What Type of TikTok Ads Perform Best?

April 24, 2023
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With 20.6% of social media shoppers saying they buy things on TikTok “all of the time”, it is no surprise that the number of brands using TikTok is expected to increase by 40% this year. Indeed, with 45% of brands using TikTok in their marketing campaigns in 2021, it has become a near essential for brands to consider the platform in their strategies for 2022. 

But how can companies ensure it’s a worthwhile investment? The answer lies in knowing what type of TikTok ads perform best. There are four main types of TikTok ad to consider. 

1. In-Feed Ads

As their name suggests, in-feed ads integrate video content into users' "For You" feed. This content is often indistinguishable from non-ad content, which can make ads enjoyable for the users. 

2. TopView

TopView presents your ad on the best and unmissable placement of TikTok: the opening screen. Capture full user attention with sight, sound and narrative in video form. TopView has the same effect as a Brand Takeover, but initial results suggest that these could significantly increase video views and engagement.

3. Branded Hashtag Challenge

Branded Hashtag Challenges invite the TikTok community to engage with your brand. This can either be through encouraging users to showcase your products or something more niche, like doing a TikTok dance. The UGC (User-Generated Content) off the back of this will boost awareness, drive engagement, and build a bigger fanbase for your business. 

4. Branded Effects

Branded Effects are tailor-made and shareable stickers, filters, and special effects. Whether it’s trying on makeup colours or hairstyles, using head movements to move an object, or overlaying a cool sticker or frame, Branded Effects enable users to interact with your brand in new ways.

So, which one of the four perform best? 

There is no straightforward answer as to which one of these types of TikTok ad performs best. It really comes down to what type of ad will work best to promote your product or service. However, there are some universal best practices that all of the best-performing TikTok ads have in common. 

There are the basic practices that the best performing TikTok Ads have in common, according to TikTok themselves. 

  1. High Video Resolution: 83.2% of top-performing TikTok have a video resolution of 720p or higher.
  2. Sound: More than 93% of top-performing videos use audio.
  3. Short: Shorter videos tend to perform better. 
  4. Full-Screen: More than 98% of top-performing videos on TikTok take advantage of the immersive full-screen experience. This means that they use the full 9:16 aspect ratio.
  5. Vertical: Videos shot in vertical format see a 40.1% lift in impressions compared to videos using a square or horizontal aspect ratio.

For e-commerce adverts in particular, the best-performing ads use varied scenes and captions, and promote offers. 

  1. Varied Scenes: TikToks with varied scenes see a 40.6% lift in impressions compared against videos that feature one person on screen.
  2. Captions: TikToks that use captions or on-screen text that displays a CTA have a 55.7% lift in impressions compared to videos that don’t add anything additional.
  3. Offers: TikToks that include footage of a person emphasising at least one offer have a 67.4% lift in impressions. 

Don’t forget to be authentic, too. According to TikTok for Business, “authenticity and joy are unique and ownable aspects of the TikTok community, not only for users but also for brands and businesses looking to make an impact.” It enables you to create a real connection with your audience. 

What About Free TikTok Advertising? 

Outside of paid-for TikTok ads, there is a chance to gain traction for your business with a free branded account. Create original and authentic content that corresponds with trending hashtags, sounds and the latest memes, using TikTok’s built-in filters and editing tools.


We are Aura Ads, a unique performance creative agency designed for D2C eCommerce brands. We help clients sell more online and grow at scale with our bespoke video and static creative, delivered on a monthly basis. Find out more about how we can help with your TikTok ad creative on our website, and book in for a 30 minute chat about how one of our content plans can help your business grow.

Take a look at our blog on utilising TikTok ads for your foods and drinks business.

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