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TikTok Pulse: Everything Brands Need to Know [2024 Updates]

TikTok Pulse

As one of the most dynamic social media platforms, TikTok never ceases to revolutionize the way brands connect with their target audience. Last year, with the introduction of TikTok Pulse, TikTok has marked itself as the pioneer not only in creating a revenue-sharing program for short video creators but also in offering a cutting-edge ad solution that can supercharge full-funnel engagement and actions for brands. 

So, join us as we explore the exciting possibilities that TikTok Pulse offers and discover the newest updates about this solution to leverage your ad campaign effectively!

What is TikTok Pulse? 

TikTok Pulse is a premium contextual ad solution from TikTok that enables advertisers to align their brand with the videos driving TikTok culture. Specifically, the ads will be displayed on the For you page, right after the top 4% content on the platform within a certain category. 

You may wonder: Wait, what does TikTok use to identify the top 4% of videos? 

Well, it is thanks to Pulse Lineups, which are meticulously curated lists of the top-performing videos across various categories (for example, Beauty Pulse, Sports Pulse, etc). Brands then select the Lineups that align most closely with their goals and values to ensure their content appears alongside culturally relevant and captivating videos.

There are 2 ad formats that you can choose for your TikTok Pulse campaign: In-feed Spark Ads, or Non-spark ads. 

What does TikTok Pulse mean for brands?

Boost full-funnel actions

With TikTok Pulse, brands can gain a prominent spot in the midst of viral videos, trending challenges, and captivating storytelling. This high level of exposure significantly increases the chances of users interacting with the brand’s content, resulting in higher engagement rates and potential conversions.

Also, with its offering of categories ranging from beauty to gaming, TikTok Pulse ensures that brands can connect with the communities that matter most to them, driving meaningful engagement and actions. 

Create a seamless user experience 

To create a seamless experience for users, TikTok has ingeniously merged the characteristics of in-feed ads while eliminating the intrusive “Sponsored” button. As a result, the integration of ads within the platform becomes incredibly smooth, allowing users to enjoy the content without disruptions. This user-centric approach enhances the overall browsing experience and fosters a positive perception of the ads themselves.

Ensure brand safety with brand suitability measurements

Maintaining brand safety is a top priority for advertisers, and TikTok Pulse provides robust measures to ensure a safe and suitable advertising environment. The platform’s proprietary inventory filter ensures that Pulse ads run alongside verified content, meeting the highest level of brand

Want concrete numbers? No worries. According to the newest TikTok survey, they have recorded significant results from clients who used this ad solution. 

  • Ad recall: +9.8% lift in ad recall.
  • Awareness: +6.8% lift in awareness.
  • Engagement: TikTok users are 2.6x more likely to interact with TikTok Pulse ads compared to other comparable ad products
  • Affinity: 84% of TikTok users who encountered a TikTok Pulse ad agreed that the advertised brand is popular
  • Safety: 99.99% brand-safe and suitable content are put above Pulse ads

Example of TikTok Pulse ads

Since TikTok Pulse is a new ad solution, it is by no surprise that there is little data about its case studies. Nonetheless, one brand managed to achieve remarkable results when taking the bold risk of trying out this innovative ad feature,


SK-II is a renowned Japanese skincare brand, famous for its focus on anti-aging products. With an impressive 90% concentration of PITERA™, a natural bio ingredient cultivated and perfected in Japan exclusively for SK-II, it has remained the gold standard in anti-aging for over four decades.

Last year, SK-II set an ambitious goal to expand its popularity to the US, and chose TikTok Pulse as the ad solution to achieve their campaign objectives:

  • Increase brand visibility and encourage buying intention in potential US TikTok users. 
  • Gain conversions by utilizing purchase intent signals to reach high-income users.
KOL review video
Source: TikTok

#skiipartner My favorite part about this product is the extensive research that has been done looking at how it improves hydration, skin barrier function, firmness, wrinkles, and dark spots/discoloration — while also being gentle on the skin! PITERA resembles the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factors, so its micronutrients absorb quickly and deeply. #SKII @SK-II #facialtreatmentessence #skintok #antiaging

♬ original sound – Mamina Turegano, MD
Expert Review video
Source: TikTok

What works: 

  • Full-funnel media: Their TikTok Pulse ad campaign consists of 3 clear stages:
    • KOL review videos to boost awareness.
    • Expert review videos to increase validity and encourage buying intention.
    • Pulse ads to convert interested customers. 
  • Natural, ad-free feeling with: 
    • Partnership with relevant influencers of the skincare community.  
    • Partnership with renowned dermatologists to provide evidence-based claims and guides about the product. 

The results: 

  • 100,000 sessions across all TikTok creator content
  • 400,000 engagements
  • 35% lift in brand searches 
  • 1.5x lift in website visitors

TikTok Pulse solution types [2024 Updates] 

Aside from the original TikTok Pulse, from the beginning of May 2023, TikTok has introduced more types of Pulse solutions for brands. However, it will not be until this summer that they kick off the first type, Pulse Premium. 

To help you gain a better understanding, we have gathered the information down below so you can decide which type is best for your business: 

Original TikTok PulsePulse Premium Pulse Seasonal LineupsMax Pulse
Who decides the ad placement? TikTok BrandsTikTokTikTok 
Best fit forEvery type of ad campaigns Campaigns that belong to lifestyle & education, sports, and entertainment categories (whatever the Premiere lineup offers) Seasonal campaign (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) Every type of ad campaigns
Visibility: Adjacent to Videos in 4-5 Pulse Lineups Videos from Pulse Premiere partners: Buzzfeed, Conde Nast, Dotdash Meredith, Hearst Magazines, MLS, NBCUniversal, UFC, Vox Media and WWE. Seasonal Lineups videos: Videos that will be more relevant for a specific cultural event, season, or a marketing momentTop 4% trending videos across 12 available categories 
→ Unlock the full potential 
Time of launchingAvailable Summer 2023Late 2023Late 2023

TikTok Pulse requirements

Until now, TikTok Pulse is only available for allow-listed advertisers in the U.S, but it’s fine! TikTok is planning to expand the new contextual ad solution’s availability more to other regions. 

How to set up a TikTok Pulse ad campaign? 

To properly kick-off a TikTok Pulse Ad, you will have to undergo 3 main steps: Setting up the right campaign in the Campaign level, selecting the appropriate ad group in Ad group level, then adding your creative in the Ad level setup. 

Campaign level

In the Campaign section of your Ad Account, click “Create” to start a new campaign.

  1. For the buying type, choose “Reach & Frequency” 
  2. In Campaign objective“, choose “Reach”.
  3. Select TikTok Pulse as the campaign type.
  4. Enter a campaign name then click “Continue“.

Ad Group level

  1. Ad Group Name: Choose an Ad Group name that reflects the goals of this Ad Group.
  1. Audience Targeting
  • Select desired parameters for Audience, Demographics, Interest, and Device.
  • Refer to the TikTok Pulse Planning Packet (provided by your sales lead) for targeting recommendations.
  1.  Contextual Targeting
  • Confirm that “Standard Feed” is automatically selected under “Feed Type.”
  • Choose desired TikTok Pulse content lineups under “Content Topics” (avoid selecting anything under “General content“).
  • By default, “All Pulse” is selected so that the TikTok system can find the best match for your audience and creative.
  • Alternatively, you should select 4 to 5 specific lineups that resonate with your targeted audience.
  1. In “Content Exclusions“, verify that the “Limited Inventory” filter is automatically selected.
  2. In “Schedule“, select a date range when you want to deliver your ads.
  3. Choose a reservation purchase method: Budget, Impressions, Reach, or Reach Percentage.
  4. Confirm that “Reach” is automatically selected as the optimization goal.
  5. In “Frequency cap“, define the frequency at which you want your ads to be shown.
  6. Choose the default frequency or set a custom frequency cap. Refer to the TikTok Pulse Planning Packet for recommendations.
  7. In “Ad sequencing & schedule“, if you’re using multiple creatives, select your desired delivery mode. 
  8. After preparing the Ad Group, click on the “Next” button. This action will bring up the “Submit Order” and “Reserve Audience” screen.
  9. To reserve your ad without adding your creative content, simply click on “Just Submit Order“.
  10. If you’re ready to include your creative content, click on “Continue to Add” and proceed with the Ad level setup.
  11. If you want to target additional Pulse lineups, follow these steps: return to the Create page in Step 1, locate “Use existing” in the Campaign level section, select the existing campaign, and then repeat Steps 1-12 to set up the new Ad Group. 

Ad level

  1. Provide an Ad name.
  2. Choose your Identity options, such as the Display Name, Text, and Profile Image.
  3. Traffic your Ad creative by uploading a video or selecting one from your library.
  4. Include any Interactive add-ons.
  5. Configure your Destination page options, such as adding a website URL and/or CTA buttons.
  6. Add any necessary pixels or 3P impression/click tracking URLs.
  7. Explore more about supported third-party tracking partners.
  8. If you’re interested in other third-party measurement solutions like viewability or brand suitability, reach out to a TikTok sales lead.
  9. Click the +Add button to traffic additional ads, if needed. 
  10. Once you are satisfied with your ads, click Submit to send them for review.

Use TikTok Pulse to pulse your way to TikTok success

As TikTok continues to dominate the social media landscape, staying informed and utilizing features like TikTok Pulse is essential for brands that want to stand out in the crowd. By embracing this powerful tool, brands can unlock new opportunities, foster authentic connections, and propel their TikTok presence to new heights.

Even though TikTok Pulse does not require any agency setup, it can be overwhelming for beginners who wish to try out this brand new feature. In that case, we recommend you contact our experts for more advice.

If you’re a small to medium business owner with limited financial resources, we suggest beginning with regular ad solutions first, such as In-feed ads. This approach can help you maintain a balance between your ad spending and your ad coverage. If you are interested, our app Nest Ads is extremely beginner-friendly and can assist you in building your TikTok ad campaign from scratch!



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