TikTok Launches Search Ads Beta For Selected Partners

There’s a new way for advertisers to reach customers on TikTok.

Though not yet announced or confirmed, it appears TikTok is quietly rolling out ads within its search results page.

In this post we’ll show you why it’s believed search ads are coming to TikTok, and what this means for your social media marketing strategy.

Examples Found In The Wild

This discovery was first reported on Twitter by David Herrmann, a Digital Media Buyer in the industry.

Herrmann posted a screenshot of the TikTok search results page; a Sponsored ad was shown in the first four results.

An example of the first reported TikTok ad in search results.Image credit: Screenshot by David Herrmann, March 2022

To ensure this was not just a coincidence, we explored the TikTok search results page with a few different non-related queries:

  • Makeup tutorials
  • House cleaning tips

Both resulted in an ad showing within the first four results.


Additional ads are shown for popular TikTok searches.Image credit: Screenshot by author, March 2022
An ad appears in TikTok search results for makeup tutorials.Image credit: Screenshot taken by author, March 2022

What This Means For Advertisers

If search ads roll out to the general public, you’ll be able to expand your campaign targeting to specific queries. The benefits of this type of targeting include:

  • Better control over campaigns
  • More “bottom of funnel” options
  • Identify user intent and interest

When search ads are available to you, you’ll also receive reporting in the TikTok Ads Manager interface that include:

  • Search term click data
  • Conversion data from search terms

Benefits Beyond Paid Advertising

Search ad targeting unlocks a new level of benefits for marketers. On top of being able to report on search term data, it allows you to take actionable steps in your TikTok marketing. Not only for your paid campaigns, but for SEO and general content creation.

For example, Herrmann later recommends in his Twitter thread:

  • “…make a list of those search terms and start putting those as titles in your top performing TikToks to get new life out of them.”

This strategy can potentially help you rank higher and gain additional reach without the additional boost from paid advertising.

The search terms report is also beneficial from an SEO standpoint. You’ll be able to analyze data on top searched terms, which can then help direct your TikTok marketing approach.

If you see a lot of users searching “how to” in relation to your product or service, Herrmann suggests creating TikTok content that solves problems for users. It’s a great way to introduce and engage with your audience before they purchase.

The other benefit from reporting is within the conversion data. You could create new audiences from converted users to expand or exclude from your targeting in future campaigns. It’s a great remarketing play and you can then tailor content directly to that audience; perhaps with a stronger call-to-action.


TikTok seems to be just getting started with their advertising capabilities. While this search ads beta isn’t available for everyone, the best way to get started is to get in touch with a TikTok ads rep.

We’d love to hear from you. Are you part of the TikTok search beta? What have been your results so far?

Featured Image: Daniel Constante/Shutterstock


Jinggo B Danuarta

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