Promoting Mobile Apps in TikTok | Mobio Group

Promoting Mobile Apps in TikTok

TikTok is a video platform with over 1 billion monthly users. In addition to the large number of users, the site boasts the first place in terms of the time users spend in the app — an average of 95 minutes per day. With that being said, TikTok continues to evolve and experiment. So in the last few years, it has released: 

  • TikTok Now (BeReal clone)
  • Photo Mode (carousel clone)
  • TikTok Stories (IG Stories clone)
  • Search Ads (Google Search Ads clone; beta testing)
  • TikTok Music (Spotify competitor; teaser only)
  • 10-minute videos (YouTube competitor). 

Also worth remembering are partnerships with Linktree, Shopify and Woocommerce. All this suggests that TikTok has ambitious plans for the future. 

Therefore, companies of various levels are increasingly interested in advertising in this social network. After all, the features of this site make it possible to launch successful advertising campaigns for both large brands and startups. In this article, the Mobio Group team will look at the different ways to promote mobile apps in TikTok.

Benefits and Features

Benefits and Features

TikTok is not like other social networks, and you are unlikely to succeed if you sell openly. Here it is extremely important to adjust as much as possible to the platform, its content, format, and current trends. After all, one of the main advantages of advertising on a platform is that distinguishing visually advertising content is quite problematic for the user. Yes, there is still a markup at the bottom. But it’s small and often confused with hashtags, so identifying it instantly is difficult. So for the first few seconds, the user doesn’t notice they’re looking at an ad. And many don’t realize it until the end of the video. 

Another advantage of TikTok, which is based on a fundamental difference from other social networks, is that there is no dependence in the ranking of your content on the number of followers and reach. The TikTok algorithm recommends videos to users based on the user’s previous interactions (content viewed and tagged and its characteristics: captions, sounds, effects, themes), location and language. 

It is important to understand that the TikTok algorithm is designed to display new content, not the content of the people the user is subscribed to.


There is a perception that TikTok is used only by Generation Z. Recent statistics show that although young people aged 18 to 24 are the largest group of app users, the overall audience of the social network has become older in the last year, and in America there are three times as many users aged 35 to 54 years old.

In addition, the TikTok audience is very engaged and responsive: 70% reported learning about new products and brands on the platform, and nearly half bought something they saw on the social network. 

Advertising Opportunities

Advertising Opportunities

TikTok’s advertising reach has grown by 28.8% over the past year and ads on TikTok, not including its sister app for Chinese users Douyin, now reach more than 1.2 billion users each month.

Not everyone knows that TikTok’s advertising opportunities are not limited to this social network. A business account on the platform allows you to send your ads to a variety of other platforms. True, almost all of them are aimed strictly at the Asian audience. And to advertise in TikTok through an account from the U.S., for example, is impossible (but, if necessary, you can buy the necessary account). 

So, conventionally, the entire playset can be divided into three large groups:

  • TikTok itself
  • feeds in partner applications
  • Pangle

Pangle is a huge network of more than 100,000 apps around the world, but mostly from the Asian region. The service allows you to automatically select the appropriate site according to your targeting parameters, and then automatically places your ad. If you don’t select a strict playlist option in the TikTok ad campaign setup, your advertisement can automatically go to Pangle. And it won’t go to the feeds of other partner apps unless you mark it in advance. And yes, Pangle only accepts video format adds. But partner apps work well with static images as well, either as a single image or as a carousel format. 

But further in this article we will consider only promotion of applications in the TikTok. The main ways of promotion here are: advertisements, branded effects, promotion with the help of influencers.



To launch an ad campaign, you need a business account, as well as TikTok Ads Manager — its functionality, of course, does not compare with Facebook Ads Manager, but it is expanding day by day. 

There’s no separate tracker for the tool either, the main tracking functions are built into the Ads Manager itself. And it’s worth noting that they are also quite comprehensive. After registration in the advertising cabinet there are quite standard actions to follow: select a goal, set the criteria for the audience, determine the budget, etc. So we come to the choice of ad format, and here we’ll stop in detail, because they are quite different from the usual Facebook and Instagram. 

And we’ll start by reminding you that all ads in TikTok are in video format. And a professional-looking video would look weird and out of place on the site. Users are attracted to authenticity and unpolished content. 

Advertising formats:


TopView — a commercial up to 60 seconds long. Launches when the user opens the application. Thus it achieves 100% delivery to the addressee. This ad is also difficult to scroll through. After all, to scroll through the ads in the feed, all you have to do is swipe it, moving on to other videos. And in the case of this ad format, a swipe will take you to the jump. True, the icon of skipping ads appears in the upper right corner, but it’s small and inconspicuous. This is a very effective type of ad, but also very expensive because of the high competition. We would recommend it to big brands, but not to startups.

Brand Takeover

Brand Takeover — similar to the previous option, but there are differences. This ad is shown to the user not only the app is opened, but also once a day. So, if it is your bid that wins for a particular user, you simply won’t have any competitors for that users in this format today. Such video ads are much shorter, only 3-5 seconds, and while Top View is just a video, Brand Takeover uses a gif, photo, or box with an app icon. A CTA button, a link to go to the site, is added to the banner. This format is more suitable for large and well-known brands. After all, all they have to do is put their logo on the screen, and the consumer already understands roughly what it’s all about. Thus it is good to inform about promotions, discounts, news, and hot audience events. 

Top Feed

Top Feed is a format where your ad will be placed in the first ad spot on the “For You” page. That is, it is the first ad in the user’s feed. One of the advantages of Top Feed is the ability to use ad campaigns with the “Reach and Frequency” purchase type, which allows you to assign an audience and set how often your ad is shown. As a result, you get high targeting and ad placement that attracts users’ attention, and the cost is noticeably lower than TopView.

☑ In-feed Ads / Native Video

In-feed Ads / Native Video — pop-up ads in the ribbon, video clips for 5-60 seconds. Such ads can attach a link to a website or mobile app. This is the most familiar advertising format — the user simply sees the ads while scrolling through the ads. Thanks to the native integration in the recommendation feed, such ads are unobtrusive. One more advantage — users can interact with ads, like and comment on them. Suitable for businesses of any level and almost any direction. Here everything depends on competent targeting and your ability to create the most trendy and creative content. 

☑ Branded Hashtag Challenge

Branded Hashtag Challenge is a format of online activity, the essence of which consists of a task performed by users. The author gives a task to perform something, and the participants perform this task and share the results of the performance in their accounts. They have a time limit of 3-6 days, as well as stated conditions of compliance. A challenge is assigned a unique hashtag, with which all participants mark their publications. The mass of interested users attracts the attention of new ones, the word-of-mouth principle works. And more and more people take part in the Challenge, unwittingly driving traffic to the advertiser’s source. This is one of the most effective formats, reaching an average conversion rate of 8.5%. To create a hashtag challenge, it is important to come up with a successful and unique idea, as well as to get into the latest platform trends.

☑ Branded Mission

Branded Mission — the advertiser defines a branded mission and sets certain requirements for it. Any author can participate by submitting a video that meets the requirements. Advertisers select the most appropriate videos for use in the ad campaign in the feed. Authors whose videos have been selected for ads receive increased traffic, commissions from the advertiser and cash rewards from TikTok. And advertisers get new ideas for branded content that resonates with their target audience, increased brand awareness and audience engagement, the opportunity to find new authors on the platform, and to keep up with the latest TikTok trends.

Masks and Effects

Masks and Effects

Branded Effects: masks, lenses, stickers, animated effects. 2D and 3D elements can be added. This is no longer an advertising format, but an additional tool. With their own effects, the advertiser can create a style that will be actively adopted by users. After all, any user can use these elements in his video publications, thereby native advertising, promote your brand and increase its recognition. There were times when such effects became more popular than the brand that produced them. 

True, in order for the effects to start working, they must first be advertised using the formats already listed. Branded effects work especially well with the hashtag challenge. 



Advertising from bloggers works really well and can sometimes completely satisfy the marketing needs of advertisers. Such advertising shows a high level of engagement, because users trust the recommendations of their idols much more than just advertising. In addition, if you work well with a blogger, you can trace a strong native effect — when the user doesn’t understand that it is a paid advertisement, but perceives it as a friendly recommendation. 

One of the important features of advertising with Influencers is a quick return on investment. Within the first few days, the advertiser receives the full amount of traffic possible. Such advertising does not last for months or even weeks because it usually does not bring in new customers. 

This type of advertising is the most accessible of all, because you can negotiate directly with bloggers. Of course, there are some frameworks in the market for pricing, and the price may depend on the number of subscribers and the theme of your advertisement. But, based on our experience, you can find great options for any budget. And if you compare advertising prices of bloggers on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, then TikTok is definitely cheaper (2-5 times) with the same number of blogger subscribers. 

There are special exchanges for finding bloggers, such as TikTopers, Perfluence and others.

When choosing an Influencer, you need to pay attention not only to the number of subscribers, but much more important is the ratio of reactions (likes, comments) to the total number of subscribers, preferably not less than 5%. 



Spark is a new format that involves the participation of promoted content makers in advertising campaigns. This format uses videos from both advertisers and content makers, but all of the traffic goes to the advertiser. In this case, clients of the brand can pay attention to an interesting content maker and become his subscribers. It turns out to be a mutually beneficial cooperation. This format is suitable for businesses of any level and does not require large expenses. 

Final Tips

TikTok is a great advertising platform for both big brands and startups, since you are not required to have a huge budget for the production of high-quality content, creativity is much more important.

Thanks to a fairly young audience, TikTok has become a kind of culture and trend engine that shows what is now considered cool not only in social networks, but also in real life: in fashion, music, clothes, food — anywhere . 

Trends in TikTok are born and die very quickly, and you should not even try to keep up with each of them — at best you will just waste your energy and time, at worst you will look ridiculous. Choose the ones that work best for you and focus on the quality of the content. 

If you’re just starting to learn the platform, choose in-feed ads. This is the easiest format and will show all the nuances of the site. But whichever format you decide to use, remember the main rule — you have the first 3-5 seconds to hook the user, so all the creativity and brilliance should be then.

Avatar photo

Valeria Likhach

Head of Marketing Unit

Valeria Likhach is the Head of Marketing at Mobio Group with over eight years of experience in digital marketing. Professional experience in mobile marketing for more than five years. Learn everything about the world of performance marketing with us.

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