Winner CIM Best Agency NI

How to set up ads on TikTok

TikTok is the new kid on the block when it comes to social media platforms, and with over 1 billion monthly active users it is definitely not one to be underestimated. For reference, let’s take a look at some OG’s stats: Facebook has 2.9 billion active users, YouTube – 2.2 billion and Instagram – 1.4 billion. TikTok is still relatively new in comparison to these guys, so do we think TikTok will catch them? Well, with over 3 billion downloads worldwide it does seem incredibly likely.  

Ok, so a lot of people download the app and a lot of people use the app every month but what does this mean for your brand? Is it worth advertising your brand on TikTok? Well…let’s look at the stats and you can decide.

TikTok advertising statistics

  1. TikTok is the number one app for driving consumer spending. 
  2. In 2021 consumer spending increased by a massive 77%. Users spent over £1.8 billion in the app and over £1 billion the year before. 
  3. TikTok ads reach 17.9% of all internet users age 18+, that’s 884.9 million people.
  4. 67% of users say TikTok inspires them to shop – even when they weren’t planning to do so. 
  5. 37% of users discover a product on the app and immediately want to buy it #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt 

Image with popular TikTok products including the hashtag TikTok made me buy it By the way, that hashtag generated over 7.4 billion views on TikTok. And so, with that we can conclude that if you don’t consider TikTok as an option in your marketing strategy you could be missing out. 

How to set up ads on TikTok

Now that you’ve decided you want to start advertising on TikTok, where do you begin? We’ll walk you through an easy step-by-step guide on how to set up TikTok ads for your business.

Step 1: Create a TikTok Ads Manager account

Go to TikTok Ads Manager’s sign up page and fill in the boxes with your email address/mobile number and a password. Don’t forget to agree to the terms and conditions. Click “continue”. A verification code will be sent to either your phone or your email address. Enter the code. 

Sign up for TikTok business manager first page

Fill in additional details about your business, including your industry, business name (which must be the same as your company’s legal name) and business email. There is also a drop down with additional information, double-check this is correct, especially the time zone, as you will not be able to change it later. Click “Get Started” to open your account. 

When you first log in TikTok will require more information about your company, billing information and website. Once you have followed the instructions, filled in all your information and double-checked it for accuracy, click “Submit”. TikTok will review your information and let you know whether your account has been approved.

Step 2: Create a new campaign

Now that you have your Ads Manager account set up and approved, it’s time to create your first ad campaign. Under the “Campaign” tab, click the “Create” button. 


tiktok create a campaign button

This will prompt you to choose your campaign objective – whether you want to increase brand awareness, drive people to your website or generate website conversions, such as a purchase.

tiktok ad objective

Name your campaign and set a budget. There are three choices when setting a budget for your campaign: 

  1. No Limit – if you have bottomless pockets or prefer to set your budget at the ad group level.
  2. Daily Budget – the maximum you are willing to spend on a campaign per day. This will spend gradually and will steadily reach your target audience.
  3. Lifetime Budget – the maximum you are willing to spend on a campaign throughout the entire defined period you wish to run ads for. This will quickly reach as many people as possible.

tiktok name your campaign and decide your budget

Minimum ad spend on TikTok

TikTok requires a minimum budget when setting both lifetime and daily budgets to ensure a continuous delivery of your ads. 

  • Campaign level minimum budget: Daily = £50. Lifetime = £50
  • Ad group level minimum budget: Daily = £20. Lifetime = will be calculated as the minimum daily budget x scheduled days. 

Step 3: Create an ad group

Here you can begin by naming your ad group. In this section you can choose different placements for each ad group. If you’re new to TikTok ads you can choose “Automatic placement” and TikTok will automatically optimise ad delivery. 

tiktok ad placement process

Another feature TikTok recommends you make use of if you’re just starting out is “Automated creative optimization” turning this on allows TikTok to create variations of your content, test its engagement and only show the best performing ones. You can turn this off at any time.

Step 4: Define your target audience

Choose the audience you would like TikTok to show your ads to. You can use a lookalike or custom audience or target your ads based on: location, language, age, gender, interests, behaviour or even the type of device they are using. TikTok has also introduced “Automatic targeting” where the algorithm will show your ads to what it considers “relevant users” based on your advertising objective, the content of your ads and past campaign data.

showing the tiktok targeting process
Step 5: Set your ad group budget and schedule

This is where you can set the budget for your ad group (remember there’s a minimum daily ad spend of £20) and schedule how long your ads will run for. You can choose to run your ads continuously until you manually decide to stop them or you can select a start date and an end date. You also have the option to run your ads at specific times throughout the day, just click “Select specific time” under “Dayparting” and a weekly calendar will appear. 

Step 6: Set your bidding strategy and optimisation

Choose your optimisation goal. Your campaign objective may automatically determine this goal for you. 

Then, choose your bidding strategy. Again, because of your campaign objective you may not see all of these options. 

  • Bid Cap: Maximum amount per click (CPC), per view (CPV), or per 1,000 impressions (CPM).
  • Cost Cap: An average cost per result for optimized CPM. The cost will fluctuate above and below the bid amount but should average out to the set bid.
  • Lowest Cost: The ad system uses the ad group budget to generate the maximum number of results possible at the lowest cost per result.

In this section under advanced settings you can select your delivery type: standard or accelerated. Standard divides your budget evenly over the scheduled dates of the campaign, whereas accelerated delivery spends your budget as fast as possible.

Step 7: Create your new ad

You are now ready to create your ad. TikTok offers you a couple of different ad formats to choose from: 

  • Single image: if you’re planning to only advertise on TikTok itself single image ads are not available.
  • Single video: you can create an ad with one video or multiple images. Videos can be between 5-60s but TikTok recommends short videos between 9-15s.
  • Collection ads: enables users to find, discover, and browse products on their mobile devices in full-screen mode. These ads will lead to an Instant Gallery Page. This page lets users explore a curated, inspiring collection of your products. 
  • Spark ads: use posts from real TikTok accounts, which ensures that all views, comments, shares, likes, and follows gained from boosting the video during the promotion are attributed to your organic posts. 

Showing the tiktok ad upload creative process
Upload your ad creative, add text that will appear alongside your ad and include a link to your destination page. Next, you have the option to choose a standard call to action or you can have TikTok dynamically show a different call to action to each individual based on performance. Check out a preview of your ad on the right, make any adjustments you need and add any relevant tracking links. Click “Submit” to send your ad for review before going live. 

Step 8: Measure your ad performance

Once your ads have been approved, it’s time to dive into the analytics and watch how they perform. TikTok provides native analytics that will show you how your ad is doing in terms of conversions, impressions, clicks and more. You can test and compare the performance of different ad creative and placements to see what works best for you. 

And that’s it, the set up of TikTok ads isn’t too different from the other social media platforms you’re used to advertising on. TikTok have implemented a lot of automatic processes to guide users along and help them make the most of their advertising platform. Once you get to know what ads perform well on TikTok you could start to see impressive results for your business. 


Related Blogs: Should You Be Selling On TikTok Shop?

Picture of Niamh Taylor

Niamh Taylor

I am the Founder and CEO of Digital Twenty Four. I’m an award winning digital marketer who took a risk, and left the safety of a well-paid, super safe in-house head of marketing role to launch Digital Twenty Four in May 2015. But -it was a risk worth taking because I now own a brilliant company, with a brilliant reputation, and with the best humans working within it. And an award-winning digital marketing expert with over 20 years experience in marketing.