Attribution Overview
Last updated, May 2024

What is Attribution?

Marketers use the term attribution to understand what actions users take after an ad is clicked or viewed.


Most commonly, attribution is used with conversion tracking which connects a user click / view with a desired outcome such as a purchase, lead fill, app download, page view, etc. For marketers, attribution is a critical tool to understand how their advertising spend is directly related to business outcomes.


Attribution is also critical to the success of many other advertising products including bidding, targeting, and optimizations since they use conversion data in their machine learning models to adjust and learn over time. Over time, these models will understand which users are more likely to convert and will ultimately lead to better advertising outcomes for your business. In short, attribution is the foundation for all successful campaigns.


For TikTok App Marketers, it's currently recommended to use a Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) to track conversions from your TikTok App campaigns while other TikTok solutions (e.g. server-to-server and SDK) are being built. The following information is applicable to advertisers using Mobile Measurement Partners.


If you are interested in participating in the server-to-server or SDK alpha, please reach out to your TikTok representative for more information.


Attribution Logic

When a user clicks / views an ad and takes further actions such as downloading, activating, or making an in-app purchase within the set conversion window, the MMP records and sends this data back to TikTok as a conversion. The conversion data is then shown in TikTok Ads Manager and is the foundation for future optimizations in the campaign.


All TikTok Mobile Measurement Partners use "Last Click Attribution", which attributes the conversion to the media source where the last click occurred. Below are important terms to be familiar with:


  • ​Click-through Attribution: When a user clicks on a TikTok ad and then completes the desired conversion action (e.g. downloads and installs the app, makes an in-app purchase, etc.), this will be attributed to TikTok as a click-through conversion.

  • ​View-through Attribution: When a user views (and doesn't click) a TikTok ad and then completes the desired conversion action (e.g. downloads and installs the app, makes an in-app purchase, etc.), this will be attributed to a TikTok view-through conversion. Please note that click-through attribution will trump view-through conversions (e.g. if a user clicks on an ad and converts, the conversion will be attributed to the click and not the view). Enabling View-through conversions is optional in your MMP dashboard.

    • ​TikTok Recommendation: TikTok recommends that users enable View-through Attribution in their MMP's dashboard. This gives marketers a more holistic picture of TikTok's advertising value while also giving TikTok more conversion data to be used for optimizations leading to better overall outcomes for the campaign.

  • ​Attribution Window: This refers to the period of time where eligible conversions can be claimed. For example, if you have a click conversion window of 7 days, this means that a user has 7 days from the time of the click to completing the conversion action for TikTok to get conversion credit. You can customize the attribution window on your MMP dashboard.

    • ​TikTok Recommendation: For click-through conversions, TikTok recommends the conversion window to be at least 7 days; for view-through conversions, TikTok recommends the conversion window to be at least 1 day.


Deeplinking

Note: Currently Deeplinking is in testing and we're accepting limited advertisers to test the product. Furthermore, Deeplinking is only available with some MMPs so please work with your TikTok representative to find out more information, including if your app qualifies for the test.


A deeplink is a URL that points to a specific location on a website or app such as a product page, a form, or another important page that an advertiser chooses. For TikTok app advertising, deeplinks directly send users from the TikTok ad click to specific content inside the advertiser's App for users who already have it downloaded.


Deeplinking provides many benefits for app marketers including:


  • ​Optimized User Experience: Shorten the user's journey to find important parts of your app like a product page or other action-oriented pages.

  • ​Improved Retention & Engagement: Deeplinking can promote usage of an app for those users who have it downloaded by reengaging and sending them to new, interesting content that they haven't previously seen.

  • ​Strengthen your Marketing: Retarget & upsell your existing customers to improve ROI.


How Deeplinking Works

  1. ​Deeplink is implemented as the click event

  2. ​The ad gets clicked

    1. ​If advertiser app is installed, user gets redirected (via the deeplink) to a specific content page within an app

    2. ​If advertiser app is not installed, user gets redirected to an appstore to install the app. After the user installs the app, the user then gets redirected to a specific content page within the app, as specified by the deeplink. This is known as deferred deeplinking.


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