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The Quickfire Guide To Using TikTok Ads Manager

TikTok ads can be incredibly effective for your business, allowing you to reach high-value audiences, utilise eye-catching creative solutions, and skyrocket product sales. 

However, success with TikTok paid advertising all starts with one thing – mastering the TikTok Ads Manager. 

The TikTok Ads Manager is your central hub for all things TikTok marketing. This powerful tool provides you with a number of essential features, from setting up new campaigns to tracking ad performance and implementing optimisations. 

In this guide, we’ll be sharing step-by-step instructions for using the TikTok Ads Manager and launching new campaigns on the platform.

What are TikTok ads? 

TikTok ads are delivered in and around the TikTok home feed. Aside from a small ‘Sponsored’ label, TikTok ads are almost identical to organic posts on the platform – this makes them feel more native and encourages engagement from TikTok audiences. 

There are a wide range of TikTok ad formats available to marketers, and different formats can be leveraged to achieve different objectives: 

  • In-Feed Ads
  • TopView Ads
  • Brand Takeover Ads
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads
  • Branded Effects Ads

While each of these TikTok ad formats is unique, they do share one thing in common – the need for eye-catching, compelling creative assets. 

TikTok is a highly visual platform, and your audience will inevitably be scrolling through tonnes of snappy, short-form videos competing for their interest. If you want to launch effective marketing on TikTok, you need to find a way to grab attention and encourage action in a competitive feed. 

TikTok ad example from Sugarisland clothing

(Source: tiktok.com)

Which brands should be using TikTok ads?

On the fence about launching TikTok ads for your business? Don’t be. 

For the vast majority of advertisers, TikTok can deliver exceptional results, whether you’re looking to grow brand awareness or generate cost-efficient product sales. 

That’s because TikTok offers all of the key ingredients needed for effective digital marketing, including data-driven targeting options, versatile ad formats, user-friendly interfaces, and in-depth analytics.

With the right strategy in place, businesses of all sizes can discover, target, and convert profitable audiences on the TikTok platform. 

However, TikTok is particularly valuable for brands looking to reach younger shoppers. TikTok has a strong foothold on youth audiences, with around 36% of its audience aged between 18-24 – the equivalent of roughly 360m users. 

Global TikTok users by age and gender from Statista

(Source: statista.com)

How to set up an ad campaign using the TikTok Ads Manager 

1. Access your TikTok business account 

First things first, you’ll need to log in to your TikTok For Business account to start setting up ad campaigns. 

If you haven’t accessed your TikTok business account yet, then don’t worry – it’s a piece of cake, and more importantly, it’s free. All you need to do is open the TikTok app as normal, navigate to the ‘Settings and Privacy’ menu and click ‘Manage Account’. 

From here, you can just hit ‘Switch to Business Account’ to transition over to your TikTok business profile. 

Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll be ready to start setting up your ad campaign in the TikTok Ads Manager. 

2. Open the TikTok Ads Manager 

On a desktop, head over to the TikTok website and log in to the Ads Manager using your TikTok business account details. 

Creating a TikTok ads account

(Source: tiktok.com) 

3. Establish your TikTok advertising objective

It’s now time to set an objective for your ads on TikTok. 

This is a very important step, as your choice of objective will guide the TikTok algorithm in making optimisations. Think carefully about the options in front of you, and select a goal that aligns closely with your business priorities.

There are various objectives available on TikTok, split into three main categories:

Awareness

Reach: Maximise the number of TikTok users that are exposed to your ads. 

Consideration

Traffic: Drive traffic from the TikTok app to a specific website URL/landing page. 

Video Views: Maximise the number of video views/engagements you receive on your video assets. 

Lead Generation: Generate leads on TikTok with Instant Forms, or re-direct users to your website to gather contact details. 

Community Interaction: Maximise the number of TikTok followers/profile visits you receive. 

Conversion 

App Promotion: Maximise the number of app installations you generate on TikTok. 

Website Conversion: Maximise the number of conversions (e.g. sales, subscriptions) delivered on your website. 

Selecting your TikTok ads objective

(Source: tiktok.com)

Once you’ve chosen your campaign objective, it’s time to establish your target audience. 

4. Confirm your desired target audience 

You’ll now be prompted to set your target audience on TikTok.

There are many different targeting filters you can apply here, including Demographics, Interests, and Behaviours. This is a great way to refine your audience and focus on users who are more likely to be engaged with your products. 

You can also set up Custom Audiences here, which are powerful segments powered by TikTok pixel data. Custom Audiences allow you to reach hot prospects that are already familiar with your brand, such as: 

  • Individuals on your customer email lists
  • Users that have engaged with your TikTok ads
  • Users that have visited your website
  • Users that have purchased your products
  • Users that have downloaded/interacted with your app

Custom Audiences can be incredibly effective at driving conversions, since you can engage people who have already expressed interest in your business. 

(And remember – while it can be tempting to focus on a super niche audience that feels relevant to your brand, starting with a broader audience will provide you with enough scale to gather learnings and implement optimisations.) 

During this stage, you’ll also be able to confirm where your ad is shown – for instance, exclusively on the TikTok app or across the wider TikTok publisher network. 

5. Set up your campaign budget & ads schedule 

Once you’re happy with your target audience, it’s time to confirm your budget and campaign timings. 

First, input your desired daily budget. You’ll need a minimum of $5 per day for TikTok ads, but you’re likely to be spending much more than this! After you’ve set the budget, decide how long you’d like your campaign to run for. 

(If you’d like to launch an ‘Always On’ campaign, you can just click ‘No end date’ to keep your campaign running indefinitely.) 

Creating your TikTok ads including bidding and optimisation

(Source: tiktok.com) 

6. Create your TikTok ads

Finally, it’s time to create/upload your TikTok ads. You’ll be able to adjust every aspect of your ads here, from your visual assets to your headlines and CTAs.

While you’re creating your TikTok ads, keep a few of these platform best practices in mind:

  • Keep your video ads short and sweet. Land your key product messages as quickly as possible in an engaging and creative way.
  • Jump on relevant platform trends and hashtag challenges to drive engagement and organic reach. 
  • Make sure your ads look and feel like TikTok native posts. Keep your eye on the TikTok feed to understand what type of content is resonating with users. 

Also, always keep the technical ad specs of different TikTok formats in mind. Nobody wants to deal with the hassle (and costs) of last-minute production edits, so whenever you’re preparing assets for a new campaign, double-check the relevant specs to avoid stress.

Congratulations – you’ve successfully launched a new campaign through the TikTok Ads Manager! Remember to keep track of performance through the Ads Manager dashboard and implement regular optimisations based on any trends you’re seeing in your account.

Best practices for effective TikTok advertising 

Now that you know how to set up and launch ad campaigns on TikTok, let’s bounce through some proven best practices that will help you deliver optimal results. 

Capture the attention of your audience – and fast 

According to TikTok data, 90% of ad recall is captured within the first 6 seconds of an ad. That means you need to land your key messages as quickly as possible and leverage strong visual hooks that will keep your audience engaged from the get-go.

Focus on creating quality ‘TikTok-first’ content 

If your ads feel like authentic TikTok content, they’re more likely to drive engagement from your target audience. In fact, research shows that TikTok-first ads catch the attention of 74% of viewers, while also driving significant lifts in brand outcomes and user actions. 

(If you need inspiration for TikTok-first content, it’s a good idea to scroll through the app feed and look out for popular videos. You should also utilise TikTok-specific creative elements like text overlays, voiceovers, and duets.) 

Get inspiration from the TikTok Ad Library 

The TikTok Ad Library is a fantastic resource that can provide you with plenty of creative inspiration – as well as sneaky competitor insights. 

You can use the Ad Library to search for ads based on specific advertisers, locations, keywords, and formats. Plus, you can even check out the number of unique users that have viewed a certain TikTok ad, meaning you can see which competitor posts are performing well and generating interest. 

This can help you refine your creative messaging, capitalise on rising trends, and even identify gaps in the market for new products! 

Once you’re comfortable and confident using the TikTok Ads Manager, the sky’s the limit for your business. 

The Ads Manager will enable you to set up new campaigns, discover high-quality audiences, launch insightful A/B tests, and track the performance of your ads. After you get started with the tool, you’ll be optimising campaigns and crushing your TikTok business goals in no time. 

As a specialist TikTok ads agency we can help you with your campaigns just get in touch for a free consultation.

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