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TikTok Ad Creative 101: How to Create TikTok Ads that Convert

TikTok ad creative

TikTok ad creative is the key element that can make or break the success of your advertising campaign. Unlike other platforms, TikTok allows brands to reach massive audiences without too much ad spending. However, if your ad creative is not captivating, users are likely to skip out in a blink of an eye. 

So, how can you keep viewers engaged with your ad content until the end and entice them to take action? Keep reading to learn more about how to create engaging TikTok ad creative that converts! 

What is TikTok Ad Creative? 

TikTok ad creative is the image, video or other media formats featuring specific products or services. TikTok users can interact with ad creative when they open the app or scroll through For you feed. 

To better understand TikTok ad creative, let’s take a look at the breakdown of TikTok ads structure below. 

TikTok ad structure
TikTok ad structure

TikTok Ads Manager is the advertising account where you set up new ad campaigns, manage campaign lists and monitor ad performance. When it comes to TikTok ad structure, it includes 3 main criteria. 

  • Ad campaign: This is the foundation of your ad where you set up ad objective and campaign name. An ad campaign may include one or multiple ad groups. 
  • Ad group: This is where you define target audience, ad placements, budget & bidding. An ad group may include one or multiple ad creatives.  
  • Ad creative: This is the image or video advertisement about your product or service. It may include a call to action button (CTA) that directs users to a website or landing page. 

Why does good TikTok ad creative matter? 

Having understood what TikTok ad creative is, we shall explore why good TikTok ad creative matters and how it can significantly impact the success of your marketing campaigns:

Resonate with the platform 

People come to TikTok for entertaining, creative, and authentic content which lies at the heart of this platform. Therefore, it’s important to make your ad creatives native and resonate with your target audience on TikTok. 

When it comes to advertising on TikTok, keep in mind that “Don’t make ads, make TikTok”. It means successful TikTok ad requires content that embraces the creativity, positivity, and realness of TikTok. Your content should be delivered like an ad but loved like organic, real content.

No need for a big budget, a great TikTok ad creative can cut through the noise and drive impact on users. TikTok’s UI is designed for discovery and prioritizes quality content over all else, resulting in long session times and high engagement.

Resonate with the audience 

It’s no doubt that a good creative lures the audience. 

Since good ads can blend so seamlessly into user-generated content, they can pique users’ curiosity and hold their attention for longer. Incorporating relatable characters, real-life scenarios, or user testimonials can foster a sense of authenticity, making viewers more likely to invest their time and attention. 

Also, with a higher audience watch time, it is likely that users will be able to grasp the appeal that your product or service is bringing, hence positively influencing their purchasing decision! 

Winning examples of TikTok ad creative

Let’s face it: It’s hard to know if your ad creative is good enough. So, you can take a look at these winning examples of TikTok ad creative that have successfully captured the attention of users, generated engagement, and delivered outstanding results.

e.l.f. CosmeticsEyes, Lips, Face

An example of leveraging the power of sound is the beauty brand – e.l.f. Cosmetics. It dropped their original hit “Eyes, Lips, Face” in association with Grammy-winning producer iLL WAYNO featuring Holla FyeSixWun. 

This catchy song inspired many celebrities and influencers to participate in the #eyeslipsface challenge. The song is currently featured in over 5 million videos, and the videos with the hashtag #eyeslipsface have received close to 7 billion views.

LUS Brand – Sale Season 

Another example of a small brand with good creatives that drive conversion is LUS Brand’s sales promotion campaign. They are a small brand, famous for their vegan haircare products that are customized for wavy, curly, and kinky-coily hair types. Last year, LUS launched a promotional ad campaign aimed at enticing users to purchase their curl-care product.


the curl routine you’ve been looking for

♬ original sound – LUS Brands
LUS brand – Source: TikTok

What works: 

  • Include many jump cuts to keep the audience excited 
  • Big & Catchy caption to emphasize the sales 
  • Credibility from big magazine’s review; included as the hook of the ad

The results: 

  • Peak 100% Conversion rate

How to create good TikTok ad creative

Creating compelling TikTok ad creative is essential for maximizing the potential of your advertising campaigns. By following these steps, you can effectively engage your target audience, address their pain points, and drive conversions.

6 steps to creating a good ad creative
6 steps to creating a good ad creative

Choose Your Products

Select products or services that align with your brand and resonate with your target audience. Ensure that your offerings are well-suited for a TikTok audience and can be effectively showcased in short-form video content.

Identify Your Target Audience

This is the key step to understanding which type of people will be the most likely to resonate with your ad and buy your product. You can analyze and segment them based on the following criteria: 

  • Demographics: Determine the key demographic characteristics of your target audience, such as age, gender, location, and language preferences.
  • Psychographics: Understand the psychological traits, values, interests, and lifestyles of your target audience to tailor your ad creative accordingly.
  • Behavioral: Analyze your audience’s online behavior, preferences, and interactions with similar products or services to refine your targeting strategies.

Identify their pain points 

Everybody has their pain points, and it’s an advertiser’s job to understand what they are. Hence, you should carry out intensive research so that you can pinpoint the specific frustrations, challenges, or annoyances that your target audience experiences in their daily lives. This could be related to specific moments or situations that cause them irritation or dissatisfaction.

As an illustration, let’s say you’re promoting sugar-free gums to health-conscious individuals. In your ad creative, you can focus on specific moments throughout the day when they require gums, such as during working hours to enhance productivity or after a meal to freshen their breath; but they don’t want the guilt of consuming sugar coming along with it. 

Position your goods

Position your product or service as the solution to your target customer’s pain points. You can start with highlighting how your offering can reduce their frustrations and make their lives easier. Then, you clearly communicate the unique value proposition that sets your product apart from competitors.

Following the previous example, now you can emphasize the fact that if they use your sugar-free gum, they can enjoy the usual benefits of gum without any guilt associated with consuming sugary alternatives.

Provide reasons-to-believe with a strong CTA 

To further persuade your audience into thinking your product is a worthy purchase, provide compelling reasons for your target audience to believe in the effectiveness of your product or service. Social proof, such as customer testimonials, reviews, or case studies, can be a good tactic to build trust and credibility. 

Additionally, you should include a clear call-to-action (CTA) that directs viewers on how to take the desired action, such as visiting a website, making a purchase, or downloading an app.

Use Split Testing

Well, don’t expect to get the best result from the first try. When setting up your campaign, we recommend implementing split testing to compare the performance of different ad variations. Here, you can test various elements such as visuals, ad copy, CTA placement, or targeting options to identify the most effective combination. 

Once you get the hang of it, continue to monitor and analyze the results to optimize your ad creative and improve conversion rates. You can learn how to use split test from TikTok Business Center’s guide:

7 Tips to create winning TikTok Ad Creative 

For your ad creative to leave a lasting impression on your audience, we suggest you try out TikTok ad creative best practices for your next ad campaign. 

Create native ads 

Do you wonder why user-generated content gets high engagement and drives impactful action on TikTok? That’s because TikTok users love authentic content. 

For all business owners, when it comes to running TikTok ads, remember the mantra “Don’t Make Ads, make TikToks”. If you want to create a TikTok ad that converts, make sure it’s authentic, genuine, creative and entertaining. Customers are more interested in the real-life benefits of products, and getting information from a trusted source, than they are about studio-quality effects and high production costs.

To create impactful organic content for advertising on TikTok, we recommend exploring 2 approaches:

UGC TikTok ad

By replacing influencers with normal users and actual customers, you significantly enhance the authenticity of your content, providing a native feel for your viewers. Furthermore, what’s the most exciting about UGC TikTok ads is their availability of ever-evolving content formats, allowing you to continually experiment and engage with your audience.

Some high-converting UGC ad formats you can try are: Review/Testimonial ads, tutorial-based ads, etc.

Comparison style ad

This approach involves showcasing your own product alongside other products available in the market, revealing their true essence. This raw and authentic portrayal is particularly favored on TikTok, as it captures the platform’s unique atmosphere.


Replying to @shaderbaleng1 why do most backpacks not have this? #brevite #backpack #comparison #commuterbag

♬ Sky Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Furthermore, you can follow some tips below to enhance your authenticity. 

  • Capitalize on hot trends, hashtag,s and effects 
  • Leverage collaborative features like Duet, Stitch and Reply to Comments to connect with a wider audience
  • Express yourself in a genuine way (Explore new ways of shooting and editing, and showcase the unique points related to your brand) 
  • Avoid putting your logo right at the beginning of the ad. 

Clearly showcase your product 

A common mistake often made by beginners is prioritizing the appearance of authenticity in their videos, leading to high reach and engagement but ultimately resulting in few conversions. What you need to remember is that the primary objective of the ad is still to advertise your product to the audience and communicate the benefits it offers.

Therefore, to avoid this trap, ensure that you clearly showcase your product during the ad. We suggest you include pertinent information such as where to purchase your product and its price. By providing these details, the audience will find it easier to make informed choices, which is good for your business!

The key takeaway here is to maintain a balance between balancing authenticity with effective advertising techniques. If you manage to do that, it helps you achieve the desired outcome of not only capturing viewers’ attention but also driving conversions and making your audience aware of the benefits your product brings. The following example from Fenty Beauty is a perfect balance between showcasing your product and attempting genuine humor from Rihanna:


When #FentyParfum smells THAT mf good 🤭 MUVA @rihanna knows best 🖤 Her signature scent defies categorization: warm, sensual, spicy, floral, musky, and intoxicating 🤩 Mother’s Day is right around the corner so don’t be caught lackin’ and get your Fenty Parfum NOW on the #FentyBeauty site 🌹

♬ original sound – Bestviralvidz

Switch up your scenes

TikTok with various jump cuts receive a 40.6% increase in impressions when compared to videos that feature one person on screen selling the goods with no or little transition footage. Therefore, you should show your products from different angles in your TikTok ad creative. This helps users easily envision that product for themselves in reality. 


obsessed with the cutest luggage I have ever found! I love how functional these luggage’s are while being so sleek and cute while traveling. they are so incredibly smooth and have that perfect color pop #monostravel #monostravelcompanion @monostravel #latina #latinacreator #latinacommunity #luggage #travel

♬ I Think I Like When It Rains – WILLIS
Monos’ luggage UGC ad – Source: TikTok

Be aware of ad specs and instructions

If you’re not aware yet, TikTok has provided detailed guidelines on recommended ad elements and specifications to increase the chances of your video going viral. So, before launching your next ad, make sure you adhere to the TikTok rules so that you can maximize the potential of your creatives. 

Make the most of TikTok creative solutions 

TikTok provides you with a lot of useful tools to make winning ad creative that drives impacts on users. Find out more in the following.

TikTok creative solutions
TikTok creative solutions – Source: TikTok for Business
  • TikTok Creative Center: The Creative Center is a free resource that helps businesses discover top-performing ads, user trends across regions, and success stories.
  • TikTok Video Editor: Here’s the necessary tool to edit your ad creative (Add music, text in a variety of fonts and colors, creative effects, transitions, and more). 
  • Smart Video Soundtrack: This tool helps you find pitch-perfect audio for your content, all from within TikTok. 
  • TikTok Creator Marketplace: This is the place where you can find creators that best match your brand and help you gain traction within their communities.
  • Video Template: With Video Template, you can simply create a video ad by selecting a template and uploading your photos, text, and logos.
  • Smart Text: Smart Text helps you beat writer’s block and automatically generates and translates text for your ads in multiple different languages.

Ensure regular ad change 

According to TikTok, it is recommended to refresh your creatives ideally once every 7 days or at least once every 2 weeks.

If you are new at running TikTok ads, try using diverse creative in the beginning stages to test which type of content performs better. This comes into handy during the ad group’s exploration stage.

TikTok also suggests utilizing Automated Creative Optimization (ACO), an excellent tool that automates the process of finding effective creatives, saving you time. ACO is particularly useful when running more than ten different creatives within a single ad group.

Have a maximum of 3-4 active creatives per ad group

Do you know that having too many creatives can result in spreading the budget too thinly? That’s why it is generally recommended to have a maximum of 3-4 active creatives per ad group as a best practice. If you need to maintain equal exposure for each creative, one option is to set up a separate ad group for each creative. This way, budgets can be allocated at the ad group level.

Note: This approach is particularly useful for advertisers who aim to ensure that each creative receives an equal budget allocation.

Bring your brand to life via TikTok Ad Creative 

TikTok ads give brands a lot of opportunities to broaden their reach and drive conversions. Hope that our guides above have helped you on creating engaging, high-converting TikTok Ad Creative.

However, other than choosing suitable ad creative successful TikTok ad campaign requires a smart strategy for selecting ad objectives, allocating the budget, defining target audience, and much more. So if you need an easy-to-use tool that helps to simplify TikTok ad setup and maximize return on ad spends, try NestAds – Simple yet powerful TikTok ads management software now for free!


Meet our Author


Author at NestScale

Rachel is a Saas marketer writing about technology, digital transformation, and solutions for eCommerce businesses. When not writing, she enjoys traveling, watching TV shows, and cooking new recipes.


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