Do you overhear young people talking about TikTok and question the value of using it for your business marketing?

We’re here to tell you that this app, which is the fastest-growing in the world with 656 million downloads in 2021, is not just for sharing silly dance videos.

Here’s some context: social media giants Instagram and Facebook only had an average of 480 million downloads last year. 

TikTok may not be as large as Facebook (yet) but it’s catching on faster than any other app on the market. 

Why is it growing so quickly?

People love using it. In 2020, 88% of TikTok reviews were positive. It’s possible some users are migrating away from other apps that make them feel anxious or depressed to others that bring them joy. 

The other reason for TikTok’s success is its incredible algorithm that personalizes the experience for every single user. 

If you’ve never thought about using TikTok ads for your digital marketing strategy, now’s the time to consider it. It’s easy to use, affordable, and effective.

Keep reading the rest of this blog to learn more about the app and how you can use it to grow your business!

TikTok 101

Before diving into the specifics of marketing with TikTok, let’s cover the basics.

This Chinese app was first launched in 2018 by the company ByteDance. Known as Douyin in China, it was developed as a video-based app where users can share content like dances, pranks, or jokes.

Most videos are only a few seconds long but users can upload content that is up to 10 minutes in length. 

Shorter content will obviously perform better and TikTok experts recommend shooting for only 7 seconds if you want to hit the algorithm’s sweet spot. 

TikTok operates with hashtags like other apps and specific videos will trend, pushing others to replicate that content in their own unique way. Check out some of the trending videos here.

Like Snapchat or Instagram, TikTok also features sophisticated filters and effects. Users can also search through thousands of original sounds (recorded by users) to use in their videos. 

Many businesses or TikTok influencers will post videos about specific products or services. They allow a user to see how something works and TikTok’s algorithm ensures it reaches someone with that interest. 

The cosmetics industry has been killing it on TikTok but there are also videos on a variety of products.

Image of a tiktok page with gadgets from AmazonImage of onion slicer

TikTok page showing a gadge

Tiktok Page showing Cosmetics

TikTok gives your business the opportunity to promote its products or services organically, but there is also an ads manager that is similar to the one on Facebook. 

How Do TikTok Ads Work?

Once you’ve created a TikTok account for your business, it’s time to set up TikTok For Business

As stated above, the program works similarly to the Facebook Ads Manager. You select a campaign objective (Traffic, Conversions, or App Install) and set a budget.

Marketers are able to create up to 999 ad groups per campaign

TikTok also offers multiple placements: 

  • TikTok video ads
  • On the News Feed apps 
  • Pangle Placement 
  • Automatic Placement

TikTok operates other apps (BuzzVideo, TopBuzz, NewsRepublic, and Babe) where you can place your ads on the News Feed

A Pangle Placement allows you to extend audiences through TikTok’s audience network. 

And an Automatic Placement gives TikTok the power to optimize your ad delivery. 

The TikTok For Business platform allows you to select from three types of bidding: a cap on bidding, costs, or focusing on getting the lowest cost per event. You can even choose whether to separate your ad delivery equally or to go through as fast as possible. 

Another great option is to boost existing content, a quick and easy decision that is also popular on Facebook. 

Who Is TikTok’s Primary Audience?

No social media advertising campaign will be effective unless the marketer running it understands the primary audience on that app. 

If you didn’t know, social media apps have different audiences.

Globally, 35% of TikTok users are between the ages of 30 and 39. The second-largest audience segment of 28% is made up of users between the ages of 19 and 29. 

Women are the majority of users. They make up nearly 60% of the audience. 

While this app is the most popular in China, its other major markets include the United States, Indonesia, and Brazil. 

It’s clear that the primary audience on TikTok are young women. 

Overall, the app is an opportunity for businesses to start cultivating younger potential customers. They may not be a customer immediately but that may change in the future. Brand recognition would ensure that they reach out to you first. 

Some companies are even surprised by how well their products or services resonate on TikTok, even though they never considered targeting younger people directly. 

And one effect of TikTok’s rapid growth is that the population of older users will begin to increase as it did on Facebook. 

TikTok Ads vs. Facebook Ads: How Are They Different?

Previously, if you asked a PPC expert how these two systems were different, they would point out how Facebook is far more precise because they have collected so much data over the years.

That’s been true, until now!

We wrote another blog recently about using Facebook Ads after the iOS14 update. To summarize, Apple devices are now prompting users to decide if they want to be tracked across devices. 

Most users are saying no and, as a result, the data is not as reliable as it once was. It’s also forcing businesses to focus on smaller audiences and 1st Party Data.

We’ve been using TikTok here at The HOTH to promote our services. Ads through TikTok are cheaper than on Facebook and they are effective at finding the right audience.

In our opinion, using TikTok is like the gold rush days of Facebook Ads in 2010. 

There are four available ad options in TikTok For Business: 

  1. TopView: the first video users see when they open the app
  2. In-Feed Ads: these ads appear in a user’s feed as they explore videos
  3. Branded Hashtag Challenge: allows brands to start their own trends
  4. Branded Effects: connects brands with stickers, filters, or effects for engagement

What other ways is advertising on Facebook or TikTok different? 

You can only do videos on TikTok because that’s the format (plus it’s only available on mobile devices).

Some Facebook Ads seem to go on forever but successful TikTok ads need to connect with viewers in seconds. Advertisers on TikTok target by interest and the algorithm is more precise the longer someone spends on it.

The average TikTok session is 10.85 minutes! That’s higher than any other social media app.

How To Develop a Winning Lead Gen Campaign on TikTok

Once you’re ready to dive into TikTok Ads, we would recommend setting up lead generation campaigns. Here’s how you do it.

Start by creating a new campaign. As you can see below, you have multiple options.

Image showing a lead generation campaign


When you create a lead generation campaign on TikTok, users complete your lead form on the app rather than being sent to a separate landing page.

Your next step will be selecting an audience by age, gender, and location. Check out the top right-hand corner where our selections can potentially reach more than 133 million users.

Image showing targeting demographics

In the beginning, you have to do your best to reflect what interests your potential customers have. After a few days, TikTok will analyze the data from its algorithm and give you recommended interests.

Some of these recommended interests are relevant (like for us, IT services or Marketing & Advertising) but other interests are ones you never would’ve expected (for example, Agriculture, Forest, Animal Husbandry & Fishing). 

You should still run all of these recommended interests because nothing beats the TikTok algorithm.

Image Showing Recommended Interest Categories

Next, you will upload or create your content for the ad. A stellar blog post or lead magnet will work perfectly. 

Image showing uploading content on Tiktokad



TikTok also has an incredible editing system in its manager where you can create an effective ad without needing professional help.

You can search through TikTok’s library of music or sounds, and even search by which “tracks” are getting the “highest spend.” Text and stickers can be added as a user would on the app.

Image showing choosing background music for TikTok ad

After getting the video looking how you want it, your last step is to create a simple landing form to collect customer information. It only takes a few seconds and then your ad can go live!

Like TikTok—Then What Are You Waiting For?

The TikTok app is offering a big opportunity for many businesses to gain more exposure and collect more leads. 

Getting started with this popular app is as easy as opening an account. 

Once you get the hang of navigating the interface, finding trends, and posting your content using its sophisticated tools, you can establish your first-ever TikTok marketing strategy. 

As you read above, it’s cheaper than Facebook and runs off an incredible algorithm to connect you with the right users. 

Do you need help getting started with TikTok For Business? Simply schedule a consultation with our PPC team and we can guide you through every step.