How to Create an Ad Campaign on TikTok (In 4 Simple Steps)

TikTok Ads_Pretty Links

With over one billion monthly users, TikTok provides a unique chance to connect with a large number of potential customers. However, if you’re simply posting videos to your TikTok account, then your affiliate links may be getting lost in the noise.

Fortunately, it is possible to run advertising campaigns on the TikTok platform. With evidence to suggest that 32% of users research a product after viewing it on TikTok, this is a huge opportunity for affiliate marketers.

In this post, we’ll explore what this popular video-sharing platform has to offer you. Then we'll show you how to create your first TikTok advertising campaign in four easy steps. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to TikTok (and Why You Might Want to Run a TikTok Ad Campaign)

Social media has completely revolutionized the way we spend our time online. In fact, in 2020 the average social media user spent 145 minutes every single day on social platforms. That’s a large window of time where you could be promoting your affiliate links to potential customers. 

Additionally, with so many users, TikTok provides a huge opportunity for affiliate marketers who are looking to generate more sales. Furthermore, teenagers account for 25% of TikTok's active user accounts in the United States. Therefore, advertising on TikTok may prove particularly lucrative if you target a younger demographic.

For years, video has played a crucial role in many successful marketing strategies. Now, there’s evidence to suggest that this content is only becoming more popular, with 2020 seeing an 80% increase in video uploads. If you present your affiliate links in a video format, then you may be able to connect with an eager audience.

The short video format of TikTok also lends itself to marketing products. For example, you might create a short clip demonstrating the product in real-time. This can be an engaging way to market to your audience, without asking them to spend a significant amount of time watching lengthy YouTube videos

How to Create a TikTok Ad Campaign (In 4 Steps)

In 2020, TikTok generated an estimated $1.9 billion in revenue, which is an impressive 457% increase year-over-year. With that in mind, let’s see how you can secure a cut of that profit. Here’s how to create an ad campaign on TikTok in four steps. 

Step 1: Create a TikTok for Business Account

To get started, you’ll need to create a TikTok Business account. Head over to the TikTok site, and select Get Started:

A TikTok ad campaign.

Now, you can create your account by following the on-screen instructions. After verifying your account, you’ll be taken to the TikTok Ads Manager:

The TikTok Ads manager.

Here, specify the site where users will be redirected when they click on your advertisement. As a marketer, you’ll typically use your unique affiliate link. 

You can now enter your billing address and your tax information. Finally, choose whether you want TikTok to take payments automatically, by linking a card to your account. If you select this option, then payments will either be charged on a recurring billing date or when you reach the billing threshold. 

Alternatively, you can add a balance before delivering your advertisements. As your ads run, any charges will be deducted from this balance. This can help ensure that your campaigns don’t go over budget. 

After entering this information, move on to the next screen. Here, you can configure your payments. For example, if you’ve opted for manual payments, then you can add a balance to your account.

Step 2: Set Your Objective and Budget

After completing these steps, you’ll be taken to TikTok’s ad creation manager. Here, you can choose to create an advertisement using Simplified Mode. This is a streamlined approach that promises to help you create a TikTok ad in under five minutes:

The TikTok ad campaign manager.

Alternatively, you can take full control over your TikTok campaigns using Custom Mode. This is perfect for affiliate marketers who may have more complex or unique needs, and want to customize every part of their campaigns.

If you choose Custom Mode, your first task is choosing an objective such as conversions, video views, or lead generation. Here, it helps to focus on the action you want people to perform. As a marketer, this will typically involve clicking on your link and purchasing the promoted product. For this reason, you may want to opt for conversions. 

After choosing an objective, you can give your campaign a name and consider whether you want to set a budget. This can either be a daily or lifetime limit:

Creating a TikTok ad campaign.

Alternatively, you can select No Limit. When you’re happy with how your campaign is set up, click on Continue

Step 3: Create an Ad Group

Now, you need to create an ad group. To start, specify whether people can download your ad or leave a comment: 

Creating an ad group.

Next, you may want to consider enabling Automated Creative Optimization. This automatically generates different combinations of your ad’s images, videos, and text. TikTok will then deliver only the highest-performing combinations, which can be great for your conversion rates.

In the Targeting section, you can specify who TikTok will serve your advertisements to. For example, you might target a particular age group:

TikTok's ad targeting settings.

In the Budget & Schedule section, you can schedule where your advertisement will run. Sometimes, you may only want your ad to appear within certain time periods. If this is the case, then you can use TikTok’s Dayparting settings:

TikTok's dayparting settings.

Now, it’s time to move on to Bidding & Optimization. Here, you can control how often people will see your ad by setting a Frequency cap:

TikTok Ads Manager setting a Frequency Cap.

Your next task is choosing a bid strategy. If you want to keep the average cost per result lower than your bid, then set a Bid Cap:

The TikTok ad campaign Manager.

Alternatively, you can try to maximize your conversions by opting for Lowest Cost. When you’re ready to proceed, click on Next

Step 4: Create Your TikTok Ad Campaign

Now it’s time to build your advertisement. This includes uploading the video that you want to use.

You can also enter your affiliate URL. If you don’t include a URL, then your video will display with no clickable areas.

Once you’re happy with the information you’ve entered, it’s time to submit your advertisement for review. Scroll to the bottom of the screen, and click on Submit.

TikTok typically reviews advertisements within 24 hours, although in some cases this process may take longer. You can view the status of your ad in the TikTok for Business Dashboard:

TikTok Ads Manager Business Dashboard.

TikTok also supports a variety of third-party tracking services. This can help you evaluate the success of your ads. If you want to use any of these services, then you’ll need to complete the Tracking section. 


The average TikTok user spends 858 minutes on the platform every single month. That’s over 14 hours when you could be promoting your affiliate links. 

With that in mind, let’s quickly recap how to create an ad campaign on TikTok:

  1. Create a TikTok for Business account.
  2. Set an objective and budget.
  3. Set up your ad group.
  4. Create your TikTok ad campaign. 

Do you have any questions about how to advertise on TikTok? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you liked this article, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn! And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter 😄

Affiliate Link Disclosure

Categories: Social Marketing
About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and staff writer.