Advertising On TikTok: A Creative Guide for E-Commerce Brands

April 18, 2022
by Jeff Pearlman

In the last two years, TikTok has grown a staggering 787.86% to over 100 million users in the United States alone. Businesses have rightfully taken notice and are flocking to the platform with budgets big and small. However, advertising on TikTok isn’t for every e-Commerce brand.

Simply put, there are too many brands focused internally to be successful on a platform like TikTok. Of all the major social networks, TikTok advertising requires something unique, something specific to the App alone - authentic, bespoke creative. When 64% of users say the platform is a space where they can openly and authentically represent themselves, it’s clear that they expect brands to follow suit.

Let’s keep your TVCs on TV and your Facebook Ads inside the metaverse. Let’s create memorable experiences that inspire the user actions most valuable to your e-Commerce brand and start trending in the right direction - #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt (10.8 billion views and counting!).

TikTok First

Content lives at the heart of the platform and as such, it should be the heart (and soul!) of your TikTok marketing strategy. The platform utilizes a content graph, which means that the content preference delivery method helps to shape user behavior and their creative style - keeping them engaged through diverse discovery. The TikTok first approach means keeping the platform’s community and creative preferences in mind whenever your e-Commerce brand develops and publishes content. 

This brings us back to one of the most unique aspects of TikTok - authenticity. The platform’s most successful brands create content specific to their niche, listen to their audience and leverage the latest trends. They utilize a diverse mix of music, effects and voice overs to deliver authentic stories that align with their communities and the native TikTok experience at the same time.

In short, stop making ads and start making TikToks instead.

Make TikToks, Not Ads

Take a look at the best TikTok advertising examples and you’ll find quite a few similarities. As your e-Commerce brand begins to generate TikTok creative, here’s what you need to know:

  • Create an immersive experience: All assets should be created for a mobile experience, in 9:16 sizes and don’t forget about the safe zone
  • Add audio: TikTok is a sound-on experience, always. In fact, sound off shouldn’t even be a consideration
  • Keep it short, keep it sweet: Videos with a duration between 21 to 34 seconds indicate a 280% lift in conversion and a 2% lift in impressions compared to videos with a duration shorter than 21 seconds and longer than 34 seconds. Your e-commerce brand's content should be short, focused and engaging - and don’t forget to feature your brand within the first three seconds
  • Know your audience: Resonate with your audience by combining their tastes with your brand’s values
  • Copy that: Adding a closed caption (or text on the screen that clearly displays an offer or CTA) indicates an 80% lift in conversion. Punchy copy that relates specifically to your creative helps to reinforce your brand’s message - you can (read: should) use hashtags, too 
  • CTA: Adding a clear call to action indicate a 152% lift in conversion, compared to videos that don't clearly state a call to action. And, TikTok CTAs must be tapped to click-through - stay away from any text that prompts a user to “Swipe Up” as they’ll end up moving onto the next video instead of triggering a valuable action fro your brand

TikTok’s Creative Tools

TikTok has many built-in creative tools to make your content creation as seamless as possible. From video templates and editing capabilities to smart text and soundtracks, you can create engaging content that invokes user actions from inside the App. It’s all free for your e-Commerce brand to use and it doesn’t stop there.

Take a look at the Top Ads tool to discover best-performing creatives and trends across regions and demos. Popular Trends will help you spot what’s hot on the platform any given week or month, while Showcases feature success stories from a variety of advertisers. These tools will help your e-Commerce brand stay on top of TikTok trends, elevate your ad creative with data-driven insights and get inspired by top-performing ads in your industry.

Scaling (and Winning!) on TikTok

Now your brand understands how to create TikTok content, but it’s imperative to replicate that success over and over again to remain relevant on the platform. Here are a few questions your brand should be asking along the way:

  • How can you continually improve your content’s quality?
  • How can you produce a consistent flow of high-quality content?
  • Can you control costs while scaling as you strive to boost the engagement of each piece of content?

Always remember, uniqueness and creativity makes TikTok thrive and is often key to success, while replicating the same content used on other platforms is destined to fail.

The Clock is TikToking

While TikTok is the latest addition to the game, it’s quickly becoming its most popular player especially among the influential 16-24 crowd who make up over 60% of US users. If your e-Commerce brand isn’t advertising on TikTok, your competition is, which leaves your brand at a disadvantage. This one-of-a-kind platform is ready for businesses to engage with their communities and it’s time for your brand to shine.

We’ve helped some ambitious e-Commerce brands thrive on TikTok and we’re ready to help you. Let’s get started today!

About the author: Jeff is an analytical and creative Digital Strategist with 9+ years of Social Media, Influencer and Content Marketing experience with various brands like Jaguar, Land Rover, Lenovo, Motorola, Ulta Beauty, Malin & Goetz, Teleflora, b New York and Raaka Chocolate - to name a few. He started his career as a copywriter, penning copy for an online sports company where he found his work featured on the back covers of national publications and featured on ESPN Radio. He currently resides in Seattle where he likes to spend as much time outside as possible with his wife and three kids, one of which is a dog.

More Articles