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How to Win Over Other Big Brands with TikTok Custom Audiences? 

TikTok Custom Audiences

Imagine yourself a housewife on TikTok who is constantly bothered by advertisements for video games aimed at teenagers!

It’s not comfortable at all when a good ad is viewed by the wrong audience! Can you believe, once and for all, with an effective tool to create laser-targeted ads called TikTok Custom Audiences, your problem will be solved? Keep reading for an ultimate guide on how to find the exact audience looking for your product or service.

What do you know about Custom Audiences on TikTok? 

Custom Audience is known as an ad targeting option that helps you identify people who are familiar with or have interacted with your company. This kind of targeting is a potential tool for remarketing, contacting potential repeat buyers, growing your following, and also boosting app engagement. 

TikTok Custom Audiences
TikTok Custom Audiences – Source: TikTok

TikTok Custom Audiences allow you to use someone’s information to re-engage them with an ad after they have liked or commented on one of your earlier TikTok ads. This tactic can help you connect with devoted clients, raise brand awareness (and your TikTok following), transfer app engagement to other platforms, and develop TikTok Lookalike Audiences

To target custom audiences in an ad group, a minimum audience size of 1,000 must be present. Before starting to retarget people, you need to upload an email list with 1,000 names and email addresses or gain more information from 1,000 visitors to your site.

6 Different sources to create the best TikTok custom audience ever

TikTok allows advertisers to create different types of custom audiences at ad groups level including

  • Customer file
  • App Activity
  • Lead Generation
  • Engagement
  • Website Traffic
  • Business Account
Different sources for TikTok Custom Audiences
Different sources for TikTok Custom Audiences

Website traffic

People who have been to your website or have engaged in a certain action there should be gathered into a customized audience. Once more, this is a fantastic approach to connecting with people who are familiar with you and have previously interacted with your business.

You can target users on TikTok who:

  • Clicked a particular CTA or button on your website
  • Bought something
  • Completed and delivered a form
  • Started a trial for free
  • Spoke with your support staff
  • Visited a specific blog post or piece of material


How about creating segments based on your TikTok engagement rate?

On any of the TikTok family of apps, build an audience of users who have expressed interest in your content. Clicks, impressions, and lists of people who have previously interacted with your content, brand, or items are examples of this.

To maintain the momentum and remain relevant, for instance, you might retarget the viewers of a video that has received a lot of likes.

App activity

Apart from website traffic and engagement, you can also create custom segments based on certain events that happen within your company’s app. 

Make a customized audience out of users that have used your app and performed particular behaviors. Because they have downloaded and used your software, these leads are really interested (and maybe even bought something through it).

Here are some app activities that are supported by TikTok:

  • Purchase: When someone buys a product
  • Register: When someone registers with your brand or creates an account
  • Checkout: When someone makes it to checkout 
  • Add to Cart: When someone adds an item to their cart (even if they don’t check out) 
  • View Content: When someone views a product or service page, blog post, or other content in your app

Customer file

Let’s create custom audiences based on uploading a list of “customers”.

These might be clients who have already purchased from you, subscribers to your email list, or those who have registered for a webinar, a new product launch,… These people have already interacted with your brand, so trust has already been gained.

To make sure that you will be successful to create a customer file, here are some important notes:

  • A minimum matched audience size of 1,000 is necessary to target Custom Audiences in an ad group.
  • You are allowed to have up to 400 custom audiences at one time within the account.

Lead generation

Lead generation audience
Lead generation audience – Source: TikTok

Users who interacted with your lead ads (view or submit a form) can be used to create an audience. For example, to increase the efficiency of your campaign, you can retarget viewers who only saw your Lead Ads’ form page.

However, please do note that

  • Up to 400 customized audiences can be active for one advertiser at once.
  • Lead Generation only permits placement on TikTok.

Business account audience

The new custom audience type known as “Business Account Audience” only allows you to use your personal TikTok Business Account to retarget audiences when your organic profile has finished one of the following activities:

  • Follow, visit the profile, and watch the video (2, 6, or 100% of the time).
  • Like, share and leave a TikTok comment.

How to create TikTok Custom Audiences in 4 simple steps

 After you’ve enabled retargeting on your app in TikTok Ads Manager, you’ll need to build a Custom Audience to identify TikTok users who have acted on your app. Even if you use any source between the six sources mentioned, to accomplish this, let’s follow our 4 steps. 

Step 1: Open TikTok Ads Manager.

Step 2: Go to the Audiences section from Assets.

Go to the Audiences section from Assets
Go to the Audiences section from Assets

Step 4: Understand your audience. 

To build a TikTok Custom Audience, you must first identify your target audience depending on each source. 

For example, if you intend to create your custom audiences on TikTok based on customer files, you need to select your file type and upload your own file that aligns with TikTok requirements.

Customer file
Customer file

Otherwise, with the engagement audience, you need to define your audiences based on their interactions such as like or impressions.

engagement audience
Engagement audience

How to manage your custom audience in a simple way?

After reviewing the types and sources for creating a custom audience, you may want to consider four ways to manage and keep track of your custom audience database.

Apply audience

You can apply your audience to an ad group from the Audience section or from the Ad Group section.

One audience can be applied to numerous ad groups; however, it cannot be used to include and exclude at the same time.

Meanwhile, if there is an overlap between the audience in include and exclude, the audience will be excluded. 

Delete audience

You can delete an audience if you’ve added a custom audience to an ad group but decide you no longer want to use it.

Disconnect with ad groups

If you’ve applied an audience to an ad group but no longer wish to use that audience, you can click on the audience detail page to disconnect ad groups.

Audience specifics

  • Audience Application Details: Illustrates the connection between the audience and the ad groupings.
  • “Disconnect Ad Groups”: Disconnects the audience-specific ad groups.
  • Audience History: Displays the TikTok Ads Manager operation log (create or edit audience).

Interesting things about Custom Audience Auto-Refresh

Basically, advertisers can automatically refresh their custom audiences using TikTok Ads Manager. You have the choice to enable the auto-refresh toggle when you initially create an audience.

Custom Audience Auto-Refresh
Custom Audience Auto-Refresh – Source: TikTok

According to the lookback windows you chose when creating the audience, the audience will automatically refresh each day to include the most recent user information. Advertisers may better understand their audiences and reach more target users with the use of up-to-date data.

Supported Custom Audiences

Custom audiences that support auto-refresh fall into one of three categories:

  • ​Engagement
  • ​App Activity
  • ​Website Traffic

Auto-refresh-enabled custom audiences are refreshed daily.

Custom audience best practices that you shouldn’t skip

To maximize your data and prevent data loss during delivery, take a quick look at 3 key suggestions.

Don’t forget the country code

Even if all the phone numbers on your list are from the same nation, always include the country code when using them.

Mention the country

Whenever you use a country on your list, make sure to include it in a separate column. (Since TikTok matches on a global level, this enables them to match as many people from your list as possible.)

Choose your proper file type

If the campaign’s objective is about apps, in order to properly select the operating system when creating the campaign and prevent unnecessary data loss, we advise using a custom audience that only includes IDFA or GAID file types. 

Your IDFA and GAID data ought to come from the same region that your advertisement is targeting (for example, if you want to advertise in Japan, both types of data should come from Japan). 

Leverage TikTok Custom Audiences for amazing campaigns!

The strong targeting options make it simple to engage with those who are already interested in your business or who are more likely to convert due to relevant interests or browsing history.

Master TikTok custom audiences today to increase your chances of conversion and solidify brand awareness!

If you need any support, don’t hesitate to contact us and get first access to our TikTok custom audience integration. 


Meet our Author


Author at NestScale

Rosie is a professional content writer, focusing on technology and e-commerce business. When she’s not working, you will find her immersing in movies or hanging out with her friends.


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