TikTok Analytics Ads Targeting Strike social

TikTok Analytics: Marketers’ Guide to Understanding TikTok Ads Targeting


What made brands decide to move ad money to TikTok advertising?

TikTok advertising has presented itself to marketers as a boat they cannot miss, and big brands have joined the expedition. From an ad revenue of 4 billion US Dollars last 2021, TikTok expects to triple its 2022 advertising revenue to 12 billion US Dollars

More top brands have decided to boost their TikTok ad spending this 2022, including Abercrombie, Vera Bradley, and Pizza Hut. Krishna Subramanian, Founder of Captiv8 and spearheading employees focused on TikTok, witnessed a significant shift toward TikTok advertising. She added, ” “Brands have moved from just testing out TikTok to making it a budget line item or creating dedicated campaigns for TikTok specifically.”

So what made marketers move advertising money on TikTok? Because of its growing audience and the quality of campaign engagement eventually leads to purchase or conversion. Here’s a guide about the TikTok ads targeting option to understand the paid content algorithm further.  

An Overview of TikTok Algorithm in Ad Targeting

TikTok doesn’t just focus on bringing the most relevant content to the For You Page. Still, it aids marketers in leveraging their TikTok Ad campaigns.

Why is TikTok’s Algorithm effective for both organic and paid content? Content curation anchors on the platform’s objective: authenticity, discoverability, and connection. As the number of app users and time spent on the TikTok increases, TikTok’s Algorithm gets innovative in recommending and distributing advertising campaigns. 

But the success of any TikTok Ad campaign begins with the right set of audience targeting and keywords. 

What are the targeting options for advertisers?

TikTok Ads Manager allows advertisers to serve their campaign to the exact audience with the help of various ad targeting options. It’s essential to understand how these targeting options affect the outcome of your campaign.

Below is a table of targeting dimensions provided by TikTok Ads Manager.

TikTok Ads Manager Targeting Dimensions
TikTok Ads Manager Targeting Dimensions Interests and Behaviors
TikTok Ads Manager Targeting Dimensions Devices

Related: Marketers’ guide to TikTok ad specs

TikTok Location Targeting

TikTok Ads allow marketers to deliver campaigns to audiences in specific areas such as cities, countries, regions, counties, departments, districts, DMA Regions, oblast, provinces, states, and urban communities. 

Using location targeting might be tricky, as various signals affect the alignment of location targeting selections. Because of unpredictability, TikTok Ads Manager does not guarantee ad deliveries.  

TikTok Ads location targeting examples

Location TypeExample
CitySalt Lake City, Utah
Country / RegionUnited States
CountyCity and County of San Francisco
DMA Regions (Designated Market Areas) Chicago DMA ®, United StatesNew York DMA ®, United States
ProvinceBritish Columbia, Canada
StateCalifornia, United States

Related: Elevate Organic Growth with TikTok Spark Ad

Interest Targeting

TikTok Ads Manager aids brands in finding the right audience through Interesting Targeting. This type of TikTok Ads Targeting emphasizes users’ behavior when engaging and consuming different types of content. 

TikTok ad algorithm understands users’ long-term interests and consistent platform activities. Interests and content interactions make TikTok Ads targeting more precise when reaching relevant audiences. Below is an image of the TikTok Interest targeting list.

TikTok Ads Targeting - Interest

TikTok ad targeting via relevant interests is like sharing with TikTok Business Manager the type of audience you want to display video ads to. Selecting Tier 1 interest category targets wider audiences while using multi-tier categories targets a more specific app user. 

TikTok ad targeting algorithm expounds the interest targeting based on user profile. When checking campaign performance, TikTok will also show the associated interests of users who have engaged even outside of selected interests. 

TikTok Behavioral Targeting

TikTok Behavior Targeting defines recent user interaction with organic and paid content, including recent engagement on creators’ following and profile visits. This type of TikTok ad targeting concentrates on how users consume and actions to the content.

Types of Behavior Targeting

  • Video-related Behavior Targeting – Advertisers can reach audiences based on the most recent interaction with the video content category. Below is a list of video categories for TikTok Ads Video-Related Behavior targeting.
TikTok Ad Targeting Video Related Behavior Targeting
  • Followers Behavior Targeting – Marketers can target users based on certain types of creators’ followship and profile actions. Below is a list of video categories for TikTok Ads Followers Behavior targeting.
TikTok Ad Targeting - Follower behavior Targeting

Related: Advertisers Convert Facebook Ad Money to More TikTok Ad Spending

How to Optimize Your TikTok Advertising Campaigns for Maximum Performance

At Strike, we consistently believe manual bidding and adjustments on targeting give us more control over costs and placements—General and broader placements over rely on Lookalikes vs. efficiencies to be seen by a more hands-on approach. We may keep the budget at the campaign level to allow for fluidity between Ad Sets, but we advise testing more audiences and Ad Sets than fewer.     

To begin with, marketers should have a well-balanced approach to audience creation. Targeting a specific group of users may sometimes lead to higher ad costs, while broader targeting can lead to underperforming campaigns. Setting a general but relevant audience targeting during the discovery stage allows the TikTok Ads Manager smart system to identify potential audiences.

Adjustments on TikTok Ad Behavior Targeting can help optimize plateauing campaigns. TikTok relearns and locates new sets of users through their most recent content or creator interaction. 

Either manually adjusting targeting or allowing the TikTok Business Manager to optimize based on the detail given to the algorithm helps improve audience insights and sustainably reduce advertising costs.

TikTok ads Strike Social
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