TikTok Ads have the potential to deliver incredible growth for Amazon brands.
Today, the TikTok platform is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. With over 1 billion active users, combined with huge usage rates and engagement, it’s a serious challenger to the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
And like Facebook and Instagram, advertisers have found a way to make money off this huge, worldwide audience. If you’re an Amazon seller, sit up and take notice. TikTok Ads are a way to boost your sales and Amazon rankings, while building long-term brand assets and lessening your reliance on the Amazon platform.
Read on for a deep dive into running TikTok Ads for Amazon products, and learn how to get started with your first TikTok Ads campaign.
Why You Should Advertise on TikTok
Why TikTok Ads? From the huge number of engaged users on the platform, to the universal benefits of marketing your products in off-Amazon channels, there are a number of reasons why you should start learning to utilize the TikTok Ads platform.
Let’s dive deeper now.
TikTok’s user base and usage rates
They’re not all kids, either. Youths don’t even make up anywhere near the majority of the TikTok platform, despite its reputation. Data analysis from Kepios suggests that the total ad reach of TikTok users aged 18+ is 1.023 billion. While Statista reports that 75% of TikTok’s user base, as of September 2021, was aged 20 and older.
These people use the platform a lot, too. On average, TikTok users open the app 19 times per day, and spend nearly an hour and a half on TikTok each day.
All the data shows positive signs for advertisers. There are a ton of users on the platform, and those who do use TikTok can’t get enough of it.
A more personal form of marketing
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Google today have become synonymous with ads, and corporations. It’s hard to connect on a personal level with consumers on those platforms today, because people know they’re being marketed to.
TikTok doesn’t yet have that stigma. The entire platform is a much more personal experience. If you can penetrate that, and deliver ads in a way that’s consistent with what people expect from regular creators, there’s the possibility to truly connect with your audience in a way that’s not possible on other channels.
Building brand assets
Off-Amazon marketing, not limited to TikTok Ads, are a great way to build your brand.
They allow you to start building an audience you control. That’s not possible when you sell and market on Amazon alone, as you’re only ever marketing to Amazon’s customers.
But when you advertise outside of Amazon, you can start to capture brand assets like an email list, followers on social media, and build an image for your brand that differentiates it from the competition.
Less reliance on Amazon
When you start to build these brand assets, as well as learning how to drive sales from off-Amazon marketing channels, you become less reliant on Amazon.
While selling on Amazon is great, it can be scary for a business owner when you rely on the platform for all your sales.
You’re in a position where a change in the search algorithm, a new competitor, or a change in marketing strategy from existing competitors, can knock off a large chunk of your sales overnight.
That’s why you need control over your audience and your marketing. That’s something that’s much harder to take away.
Do TikTok Ads Really Work?
Just a couple of years ago, marketers had a lot of doubt over whether TikTok Ads would actually be viable.
Part of that was due to the perception of the user base as being mostly under 18s. The data we showed you earlier proves that, at least today, this is not the case.
So we know that there’s a huge audience of people, with money to spend, on TikTok. It’s also shown to be very effective for marketing.
Kantar’s Media Reactions Report in 2022 ranked TikTok Ads as the 2nd most relevant and engaging ad type, based on the perception of both marketers and consumers. It came in behind Amazon Ads, and ahead of ads on Spotify, Google and Snapchat.
It’s clear that TikTok is a great platform for discovery, and that people react to and engage with ads differently than they do on other platforms – which is a big win for brands.
How Do TikTok Ads Work?
If you’re familiar with Facebook Ads, TikTok Ads shouldn’t be too much of a departure.
They use a familiar Campaign – Ad Set – Ad structure. That means:
- Each Campaign can have a number of Ad Sets.
- Each Ad Set can have a number of ads.
You can use multiple Ad Sets to test different targeting methods and placements. While you can use Ads to test different creatives, sent to the same audience.
As far as ad formats go, you can do image or video ads (though video ads are more effective, as they mimic organic content a lot better).
TikTok Ad Types
You can choose from a number of ad types. These include:
- In-Feed Ads, which show in a user’s feed like a normal post would.
- TopView Ads, which are displayed at the very top of a user’s feed.
- Brand Takeover Ads, full-screen videos which show when a user first opens the app.
- Spark Ads, which work by boosting organic content and allowing users to engage as they would a regular post.
You also have some more creative things you can do with ads, such as:
- Branded Hashtag Challenges, designed to go viral and encourage other creators to spread your message. Check out an example here.
- Branded Effects, things like stickers, filters and games which other creators can use in their own videos. This example from Vietnamese electric vehicle company Vinfast shows what’s possible.
So, you can get creative with your marketing, or do very similar things to what you’d do with a Facebook/Instagram Ad.
Whatever you do, it’s important to study how the popular videos on TikTok work, and try to replicate that look and feel.
Compared to other platforms, you need to capture the attention of your viewer even quicker. People often say the first second is vital for a TikTok video. If you fail to make it interesting straight away, people are just going to scroll on to the next post.
That’s a bit about how ads work on TikTok. Now let’s move on to an actionable guide to help you run a TikTok Ads campaign for your Amazon product.
How to Start Running TikTok Ads (A Guide for Amazon Sellers)
Here’s a basic guide on how you can start using TikTok Ads to grow your brand on Amazon.
A couple of things to consider, before you dive into TikTok Ads:
- You’ll need to have a decent budget to start with. It takes money to run ads, especially to test and iterate until you get results. So if you think you can just spend $100 and get something out of it, this might not be the best way to go.
- Realize you’re not going to make a profit right away. That doesn’t mean that TikTok Ads don’t work for you. It might just mean you haven’t found the right formula yet.
- Your ad creative may be more important for TikTok than any other platform. Spend some time on the platform, and perhaps play around with making some TikTok videos before you start running ads, so you can understand what type of content works.
With that out of the way, here’s a process you can follow.
First – Optimize Your Amazon Listing
We always say, before you start running paid ads, always optimize your Amazon listing first.
There are several reasons for this. First, it’s the lowest-hanging fruit for you to improve your sales and rankings. It costs virtually nothing to improve your copy or optimize for a few more keywords.
Second, if you’re spending money running ads for your product, you want to make sure you’re sending them to a place that’s optimized to turn ad clicks into sales.
You can put a lot of work and expense into getting someone to view and click on your ad, only to turn them away with a product listing that doesn’t convince them to buy – making everything before that a waste.
Along with optimizing your listing for conversions, you also need it to be keyword-optimized. This way, any sales you do get from your paid ads will have a better chance of translating to rankings boosts.
Any time you send traffic to an unoptimized listing is an opportunity missed. Don’t do the process backwards. Make your Amazon presence as good as it can be first.
Create a Landing Page For Your Product
Second step – and another that comes before you even sign up for a TikTok Ads account.
You’ll want to create a landing page for your product. This is the page people are going to go to when they click on your ad, before they get to the Amazon listing.
Why a landing page?
It acts as a filter. It filters out people who aren’t ready to buy just yet. Sending a ton of low-converting ad clicks to your Amazon page will tank your conversion rate, which is not good.
It also filters out the distractions on your Amazon listing, such as recommended and sponsored products. You can use the landing page to advertise your product, and no others.
On top of this, this intermediate step is where you can get people on your email list, by offering a small discount code in exchange for their signup.
This is a valuable opportunity to build a brand asset, which you miss if you send someone straight to your listing.
Finally, you need somewhere to embed the TikTok Pixel, so you can track conversions. You can’t install the pixel on your listing – the only option is to use a landing page.
Create a TikTok Ad Account
Now you’re ready to go over to TikTok for Business and create an ad account.
It’s quick to create an account. Just sign up with your business details and create a login.
Once you’re in, it sends you straight into the campaign creator. You can click out of this (click on “Dashboard” for example), if you’re not ready to make your campaign just yet.
Installing the TikTok Pixel
It’s a good idea to install the TikTok Pixel as soon as possible – especially if you have your own website that gets traffic.
This will give as much time as possible for the Pixel to start gathering data on your audience.
If you don’t have your own site, at least install the Pixel on your landing page, getting ready to run traffic to it.
First, create your Pixel. You can do this by going to Assets > Events from TikTok Ads Manager.
Under Web Events, click Manage.
Then hit Create Pixel.
Choose TikTok Pixel here (unless you’re technically minded and want to send events right from your site with the API).
This next step doesn’t matter too much – you can come back and install the Pixel another way later. But it’s quite simple to install manually – just copy the code snippet for your Pixel and paste it in your website/landing page.
You’ll need to set up at least one event to track from your Pixel. Again, you can complete this later – we’ll show you a quick event to set up to get started in a second.
Now you’ll get the Pixel code. Follow the simple steps shown to install the Pixel. All you need to do is copy and paste the code onto any web page you want the Pixel to fire on.
[If you use LandingCube for your landing page, you can paste your TikTok Pixel code in the “Custom Code” section of the landing page builder, at the Integrations step.]
Finally, you’ll need to set up an Event. TikTok Events Manager shows you how to do this. But if you want something quick to create to get started, choose ViewContent and add your landing page URL (or a product page URL from your website).
Creating Your First Campaign
Now you can start building your first Campaign.
You’ll have the choice between Simplified or Custom setup.
Custom gives you a few more options for objectives and targeting. It takes a little longer, but it’s worth doing to have more control over your ads.
You’ll start by choosing a Campaign Objective. Website conversions is generally the most effective to go for, though you could also go with the Traffic or Reach objectives.
After choosing your objective, you’ll move on to your Ad Group.
Ad Group: Targeting, Placements & Bidding
The first step here is choosing your optimization event. Choose the Pixel and Event you created earlier, from the dropdown menu. You can also create a new Pixel or Event here.
Then you’ll select your ad placements – Automatic Placement is fine to start with.
Scroll down and you get to Targeting. This is a big part of what makes your ads successful or not. You need to show them to the right people.
You can choose Automatic Targeting and trust TikTok’s optimization engine, or take full control with Custom Targeting.
Custom Targeting will let you filter by things like:
- Household income
- Various interests and behaviors
You can also create and use Custom and Lookalike Audiences, as you can with Facebook Ads. These are a powerful way to zero in on people who are most similar to your existing customers – though you need an existing data set (such as TikTok Pixel data or a customer list) to start with.
Take some time to get your targeting right. Preferably, use a lookalike audience to start with, but if you can’t do that, really try to think what your ideal customer avatar looks like.
You’ll likely need to test this. That means running multiple ad groups, targeting different audiences, to see which gets the best results.
Only after extensive testing will you know, based on data, who your ideal audience is.
Once you’ve got your targeting audience down, finish up your ad group by setting up a budget and choosing your bidding settings (leave this as is if you’re just starting out).
The final step is setting up your Ads – the creative part, the part that TikTok users will actually see.
This is obviously a crucial step. It’s where you’re going to capture someone’s attention and convince them to click through to your landing page.
Outside of the video itself, there are a few things to set up here.
Your Identity – aka the name of your business or brand, which customers will see.
Text and the Destination URL for your ad. The text should be a short, snappy line that tells people why they should click through. While the destination URL is the link to your landing page.
A Call to Action – the button text at the bottom of your ad. TikTok gives you a number of options to choose from. You can do a Dynamic call to action, which rotates between several options and optimizes for the one that works the best, or choose a Standard call to action, such as “Learn more” or “Shop now”.
Choose what you think best fits the action that you want your potential customer to make. For example, “Learn more” is fine, but a bit generic. “Shop now” is more targeted, and will generally result in more ideal users clicking through from your ad. You may want to experiment with some of the dynamic options they have to choose from too.
TikTok Ad Creative
Now, how about the actual video part?
There’s a lot that goes into an effective video. You want to engage with your viewers, capture attention, entertain, and ultimately convince people (in a short space of time) to click through and potentially buy your product.
Here are a few specific tips for your ad creative:
- Rectangular ad formats (9:16 aspect ratio) tend to perform best. These match the normal TikTok video format, so they best emulate an organic video.
- The best results come from videos that are 21 to 34 seconds long.
- It’s vital, however, to capture the viewer’s attention immediately. It’s very easy on TikTok for someone’s attention to drift to the next video.
- Speak directly to the user.
- Keep it entertaining (remember that people are on TikTok for entertainment).
This document from TikTok has some more tips to help you craft the most effective video ads possible.
Like with your ad sets, you’ll want to test multiple ads. You can test things like:
- Different CTAs
- Different text
- Multiple ad creatives
- Different landing pages
It will take more work to create more than one video, but the data you’ll get is worth it.
Measure Performance & Optimize
The way to get ahead with advertising is to test, test, test, and make decisions based on data.
A big part of your advertising process comes after you first publish your campaign. You’ll need to see what works and what doesn’t, and do more of what does work.
This means testing audiences, ad creative, and anything else that might make a difference.
Take this data, and create a playbook for how to run successful ads, specifically for your brand.
That’s why you need a bit of capital to be able to run ads effectively. You need to be prepared to lose a little money at the start, before eventually figuring out a winning strategy.
So, after publishing your campaign, check in on TikTok Ads manager frequently to see which ad sets and ads are performing the best.
On top of this, if you’re testing multiple landing pages, see which get the best CTR (clicks going from the landing page to the Amazon listing) and email optin rate.
You should also use Amazon Attribution to get results on how your ads convert on Amazon. You might want to create multiple Attribution links for each test you run, so you can see which audience or which ad creative actually leads to the most sales on Amazon.
Test, measure, optimize and repeat. In time, you’ll have a profitable and valuable external traffic strategy.
TikTok Ads can be a powerful tool for your brand.
They’re a way to drive sales, to build your own audience, to boost your rankings, and to grow your brand’s image.
One could argue that there’s no better social media platform to advertise on right now, with the popularity, usage rates, engagement and organic, personal nature of TikTok.
It might take some time to figure out the platform and optimize your advertising strategy, so start as soon as you can.
Building a powerful and profitable external traffic channel doesn’t happen overnight. But when it does, you’ll have a tool that makes it much harder for your competitors to take sales away from you.
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