If you’re an e-commerce store owner you’ve likely thought about trying to run ads on the relatively new social media platform; TikTok. Many media buyers are flooding this platform as it offers lower CPMs than conventional social platforms and is growing at an incredible pace.
In fact, according to Business of Apps, TikTok annual users jumped from 700 million in 2020 to 1 billion in 2021.
With such a fast pace of growth and relatively low competition, this platform is ripe to run ads on.
That being said, you shouldn’t follow the same media format for TikTok ads as you might have with other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
In this post, I’m going to guide you through how to create a successful TikTok to promote your e-commerce products.
TikTok Ad Format
TikTok is a mobile-first app, meaning all videos on the app should be recorded in a 9:16 ratio.
Anything less will result in the video not taking up all of the real estate available and most likely reducing the effectiveness of your ad.
Perhaps even more important than the aspect ratio is the “style” of ad you need to be making for your ad to be effective.
The vast majority of videos on TikTok are very user-focused, personal, and of lower production quality.
Your ads need to naturally fit in with the rest of the videos on TikTok. In order to do this, your ad needs to come off as not being an ad at all.
That’s why UGC, or user-generated content, is in most cases the best way to go.
It’s raw, it’s personal, and it feels like the ad isn’t trying to sell you something. Your ad should give the impression of a real person talking about their experience with your company or product, not a company blatantly trying to sell you something.
3 Options to Create Your TikTok Ads
So now you know what aspect ratio to use and what “style” of video you need to create in order to make a successful TikTok ad. But how do you actually get the content to use in your video?
In the next section, I’m going to discuss 3 ways to create your ad content using both paid and free methods.
1. Reach Out to Influencers for a Collaboration [Free/Paid]
Your first option and the one most likely to be successful is to reach out to influencers for collaboration. I like this option the most because you’ll be working with TikTok creators who already know how to make successful TikTok videos.
Start by searching terms in TikTok that are related to your niche and make a list of influencers you’d like to reach out to.
Once your list is ready, reach out to them one by one either by sending them a DM on TikTok or by following their link in your bio whether it be Linktree or another alternative to get their email. I like doing both to secure the highest chance of getting a reply.
After you’ve received a reply, work out a deal to send them a product for free in exchange for a 15-30 second clip of them talking about your product. Some influencers may also charge a fee for this so you’ll need to work that out on a case-by-case basis.
You can even take this approach a step further and make a deal with the influencer to post the video on their TikTok account as well. Therefore, you’ll not only be getting a video to run your ads with but you’ll also be getting all of the exposure from the influencer’s audience.
2. Film It Yourself [Free]
The second option is to just film the ad yourself. You might not want to show your face but depending on the product you might not even have to.
your product needs to be demonstrated, simply film your hands using the product and add a voice-over or some text-to-speech captions to further explain the product.
In fact, an example of this style of video is the one below where store owners were selling these sticky glowing balls that would temporarily stick to the ceiling. The product was fun and didn’t need your face to be shown to make it engaging.
Filming videos yourself takes a little bit of time but it’s absolutely free!
If you decide to film your ads yourself you can also try out a lot of different marketing angles.
For example, you can A/B test including your face vs not including your face as well as focus on specific pain points that your product solves.
This gives you a lot more freedom to test out different things if you don’t have much of a marketing budget.
3. Use Billo [Paid]
The third and final option is to use a service like Billo. Billo specializes in user-generated content and they have an array of content creators in a bunch of different locations and ages.
I would recommend using this option if you prefer not to film videos yourself and you want to save the time of reaching out to influencers directly. This is one of the fastest options available but it also comes with a price.
That being said, the process of getting a Billo ad is very simple. All you need to do is upload a picture and description of the product you want to promote and then choose the type of video you want to be created (e.g. UGC, testimonial, professional).
Once that’s done, content creators and video editing services will start applying to your job by giving you a video they previously created for another company.
At this point, all you need to do is review each content creator’s submission and see which person you think best fits your potential customer.
Once you’ve made your decision, send them a free product and wait for their video to be uploaded to the Billo platform.
You can then use that video as an ad on TikTok or any other social media platform for that matter.
Apply Effects, Captions, and Sounds
The final step before you start spending money on TikTok ads should be to apply any trending effects, captions, or sounds to your video.
Trending sounds and captions catch people’s attention because they’re used to it when scrolling on the app. If someone comes across your ad which is the same format as hundreds of organic videos they’ve seen in the past, they’re much more likely to watch yours.
So, for this final stage, I like to use a combination of CapCut and TikTok’s video editor.
CapCut is a free app you can download to your phone and is a pretty powerful video editor. I like to do any transitions or apply stickers if need be within CapCut because it has a lot more versatility than TikTok’s editor.
Once I’m done in CapCut, I’ll then export the video in 1080p and upload it to TikTok’s editor.
Once the video is in TikTok I usually do two things:
- Add captions that use text-to-speech if there is no human voiceover
- Add a trendy song to the video
If your video already has a voiceover, there’s no need to convert your captions to text-to-speech. But it’s still nice to keep the captions regardless as many mobile users browse with their volume turned off.
Next, I’ll go to TikTok’s song library and choose from one of the trendy TikTok sounds.
Unfortunately, as a business, you can’t use all of the sounds available on TikTok due to copyright issues so stick to the free commercial sounds they provide. There are still some good ones on there.
Once you’ve added captions and a trendy song, your ad is ready to go! That’s it, now you can start running ads in TikTok’s ad manager and see what kind of results they produce.
TikTok is still a relatively new social media platform and there are lots of opportunities for marketers on it. Follow the steps laid out in this article and you should be well on your way to creating ads that convert visitors into buyers.
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