Using TikTok for business? Here’s how to make TikTok advertising work for you (2024)

TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform in the world. This wildly popular app was among the most frequently downloaded across the globe during the past two years.

TikTok’s fast-paced, short-form video content offers users clips about everything from personal finance to viral dance trends. The TikTok app was initially called when it launched in 2014. It became popular with young users who created lip-sync and dance videos. In 2016, a Chinese tech company, Bytedance, launched it in China as an app called Douyin and then sent it to market worldwide in 2017.

TikTok at a glance

  • Boasts well over 800 million users around the globe. This newer app is more popular than well-established social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Linked In
  • Eclipsed its competitors with rapid growth. It took Facebook four years to gain as many active users as TikTok has amassed. Instagram? Six years.
  • Ninety percent of TikTok users use the app every day. And they spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app.

Why turn to TikTok for businesses?

As of April 2020, TikTok had been downloaded more than two billion times worldwide.

Sensor Tower, 2020

Many brands and businesses view TikTok as a platform that’s based entirely on consumer creators — not something that’s intended for business marketing. But that’s a short-sighted strategy that could potentially do your business more harm than good.

Early adopters of a smart TikTok advertising strategy for their business will undoubtedly reap the benefits (and lower cost per advertising unit) before the market is proliferated by your competitors.

So what’s unique or special about using TikTok as a business right now?

1. Because authenticity matters

Right now, authenticity in marketing matters more than ever. The era of the so-called “perfect post” is coming to an end. What consumers crave is authenticity. They’d rather see a less polished but more genuine piece of content from the brands they follow.

TikTok lends itself well to this type of relaxed content. TikTok videos are often timely, topical, and funny takes on modern life — and for any business that operates exclusively online, TikTok can give the brand a place to show off its relatable human element.

2. Because you want a direct line to Gen Z

If your business wants attention from young people, TikTok isn’t a nice-to-have — it’s a must. According to a 2020 study, a whopping 62 percent of TikTok’s users are between the ages of 10 and 29.

With numbers like this, anyone going after Gen Z’s attention can’t afford to ignore TikTok.

3. Because competition is still relatively low

More seasoned platforms like Facebook and Instagram have had years to create a profitable market of advertisers. But, TikTok still offers a lower cost than the other social media giants. Anyone who has ever dabbled with Facebook ads knows how quickly the bill can rack up — and you might not get any results.

Organic TikTok content, on the other hand, can be created at a much lower cost per video than paid traffic. And TikTok content’s authentic vibe makes it easy and inexpensive to produce a simple video that costs very little to create and can be promoted organically (or go viral, if you’re doing things right).

How do businesses use TikTok?

We’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to be a great dancer or meme-maker to thrive on TikTok. In fact, TikTok is proving to be a secret weapon for small businesses, with the power to sell out everything from feta cheese to self-tanner.

Here are some stories from real Vimeo Create users on how they’re utilizing the platform to raise brand awareness, boost reach and impressions and, ultimately, drive sales.

“The video creation is what we see as one of the most difficult parts of launching on TikTok, where creative is everything — Vimeo solved this for us seamlessly.”

– Sabeena Ladha, Founder of Deux

Power Wearhouse

For the folks at Power Wearhouse, a weighted wearables company specializing in weighted vests designed to boost any workout, video is vital to explaining exactly what their product can do. “Our hero product – the most comfortable weighted vest on the market – has a lot to say,” says Michelle Lerner, Chief Strategy Officer of Power Wearhouse.

“The best thing about the Vimeo Create TikTok templates was that they gave us a way to focus the conversation. The templates were a really helpful way for us to organize our thoughts around a clear brand message, in a way that felt native to TikTok.”

Michelle Lerner, Chief Strategy Officer of Power Wearhouse

“The best thing about the Vimeo Create TikTok templates was that they gave us a way to focus the conversation. The templates were a really helpful way for us to organize our thoughts around a clear brand message, in a way that felt native to TikTok.”

Since running a series of Vimeo Create ads on TikTok, the folks at Power Wearhouse have seen an increase in both website traffic and follower count –boasting a measly $.07 cost per click. Did we mention it only took them 10 minutes to make a video?

“Vimeo is an easy and professional way to generate and store our brand videos. We started using it for the TikTok project, and we will continue to use it as we build out our video capabilities.”

NaturalAnnie Essentials

For Annya White-Brown, founder and CEO of soy candle company NaturalAnnie Essentials, video has always been a key part of her marketing –but TikTok felt a little hard to reach. “We absolutely wanted to try TikTok but held off because we were overthinking the app,” says Annya. “TikTok made us realize that we do not need expensive equipment and tools to get our message across, and Vimeo Create helps to make it even easier to put videos together in-house without a budget!”

Not only has Vimeo Create unlocked the team’s video capabilities, it’s also allowed them to drive impressive results on TikTok and beyond, driving 137% cheaper CPC in 2 weeks and a 20% lift in conversion rates when compared to industry averages for similar platforms.


Lively, a virtual education provider started during the pandemic, relies on video to highlight their deep roster of talent and their varied offerings for consumers, from private fitness bookings to music lessons from the best in the biz. Andrew Stone, Director of Marketing at Lively uses Vimeo Create to make content that looks native to the TikTok app without having to build content in-app or make do with an alternative –”which are mostly app-based and clunky,” says Andrew.

In a recent TikTok ad campaign, Lively’s ad delivered a 0.88% CTR and a $0.64 CPC, which Andrew says is “very competitive against anything we’re running on Facebook and Instagram right now! I’m excited to continue testing and optimizing our strategies here.”

Here’s Lively’s best performing ad of the bunch (so you can take notes!)

5 TikTok advertising best practices

Follow these five essential TikTok best practices for maximum business impact:

1. Know your audience.

Like any other form of marketing, the first thing to understand is who you’re trying to reach. Does your audience even use TikTok? And if so, where will you find them interacting with the app? TikTok is known as a place for young people — mainly Gen Z and Millenials.

There are various subsections on TikTok: everything from high school study tips and recipes to beauty tricks and mommy channels. Figure out exactly who you want to view and interact with your content and use hashtags and keywords to reach them.

2. Create content with an objective in mind.

Have a specific conversion action or goal for each video, like: Are you driving sign-ups for a newsletter or event? Launching a new product? Having a sale this weekend? Make sure that each TikTok on your channel boasts a clear call-to-action.

3. Get involved.

Don’t think of TikTok content as something you can just post and forget. Actively engage with your audience using relevant hashtags and commenting on ongoing conversations. By staying involved, your brand will always be aware of the new and exciting trends that pop up right when they start.

4. Kill two birds with one stone.

You can quickly repurpose your TikTok videos for multiple social sites. Using a tool like Vimeo Create allows creators and brands to publish videos across platforms with one touch. The ability to automatically distribute your videos to other channels is a time-saver with a ton of value.

You can use essentially the same creative you’d leverage on TikTok — think product shots, user-generated content (UGC) and more — and package them up for different social specs and platforms.

5. Brand affinity > anything else.

Younger generations prioritize how much they like a brand when choosing who to do business with. Brands that showcase their beliefs, authentic personality, and social awareness have a leg up on the competition.

One study found that 82% of Gen Zers trust a brand more if their ads use real customers. And 72% of Gen Z gives preference to brands who contribute to social good.Using TikTok content is a great way to show off what your brand and its community is all about — and boosting brand love at the same time.

What makes TikTok advertising videos effective?

The great thing is that the same things that make TikTok user-generated videos effective also make TikTok ads effective. Any video that is fun, relatable, or has viral qualities will do well for your business.Here are some of the most common ways to create TikTok videos that are sure to perform well.

  • Use trending audio. TikTok users often create videos by adding their own visuals over trending music or dialogue audio clips.
  • Use hashtags. If you spend a lot of time creating your TikTok marketing video, you want it to get in front of the right audience. The TikTok algorithm is excellent at showing users a laser-focused feed of content they will love. Leveraging hashtags will help your content find the right viewers.
  • Participate in viral dances or challenges. Nothing says TikTok like a viral dance challenge. Don’t sleep on these — even if you look like a goofball in the process.
  • Tutorials. Tutorials are a great way to interact with your audience. TikTok tutorials are short compared to other video platforms, so keep your copy brief and snappy. You should also consider using appealing background music.
  • Collaborations. TikTok is all about the people. There are several different ways your business could collaborate with popular TikTokers to get in front of their audiences. Consider doing side-by-side “duet” videos or reaching out to personalities to form influencer relationships.

A quick look at TikTok video specs

If you’re a newbie at creating TikTok content, you’ll likely want to know what types of videos you should use for the best looking ads–that will get you the best ROI. Thankfully, TikTok has a list of specifications for video ads on the Business Help Center on their website.

  • The recommended aspect ratio for videos is 9:16
  • Resolution should be greater than 720px x 1280px, 640px by 640px, or 1280px by 720px.
  • Video length must be between 5 and 60 seconds; however somewhere between 9 and 15 seconds is optimal.
  • Your brand name should have between 2 and 20 English characters. App names should be about 4-40 characters.
  • Ads should include a product description or service explanation that is between 12-100 characters.

How to make TikTok ads that are perfect for the platform

Use TikTok’s Intelligent Optimization Tool to ensure that your videos are within the guidelines for best performance. Or, try Vimeo’s TikTok templates, which come pre-baked according to the platform’s guidelines and best practices.

Make an optimized TikTok video

How to create your own TikTok marketing videos

So, at this point, you’re probably asking: how do I actually make TikTok marketing videos? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

The easiest way to make shareable TikTok videos? Use Vimeo Create, which allows you to easily use templates to create your own branded videos using fonts, colors and formats. Vimeo Create provides features like:

  • Stock media (and music!)
  • Templates
  • Branding kit
  • Team accounts

Need some inspo before you start creating your next TikTok? Look no further than Glyph, a sustainable shoe company that advocates for purposeful minimalism. In a test campaign, Glyph’s TikTok video ad made with Vimeo Create had a 50% higher CTR than their baseline ad performance.Plus, the team at Glyph were able to double their video output from three videos to six new videos per month.

TikTok advertising video templates we love

Remember: don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Using templates and a Vimeo Create account will get you producing effective TikTok content in no time.

Want to see precisely how Vimeo Create can help your business produce TikTok ads? Here are a few of our favorite professionally-designed templates:

Templates to tell your story

Customize your footage, photography, or music to suit your product, service, or industry. We designed templates with TikTok to create a compelling ad (every time!) whether you’re a beauty brand, ecomm darling, or manufacturer.

Try this template

Templates to take you step-by-step

This is the perfect blank canvas for any quick tutorial content. Swap out the skincare creative for your own user-generated content (UGC) or DIY-feeling footage that tells the story of your product.

Then, add step-by-step instructions — both in text on screen and in your voice over — and your brand’s hashtag to encourage followers to create their own UGC.

Another expert tip from the TikTok team? Address your audience directly. Breaking that fourth wall to connect directly with your followers is a powerful way to show personality.

Try this template

Templates with a lifestyle spin

Introduce your product or service through UGC-style assets. Include shots from three different environments to highlight how your product or service fits into their daily routine, or testimonials to bolster your credibility.

Finally, end the video with a clear, action-packed CTA.

Try this template

Top TikTok frequently asked questions

There are a few common questions that brands have when they are considering getting into TikTok marketing.

Is advertising allowed on TikTok?

The short answer is: yes! Here’s how. First, create a TikTok Ad Manager account. Then, create your campaign and assign a goal, like reach or traffic. You’ll be able to select your target audience and set up the budget for your ad group. Upload your videos — we recommend at least 3 per ad group — and hit “Submit.

How do I advertise a video on TikTok?

As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are a few different ways to advertise on TikTok. But if you’re interested in trying out traditional paid TikTok ads, there are several kinds of ads including:

  • Brand takeovers. These are especially impactful. Your content takes over the entire device screen for a few seconds before becoming an in-feed video ad.
  • In-feed videos. These show up in a user’s feed or their “For You” page
  • Hashtag content. These are campaigns that strategically use hashtags to get traffic to an account
  • Sponsored influencer marketing. This type of marketing pays the influencer directly through product or money compensation in return for content that promotes your brand

The type of advertising that will work for your business depends on your product or service and your target audience.

How much does it cost to advertise on TikTok?

There’s no simple answer to this question–and since advertising on TikTok is still a relatively new marketing channel (compared to Facebook ads, for example) advertisers are still figuring out how to maximize ROI with TikTok marketing methods.

Users may create in-feed video ads using a customized budget and posting schedule; however, there’s a minimum TikTok campaign budget of $500 to get started, and the minimum ad group budget is $50.

These price tags may seem hefty when compared to Facebook advertising where people tout $5/day ad plans. However, TikTok could still yield a better return on advertising if the ad content is more focused, or if your audience is easier to find on TikTok.

Don’t wait to get started with TikTok advertising

The verdict is in: TikTok is here to stay, and businesses can’t sleep on creating a successful TikTok strategy.

And remember: you don’t have to be a retail giant to take advantage of the power of TikTok advertising. With some creativity and knowledge, your brand can be one of the millions of users capitalizing on the 75 billion dollar brand.

Say goodbye to intimidation about TikTok content creation. Tools like Vimeo Create put the power of TikTok advertising in your capable hands.

Make your first TikTok video ad today.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

TikTok: The Fastest-Growing Social Media Platform

TikTok is a rapidly growing social media platform that has gained immense popularity worldwide. Initially launched as in 2014, the app became popular among young users who created lip-sync and dance videos. In 2016, the Chinese tech company Bytedance launched the app in China as Douyin and later introduced it to the global market as TikTok in 2017 [[1]].

TikTok's Impressive Growth and User Base

TikTok has experienced remarkable growth and has surpassed well-established social media platforms in terms of popularity. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, TikTok broke records with an impressive 315 million downloads [[2]]. It currently boasts over 800 million users worldwide, making it more popular than platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and LinkedIn [[3]]. The app has achieved this level of success in a relatively short period, surpassing the number of active users that Facebook gained in four years and Instagram gained in six years [[4]].

Reasons for Businesses to Turn to TikTok

There are several reasons why businesses should consider using TikTok as a marketing platform:

  1. Authenticity: In today's marketing landscape, authenticity is highly valued by consumers. TikTok's content lends itself well to this trend, as it often features timely, topical, and funny takes on modern life. Businesses can leverage TikTok to showcase their relatable human element and create less polished but more genuine content that resonates with their audience [[5]].

  2. Direct Line to Gen Z: TikTok has a massive user base, with a significant percentage of its users falling within the age range of 10 to 29. If businesses want to capture the attention of young people, TikTok is a must-have platform. Ignoring TikTok means missing out on a substantial portion of the Gen Z audience [[6]].

  3. Lower Competition: Compared to more established platforms like Facebook and Instagram, TikTok still offers a lower cost for advertising. Creating organic TikTok content can be done at a much lower cost per video than paid traffic. The authentic vibe of TikTok content makes it easy and inexpensive to produce simple videos that can be promoted organically or even go viral [[7]].

How Businesses Use TikTok

Businesses can utilize TikTok in various ways to raise brand awareness, boost reach and impressions, and ultimately drive sales. Here are a few examples:

  • Power Wearhouse, a weighted wearables company, uses TikTok videos to explain the benefits of their products. They found success by using Vimeo Create's TikTok templates to focus their brand message and create engaging content [[8]].

  • NaturalAnnie Essentials, a soy candle company, uses TikTok to showcase their products and engage with their audience. They found that TikTok allows them to convey their message without the need for expensive equipment, and Vimeo Create helps them create videos easily and cost-effectively [[9]].

  • Lively, a virtual education provider, uses TikTok to highlight their offerings and engage with their audience. They utilize Vimeo Create to create content that looks native to the TikTok app, resulting in competitive click-through rates and cost per click compared to other platforms [[10]].

Best Practices for TikTok Advertising

To maximize the impact of TikTok advertising, businesses should follow these best practices:

  1. Know Your Audience: Understand who your target audience is on TikTok and where they interact with the app. TikTok is primarily popular among young people, mainly Gen Z and Millennials. Identify the specific subsections and use relevant hashtags and keywords to reach your desired audience [[11]].

  2. Create Content with an Objective: Each TikTok video should have a specific conversion action or goal in mind. Whether it's driving sign-ups, launching a new product, or promoting a sale, ensure that each video has a clear call-to-action [[11]].

  3. Get Involved: Actively engage with your audience by using relevant hashtags and participating in ongoing conversations. Staying involved will keep your brand aware of new trends and help you connect with your audience [[11]].

  4. Repurpose Content: TikTok videos can be repurposed for other social media platforms. Leverage tools like Vimeo Create to automatically distribute your videos to different channels, saving time and maximizing value [[11]].

  5. Prioritize Brand Affinity: Showcase your brand's beliefs, authentic personality, and social awareness. Gen Zers trust brands that use real customers in their ads and contribute to social good. TikTok content is an excellent way to demonstrate your brand's values and build brand love [[11]].

Creating Effective TikTok Ads

To create effective TikTok ads, consider the following strategies:

  • Use trending audio: Incorporate popular music or dialogue audio clips into your videos to make them more engaging and relatable.
  • Utilize hashtags: Leverage hashtags to ensure your content reaches the right audience and appears in their personalized feeds.
  • Participate in viral dances or challenges: Engage with TikTok trends and challenges to increase your visibility and connect with users.
  • Create tutorials: Short tutorials are a great way to interact with your audience and showcase your products or services.
  • Collaborate with influencers: Partner with popular TikTokers to reach their audiences and expand your brand's reach [[12]].

TikTok Video Specifications

When creating TikTok video ads, it's important to adhere to the platform's specifications:

  • Aspect ratio: The recommended aspect ratio for TikTok videos is 9:16.
  • Resolution: Videos should have a resolution greater than 720px x 1280px, 640px x 640px, or 1280px x 720px.
  • Video length: TikTok videos should be between 5 and 60 seconds, with optimal lengths ranging from 9 to 15 seconds.
  • Brand name and description: Brand names should have 2 to 20 English characters, while product descriptions or service explanations should be between 12 and 100 characters [[13]].

Creating TikTok Marketing Videos

To create TikTok marketing videos, businesses can use tools like Vimeo Create. This platform provides templates, stock media, branding kits, and team accounts to simplify the video creation process. Vimeo Create allows businesses to produce branded videos with ease, even without extensive video editing experience [[14]].

Frequently Asked Questions about TikTok Advertising

Here are answers to some common questions about TikTok advertising:

  • Is advertising allowed on TikTok? Yes, advertising is allowed on TikTok. Businesses can create a TikTok Ad Manager account and choose from various ad formats, including brand takeovers, in-feed videos, hashtag challenges, and sponsored influencer marketing [[15]].
  • How much does it cost to advertise on TikTok? The cost of advertising on TikTok varies depending on factors such as campaign goals, target audience, and ad format. TikTok offers different pricing options, and advertisers can set their budgets accordingly. The minimum campaign budget is $500, and the minimum ad group budget is $50 [[15]].


TikTok's rapid growth, large user base, and unique features make it an attractive platform for businesses. By leveraging TikTok's authenticity, direct access to Gen Z, and lower competition, businesses can effectively raise brand awareness, engage with their audience, and drive sales. Following best practices for TikTok advertising and utilizing tools like Vimeo Create can help businesses create compelling TikTok content and maximize their marketing efforts on the platform.

Using TikTok for business? Here’s how to make TikTok advertising work for you (2024)
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