How to set up your first TikTok campaign

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It’s time for your first TikTok campaign? Follow these steps to create an as optimized TikTok campaign for your Shopify store as possible. 

TikTok Campaing Settings for your Shopify store

Let’s start by setting up your campaign.

Step 1: Set it to Custom mode – we want to have complete control on what is happening and set up as good a structure as we can. It will take ten extra minutes of your time, but you’ll know exactly what is going on.

Custom mode TikTok campaign settings

Step 2: Advertising objective – Website conversions – this is absolutely necessary to make it work. If you’re a Shopify store owner, you want to drive people with high intention to purchase to your website. Traffic optimization will bring cheap traffic with high bounce rate and low average session duration to your store. Read more about different optimizations.

tiktok conversion optimization

Step 3: Additional details: 

  • Turn off Split test
  • Turn off Campaign budget optimization
  • Turn off Campaign budget

These are nice details to use in the future, but for our first campaign, this is not necessary. We want to create two or three ad sets and manually allocate budget to each one of them. CBO will just ruin our budget structure – we wrote extensively on why CBO doesn’t work for Facebook ads, and we don’t trust it (yet) to work better on TikTok ads.

Additional details TikTok campaign settings

TikTok Ad groups settings

To start with, you need to have the pixel implemented and active. Follow our guide on how to set up TikTok ads for your Shopify store to make sure everything is right. In addition, Lebesgue: Smarter Marketing will detect mistakes in your pixel setup – in case something isn’t working, you’ll see it in our Advertising Audit section for TikTok.

Step 1: External website conversions

Set up Conversions on External website, select your TikTok pixel and optimize for Complete Payment event.

External website conversions tiktok settings

Step 2: Automatic placements: ON

We wrote a lot about automatic and manual placement on Facebook ads and we suggest a similar setup on TikTok – until it’s proven different. Allowing users comments and video sharing is a must, and shouldn’t be turned off except in some extreme cases. Allowing this options will increase your CTR and get you closer to TikTok’s CTR Benchmarks.

tiktok placement settings

Step 3: Automated creative optimization: OFF

A big question is “should I use automated creative optimization or not?”. This is a tricky one – we’d suggest you to go with “OFF” option, until your budget per ad group is around $1000/day. You don’t want to give TikTok the opportunity to create billions of ad variants, as you’ll end up in infinite loop of split test and you’ll never actually learn what works and what doesn’t.

Automated creative optimization TikTok ads dashoard

Step 4: Demographics Targeting:

  • Location: Target the whole country – don’t microtarget specific areas
  • Gender: Whoever your customer is 
  • Age: Select based on your preferences. We’d suggest slightly broader then what you think is enough.
  • Household income: All
  • Audience: Exclude previous customers and website traffic
  • Customer file: This is a good read on custom audiences written by TikTok. You can read more in Lebesgue’s blog on why you can’t upload custom audiences using the Shopify admin dashboard

Step 5: Interest Targeting

Find a couple of interests suitable for your store, but make sure the audience size in the upper right corner  is either “Broad” or “Balanced”.

interest targeting fot tiktok dashboard

Step 6: Targeting Expansion

This varies from case to case. On Facebook and Google ads, its mandatory to use it – we’d suggest avoiding it here, unless your target audience is very narrow.

Step 7: Budget

Define a daily budget for your ads.

Step 8: Bidding & Optimization

Finally, we come to the bidding & optimization part. You should either select the Conversion or Value optimization. In general, “Value” works better on Google ads, and “Conversion” works better on Facebook ads. Since the billing event is oCPM, we’ll stick to “Conversion” optimization in this case.

You can also try Cost Cap approach. If you’re only getting started and want to test the platform, cost cap of 75% of your usual Blended CAC might be a good approach

TikTok wrote a good article on their bidding strategies, you can check it out for further understanding.

With this step, your campaign and ad groups are set up – time for some creativity with TikTok content.

budget optimization for TikTok ads

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