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Tips to improve TikTok conversions in your ads – with examples

Tips to improve TikTok conversions in your ads – with examples

How to make TikTok ads that work, go viral and avoid the dreaded shadowban? Find out in this article.

7 min read
Feb 25, 2022

TikTok is a powerful social media platform with a significant presence, and advertising on it can be great for your business. But don't be fooled, driving TikTok conversions is different from other platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads.

TikTok's fun and optimistic narrative brings in over 885 million potential consumers, who come to be entertained, inspired, or informed. But advertising on it is nothing like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, even if the TikTok ads manager seems similar to the others.

TikTok lives by its own rules, which both advertising and native content must adhere to, in order to be successful.

With that in mind, here are some good practices inspired by leading brands to help you come up with top-quality creatives for your TikTok audience.

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(Relatively) long videos do better

TikTok recommends making your videos 21 to 32 seconds long. Official statistics indicate that videos of this length perform 280% better, compared to shorter ads.

Lengthier creatives help the algorithm track the average watch time and boost engaging TikTok ads. The trick is making fast-pasted content.

For example, e-commerce videos with frequent cuts have a 38% lift in conversion, according to TikTok's statistics.

Text captions, jump cuts, effects, colors – these are the tools to keep your viewers glued to the screen.

But there are exceptions. When Marc Jacobs started a hashtag with the creator Rickey Thompson, they went for shorter than recommended video, but its intensity and a split-screen format has accumulated more than jaw dropping 10 billion views.

Fast-paced music and voice overs increase TikTok conversions

In their article from 2020, TikTok suggested using upbeat music above 120 BPM and the chances that viewer’s psychology has changed since then are slim.

Also, using voiceover instead of text for offers shows an 87% TikTok conversion lift in e-commerce videos.

Canadian company Clearly was on a mission of donating a pair of glasses for every pair bought and directing the public’s attention to the lack of access to clear vision.

They have launched a six-day campaign adding the company name to the lyrics of the sample and got 116 million unique views globally.

And an original brand reminder within a catchy tune brought Lay’s 70 million impressions.

Apparently, users went crazy over the sound of crunching on a potato chip included in a branded hashtag dance routine.

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Adding captions is more important than ever

Not only is adding captions more inclusive (for people hard of hearing), it is an conversion tactic TikTok suggests. Videos with closed captioning and added CTA provide 80% and 157% lift in TikTok conversions respectively.

Including text is also a way to trigger curiosity and retain the viewer’s attention during a longer video.

Justmop used Creative Marketplace to collaborate with a creator to make a humorous video with not only captions, but an actual text message sent to the cleaning company. Smart use of text and cute narrative has brought her video more than 26 000 views.

Breaking the 4th wall is an effective tactic

Best conversions are achieved by involving people in your creatives: someone relatable, inspiring. Someone who talks directly to the viewer.

TikTok’s core value is breaking the 4th wall and creating a sense of positive, supportive, and fun-loving community. And trusting the community can turn out to be rewarding, as proven by the #BMWeDRIVE branded hashtag challenge.

By allowing TikTok users to express themselves, BMW engaged 3400 participants from 49 countries bringing a stunning 6.29 million engagements.

The company has launched a challenge offering a song remix sample and letting the participants do whatever they felt like, with no choreography and no rules.

Basics of storytelling still work

Start your video with a problem, mark the path to the solution and wrap it up with a triumphant grand finale.

Coincidentally (or not), this narrative is used in advertising since the telemarketing ages where the protagonist would be struggling to open a jar of pickles and then celebrating victory with an UnpickleMaster3000 in hand and a jubilant smile on their face.

By building a story and showing struggles and wins, you can not only create effective TikTok content but also build a loyal customer base invested in your brand emotionally.

Just look at how Volkswagen collaborated with a mom-son duet to showcase their new model. Showing off the benefits from the point of view of a little boy adds the naive excitement with an ability of the car to find ice-cream.

TikTok's "shadowban" can tank performance (but it's not proven)

TikTok Shadowban

TikTok users reported unexplainable performance dips, as if the algorithm was “ghosting them”. Some say it’s just an algorithmic error. Others, like this user on Reddit who has 6 million followers, claim they’ve had a tremendous drop in views for exactly 14 days, which seems weirdly specific.

According to TikTok, there’s no such thing as a shadowban. The best course of action is to study TikTok Ads guidelines carefully and follow them to a tee.

TikTok's creative codebook

TikTok has created a codebook that can greatly help first time content creators as well, they call it the Creative codebook.

It consists of 6 guiding principles for creating content that should perform well for your conversion campaign.

  1. Think TikTok-first: Create ads that feel natural and seamless to the platform, using TikTok-specific features and trends.
  2. Use trends as storytelling templates: Tap into trending cultural moments to connect with new customers and tell your brand story in a way that resonates with them.
  3. Follow production principles: Shoot vertically, use high-resolution footage, and be aware of the UI-friendly "safe space" to create efficient and effective ads.
  4. Structure your videos to hook viewers and inspire action: Use a three-part structure consisting of a hook, body, and close to grab attention, convey value, and drive action.
  5. Stimulate attention with editing techniques: Use music, transitions, movement, text overlay, emojis, and branding to create interest, capture attention, and drive ad memorability.
  6. Turn up the volume with the right soundtrack: Use audio to set the mood, uplift your story, and connect with viewers.

If you want to learn about these 6 principles in detail, you can take their creative codebook course in the TikTok Academy.


TikTok offers a unique advertising platform with its own set of rules. Overall, successful TikTok creatives involve more engaging videos, fast-paced music, captions, relatable personalities, and storytelling.

TikTok ads are quickly becoming surrounded by full-out mythology, though. Many believe, that if you post your creative and swiftly exit the platform, the algorithm will ramp up your views just to accumulate notifications and lure you back.

But there’s a better way to ensure your creatives will have the views and conversions they deserve, than trusting AI specters: post quality and consistent content.

Key Insights

  • TikTok boasts over 885 million potential consumers who seek entertainment, inspiration, or information on the platform.
  • Using fast-paced music above 120 BPM and voiceovers instead of text can significantly increase TikTok conversions.
  • Adding closed captions for inclusivity and including clear calls to action (CTAs) can boost TikTok conversions by 80% and 157%, respectively.
  • Engaging viewers directly is an effective strategy to boost conversions on TikTok. It aligns with TikTok's value of creating a positive, supportive, and fun-loving community.
  • Employing storytelling techniques, such as highlighting a problem, showcasing the solution, and ending with a triumphant conclusion, can be a powerful strategy for TikTok advertising.


Why is TikTok a good platform for advertising?

With over 800 million users, there is an amazing opportunity to convert it's audience into existing customers.

According to their page for businesses, 52% of users say they find new products in TikTok ads and 61% of users think TikTok ads are different from major social and video platforms.

What is a good conversion rate for TikTok

Even though there is no right or wrong number - it depends on the business and industry - a few studies show that it ranges from 1% up to 3.4%.

What is a "shadowban" and is it real?

A "shadowban" is a rumored punishment that TikTok gives to users who violate the platform's terms of service. This punishment is said to make it more difficult for a user's videos to be seen by other users. However, TikTok has repeatedly denied that shadowbans exist.

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About the author
Ksenia Sverku
Ksenia Sverku
Editor, Revealbot
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