Like other social networks like Facebook, tik tok has developed an API to help brands better understand the consumer behavior found on the platform and thus maximize your sales. This is especially relevant given the new tracking restrictions that iOS has applied to ads on this social network, as it makes it more difficult to track users and optimize campaigns. And surely more tools, browsers or operating systems will also be applied over time. Also, with the removal of third-party cookies in Chrome, the API will ultimately be sold to be an alternative to well-known pixels.
In this article we show you what the TikTok events API is and how it differs from TikTok pixels.
What is the Events API in TikTok?
The events API of this social network is used to bypass tracking restrictions which we have talked about before. For example, when creating optimized ads on the platform, the API will allow you both to collect the audience results that the campaign has had, and to optimize them, without the need to breach the public’s privacy.
This integration is a server-to-server (S2S) connection that allows you to send the web server directly to the TikTok server, without the need to install a tracker type (pixel) on the user’s computer.
Thanks to this API, browser ad blockers won’t be a problem either.
In short, thanks to it, you will be able to have a vision of the entire customer journey and properly segment your campaigns on the platform.
How the events API works in TikTok
It works in a very similar way to the conversion API of the Facebook platform. The Asian social network uses the click id, an identifier that is added to the URL each time a user clicks on a TikTok ad. Each ID is unique and you can share it with the social network each time a user activates an event. The more user data a business submits to the platform (such as the user’s email, phone number, or IP), the higher the chances of attributing an event to those users.
In addition, this API has the same characteristics as the events that take place in the browser.
To configure the API in the social network, you must follow these steps:
Set up the Google Tag Manager server, a free tag management system that allows you to update your websites’ tracking pixels, HTML code, and scripts.
Send the required data to the server and add the TikTok event API tag that you will find in the gallery of GTM templates of the social network.
It will be time to configure the API. To do this, it is necessary to generate an access token to it and an App ID (which can be created only if you have a TikTok developer account). Open the TikTok pixel and click on the settings option, in which the manual installation options, advanced matching and developer mode should be enabled.
Once you have the App ID, add it and select the “Generate access token” option. Next, you created a tag in the Google Tag Manager service, adding both the access token and the pixel ID.
You can also add parameters of the event, such as its URL, as well as user data.
What are its advantages
Here are the main benefits of using the Events API:
- Greater accuracy in tracking events: The API is able to overcome ad blockers and other tracking barriers, so you’ll be able to store more accurate information about your users and, therefore, improve the tracking of your strategy. This way you will be able to know with much more accuracy which stocks are working better and worse.
- Big amount of data: since the follow-up will not be subject to any type of block, you will be able to collect information from all the users who access your event.
- Increased safety for the public: Since tracking is done server-side and not on the user’s own device, your personal information is completely private and secure.
- Data Enrichment: The API allows you to request additional data on the social network to have a better understanding of the profitability of the campaign and to be able to build personal audiences.
Although the events API has a very interesting benefit, it also has some disadvantages. On the one hand, its integration is a bit more complicated, since this type of server-side tracking works differently from browser tracking. API integration can take longer and may require developer knowledge. On the other hand, it is a relatively new technology, so different updates will still appear for its optimization. Therefore, if you want to integrate it into your strategy, it is important that you stay informed about its latest changes.
TikTok vs. Event API tiktok pixel
First of all, it is important that you know that the TikTok pixel and the API are not two mutually exclusive elements, but the ideals that both use and the complements. Therefore, we recommend that you install the API once the pixel is already integrated into your strategy. However, don’t forget to pass the event ID parameter to avoid data duplication.
The pixel is the most used web attribution product, especially to detect actions such as viewing a web page, buying a product or filling in a form. The pixel automatically captures all the information about the interaction that users have with a certain website. What is your main problem? That, as we have already mentioned, many browsers will already reject the installation of cookies or Chrome will soon do so (the most used browser and where the real uncertainty lies for the future and for finding a solution) and, therefore, the pixel will capture the data incorrectly or stop working altogether.
The main features offered by the pixel to sound API:
- A simple implementation, because it will not take you more than a few minutes to install.
- Extensive knowledge is not required to implement it, so you will not have to allocate many resources to its optimization.
- It automatically captures the information of the different events at the moment the web page is loaded.
On the other hand, just like the API, it also presents its disadvantagesbeing able to have limitations when there is poor internet connectivity and having to be placed in the header of the web page.
As long as you install the Events API first, you’ll be up to speed with this tool that promises to be the future of tracking audience actions and getting data and insights from them. The pixelalthough it is still necessary, little by little I will disappearing due to new privacy policiesit is important that you equip yourself to familiarize yourself with this new way of collecting information that, in addition, presents greater precision when it comes to orientation in the different events.
The elimination of cookies constitutes the great change that digital marketing has experienced since its inception. Many companies believe that with a cookieless environment (without cookies) Internet information is destined to disappear, but nothing could be further from the truth. If it is soon that a change when it comes to collecting and treating it in order to improve the user’s privacy, but little by little alternatives are emerging that even offer improvements and greater functions to the previous ways of obtaining information. In this context, despite the fact that it may be necessary to invest in collaborators or internal training to be able to understand these new tools, it will be worth it in the long term.
In that sense, before starting to open the API, it is better that you first establish the data that you want to analyze and that will help you optimize and measure your ads. That is, for example, “number of page views”, “number of times the buy button has been clicked” or “the total number of cart abandonments that have occurred”. You can also create audience segments in order to reconnect with the public that has already seen your website before or to create a similar public that will allow you to locate new clients with the same characteristics. This information needs to be clear so your team can get the API up and running in a useful, business-friendly way. In addition, in this way, the development time of the same will speed up enormously. Therefore, create a Roadmap It is essential because the marketing team is efficient and can get involved in the disappearance of the TikTok pixels.