Creative best practices
Last updated, June 2024

Creative is an important consideration when building high-performing ads. You don't have to be a marketing guru or video editing expert to produce ads that capture your audience's attention. We've compiled a list of best practices to help you find the best creative for your audience. The following recommendations are general best practices that have worked well for advertisers. While every campaign is different, these tips are a starting point that you can build on. To discover what works best for you, we recommend continuous testing and learning to ultimately refine your strategy.

TikTok first

Creatives perform best when they are made for TikTok and when they leverage the power of the platform.

  • Ensure that you have the basics, such as using sound/ music, orienting vertically at 9:16, shooting at least 720P resolution, and keeping your content visible within the UI safe zone as per ad specifications.

  • We recommend featuring people such as creators, employees, or customers to capture attention and increase engagement.

  • In terms of aesthetics, go for a DIY or not overly polished style so that it fits in with the user-generated content on TikTok.

  • Lean into trends to make your ads feel more relevant and engaging. Our users like it when brands use trends, memes, or challenges on TikTok to make new content.

If you're unsure where to begin, explore the Creative Center for ideas and ad inspiration. You'll be able to find resources such as trending hashtags, creative insights, and Commercial Music Library.

Reel them in

Follow well-proven content structures that sell: Have a hook, highlight your unique selling points, and end with a clear call-to-action.

  • Prioritize your hook in the first 6 seconds to boost engagement and increase watch time. You can do so by creating suspense, surprise, or other emotions.

  • Introduce your content proposition in the first 3 seconds for better recall and awareness.

  • Use captions or text overlays to provide context to your ad. We recommend displaying 5-10 words per second when using text.

  • Utilize transitions, stickers, and graphics in your creative to retain engagement and view time.

  • Guide your audience on what to think, feel, or do with a strong CTA.

To get started quickly, tap on Creative Assistant for suggestions, or try out our Script Generator to spark some ideas for your next TikTok ad.

Set up for success

Give your campaign more ad delivery and optimization options with diversified ad groups and different creatives. We suggest between 5-10 different creatives per ad group and 3-5 diversified ad groups per campaign. As a general rule, it is always better to use creatives with big differences, especially when testing. This is especially helpful during the ad group's exploration stage.

Try our Creative Tools and Templates to design new creatives. Alternatively, leverage TikTok Creative Exchange (TTCX) and TikTok Creator Marketplace (TTCM) to develop different visual styles for different audiences.

Evaluate and optimize

Combat creative fatigue and proactively address any potential issues with your ads. Having a consistent supply of creatives to refresh is one way to keep your campaigns going.

  • We recommend checking ad performance regularly and refreshing your ad group creatives when delivery results exhibit a consistently declining trend, or when daily new users are low.

  • When refreshing creatives, add new creatives to an existing ad group instead of creating a new ad group to extend its lifetime.

  • We suggest maintaining a library of creative assets so you can more easily tap on our many creative tools to efficiently design new creatives.

Consider Smart Creative for a more hands-off approach to managing creative fatigue. For further insight into your ad performance, use Video Insights to analyze your video creative performance.