Creative Solutions: The ultimate how-to guide

October 08, 2021

Winning with a TikTok-first approach

Creative Solutions: Ultimate how-to guide

To win on TikTok, businesses should tailor creative to the platform’s unique characteristics. But TikTok creative doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, it can be much more simple and cost-effective than other channels. This “how-to” guide provides background, best practices, and tips and tricks to help you get the most out of TikTok’s creative solutions.

There’s a lot in here, but it’s not about doing everything, but doing the right thing. Find the most relevant solutions for your business and customize them to your needs.

Winning with a TikTok-first approach

What does it mean to think TikTok-first?

TikTok is built on a content graph, not a social graph, and as a result content lies at the heart of the platform. TikTokers’ behaviors and their creative styles are shaped by our content preference delivery methods, keeping them inspired and energized through diverse discovery. Letting TikTok lead the way means keeping our community and their creative preferences top of mind when developing your materials.

Authenticity is key! 🔑  Businesses succeeding on TikTok create authentic content that closely aligns with the community and the native TikTok experience. On TikTok, everyone can be a creator simply by capitalizing on trends, getting involved in conversations, and expressing themselves in a genuine way. A diverse mix of music, voiceovers, and effects drives storytelling on our platform. Brands do best when they find their niche, actively listen to their audience, and engage with the latest trends

Big stories don't require big budgets

Creative content on TikTok doesn’t require a big production budget. Our built-in offerings and effects, paired with authentic, sound-on, and immersive full-screen creative is more than enough to wow audiences and win their hearts. TikTok's video creation and optimization solutions help reinvent the flow of video productions, allowing for content to be built for TikTok from the ground up. According to our analysis in Q1 of 2021, retail companies that utilized TikTok's creative tools delivered creative 14x more efficiently.*

Always-on & always intentional

Once your content is live, it travels freely on TikTok, reaching users based on their interests. In order to captivate new audiences, the key is to continuously share fresh and diverse content. Aim to post 1-4 times per day to test how different types of content are received. You can then add a paid boost to get the most out of your top-performing content. To win on TikTok, these crucial points need to be addressed: ❓ How can we improve the content’s creative quality? ❓ How can we produce a continuous, high-volume supply of fresh content? ❓ How can we control production costs while scaling to boost consumption of each piece of content?

👉  For more guidance in planning always-on content, see our two-part series about How to set your strategy and How to get creative

Building for TikTok 101

Creative on TikTok

🌊  Immersive. All ad creative on TikTok is a 9:16 full screen video 🎧  Sound-On. TikTok is always a sound-on experience—sound is not a secondary consideration ⏰  Short and Sweet. Short-form entertainment rules on TikTok—keep videos short, focused and engaging

Messaging on TikTok

👥   Get to know your audience. When coming up with messaging that will resonate, combine their taste with your brand values. 👷🏻‍♀️   Stay within the safe zone, so important information is not obscured by the buttons or caption. 💬   A punchy caption helps reinforce the message of your video and can contain hashtags. 📲   The CTA button must be tapped to click-through. Also worth keeping in mind: on TikTok, text that prompts users to "Swipe Up" will move the user to the next video, rather than triggering an action for your brand. Don’t make them go away!


✅  Do scale your ad production to ensure a constant flow of fresh creative ✅  Do bet on uniqueness and creativity. Content with its own flair makes TikTok thrive, and is key to great results.


🚫  Don't expect that every piece of creative will contribute to a result. 🚫  Don't just replicate the same creative used on other platform

👉 To master popular TikTok transitions, check out our shooting tips. To learn more about best-performing ad creative on TikTok, see our 9 creative tips and VidMob's data-driven insights.

Make the most of our creative solutions

TikTok Creative Center

Start your creative journey here. The Creative Center is a free resource that helps businesses discover top-performing ads and to spot user trends across regions and demographics.

🎥 Top Ads tool gives you a clear overview of top-performing ad creative across verticals and regions. 🔥 Popular Trends is an interactive hashtag tracker for spotting what’s hot on TikTok this week or this month. 🏆 Showcases highlight success stories from a diverse set of advertisers.


 ▶︎ Familiarize yourself with popular TikTok trends and video styles  ▶︎ Elevate your ad creative with data insights  ▶︎ Get inspired by ads that perform well in your vertical or region

👉  If you're a Business Account user, you can also check out trending ads for inspiration in the Business Creative Hub.

TikTok Creator Marketplace [beta]

Nobody creates natively for TikTok better than creators, and you can find your best fit at the TikTok Creator Marketplace. TikTok is the place to be for creators, from dancers to comedians, and everyone in between. Choose from our impressive creator community to launch your brand. Have them amplify your brand voice and ride the right trends to help you gain traction within their communities.


 ▶︎  Find creators who love to entertain and have a unique POV  ▶︎ Think of them as production partners, experts in their field  ▶︎ Let them have fun and make magic for your brand

TikTok Video Editor

Customize your content from within TikTok for true native content creation. TikTok Video Editor allows you to create seamlessly and flexibly all in one place. Add music, text in a variety of fonts and colors, creative effects, transitions, and more to make your content stand out while remaining true to the platform.


 ▶︎  Select impactful visuals  ▶︎  Use engaging music and sound effects  ▶︎  Experiment with different styles to find your niche

Smart Video Soundtrack

With Smart Video Soundtrack, you can find pitch-perfect audio for your content, all from within TikTok. The rhythm, melody, style, and mood of the selected track can help you convey the relevant information to your target audience on a deeper level - whether it’s your brand values or product information. Music leaves a solid brand impression and can attract more potential customers.


▶︎  First and foremost, consult the recommendation lists  ▶︎  Select vertical-matched music  ▶︎  Adjust video and music volume to find the perfect balance

Video Template

TikTok is all about remixing and recreating--you don't need to build everything from scratch. TikTok Video Template allows you to create top-quality ad creatives from over 100 customizable templates. Find the right template for your brand using advanced search filters, then simply drop in your photos, text and logos to make them your own. The tool also comes loaded with over 4,000 free background music options for you to select the right sound for your brand.


 ▶︎  Keep text to a minimum - pair each image with a single impactful message  ▶︎  Use the Masking feature to preview how your video will appear as an ad on TikTok ▶︎  Select up to 20 different background music tracks to create and test different versions of each video

Smart Text

Writing ad copy can be time-consuming. Our Smart Text tool helps you beat writer's block and automatically generate and translate text for your ads in multiple different languages. Simply enter your industry, language and keyword. Smart Text will then generate 10 text phrases at a time for you to choose from, adapt and make your own.  


 ▶︎ Input keywords and phrases relevant to your product or brand  ▶︎  Use the generated text options as thought-starters  ▶︎  Revise suggested copy to ensure it sounds true to your brand and the platform

TikTok represents a one-of-a-kind platform for businesses to engage with their communities, and reinforce customer relationships in a way that no other digital environment can offer. When you take advantage of the suite of creative tools and best practices here, you’re venturing on the path to making the most of TikTok for your business. And remember, Don’t make ads. Make TikToks.

* in an analysis of retail ad campaigns delivered in North America in Q1 2021, the average number of ads per campaign that used Creative Tools was 14x higher than the campaigns that did not use creative tools.