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TikTok Ads Manager Campaign & Pixel Setup

TikTok Ads Manager Campaign & Pixel Setup

See 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.

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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.

Welcome to the newly unveiled, TikTok self-service advertising platform.

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 us an ad credit worth $300 for completing verification and getting your credit in now. This is fantastic. It’s money and opportunities to run ads of free of charge, which is great.

We’ll jump right into the platform.

TikTok business sign up

Create A Campaign

I’m going to click on Create a Campaign. 

TikTok Ad Campaigns

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.

It’s very important to pick the right objective for your campaign. So let’s start from left to right. 

TicTok Objective tab

  • Reach – Designed to get your ad in front of the most unique people as possible. So, instead of serving a hundred people, two ads, you might serve 200 ads to 200 unique people.
  • Traffic – The objective here is to get people to click to your site.
  • App Installs –  Get people to install. 
  • Video Views – Get people to watch your ad video.
  • Conversions – Get a person to make a purchase right now, or to share their information to download a white paper, for example.

Let’s break down when and where you would use these objectives. Now you have access to a platform. But, you need a strategy behind it, so you’re making the right decisions of where to run the ads.

When we talk about Reach, this is for demand generation. This is at the top of the funnel. This is getting your ad viewed.

A person might think that the more people who view the ad, the more people will get to the site. Or, the more people we’ll get to buy. But that’s often not the case. If you want to get people to click on your site, you don’t want to choose Reach. You really want to choose Traffic because it’s going to optimize to people who are in the head space right now to click.

The app sees likelihood to get a person to click on the ad, and go to your page, which is also very different optimization than to a sale, or a lead generation.

The people who are going to click, may not be the most effective way to get a person to buy.

It’s sort of counterintuitive, but it plays out over and over again.

If you want traffic, if you want to get people into your remarketing pool, optimizing to traffic is great.

For example, let’s say you are running banner ads and you want to capture people from TikTok. You want them to visit your site and then you want them to be in your remarketing pool. So they see your ads further again on TikTok, or on Facebook, or with banners as they surf the web.

App installs is self explanatory. Your objective here is to get an app install.

If you want to get more views of your video content use the Video View objective, and then finally for lead generation or sale use Conversion. What you don’t want to do is use reach for any one of these sales or lead goals, because the metrics just won’t play out the way you want them to play out.

Let’s start a new campaign. We will call it 1A. We will also select a budget of a hundred dollars a day.

TikTok Campaign Manager

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

There’s no toggle for me to say that I wanted to spend a set amount evenly over the course of the next 30 days. The platform might do that. It might not. There’s no way for me to tell. So I’d rather just be more deliberate and set it to spend a hundred dollars a day. 

Next, we’re on to the placements.

TicTok Placement of ad

Here, we can run the ads on these other platforms, News Feed Apps, Vigo, Helo, or Pangle, and of course TikTok. 

TICTOK Select placement for ad

These are all platforms that are owned either by TikTok or they’re integrated into this ad buying interface. I just want to buy ads on TikTok. 

Scroll down, and I’m making a delineation between, the app or the website. So I’m going to add this, and I can add a pixel here.

TicTok Promotion Type selection tool

Display name should be my business name, which is

I’ve uploaded our logo.

I’m going to define the category of the campaign.

I’m just going to look for either professional services, local services.

Let’s look at business services and I’ll say agency. And then add tags.

TicTok Select category

I would look at this Ad Tags section as helping the algorithm understand who I want to reach. I’ll type in business marketing, business, owner, marketing executive. It’s a little bit unclear the way they talk about this, but it says your algorithms will do the best to use the tags, to match your ads to your audience. I could even ad relevant publications that my audience reads. 

User comments is asking whether we want people to be able to comment on the ads. Generally, if you think you’re going to get good comments, turn comments on. If you think it’s a controversial ad or you think you might get some negative speech on it in some way that’s not appropriate for your brand, turn this off.

The more open you can be the better if it’s allowable to your business.

 Do you want people to download the video? I’ll say no. 

There is a creative optimization option that I’m going to keep this off, because I want to control how my ad appears. I don’t want it to look different than the way I set it up.

Custom Audiences

Let’s focus on the audience. I’m going to click on Create New, and it’s going to take me to this page for Custom Audiences. 

TicTok New Audience Page

TikTok Audiences Targeting Is Powerful 

What I love about this is it follows a standard data management platform setup.

I’m going to create our audience. There are a few ways this can be used. I can upload email addresses for people who have recently been to my site, or bought something from us recently. This is a great use case to target people who bought recently with ads that thank them for buying, and offer a complimentary product. So, if I sell T-shirts I may target recent buyers by email address with ads for shorts. 

Or you might say these are people who haven’t bought from us recently. We want to activate them and show them your newest product. 

We can target people based on their visitation to the site, or individual pages they were recently on.

We can target by video engagement. This targets people who have clicked on a recent ad, or have seen a recent ad.

A use case here would be that anyone who saw my ad in the last seven days is eligible to see my ad again using this engagement targeting tool.   

We could say anyone who has seen the ad we want to target, but if they have clicked on the ad, we don’t want to target them.

You can create some filters of your audience by combining these audience activities.

We can target by app activity.

TicTok App Activity Selection Tool

Basically 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.

And then finally, there is 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. 

We can also turn on look a like models of these audiences, targeting people who have similar characteristics to the ones who visited our site, or downloaded our app, or clicked on our prior ads. 

TicTok Select Audience type

Select your audience. Let’s say we don’t want to do any remarketing or any prospecting, of existing audiences.

We want to target people in the United States who are 18 to 44 and focus on people who are interested in clothing. 

TicTok Interest Category Selection

This will help the platfrom make a decision about who should see your ads. If you select an interest category, it really speaks to how and where your ads will be delivered. But if it doesn’t exactly apply, you can keep this off.

We can further filter ads by parameters like operating system (Android and iOS), speed of cellular service (Wifi, 2G, 3G, 4G), carrier (like AT&T and T-Mobile), and price range of the device. 

We set the targeting flight dates, so we know when the campaign will turn on and turn off. 

TicTok Ad Schedule selection tool

The time zone settings can be aligned to run a specific times during the day. Just pay attention that they are based on UTC times. You can use this time converter to help you know what times correspond to your time zones. For example, 9am PT is 4pm UTC, so in the platform, if you want the campaign to run starting at 9am PT, you will set it to start at 4pm UTC.

Now, the other thing to note is, as we talked about with the programmatic landscape, we’re doing bidding. It’s based on supply and demand.

You can do a penny click per click. You can do a dollar per click. I would start low and see if you run.

What happens if I bid a penny? Do I get a good performance? Does media even run? If I bet a dollar will I get clicks? Could I have had clicks for less expensive?

Monitor it. You may get nothing or you may get some really great performance.

And the reason we’re jumping on this, by the way, is because the earlier you are on a platform with this type of targeting, the more effective it’s going to be as more people come onto the platform. As more advertisers join that’s when it starts to kind of get more expensive. We’re dealing with basic supply and demand.

There’s an option for standard delivery or accelerated delivery. Standard means you’re going to serve ads evenly throughout the day. Accelerated means you’re going to get results as quickly as possible.

TicToc Tracking codes

Then finally tracking impressions, clicks, and video views. If you’re a small business, don’t worry about this.

But if you have a third party ad server like Sizmek or, DoubleClick, this is where you track the impression URL, click URL and the video URL.


All right. So now let’s look at the ad creative. I’m going to choose a video from the library, which I’ve already developed and you can see, it looks pretty good on screen.

TicTok Adding your ad

I developed the video as a recording on TikTok after a few takes, and finally got it right. Then, I published on private, saved it to my phone, and pushed it to my computer. Then, I went into, made some edits to the video, added music, added text, and downloaded the final file. 

Now you have now uploaded the ad. Click on submit. 

What is really cool is if I add a balance they have a top up event. Customers who are verified as genuine active businesses will receive a credit of up to $2,000.

If I put in $2,000, I will get an additional $2,000 in credit to run ads on TikTok super interesting and powerful, especially considering if this works.

That’s $2,000 of free money. It’s fantastic. But it also says if you’re in violation of advertising guidelines, then you, loose those credit funds.

Pixel Placement

To create and place a pixel go to the Library, and click on Events. If you are placing a pixel for your website click on Website. Create the pixel, name it, and choose Manually Install Pixel Code. Or, you can choose installation with third party tools that connects to Google Analytics. 

I copied the code, went into the widgets section of this very wordpress account, and placed the code in the widget for my footer. The widget for my footer is on most pages of the site, and for the pages that it’s not on, I placed the pixel in a global HTML code section that I have on other sites. 

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.

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