How to Create TikTok Ads: A Step-By-Step Guide

As a social media phenomenon that blew up during the pandemic, TikTok now has more than 1 billion active users worldwide. Since 2016, the video-sharing platform has taken social media by storm and rapidly expanded into over 150 markets.

As TikTok gains momentum to a wider range of demographics outside the Gen Z circles, the platform is also beginning to build its own advertising platform for brands. However, despite its unprecedented growth, TikTok advertising remains a mystery for some brands.

This TikTok ads guide will help brands learn how to advertise on the platform and the steps for getting started in creating one. We also have several best practices to get brands inspired on their first TikTok ad!

Are TikTok ads worth it?

The short answer: YES.

Advertising on TikTok is a great opportunity for brands.

TikTok has been the first non-Meta app to reach 3 billion downloads since July 2021, with an average of 50 million active users in the US, it’s safe to assume why it’s gaining a lot of traction lately.

Since its active users already outrank Twitter and Snapchat, it makes sense to dive into the platform now when it’s less saturated with brands compared to other social media options.

Advertising on TikTok offers unique opportunities that when used effectively and creatively, will help your brand reach and connect with a global community. 

Why brands should advertise on TikTok? 

REASON 1: Worldwide reach

TikTok is one of the world’s most downloaded apps for the past three years with daily active users in over 150 countries. 

REASON 2: Effective engagement

TikTok’s lighthearted and imaginative video sharing format inspires a lot of widespread and viral user participation that generates a high level of engagement on the platform.

REASON 3: Creative ad formats

TikTok has a variety of ad formats that made it easy for brands to capture and transform images and videos into engaging ads. They also have marketing partners like Shakr that easily empowers brands to scale and deploy their creative video ads.   

REASON 4: Precise targeting

Brands can easily connect and reach their potential consumers by targeting their audience by gender, location, age, interest, and other unique variables.

REASON 5: Transparent tracking

Brands can easily monitor their ad’s performance with detailed data and customized reports. As TikTok’s marketing partner, Shakr also helps brands analyze the ad’s creative performance and create various iterations of ads with high levels of engagements.

Getting Started: Steps to Create a TikTok Ads Manager Account

Brands can get started on TikTok Ads manager by creating an account and passing the account review. Here’s how to get started: 

STEP 1: Create a log-in

Go to the signup page of TikTok Ads Manager and fill in the required fields (email, address or phone number, and password). Click “Send Code” to receive the verification code and then agree to the terms and conditions. “Sign Up” afterward to create the login. 

STEP 2: Open an account

Fill in the fields pertaining to the basic information about the brand, including the country and region, time zone, and preferred currency for billing. The name of the business is also needed, which should be the same as (or related to) the brand’s legal name. Before proceeding, double-check if the information is accurate, then click “Register” to open a TikTok Ads Manager account. 

STEP 3: Enter the brand’s business information

If logging in for the first time, there will be a pop-up form that redirects to the business and billing information. Fill in the required fields about the company, including the street address, state/province, and postal code where the business is registered. Fill in the URL of the company’s website with the format: Passing the account review requires the brand to have a working website, containing all the brand’s products and services.

STEP 4: Select payment method

Choose between automatic and manual payment method (if available in your location). Keep in mind that after setting up the payment method, brands can no longer change it.

STEP 5: Submit account information

Check all the required information if it’s accurate then click submit at the bottom of the page. TikTok will review the information and you’ll receive a confirmation within 24 hours if the account has been approved.

If the account has been rejected, here are the 4 common reasons why accounts were not approved:

·   The business name submitted did not match the business name on the website or official documents.

·   The company website was entered in the wrong format. It should be:

·   The company website does not clearly promote a product or has no valid information on the landing page.

·   Promotion of the products or services is prohibited in the market (e.g. cigarettes, flamethrowers, walrus tusks, etc.) Check out TikTok’s Advertising Guidelines to see if the brand’s products and services are in line with the policies.

Steps to Creating Your First TikTok Ad

STEP 1: Set your objectives.

Once the brand’s account has been approved, log into TikTok Ads Manager and click the Campaign button where TikTok breaks seven ad objectives into three categories which are: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversions.

·   Awareness drives as much visibility and reach to the brand and narrows down the targeting.

·   Consideration helps brands grow their followers for higher engagement rates through website traffic, app installs, or video views.

·   Conversions drive specific actions to the brand’s website like a purchase or subscription.

STEP 2: Create ad groups and select placements.

Brands can now choose to run ads on multiple properties, including apps that are part of the TikTok network like BuzzVideo and Pangle. For beginners, it’s easier to start with auto-placement while advanced users can choose fully manual and select placements where they prefer to run the ads.

Just like other social media platforms, users can upload various creative ads and build ad variations for testing the best possible combinations.

·   Audiences

This ad group defines the target audience based on demographics, location, device, behavior, and interests.

·   Customer Lists

With customer lists, it’s recommended to create lookalike audiences for campaigns, while leveraging website traffic and engagement to set custom audiences. Brands need to set up the TikTok pixel on their website for this to be up and running.

STEP 3: Choose the right type of ad.

Just like any other type of digital ads, brands need to put a significant amount of time and effort to craft creative ads that will garner a lot of attention from their target audience. Here are various ad options from TikTok.

·   In-feed Ads

Ads that show within the user’s “For You” page, making them natively integrate with the user’s feed so it’s more organic and less intrusive compared to other formats.

·   Brand Takeover Ads

Suited for brands with a lot of budget (minimum of $50k) that are looking to make an impression. The ad will show up as soon as the user opens the app and visits a category with a short full-screen video for three to five seconds. TikTok only allows one Brand Takeover Ad per day for maximum impact.

·   TopView Ads

Just like the Brand Takeover Ad, TopView Ads appear at the top of the user feed and it’s also the first video that the user sees when they open the app. It can be up to 60 seconds lone and it’s said to boost brand awareness and trigger interactions.

·   Hashtag Challenge

Branded hashtag challenges encourage users to create content that’s aligned with the brand’s products, services, and values. It’s shown at the top of the discovery page and will lead to a landing page that showcases a collection of videos from the hashtag challenge.

·   Branded Effects

TikTok’s Branded Effects allow brands to create their own stickers, lenses, and general effects that users can share and engage using TikTok’s AR. It can last up to 10 days.

·   Spark Ads

Spark Ads use existing TikTok posts that can be converted into ads. Brands can use their own posts, or posts made by creators, and all views, comments, shares, likes, and follows will be attributed to the organic post.

·   Search Ads (Beta)

TikTok recently started to test its search ads for selected partners where video ads with a “sponsored” label will be displayed in the user’s search results.

STEP 4: Design your ad.

TikTok ads contain images and videos in horizontal, vertical, and square formats. To make it easier for brands who are only starting out on TikTok ads, they can tap into TikTok’s official marketing partners like Shakr to create bespoke creative ads and dynamic video campaigns for their product catalog on TikTok.

Creative Best Practices from Shakr

YesStyle: Dynamic Showcase Ads

With the help of Shakr, YesStyle used both self-recorded TikTok assets and the Shakr Creative Lab team’s native model recordings to create high-quality TikTok templates for their product catalog. Each SKU in their catalog was plugged into one of the four TikTok templates at random to offset ad fatigue, and then the Shakr video technology rendered tens of thousands of assets, one for each product.

Key Results:

·   178% ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)

·   -70% CPM (Cost Per Mile)

·   -12% CPC (Cost Per Click)

The high-quality creatives drove a whopping 178% increase in ROAS compared to their static DPA campaigns on Facebook, proving that programmatic DPA creatives at scale can drive tremendous results by mimicking the native and organic look and feel on the TikTok platform.

FilGood: Dynamic Geo Ads

Major Korean beer brand, FilGOOD utilizes Shakr’s Dynamic Geo Ads for their brand awareness campaign on Facebook and Instagram. FilGOOD successfully increased its audience’s purchase intent by 31%. Localizing their video ad assets for 50 of the largest areas in Seoul and Incheon. By uploading their TV asset to Shakr and layered on localization messaging that indicated what area their viewer was. 

Key Results:

·   31% increase in purchase intent

·   +2.2pts increase in overall purchase intent

·   +3.95pts increased purchase intent in the target audience

LG Electronics: Dynamic Weather Ads

As a global brand, LG wanted to effectively and efficiently run dynamic campaigns in the Philippines region promoting relevant products depending on the location’s air quality and temperature.

The Shakr Dynamic AQI and Weather Ads, is a combination of the Shakr Dynamic Solution with an AQI and weather open source data. This is an effective campaign solution for brands that promote product/solutions globally.

Key Results:

·   138% increase in CTR (Click Through Rate)

·   150% increase in Video Average Watch Time

·   70% increase in Audience Reach

Shakr is here to help you get started on your first TikTok Ad!

Shakr can take your brand’s video ads on a massive scale. It doesn’t matter whether you have your own internal creatives capabilities or you just need help crafting a video ads campaign for a specific social media platform.

Shakr can help your brand from the ground up by simply following these easy steps:

1. Schedule a discovery call to understand your goals, objectives, and creative strategy.

2. Shakr provides an end-to-end scaled creative campaign proposal for your brand.

3. Shakr’s Creative Lab Team will produce your bespoke video templates optimized for scale on social media, or we help you onboard your own templates.

4. The TikTok Campaign is set up through Shakr’s ads integration.

5. The campaign goes live, and Shakr helps you to analyze creative performance and iterations.


Cardona, L. (2022). How to Advertise on TikTok: Step by Step Guide. Retrieved 13 May 2022, from

TikTok Ads For Beginners: A Complete Guide & Steps To Success. (2022). Retrieved 13 May 2022, from Ads Manager 101: Getting started. (2022). Retrieved 13 May 2022, from

Slye is an inbound marketing professional who specializes in growth-focused content marketing. He is the Managing Director at Content Hacker.

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