TikTok Smart Performance Campaign : A deep dive into automated performance

With the TikTok Smart Performance Campaign (SPC), it’s clear that the social network is looking to join the race of advertising campaigns using machine learning.

After Google with the Performance Max campaigns and Meta with the Advantage + Shopping Campaigns, it’s Tiktok’s turn to join the dance of performance optimized campaigns.

In this article we will see in more detail what are the TikTok Smart Performance Campaigns, how they offer new opportunities to advertisers to develop their business! Finally, a quick guide to get started with the tool and the best practices to adopt!

What are TikTok Smart Performance Campaigns?

The TikTok Smart Performance Campaigns are the first type of TikTok campaign using machine learning. They arrived at the beginning of 2023 with one objective, to improve the performance that the ad network is able to generate. This is a big issue for the TikTok platform, which now accounts for nearly 25% of advertising spending.

In order to reach the right people and maximize results, Smart Performance Campaigns are designed to incrementally scale performance. All this while reducing the number of manual actions to complete.

Who is Tiktok Smart Performance Campaign for?

Tiktok in its press release about Smart Performance Campaigns says that the TikTok SPC are convenient for advertisers who are just starting out with TikTok or those who don’t necessarily have the control over the day-to-day monitoring of their campaigns that a paid media agency might have.

These campaigns can also be used by performance-oriented advertisers because of the promise of results that it is able to bring. It can provide a significant performance gain.

What are the benefits of the TikTok Smart Performance Campaign?

Soon to be available on all mobile OS

To date, TikTok’s Smart Performance Campaign is only available on Android, but to boost the new campaign new OS availabilities will be available (iOS, … )

Saves time

TikTok SPC saves significant time on campaign creation. The system will make combinations of creative assets (Text, Video) for each auction. It will find the optimal combination that will maximize the performance of your account.

The performance reports can also inspire you for your next creations. They therefore allow media buyers to spend less time optimizing campaigns. TikTok Smart Performance Campaigns also allow for easier reporting with a simpler account structure.

Better performance observed on TikTok SPC

Smart Performance Campaigns allow for better budget allocation. In the first tests that TikTok has launched with Bolt, SPCs are performing well. Up to 80% of campaigns perform better than traditional campaigns. For the acquisition of new drivers in South Africa, the TikTok Smart Performance Campaigns reduced the CPA by 27% and generated 40% more purchase actions.

How to create a Smart Performance Campaign?

“Through leveraging machine learning, getting started with Smart Performance Campaign is as easy as it sounds. All you need is a marketing objective, budget, country, and creative assets to begin.”


To create a campaign you just have to

  • Select your campaign objective
  • Select the budgets allocated to your campaign
Selecting the goal of the TikTok Smart Performance Campaign

After this step, you will have the opportunity to select the Smart Performance Campaign option

Smart Performance Campaign option added to TikTok

Then the classic campaign creation process

  • Select targeting and audience
  • Set up a distribution schedule
  • Set up the tracking
  • Upload the videos & texts
  • You will then be able to access the reporting where you will find the detailed performance by campaign or asset used (Video/text)

Please note: As in Meta’s ASC campaigns, retargeting has been removed from the advertisers.

Best practices for a TikTok SPC

Respect the learning phase

Leave a large enough budget to allow sufficient exploration for the machine learning to prove itself. It is recommended to have about 50 conversions for the AI to be fully operational and pass the learning phase without major adjustments.

Creative assets play a key role in Smart Performance Campaigns

Creativity is the ultimate lever for Smart Performance Campaigns by TikTok. Knowing that the entire media buying process is automated, the difference with your competitors will be the quality of the creations you propose.

Adding at least 3 creatives on the different TikTok Smart Performance Campaigns will boost performance. Using UGC on TikTok is a type of creative content that works quite well to create performance. It’s a relevant practice for social media (Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram). The more videos added the better. This also leaves room for the algorithm to choose the best performing creative at the given time.

Laby Kibwankay
Graduate of emlyon business school in entrepreneurship and innovation management, Laby cut his teeth in growth in several startups & agencies.

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