Does TikTok Advertising Work?

TikTok recently launched TikTok For Business, including its new advertising platform, making it easier for brands to push targeted content to their desired audiences. As soon as it launched, our social advertising team wanted to get stuck in to see how the TikTok offering would compare to other social platforms.

Why run a TikTok advertising test?

Our main objective with this trial was to learn the value of a TikTok click and understand more about the costs and click-through rates. In doing this, we wanted to learn how the advertising function compares to other platforms in terms of cost, click-throughs and functionality.

Planning our TikTok advertising campaign

Our team assigned themselves a small amount of budget to direct TikTok users towards an OST blog. TikTok introduced the platform with a credit incentive, making it easy for SMEs to get started on their advertising. This incentive is running until December with a credit of £240, the perfect excuse to get trialling.

The team decided to target an audience that we knew already existed on TikTok so chose an influencer audience. The content we were sharing also needed to be relevant to this audience in order to gauge the number of click-throughs. They chose a blog but you can also target videos or other content that is relevant to your brand and audience.

We chose an OST blog post that gives insights into Instagram marketing, and our design team put an animation together to entice TikTokers. As the team wanted to target an influencer audience that would have an interest in boosting Instagram engagement, they targeted those aged between 18-35, with interests in cosmetics, skincare and sports equipment. It is possible to add up to 20 tags but we wanted to keep this ad within more of a specific audience.

TikTok Advertising Trial

Does TikTok advertising work?

We were impressed with how well the ad performed, and it was certainly a cheap way to achieve results. The ad ran for one week and resulted in 1,975 clicks at just £0.05 per click and maintained a click-through rate of 1.17%. For comparison, we would usually estimate around 110-140 link clicks for the same spend and length of time on Instagram. Our initial test was just one week long to keep it controlled but we will be running more testing to see how the length of time and other factors affect the results.

When TikTok advertising isn’t so good

The only area where our team found TikTok For Business to be lacking is the ability to control an ad once it is already live; it gives no opportunity to react to and alter your audience, so you need to do your research and know your audience extremely well before posting an ad.

On channels such as Facebook and Instagram, you receive constant insights and updates into your ad, including what is working and in-depth analysis. This allows you to alter aspects of the ad such as tags, keywords and audiences while the ad is still running. This is not something that is yet possible on Tiktok for Business.

Our verdict on TikTok advertising


  • Low cost per click
  • Positive click-through rate
  • The credit option makes it easy to get stuck in


  • Limited control over the ad once it is already live
  • Because it is new, the ad offering is not as developed as other platforms in terms of analysis

Interested in launching TikTok advertising for your brand? Get in touch with our team.

Jeremy Taylor
Date: 27th August 2020
Category: Blog Paid Social Social Media Strategy

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