TikTok Reach and Frequency: Control the Audiences You Reach

Profile photo ofCarolyn Howell, author

Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2023

TikTok 101

Want More Real Tiktok Followers?

TikTok continues to rule the social media universe with its unprecedented explosive growth and sustained popularity worldwide. It’s no wonder brands and digital advertisers are flocking to the platform to get a piece of the pie. TikTok has not failed to meet demands for ultraprecise and efficient advertising features, as demonstrated by the rollout of TikTok Reach and Frequency campaigns. How does this new type of campaign buying work? Here’s an essential guide to creating a Reach and Frequency campaign on TikTok.

The TikTok logo on a smart phone representing TikTok frequency campaigns to a target audience.

What’s a TikTok Reach and Frequency Campaign?

TikTok Reach and Frequency (R&F) is “a campaign buying type on TikTok Ads Manager that lets you control the audiences you reach and the number of times they are exposed to your ad messaging before delivery.” When you create a Reach and Frequency campaign, you can have “ predictable, optimized reach and controlled frequency.”

Before we dive into how R&F campaigns work, let’s define some key terms.

What Is TikTok Reach?

TikTok’s glossary of advertising terms defines “Reach” as “an advertising objective on TikTok Ads Manager that will optimize ad delivery against showing your ad to the maximum amount of unique user accounts.”

“Reach as an advertising metric” refers to “the number of unique user accounts who saw your ads at least once. This metric is estimated.” As a metric, your reach frequency can help you measure your overall TikTok success.

In a TikTok Reach and Frequency campaign, the reach advertising objective allows you to target more users with extended reach. This means you will optimize ad delivery for exposure to the most unique user accounts possible. “Unique user accounts” refer to users exposed to your ad at least once. Repeat exposures to the same accounts do not count.

What Is TikTok Frequency?

The glossary defines “TikTok frequency” as “the average number of times each unique user account saw your ad.”

If you choose frequency as the advertising objective for your Reach and Frequency TikTok campaign, your target is to get a higher frequency of impressions from the same number of users. “Impressions” refer to “the number of times your ads were on screen.” This means you will optimize ad delivery for multiple exposures to the same number of users.

What Is the TikTok Frequency Cap?

When creating a TikTok Reach and Frequency campaign, you can also set a TikTok frequency cap. Frequency capping lets you increase the limit on the maximum number of times a unique user sees your ad within a specified period.

When you set a frequency cap, TikTok will show your ad to the same user only up to a certain number of times within a fixed timeframe.

Two speakers standing in front of a big audience representing a passed ad review of a campaign.

How Does a TikTok Reach and Frequency Campaign Work?

With a TikTok Reach and Frequency campaign, you can choose the settings for the following main components at the Ad Group level:

  • Targeting. You will set the audience size that you want to reach.
  • Schedule. You will set when your ads will be delivered.
  • Reservation and purchase method. A component unique to R&F, this allows you to control your budget, impressions, reach, and percentage of the audience reached.

Here’s the summary of how to set up your R&F campaign:

  1. Campaign level. Create a campaign in TikTok for Business Ads Manager, then select Reach & Frequency as the Buying Type. Choose your Advertising Objective: Reach, Video Views, or Traffic.
  2. Ad Group level. Define who, when, and how your target audience will see your ads with diversified targeting and delivery options.
  3. Ad level. Add the videos, TikTok Posts, and even interactive add-ons you want to show to your audience and the destinations you want your audience to visit.

You can target either a higher volume of unique users through optimized reach or a higher number of impressions from the same number of users through optimized frequency. Based on your budget or impression goal, audience targeting, and frequency setting, TikTok will predict how many users you can reach with your ad. Therefore, a Reach and Frequency campaign delivers a more predictable campaign delivery.

A large audience at a park representing a frequency ad group and qualified customers.

Who Can You Target With a TikTok Reach & Frequency Campaign?

When setting up your TikTok Reach and Frequency campaign at the Ad Group level, you can target precise customer segments according to the following.

  • Custom/lookalike audiences. You can include and exclude certain audience types.
  • Location. You can select one or more locations within the same country or region.
  • Age. If you use No Limit, your audience will include ages 13 and above.
  • Gender. If you use No Limit, your audience will include both Males and Females.
  • Languages. If you use No Limit, your audience will include all languages.
  • Interest Category. You can target users based on the videos they watch.
  • Device. You can target audiences based on their Operating System, Device Model, Connection Type, Carriers, and Device Price.

The more specific you can get when identifying your intended audience, the better results you’ll have with your R&F ad and follower growth. Remember that you can build a loyal community on TikTok only with the right followers.

A person writing “Audience” on a whiteboard representing narrowing down a campaign to only ad group name.

When To Use a TikTok R&F Campaign

Opt for a TikTok Reach and Frequency campaign when you want to focus on driving brand awareness. Through R&F, you can maximize your ad budget for the greatest possible ad exposure. R&F is ideal for the following situations:

  • Increasing awareness for a product launch, brand event, etc.
  • If you have a limited budget to reach TikTok users.
  • If your main ad objectives are video views, impressions, traffic, or brand awareness.
  • If you need a campaign that requires minimal monitoring and adjustments once it’s up and running.
  • If you want to control how many people will see your ad and how many times they see it.
  • If you want to reserve ad slots well before seasonal campaigns or product launches.

R&F campaigns are the ideal option for advertisers who are looking for a TikTok marketing campaign with a high degree of predictability. Control over an ad’s reach and frequency also makes for more efficient budgeting.

It’s also not ideal for existing campaigns. You will want to relaunch a campaign with new R&F parameters.

When should you not use R&F on TikTok? R&F campaigns are not ideal for optimized delivery of high click-throughs or conversions, according to TikTok. If your main objective is lead generation, you should explore other ad-buying options.

Choose Topfeed for TikTok Reach and Frequency Campaigns

Topfeed is an exclusive feed type for TikTok Reach and Frequency campaigns. Enabling Topfeed gives you a premium spot in users’ For You feeds. Topfeed lets you place your ad in the first ad slot in someone’s feed. When they launch the TikTok app, your ad will have top-feed priority and quickly grab their attention.

The Topfeed TikTok option is available at the Ad Group level. To enable Top Feed for your R&F campaign, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new campaign in TikTok Ads Manager.
  2. Select Reach & Frequency as the Buying Type.
  3. Under the Contextual Targeting drop-down menu, select Top Feed.
  4. Save your changes, then confirm Top Feed as your Feed Type.

How Is a TikTok Reach and Frequency Campaign Different From Other Ad Buying Options?

When displaying ads, TikTok’s algorithm considers who is most likely to be interested in the ad. The algorithmic targeting applies to a TikTok Reach and Frequency ad. But how is an R&F campaign different from other ad-buying options?

TikTok Reach and Frequency Campaign Key Features

Let’s look at the key features you can expect when you use a TikTok Reach and Frequency campaign.

  • You can schedule ad delivery up to 255 days in advance.
  • You can reserve and purchase ad inventory according to Fixed Budget, Fixed Impressions, or Fixed Reach or Reach Percentage.
  • You can monitor and measure campaign results in real time via TikTok Ads Manager. The Reserve method you choose will determine the results you can predict via your ad.
  • You can schedule ad delivery between one and 90 days.
  • The minimum reach threshold is 100,000 per ad group.
  • Your ad can direct traffic to your website, an in-app location in TikTok (such as your app store), a hashtag challenge URL, or a branded effect URL.

TikTok Reach and Frequency Campaign vs. Other Ad Options?

Let’s see how other ad-buying options stack against a TikTok Reach and Frequency campaign.

R&F gives you more control over how often the same user sees your ad. Traditional advertising has previously established that successful brand awareness occurs after a viewer sees the same ad at least three times. However, a high-frequency percentage will not always work in your favor.

Especially with how social media has become supersaturated with ads, ad fatigue has also become more common. With a TikTok R&F campaign, you can tweak your ad for optimized frequency to deliver effective brand awareness while preventing ad fatigue.

Other ad-buying options, on the other hand, do not give you control over exposure frequency. You have to set a bid to display your ad to a particular audience. The bid is essentially for a spot on your target viewers’ feeds. How much your competitors bid for the same spot, your target audience’s interests, and other factors determine how often the same user sees your ad.

So you can overspend on a bid to beat your competitors and display your ad to as many TikTok users as often as possible. You may also struggle to outbid them and get only the minimum desired results. Either way, an auction-based ad does not let you control and predict your reach and frequency.

A conference hall with empty seats representing advertisting objectives on an existing campaign on TikTok.

Use a TikTok Reach and Frequency Campaign for Increased Brand Awareness

TikTok is a great platform to identify the right audience for your content and reach them effectively. Thanks to TikTok’s unique algorithm, users’ For You feeds are curated based on their interests and behaviors on the platform. A TikTok Reach and Frequency campaign will suit you best if your main goal is raising brand awareness through controlled audience reach and exposure frequency.

Reaching the right audiences is critical in building a solid presence on TikTok. Your ad may target a massive audience, but if many of them are not the right fit for your content, then the effectiveness of your ad stops there. Many users may have been exposed to your ad and learned about your brand. However, this “brand awareness” will not lead to anything else if they’re not interested.

Specifying your target audience during ad setup can also take you so far. An advanced AI targeting technology can take you farther. Consider partnering with High Social to leverage their advanced, proprietary AI technology and achieve more precise audience targeting.

High Social can help you fine-tune your audience-targeting capability to reach authentic users whose interests and behavior history match your brand’s voice and content. High Social’s team of social media specialists will also help you generate more interest and views for your content through targeted promotion.

Level up your TikTok game and get the exposure you need. Start growing your TikTok today!

TikTok 101