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TikTok Ad Targeting Options: Find Your Target Audience on TikTok

how to find the target audience for your tiktok ads

Identifying the target audience is the key to the success of any advertising campaign. TikTok Ad is not an exception. When it comes to advertising on TikTok, many marketers use the Ad Targeting feature as an effective tool to ensure their ads reach the right audience.

So, what is Ad Targeting and how does it work? All of your concerns will be answered below, let’s keep reading to find out the target audience for your ads.

What is TikTok Ad Targeting?

Ad targeting is a series of targeting options such as demographics, interests, and behaviors to identify what your potential customers look like for your marketing objectives. 

You can apply ad targeting in the Ad group when creating a TikTok ad campaign to make sure your ads will be shown to the right users at the right time. 

Why does Ad Targeting matter? 

The most obvious benefit is to determine your lookalike audiences. Particularly, when you set up Ad targeting, the TikTok system will optimize Ad delivery based on your advertising objective. 

As a result, you’re more able to target consumers who are interested in your products and services. That also means you can decrease the chances of reaching uninterested users and minimize marketing costs for your brand. 

TikTok Ads Targeting options

Demographics targeting

In demographics targeting, there are three targeting options: gender, language, age, and location.

You can choose to target the audience of specific gender depending on what products you provide. The audience age may vary from 13 to over 55 years old and the users’ language is based on their app language.


With the help of TikTok Ads, marketers can target their potential customers in specific locations including cities, countries, regions, counties, departments, districts, DMA Regions, oblast, provinces, states, and urban communities. Keep in mind that some targeting options are not available in all countries.

Utilizing location targeting could be challenging as there are various signals that affect users who are matching your location-targeting choices. Additionally, because of unpredictability, TikTok Ads Managers can not ensure ad deliveries. 

TikTok location targeting
TikTok location targeting

Interest targeting

If you want to target a group of people that are relevant to your ads, Interest Targeting is definitely for you. With the Interest Targeting section, you can find your potential customers depending on what they are most interested in and how they interact with your TikTok content.

There are two categories of Interest Targeting: Interest Categories and Additional Interest. If you want to specify the target audiences, let’s select Interest Categories. However, if you can’t find your viewers’ preferences, just type it into the search bar, and the system will automatically give you relatable options.

For further details, we will show you how to use Interest Targeting in TikTok Ads Manager :

Firstly, you visit Campaign > Ad Group

Step 1: In the Targeting option, choose your customer’s interest under Interest and Behaviors.

TikTok interest targeting
TikTok interest targeting

Search additional interests

Search additional interest
Additional interest

Note: Pangel doesn’t allow Interest Targeting so you can’t find out any users from it.

Behavior targeting

With the support of behavior targeting, you can define the audience based on their recent interaction in the platform through organic and paid content. Importantly, it’s quite different from Interest Targeting which concentrates on long-term content consumption.

There are two types of behavior, and we will go through each one in more detail below: 

  • Video-related Actions

We can only record users’ interactions with organic video content from the last 7 or 15 days (video completion, likes, comments, and shares).

  • Creator Following Actions

They offer 2 kinds of engagement under the creator’s following actions:

  • Following: Brands can approach more audience that follows particular kinds of influencers. 
  • Viewed Homepage: You can get more users who have visited the profile pages of particular creators for the last 30 days. 

Let’s take some simple steps to set up Behavior Targeting below: 

You can select users who have recently watched, liked, commented on your post, or shared a certain genre of material.

Let’s see how to set up it:

Video-related behavior
Video-related behavior
Source: TikTok

That’s how you can set up Hashtag Targeting. 

Followers Behavior 

Step 1: Select Add behavior: Creator interactions. 

Select Add behavior
Select Add behavior

Step 2: Choose how they interacted with the creators. 

Choose the way of interaction
Choose the way of interaction

Step 3: Select the kinds of creators they’ve interacted with. 

Select the kinds of creators
Select the kinds of creators

Hashtag Targeting 

Using hashtags is an easy way for the audience to find content that fits their tastes. With Hashtag Targeting, TikTok users can easily find your brand based on specific hashtags.

We will walk you through the detailed instructions to set up Hashtag Targeting below:

Step 1: Click Add Behavior: Hashtag interactions

Add hashtag interactions
Add hashtag interactions

Step 2: Search relevant hashtags.

Search relevant hashtags
Search relevant hashtags

That’s how you can set up Hashtag Targeting. 

Targeting recommendation

Targeting recommendation is a powerful tool that allows advertisers to find the right audience through ads. Evaluating and analyzing the performance of similar ad groups and your current ad will list some of the suggested Interest & Behavior categories you can apply to your brand. 

Setting up this feature is super easy, everyone can do it. Let’s take some simple steps below: 

Step 1: Click Apply to use all of the suggested Interest & Behavior categories.

Apply to use all the behavior categories
Apply to use all the behavior categories

Step 2: Tap View Recommended to view the recommended Interest & Behavior categories before submitting. 

View recommended
View recommended

You can edit and delete any categories unsuitable for your brand. 

Step 3: When you finish reviewing, select Apply.

If you want to go back to the original suggestions, tap Reset to Original Recommendation.

Reset to Original Recommendation
Reset to Original Recommendation

Finally, you can see the targeting options for your ad group appear in the suggested Interests & Behaviors categories.

Targeting expansion

You must choose the targeting settings from the original selections if you want to set up targeting expansion: 

  • Audience: Reach further your Custom or Lookalike Audience.
  • Gender: Consists of both males and females.
  • Age: Extend the age group of your potential customers.
  • Interest & Behavior: Discover more users’ preferences and behaviors.

Note: Pangle does not support Targeting Expansion.

There is no set time as the system will automatically implement Targeting Expansion.

How to enable the targeting expansion

Once you visit Ad Group > Targeting

Step 1: Select the information from the Demographics, Audience, Interests, and Behaviors 

Select targeting mode
Select targeting mode

Step 2: Turn on the Targeting Expansion toggle under Device 

Targeting expansion
Targeting expansion

Targeting expansion has been set up for your account

Automatic targeting

Automatic targeting is a feature that will automatically target the right audience for a marketing campaign without needing much involvement from advertisers.

Specifically, it will optimize the targeting settings based on some factors such as marketing goals, ad delivery, ad content, and previous campaign information.

How to make use of most of this function for your campaign? Let’s take a look at some steps below to set up Automatic Targeting: 

Step 1: Campaign > Choose advertising objectives 

It’s important to note that just some objectives that support Automatic Targeting: Traffic, App, Lead Gen, Community Interaction, and Conversion Web.

Choose advertising objectives 
Choose advertising objectives 

Step 2: Go Ad group > Targeting > Automatic Targeting

Automatic targeting
Automatic targeting

Best tips for ad targeting

Set up custom audience 

If you want to target views on TikTok who have already interacted with your business in order to utilize the effectiveness of social media, creating a custom audience would be the best option. 

Moreover, custom audience has four facets Customer File, Engagement, App Activity, and Website Traffic. 

We will get to know more about each one below:

  • Customer File: It’s a place where you can add your current customers’ device ID, then TikTok will match those customers to the users on this platform. Importantly, you don’t need to worry about the privacy of users’ information due to the supported hashing methods.
  • App activity: You can collect a list of users who have finished certain events within the app as view content, join groups, register, and fill out the contact form,…  
  • Engagement: You can create a group of users who have interacted with Ad creatives on this platform by viewing or clicking your ads. So, this would be a useful source of data for marketers in their retargeting objectives.  
  • Web traffic: In here with the support of TikTok Pixel, you can select users who browsed your website or took some particular actions. More importantly, the audience size needs to reach at least 1,000 to be able to use it in the Ad group. 

Test different audience segmentation

You can keep all advertising setting the same, and just adjust one aspect like click, engagement, and action. After that, you can compare and analyze the results to see which kind of users are more profitable.

You can do the same with the split test function where you can compare 2 target settings of your ads. This will determine which one has better performance and also optimize your future campaign. Here’s how you can apply this function for your campaign: 

Create split test
Create split test

Just turn it on and you will get its analysis and evaluation for your campaign. 

It’s time to find the right audiences with Ad Targeting 

Finding your target audience for your TikTok Ads is quite easier than you have ever thought with the support of Ad Targeting. Using it can deliver your products and services to the right users as fast as possible. In addition, including this function in your marketing campaign will broaden your brand reach and drive fantastic results.

Want to run your TikTok ads campaign effectively with the right strategy and dedicated support from experts? It’s time to try NestAds – the first TikTok ads management software, tailored-made for your e-commerce.


Meet our Author


Author at NestScale

Kriss is a professional content writer, focusing on technology and e-commerce business. When she’s not working, you will find her interested in sports or traveling.


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