TikTok Ads: How to Create Your First Campaign

TikTok Ads are a big deal, especially now that TikTok has taken the world by storm with its short, entertaining videos and rapidly growing user base. With over 1 billion active users worldwide, TikTok presents a unique opportunity for brands to reach a large and engaged audience.

Are you targeting a younger audience, particularly women? If so, advertising on TikTok could be a perfect fit for your brand. According to recent statistics, 36% of TikTok users are between the ages of 18 and 24, and nearly 20% of the platform’s advertising audience consists of women in that age group. 

TikTok’s biggest audience is in the United States, where over 109 million people use the app, but the platform’s reach extends far beyond North America. If you’re looking to reach an international audience, TikTok ads offer an excellent opportunity to expand your brand’s reach.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to boost your brand using TikTok ads, and by the end of it, you’ll be ready to run a successful TikTok ad campaign.

Step 1: Set up a TikTok Ads account

The first step to advertising on TikTok is to set up an Ads account. This will give you access to the TikTok Ads Manager, where you can create and manage your campaigns. 

To get started, go to ads.tiktok.com and sign up for an account. You will need to provide some basic information about your business, such as your name, email address, and phone number.

Step 2: Decide on an ad format

TikTok offers a range of ad formats for brands to choose from, depending on their advertising goals and budget. 

Image ads and video ads are available for TikTok and the TikTok family of news apps, while Spark ads allow brands to boost their own organic content or from other users. Carousel ads, which run only in TikTok’s News Feed apps, include up to 10 images with unique captions per ad.

Managed brands have access to additional ad formats, including TopView ads, Branded Hashtag Challenge, and Branded Effects. 

To become a managed brand and have access to these extra formatting features, you’ll need to be working with a TikTok sales representative. For that, you’ll need to contact TikTok directly to discuss further and see whether this would be a good fit for your brand.

These ad formats provide managed brands with more opportunities to connect with their target audience and boost their brand awareness.

TikTok Website

Step 3: Decide on an objective and name your campaign

To begin advertising on TikTok, start by logging into TikTok Ads Manager and clicking on the Campaign button. 

TikTok has seven ad objectives that fall into three categories: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversions. These objectives include Reach, Traffic, App Installs, Video Views, Lead Generation, Conversions, and Catalog Sales.

Step 4: Set your TikTok Ads budget

After choosing your objective and naming your campaign, it’s time to set a budget. You can set a daily or lifetime budget for your campaign, and each ad group can have its own budget as well. 

TikTok adjusts daily and lifetime budgets for campaigns and ad groups to control costs, using a bidding model for its ads.

The minimum budgets for campaigns are $50USD for both daily and lifetime budgets. Meanwhile, ad groups have a minimum daily budget of $20USD, and a lifetime budget which is calculated by multiplying the daily budget by the number of scheduled days.

Step 5: Create your ad group and target your audience

Once you have set your budget, it’s time to create your ad group. You can choose different placements for each ad group. These include In-feed ads in the For You feed, News Feed App placement, or Pangle placement. 

You can also choose to use Automated Creative Optimisation at this stage. This option lets TikTok generate different combinations of your images, videos, and ad text automatically. This way, the system will only display the highest-performing ad variations. TikTok suggests that new advertisers enable this feature.

Targeting your audience is an essential part of advertising on TikTok. You can target your ads based on gender, age, location, language, interests, behaviours, and device details. You can also use a lookalike or custom audience.

Custom audiences are particularly useful, as these allow you to retarget users who have previously visited your TikTok profile, or even your website.

This is made possible by installing a TikTok pixel on your business’s website – a piece of code that tracks conversions. You can then use this to retarget your existing customers with TikTok ads that may be relevant to them.

You can generate a TikTok pixel in the TikTok Ads Manager, under the ‘Events’ tab of the ‘Assets’ section.

Two phones on TikTok app

Step 6: Choose a bidding strategy

Choose your bidding strategy and optimisation, which includes Bid Cap, Cost Cap, and Lowest Cost. 

Although specific ad costs are not disclosed by TikTok, they provide helpful tips and insights to guide advertisers. 

For Bid Cap or Cost Cap bidding strategies, it is recommended to set the initial campaign level budget at ‘No Limit’. The daily ad group budget should be 20 times the target cost per action (CPA) or higher. 

When using the App Event Optimisation, a minimum initial budget of $100 or 20 times the target CPA, whichever is higher, is suggested. 

Finally, for Conversion campaigns utilising the Lowest Cost bid strategy, an initial budget of at least $100 or 20 times the target CPA, whichever is higher, is advised.

Step 7: Set an ad group budget

Once you have set the budget for your overall campaign, it’s time to set the budget for the ad group.

You can select a daily or lifetime budget for your ad group and specify the start and end times for the ad to run.

Additionally, you can try using ‘Dayparting’. This gives the option to schedule your ad to run at specific times during the day based on your account time zone.

Someone holding their phone filming a TikTok ads video

Step 8: Create your TikTok ads

An ad group can contain a maximum of 20 ads, each with an internal name of up to 512 characters that won’t appear on the ad itself.

To begin creating an ad, select an image, video, or Spark ad format. Add your own visuals or create a video with Ads Manager’s video templates or creation tools. 

Choose from the default thumbnails or upload your own, then add your text and link. Preview your ad on the right-hand side of the screen, include any relevant tracking links, and hit the ‘Submit’ button.

Before going live, your ad will undergo a review process.

It’s worth remembering that Spark Ads necessitate contacting the content creators for an access code. If you want to collaborate with a TikTok creator for a custom campaign, consider using the TikTok Creator Marketplace.

TikTok Ads: Conclusion

In conclusion, TikTok has proven to be an incredibly valuable tool for boosting brand awareness and driving conversions through its advertising platform. 

Creating successful TikTok ads requires attention to detail, including budgeting, targeting, and, importantly, creativity. To keep your audience engaged, it’s essential to switch up your style and update your creative often to avoid fatigue. 

TikTok recommends keeping video ads between 21-34 seconds, with eye-catching and engaging content in the first few seconds. Ads that stay positive, authentic, and inspiring tend to perform the best. User-generated content is an effective way to keep them authentic. 

By following these tips, you can create compelling TikTok ads that resonate with your audience and drive conversions. So why not take the leap and see how this platform can help take your brand to the next level?

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