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OK Boomer, Here's the Scoop on TikTok Advertising Costs

Who should be advertising on TikTok and what is the average TikTok advertising cost? We answer these and dive into what type of ads are getting the sales.

7 mins read time
Josh Kolb
Josh Kolb

Dec 07, 2022

It seems everyone is talking about the TikTok app. While you might not know much about it, you do know that young folks find it all the rage and that it's had more than 1 billion downloads, especially in the "under 30" crowd. So maybe you need to look into advertising on this hot social media platform.

tiktok users by age


What Do You Need to Know About TikTok?

First of all...while TikTok is extremely popular among the under-30 crowd, it also has a pretty large following in the Millennial (21.7 percent) and Gen-X (20.3 percent) crowds. If you do the math, that's 217,000,000 Millennials alone, not to mention all the other users.

TikTok isn't just a platform where teenagers record themselves dancing to music...(yes, we thought that at first, too). It's a short-form video-only platform that allows users to self-publish 1-minute, 3-minute, or 10-minute videos (select creators) about whatever they want (as long as it doesn't violate community guidelines).

Content ranges from people showing funny pet videos to complaining about a bad day at the office to...yes, dancing to music. But mainstream news organizations now have business pages and make news posts, and even host live streams (the Johnny Depp court proceedings were all over TikTok from the mainstream news agencies).

TikTok has become a legitimate platform to be on if you're a business...and one you should be on. Step one is to create a profile on the platform and then switch it to a pro account complete with the Business Suite. Then you will have access to the different types of advertising functionality.

TikTok Advertising...What Types Are There?

What's most important about TikTok advertising is that it is extremely NON-competitive right now. The platform is still young. It isn't yet oversaturated with advertisers and paid social media ads. This gives anyone who does choose to get in early on the advertising side a distinct advantage. And the platform boasts an average 17.99 percent engagement rate in 2022, according to EasyViral and Grin.

TikTok offers a few different types of ads:

  • In-Feed ads are videos that show up on the "for you" page with a call-to-action button like "shop now."



  • Spark ads: These use already existing viral videos on your business TikTok page and link to a landing page instead of an account page.
  • TopView ads: These ads play for 60 seconds as soon as a user opens the TikTok app. They are full screen and auto-play sound. TopView ads are the most "traditional" type of advertising as they don't appear in-feed and definitely look like advertising. That doesn't stop them from boasting a supposed 67 percent effectiveness rate, says TikTok. These ads are also the priciest, with 7.4 million impressions costing $65,000 per day in 2020.



  • Brand Takeover Ads: Users see one Brand Takeover Ad per day on TikTok, which makes this option a bit pricier as well because of the lack of competition. These full-screen ads appear on someone's "For You Page"...aka their newsfeed after they open the app for 3 to 5 seconds. These are usually used for product launches and are ideal for brands with big budgets.
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads: What would social media be without hashtags? TikTok is no different. Brands create specific hashtags surrounding a specific challenge they want users to make videos of and promote the challenge using this type of advertisement. The users then create videos using the products and post them, making sure to include the challenge hashtag. This is a great way to engage TikTok users and get your brand out there.

Hashtag challenge


  • Branded Effects: TikTok users just love a new effect they can add to their videos to make them look different. Think "filter with your brand included." These are good for brands looking to create a unique identity on TikTok and become more well-known.

So What Is the TikTok Advertising Cost?

ad cost


TikTok advertising doesn't have to break the bank. You can use already-existing video templates on the platform that have music, input your own images, add your own URL and discount codes, and promote the video. The minimum TikTok ad campaign budget is $50. The average cost per 1,000 views on TikTok is $10, and the average cost per click is $1. This author has reached more than 5,000 people using less than half of that budget...so you could promote a couple of videos for $50. This is for in-feed video ads. Small businesses can be TikTok advertisers.

Now, if you want to get into the sponsored hashtag challenges, those are a flat rate of $150,000 per week.

A good rule of thumb is to budget a minimum of $500 per ad campaign to start, then take a look at your analytics, re-evaluate, and go from there.

What About TikTok Influencer Marketing?

Yes, you may have heard about this quite a bit. TikTok was a little slow in the beginning as far as setting up official paid advertising on its platform. During this time, users were building large followings, even in the millions. This especially happened at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brands began reaching out to these TikTok users with large followers, asking them to partner with and promote their products to their followers. TikTok Influencers were born, and it became a whole new source of income for some on the platform. Additionally, influencer partnerships gave brands an entirely new way to promote their products.

While some only charge $5 per post, it can range up to $2,500+ for an influencer with a large following. Using influencers to market your product or brand could be more effective than utilizing typical TikTok ads. Sources say 49 percent of TikTok users have purchased a product after seeing it promoted by an influencer on the platform. Just be sure that the influencer you choose is a good match for the type of product you are trying to sell.


What Types of Businesses Should Advertise on TikTok?

This brings us to another key point. TikTok's best-performing advertisers are business-to-consumer and mostly focused on the sales of products. In addition to the previous advertising options mentioned, TikTok has partnerships with Shopify and Square, making it possible for consumers to shop directly on the app. This is done through a link on a merchant’s TikTok profile. Additionally, TikTok has a partnership with TalkShopLive, allowing some businesses to sell via live streaming on the platform.

What Metrics Should I Measure on TikTok?

With your TikTok video ads, you will want to track the following metrics:

  • Total number of video views
  • The total video play time
  • The average video watch time
  • How many people watched the full video
  • How many likes the video received
  • How many shares the video has
  • How many people saved the video
  • What the comments are
  • Clicks on action button


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Josh Kolb

Josh is a Texan living in Dallas who started his career in finance. He has since used his love for numbers, profitability, and growth to manage paid advertising for hundreds of brands around the world. When he’s not working, you can find him on a beach or watching sports.

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