TikTok Advertising 101: A Beginner's Guide for E-Commerce Companies

Scarlet Sieiro

If you're looking to set up your TikTok e-commerce strategy you've come to the right place. This post will teach you everything you need to know about how to get started on TikTok, how to create a business TikTok account, and why TikTok is such a great platform for e-commerce owners.


In this guide, we'll focus primarily on how to set up a TikTok ads account, how to understand and use TikTok ads manager, and the steps for creating your first ad campaign on the platform.


We’ll also explain TikTok ad engagement and how you can maximize your viewership and ROI without going above your ad budget.


The platform is a fantastic opportunity for brands across a wide array of niches to connect with their audience through fun, relatable content. Ready to get started? Let’s dive right in!

Setting Up a TikTok Ads Account

A TikTok Ads account allows you to run paid advertising on the platform. It’s where you’ll set up your content, identify your target audience, and review all the important ad performance metrics.


The TikTok Ads Manager account setup process is super easy. You can tackle it in just five steps:


  1. Head over to the official TikTok Ad’s Manager signup page
  2. Fill in all the required details
  3. Enter the verification code sent to your email or phone number
  4. Review and agree to the terms and conditions
  5. Sign in to get started!

Before You Make Your First Campaign

But wait! You’re not ready to run ads just yet. Beginners on TikTok need to make videos first, so they can start attracting an audience. The last thing you want is to have people click your page out of curiosity, only to see a totally blank feed.


So, before you launch an ad campaign, make sure you’ve posted at least six videos onto the platform first.


We suggest taking a look at industry hashtags as well as your competitors’ profiles. This will help you get an idea of what people in your target audience enjoy watching. Pay particular attention to metrics, especially likes, shares, and comments. Find out what all of the top performing videos in your niche have in common, and incorporate those characteristics into your own videos.


Make sure you follow some accounts as well, so you can routinely get updates on their posts. The more accounts you interact with, the better video suggestions you receive from the TikTok algorithm.


Your “For You” feed is a list of curated videos that the platform selects based on your history. This is why it’s crucial to use your business account solely for business.


One common misconception newcomers have about TikTok videos is that they’re all dance challenges and voiceovers. In reality, TikTok has everything from cooking tutorials to product demonstrations. There’s no limit to what you can create and share.


Before running ads, we suggest getting comfortable with TikTok, video editing, and posting. More importantly, make sure you’re familiar with trends, and how to use them to boost engagement without paying a dime.


Specifically, focus on trending hashtags, sounds, and music. These are what will get you the most views in the shortest amount of time. Just try to incorporate your own brand creatively. TikTok is a platform that highly values authenticity. No over-the-top sales pitches or gimmicky content will fly here.

Get Ready to Run Ads

Now that you’ve learned the ropes, you are ready to start exploring ads. First and foremost, make sure you have a good marketing objective. All ad campaign goals should be clear, actionable, and measurable.


There are a lot of terms that get thrown around in marketing that sound great but are too vague, like “boost recognition”or “increase awareness.” Instead of defaulting to one of these objectives, think of one you can actually define and analyze.


For example, “increase our follower count by200 this month” or “boost views by 50%,” are great goals for a small business owner.


TikTok Ads has built-in campaign objectives that help you specifically tailor your ad displays to reach your goals. Fore-commerce brands, the most relevant picks include increasing web traffic and driving conversions.


When you select an objective, the platform will be able to optimize ad placement for your goal.


Here are the best TikTok ad objectives for e-commerce businesses to use:


●     Traffic. You want to get people to visit your website; this can be general or page-specific.

●     Reach. Reach campaigns are designed to expand your audience, so more people see your content and follow your brand online.

●     Views. You want more people to actually watch your video ads, which increases the likelihood of engagement.

●     Lead generation. You want to run ads that inspire people to complete a form and provide information, so you can market to them later.

●     Community interaction. You’re running ads with the hope of increasing engagement in meaningful ways, either by increasing profile page views or follower count.

●     Website conversions. You want to drive traffic from TikTok to your e-commerce store and get users to convert by performing a specific on-site action.


As you can see, TikTok ads are highly versatile, so you can benefit from them no matter what your goal is, or what stage of growth your business is currently at. Both new and established e-commerce brands can benefit from using TikTok ads to increase their follower count, drive conversions, and expand their audiences.

Setting Up a Campaign Budget

Your ad spend is one of the most important parts of your company’s budget, so optimization from day one is essential.


Small businesses tend to struggle when it comes to setting an ad budget. They have a tendency to overpay, thinking more money will equate to greater success. This isn’t the case all the time, and it can become a costly mistake if you spend too much without first testing your ad performance.


TikTok ads cost $500 for a campaign, and it costs around $10 per 1,000 views. The exact cost for your views will vary depending on the industry you’re marketing to, the age demographic of your audience, and how you display your ads. Speaking of which:


●     In-feed ads are directly displayed in users’ “For You” feeds, seamlessly blending into their viewing experience.These ads feature an interactive call-to-action, which is perfect for driving traffic and conversions.

●     Top-view ads appear on someone’s screen when they open TikTok’s app for the first time each day, and they last up to 60 seconds.


There are also brand takeover ads and branded hashtags, but these cost between $50,000 to $150,000. They’re reserved for large-scale companies marketing to millions of people.


The goal to maximizing your ROI on TikTok is to make sure you fine-tune your creative assets. The imagery, music, and copy needs to be in-touch with brands your audience already loves, especially if you’re a newcomer to the e-commerce scene.


Furthermore, it’s important to optimize the ad to run at peak times in your audience. When are they most active? Paying to run ads at night when most of your audience checks their phones in the afternoon would be a mistake.


Luckily, TikTok has its own feature built-in that ensures ads will be displayed to people in your target audience when they’re most active.

Creating Engaging TikTok Ads

A big budget doesn’t save a bad ad. In order to maximize your ROI, you have to make ads that your audience wants to engage with. Remember, TikTok is a no-frills kind of platform. People there want to see real content that’s fun, lighthearted, and modern. This isn’t the place to run any over-the-top commercials or content that looks too polished.


Many brands are able to film and create content using nothing but a smartphone and good hashtags. Make sure you also perform routine research, and play into any trending challenges that could increase visibility for free.

Using Influencer Marketing on TikTok

Influencer marketing has skyrocketed in recent years thanks to their established audiences. E-commerce brands can tap into an existing community and gain trust of followers by having an influencer suggest their products.


Not all influencers cost thousands of dollars, either. There are many nano influencers who charge under $100 for a post. Their small communities tend to be much more tight-knit and engaged, so they can deliver a major visibility boost to a growing store.


After you’ve found some influencers you’d like to work with, reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in a campaign. You can then determine whether their rates are in your budget, and what type of content they could make for your brand.

Analyzing and Optimizing TikTok Advertising Campaigns

TikTok Ads Manager includes analytic reports that you can review to fine-tune your strategy. It’s important to always monitor your performance and make any changes as needed. The goal is to lower your costs while increasing engagement.


Ways to lower ad spend include A/B testing, market research prior to launch, and updating objectives routinely.


Now you’re ready to set up and manage your own TiKTok campaigns! While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for success, these best practices can help you create engaging ads that convert.

Remember, authenticity is the key on this platform. The highly professional ads you may be used to seeing are a thing of the past — and what a relief that is!