Just a few years ago, none of us would expect TikTok to blow up the way it would today. And to no surprise, TikTok has evolved drastically in the last few years that it (naturally) now has its own Ads Manager platform. The service may be relatively new, but it is no doubt a powerful tool in reaching out to TikTok’s large user base, boasting more than 2 billion app downloads and a 52.1% engagement rate.
For all digital marketers out there, TikTok is like a newly-discovered gold mine with its young, active demographics that’s ever-changing, a unique vertical full-screen short snippets experience that easily can get anyone hooked, and strong community development functions — one that is crucial to mine in to adapt with the future of marketing. With that, read on to learn everything you need to know about using TikTok Ads Manager for your business.
Before You Begin
Whether it is TikTok, Facebook or Google Ads - any media buying platform will have some form of an ads manager that allows you to set up campaigns.
In a typical campaign, you have three layers: Campaign, Ad Sets, and Ads. As a point of comparison, Facebook Ads Manager, a tool every marketer has a love-hate relationship with, will be referenced heavily to ease your transition into the new TikTok Ads platform!
“Campaign” refers to your overarching campaign objective & budget strategy. Some common campaign objectives include Brand Awareness, Traffic, and Conversions.
“Ad sets” are essentially the target audience of your campaign. They are also known as personas or ad groups. Multiple ad groups can be targeted in one campaign.
“Ad” refers to what a user sees, which includes your post visual and copy. You may also choose to include call-to-action (CTA) buttons. Do note that for some campaign objectives, the CTA button may be required, such as Traffic campaigns that target clicks.
Do refer to the chart below for a representation of the typical Ads Manager’s organisation of its campaign setup:
Now that you understand the basics, good news! TikTok Ads Manager runs through the exact same format as any other Ads Manager platform — Campaign, Ad Sets, and Ads level. However, TikTok also comes with a myriad of additional features not seen in other Ads Managers that you will definitely want to utilise to optimise your campaigns. Let’s jump right into the basics of setting up campaigns on TikTok!
In TikTok, you can find the piece of code under Assets > Event > Website Pixel. Simply paste this code into your website’s header, fill out the important information in setting up the pixel on TikTok, and Voilà! Your pixel is all ready to be used!
For an in-depth tutorial on how to set your pixels up, do check out this video:
As you set up your campaign, you will be greeted with a familiar sight of choosing your Advertising Objective. TikTok has a much more simplified version of Facebook Ads Manager’s ads objectives choices, which is most likely due to the different actions the two platforms’ audience would partake in. Some common objectives to you can choose from are:
- Reach — to maximise the number of people who will view your ad.
- Traffic — to maximise the number of people clicking on your website or a link that you’ve directed them to.
- Conversions — To maximise the action that you have set on your pixel, e.g. checking out an item or sending in a query.
Under the Settings, an important metric you must key in is your Budget. Similar to other Ads Managers, you can choose between a Lifetime budget or a Daily Budget. A Lifetime budget one that will run across and are automatically optimised during the whole period you set for your campaign, while a Daily Budget will only run up to the amount that you stipulated each day. Both options are useful in different circumstances, so how do you check which one is more suitable for your campaign?
- If your ad is going to run for a short amount of time (i.e. less than a month), Lifetime budget is more preferred.
- If your ad is time-sensitive and you would want an auto optimisation on days where your ad is performing the best, Lifetime budget may be a better option.
- If you need to monitor your budget and spend a consistent amount everyday, Daily Budget may be the simpler choice for you.
- If you’re running a long-term ad, e.g. a running Page Views ad, then the Daily Budget would be the better option for you.
Do also take special note that in TikTok campaigns, the minimum Lifetime budget is SGD50 and the minimum Daily Budget is SGD20.
Simplified vs. Custom
When you first set up your campaign, you will be given the option to choose between Simplified or Custom Mode. Custom Mode will provide you a multitude of customisation within your ad groups and ads, while Simplified allows you to create quick ads in less than five minutes. We do advise you to use Custom as much as possible to allow more control over your targeted ads. However, feel free to use the Simplified version to get used to the TikTok algorithm and ads style if you need!
Moving to create your target audience, TikTok starts off with allowing you to choose the Pixel you want to target, or an App you wish to drive more traffic or conversions to under “Promotion Type”. The choices you receive are those you have created under your Events Manager (which can be found in Assets > Events).
Do note that Promotion Type is only available to “Consideration” and “Conversion” Advertising Objectives.
The placement allows you to advertise on other platforms, such as BuzzVideo and Pangle. However, most of you reading will most likely only need to tick off “TikTok” as other platforms may not be relevant for your content.
Finally, you’ve reached the bulk of your target audience set up. Here, you may customise your audience’s demographic, from Location to Language and Age limit. Different from other Ads Managers, on TikTok, the interests of your target audience are chosen from a set list of interests instead of you providing keywords. Therefore, it is advisable to choose a broad topic rather than a very niche interest to maximise your ads reach. For example, if you’re selling hair products, it’s best to choose all sub-interests under “Beauty & Personal Care”, as most audiences who fall under that category will be interested in your product.
Another targeting feature that is unique to TikTok is targeting specific devices. You may choose to target specific operating systems, device models, or even carriers. While this may not be an important factor in your personas, it will come into use especially for tech-related industries. For example, if you’re selling iPhone cases for only iPhone X and newer, or if you’re a TelCo brand targeting those who are using a specific mobile carrier to switch over to yours.
Finally, we’ve reached the essence of your campaign — the ad that you’ll be running. In TikTok, the most important portion will undoubtedly be your creative, which can come in either Single Video or Single Image format. To blend in naturally with the standard For You page setup, it is best if your video is in 1080px * 1920px size. If your video does not have background music already, it is best to use one of the trending TikTok songs to increase the engagement of your creative, which will be displayed to you once you upload it.
Furthermore, for your video creative, the bottom ¼ of your video will most likely be covered by your description and CTA, so it is best to not put any important information at the bottom.
Text & Link
What’s unique about TikTok is that when you customise your ad, you have the option to change your Display Name and Profile Picture. The Display name refers to the first line your audience will see in the Ad’s description, where it shows “@[your username]”. This means that you may also portray your ad as a regular TikTok user by changing these settings, but it is recommended for you to stick with your brand name and logo to further outreach your brand awareness.
In the “Text” textbox, it is best to keep to one sentence so that it does not obstruct too much of your video creative as well as to draw your audience’s attention. You may also choose to use #hashtags, which is becoming increasingly popular as more trends use hashtags to organise videos on TikTok.
TikTok Ads That Just Work
Now that we’ve gone through the essence of creating a TikTok ad, what kind of content really captures your audience’s attention? check out some good examples that've been effective in their pursuit!
Aknederm recently uploaded an ad for their skincare products. This ad looks like the content you’ll see on a typical For You page, consisting of a person sitting in front of their phone and just talking. Moreover, it tops off with a comedic trend, where a person at the back becomes the “hands” of the person sitting in front. This ad works because of its comedic element as well as an engaging lead.
Shein’s Best Friend Goals
Shein is no doubt one of the most well-known brands on TikTok, an app filled with teens and young adults. With their fashion lineup, they frequently feature people of different sizes, different races, and celebrities. Their ads are geared toward “Try-on hauls” and different dance challenges, which promote their variety of clothing. Their ad works in that not only they feature people from different backgrounds, but they also rely heavily on trendjacking, in which they have deciphered exactly which music, dance, and content the fashion-related TikTok segment are heading toward.
Another successful ad is Tropiciana’s Juice, in which the TikToker goes through different ways to make ice pops (or popsicles) with the juice drink. Besides comedy and trendy content, using a more informative and relatable approach has also been an effective way to reach out to the audience. “How-to” content is, to no surprise, presented the best on TikTok, with its 15-second, 60-second, or 3-minutes video duration as well as video creative to show how the product is used in real life. This allows people who are interested to find different uses for your product and as a result, will entice them to purchase more.
From the examples shown, you can see that TikTok is very primed for light-hearted, engaging content that does not try to hard-sell products. TikTok’s popularity is only going to continue to rise, so the best time to start investing in TikTok ads is now — before any of your competitors.
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