TikTok’s 1 billion active users spend an average of 89 minutes per day on the app, and open it an average of 19 times per day, making it an appealing social media platform for brands. 

TikTok’s quick, snackable content floods users with actionable trends and challenges. And, if content is engaging, it has the chance to go viral. Think of TikTok as a pop-cultural spotlight that’s ideal for creating and driving culture.

But how do you take your TikTok content to the next level?

Brands should incorporate the platform into their paid media strategies if they haven’t done so already.  TikTok’s paid media tools are growing fast and connecting content to direct sales. Discovering the best ways to use TikTok now will ensure that you’re in the perfect position to take advantage of new, powerful advertising tools. 

Where is TikTok in the advertising ecosystem?

TikTok’s full-screen, sound-on, immersive nature is exceptional at capturing people’s attention. Whilst the spontaneity and joy of the For You feed primes audiences to be more receptive to unsolicited ads and brand discovery. This provides the perfect environment for ads.

TikTok advertising tools

TikTok is increasingly becoming a paid advertising channel. The suite of seamless, easy-to-use branded solutions is embedded in the platform’s joyful content experience to help brands connect with consumers.

These paid media tools are growing fast and connecting content to direct sales, attribution, paid media, and click-to-buy.


The self-serve auction platform currently only works with in-feed ads (ads that show up natively as one scrolls down the feed).

As with Instagram, ads can be run in two different ways:

  1. Dark Ads (Non-Spark)
  2. Boosted Ads (Spark)

@dreyamac DC CHECK IN 👀🚨🚨 Honestly, you guys pushed our song so far and i’m SO GRATEFUL!! TY!! 😭❤️ – EVERYONE FOLLOW @Clarks Originals #AD #clarksoriginals ♬ Own Brand Freestyle – FelixThe1st & Dreya Mac

Dark ads

Dark ads cannot come from the influencer handle as the handle needs to truthfully represent the brand or product that is being advertised.

In fact, dark ads don’t connect to an existing TikTok account at all. Instead they use a display name and a profile picture set during the ad creation process, which means brands won’t need local TikTok handles.

This option also has a clickable Call to Action button and helps drive traffic and conversion. 

Boosted ads (Spark ads)

Boosted ads, as with Instagram’s Branded Content Ads, amplify the reach and impact of organic posts. They are served from the origin account (so can be influencer or brand), which connects to an actual profile. Influencers give boosting access to individual posts via authorization codes.

What’s more, links can be added so users can be directed to a brand’s landing page or music page. On TikTok, these ads are dubbed ‘Spark ads.’

This tactic is perfect for engagement and channel growth as well as more subtle traffic and conversion strategies.


These kinds of ads are storytelling video ads embedded within the ‘For You’ feed, meaning they quickly capture users’ attention. They’re designed to drive users to engage with the Challenge or product page. This encourages user engagement as well as external and internal landing page conversions.

Native in-feed video

This TikTok advertising format showcases your brand immediately when users open TikTok to reach and engage audiences in a visually impactful way.

With the ability to target by age, gender, location (state), interest categories, you can drive directly to the hashtag page or product page.

@remi.black Dc: @michelezan100 #foryou #SimsSelves ♬ original sound – Michele Zan

Branded hashtag challenge

This is a seamless and customizable TikTok experience is a storytelling video ad embedded within the ‘For You’ feed, designed to drive users to engage with the Challenge or product page. It puts brands at the centre of cultural movements by allowing them to share challenges far and wide in the TikTok community.

Hashtags allow users to follow from one video to another with similar content or style, which drives hashtag challenges like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.

Anyone can create a hashtag challenge, but the Branded Hashtag Challenge is a paid-for version that amplifies the hashtag idea.

BDB x TikTok advertising

At Billion Dollar Boy, we don’t just make ads, we make TikToks for some of the world’s biggest brands. We’ve helped launch beauty and lifestyle brands on the platform and developed brand content strategies for Kevyn Aucoin, Clarks Originals, Lyst and more. 

Billion Dollar Boy’ can utilize TikTok’s API for reporting and seamless integration to Companion, our own proprietary tech platform. Want to know more?

Get in touch if you want to take your TikTok campaign to the next level.

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