Are You Aware Of These TikTok Ad Mistakes?
TikTok is a huge opportunity for small businesses, and we’re excited to see that a lot of you are starting to advertise on the platform.
However, we also see a lot of mistakes that are hurting your ads. And we don’t want you to waste money or time.
So, let’s look at the most common TikTok ad mistakes we see on the platform.
We will also show you how to set up an automatic ad later on, so stick around for that.
Today, we’re going to share with you the biggest TikTok ad mistakes that we see, so you can avoid them and make the most of your budget.
Let’s dive in!
7 Biggest TikTok Ad Mistakes You Need To Avoid
1. Repurposing content and ads from other platforms
The first one on our list of TikTok ad mistakes is a strategy that has worked for a lot of marketers so far.
That is because the presentation and user experience from platform to platform weren’t all that different.
A feed on Instagram, a feed on Facebook, and a feed on Twitter are all pretty much the same.
So you could create one graphic, then resize it and drop it elsewhere for pretty similar results.
Not so with TikTok.
The types of content and styles that work on other platforms simply are not working on TikTok anymore.
You need to approach your content creation differently from the beginning.
We think a large part of this mistake is because marketers don’t understand the differences between TikTok and the other social media platforms.
That needs to change.
NOTE: You can repurpose TikTok content on other platforms like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, etc.
2. Companies don’t understand the platform
Since it’s so important for TikTok advertisers to understand the platform…
…we’re going to spend a bit of time in this section to go over some ways you can learn the platform.
Before we do that, we want to encourage you to create an account and just start using the platform.
Schedule it in your calendar for 20 or 30 minutes a day and spend time exploring the app.
Here’s what we do when we’re learning a new platform:
- Create a burner account that we’ll use to observe.
- Download the app, of course. Schedule time to use it daily.
- We click every button in the app to figure out where everything is and what is available.
- Then we visit the feed to see the content that’s being posted.
- We follow creators who we think are using the platform in interesting ways or whose videos get a lot of engagement.
We observe these creator’s frequency of posting, style of posting, hashtag usage, descriptions, and engagement (number of likes, comments).
- We read a lot of comments. Use discretion on which comment section you want to wade into though.
They are not all the same. Some are terrifying places while others are lovely.
We recommend you follow your competitors (if they’re on the platform) and anyone who is a popular creator in your space.
Then follow a bunch of the smaller creators too to see what they’re doing and what their comments sections look like.
Watch how they use the platform and how they engage with their viewers. This is also going to give you a list of potential influencers to connect with later.
So let’s get to know the platform a bit.
Who uses the platform? And how?
- 53% of TikTok users are male and 47% are female.
- Roughly 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34.
- 100 million monthly active users are from the USA.
- TikTok users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app.
- They create, share, and watch short-form videos (up to 3 minutes long, but most prefer 30 to 60 seconds).
How do trends work and why do you need to act quickly? (Hashtags, Sounds, Challenges, Effects, Dances)
- You can find trends on the Discover page.
- Act on trends quickly (1 to 2 days max) because they move fast on TikTok.
- Follow #trendalert on TikTok so you can catch things early here and ride the wave a little longer / have a better chance at going viral.
- Check your niche TikTok hashtags for general themes or trends there so you can contribute to your community, like techtok, arttok, coffee.
- For all trends, you’ll want to tap through and visit the page with all the videos using that sound, hashtag, etc. Scroll through the most recent videos.
If most of them weren’t made in the last 24 to 48 hours, that’s an indicator that the trend is dead.
And that won’t give you the algorithm boost you’re looking for.
Still use sounds you like! But not as a strategy for growth/virality. You can see the date it was posted next to the user name, above the description.
You need to have fun! (Stop taking your advertising so seriously.)
- On one side, TikTok is a platform of dancing, comedy, lightheartedness, connection, and authenticity. Users embrace fun, funny, and casual.
- Consider the audience and what they’re looking for (escape).
Why does being too sales-y not work on TikTok?
- The audience is younger – Gen Z, Millenials who prefer engaging with business ads when they’re relevant and useful.
- TikTok itself is built on community and authenticity (or perceived authenticity).
- It’s way too easy to scroll past.
A note on hashtag stuffing (use 4 to 5 max per video)
- Unlike Instagram, lots of hashtags aren’t helpful.
- Most users scan hashtags of videos they see to look for trends or themes to try as they’re scrolling.
- We also like to do comprehensive social media hashtag research on the TikTok platform for ideas.
Go to the search bar and type in your keyword. You’ll be able to sort through top users, videos, sounds, and hashtags.
- You can also filter the results. We like to show the most liked from yesterday when looking for trends.
3. Neglecting to use user-generated content & skipping influencer marketing campaigns
Now moving on to our list of the biggest TikTok ad mistakes…
…if you don’t use user-generated content or influencers on TikTok, it’s not even worth advertising on the platform – honestly.
The bedrock foundation of TikTok is engagement.
Now you may be thinking, “Hey, the bedrock of any social media platform is engagement.”
And yes, but on TikTok, it’s flipped and reversed, just like Missy Elliot taught us.
On TikTok, it’s expected that you engage with your customers/followers just as excitedly as they engage with you.
You have to engage authentically and encourage user-generated content to make your video marketing strategy successful on this platform.
How to Promote & Encourage User-Generated Content
This shows your video playing alongside the original video. We’ve seen folks use these to respond, react, or engage with (like a skit).
- If you want to duet a video you’re watching, tap on Share (not all users allow duets – you can turn this off in settings).
- Then, select Duet from the options.
- Record your video
This allows you to use someone else’s video on your own for up to 5 seconds.
It’s a great way to include someone else’s content while still giving credit or referencing the original. And it doesn’t require extra work, so we love that.
- If you want to stitch a video you’re watching, tap on Share (again, not all users allow stitches – you can turn this off in settings).
- Then select Stitch from the options.
- Choose the 5-second clip you’d like to use
- Record your video
Ideas for Duet & Stitch Use
- For how-to’s or tutorials, ask folks to stitch or duet your video and share their results.
- Teach a hack, quick tip, or trick for your niche, and ask for folks to stitch your video and share their favorite tip.
(You can then stitch a bunch of these together in a future video.)
- Get folks to react to your content. Show a big reveal or unveiling.
- Ask questions (put a finger down if Facebook has ever hurt your mental health) or play sounds (like songs from the ’90s).
- Have folks duet them trying your tip or trick.
- Keep a list of fun TikTok ideas you see so you can start brainstorming how to adopt a similar format or idea for your needs.
c. Direct Message
Send a DM to the creator and ask to post their video on your page, tagging them, and giving them credit.
If you notice a video or two from your customers getting a lot of action, we recommend going above and beyond when you thank them.
Stitch and Duet their content, tag them, and give them all proper thanks, of course.
We like to encourage our clients to do a little extra – like sending a discount code, offering some product, or payment for thanks.
We’ve actually used this method ourselves (on FB and IG, but the strategy is the same anywhere) to great success.
Here’s what we did:
One of our clients was reinvigorating their organic social media, and had very little customer or user engagement.
They had an older audience, which made it even more difficult.
But we monitored socials, and every time someone tagged us in a photo showing their finished product (this was a craft company that sold supplies)…
…we reacted and commented publicly with praise and thanks.
Then we sent them private messages with more praise, more thanks, and a coupon code for 25% off their next purchase.
The customers were always so surprised, so thrilled, and posted about it everywhere.
We also asked permission to share their work to the business feed and they always said yes.
It took a few months of consistent work and encouragement…
…but user-generated content (quality and quantity) increased so much that the company was able to post 1 piece of high-quality UGC daily.
This is an excellent way to skip the hassle of growing an account and following (which you should be doing while you use influencers to help).
Find influencers in your niche with an engaged following (engagement matters way more than numbers).
We don’t like to pay for influencers with less than 3% engagement rate.
You can use an influencer marketing platform to find influencers at your budget and manage your projects.
It’s best to let the creators do their thing.
Their audience will be able to spot a formatted, scripted ad from their favorites right away and it really turns them off of your product.
Instead, give a few basic guidelines/directions and some branding requirements, and let them run with it.
4. Only posting ads (or posting TikToks infrequently)
Next on our list of TikTok ad mistakes is thinking that paid advertising can’t be your only strategy on TikTok.
You’ll need to ensure that you’re posting organic content, and that you’re posting regularly.
You can’t just drop an ad onto the platform and run.
You need to work on your organic content and building relationships with users on the platform.
5. Getting targeting wrong (not using custom or lookalike audiences)
Just like on other top-ranking social media platforms, you want to use Custom and Lookalike Audiences as often as you can.
For a full guide explaining TikTok ads for beginners (including Custom and Lookalike audience setup), read this one we did recently.
6. Ignoring the comments section (or engaging sporadically)
Just like you can’t drop an ad every now and then and run, you can’t post and run.
You need to engage in your comments section, messages, and in other’s comments sections.
Why? Because the algorithm demands it and so do the users.
If you’re not responding to comments or being active in other comment sections (of your followers and other creators/business)…
…you won’t be able to retain followers, and there won’t be enough engagement on your video to get that boost from the algorithm.
Take a look at how active these comments’ sections are. Notice that Target has interacted with most of them, even from very small creators.
7. Don’t know the creative tools available to them
Last on our list of the top TikTok ad mistakes is not familiarizing yourself with the tools available.
A lot of marketers aren’t using the creative tools available to them.
And doing so will only increase the time you spend on your ads and their effectiveness.
Let’s go over the tools available to you. Plus, we’ll show you how to set up Automated Creative Optimization (a must-do).
You have these tools available to you:
- Video Templates
- Smart Video
- Quick Optimization
- TikTok’s Video Editor
- Smart Text
- Automated Creative Optimization
You’ll want to spend time in each of these tools clicking all the buttons, doing testing, and trying things to see how it looks.
This is a crucial step.
By the way, if you want to learn how to design TikTok ads, we have recently published a post about that. Be sure to read it next.
Or you can also learn more about our results-oriented social media advertising services and maximize the results you’re getting from your paid ads!
Now that you’re familiar with the tools, let’s look at Automated Creative Optimization.
Automated Creative Optimization
Advertising your business is a lot of ad creation, as well as testing and optimization. And that takes up a lot of your time.
That’s why we’re a big fan of the Automated Creative Optimization tool from TikTok.
This is like using dynamic ads on Facebook or on Google.
You’ll upload a bunch of different versions of creative and copy, and then let TikTok choose the best combination for your ad.
Some of the advantages of using Automated Creative are:
- Automatic A/B testing
- Saves time and effort
- Extends the life of your ads
- Gets more quality traffic for you. Good ads reach the right people with the right message and creative at the right time.
Here’s how you’ll set up Automated Creative in the Ads Manager:
- Go to ads.tiktok.com and select your account.
- Click on the Campaign page.
- Click on Create to start creating your campaign.
- Choose your objective, name your campaign, and we suggest toggling on Campaign Budget Optimization and Create Split Test.
- Set a daily budget to at least $50.00. Then click Next.
- Enter your ad group name, choose pixel, select placements, then click Next.
- Toggle the switch on for Automated Creative Optimization under the Creative Type section in your ad group settings.
- Choose your audience and targeting, and then set your budget.
- On your ad settings page, you can start to upload your videos or images.
- The more images or videos you upload, the more combinations it will create.
- You need to upload at least 10.
- Your Ad Name will have a dynamic tag that will update depending on what creative is used.
- Only you can see the ad name. If you’re just not having a good naming day, you can choose the Generated Box to let them name it for you.
- Fill in your ad details. Upload creatives. Enter your Display Name and Ad Text.
- This text is visible to the audience. You’re allowed between 12 and 80 characters.
- Notice where the display name appears.
- Notice the options for multiple versions of the text. Use all of these (you have 5).
- We like the auto-translation feature because it’s so easy to use.
You may want to have someone double-check your translations before you go live with them.
- There will soon be an option to auto-fill your ad text. If it’s anything like Google’s suggestions, it’ll be great.
- Enter your Call-to-Action or use Dynamic CTA.
- Enter your URL and double-check tracking selections.
- Preview your ads.
- You can see the preview in the box on the right. Scroll through this to ensure you like the combinations available to you.
- Finally, click the Submit button.
Congrats! Your automated ad is now launched.
If you’re interested in seeing the full walkthrough guide for this, then check out the video at the top of this post.
You’ll want to monitor performance and make adjustments to your next campaign after you evaluate the success of your ad.
You can find what creative combinations are showing after you launch your ad by doing the following:
- Click on the Campaign page.
- Click on the Ad Group list.
- Find the name of your ad group. You can look for the ones with a folder icon next to it.
- Click the ad group to view all the combinations of creative.
If you avoid these top mistakes, you’ll be able to run more effective, affordable campaigns (and spend less time doing so). You can do it!
And that’s it – the list of the biggest TikTok ad mistakes that you should avoid to ensure success with your paid ad campaigns!
If you want to learn how to DIY your marketing, check out our new social media ads training course.
Call our agency at 404-596-7925 to schedule a meeting today.