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How To Get Started With TikTok Ads
Last Updated:  
September 12, 2022

How To Get Started With TikTok Ads

All anyone can talk about now a days is TikTok.

“Did you see that video on TikTok?” 

“I saw this restaurant on TikTok we should try it out”

“I bought this thingamabob from this TikTok I saw”

Even Mark Zuckerberg is trying to change Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm just to compete. 

What does this mean for businesses though? Is TikTok a viable channel to diversify into?

The answer is: yes.

If you aren’t running ads on TikTok right now you’re missing out on some of the lowest cost traffic we’ve seen since Facebook in 2015.

So how do you get started? I’ll give you a step-by-step breakdown on how we were able to scale to around $10k a day in spend. 

Let’s talk about Creatives.

Initially we took what we were using on Facebook and brough it over to TikTok. What did that do? Well, we were looking at $6 CPC’s and 0.2% CTR. So taking content created for Facebook and repurposing them on TikTok was a huge no. We knew this was going to happen but like they say, “test everything”.

The next set of content we tested were purely videos that looked like native TikToks. We filmed everything on our phones, used the TikTok editor, used native fonts, everything to make our ads look and feel like TikToks.

Overnight we dropped our CPC’s to $1 and our CTR’s instantly increased to above 1%.

A good format to follow for most brands in the DTC space would be something like this:

1) Start off with a great hook.

A hook needs to be strong visually as well as audibly. What is the user looking at in the first 3 seconds. Is it eye catching? What are you saying to the user, does it make them want to hear more? 

For a product like Obvi’s Super Collagen Protein, we typically like to go with something regarding hair, skin, or nails. 

Visual Example: Plucking out a ton of hair out of a hairbrush. (gross but intriguing)

Audible Example: Here is how I stopped my hair from falling out! (issue that someone can relate to) 

2) Agitate the problem.

Talk about the problem you’re trying to solve right now. Are you losing your hair every day? Do you hate going out in public because your hair won’t cooperate? Agitate the problem. Whoever is watching up until this point was intrigued by your initial hook, get them to relate to your personal problem. Whilst you’re talking about the problem in a voiceover, you should be featuring your product in the background. Unboxing, taking the product out of the cabinet, prepping your shaker cup etc.

3) What is the solution?

Sell your product. Why does it solve the problem the user is facing? How do you use it? When do you use it? When will you see results? Why are you the best damn collagen in the world?

While you’re hyping up why you’re the best product in the entire world, SHOW the user how to use it. Give them the experience of having the product without them having it in their hand.                

4) Close with a strong but subtle call to action.

You don’t want to close off an entertaining video with “BUY THIS NOW”. Tie the video together with the initial hook. “So if you’re looking for a solution to x, then you have to try this now”. We also try to throw in a question to the user too. Example: “Which flavor would you try?” This helps provoke overall engagement and ultimately leads to better cost of traffic, CTRs, etc.

5) In Closing…

Find a structure that works well for your product. Take the consumer through a journey. Then once you find a winning template, experiment by changing out the first 3 seconds and apply different hooks!

Let’s Talk About Campaign Structure

 There’s a few things that we have been testing but this structure seems to be performing the best right now.

Testing Structure

Let’s start with a testing campaign. This campaign is always going to be optimized for conversions.

For this structure, I have been testing out Automatic Creative Optimization as well as Automatic Targeting.

Let’s say you have 4 creatives you want to test.

You’re going to have 1 Ad Set for each Creative.

Here are your settings:

Promotion Type: Website

Pixel: Your Pixel

Optimization Event: Completed Payment

Placements: Automatic Placement

Creative Type: Turn ACO On

Targeting: Select Automatic Targeting

Location: Set Your Preferred Geographic Location

Budget: Start anywhere from $50-$100

Start Date/Time: Start any day just start at midnight 

Optimization Goal: If you have Value, use value, otherwise you can use Conversion

Bid Strategy: Don’t need to set minimum ROAS. 

Let’s Now Talk About Setting Up The Ads 

Set your custom identity: Either use the brand’s name and logo or you can create an entirely new identity to make it seem more organic, especially if It’s a UGC.

Upload your video.

Add 5 different headlines to test out.

Enter your website destination URL. Make sure you’re using the right UTM’s so TW can report on your data more accurately!

Let the ads rip!

Analyzing your ads

Typically I rarely give importance to CTR and CPC when it comes to Facebook ads but TikTok is a completely different animal. 

I monitor to ensure my CPC is ideally around $1 and my CTR is above 0.50%. Then I will look at overall engagement of the videos.

You can actually access these ad’s comments from within your business manager so make sure you’re moderating those. People on TikTok can be rude!

What to do if your creative starts to see conversions?

This is the fun part, but be patient. Start to scale up the budget slowly. Go from $50 to $100. If performance holds over the next day or so, double the budget again. 

Once we see some solid performance at around $500 a day, you’re ready to scale these creatives.

What to do if your creatives don’t see any conversions?

If your CPC and CTR look solid and you’re getting a decent amount of traffic to your landing page, it may be just that… your landing page.

Time to check out Google Analytics and look at your intra-funnel metrics!

If this is a proven landing page, then chances are it’s just the creative and not every video is going to be a winner! 

If your CPC and CTR look bad, high CPC and low CTR, then it’s definitely creative and you should get back to the drawing board!

Moving Your Tests Into Scaling Campaigns 

What we typically do now is take our winning creatives and headlines and toss them all into a single ACO and start at a higher budget of $500-$1000.

This structure is similar to the above but with small changes

Let’s say you have 4 winners you want to scale.

You’re going to have 1 main Ad Set for all your winners

Here are your settings:

Promotion Type: Website

Pixel: Your Pixel

Optimization Event: Complated Payment

Placements: Automatic Placement

Creative Type: Turn ACO On

Targeting: Select Automatic Targeting

Location: Set Your Preferred Geographic Location

Budget: Start anywhere from $500-$1000

Start Date/Time: Start any day just start at midnight

Optimization Goal: If you have Value, use value, otherwise you can use Conversion

Bid Strategy: Don’t need to set minimum ROAS.

On The Ad Creation Side

Take your winning videos add them to the ad creative.

Add your winning headlines.

Add your destination URL.

Let it rip!

Scaling Up Even Further 

If this campaign is performing well at a higher budget, start bumping the budget 20% every couple days. If performance holds, great keep pushing. If you’ve hit your KPI’s limit, it’s time to repeat this entire process all over again! Test another set of creatives and take those winners and create another scaling ad set!

How To Ensure Constant Success With TikTok Ads 

You should be sourcing content weekly. The main reason is because TikTok ads typically fatigue quicker than ads on Facebook.

So, if you can set up a process where you’re constantly securing 5-10 pieces of content to test then you’re absolutely golden.

Remember you don’t need to create 5-10 unique pieces of creative. You can take videos and swap out the first 3 seconds to try different hooks and angles!

Also, you should still be testing offers and landing pages. Ensuring that your conversion rate and offer is on point that TikTok users have no option but to buy! 

Bonus Tips

Recently we’ve been testing Instant Pages. Basically, this is creating landing pages directly on TikTok, think Instant Experiences/Canvas ads on Facebook but they actually work.

We just recently tested a listicle as an Instant Page and sent the traffic directly to a PDP and it was converting very well! We may try this approach but send to our product quiz too since that has a high conversion rate as well.

Never stop testing! The minute you stop the quicker the results and sales will come crashing down all around you.

About the Author

Ash Melwani

Ash Melwani is the co-founder & CMO of Obvi.

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