7 TikTok Ad Mistakes Businesses Should Avoid – Digital Marketing Blog

Are You Aware Of These TikTok Ad Mistakes?

TikTok is a huge opportunity for small businesses, and we’re excited to see that a lot of you are starting to advertise on the platform.

However, we also see a lot of mistakes that are hurting your ads. And we don’t want you to waste money or time. 

So, let’s look at the most common TikTok ad mistakes we see on the platform.

We will also show you how to set up an automatic ad later on, so stick around for that. 

Today, we’re going to share with you the biggest TikTok ad mistakes that we see, so you can avoid them and make the most of your budget.

Let’s dive in!

1. Repurposing content and ads from other platforms

The first one on our list of TikTok ad mistakes is a strategy that has worked for a lot of marketers so far.

That is because the presentation and user experience from platform to platform weren’t all that different.

A feed on Instagram, a feed on Facebook, and a feed on Twitter are all pretty much the same. 

So you could create one graphic, then resize it and drop it elsewhere for pretty similar results. 

Not so with TikTok.

The types of content and styles that work on other platforms simply are not working on TikTok anymore.

You need to approach your content creation differently from the beginning. 

We think a large part of this mistake is because marketers don’t understand the differences between TikTok and the other social media platforms.

That needs to change.

NOTE: You can repurpose TikTok content on other platforms like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, etc.

2. Companies don’t understand the platform

Since it’s so important for TikTok advertisers to understand the platform…

…we’re going to spend a bit of time in this section to go over some ways you can learn the platform. 

Before we do that, we want to encourage you to create an account and just start using the platform. 

Schedule it in your calendar for 20 or 30 minutes a day and spend time exploring the app. 

Here’s what we do when we’re learning a new platform: 

We observe these creator’s frequency of posting, style of posting, hashtag usage, descriptions, and engagement (number of likes, comments). 

They are not all the same. Some are terrifying places while others are lovely. 

We recommend you follow your competitors (if they’re on the platform) and anyone who is a popular creator in your space.

Then follow a bunch of the smaller creators too to see what they’re doing and what their comments sections look like.

Watch how they use the platform and how they engage with their viewers. This is also going to give you a list of potential influencers to connect with later.

So let’s get to know the platform a bit. 

Who uses the platform? And how?

How do trends work and why do you need to act quickly? (Hashtags, Sounds, Challenges, Effects, Dances)

tiktok ad mistakes

tiktok ad mistakes

If most of them weren’t made in the last 24 to 48 hours, that’s an indicator that the trend is dead.

And that won’t give you the algorithm boost you’re looking for.

Still use sounds you like! But not as a strategy for growth/virality. You can see the date it was posted next to the user name, above the description. 

You need to have fun! (Stop taking your advertising so seriously.)

Why does being too sales-y not work on TikTok?

A note on hashtag stuffing (use 4 to 5 max per video)

tiktok ad mistakes

Go to the search bar and type in your keyword. You’ll be able to sort through top users, videos, sounds, and hashtags. 

3. Neglecting to use user-generated content & skipping influencer marketing campaigns

Now moving on to our list of the biggest TikTok ad mistakes…

…if you don’t use user-generated content or influencers on TikTok, it’s not even worth advertising on the platform – honestly.

The bedrock foundation of TikTok is engagement.

Now you may be thinking, “Hey, the bedrock of any social media platform is engagement.”

And yes, but on TikTok, it’s flipped and reversed, just like Missy Elliot taught us. 

On TikTok, it’s expected that you engage with your customers/followers just as excitedly as they engage with you.

You have to engage authentically and encourage user-generated content to make your video marketing strategy successful on this platform. 

How to Promote & Encourage User-Generated Content

a. Duets

This shows your video playing alongside the original video. We’ve seen folks use these to respond, react, or engage with (like a skit). 

tiktok ad mistakes

b. Stitches

This allows you to use someone else’s video on your own for up to 5 seconds.

It’s a great way to include someone else’s content while still giving credit or referencing the original. And it doesn’t require extra work, so we love that.

Ideas for Duet & Stitch Use

(You can then stitch a bunch of these together in a future video.)

c. Direct Message

Send a DM to the creator and ask to post their video on your page, tagging them, and giving them credit.

If you notice a video or two from your customers getting a lot of action, we recommend going above and beyond when you thank them. 

Stitch and Duet their content, tag them, and give them all proper thanks, of course.

We like to encourage our clients to do a little extra – like sending a discount code, offering some product, or payment for thanks. 

We’ve actually used this method ourselves (on FB and IG, but the strategy is the same anywhere) to great success.

Here’s what we did: 

One of our clients was reinvigorating their organic social media, and had very little customer or user engagement.

They had an older audience, which made it even more difficult. 

But we monitored socials, and every time someone tagged us in a photo showing their finished product (this was a craft company that sold supplies)…

…we reacted and commented publicly with praise and thanks. 

Then we sent them private messages with more praise, more thanks, and a coupon code for 25% off their next purchase.

The customers were always so surprised, so thrilled, and posted about it everywhere.

We also asked permission to share their work to the business feed and they always said yes.

It took a few months of consistent work and encouragement…

…but user-generated content (quality and quantity) increased so much that the company was able to post 1 piece of high-quality UGC daily. 

d. Influencers

This is an excellent way to skip the hassle of growing an account and following (which you should be doing while you use influencers to help).

Find influencers in your niche with an engaged following (engagement matters way more than numbers).

We don’t like to pay for influencers with less than 3% engagement rate.

You can use an influencer marketing platform to find influencers at your budget and manage your projects.

It’s best to let the creators do their thing.

Their audience will be able to spot a formatted, scripted ad from their favorites right away and it really turns them off of your product.

Instead, give a few basic guidelines/directions and some branding requirements, and let them run with it. 

4. Only posting ads (or posting TikToks infrequently)

Next on our list of TikTok ad mistakes is thinking that paid advertising can’t be your only strategy on TikTok.

You’ll need to ensure that you’re posting organic content, and that you’re posting regularly.

You can’t just drop an ad onto the platform and run. 

You need to work on your organic content and building relationships with users on the platform.

5. Getting targeting wrong (not using custom or lookalike audiences)

Just like on other top-ranking social media platforms, you want to use Custom and Lookalike Audiences as often as you can.

For a full post explaining TikTok Ads for Beginners (including Custom and Lookalike audience setup), read this one we did recently. 

6. Ignoring the comments section (or engaging sporadically)

Just like you can’t drop an ad every now and then and run, you can’t post and run.

You need to engage in your comments section, messages, and in other’s comments sections. 

Why? Because the algorithm demands it and so do the users.

If you’re not responding to comments or being active in other comment sections (of your followers and other creators/business)…

…you won’t be able to retain followers, and there won’t be enough engagement on your video to get that boost from the algorithm. 

Take a look at how active these comments’ sections are. Notice that Target has interacted with most of them, even from very small creators. 

7. Don’t know the creative tools available to them

Last on our list of the top TikTok ad mistakes is not familiarizing yourself with the tools available.

A lot of marketers aren’t using the creative tools available to them.

And doing so will only increase the time you spend on your ads and their effectiveness.

Let’s go over the tools available to you. Plus, we’ll show you how to set up Automated Creative Optimization (a must-do). 

You have these tools available to you: 

You’ll want to spend time in each of these tools clicking all the buttons, doing testing, and trying things to see how it looks.

This is a crucial step.

By the way, if you want to learn how to design TikTok ads, we have recently published a post about that. Be sure to read it next.

Now that you’re familiar with the tools, let’s look at Automated Creative Optimization.

Automated Creative Optimization 

Advertising your business is a lot of ad creation, as well as testing and optimization. And that takes up a lot of your time.

That’s why we’re a big fan of the Automated Creative Optimization tool from TikTok.

This is like using dynamic ads on Facebook or on Google. 

You’ll upload a bunch of different versions of creative and copy, and then let TikTok choose the best combination for your ad. 

Some of the advantages of using Automated Creative are: 

Here’s how you’ll set up Automated Creative in the Ads Manager: 

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You may want to have someone double-check your translations before you go live with them. 

Congrats! Your automated ad is now launched.

If you’re interested in seeing the full walkthrough guide for this, then check out the video at the top of this post.

You’ll want to monitor performance and make adjustments to your next campaign after you evaluate the success of your ad. 

You can find what creative combinations are showing after you launch your ad by doing the following: 

If you avoid these top mistakes, you’ll be able to run more effective, affordable campaigns (and spend less time doing so). You can do it! 

And that’s it – the list of the biggest TikTok ad mistakes that you should avoid to ensure success with your paid ad campaigns!

If you want to learn how to DIY your marketing, check out our new social media ads training course.

Or you can also learn more about our social media advertising services and maximize the results you’re getting from your paid ads!

Call us at 404-596-7925 to schedule a meeting today.

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