How to set up TikTok ads? It looks similar to Facebook!

Here are the 10 easy steps to set up your first TikTok ad campaign, it looks so similar to Facebook ads manager!

TikTok has launched its self-service advertising platform - TikTok for Business for all eligible advertisers. It is no longer limited to selected brands and advertisers via manual ad bookings.

We have given it a try on behalf of our clients and it is quite similar to the Facebook ad platform! This is probably just another thing that China copied from the world.

In return, Facebook is the one who cloned TikTok recently with the launch of Instagram Reels. So, who is the bigger "theft" here?

"Steal like an artist", they said.

Without further ado, read on and check out the 10 easy steps to set up your first TikTok ad campaign. Do take note that unlike Facebook, your TikTok ad account needs to be reviewed and approved first before setting up the ad campaign.

TikTok for Business

#1. Set Advertising Objective

TikTok ads: Set Advertising Objective

First, select your advertising objective:
  • Awareness: Reach
  • Consideration: Traffic, App Installs, Video Views
  • Conversion: Conversion
In this example, we will select "Traffic" as the objective.

#2. Campaign Settings

TikTok ads: Campaign Settings

The budget can be set by "Daily" or "Lifetime" with a minimum of RM50 per day or campaign.

You can also set "No Limit", as the ad budget can be defined at the ad group level later (instead of campaign level here).

#3. Select Placements

TikTok ads: Select Placements

Choose either "Automatic Placement", or manually select your target placements from these options:
  • TikTok: TikTok platform itself.
  • News Feed App Series: TopBuzz/BuzzVideo/News Republic/Babe
  • Vigo: Advertising is currently only available in India.
  • Helo: Advertising is currently only available in India.
  • Pangle: Premium global publisher network, available in Japan, Korea and Taiwan
If you are targeting Malaysia market, suggest selecting TikTok placement only.

#4. Set Ad Details

TikTok ads: Set Ad Details

If your objective is to drive traffic to your website, best configuring the pixel and event first (for example, new lead, new purchase etc) before setting up your ad campaign.

You will only be able to select the option under "Pixel" after pixel and event are configured.

Upload your brand logo under "Profile Image".

The category options are kinda random for now:
  • App Install
  • Automotive
  • Luxury Goods
  • Education & Training
  • Finance & Insurance
  • Food & Drink
  • Home Appliances
  • Internet & Technology
  • Entertainment
  • Tourism
  • Internet Services
  • Home Furnishing & Decor
  • Real Estate
  • Local Services
  • Daily Necessities
  • Mother & Child
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Apparel
  • Cosmetics
  • Legal Services
  • Business Services
  • Safety & Security
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Franchising
  • Industry & Agriculture
  • Lottery
  • Energy Conservation & Environmental Protection
  • Dating
  • Public Wellness
  • Adult Products
  • Medical
  • Government Organizations
Fill-up or select the rest to your own preference.

#5. Set Creative Type

TikTok ads: Set Creative Type

If you don't have a designer or video editor, go for "Automated Creative".

Automated Creative Optimization will automatically generate combinations of your creative assets (images, videos, and ad texts), and deliver high-performing combinations. Read more here.

Otherwise, best to disable "Automated Creative" by uploading your own ad creative in the steps later.

#6. Set Ad Targeting

TikTok ads: Set Ad Targeting

Here, you are able to select "Audience" if you have prior saved audience.

Under demographics, you can easily check and uncheck the states in Malaysia. This is probably the only feature that is better than Facebook (where you need to manually type the states one by one).

As for languages, English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil options are available.

The audience targeting is pretty basic with "Interest Category" as below:
  • Apparel & Accessories
  • Appliances
  • Apps
  • Automobiles
  • Baby, Kids & Maternity
  • Beauty & Personal Care
  • Education
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Games
  • News & Entertainment
  • Pets
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Tech & Electronics
  • Travel
In case if you need to target by devices, here are the parameters:
  • Operating System
  • Connection Type
  • Carriers
  • Device Price

#7. Set Budget & Schedule

TikTok ads: Set Budget & Schedule

This is where you can set your budget on the ad group level. Similar to the campaign budget, you can set the budget by "Lifetime" or "Daily".

Do take note that the daily budget has to be RM20 minimum.

#8. Set Bidding & Optimization

TikTok ads: Set Bidding & Optimization

Next, define your bid strategy. For example, your maximum bid for Cost per Click (CPC) if your campaign objective is to drive traffic.

Based on our early experiments, the CPC for TikTok ads is around RM0.30. It really depends on your targeting criteria and ad creative though.

#9. Create / Upload Ad Creative

TikTok ads: Create / Upload Ad Creative

If "News Feed App Series" is selected as the target placement, you are able to upload a single image as your ad creative. 

Ad creative has to be in video format if "TikTok" is selected as your target placement.

TikTok ads:

This is where you are supposed to upload your ad creative, best using a vertical video to optimize for the TikTok experience.

Following are the specifications for TikTok video ad:
  • Aspect Ratio: Horizontal(16:9) / Square(1:1) / Vertical(9:16)
  • Resolution: Horizontal(1280*720) / Square(640*640) / Vertical(720*1280)
  • Bitrate: 516kbps or more
  • Duration: 5-60s
  • Safe Zone: From left: 44px; From right: 140px; From top: 130px; From bottom: 483-484px
If you haven't been using TikTok, get some inspirations from the viral TikTok videos here.

 #10. Ad Preview & Set Ad Copywriting

TikTok ads: Ad Preview & Set Ad Copywriting

In the last step, write your text copywriting and select a Call-to-Action (CTA).

Here is the list of CTAs for you to choose from:
  • Download
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Contact Us
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Play game
Just make sure that your ad account is funded with balance first before your ad can be reviewed, and go live once it's approved!


Unlike Google and Facebook, TikTok operates on a pre-paid model, which means you need to first top-up balance into your ad account before running any ads.

You need to be extra careful before topping up your ad dollars especially if your objective is to drive new registrations or leads generation. It is after a few experiments we found out that "landing pages which require users to input personal information to access the main content" is prohibited.

The ad review process can be stricter than Facebook so it's best to check their ad creative policies thoroughly before planning your TikTok ad campaign.

If this is too much a hassle for you, contact us if you need help with TikTok advertising.



Silver Mouse: How to set up TikTok ads? It looks similar to Facebook!
How to set up TikTok ads? It looks similar to Facebook!
Here are the 10 easy steps to set up your first TikTok ad campaign, it looks so similar to Facebook ads manager!
Silver Mouse
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