Brill Media

TikTok Ads Manager Campaign & Pixel Setup 2023

TikTok Ads Manager Campaign & Pixel Setup 2023


In this post we are going into details about how to access TikTok Ads Manager, setup a campaign, create the pixels, and place pixels on your website. We discuss the strategy behind the different optimization options, and best practices to get the best results for your campaign.

We have updated the process for Fall 2023, with an accompanying video to view the details.

Login and Advertising Credit


Visit TikTok Ads Manager to access the platform. For a comprehensive help guide from TikTok visit their help section.

I have clicked on login as I have already done the registration process.

The first thing I want to point out is that TikTok is giving new advertisers an ad credit worth up to $1,500 if you spend $1,500 in advertising. We found this by searching “new advertiser credit tiktok” in November 2023. 

We’ll jump right into the platform.

Create A Campaign

Set Your Advertising Objective

I’m going to click on Create a Campaign. 

Click on Create.

So the first thing is you can choose either a new campaign or use an existing on.

And there’s a lot of similarity here with Facebook. This is not surprising. Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to?

What I want to point out here is you’re buying on an auction, which means you are bidding based on supply and demand. This is the sort of basics of the programmatic advertising ecosystem, and you have a few different types of objectives. And the objectives are important because the objective tells the platform what you want to accomplish.


Set Ad Group

After clicking the Create button, you’ll see a screen with a number of options. First, select your objective. Then, scroll down for more options. 

Split testing helps you determine the targeting and the creative that works the best. 
Campaign budget optimization determines if your budget is governed at the campaign level, or at the ad group level. If you want more control over your ad group spending keep campaign budget optimization off. But, for better results turn it on.
You can set campaign budget on this screen as well. This is valuable for when you want security knowing your campaign will be turned off when your budget maximum has been hit.  
Special ad categories are important to attend to. They help you keep out of trouble. If you are advertising something related to housing, employment, or credit, you must select the appropriate category. There are limitations on the ad targeting you can run based on these categories. These special categories are common across search and social platforms. 
If you think you’ll outrun the platforms, note they are very good ad understanding the special categories your ads are in. If you try to circumvent there is a good change your ads won’t be approved. If they are approved, they are at risk of being disabled at any time. If you try to outrun the platform rules you’ll be caught for circumvention of systems and potentially be restricted from advertising completely. Details about special ad category targeting are included below. 

Set Ad Targeting and Budget

Set your ad group name. Select where you want your ads to click, website, or an app. We generally default to targeting only TikTok. This way, if they ever change the targeting apps available, we’re protected from advertising in other places that we didn’t intent do advertise. Currently, the Global App Bundle includes CapCut, the video editing tool developed by the people behind TikTok, and Fizzo. 

Next, you’ll want to select whether viewers of your ad will be able to comment on your ad, download the video, or share the video. If you think you’ll receive negative comments turn commenting off. But, keeping commenting on helps engagement.

Set your ad targeting by geography, gender, and age. Language targeting can be valuable if language is a key differentiator for your audience. 

Saved audiences help you target audience groups that you’ve already setup in the past. 

Geographic targeting can get down to the zip code, city, county, state, region, and country.

You have more targeting options to leverage. Spending power is TikTok’s data telling you who likes to spend money. You also have the ability to reach people based on their household income, including the top 5% and 10% of US households. 

Under Audience, you can target your custom audiences, including your website remarketing pool, people who have engaged with your videos recently, and people who follow your account. 

Under Interests and Behaviors, you have several options. 

  • Interests – target users based on their overall consumption behavior on TikTok
  • Video Interactions – reach people based on the videos they engaged with over the last 15 days
  • Creator Interactions – reach people based on the accounts they followed ore viewed on TikTok
  • Hashtag Interactions – reach people based on the hashtags they viewed in the last 7 days on TikTok

You can then select categories for your targeting.

The best practice here is to create groups of audiences and test advertising performance across several similar groups.

Some audiences are very small, and some are very large, so it’s up to the ad campaign to find the right mix to deliver results. 

Finally, you can target based on device. Only filter here if it makes sense for your business. You can filter out Android or iOS, specific device models, the type of internet connectivity, carriers, and even the price of the device. 

Set your budget, and your run dates. Your ads can run all day, or you can set specific hours based on your business needs. For example, you may want to only run ads between 6am and 12pm, or 8am to 6pm, to match your business hours. 

The rule of thumb these platforms is to choose a daily spending budget, because we don’t want the algorithm to spend to a lifetime budget and spend it all in a few days, when, really, we want the campaign to run for a month.We have more control with daily budget.

Set your ad strategy. Do you want to pay for clicks or landing page visits? We often choose landing page visits because that’s closer to our goal. The maximum delivery tells TikTok to drive as many landing page visits as it can for the budget. You can also run a cost cap to tell the algorithm to limit the cost to a predefined amount per landing page visit.

For new campaigns we’ll start with maximize delivery, and possibly in the future limit delivery with a cost cap to drive down costs. 

Finally, you have delivery type. You can run ads evenly throughout the day, or you can tell the algorithm to run as much as it can in the day, even at the risk of spending in full in the middle of the day. In other words, you can accelerate the spending, which is valuable for time-sensitive campaigns. 


Upload Creative

Finally, you can upload creative. You have two options here.

  1. Spark Ads
  2. Custom Identity 
  3. Smart Creative Ads

1. Spark Ads require conna ection to an existing TikTok account. You’ll be able to use any of the videos posted on that account. 

Benefits of Spark Ads

  • Your videos can be longer than 1 minute
  • The videos are already available to be selected
  • Account name and logo are already populated for you
  • All engagements from the ad are included when people see the post organically

Drawbacks of Spark Ads

  • Once uploaded you can’t edit the video or the ad text
  • You need to connect to an existing TikTok account which will require a few extra steps. Follow these instructions to link your TikTok account to your ad account. 

2. With Custom Identity ads, you can upload an image for a logo, set the name of the ad, upload the video, and you’re set.

Benefits of Custom Identity

  • Easy to setup and doesn’t require any connection to an existing TikTok account

Drawbacks of Custom Identity

  • Ad engagement will not be connected to your TikTok account, so your organic posts won’t show increased engagement
  • Users can’t follow your TikTok account from your ad.

3. Smart Creative ads are a variation of Automated Creative Optimization where TikTok combines your assets dynamically to combat creative fatigue. You’ll have less control of the ad creative, and rely more heavily on the algorithm to make decisions. These ads can be good for some ecommerce advertisers, but for most businesses the lack of control is a deal breaker. 

Benefits of Smart Creative Ads

  • Easier to whiz through creative development

Drawbacks of Smart Creative Ads

  • Dramatically less control over your ad creative

Learn more about Smart Creative Ads.

Once you’ve made your decision on the type of ad you’ll be prompted to:

  • Upload your video (Custom Identity) or choose an existing post (Spark Ads
  • Add ad copy (Custom Identity)
  • Ad your click through URL, select a lead form, or shopping product
  • Select your call to action
  • Select the pixels you’ll want to track on the campaign, such as website events and app events
  • Set any additional third party tracking for impression tracking and click tracking

We suggest looking at the call to action. TikTok defaults to dynamic call to action, but the options don’t always make sense for the ad.

So, either de-select dynamic the calls to action that don’t make sense for your business, or choose standard call to action where you can select one. 

Submit your ad and your campaign will launch when the ad is approved. 


Setup Custom Audiences

Go to Tools and Audience Manager to see the different ways you can target people who are engaging with your brand. 

You’ll see a list of your already-created audiences.

Click on Create Audience. Selecting Custom Audience will allow you to target people in that group. Selecting Look A Like will allow you to target people who have similar characteristics to your audience. 

  • Customer File – Upload IDFA or GAID identifiers. Some accounts have access to upload email IDs as well. 
  • Engagement – identify people who have seen, clicked, or engaged with your video ads.
  • App Activity – reach people who have interacted with your app, inclusing installation or other actions in the app such as add to cart and purchase
  • Website Traffic – reach people who have been to your website or specific pages on your website
  • Lead Generation – identify people who have submitted a form via a TikTok Instant Page lead form
  • Business Account – reach people who have interacted with your TikTok pages, including following, watching videos, and visiting your profile
  • Shop Activity – reach people who are adding your products to cart, and buying from your TikTok Shop
  • Offline Activity – reach people who have taken action offline, that you have uploaded to TikTok

For the engagement audiences you can add people based on these actions:

  • Click
  • Impression video
  • 2-second video view
  • 6-second video view
  • 6-second focused view
  • 15-second focused view
  • Viewed 25% of video
  • Viewed 50% of video
  • Viewed 75% of video
  • Viewed 100% of video

You can capture people who took these actions between 7 days and 180 days ago. 

You’ll also have the ability to select exclusion audiences to make your targeting more precise. 

After you have created your custom audience, you can then create a look a like of that audience.

Some sample use cases to consider:


Target people with ads who recently went to our site but didn’t share their lead information


Remarket to people with an offer after they added a product to part, but then abandoned cart. If email marketing is turned on for the account upload the email list and deliver ads to people who recently shared their email with us. 


Remarket to people who visited our profile in the last 30 days. 

App Companies

For app install campaigns, once you have the TikTok software development kit (SDK) installed, you can say someone who has downloaded the app, but hasn’t opened it, should see our ad.

Maybe someone hasn’t actually funded an app. We can remarket to these people.

With site remarketing to website traffic, you place the TikTok pixel on your site, just like you place a Snap pixel, or a Facebook pixel, or a pixel from The Trade Desk or another platform. Now, you have the ability to target anyone who’s visited a page on our site in the last 30 days. 

If you have an online store, for example, you can serve ads exclusively to people who have recently abandoned cart. 


Creative Development

There are a few ways to create high quality ad content for TikTok.

1. Publish to TikTok

You can create a video directly using the TikTok publishing tool. Once your video is filmed, add all the headings to the video and push out to your TikTok feed. If you need to capture that final video with out the TikTok watermark you can use a tool like, which gives you a version of your final video downloadable to your device without the watermark. This is also valuable if you want to publish your TikTok videos to other platforms. 

Once your video is uploaded to TikTok, use the Spark Ads feature to run it as an ad. 

2. Professional Development

There is no shortage of professional tools to create and edit videos. Common editing tools include Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Rush. You can also work with professional film crews and editors to create content. 

3. In-House Development

For most businesses using available tools in-house will do the job. Brill Media uses Reincubate Camo to turn iPhones into desktop recording devices. We film the video, save to desktop, and edit with Descript. Other tools to consider are CapCut and


Pixel Placement

Use Integrations

To create and place a pixel go to Tools and Events. You’ll be prompted to create App Events, Web Events and Offline. For websites choose Web Events. 

Choose Setup Web Events.

Select Partner Setup

This is going to be your solution if you are already connected to any of the common web tools, such as Shopify and Google Tag Manager. You also have support for Customer Data platforms such as Twilio Segment. From there, follow the prompts to connect your existing accounts to TikTok, and your pixel will be placed.


Use Manual Setup and Event Builder


If you want to do the work manually, select Manual Setup. Name your pixel. Select the events you want to track. Common for ecommerce will be add to cart and purchase. Common for lead generation will be submit form. You also have the option to select templates which have common events already setup in the right order. 

Then, select the parameters for each event. 

Grab the custom code and place it on your website. 


Alternatively, here you can use the event builder tool. Once you’ve placed the primary code on your website, you can use this tool to tell TikTok the pages and button clicks that are important for your business. 

For example, when people get share their information with us as a lead, we want that thank you page to be tracked as a submit form. 

To verify that your code is on the site correctly, use the TikTok Pixel Helper. Once you’ve installed the pixels in your site you can view the live pages and the TikTok Pixel Helper will show you the pixels that are installed.

You will also want to place pixel events for important actions taken on your site, such as when a lead has been generated, or when a sale has been made. 

More details are shown in the video at the top of this blog post. 


For more marketing ideas for your business download our free Recession Marketing Guide.

Also available for download our 2020 success guide: How To Build An Advertiser Trading Desk.

Supercharge Your Media Buying Today

Supercharge Your Media Buying Today