TikTok’s 6 Ad Types and How Much They Cost

We have already sung TikTok’s praises in our first article about the platform; so, if you’re looking to understand what TikTok advertising is all about and whether it’s a good fit for you – have a look there first.
For the more initiated, we have done our homework and here is our take.

There are 6 types of ads on TikTok, and some of them you might even afford.

1. In-feed Ads

The in-feed native video ad formats are the typical ads that you’ll expect to see on other social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram, with the exception that they take up all the screen, and hence – all user’s attention.

They currently cost £6.3 per CPM, making them probably the most affordable option of the lot, when taking into account the return on investment.

There are two types of In-feed Ads:

a. In-feed Ads (Diversion)
– No need to build an account.

b. In-feed Ads (Account)
– “Create videos with your soundtrack” supported;
– Receive additional organic impressions.

– Video ads only (up to 60 seconds) embedded within the “For You” feed.
– 26 kinds of CTAs supported.
– External/internal landing pages and app downloads supported.

Engaging formats of In-feed Ads also include: Interactive Card, Voting Card, and Display Card.

TikTok Ad Types In Feed Ads

2. Brand Takeover or Top View Lite

Formerly known as Brand Takeover, the Top View Lite ad is an image or video ad that appears instantly when a user opens TikTok.

The current pricing for this ad type on the UK market is £32,700 per day which guarantees a minimum of 6 million impressions.

– 3-second image or 3-5 second video (sound-off)
– External and internal landing page conversion supported.

*Currently, this ad type is limited to one advertiser per day (per category – supposedly “interest”).

3. Top View

Top View Ads are a fancier version of the Top View Lite and boast the following features:

– 5-60 seconds video with auto-play, sound-on;
– “Like”, “comment”, “share”, “follow” supported;
– External and internal landing page conversion supported.

There is no clear, available pricing for this option, but it is certainly not cheaper than Brand Takeover.

TikTok Ad Types Top View Lite

4. Branded Effect/Lenses

The Branded Effect/Lenses come with the promise to land your company in the Trending section of the Discover tab for 10 days.

TikTok offers the companies the possibility to create and use 2D, 3D, and Augmented Reality (AR) on the platform. The Branded Effect/Lenses enable users to interact with the brand and use its filter while promoting the consideration to buy and allowing them to test products.

The prices for this option range between £19,500 – £62,200.


– 20+ gestures and facial expressions applicable to trigger an effect.

This may be a better option than it seems at first, given that, according to TikTok, 64% of its users have tried face filters and lenses.

5. Branded Hashtag Challenges

There is no easier way to describe this ad option than mentioning 3 famous hashtags: #ChipotleLidFlip, #GuacDance, and #TikTokTimeOut – all part of Chipotle’s TikTok Strategy. Chipotle was one of the first brands to test the Branded Hashtag Challenge Option, which – by the looks of it – left both the brand and the users extremely satisfied.

Hashtag Challenges can be run free of charge too, but the brands run the risk of them not going viral. The sponsored version basically means that your challenge is placed on the discovery page for 6 days, providing the opportunity for maximum reach and engagement.

The Branded Hashtag Challenge Option is currently priced at £77,700 on the UK market.


– Reach mass audience;
– Generate USG at scale;
– Users may follow the brand and re-engage in the future.

6. Custom Influencer

As the eponymous title suggests, this option does exactly what its name says – it connects you with potential customers through influencers. The idea is to find the right influencers, so that your advertised product or service will be highly relevant to the influencer’s follower base.

Advantage: In some countries, you can partner with influencers directly via TikTok’s platform.

Fun fact: The top 50 TikTok creators have more followers than the populations of Mexico, Canada, the U.K, Australia, and the U.S. combined!

The Ad Formats

So there is clearly no way one could sneak text ads in an app like TikTok.
With that one out of the way, there are two formats of advertising available on TikTok – image ads and video ads. You can check below their basic specifications:

Image Ads

The image ads are only available for TikTok’s child apps: BuzzVideo, TopBuzz, Babe, Vigo.
– Ad Composition: Image creative + brand or app name + ad description.
– Image Resolution: No restrictions. The suggested resolution ≥1200*628px.

Video Ads

– Video duration: 5-60s allowed. TikTok recommends short videos of 9-15s.
– Ad Composition: Video creative + ad display image + brand or app name + ad description.
– Aspect Ratio: 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9.

Bidding Strategies

Since in-feed ads are the only option you can fully manage independently, let’s focus on what are your choices in respect of bidding.

TikTok differentiates between two types of bidding: methods and strategies. The bidding methods focus on “units” in which you want to measure your results and the pricing thereof. And the bidding strategies are about the results themselves.

1. Bidding Methods

There are 4 bidding methods that TikTok supports at the moment:

Cost per Click

– Similar to Google Ads CPC
– Applicable to the following Objectives: Traffic, App Installs, Conversions.

Optimized Cost per Click (oCPC)

– Similar to enhanced CPC in Google Ads
– Applicable to the following Objectives: App Installs, Conversions.

Cost per Mille (1K impressions)

– Applicable to following Objectives: Reach (currently in Beta and only available for certain accounts) and Traffic.

Cost per View

– Charged by: 2-second video views, 6-second video views, or video completion.
– Applicable to: Video Views (currently in Beta and only available for certain accounts).

2. Bidding Strategies

Currently, there are two main bidding strategies that you can choose from in the TikTok Ads Manager:

– Standard Bid
– Max Conversion (currently in Beta)

Standard Bid

Standard Bid gives you as much control over your ads’ pricing as (TikTok deems) possible by generously letting you set a bid price, in addition to setting your budget during the ad group creation. With this bidding strategy, TikTok will prioritize controlling average cost per result around or lower than your bid. You may think of it as the Facebook Bid Cap version.

Max Conversion

There are two types of Max Conversion that TikTok has to offer:

– Max Conversion with Bid
– Max Conversion without Bid

Max Conversion with Bid and Max Conversions without Bid are in some ways similar to Facebook’s Target Cost and Lowest Cost accordingly.

Max Conversion with Bid will focus around getting you a consistent and narrow range of costs per results within the boundaries of your budget and bid set, while Max Conversion without Bid will focus on getting you as many conversions as possible at the lowest cost and then gradually moving towards getting in more expensive conversions until it meets your budget limit.

Here is a little table that TikTok has drawn up to help us make more sense of them:


TikTok’s Budgeting is also similar to the Facebook structure. There are 2 options: Lifetime Budget or Daily Budget.


For campaigns

– both daily budgets and total budgets must exceed 50 USD.

For ad groups

– daily budgets must exceed 20 USD. Lifetime budgets will be calculated as the minimum daily budget (20 USD) × scheduled days. (meaning that the minimum monthly budget would be at least 600 USD.)

Note that the values shown in USD are for reference and the charges will automatically be converted in your choice of currency when submitted.

The platform is still very new and we feel like many capabilities and the pricing model itself will undergo a lot of changes; so, we will make sure to refresh this article from time to time with new updates. We hope that our little guide will help you make more informed decisions when deciding on the chunk of your budget to be allocated to TikTok.

Got any questions about how TikTok could benefit your business? Then feel free to get in touch with us.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with us today!