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TikTok CPM: How Much Ads *Really* Cost on the Platform

By Karina Chilibeck 9 November, 2022, 8 mins read

With more traffic than Google and Facebook, TikTok is a hot social media advertising channel (Forbes). 

We should know; our sister company, Trend, is Australia’s #1 TikTok marketing agency

TikTok ads also have 2 important benefits in addition to coverage… 

  1. They drive more engagement – and break through better – than TV ads (TikTok).
  2. Advertising on TikTok is cheaper than doing the same on Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. 

But how much do TikTok ads cost, exactly? 

It can be hard to tell. TikTok uses a bidding system that’s rarely used on other platforms: CPM. On this page, we’ll cover what TikTok’s CPM is; what TikTok’s CPC works out to; how TikTok compares to other popular platforms. 

Let’s start with… 

How Much Do TikTok CPM Ads Cost?

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The cost of your TikTok ads depend on your campaign objective, ad type, and competition for your target audience/industry/keywords.

There are 4 main ad types. Two work through CPM bidding, where you pay per 1,000 impressions. Two other ad types -Brand Takeovers and Branded Hashtag Challenges – are used rarely and charged differently. 

Below, we cover the cost for each kind of ad. Here’s a helpful table to help you keep track. 

Type of AdCost (USD)
Native In-feed Ad$8 per 1,000 impressions (average)
Brand Takeover$50,000 per day
Branded Hashtag Challenge $150,000 for first 6 days
Spark Ads$10 per 1,000 impressions (average)

1. Native In-Feed Ads

Similar to Facebook and Google ads, TikTok’s in-feed ads appear on the user’s home feed. They blend with regular video content and appear to the user as they scroll down the app.

Users are exposed to ads that are similar to the kind of content they engage with on TikTok. Native feed video ads feature CTAs such as ‘Download Now,’ ‘Shop Now,’ ‘Learn More,’ or ‘Sign Up’ for lead generation.

In our experience, TikTok’s native ads have a high engagement rate compared to other social platforms. To maximise engagement, make ads as fun as regular feed videos for high engagement rates.

(If you’re not sure how, talk to us for a free consultation; we’re Australia’s #1 TikTok marketing agency)

Average Price for Native Ads: $5-9/1,000 impressions, average $8/1,000 impressions

2. Spark Ads

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Spark ads allow you to turn an organic post from your TikTok channel into an ad on the app. You can also do this with user-generated content from creators who have well-performing organic posts based on your product.

TikTok spark ads cost about the same as native in-feed ads: $10 per 1,000 impressions with no flat fees included.

While a spark ad has the same format as a standard native feed ad, it has a 157% higher 6-second view-through and a 134% higher completion rate (TikTok). 

This is because brands usually choose organic content that has shown great potential without promotion for Spark Ads. This means Spark Ads tend to perform extremely well.

Price for Spark Ads: $10/1,000 impressions

3. Brand Takeover

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TikTok displays brand takeover ads as soon as the user opens the app. Brand takeover ads are full screen and can be in two formats; image ads or 3-5 second videos. When users click on an ad, the app redirects them to a landing page or hashtag challenge. 

The cost of a brand takeover ad is $50,000 per day. These ads have a guaranteed five million impressions per day. This translates to the average cost of $10 per 1,0000 impressions; about the same as Spark Ads and Native In-Feed Ads. 

Note that TikTok only shows one brand takeover ad per day per user. Advertising opportunities are limited and advertising space is on demand. 

Price for Brand Takeover Ads: $50,000 per day, or $10 CPM

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4. Branded Hashtag Challenges

A branded hashtag challenge allows brands to start trends on TikTok and get their target audience involved.

Branded hashtag challenges have a median 17.5% engagement rate, which is immense. This makes them a highly effective strategy for lead generation and ecommerce marketing.

The key is to create a trend your audience can join in with user-generated content. Ensure it’s fun and related to your brand or product for authenticity and maximum brand awareness.

Branded hashtag challenge ads have a high flat fee of $150,000 for the first six days. As expensive as they are, they also have huge viral potential – which is worth it for larger businesses. 

You may need to run your ad for more than six days for maximum impact. This costs extra. 

Price for Hashtag Challenges: $150, 000 for first 6 days

Advertising Costs on TikTok vs Facebook/Instagram

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TikTok’s average ad costs rank up competitively against the two Meta platforms, as seen below:

TikTok CPM vs Facebook CPM

Facebook CPM ads cost an average $12.07 per 1,000 impressions. 

This is compared to TikTok ads CPM average charges of $8-10 per 1,000 impressions.

Both Meta platforms require a minimum $1 daily budget spend on their CPM ads, while TikTok allows a minimum $50 daily budget at the campaign level.

In other words, TikTok’s CPM is lower than Facebook’s… But the minimum daily budget is higher. 

TikTok CPC vs Facebook CPC vs Instagram CPC

TikTok CPC prices average $1 per click, while Facebook CPC ads average $1.72 per click. Most Instagram CPC ads range between $1 and $2 per click.

This means TikTok comes out to, on average, cheaper than Facebook and Instagram. That being said, well-optimised campaigns across all three social media platforms come out to about $1 CPC, in our experience.

TikTok Influencer Marketing CPM 

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Influencer marketing can be a low-cost alternative to formal TikTok ads. You pay an influencer, usually $5-$2,500, and they feature you in their organic content. 

The cost depends on the audience size of the influencer you collaborate with. The following are the average costs of influencer ads based on audience size.

  • Nano-influencers (1,000-10,000 followers) – $5-$25/post
  • Micro-influencers (10,000-50,000 followers) – $25-$125/post
  • Mid-tier influencers (50,000-500,000 followers) – $125-$1,250/post
  • Macro-influencers (500,000-1,000,000 followers) – $1,250-$2,500/post
  • Mega-influencers (1,000,000+ followers) – $2500+/post

With an average engagement rate of 6.72% for influencer content, this means the CPM for influencer marketing can be as low as $3.72. Significantly lower than TikTok ads. 

The downside is that you’re only getting access to one influencer’s audience. This can work in your favour – but also reduce the value you get from your marketing efforts and spend. 

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How to Pay Less for Your TikTok Ads

You can pay less for your TikTok ads by optimising them for the app. Here are a few ways to do that.

1. Be Direct

Tiktok Cpm How Much Ads Really Cost On The Platform

According to TikTok, over 63% of video ads with the highest click-through rates get their message out within the first 3 seconds of the ad. Be direct in your content by going straight to the point, which is what TikTok users like.

2. Use Vertical Videos

Vertical video ads that make use of the full screen have an average 25% higher 6-second watch-through rate. 5-60 second full-screen videos appear authentic and blend in well with average user-generated native content. 

Make quality videos to increase online traffic to your TikTok channel. Increased traffic aids both awareness building and lead generation, resulting in a high ROI.

3. Maximise on Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags allow you to categorise your ad and find the right audience. They are evergreen engagement boosters and allow you to take advantage of the latest trends. Always use relevant hashtags that’ll allow potential customers to find your content.

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4. Collaborate With TikTok Influencers

Before TikTok introduced a formal advertising program, advertisers had to collaborate with influencers to reach their target audience. 

Influencers are still one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. When working with influencers, choose creators whose followers have the same interests as your target market. 

Tiktok Cpm How Much Ads Really Cost On The Platform

TikTok Ads vs. Organic Content Costs

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Compared to other social media platforms, TikTok is the easiest platform for brands to grow on organically. This is thanks to its unique algorithm that enables content from users with few followers to go viral.

By taking advantage of TikTok’s algorithm, you can use your organic content to get free video views from your target audience, rather than buying them through ads. 

Since you can use free creative tools on the platform to create suitable organic content, this is the lowest cost alternative to formal TikTok ads.

The first step to creating organic content that performs well without promotion is using a pro account. A pro account on TikTok gives you access to analytics that show you which of your organic content is more popular with your audience.

With this knowledge, you can optimise your future videos to increase engagement. This increases your chances of TikTok featuring your video on the ‘for you’ page. TikTok’s ‘for you’ page is a discovery feed where users discover videos similar to the ones they consume on the app.

To get maximum exposure with organic content, post consistently, join relevant trends, and create your own hashtags to build brand awareness. 

Organic content on TikTok has a long shelf life, with old posts able to go viral months after creation as long as they get an increase in engagement. This is unlike ads which you can only run as long as your budget allocation allows.

Once you have well-performing organic content, you can use ads to boost their reach. This brings in a new audience that’s not familiar with your brand.

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TikTok has a high percentage of active users, which makes it a great ads platform for B2C marketing campaigns. While its minimum advertising budgets and flat fees attached to some ads makes it less accessible to smaller brands, its average CPM cost is competitive. 

TikTok ads also have a high engagement rate and are great for brand awareness, which makes the costs worth it. 

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To get the most ROI on your TikTok CPM ads, craft your ads to match the creativity, fun, and authenticity found in the native user-generated content on the platform. Bringing advertising experts onboard will aid in running a more successful campaign. 

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