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4 min read

How to drive conversions with TikTok Lead Generation

By Jeremy DuCheny · June 14, 2022
Hero image for TikTok app tips with the TikTok logo on a green background

It makes sense that TikTok is a great tool for brand awareness, but you can also use it to generate high-quality leads. TikTok lead gen ads give you the opportunity to attract leads and get their contact info—and if your leads live on TikTok, you should too.

Do more with TikTok's Lead Generation

TikTok Lead Generation is a type of TikTok ad that has a form attached to it. It works just like Facebook lead ads or LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms: your lead's info is auto-populated into the form (or they fill it out more thoroughly), so they can show interest without leaving the platform. And by using TikTok Lead Generation integrations, you can then send that info to your CRM or wherever you store your information.

How to run a TikTok Lead Generation campaign

First, sign up for an advertiser account. (You don't have to have a regular TikTok account to run ads on the site, but I highly recommend having one for all the reasons.) After you sign up for your ad account, you'll be directed to your dashboard. Click Create an Ad.

Create an ad button in TikTok Ads Manager

Select an advertising goal

I'll use Simplified Mode to walk through this process. It gives us a smaller pool of objectives to use but makes the ad setup process faster. As you get more comfortable on the platform and want more options for targeting and structuring your campaigns, you can use Custom Mode

To do a lead gen ad, select Generate customer leads as your advertising goal, and click Continue.

Generate customer leads button in TikTok Ads Manager

Choose your location, and then select from two audience types 

The Custom Audience option allows you to specify demographics like gender, age, languages, and interests. The Automatic Audience has the algorithm select the audience for you. 

The Automatic Audience option is good for most targeting needs. TikTok's algorithm is super smart, using text, music, subject matter, and users' previous actions to target the right audience for your ad. For now, we'll choose that option and click Continue.    

Automatic Audience in TikTok Ads Manager

Set your TikTok ad budget

Unless you know your ad will be a smashing success (which... you don't), it's best to test your ad with the lowest daily budget you can. For TikTok, that's $10 CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Select your budget, your currency, and the dates on which your ad will run. Then click Continue.

Create your ad

Your ad creative is what converts, so before you create your ad, familiarize yourself with what works on TikTok—and just as importantly, what doesn't. The main thing to remember: you want to make TikToks, not ads. 

  • Post short, raw videos. TikToks are ideally short 15-20 second videos that embrace what TikTokers call flawsome—a combination of flawed and awesome. Make your TikToks look organic and native to the platform. Shoot your video with your mobile phone vertically, and use movement, music accompaniment, and text to keep the viewers' attention. 

  • Adopt other creators' styles and formats. Search for influencers in your business niche, and see what they're talking about and how they're presenting themselves. If they're getting engagement with your target audience, it's clearly working. Just remember that you're a business—be self-aware.

Upload your ad

Drag your video into the Upload Videos section. 

Once you start using customer mode, you'll see an editor that lets you add music tracks, text, and effects to your video. In simplified mode, TikTok will automatically generate some of these for your ad if you click Quick Optimize

Uploading videos in TikTok Ads Manager

Once your ad is uploaded, you'll have several options to help you organize and promote your ad. This includes adding your brand name, promotional text, a profile image, and a call to action that displays on your video as it's running.

Creating an ad in TikTok Ads Manager

Create your Instant Form

After you've filled in all your promotional information, it's finally time to set up the actual lead gen form. On TikTok, it's called an Instant Form. 

Click the Create button under the Instant Form section, and a window will pop up with your options (as always, the simplified mode gives you fewer options, but it gets the job done).

Make sure you think through the copy on this form—it's the last thing your potential lead will read before filling out the form. Here are some tips for creating effective lead generation forms to make sure you're on the right track.

Creating a lead gen form in TikTok Ads Manager

The Instant Form defaults to two fields for your lead: email and name. You can add custom fields, but doing so will add another section to the form, which means an extra step for your lead. If you don't add any other fields, the second page of the form will be a thank-you page and a button that you can label and hyperlink to your website or a landing page. 

You'll be able to preview your form as you go. Once you like how it looks, click Save and Complete.

Completing a lead gen form on TikTok Ads Manager

Last thing: check the box at the bottom of the ad creation section to accept TikTok's terms, and then click then Submit. TikTok will prompt you to add a balance to your account: fill out your credit card or PayPal account information and submit it with the minimum balance. 

Viewing your TikTok Lead Generation ads data

Now that your TikTok lead gen ad is running, you can monitor its success on the TikTok Ads Manager dashboard. To see the leads that the ad generates, select Assets > Instant Pages. From there, you can go to Instant Form and download your lead form data. 

Of course, having your leads sitting in TikTok is… not helpful. If you automate the process, you can automatically send all your leads to your CRM, send emails to your sales team to notify them of new leads, add the leads to your email newsletter list, and more. Here's how to automate your TikTok Lead Generation workflows.

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