TikTok for Real Business Owners

TikTok is ideally suited for performance advertisers, smaller businesses that don’t have million-dollar budgets, and people who measure their ROI.

Here are a few tips on what you need to do to get TikTok Ads going and some insights into the mechanics of TikTok

The TikTok Framework

This strategically frames everything that we’re doing with TikTok ads.

Tik Tok Framework

When you already have some product or service, and landing pages, driving sales, something that’s already working, extract the heart of those, and reframe them into videos – into the why, how, and what videos, which is the top middle, bottom-funnel, what’s called Awareness – Consideration – Diversion.

You can actually use those videos across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and all these other social media platforms.

If you can find a way to generate lots more of these kinds of catch-you-in-the-moment authentically, not professionally polished with the perfect lighting and so on, you will find TikTok to be really awesome for you because the algorithm is going to do the work.

The TikTok Algorithm

The TikTok algorithm is so much smarter than Facebook’s.

The uniqueness of its algorithm is that it looks at the background and who you’re with. So it’s building a different kind of social graph.

So, this algorithm is way deeper. So it’s scary if you think about it, but then wait, if we’re marketers if we’re professional services, then how do we use that?

We have to build our social proof, build our social web, and build the people that we’re around.

So, as you grow your business, if you are capturing who your customers are, your employees, where you’re speaking; in other words, if you’re capturing everything that shows that you have authority in a certain way, say, for example, you have brought out a book called the Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, TikTok will recognize that and find other people who have read that book.

The amazing thing about the algorithm is that it’s not about targeting. There’s almost nothing you can select. Targeting comes automatically from your content.

So, we should be more cognizant and more explicit about the things we’re putting in the backgrounds of our videos.

Put In a Lot of Content

Some posts will only get a couple hundred, while others go nuts. What does that tell us? It means it’s a 99:1 medium, not an 80:20 medium. So there are extreme variations in how posts perform. It means you need to put a lot of content in there so that a little bit of it can go super viral.

Facebook would only let you put so many posts in front of your audience in a day. But TikTok does not put a cap on that.

So, you can flood the feed, and it will show whatever it thinks is most relevant. And any of those particular stories you can boost.

Even when a post was made a couple of months ago, you could use that post as retargeting for anyone who has seen any of your top-of-funnel videos.

So chronologically, you could have made tons and tons of TikToks, but after that, you can take any of them and associate that with retargeting. You can reassemble anything in any order that you want. You don’t have to manually do that because the algorithm is so smart that it realizes what’s next.

Ridiculously easy

What happens when you have a new Facebook page, a new website, or a new Instagram and make content there? No traffic – you got to drive traffic there.

But when it comes to TikTok, you don’t need any of those – no landing page, no videographers, and no need to spend too much money. It’s ridiculously easy.

You don’t need a video studio, just your smartphone. You can then boost them.

Components of TikTok Videos

TikTok video

And all of these work on TikTok because we’re making things that don’t look like ads.

It’s literally that simple. So when you have a tip, when you read a book that has an interesting thing that you thought was neat, like literally 15 seconds report, you put it out there, and you’re going to find that TikTok is going to optimize.

Spark Ads

Spark ad on TikTok is basically boosted post.

You can take an existing organic post from your account or any other account that gives you permission. Then, when you run ads against that post, it keeps the views and engagement, whether paid or organic.

You see why that’s an advantage. It allows you to keep stacking on top of that. So if you’re in a professional service business and, let’s say, you’re still growing your custom audiences, you can run remarketing to those existing boosted posts.

So, you can build your list cheaper now, which gives you an accelerating advantage because you can generate more social proof, and your community gets bigger quickly.

Hire People to Do Videos

What if you’re not an extrovert or camera shy? In that case, have someone else be on the video for you, even your customers.

You can also hire other people to do it. Some sites like Cameo or Billo have these TikTok influencers with a large following. They cost close to $1,000 per video.

You could ask them a leading question where the expertise is inferring that they are associated with you.

Some platforms are designed just for making ads, and these people are paid $59 or whatever.

So if I have a deal with an influencer and I want to boost from their profile because they have a bigger audience than I do, then I can do that. They have to give me a code off of that post for part of a spark ad.

Jump In Early

The cost of TikTok traffic is a 10th the cost of Facebook traffic.

This advantage usually goes away sooner or later. But if you can get in while it’s cheap, you can actually afford to make the mistakes that are necessary to get a business off the ground. So many people are not in a position to start a business or get it going on Facebook, but you can on TikTok.

Cost of TikTok Ads

You have to spend $20 a day. You can’t use the dollar a day as you would on Facebook.

It’s $20 a day, but just put everything into the same ad set and let them compete against each other. So it’s going to be just as good. And TikTok also still wants 50 conversions per ad set.

Less Exposure to Privacy Issues

Will TikTok face the same scrutiny that Facebook has with government, privacy, GDPR, and all that?

Facebook ads explicitly allowed us to choose people who say, like Siamese kittens, who have one leg, have diabetes, or live in Chicago or whatever it is.

They allowed us to target explicitly.

However, with TikTok, targeting is way more sophisticated, but they just don’t let us touch it. Because if you expose that targeting, that’s where people will get on that privacy issue.


As a corollary to privacy, you will lose 10 or 15% of traffic when tracking is turned on. This is, however, slightly less than what you’re losing on Facebook.

Only 5% of people say yes when prompted to allow or disallow tracking of their browsing activities on Facebook, and for all the other apps, it’s much lower because it goes back to trust.

Tracking conversions and ROI on TikTok is not very difficult because you’re going to run it to your landing page and basically do retargeting. So all this stuff with Chrome and third-party cookies dying and all that, you’ll be taken care of with Google analytics and tag manager.

So I’ve got to collect an email address, and I’ve got to get into my webpage.

The above is an extract from a webinar Dennis Yu and Perry Marshall hosted.

To dive deeper into how to TikTok ads, you can read the books titled The Definitive Guide to TikTok Advertising and TikTok Ads (TTA) Course jointly authored by the hosts.

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.