Over the past few years, TikTok has proliferated, becoming one of the most popular social media platforms with over one billion monthly active users.
Beyond its reputation as a creative space, TikTok is increasingly becoming ideal for effective advertising, particularly for eCommerce businesses looking to tap into a dynamic and engaged audience.
With 60% of TikTok users being Gen Zers, it offers a prime demographic for brands targeting a younger audience. The platform's algorithm-driven content ensures ads reach suitable viewers, and its engaging, short-form videos showcase creative products.
Incorporating TikTok into your eCommerce strategy can help your business capitalize on the trend-setting culture, fostering brand awareness and driving sales.
This article will explore TikTok's advertising platform, providing essential information and assessing its potential value for your marketing efforts.
What are TikTok ads for eCommerce?
Like other social media platforms, TikTok uses in-app advertisements to promote content and products for individuals and businesses. Users can choose objectives such as video views, website visits, or product sales.
This advertising approach leverages the platform's engaging short-form videos to effectively reach and engage the target audience, promoting various objectives and enhancing overall visibility for users and businesses alike.
Types of TikTok ads for eCommerce
TikTok offers various advertising options for businesses, but you need to choose the correct ad format based on your goals, target audience, and the ads that will grab their attention.
There are different kinds of TikTok ads, each serving a specific purpose suitable for different campaign objectives. Let's quickly review them so you can pick the one that works best for you:
1. In-Feed Ads
TikTok in-feed ads are short video ads that appear in users' "For You" feed as they scroll through the app. These ads can be up to 60 seconds long and include music, effects, and other creative elements. Users can engage with these ads by liking, commenting, and sharing.
2. Branded Hashtag Challenges
The branded hashtag is a popular ad on TikTok, where brands create their own hashtag challenges to encourage user-generated content. These challenges encourage users to create and share videos related to a specific theme or task and post them with a defined hashtag.
These ads are prominently featured at the top of the Discovery page. When users click on these hashtags, they are directed to the landing pages to view other videos related to the hashtag challenge.
3. Branded Effects
Brands can create custom AR effects or filters for users to use in their videos. This allows brands to engage with users in a fun and interactive way, and users can create unique content with these effects. The ad can last up to 10 days and is a great way to increase user engagement.
4. TopView Ads
In-feed ads are the first thing users see when they open the TikTok app. TopView ads are full-screen 60-second videos that provide an immersive viewing experience and capture the user's attention.
5. Branded Takeover ads
Branded takeover ads pop up when users open the TikTok app, take over the screen for a few seconds, and then change into an in-feed video ad. These ads typically consist of a full-screen, three- to five-second image or a three-second GIF, offering an immediate and impactful introduction to the brand. Brands can include custom logos to enhance brand recall, making it more likely for viewers to remember and recognize the brand.
6. Collection ads
Collection ads are in-feed ads that take your customers straight to the instant gallery page. When you tap on one of these ads, you go to a full-screen page about those products. Brands can put up to four pictures or videos that you can click on to see more about each product. These ads are made to make shopping fun and easy on TikTok, letting you check out and learn more about the products without leaving the app.
7. Spark ads
Spark Ads allows your brand to amplify organic content created by a TikTok creator, giving the impression that it's directly from the user rather than your brand. If the creator has produced genuine content featuring your brand's product or service, you can ask permission to use it as a Spark Ad. Instead of sharing it on your brand's page, you can boost or run Spark Ads directly from the creator's page. This approach allows brands to use user-created content.
How much do TikTok ads for eCommerce cost?
As cliche as it sounds, it depends. Depending on your campaign goals, you can spend as much or as little as you want on TikTok ads. The minimum campaign-level budget is $50 per day, and the minimum ad-group-level budget is $20 per day.
Looking for specifics on how eCommerce businesses are using TikTok ads and what the current state of advertising looks like? Download our State of Advertising report today.
Our report includes insights on the social media platforms being commonly used by eCommerce businesses to run promotions, the average budgets they set aside, the cost of customer acquisition experienced by them and what brands can do to double their ROAS.
Real life examples of TikTok ads for eCommerce and success stories
While there are many eCommerce businesses using TikTok ads, here are some that will inspire your next campaign:
1. Into the Eve
This British eCommerce brand is known for selling vegan soaps. Into the Eve thinks outside the box, where their ads go beyond traditional influencer collaborations and branded hashtags.
They showcase the soap manufacturing process to pique users' interest, improving their brand presence. The account now has almost 116,000 followers, and their videos have around 2.2 million likes.
2. e.l.f Cosmetics – In-feed ads
The beauty brand e.l.f. Cosmetics has successfully leveraged In-Feed Ads on TikTok to boost sales. e.l.f. relies on a strategic blend of visual and audio elements to showcase its brand compellingly.
What makes this In-Feed Ad effective is its ability to enhance the essence of beauty to its fundamental components. The ad employs slow-motion shots and strategic zooming, creating an engaging and visually dynamic experience for viewers. The addition of sparkles contributes a touch of glamor, enhancing the overall appeal of the content.
One of the standout features is the incorporation of fantastic original music, which adds a distinctive and memorable element to the advertisement. The brand has skilfully engaged users through visual creativity and a compelling soundtrack. This has also translated into increased sales, showcasing the efficiency of well-executed In-Feed Ads on TikTok.
3. Too Faced - Brand takeover
Brand takeovers briefly dominate the user's app for a few seconds. Too Faced skilfully uses this opportunity to promote its cruelty-free lip-plumping gloss. The ad strategically combines shots of individuals applying the product with close-ups of the gloss and information about its benefits.
The ad alternates shot transitions to capture and maintain the user's attention, ensuring that each frame efficiently communicates key aspects of the product within the limited timeframe. This approach helps maximize video views by presenting a visually engaging and information-packed promotional message.
How to create a TikTok ad strategy for eCommerce
You can develop a successful TikTok paid ads strategy for your eCommerce business by combining creativity, strategic targeting, and continuous optimization.Here are some effective TikTok ad strategies to help you create impactful campaigns:
1. Know Your Audience
Understand and identify your target demographic and their interests, behaviors, and preferences on TikTok. Analyze their interests, behaviors, and preferences to tailor your content and delivery to better resonate with them.
2. Set Clear Goals and Budget
Define your campaign objectives, such as driving website traffic, increasing sales, or boosting brand awareness. Based on these objectives, set a realistic budget and allocate resources strategically across different ad formats.
3. Leverage TikTok Ad Formats
Explore and use the various ad formats available on TikTok, such as In-Feed Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenges, Branded Effects, and TopView. Each format serves a different purpose and can help diversify your advertising approach.
4. Create Engaging and Authentic Content
TikTok thrives on authenticity. Develop creative, visually appealing content that aligns with the platform's culture. Instead of traditional ads, use storytelling or humor to engage viewers and make your content shareable.
5. Collaborate with TikTok Influencers
Partnering with influencers can extend your reach and lend authenticity to your brand. Choose influencers whose audience aligns with your target demographic. Influencers can create content that feels more native and relatable to their followers.
6. Optimize for Mobile Viewing
Design ads for mobile viewing, considering shorter attention spans and the vertical format of TikTok videos. Ensure your product is showcased prominently within the first few seconds to capture users' attention.
7. Optimize Ad Creativity
Ensure your ad creativity aligns with TikTok's style and is visually appealing. Capture attention within the first few seconds to encourage users to watch the entire video. Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) to guide users to take the next action, such as visiting your website or making a purchase.
8. Test and Iterate
Use TikTok's analytics tools to monitor the performance of your ads. Continuously test ad creatives, targeting options, and strategies. Analyze the data and iterate your strategy based on what works best for your eCommerce business.
Best practices to follow - TikTok ads for eCommerce
While there is no one way to use TikTok ads for promoting your eCommerce business, here are some best practices we do recommend following to get more sales from the platform:
1. Use AI campaign stores
SimplicityDX offers AI Campaign Stores to help you convert social content like images and videos from paid ad campaigns into fully shoppable stores. These stores enable interested shoppers to find the products they saw in the ad campaign and explore related items, helping your brand increase the chances of conversions and make more sales.
In fact, ModCloth has been using SimplicityDX AI Campaign Stores for their social media campaigns. The ability to engage their target audience on a deeper level, has helped the brand reduce the bounce rate of their social traffic by 17% and also reduce their customer acquisition cost by almost 50%.
2. Grab attention quickly
TikTok recommends grabbing attention within the first 3 seconds to prevent viewers from scrolling past your ad. Start with something visually striking or intriguing.
So the video you intend to use in your TikTok ad, should be focused on engaging and hooking the consumer's attention right away. A good strategy is to put forward either an offer or a validation in the form of social proof - testimonials, reviews or influencers.
3. Stick to TikTok specifications
Ensure your ad meets TikTok's image and video specifications. Blurry or improperly sized content can appear unprofessional and lead users to dismiss the ad.
4. Frequent ad updates
Refresh your ads regularly to prevent ad fatigue. Experiment with different ad formats and content to keep the audience engaged.
5. Strategic placement of information
Given the crowded nature of TikTok pages, position crucial information in the middle of the screen. Ensuring that key details are visible enhances the overall impact of your ad.
This is where SimplicityDX AI Campaign Stores win too! Considering the limitations of the platform when it comes to adding content or more information on products being promoted, these Campaign Stores give you more room. Book a demo to learn more.
6. Clear-cut ad language
Ensure that your ad speaks the language of the people watching it. If viewers can't understand your ad, even if it's fantastic, it won't work well. Consider translating your ad or making versions in different languages to make it more appealing to people worldwide.
7. Leverage TikTok Trends
Stay informed about TikTok trends and incorporate them into your ad strategy. Aligning your content with popular trends can increase discoverability and resonate with users.
8. Harness the Power of Hashtag Challenges
Hashtag challenges are a popular way to engage users. Create a branded challenge that encourages users to participate and create content related to your brand. Ensure the challenge is easily shareable and has a CTA.
9. Engage with User-Generated Content
Inspire users to create content related to your brand. User-generated content fosters a sense of community and can be a powerful way to showcase your product or service.
If you use SimplicityDX AI Campaign Stores, you can actually turn all the user generated content shoppable too. The AI-powered stores are able to blend content from TikTok with the commerce experience on your brand site, giving consumers the ability to shop what inspires them the most. Learn more here.
10. Create Interactive Content
Encourage user interaction with your ad. This could include polls, challenges, or calls to action that prompt users to engage with your content.
TikTok is the place to be if you want to boost sales and brand authority for your eCommerce store. However, it is critical to implement the right TikTok paid ads strategy to ensure success.
With SimplicityDX, you can leverage the power of AI Campaign Stores to transform the way customers shop online. Instead of simply using TikTok to promote your brand, products and discounts, create AI Campaign Stores that can help you take the shopping to the buyers there - reduce the purchase cycle, and see more sales come in!