TikTok is quickly becoming a popular choice for e-commerce advertising, as evidenced by its high number of monthly active users and downloads. With more than one billion monthly active users and three billion downloads, it has surpassed other popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
As its reach and popularity continue to grow, so does the interest in advertising on the platform. For e-commerce retailers looking to build a strong marketing strategy, including TikTok ads for e-commerce should be a consideration. For inspiration for your next campaign, let’s take a look at some of the best TikTok ads of all time, and what has made them so successful.
Common features of the best TikTok ads
Understanding the essential components that constitute a well-optimized TikTok advertisement can help your ad attract more views. These features will help you get more views:
As a fast-paced platform, on TikTok, users tend to scroll through their feeds quickly, which means that you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. To do so, craft a clear message that will resonate with them quickly and encourage them to take action. Without a clear message and a single, unambiguous objective, your ads simply won't make an impact.
Create your ads with eye-catching visuals that are high quality and relevant to your product or service. Additionally, they should be optimized for mobile viewing to ensure the best user experience.
Entertaining and engaging, never boring
TikTok can be a marketing powerhouse for capturing the attention of millions of users. However, since the platform is saturated with endless videos, entertainment, and other content, you need to create ads that are entertaining and engaging if you want to stand out. Aim to make your ads fun, creative, and memorable. Your ad should evoke emotion and create a connection with the user, making them more likely to share it with others.
TikTok videos are short—most are between 60 seconds and three minutes—but the most effective ads are often much shorter. To leave a lasting impression, get your message across quickly and effectively without wasting any time.
Use of TikTok influencers and creators
TikTok influencers can help direct high-quality, loyal traffic towards your brand, so collaborating with them can be an effortless approach to gaining brand recognition. In fact, collaborating with creators to produce TikTok-specific branded content generates 65% higher 2-second view rates and increases engagement by 83%.
Using branded hashtag challenges, influencers and creators can enhance your brand’s visibility without hard-selling. Influencers and creators are also often sought after because of their ability to connect with their audience in an authentic way. Make sure, however, that the influencer or creator you choose truly aligns with your target audience.
Selection of the right ad type
To achieve success with your TikTok ad campaigns, it's important to understand the unique advantages and disadvantages of each ad format. Once you’re familiar with the six different options, you can determine which one will work best for your specific goals and audience so you can maximize your results on TikTok:
In-feed ads are very similar to watching stories that you see on Instagram or Facebook, except they happen to be embedded in the “For You” feed. These ads are skippable for users and they have a maximum length of 60 seconds, but 9–15 seconds is optimal. However, you can include multiple CTAs (calls to action) to prompt users to click on the ad.
When a brand takeover ad is displayed, it appears immediately after the app is opened, as either a static image for 3 seconds or a 3–5 second video without audio. While this ad type can give you quick traction, it’s more expensive than the others.
TopView ads consist of 60-second videos that play automatically as soon as the user opens the app. This ad type and its strategic placement ensures that viewers will be exposed to your ad, making it a dependable and efficient method for connecting with your intended audience.
Spark ads are a unique ad format that allows brands to target their audience with customized ads tailored to their interests. They consist of a single image or short video clip that can be used to showcase a product or service. However, what sets Spark ads apart from other ad formats is that they're displayed in a user's "Following" feed, which makes them feel less intrusive and more organic.
Branded hashtag challenge
The hashtag challenge ad format is unique to TikTok and promotes user-generated content. The audience is prompted to generate themed content that features the designated branded hashtag, which is subsequently compiled on a hashtag challenge page. In addition, these challenges yield an average engagement rate of 8.5% and provide creative direction to brands interested in participating.
Comparable to Snapchat lenses and Instagram filters, these brand-sponsored visual effects compliment hashtag challenges. They can be found on the first page of the effects panel, and remain there for 3 days.
Winning TikTok ad examples and why they work
To reach their relevant audiences on the platform and improve conversion rates, e.l.f. Cosmetics used an in-feed ad. The video they created was entertaining and genuine and successfully illustrated the brand’s personality while advertising products in an engaging and professional format.
Why it worked
The beauty brand heightened awareness and brand recognition by ensuring their video was appealing while simultaneously highlighting their brand, making it clearly visible in the beginning and ending frames.
The intimate apparel brand, Aerie, achieved TikTok success by leveraging in-feed ad campaigns alongside branded hashtag challenges. Most recently, they became the first to experiment with TikTok's Dynamic Showcase Ads (DSA), and were able to increase conversions through personalized advertising.
Why it worked
With DSA, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands can advertise thousands of products with minimal effort spent on creative production. By using dynamic ads on TikTok, not only did Aerie automate their advertising efforts, but they significantly increased conversions and freed up time for more strategic initiatives.
In just 24 hours, KIND's hashtag challenge generated a staggering 20 million views. In their effort to promote their Simple Crunch Bars, the snack brand giant gave users the chance to win a flight to New York along with a year’s worth of KIND products in exchange for posting videos about the bar’s loud crunch.
In conjunction with user videos, KIND strategically positioned influencers to create sponsored posts. By collaborating with Zach King, for example, the brand gained a record 1.7 million likes and more than 18k shares.
Why it worked
KIND’s campaign was successful because it tailored its messaging to reach Gen Z by using influencers to promote their product. In addition, KIND encouraged video shares by giving their intended audience a motivational incentive, one that guaranteed a trip and some free products. Who could turn that down?
Garnier turned to TikTok to promote a new line of vegan hair care products to its Gen Z and millennial target audience. Using a branded hashtag challenge combined with a 2-D branded effect, they enabled users to test the product line by creating a before-and-after transition video.
In addition, Garnier tapped influencers to help push their brand further in conjunction with a One Day Max in-feed ad and a TopView Lite. A subcategory of TopView ads, TopView Lite ads include a 3-5 second-long video with no sound. To top off their efforts, the brand compiled a mash-up of the best user-generated videos, which they later promoted through Brand Premium In-Feed Ads.
Why it worked
Using a mix of different TikTok ad formats, Garnier was able to reinforce their brand’s message and appeal to their audience. Encouraging a viral challenge also allowed their users to become a central part of Garnier’s bigger story, helping the brand gain more traction.
To gauge the attention of users for a new release titled “Sing On! Germany,” Netflix launched a TikTok ad campaign that would increase awareness. They used a Branded Effect paired with a Hashtag Challenge that enabled target viewers to participate in a virtual karaoke booth. Using this strategy, Netflix was able to incentivize submissions, and in turn, improve engagement levels.
Why it worked
Netflix promoted the Branded Effect through influencer marketing and by using tunes from iconic songs that got users to sing along. Because so many people were able to use the filter and emotionally connect with classic tunes, the campaign became wildly popular and generated over 600m total video views.
Create a revenue-driving strategy with MarinOne’s TikTok advertising experts
To create a winning TikTok ad campaign, it’s important to analyze what aspects successful ones got right. Pay close attention to the various approaches used, identify successful hooks, and note which influencers generate the most engagement so you can determine how to establish a connection with your own target audience.
If you’re ready to begin your TikTok advertising strategy, MarinOne is here to help. Our TikTok advertising pros will advise you in creating trendy, on-brand TikTok ads that work for your business and industry.
To grow your business with TikTok, contact us today.