Creative ecosystem

Making sense of TikTok Part 2: How to be best in class.

Social & Mobile • Written by Daria Willis, Client Director

This is Part 2 of a two-part series. If you haven’t already, check out Part 1 – A quick guide for brands, which looks at why TikTok is so unique, some of the more popular trends and can help you determine if the platform is right for your brand.

When it comes to advertising on TikTok, you can find a wealth of information on the different ad formats here. But beyond following the specs, here are some tips you might want to keep in mind or test in your campaigns.

  • Sound-led
    A catchy soundtrack, emphatic sound effects or a captivating voice-over is how all native TikToks start, so too should your ads. OR maybe you could use this to your advantage to do the complete opposite and play with lack of sound – be creative.

  • Keep it simple
    There are quite a few elements in TikTok’s UI already – from profile pics, engagement metrics, copy, profile names, music etc. So with so much for the eye to see already, you’d want to ensure most of your content avoids clashing with this.

  • Clear CTA
    One of the most compelling elements of TikTok for brands is that every ad can have a CTA, so make this really clear and really desirable and the ROI will speak for itself.

This HP Australia ad is a good example of all of these first three points: sound led, simple design and with a clear CTA.

  • Native is key
    Like most tech platforms, simply re-sizing your TV ad or Direct Response animation won’t guarantee results. You’re best to play into the trends that are happening – but as advised in Part 1, make sure it’s authentic to your brand and the platform. Like TikTok says, make TikToks, not ads. This Apple ad does this well.
  • Think vertical
    If creating original content or adapting for mobile, always create with the vertical format in mind to provide the most immersive experience possible for viewers. Keep in mind that ads shot vertically have a 25% increase of 6s View Through Rate. For tips on shooting for vertical, click here

  • Combine ad formats for ultimate impact
    If you really want to be noticed on TikTok, consider combining ad formats like TopView and In Feed ads – the creative should be used slightly differently on each, but come together in a holistic way to maximise reach.

  • Keep creative fresh
    TikTok advises that you should refresh creative every 7 days, which is quite a lot of pressure on a marketer trying to do this themselves. This is where Genero can help you to produce best practice creative at scale. 

  • Tell a story
    While the TikTok ad centre enables self-service creative builds, the best campaigns start with a considered concept, and then use the formats to best execute that. Genero has thousands of conceptual creators who can do the heavy lifting for you in this area. 

  • And finally, make it fun!
    It goes without saying that the tone on TikTok is vibrant, casual and fun. Make sure you embrace this, by creating content that connects with TikTok’s youthful audience on that level. Below are a few examples of ads we’ve created for TikTok, which really highlight this tone.


For more insights, check out the TikTok Inspiration site which highlights some of the most successful campaigns on the platform. If you’re interested in getting started with TikTok, we can help. Get in touch to arrange a time to chat to your local Genero team.

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