Video Marketing

Getting started with TikTok ads—formats, specs and tips

Updated March 23, 2023

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Scrolling through TikTok can entertain anyone for hours, making it the perfect platform to post ads for your business. Whether you want to increase sales, launch a new product, or generate brand awareness, unleash your creative side with TikTok video ads. 

Explore how to create a memorable TikTok ads with Clipchamp’s free online video editor and everything you need to know about TikTok ad specs and cost below.  

Is it worth making TikTok ads? 

The answer is yes! From small to large budgets, the options for TikTok ads are endless. And for some brands, you don’t need to spend any money at all. TikTok has great organic word of mouth and the viral hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt can create visibility for businesses. However, if your target audience is Millennials or Gen Z, it’s worth making TikTok ads to get more exposure. 

TikTok’s ad revenue is set to hit $18.04 billion by the end of 2023, which is a 55% increase from 2022. The return on ad spend (ROAS) is also significantly better on TikTok when compared to other social media platforms delivering 1.6 times higher.

1. In-feed ads

In-feed ads are the most popular marketing choice on TikTok as they look and feel like organic content or native platform content. In-feed ads are quite different to other ad outlets as they’re self-service ads that feature in the For You Page (FYP). Creators can make both image and video in-feed ads directly through the TikTok ad manager interface.

Video ads

Video in-feed ads can be up to 60 seconds long, but we recommend creating video ads between 9 to 15 seconds for higher engagement. Users can like, share, engage in the comments section of these ads or even skip or scroll past the ad. Brands can link to their website through a personalized call-to-action button to drive traffic to their website.

Video in-feed ads must be created and shared in a 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9 video aspect ratio to suit TikTok’s dimensions. 

Image ads

Image in-feed ads are exclusive to TikTok’s News Feed apps (TopBuzz, BuzzVideo, and Babe). These ads are quite simple, including an image, a brand name or app name, and some marketing text.

In-feed image ads must follow a 9:16 aspect ratio.  

Spark ads

Spark ads are a fast and easy marketing resource that lets you promote existing content on your profile, or another user, rather than creating a new video ad. Just like in-feed ads, these marketing videos feel like organic content and will appear on a user's FYP without interrupting the content experience.

All the engagements like views and comments that are gained on a spark ad are attributed back to the original post, whether the video is on a brand or creator’s profile. Spark ads can also include a CTA button that directs viewers to a website and users can interact with the spark ad’s background sound and click through to the audio track page.

Spark ads must be created and shared in a 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9 video aspect ratio. 

TopView ads

TopView ads look like a regular 60-second in-feed video ad, but they auto-play immediately when a user opens the TikTok app. They have a full-screen display, CTA button, and are hard to miss. But unlike video, image, and spark ads, TopView ads don’t promote an organic feel and can sometimes interrupt a user's experience on TikTok.  

2. Pangle ads

Pangle is an ad network for TikTok businesses letting brands maximize earnings through exclusive advertising. 

TikTok supports Carousel ads exclusively through TikTok’s News Feed app BuzzVideo. The ad format lets brands promote up to 10 images per ad and share your business stories, virtual product catalog, and show product details.  

Images must be JPG or PNG files and it is recommended to be square or horizontal format.  

3. Hashtags and special effects promotions

Branded hashtag challenge ads

A branded hashtag challenge ad is a 3 – 6-day campaign that gives brands the opportunity to highlight their products through organic user-generated videos.

Branded hashtag videos must follow TikTok’s regular video post ratio of 9:16. 

Branded effects ads

Like Instagram and Snapchat filters, TikTok has released their own version of branded effects. Brands can create their own custom filters within the app that live for up to 10 days.

Branded effects ads must follow TikTok’s regular video post ratio of 9:16. 

Branded GIPHY stickers

If you want to promote your brand on TikTok without spending any money, creating a branded GIPHY sticker is for you. Simply turn your logo into a GIF by using GIPHY Create, add keywords to your logo, set privacy to public, then apply to upgrade your account to a brand channel. Now, when you search your keywords in TikTok, you can add your logo GIF to any video.  

Video ad and image ad specifications  

TikTok video ad requirements:  

  • File type: MP4, MOV, MPEG, 3GP or AVI. 

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, 1:1 or 16:9 aspect ratio. 

  • Video duration: between 5 - 60-seconds with a recommendation of 9-15 seconds. 

  • Video resolution: maximum of 540 x 960px, 640 x 640px, or 960 x 540px. 

  • Bitrate: ≥516 kbps 

  • File size: within 500MB 

  • Ad description: 1-100 Latin alphabet letters and 1-50 Asian characters. 

  • App or brand names: 4-40 Latin alphabet letters and 2-20 Asian characters.  

TikTok image ad requirements: 

  • File type: JPG, JPEG, PNG. 

  • Image resolution: 720 x 1280px. 

  • File size: within 100MB. 

  • Ad description: 1-100 Latin alphabet letters and 1-50 Asian characters. 

  • App or brand names: 4-40 Latin alphabet letters and 2-20 Asian characters. 

How to create memorable TikTok ads  

If you want to make a TikTok ad that stands out, look at some TikTok tips:  

  • Keep your TikTok’s message short and direct. Users are more likely to stay engaged with a TikTok ad that is between 9 – 15 seconds long.  

  • Edit your TikTok ad into a loop video so it’s rewatchable.  

  • Always include your brand’s logo, color scheme, and font to keep all marketing videos consistent and recognizable across TikTok and different platforms. 

  • Use strategic text positioning and readable text with appropriate fonts and colors.  

  • Create TikTok ads that are on trend with your brand’s TikTok aesthetic.  

  • Inject humor and authenticity into your TikTok video ads and have fun creating them.  

  • Plan your TikTok ads with a clear goal, storyboard, well-rehearsed script, and if you’re following a trend.  

  • Don’t forget to add background music or an original TikTok sound using a voiceover.

  • Remember to include a CTA on every TikTok ad. Users need to know where they can find you. 

How to make a free TikTok ad with Clipchamp 

If you’re lacking creativity, have a small budget, or have never made a video ad before, create a TikTok ad with a ready-to-use TikTok ad template. Clipchamp’s templates are professionally made to suit TikTok’s ad requirements, so you don’t need to worry about the fine print. Just select a template, customize it with your branding and text, then save it to your computer! It’s as easy as three steps

Step 1. Select a TikTok video ad template 

On the toolbar, click on the templates tab, then click on the TikTok folder. Scroll through the TikTok templates and find the right template for your brand. 

Click on the template of your choice to add the video template to your timeline. 

Step 2. Customize your TikTok video ad 

Edit the text  

Turn a template into your own by editing the text. Click on the text box on the timeline, then click text tab on the property panel. Replace the example text with your brand name. 

If you have specific branding you would like to use to maintain the same look and feel across all ad platforms, add your brand colors, logo, and font to the brand kit. You can edit the color of backgrounds for free using the color palette as well. Click on the background media on the timeline, then click on the colors tab on the property panel. Here, you can edit the color of background media using the color palette, presets, and a color code.  

If you do not want to use the brand kit option, simply upload your logo as an image to the editor. Make sure your image is PNG and has a transparent background. Drag and drop the logo onto the timeline.  

Replace stock footage  

If you have personal footage of your products and brand you would like to use, simply import the media, then drag and drop onto the timeline to replace the stock footage. You can also browse the stock library to replace any existing stock on the timeline.  

Step 3. Export and share directly to TikTok 

When you’re ready to save your TikTok ad, click on the export button and select 1080p video resolution.  

Save your video to your computer by clicking on the save to computer button. You can share your TikTok directly to the app using Clipchamp’s TikTok integration. Just connect your TikTok account to Clipchamp. Note: this will share an in-feed video and not go through TikTok ads manager.  

Frequently asked questions

How much does a TikTok ad cost?

TikTok video and image advertising prices start at $0.50 CPM and $0.02 cost per click. TikTok requires a minimum budget of $500 per campaign, with a daily minimum of $50 and $20 per day.

How do I make a free TikTok ad?

Brands cannot generate TikTok ads for free, however, posting organic video content on TikTok is free. If you don’t have a TikTok marketing budget, we recommend creating a company TikTok account and growing your profile organically with the help of our tips and tricks

Can I add a voiceover to my TikTok video ad?

Yes. TikTok allows video ads to include a voiceover. Easily create a TikTok ad with Clipchamp’s free text to speech feature.

That’s everything you need to know about TikTok ads! If you’re looking for more TikTok ad ideas, check out the TikTok video ideas for startups blog. Create an engaging TikTok ad today with Clipchamp’s video editor for TikTok.  

Head over to Clipchamp’s YouTube channel for more tips and tricks on TikTok desktop! 

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