How to run effective sweeps on TikTok - a Guide

How to run effective sweeps on TikTok - a guide

Today we’re going to talk about how to join two popular things: TikTok and sweepstakes. Sweepstakes are one of the most interesting offers in affiliate marketing today, and TikTok is the most popular app around. 

First, let’s talk about what sweepstakes are. They involve giveaway prizes where the winner(s) are chosen at random. To participate in sweepstakes, the person needs to type in their name, email, phone number, and maybe some other details. Some of the most popular prizes to win from sweepstakes are phone products, shopping gift cards, and travel offers. The affiliate marketer gets a commission when a user completes the sign-up process. No fee is charged to the user for participation, so it is free. Who doesn’t love a free chance to win an iPhone or a trip? 

You might wonder if they really work, or if they’re just another strategy. Here’s a secret: sweepstakes offers are easy to convert! If you’re a newbie to the affiliate marketing world, you’ll be surprised at how well sweepstakes can convert.

Keep in mind that there are three types of sweepstakes offers:

  • SOI - Sweepstakes with a simple registration. The user needs only to provide their data (name, etc). This is the easiest type of offer and has the lowest payout among sweepstakes.

  • DOI - Sweepstakes with email confirmation via link. This is a bit more onerous on the user, but the payouts are higher.

  • CC Submit - Here, the user needs to enter bank card data and subscribe. This is the most difficult option but can be the most profitable, however, not all affiliate programs work with it. We’ll talk about how to run sweeps easily in TikTok shortly. 

Why Tiktok?

Now that we know what sweepstakes are, why try them out on TikTok, rather than any other app or platform?

Here are a few quick facts:

  • Over one billion people around the world use Tiktok, making it one of the most popular apps. 

  • Users of the app watch 167 million hours of content every internet minute. 

  • It was the most downloaded app in 2020 and 2021, and the top choice for Generation Alpha and Gen Z. 

  • TikTok was the top-grossing non-gaming app worldwide in February 2021, with more than $110 million of user spending. It finished the year as the top-grossing app worldwide.

We get, that TikTok seems a bit weird, especially to Millenials, but don’t underestimate its affiliate marketing potential. Not only are there higher rates of user engagement than on Instagram and Facebook, but its users are also keen to spend money. 

Tiktok is still a relatively new app and, to new users, it can be daunting at first. But, while the advertising side of the platform is still young, there really is no better time to get started. The ads manager is constantly evolving, and updates are made almost weekly. This might seem like a negative, but the early bird catches the worm and if you start working on and understanding the platform now, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition when more affiliates start to take notice. 

Tracking on Tiktok

Tiktok pixels can be a little confusing at first, but they are really not that tricky. 

To begin creating a pixel go to the Assets tab in your Ads Manager and select Events and then Web Events > Set Up Web Events. 

Now you’ll need to choose a name for your pixel and whether you want to use the Tiktok Pixel or Events API. We recommend using the Tiktok pixel for the quickest setup.    

Once you’ve chosen your tracking type you’ll be asked if you want to ‘Manually Install Pixel Code’ or ‘Automatically Set Up Web Events via Partner Platforms’. This time select the manual install option. Don’t worry, it’s the least technical of the two options. 

Next, you have the choice between standard mode and developer mode. Select standard and this will give you a pixel that you can then place on any relevant pages. 

If you are using prelanders, then you can copy and paste the pixel onto your own page or, if you are running a direct offer, then ask your affiliate manager if it’s possible to place the pixel on the offer page. 

Once the pixel is placed, all you have to do is configure the events that you would like to track and optimize for. 

Tiktok recommends helping the algorithm by placing the initial event as early as possible, so trying a simple click or view event rather than a conversion on a "thank you" page is definitely worth testing. 

One great feature about the Tiktok click events setup is that all you have to do is put your campaign URL into the preview box on the left and you’ll see your page. Then, you just navigate through the site, select the button or part of the page where you want your click conversion to take place, and then attribute an event to action. 

TikTok Guidelines

TikTok has issued advertising guidelines for the US and EU but doesn't offer a lot of guidance on sweepstakes or contests in general. But, this doesn’t mean that there are no rules at all!

So here are a few ideas to make sure your campaigns aren’t rejected:

  • Use a unique hashtag to track entries. Any post that is made during the posted timeframe of the promotion that has the pre-determined hashtag is considered an entry.

  • Include rules, such as who can enter and how (age, location, how to enter, the prizes offered, and when the promotion ends). Be sure to mention that entering doesn’t require a purchase (see CC sweeps above). Also, make it clear that TikTok is not sponsoring or endorsing the contest. The rules need to be posted prominently anywhere you post a TikTok contest, including in your own video about the contest, the video caption or social ad, or as a link on your social bio.

  • TikTok offers targeting options - use them. You can target based on age, location, gender, interests, even type of pets! This ensures that your ad reaches the right people and that you’re not wasting your money on ads that no one will see.

  • Don’t use copyrighted images and materials, or brands, for your sweeps contest - utilize original content or existing work product in the public domain.

  • Give away great prizes - but remember! Giveaways of over $600 require IRS filings in the US for the winners. Don’t burden your customers.

  • Follow applicable laws and social guidelines. Have a look at local laws in other countries or states. Ignorance isn’t a defense in court.

  • Keep entry dates reasonable - not too short and not too long. Don’t let them drag for ages. For a simple entry contest, a few prizes a week should suffice.

  • Limit the length of each video for your contest. You don’t want to watch 100 sixty-minute videos. Keep it short and sweet. TikTok is above all else, for short, viral videos. 


Engagement is key


One top tip when trying to optimize your content is to test multiple variations of the same video with only the first second being different. This will help you to find an angle that really hooks your audience from the moment they land on your ad. Once you have a compelling intro, you can replicate it in other videos too. 


Have a Strategy

You need to be very strategic about the type of sweeps offers you want to run. This is because the GEO and the audience will vary. For your sweepstakes campaign to be successful, you need to offer something that your target audience wants. For example, targeting Gen Alpha with the newest and shiniest iPhone, or a steep discount on luxury items.

So, with all of this in mind, you should be ready to start up your own sweepstakes campaigns! To get access to great sweepstakes offers that you can run on Tiktok, talk to one of our affiliate managers today.  



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