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Unravel the Proper Way to Read TikTok Ads Metrics for Starters

With TikTok’s rising popularity, brands see its potential to reach vast audiences through ad solutions. However, only small parts of ad campaigns are able to reach their objectives and drive sales among all types of ad campaigns. To solve this issue, try analyzing TikTok ads metrics correctly through the guidelines below!

What are TikTok Ads Metrics? 

TikTok Ads Metrics indicate how well your TikTok ads campaign is doing. By looking at the metrics, brands and businesses can get a hold on how many people have seen the ads, how long they watched the ads, what actions they take,… Here is an example of a TikTok campaign report with fundamental metrics such as Impressions, Reach, Clicks, and Total ad spend. 

Example of a TikTok campaign report
Source: Internet

Why is it essential to measure TikTok Ads Metrics?  

Similar to KPI (Key Performance Indicator), TikTok ads metrics let brands and businesses know what is working and what is not in their ad campaigns. Let’s look at why measuring TikTok KPIs is crucial:

Improve Ads Performance 

Reading and calculating the metrics correctly can help businesses get deeper insights into how well their ad campaigns are performing. Let’s take Impressions – one of TikTok’s KPIs for measuring ad effectiveness for example. Impressions show the number of users who have viewed creators’ ads. If the metric is lower than expected, brands should be checking on the creative assets to see if it’s targeting a specific audience size. Sometimes, targeting too broad audience sizes can lead to low Impressions. One tip for improving ads performance is to run testing on different ad contents. 

>>>> Read more: How to Optimize TikTok Ad Performance

Cutting down promotional costs

TikTok ads require creators to spend at least $500 for an ad campaign, which is quite expensive if it is not bringing back results. Reading TikTok ads metrics correctly can solve this problem by making sure your ads reach the right audiences and encourage them to take actions that align with your campaign objectives. By optimizing the metrics, brands are able to cut down TikTok promotional costs and save that money for different types of investment. 

TikTok ads budget report
TikTok metrics allow brands to optimize their campaign budget wisely 

9 Common TikTok Ads Metrics 

TikTok ads metrics can be categorized into two groups for different purposes: measuring campaign budget and assessing campaign performance. But first, in order to understand TikTok KPIs properly, you should understand the calculating formulas, which are presented in the table below:

Formulas for calculating TikTok KPIs 

TikTok ads metrics  Calculating formulas 
Impressions = Reach*Frequency 
CR= (Number of conversions/ Clicks )*100
CTR= (Total Clicks on ads/ Total Impressions)*100
CPC= Total ad spend/ Total measured clicks 
CPA= (Total ad spend/ Number of conversions)*100
ROI = Net return/ Cost of Investment 
CPV = Total cost/ Number of views
CPM = (Impressions/ Total cost)*1000

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Cost per click is a metric that helps brands measure how much they have to spend to run an ad based on the total number of clicks. It’s an important metric applied to display ads, social media ads, and ads that appear on search engine results pages.

CPC = Total ad spend/ Total measured clicks

Cost Per Mille (CPM)

Cost per mile (CPM) is a common way advertisers figure out how much it costs to show their ad to a thousand people. It helps them see how well the ad is doing and if it’s a good deal for reaching lots of people. CPM is like a gauge to check how efficient and cost-effective the advertising campaign is, especially when trying to get a large audience.

CPM = (Impressions/ Total cost)*1000

Learn More: TikTok CPM: Understanding Rates, Costs & How to Optimize

Cost Per Action (CPA)

Cost per action represents the average cost an advertiser pays for a specific action taken by a user in response to their ad. The action could be anything from making a purchase, filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, or completing any other desired conversion goal. Knowing this TikTok KPI lets brands know how much they have to spend in exchange for actions taken by one customer.

CPA = (Total ad spend/ Number of conversions)*100

Conversion funnel
Conversion funnel showcasing how CPC, CPM, and CPA works 


Impressions showcase how many times your ad is getting displayed, even when users don’t click on it. For example, if a user sees your ad for the first time, it counts as 1 impression. If they accidentally see it the second time, it counts as 2 impressions. Overall, you can understand Impressions as the combined number of views on your advertisement or content. To improve this metric, consider adding TikTok hashtags, using trending sounds, or optimizing visual appeals to catch users’ attention multiple times.

Impressions = Reach*Frequency

Reach & Frequency

Reach can sometimes be mistaken with Impressions. However, you just need to remember that Reach represents the total count of individuals who view your content, whereas impressions refer to the total number of times your content is viewed. For Frequency, it demonstrated the number of times unique users see your ads. Reach and Frequency only counts 1 person per 1 ad view.

Read More: TikTok Reach and Frequency: An effective branding ad-buying type

Reach and Frequency impression

Conversion rate (CVR)

Conversion rate refers to the results that brands want to achieve through ad campaigns, such as:

  • Total number of orders
  • Number of forms filed
  • Number of people signing up for ebook

Calculating TikTok Ad conversion rates lets brands reflect on the effectiveness of their marketing strategies and make adjustments where necessary. While analyzing conversion rates, consider looking at return on investment metrics (ROI) for more accurate insights.

CR = (Number of conversions/ Clicks )*100

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Click-through-rate quantifies the percentage of individuals who view an online advertisement (impressions) and engage by clicking on it. When analyzing CTR metrics, it’s recommended that 2-5% would be a good rate for an ad campaign. However, brands should consider applying this recommendation selectively since it also depends on each industry.

CTR  = (Total Clicks on ads/ Total Impressions)*100

Cost Per View (CPV)

Cost per view is a digital advertising metric that represents the average cost an advertiser pays for each view or engagement with their video ad. By calculating this metric, brands will be able to adjust their ad spend budget for cost-effectiveness.

CPV = Total cost/ Number of views

Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI shows how well an advertising campaign performed in making money compared to the cost of the ads. It tells us if the advertising investment was worth it or not, by checking if you made more money than you spent on the ads.

ROI = Net return/ Cost of Investment

Learn More: Improve Ad Performance with TikTok Ad Benchmarks 2024

How to view TikTok metrics?

To view the basic metrics on TikTok, you can take a brief glance at TikTok Analytics. It will show how well your videos and accounts are performing. However, for more complex metrics when running ads, you need to have a TikTok Advertising account. Once your account is set up and you’ve run ad campaigns, you can log in to the TikTok Ads Manager dashboard. There, you’ll find detailed insights and metrics for each of your ad campaigns under these 3 formats: 

  • Dashboard page: Overall view of your account through bird’s eyes len 
  • Campaign page: Insights on campaign performance 
  • Report page: Performance reports can be customized and sent to your inbox through the Scheduled Running feature.
TikTok Ads Manager Reporting

FAQ on TikTok metrics not showing

Before getting started on why your TikTok metrics are not showcasing, you should check your TikTok Ads Manager’s Campaign page first to see if the “Total of” section has been turned on. It’s essential since this section allows you to view all of the metrics you have selected. If you have turned it on and the metrics are still nowhere to be found, let’s hop to the next part for explanations: 

Attaching Reach-based metrics 

One popular reason why you can not view the TikTok ads metrics is that you have added Reach-based metrics! 

First of all, reach-based metrics are comprised of: 

  • Reach 
  • Frequency
  • Average watch time/person
  • Cost/1000 people have reached
  • Unique views on LIVE 

Reach-based metrics count individual actions or people separately. So, you can’t just add them up for ads, ad groups, or campaigns. If you do, you might end up counting the same person or action more than once. To avoid this, TikTok Ads Manager removes duplicates when calculating these metrics. 

Reach-based metrics 

Using dimensions that identify users while adding metrics 

When you study metrics based on characteristics like Interests, Behaviors, or Audiences, you must know that people can be part of more than one group at the same time. So, when the system counts the total number of metrics, it makes sure to avoid counting the same person multiple times by removing duplicates.

Deleted campaigns are not included in your total 

Sometimes, the numbers you see for your ad groups or ads might not match when looking at different levels, such as Ad Group Level in comparison with Campaign Level. This might happen because the reports do not include data from ad groups or ads that have been deleted. 

Final words 

TikTok Ads metrics are essential for advertisers to measure their advertising campaigns’ performance and effectiveness on the platform. Therefore, it’s crucial for creators and businesses to stay updated on platform changes, as TikTok’s KPIs may evolve over time. 

If you come across any obstacles regarding TikTok ads or want to improve your optimization efforts, consider exploring TikTok Advertising 101 provided by Mega Digital – The top leading partner of TikTok! This crash course is designed for beginners aiming to bring their businesses to a new level on the TikTok platform.

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Phuong Linh Linh
Phuong Linh Linh
TikTok Advertising Specialist


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