How Do You Boost Sales with TikTok Paid Ads?

How Do You Boost Sales with TikTok Paid Ads?

To boost your sales with TikTok paid ads, you need three things: content, targeting, and data. If your ads appear on high-quality, relevant, and scroll-stopping videos and you target the correct audience, conversion is guaranteed. Then, analyze the data you've collected to inform your future ad campaign strategy.


How do you create TikTok paid ads?


You need to set up four types of TikTok accounts to access the Ads Manager, where you can create ads for your brand:


  • Personal account: This is where you post your content and interact with other members
  • Seller account: This is where you manage your listings and affiliate marketing 
  • Ad account: This is where you publish and manage your ads
  • Business Center account: This is where you link and manage all your other accounts.


You also need to set up Pixel on your Ads Manager and a website for your store. (I'll explain this later)


Why four accounts, you ask? 


Each account serves a unique purpose, but to run paid ads, you need to link all of them. This is how these accounts are related: You'll create ads on the Ad Manager in your ad account, choose products to advertise from your store through your seller account, and link your ads to the videos on your personal account. Additionally, some of the links must be performed on your Business Center account. 


How to Create a TikTok Ad Account


Suppose you already have a personal account and a seller account. The next step is to create the other three accounts. However, we will focus on creating and managing an ad account because that's where most of the action occurs when running ad campaigns. 


Plus, when you create an ad account without a Business Center account, the system automatically creates a Business Center account for you. (More of this later). Below is a step-by-step guide to creating an ad account and launching your first ad campaign.  


TipTikTok allows you to create multiple ad accounts. Take advantage of this leniency by creating more than one account. This way, if something happens to the account you're using, you can continue running ads on your other accounts and avoid costly interruptions. 


Step 1: Sign up.


Click here and follow my instructions.


Scroll down to see the account creation form. Sign up using your email, phone number, or TikTok account. I recommend signing up with an email address to receive notifications via email and protect your TikTok account from potential problems in the future.


Once you hit 'Continue,' you'll be asked to provide your business name, industry, phone number, billing region/country, time zone, and currency. You must also tick the box to agree to TikTok Commercial, Advertising, and Payment terms of service. Then, click 'Get Started.' 


Before accessing the TikTok Ads Manager, you must provide your billing information (state/province and payment method).


Tip: Switching to automatic payment ensures your ads keep running smoothly. Many advertisers who pay manually risk missed payments, only discovering their ad campaigns have stopped when it's too late.


Step 2: Link your ad account to your shop.


Before creating an ad campaign, you must first link your ad account to your TikTok seller account. If you don't have a TikTok seller account yet, create one here. Once set up, select 'Marketing' on your dashboard and click 'Ads.' This will take you to the page where you can link your two accounts. 


Then, click 'Begin setup' and 'Create account.' (You're not actually creating a new ad account because you already have one) Fill out the form, and in the 'ad account info' section, choose 'Connect account.' You'll be asked to provide your ad account ID. 


To get your ad account ID, return to your ad account, click the drop-down menu at the top right corner, and copy the ID number shown. Then, return to your seller account and paste the ID number into the required field.


Tip: TikTok will reject ad account IDs that haven't been approved yet, making it impossible to link your two accounts. One way to get approved faster is to set up a payment method (credit/debit card, PayPal, or Venmo) if you haven't already and add a balance of at least $100 to your account. This way, TikTok will know your ad account is active and ready to run campaigns.


TikTok will send you an email confirming your account's approval. You can also go to 'Tools' on your Ads Manager and check on 'Account Status.' You'll see 'Under Review' if your account hasn't been approved yet and 'Good to Go' if it has been approved. Approval usually takes 24 hours, but sometimes only a few hours. 


Here's an interesting fact:


You have the option to create an ad account through the Seller Center. You may recall from the account linking process that you were asked to choose between creating an account and connecting an account, and you chose the latter. 


If you choose to create an account, that's another way of creating an ad account. But I didn't recommend this approach because it disqualifies you from TikTok's limited-time offer.


TikTok's Limited-Time Offer includes $100 ad credit for $100 ad spend, $500 ad credit for $500 ad spend, and $1,500 ad credit and onboarding support for $1,500 ad spend. You could have missed this opportunity if you had begun the process on Seller Center.


Assuming your ad account is already approved, paste your ad account ID and click 'Confirm.' If you return to the previous page, you'll notice two separate accounts: a Business Center account and an ad account. TikTok automatically sets you up a Business Center account when you link your ad account to your seller account.


You will also notice that the ad account you linked requires approval, as indicated by the 'pending approval' status on its right. This doesn't mean TikTok hasn't approved the link yet. Instead, you're being asked to accept the link from your ad account.


Return to your Ads Manager, refresh the page, and click the notification on the top right corner to see the request for approval from your seller account. Click on the message and 'Approve.' Go back to your seller account and refresh the page. You'll see that the link status has changed to 'Get permission.' Click it to complete the process.


Step 3: Create a campaign.


Now that your ad and seller accounts are linked, you can start creating ad campaigns. Go to your Ad Manager and select 'Campaign.' Pick the ad setup mode you prefer. For this guide, we'll choose custom mode to show you how to configure your ad targeting.


TikTok allows you to create ads in two modes: simplified mode or custom mode. In simplified mode, the TikTok algorithm decides your ads' format and reach, while in custom mode, you can define your targeting, run an A/B test, modify your ads' format according to specific requirements, etc. 


You should only choose a simplified mode if you run your business independently, have limited time to manage ad campaigns, and have a low marketing budget. If you want more refined targeting and are well-versed in the complexity of ad tech, choose custom mode.


Under 'Advertising Objective,' click 'Product sales' and 'TikTok Shop' (since you're setting up ads for your products). Then, click 'Continue.' Choose an ad type and select the shop where you want to place the ad. If you're not doing a LIVE video, choose 'Video Shopping Ads.'


Important: Your ad account and personal account must be linked to your Business Center to allow for easier ad placement. In fact, if a link is missing, you'll get a prompt at the step where you need to connect to either account that says a link is required. In the ad creation process, you will need the link to your personal account under the 'Identity' field. 


There are three types of ad campaigns you can create on TikTok:


  1. Broad – You'll let TikTok decide who to show your ads to using its AI and algorithm. 
  2. Targeted – You'll tell TikTok to whom you want your ads to be shown.
  3. Retargeted – You'll target people who already saw your ads before or even clicked the link but didn't purchase


Let's keep going. 


Creating a broad ad group


The first ad group you'll create is the broad type. 


Under 'Product Source Details,' select the TikTok account you've linked to your Business Center. Click 'Advanced Settings' under 'Placements,' and uncheck 'Video download.' You can leave it checked if you allow viewers to download your videos, but I recommend unchecking it to ensure your ads siphon all traffic your videos generate.


Since you're creating a broad-type ad group, leave 'Audience Targeting' blank. This means you shouldn't include or exclude a specific audience, demographics, gender, age, language, interests, or behaviors. Then, set a budget of at least $30. Increase your budget to get more views and impressions.


Tip: Avoid setting an end time when planning your ad group schedule. Let the ad stop when your budget is exhausted, then restart the campaign if needed.


You need to pick an optimization goal, and the TikTok algorithm will focus its targeting based on your selection. Here are your options:


  • Gross revenue: Maximize your gross revenue to achieve the highest possible return on ad spend.
  • Purchases: Maximize the number of submitted orders to achieve the lowest cost per order.
  • Initiate checkouts: Maximize the number of "Buy now" and "Buy with coupon" clicks on your products or "Check out" actions.
  • Clicks: Maximize the number of clicks to achieve the lowest cost per click.


Then, click 'Next' to generate the ad group. Select your shop and the products you want to show on your videos. Next, select the videos on which you want the ads to appear. You can customize the ad placement on each of these videos by choosing which among your chosen products should appear on which video. 


Tip: Create an interactive add-on. It's another type of ad that can appear on the videos you've selected apart from the product link. It's a card that shows your products in a carousel and has a call to action at its base. It appears in front of the caption when your video is playing. You can also choose what call to action you want to show up on this card. But since you're selling a product, the best CTA is 'Shop Now.'


Once your ad group is ready, click 'Submit' and wait for approval. Ads are usually approved within a few minutes to a few hours.


Creating a targeted ad group


Now, it's time to create a targeted ad group. This is similar to the first ad group you published, but with the filters you didn't fill in. 


Go back to 'Campaign' and click 'Create.' If you're creating ads for the same products and using the same videos, you can simply click 'Copy' under the first ad group. This will copy all the configurations of the first ad group. All you need to do next is edit the settings to include your specific targeting.


After configuring your targeted ad group, click 'Submit' and wait for approval.


Retargeting your audience


The last type of ad group you will create is a retargeted ad group. This one requires you to create a specific audience. To do this, select 'Tools' and click 'Audience Manager.' This will take you to a page where you can choose the specific audience you want to target based on their response to your existing ads.


For instance, you can choose an audience that has viewed the product details page, added certain products to their cart, or initiated checkout but didn't complete the purchase within a specified timeframe. 


How to Create Ads that Convert


The above guide shows you the standard process of setting up an ad account and publishing ads, which is pretty much what every advertiser on TikTok does. However, it doesn't tell us more about optimizing paid ads besides testing three types of ads with different targeting. 


Are there other ways to create ads that convert? As I said in the beginning, the effectiveness of your ads depends on the content they come with. This means the only way to optimize your ads is to use high-quality, relevant, and scroll-stopping content, one that doesn't feel hard-sell or created for marketing.  


And that's precisely what TikTok had in mind when it built the Ads Manager. It allows you to assign ads to just about any video on your account. Videos meant for organic marketing pair well with ads because they drive traction better than product-selling videos. You can even mix and match to figure out which pairs work. 


How do you know which pair works? You may see your sales growing, but it's difficult to tell which of your ad campaigns are driving conversions. That's where data analytics through Pixel comes in. Without it, you're running your ads blind.  


What is TikTok Pixel, and how do you use it?


TikTok Pixel is a code you can place on your website to collect information to help you gauge your ad campaign's performance. Some of the information it can collect are events, timestamps, IP addresses, user agents, cookies, and button clicks.


To set up TikTok Pixel, open your Ads Manager, select 'Assets' and click 'Events.' TikTok will give you two options—app events and web events. If you run your shop through an app, select "App Events." If you have a business website, select "Web Events." Assuming you chose web events, on the next page, click 'Set Up Web Events,' enter a name, select TikTok Pixel, and hit 'Next.'


Now, you'll be asked to choose between manually installing the Pixel code or automatically setting up web events via a partner platform. Select the former to have complete control of your setup. Then, click 'Next.' Choose 'Event Builder' to avoid adding tons of codes to your website. You may also customize the code, but that requires some high-level coding skills. 


Copy the code TikTok gives you and paste it into your website's program through your website builder. The process may be different for each type of website builder, so make sure to do your research before proceeding.


Customizing Your Columns


It's rare for an advertiser to get it right the first time. That's why they start by testing ads and only invest in what works. Since you already have your TikTok Pixel set up, it's safe to assume you're going this route. 


To maximize TikTok Pixel's capabilities, the first thing you should do is customize your columns. These are the columns you see on the Campaign page. The page shows various types of data related to each ad group you create, and the default data there may not be very helpful in determining which ad campaigns are effective.


Here are some of the data you should include in your columns:


  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Frequency
  • Video views at 100%
  • Average Watch Time per Video View
  • Clicks (All)
  • Click-Through Rate 
  • CTR (Destination)
  • CPM
  • CPC (Destination)
  • Add to Cart (Cost and Total)
  • Initiate Checkout (Cost and Total)
  • Conversion
  • Total Cost
  • Budget (Ad Group Level)
  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
  • Complete Payment ROAS (Total)


Setting Up Your Creative Campaigns


This is the most crucial part of your TikTok advertising journey. You'll test your ads against each other to determine which ones appeal to your audience the most. Follow these simple steps:


Return to Ads Manager, select 'Campaign,' and click 'Create.' Unlike when you first created an ad campaign, you'll choose 'Website conversion' instead of 'Product sales.' Then, give your ad group a unique name. For optimization location, select 'Website' and the Pixel you created earlier. 


For the 'Optimization event,' choose what event you want to measure. I suggest you choose 'complete payment' because that's your ultimate goal. You want to know which ads can lead to conversion and sales. For placement, uncheck everything except TikTok. Then, disable video download to protect your content. 


Under 'Demographics,' check the US and Canada. Unfortunately, these are the only countries you can target if you don't have an agency account. If you have one, you can also check the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Target the 18- to 55-year-old audience because these are the consumers with money. Next, set a start date and a budget. Lastly, set up your video.


Tip: Always schedule your ad to run at midnight the following day so you'll get a full day's worth of spin. 


Wait. You're not done yet. You've only created one ad. To make comparisons, you need to create variations of this ad. So, go back to 'Campaign' and copy the ad you've just created. Then, change one variable in each ad. As I said before, your content defines the performance of your ad campaign. This means the variable you need to change is the video. 


Important: Set a budget that will cover not just one ad but five more because you'll need to create more ads to get the data you need. A budget of $20 to $40 is enough to run five ads for an entire day, which means you can get the data analysis you need the following day. This will help you decide which videos to replicate when you create the next ad groups. 


Boost Sales with TikTok Paid Ads Now!


Running TikTok ads isn't guesswork. It must be based on data to produce your desired results. It requires knowledge of TikTok's functions and tools to provide data-driven solutions to advertisers. Arm yourself with the right skills to maximize the potential of TikTok Paid Ads and get the most value for your investments. Once your sales grow, consider scaling your business and returning to this guide if you feel lost.

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