Complete Guide to TikTok Ad Policy & Best Practices

Jide Maduako
min Read
Key Takeways

TikTok quickly became one of the most popular social media platforms in the world and has become increasingly more popular with businesses that are trying to reach new audiences through organic and paid ads.

TikTok boomed during the pandemic, and it’s only getting bigger. It’s quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world and has become increasingly more popular with businesses that are trying to reach new audiences through organic and paid ads. Here, we’ll take you through what you need to know about the TikTok ad policy and the best practices to help your ads succeed.

Why Use TikTok to Advertise

TikTok is dominated by Gen Z, also known as the trendsetting generation. However, it’s also used by many other generations with millennials being close behind. This combined with the unique algorithm that allows any video to go viral makes TikTok one of the best places to advertise your products or services.

Benefits of TikTok Ads

  • A wide range of ad types
  • You can reach the audience that matters
  • You can create content easily like a pro
  • You can piggyback on trending hashtags, videos and sounds
  • Your creativity can get the recognition it deserves

Why Following the Ad Policy is Important

When advertising your products or services on TikTok, you must follow the ad policy to ensure your campaigns get approved. If it doesn’t get approved, your ad won’t be published which means your efforts go to waste. If your ad doesn’t follow TikTok’s ad policy, it can also be banned.  

Types of TikTok Ads

In-Feed Ads

TikTok’s in-feed ads are the ads you’re most likely to see when scrolling through the app. They’re found embedded within a user’s For You feed and is seen as a normal TikTok video which allows users to comment, like and share.


  • Feels like organic content
  • Has clickable features
  • Includes CTAs
  • Works for a variety of campaign objectives


  • Needs to compete for user’s attention with other videos on the FYP

Top View Ads

A top-view ad is a full 60-second video offering an immersive viewing experience. It captures the user’s attention as soon as they open the app. It’s seen more as an ad on the app and allows for a longer time on screen.


  • Eliminates competing content
  • Guarantees a higher number of impressions
  • Increases brand awareness well


  • Is identified more as an ad by users

Branded Hashtag Challenges

The branded hashtag challenge is less of an ad and more of a campaign to raise brand awareness and increase the potential user-generated content (UGC). It taps into the user’s passion for creating content and getting involved in the challenge.



  • Heavily relies on UGC which means user interest is important

Branded Effects

Just like branded hashtags, branded effects are more of a campaign. It can even be used in conjunction with a branded hashtag campaign. Branded effects allow users to show their creative side with filters, stickers and effects.


  • Higher engagement
  • Works well for brand awareness
  • Can strengthen a hashtag challenge
  • Is popular with younger demographics


  • May be difficult to gain traction

Spark Ads

TikTok’s spark ads are an ad format where brands can leverage posts from their own TikTok accounts whilst using organic posts made by other creators with their permission. They allow brands to use UGC.


  • Are seen as organic content
  • Increases brand awareness
  • You can leverage content that is already trending


  • Must get the creator’s permission to use their content which isn’t always guaranteed

Brand Takeover Ads

Similar to a top-view ad, brand takeover ads are full-screen ads that can be static or dynamic. Users only see one brand takeover ad per day and usually link to a landing page or hashtag challenge.  


  • Have a high number of impressions
  • Users can’t skip
  • Works well for brand awareness


  • Users can’t like or comment
  • More identifiable as an ad

Organic Vs Paid Ads

Organic Ads

TikTok is primarily an organic content app that lets users create engaging content without having to spend large amounts of time and money. Due to TikTok’s unique algorithm, organic content can fall onto anyone’s FYP no matter the success of previous videos or the number of followers a person has. This gives any video the potential to go viral and spread brand awareness.

Paid Ads

Paid TikTok ads allow you to choose who gets to see your posts which gives them an edge over organic ads. The process requires you to specify certain aspects such as location, demographics and spend but this can allow your ads to fall into the lap of your exact target audience which may lead to higher engagement and ROI.

TikTok Ads Policy

TikTok aims to be an inclusive environment which makes its community feel comfortable confident and safe. It’s therefore vital you remain in line with the content that is allowed to be promoted on the app. With 25% of users being 10-19 years of age, it’s essential the app remains appropriate and fun.

Restricted & Prohibited Content

When creating ads for your brand, you must keep in mind that some video content is restricted or prohibited on TikTok. This includes promoting or showing:

  • Services or activities considered illegal in your country or area
  • Paraphernalia or drugs
  • The use of dangerous weapons or ammunition
  • Tobacco products or smoking
  • Political content
  • Military content
  • Discriminatory content
  • Adult/sexual content
  • Intellectual property infringement
  • Misleading claims or inconsistent information
  • Shocking content
  • Inappropriate content including violent acts, demeaning content or sensitive topics
  • Alcohol
  • Anything related to gambling and lotteries
  • Religion and culture
  • Anything relating to body image including weight control and management

Ad Format

When advertising on TikTok, your ads must follow format guidelines to ensure they are suitable for viewing. This means the following should be avoided:

  • Ads with a QR code that leads to a third-party website or social media page
  • Ads that lead to a product that is completely different to the one shown in the ad
  • Ads with messages that are different in the caption and the ad
  • The brand logo displayed on the product on the ad must be shown on the product on the landing page
  • The display name and app name must be consistent with the product or service shown in the ad

Creative Requirements

There are some requirements that relate to the ad creatives and landing pages when promoting on TikTok. This includes:

  • Your ad must abide by the Intellectual Property Infringement Rules to avoid any copyright case
  • The ad must be in line with all points of the TikTok ad policy
  • No landing pages that return an error
  • No landing pages that redirect to an under-construction page
  • Landing pages must be mobile friendly

TikTok Best Practices & Tips

Following TikTok’s ad policy is how you get your ad approved and circulated, but it’s not always guaranteed that your ad will succeed. To give your ad the best fighting chance, we recommend following these best practices to help you create engaging, fun content that truly represents your brand.

Be Authentic & Original

TikTok encourages you to be authentic so that you can produce original, engaging content. This could mean showing your business behind-the-scenes, in-the-moment content, times when things go wrong and much more. This can help you grow a following that really just wants to see you.

Define Your Target Demographic

Your target demographic isn’t the same as your target audience. They are the characteristics of your target audience. You can set your target demographics by asking yourself questions such as:

  • How old is your target audience?
  • Where are they from?
  • What is their family life like? Kids? Marriage?
  • Are they in school? If so, what level?

Asking these questions will help you reach the people who are most likely to buy your products by creating content they want to see.

Set Objectives

Before creating your TikTok ad, think about what you aim to achieve. Is it more sales? Traffic? Brand awareness? Whatever it is you’re hoping to achieve from your ad, that’s your objective. Keep this in mind throughout the ad creation and track progress once it’s live.

Work With Creators in your Niche

By now you’ve probably realised that working with other creators is a great way to expand your audience as 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations. However, you don’t want to choose just any creator. It needs to be a creator within your niche that can deliver your product or service to the relevant audience.

Partnering with creators can give you incredible ROI. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. As a TikTok influencer marketing network, we can partner you with relevant creators in your niche to help grow your business. Get in touch with us now.

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