Introduction to TikTok Ads: Campaign Creation

If you hadn’t noticed, I jumped into TikTok and short-form video creation recently. It’s only natural that this jump includes TikTok ads.

The hope is to catch some magic on a growing platform before the competition increases and prices go up. That’s what made Facebook advertising so insanely profitable in the early days.

Well, the first thing you’ll notice if you dive into TikTok advertising is that the TikTok Ads Manager is obviously inspired by Facebook Ads Manager.


TikTok Ads Manager vs Facebook Ads Manager

♬ Puff – Hany Beats

My understanding is that the team that built TikTok Ads Manager includes developers who were part of the team that contributed to the very similar product from Meta. That would be a good explanation because you can’t ignore the similarities.

Because it’s so similar, I have good news for you: If you’re comfortable creating Facebook ads, you’ll be comfortable creating TikTok ads. The learning curve is incredibly short.

I want to share my experiences and journey through TikTok ads with you. I’m not going to claim to be a TikTok advertising expert. As similar as it may be to Facebook ads, I’m sure there are unique quirks and features that I will need to master. And I don’t want to make any assumptions about how something will work on TikTok based on how it did or didn’t work on Facebook.

A beginner’s mind can be powerful. I don’t want to be guided too strongly by experience with a different product.

So, let’s jump into TikTok advertising together. We’re obviously not going to get into anything all that advanced yet. Instead, I want to go through the basics. Maybe it will increase your confidence in getting started.

Campaign Creation

When you first create a TikTok campaign, you’ll have the option of Simplified or Custom Mode.

TikTok Ads Simplified and Custom Mode

I compare Simplified Mode to Advantage Plus campaign creation. It limits the steps and uses preset defaults. Essentially, it protects inexperienced advertisers from themselves. You can certainly try this (and even should), but we’re going to use Custom Mode here.

You are unlikely to be surprised that the first step requires you to select a Campaign Objective.

TikTok Campaign Objective

Many of these options likely look familiar. When walking through this, we’re going to create the most basic TikTok campaign. So, we’ll use the Community Interaction objective to increase our followers (I know! Just hang with me here).

After selecting your Objective, you’ll have the option of making some other changes in Campaign Settings.

TikTok Ad Campaign

Once again, this stuff isn’t new to any experiencedFacebook advertiser.

  1. Select a Special Ad Category if one applies
  2. Create a Split Test if you want
  3. Turn on Campaign Budget Optimization if you don’t want a firm budget per ad set
  4. Set a Campaign Budget if you want that limit to determine overall spend

None of this stuff is new to us. Kinda crazy.

We’re going to leave all of this off.


Placements are first in the ad set.

TikTok Placements

Well, the only placement is TikTok, so that’s kinda weird. I assume they plan on including more in the future.

There are some items you can customize by clicking “Advanced Settings.”

TikTok Placements

By default, you allow users to comment on, download, and share your videos. But you can turn any of these off individually if you want. We won’t.


Next is targeting. Depending on the objective, you may have the option of Custom Targeting or Automatic Targeting.

TikTok Ads Targeting

Facebook actually has something similar to Automatic Targeting these days, but I’ve only seen it when boosting posts. This is actually an intriguing option if you don’t know where to start with your targeting. But you’re putting a ton of trust in that TikTok algorithm!

If you go with Custom Targeting, you can modify several items under Demographics.

TikTok Demographic Targeting

Country targeting is actually pretty sparse. A nice tweak to Age targeting is that you can individually select any of the age ranges. For example, you can select 18-24 AND 35-54, skipping 25-34 in between.

Household Income targeting? Yep, you can do this on TikTok.

TikTok Household Income Targeting

The Interests and Behaviors section includes four groups.

TikTok Interests and Behaviors Targeting

Video Interactions allow you to reach people who have engaged with types of videos on TikTok in a specific way recently.

TikTok Interests and Behaviors Targeting

Creator Interactions are similar, but these allow you to reach people who have followed or viewed profiles in a specific category.

TikTok Interests and Behaviors Targeting

You can also target by hashtag engagement.

TikTok Interests and Behaviors Targeting

And finally, you can target users by device.

TikTok Ad Targeting by Device

Some unique options here related to carrier, connectivity, and device price.

Content Exclusions

In this section, you can edit an Inventory Filter to control what types of videos your ads will or won’t appear on.

Content Exclusions TikTok Ads

Sheesh, this is just like Facebook…

TikTok Ads Inventory Filter

Budget & Schedule

Nothing new here for Facebook advertisers…

TikTok Ads Budget & Schedule

You can use Daily and Lifetime budgets. One difference here is that you can use Dayparting, but even when using a Daily budget.

TikTok Ads Dayparting

Facebook requires you to use Lifetime budget in order to get access to dayparting.

TikTok does enforce a minimum daily budget of $10 or $20 USD, depending on the objective. This is something that Facebook does not do.

Bidding & Optimization

I mean come on…

TikTok Ads Bidding & Optimization

So similar.

Your optimization goal options will depend upon your objective. Lowest Cost bidding is on by default, but you can set a Bid Cap.

TikTok Ads Bid Cap

And just like with Facebook ads, you have a buried option to use Accelerated Delivery.

Accelerated Delivery

Ad Creation

Spark Ads allow you to promote existing videos.

TikTok Spark Ads

You can otherwise create a TikTok ad from scratch with a new video.

TikTok Ad

Something new here is the ability to add Interactive Add-Ons like stickers. This is something I don’t know much about…

TikTok Ad Interactive Add-On

Depending on the ad, you can provide a destination URL, even when promoting existing videos. But for the objective I’ve selected, this option isn’t available (because all we want is to increase followers).

Your CTA can either be dynamic or manual. That dynamic option is something new. The algorithm will decide for you.

TikTok Ads CTA

And finally, there are some tracking options at the bottom.

TikTok Ad Tracking

That’s it!

You Can Do This

If you were like me, you went through this mostly unimpressed because so little of it is new. But, that’s a good thing. You know how to create TikTok ads because you know how to create Facebook ads.

Of course, there are some little quirks and differences here and there. Getting your ad account and everything set up is a process. But, you can bet that everything from the Business Manager to ad account to audiences and pixels will ring familiar.

Is This Interesting To You?

I was a little worried about writing this post or discussing this adventure because I realize it’s a bit off topic from Facebook ads. That said, as you’ve seen here it’s all very relevant and similar!

Still, I want to make sure I’m giving you the content that you want. If you want me to continue providing content on TikTok advertising in addition to Facebook advertising, please let me know.

Your Turn

Have you started experimenting with TikTok ads yet? What do you think?

Let me know in the comments below!

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