The Psychology Behind TikTok Advertising

Oct 1, 2021

To understand the psychology behind TikTok advertising, let’s take a deeper look at what type of video content dominates TikTok. Since the app’s release, its influence on audiences, Generation Z in particular, is considerable. This popular social media platform gives video content creators a place to share engaging videos, with some of them becoming viral, thanks to people’s reactions and interactions. 

It’s no secret that psychology and marketing are in close connection. Creators on TikTok have the chance to become online influencers and make their fans and followers mimic their behavior. Entertaining and original videos packed with trendy effects and popular music are an excellent tool for brands looking to attract more customers in new ways. Sound and music in TikTok videos have a significant psychological impact on viewers.

The way people react to advertising is crucial to having a successful marketing strategy. To achieve success and make profits with TikTok Ads, we suggest investing more money in influencer-generated content for your business or creating influencer-like videos by yourself. The key is to be original, unique, and grab your customers’ attention at the beginning!


There are five basic principles in marketing psychology. Knowing them will help you get a clearer picture of the psychology behind TikTok advertising.Principle of Reciprocity

According to this principle, if a company does something nice for you, you’re more inclined to reciprocate and cooperate with them in the future. 


Subscribe to our newsletter

  • Theory of the Information Gap

According to this hypothesis, if someone has a knowledge gap in a topic that interests them, they will take action to learn what they need to know. 

  • The Theory of Scarcity

This theory proposes that humans place a higher value on items they perceive to be rare and a lower value on those that are easily accessible. 

  • Theory of Social Proof

This hypothesis states people are more likely to trust products if they know individuals who can vouch for them.  

  • Loss Aversion Marketing

This idea suggests that most people would prefer to avoid losses compared to having gains.


Follow these steps in your video creation process for TikTok advertising:

  • Think of the audience that you want to target and shape your content idea around it.
  • Communicate your idea with your in-house video editor, if you have one, or with an agency that will create the video for you.
  • Analyze all the possible video outcomes and how the audience will react to them.
  • Make sure you’re satisfied with the video before implementing it in a campaign.


Another thing to consider is the audience you are targeting. You should have an in-depth knowledge of your products and customers. While creating a TikTok video ad, think about the best way to make the viewer purchase your product or service. Having quality video content and delivering the right message will make your audience desire the same product shown in the video by an influencer or an actor, leading to a conversion. You shouldn’t overlook the psychology behind TikTok advertising in this stage.

When you finally get everything together, think about how you will start the campaign. 

In addition, we suggest testing the video. You can pay for surveys and have people watch the video and write their opinion about it, or you can ask your colleagues and employees. Keep in mind that your close collaborators’ views can be subjective and may not always bring the best results. 


TikTok influencers have a powerful impact on millions of people, and brands can benefit from working with them. Businesses collaborate with influencers who either use a product in their video “naturally” or have it shown somewhere in the video. Slowly, with several videos, they introduce the product more and more to their viewers. 

Here is one example of the first approach. Let’s say the product is a water gun. TikTok influencers can record a video of them having a great time and lots of fun with friends while using the product. Especially if there are friends in the video, it will evoke many human emotions, and it looks natural. Almost like it’s not an ad!

Let’s use a computer monitor to showcase the second approach in video ad creation. The TikTok influencer is making a video of how they are playing games. The monitor is there and looks great, but it’s not in the spotlight. But, the following video is about the monitor because people “asked” to see more of it.

Video creators’ imagination is the only limit for new video concepts. Many TikTok influencers are very creative and can come up with fantastic ideas. Knowing the psychology behind TikTok advertising and working closely with them can yield excellent results for your brand.


If you are ready to get your brand on TikTok or improve your advertising strategy, we suggest watching our SA Engage Virtual Summit sessions. You’ll find plenty of valuable insights from TikTok marketing experts and get more information about the psychology behind TikTok advertising. 

To conclude, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think about what would push you to make a purchasing decision after seeing a TikTok ad. By implementing basic marketing psychology principles and thinking about your target audience’s needs and interests, you can develop great videos that will increase conversions and conversion rate of your products. To learn more about how we can help you in this process, download our TikTok Whitepaper and visit our TikTok Ads page!

About the author

David Radovic

David Radovic is a senior PPC specialist at Sellers Alley with over four years of experience in Amazon PPC, Google Ads, Facebook ads, and as of last year, TikTok advertising. He has been a huge part of Sellers Alley’s growth and has managed multiple seven figures sellers which also includes developing business and marketing strategies, which resulted in the scaling of their businesses.

Produced by Sellers Alley

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

@2021 Wild PPC Bunch. All Rights Reserved