How To Tell If A TikTok Video Is Promoted?

TikTok has an advertising platform called “Promote” which allows brands to use TikTok to showcase their products, services, or campaigns to a targeted audience.

While navigating the vast universe of short engaging TikTok videos, it is not uncommon to wonder whether certain videos are just ordinary videos or they have been given an extra push by the platform by being sponsored or promoted.

In this article, I will help you understand TikTok video promotion and you will be able to tell if a TikTok video is promoted or not.

Promoted TikTok videos typically have these tale-tell signs:

  • A “promoted” or “sponsored” label
  • Specific hashtags and captions
  • A verified profile checkmark

What are promoted TikTok videos?

Promoted TikTok videos, aka ads are videos paid for by individuals or businesses so that they can reach a larger TikTok audience.

Tiktok’s advertising tool/platform helps you make your videos more visible or discoverable, you can easily guide more people to your website, and improve your chances of gaining followers, which in turn will help you grow your business. 

The main objective of promoted TikTok videos is to assist brands and creators in establishing connections with a bigger and more focused audience, ultimately resulting in increased brand exposure, engagement, and sales.

Promoted videos may look similar to regular TikTok content but they typically have an indicator showing that they are part of a paid promotion.

Promoted videos on TikTok have the following features:

  • Paid Promotion: Advertisers pay for the promotion of their videos to ensure increased visibility.
  • Targeting: audiences are targeted based on demographics, interests, and behaviors to reach users who are more likely to engage with content.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): used to encourage users to take specific actions like visiting a website, downloading an app, or participating in a challenge.
  • Branding: company logos and slogans that enhance brand awareness.
  • Visibility: they usually appear in the “For You” feeds to maximize their reach.

How to tell if a TikTok video is promoted

Here is a list of things to look out for in a promoted TikTok video:

1. Specific hashtags

While this might not necessarily be a sure confirmation that an account is sponsored or promoted, most promoted or sponsored videos have hashtags showing they are promoted/sponsored.

Common hashtags include; #ad, #sponsored, #promoted.

TikTok Specific hashtags
TikTok Specific hashtags
TikTok Specific hashtags

2. Sponsorship label

Promoted TikTok videos have a label showing “Paid partnership” below the video description. If you see this on any video, it is a sure sign that the video is paid for and it is promoting a certain product or service.

TikTok Sponsorship labels
TikTok Sponsorship labels

3. Description and call to action

Along with the label and hashtags, promoted TikTok videos are also usually accompanied by a description showing the purpose of the video.

This description typically talks about the product or service they’re promoting or the company that sells/offers it, and usually, a link for you to click on to check out the company website or make a purchase from their store.

TikTok Description


Does TikTok promotion get you followers?

Yes, there’s a very high probability that promoting your TikTok video will get you followers. 

Promotion practically means you are paying to get increased visibility on the platform, and if your video is well-suited for your target audience, you will gain more followers.

How do you promote a video on TikTok?

  • On your Promotions page, tap the video you’d like to promote.
  • Choose a goal for promoting your video, then tap Next at the bottom.
  • If you choose More website visits, enter your website URL choose an action button for your website, and then tap Save.
  • Select the audience you’d like to reach, then tap Next

You can choose from:

  • Automatic; TikTok will choose the audience for you.
  • Custom; You can choose the genders, age ranges, and interests you’d like to reach.
  • Set your budget and duration, then tap Next.
  • Add your payment information (Android) or recharge your coins (iPhone).
  • Start your promotion.

Are there requirements for using Promote?

Yes, here are the requirements you have to fulfill to be able to promote your video:

  • You can only promote public videos.
  • You can only promote videos with original sounds or commercially approved sounds.
  • You must be 18 years of age or older.
  • You have to agree to the TikTok Promote Terms of Service and acknowledge having read the TikTok Privacy Policy.
  • You must be a creator or business account (Government and political accounts are not eligible to use Promote).

Do promoted TikTok videos always have high engagement?

Not necessarily. Some promoted videos may have high engagement but others might not. This is because engagement depends on the content quality and its relevance to the audience.

I’ve found that most of the promoted or sponsored TikTok videos I’ve come across had few likes and comments. Not sure why that is.

What are verified TikTok accounts?

Verified accounts are those that have been officially authenticated by TikTok that they belong to a notable individual or company. 

Verification means TikTok confirms that your account is legit and it represents the person (s) or entity it’s been named for.

Verified TikTok accounts are annotated by a badge; a blue checkmark beside the username.

TikTok verified accounts
TikTok verified accounts

Note that verified accounts aren’t necessarily sponsored or promoted.

How do I get verified on TikTok?

To get your account verified on TikTok:

  • Open your TikTok app and tap your profile picture at the bottom to go to your profile.
  • Tap the Menu () at the top and then go to Settings and Privacy > Account > Verification.

Note: You will only see the verification option if you are eligible for verification.

  • Follow the steps in the app to submit a verification request.


To get verified you have to;

  • Post content consistently
  • Go viral
  • Engage your audience
  • Be featured in media
  • If your account is registered as a Business account you can apply for Business Verification.

Also, note that the verification feature is currently not available everywhere.


In summary, as TikTok continues to evolve and reinvent content creation, identifying a promoted or sponsored TikTok video is simply all about paying keen attention to video descriptions/captions and looking out for labels and hashtags.

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Grace is an Editor at GoTechUG and she has written many articles about website design and social media. She has experience in IT and loves to tinker with anything to do with computers. In her spare time, she loves music, movies, reading books, and learning Spanish.

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