitch them together for a video of up to five minutes and they just announced up to 3-minute native ads).

TikTok is conceptually like Instagram in that users can customize their videos with filters, stickers, background music, and other effects. Once videos are shared/published, other users can like, comment, or share the original video. They can also download the TikTok video and share it on other social media platforms. The video will still clearly be branded TikTok, even on a completely different platform, thanks to the TikTok logo and the embedded username of whoever created the video.

Unlike Instagram, TikTok content and its userbase have a reputation for being authentic. TikTok culture does not expect the visual perfection of Instagram, and that would be a disadvantage. TikTok is more playful, “real life” and authenticity driven.



Table of Contents




  • TikTok 101: What it is, platform capabilities, and TikTok culture


Section One: How to Get Started with TikTok Advertising


  • An introduction to TikTok’s advertising platform
  • An introduction to TikTok’s advertising platform
  • Standard TikTok ads
  • Non-standard TikTok ads
  • How can marketers use TikTok?
  • How to set up your first TikTok advertising campaign





Section Two: Best Practices for TikTok Ads


  • Creative Testing
  • TikTok Automated Creative Optimization
  • TikTok Creative Specs
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Bids and budgets





Section Three: Media Buying Best Practices for TikTok Ads


  • TikTok audience targeting
  • Custom Audiences
  • Retargeting and the TikTok Pixel
  • Ad placements
  • Optimization goals
  • How much do TikTok ads cost?






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