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TikTok Ads Holiday Guide to Inspire Shoppers & Crush 2022 Sales

TikTok Ads guide for holiday shopping season

The holiday shopping season is just around the corner and have you planned for your TikTok ads holiday? TikTok will be the go-to resource for customers to discover anything this season, from gifts, fashion to decor and food inspiration. Advertising on TikTok enables you to reach out to massive potential customers, drive engagement, and leverage sales

In this article, you’ll find the ultimate TikTok Ads guide for the 2023 holiday shopping season. Keep reading to discover high-converting ad strategies and as a bonus to reading until the end: we also provide an organic marketing guide if you need it and a method to connect with audience across multiple channels!

Why you should jump into TikTok Ads this holiday season? 

TikTok users’ holiday behaviors

The holiday season is the best time of the year for a reunion, connection, and engagement with beloved ones. So, they tend to spend more and shop more to enjoy this day to the fullest, and TikTok users are no exception. 

TikTok holiday shopping season in 2023 is kicking off earlier than ever to maximize holiday cheer. In fact, 15% of all product discoveries begin on TikTok and 67% of TikTok audience start their holiday shopping at least a few weeks before. 

TikTok holiday opportunity
TikTok holiday opportunity

Otherwise, users choose TikTok to relish their holiday moments with a lot of joy, engagement and connection. 1 in 2 TikTok users turn to their For You Page for holiday and shopping events content. 

And 61% of TikTok users decided to purchase something right on TikTok or right after seeing it on TikTok. What a significant demand for shopping on this platform! That’s why no matter how many followers you gain or how many videos you’ve published, you can still connect with the most engaged and potential customers. 

TikTok holiday opportunity
TikTok holiday opportunity

Remind again: your brand should never miss this opportunity to skyrocket your sales and leverage the power of a word-of-mouth marketing. Why? Because 1.7x more likely to create a post showing off something they bought and follow a brand account (compared with traditional social platform users)

Especially, TikTok users even continue to plan and celebrate after the holidays! 1.3x more likely to buy something in preparation for next year (compared with traditional social platform users). 

TikTok holiday inspirations

Compared to other social media platforms, TikTok has the power to inspire holiday purchases across gifting, hosting and more. According to TikTok research, holiday hashtags got massive engagement from the community. Users coming from all walks of life gather on this platform to spread and share holiday spirit across the community. 

TikTok holiday inspirations
TikTok holiday inspirations – Source: TikTok

Take note of these Holiday key dates

The holiday season is the busiest day for both brands and customers. People often shop more, which encourages brands to take advantage of this season peak to boost sales more than other periods of the year.  

To help every brand have meticulous preparation before running an ad festive campaign, we mark calendars below to notify you when the holiday is gonna come. 

TikTok holiday key dates
TikTok holiday key dates – Source: TikTok

For each holiday, brands should invest time and effort in researching and analyzing users’ behaviors and traditions to tailor the holiday campaign. Thus, you can get more TikTok users to immerse in the holiday spirit and vibe during their shopping experience. 

TikTok ads holiday guide for e-commerce to get ready

After knowing which holiday is going to be around the corner, start drafting out to-do tasks to get the best performance. How do I prepare for holiday shopping season? When should I start selling holiday items? How can I increase sales during holiday season? 

If you are asking all these questions, keep reading and you will find a recommended month-by-month holiday plan for both small and big businesses! Remember that preparation and planning will decide your success. “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet” 

Pre-holiday (July-September)

Pre-holiday is totally the stage of testing and learning different targeting strategies, audiences, and creative formats. You will plan ahead, build awareness, create demand for peak seasons, and discover what works best for your business. So what are you going to do exactly? Overall, there are 5 steps to complete

TikTok Ads pre-holiday guide
TikTok Ads pre-holiday guide

Step 1: Set up TikTok Ads Manager account 

Do note that this step is for beginners. If you already have a TikTok Ads account, please scroll to the 2nd step.

By creating a TikTok Ads Manager account, you have access to all the necessary features for launching an ad campaign from scratch: detailed account dashboard, creative tools & ad formats, advanced targeting, and measurement solutions.

Step 2: Set up product catalog

Setting up product catalog helps you sync your products directly from your e-commerce platform like Shopify, BigCommerce, etc. Once your catalog gets approved by TikTok, you can run Video Shopping ads to promote your whole list of products. 

During the holiday shopping season, many brands try to advertise a lot of items to maximize sales. That’s why bringing your product catalog directly to the FYP by running Video Shopping Ads is the best way to save time but still drive positive results. 

Step 3: Set up TikTok Pixel

The next step is to get your tech ready by setting up TikTok Pixel. Why? TikTok Pixel is a piece of code that you add to your website to track specific events (or in a simple way: user behaviors). Using TikTok Pixel is a must because this tool helps you:

  • Track different conversion events
  • Collect data and insights for ad optimization and retargeting strategy

If you are just starting to advertise on TikTok during the holiday season, it’s highly recommended to let the TikTok algorithm learn and find the most potential audience for your business. That’s why between the 6 optimization events, you should choose a mid-funnel event like Add to Cart. Once TikTok understands your ideal audience, you can change to Complete payment. 

TikTok optimization events
Choose TikTok optimization events

Step 4: Run sample campaigns

After adding TikTok pixel to your website, it’s time to launch a sample campaign. This testing campaign is used for finding winning ad creative and collecting insightful data about your audience. 

Here are some tips and tricks to simplify the ad creation process, nurture your first campaign, and capitalize on consumer mindsets across pre-holiday:

  • Choose conversion as the campaign objective
  • Run 1 campaign with different ad groups and each ad group has only 1 ad creative. In this way, you can have a clear picture of ad creative’s performance and find the one that works best. 
  • Choose Add to Cart or Complete payment as optimization events. If you’ve made it the first time, here are some tips for you to drive better results.

Choose Add to Cart, after 1 week if you receive at least 1 Add to Cart conversion, then start a new ad group with Complete payment event. If you gain 0 Add to Cart conversion, we recommend running a new ad group with View Content event

TikTok optimization event
TikTok ads guide for first campaign
  • Target a large audience instead of narrowing down and setting specific user interests. This way helps you gain data and therefore discover your high-converting TikTok users. 
  • Ensure that your TikTok Ads meet the holiday spirit with creativity and joy. So that your brand can easily become a part of the TikTok holiday shopping season. 

Step 5: Collect data for the peak holiday season

The final thing to do during the pre-holiday shopping season is to collect and analyze data from your testing campaigns. Based on all the previous TikTok Ads, you can discover the high-converting ad formats and what kind of audience shows a high engagement rate.

Peak holiday (October-December)

Preparing for pre-holiday is done! Welcome to the most interesting part: How to maximize sales with TikTok Ads for the peak holiday season with 2 simple steps? 

TikTok Ads peak-holiday guide
TikTok Ads peak-holiday guide

Step 1: Find your potential customers & engage them at every stage of the funnel

How about leveraging TikTok custom audiences or lookalike audiences? These features will help you to reach more of your prospective audiences based on the data you’ve gained (that’s the main reason why running sample campaigns plays a major role).

You can also retarget TikTok users who have already engaged with your brand before. It’s a good idea to drive lower CPA and higher ROAS. 

Step 2: Optimize & scale high-performing ad groups

After finding strong-performing ad groups (CVR and ROAS are between 2% and 3%, CTR is around 1%), let’s optimize these TikTok Ads. We highly recommend always focusing on the ABCD model to scale up your ads:

  • A for audience: Analyze your audience and use all these analytics to narrow down your target audience.
  • B for budget: Consider increasing your budget by up to 50% every 3 days. This will help you to capitalize on the shopping season. 
  • C for creative: Don’t forget to refresh creative when needed. Continue to test different creative formats to increase audience engagement. 
  • D for destination: Try your best to optimize your landing page to make shopping easier for your customers. 

Post-holiday (Q1 2024)

Keep in mind that TikTok users celebrate the holiday season even if it has ended. That’s why keeping the holiday spirit and capitalizing on audiences who are still interested is a good idea. You should:

  • Take a closer look at the results from all the peak holiday campaigns
  • Launch your post-holiday campaign with stop-scrolling creative and catchy CTA

Holiday e-commerce solutions to skyrocket your sales

Between the diverse range of TikTok ad formats, we have done some research and collected the holiday solutions for every business owner to make more and more revenue. Focusing on these ads in the 2023 holiday season and you won’t regret it!

Video Shopping Ads

Video Shopping Ads are shoppable video ads that smoothly lead users from the For You Page to the checkout process. Why does this ad format really matter during this 2023 holiday? With an excellent target setting, this feature can deliver your products or services to users who are more likely to turn into converted ones.

It’s also about connecting with shoppers more easily at various stages of their shopping journey and seamlessly integrating with your product catalog. Otherwise, TikTok Video shopping ads allow brands to transform awareness-focused videos into an engaging format to attract new customers and even engage retargeted audiences.

TikTok Video Shopping Ads
TikTok Video Shopping Ads

Live Shopping Ads

Apart from Video Shopping Ads, how about Live Shopping Ads? It’s considered live-streamed events that allow users to interact with brands in a real way. This format will promote your live video and help your audiences browse and buy products while interacting one-to-one with sellers.

Lead Generation

TikTok Lead Generation Ads enable you to identify users most likely to convert by encouraging them to share their information through an instant contact form. By running this ad format during this holiday, you have chances to:

  • Build an email list for product launches or early access to sales
  • Share discount code and retarget users who engage with your previous campaigns, 
  • Gain more subscription signups or account registrations

5 Amazing tips to create stop-scrolling creatives

It’s time to learn how to make joyful video content for your brand this holiday season! From the results of some previous campaigns conducted, we have some tips and tricks for you to keep in mind during setting up the campaign process. 

Focus on TikTok-Ready content

TikTok is the world of creativity and that’s also the reason users come to this platform. Thus, to keep users instead and excited during their product discovery, we highly recommend creating authentic content and refreshing your content ideas every 7 days during the campaign. This also encourages and inspires more and more users to jump into the shopping holiday season And If you aim to create natural feeling video content on TikTok, here are some things you should notice:

  • Your video should be more than 10 seconds
  • Avoid all pixelated and blurry videos or images
  • Keep videos full screen with a 9:16 vertical aspect ratio
  • Add audio to keep your audience engaged 

Structure and organize your video for success

When it comes to TikTok advertising videos, the key to success is structuring your content to keep your message simple and memorable. Remember that your audience can reach thousands of ads on TikTok, so ask yourself how to plan and outline videos to keep your brand on top of their mind.

Don’t worry, we got your back! Why don’t you split up your video into three sections:

  • Hook: A hook is the attention-grabber that gets your audience invested in your video. Try your best to capture all viewers’ attention in the first 3-5 seconds and compel them to keep watching. Your video hook can be a question, a common problem, a promise or a visual. 
  • Unique selling point: Show the key selling points of your product in a simple and memorable way. Focus on the special products you offer to your customers, the problem that you are solving, and who is your target customer.
  • Call to action:  End up with a catchy CTA to encourage viewers to take desired actions. 

Jump on TikTok trends

TikTok trend is an original clip with a sound, dance, hashtag or video format that takes the TikTok community by storm. TikTok holiday trends are the funniest part of connecting with a large audience. 

As a business, taking part in trends helps you to show your brand identity with the fun side and get more exposure. Get inspired from what you see on your own For You Page and apply your brands to the trends!


Mama Penny is in on #Boorito and you should be too. See you 10/31 3PM – Close @itssadowski

♬ Strange Affair – Ronald Stein

Leverage TikTok trending sounds 

Just to remind you TikTok audio is a must-required element for any advertising video. From using sounds from the TikTok library, saving a song that another creator used to creating your own unique sounds, your brand can use sounds in many different ways.

For your TikTok Ads holiday, here are some great ideas to take part in the holiday spirit when it comes to TikTok trending sounds:

  • Discover TikTok trending music to set the mood and create a consistent video style
  • Use voiceovers to keep the video engaging. Voiceovers are really helpful when it comes to step-by-step guides or product reviews
  • Add high-quality sounds to amplify video actions

Refresh content to keep your audience engaged

Don’t forget to refresh and update your creative for a higher engagement rate. Increasing the quantity and diversity of your ad creative gives you more chances to maximize ad performance.

  • Creative Quantity: Try to create a high number of creatives for better optimization.  This way also enables TikTok to learn what drives the most positive results for you.
  • Creative Diversity: Discover different ad formats and video content to find the winning creatives. 

BONUS: Holiday organic marketing strategies for business (if you need it)

Apart from holiday advertising, organic marketing strategies are also a must-know for every business owner. So when it comes to organic content, what should you do?

Create joyful yet impactful content

Content is king and greater content can make things different. While sales-focused content is a must during this holiday, it’s also better to have a well-planned content strategy to nurture and engage with your audience.

That’s why you need to create user-friendly and attractive content to keep your brand top of mind, generate more leads, and convert buyers into loyal customers. For example, when Halloween comes around the corner,  why don’t you craft happy Halloween social posts to connect with your audience? 

Craft and send engaging holiday newsletters

Now pass to the fun part: email marketing for holiday! Newsletters via email are one of the best ways to raise brand awareness and attract new customers. You may wonder how to rise above the noise during the busy holiday season with email marketing.

For holiday email marketing campaign success, here are some tips and tricks for business:

  • Write and send personalized holiday email campaigns: Think about adding a first name to the subject line or creating email content based on customer behavior.
  • Grab your subscriber’s attention with amazing templates: Use pre-designed and pre-written templates to inject holiday spirit. 
  • Run automated holiday email campaigns: You can also set up abandoned cart automation workflows and seasonal welcome emails for every new subscriber.
  • Promote holiday sales early: Don’t wait until the last minute to promote your products! It’s highly recommended to let your customers know ahead of time with limited-time offers or early bird specials. 

Deliver a great customer experience

A business cannot exist without its customers, and that’s why better customer experience is the greatest way ever to win over big competitors. No matter how good your product is, please make sure a top customer experience with these strategies:

  • Simplify the payment process
  • Follow up your customer after payment and ask for feedback
  • Create an emotional connection while supporting your customers
  • Show gratitude to your shoppers

Collaborate with influencers

Partnering with famous influencers around the holidays can help improve brand loyalty and build brand credibility. By working with influencers, expanding brand awareness, and increasing sales with strong ROI has never been such an easy thing. Here is an overview of some best ways to collaborate with celebrities:

  • Choose the right influencer to work with
  • Plan for key dates and start publishing content with influencers through different platforms
  • Offer discounts through affiliates
  • Host a holiday giveaway

Unlock the holiday magic and increase sales performance!

TikTok provides a full-funnel marketing suite that hits every stage of the consumer experience and has limitless creative potential. These help brands make the most of the platform during the shopping season peaks. Keep in mind to bring meaningful and special holiday moments into their shopping experience instead of trying to promote your products!

Apart from TikTok, think also about cross-channel marketing – a method to run ads across multiple platforms and connect with potential customers. Communicate on customers’ favorite channels, seamlessly convert them to the next stage, and deliver personalized messages at every touch point. It’s all the things cross-channel advertising brings to you! 

From analyzing which marketing touchpoints contribute to sales to identifying any gaps in the customer journey, our new NestAds will make thing easier for you with accurate data and a simple yet powerful dashboard. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try and you will be surprised!



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