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What To Do With (No) Conversions on TikTok’s Influencer campaigns!

In our previous post, “Running Influencer Ads on TikTok,” we covered TikTok’s ad formats that pair well with influencers. We also provided tips on how to design performance-driven creatives and how to set up great test campaigns. In short, everything you need to know to run influencer-powered Ads on TikTok. This post will focus on the process that happens after: what you should do when there are (no) conversions and how you can scale your efforts.

No conversions, What can I do?

Act like a doctor and diagnose where the potential pains are. One of the first questions to ask is: “How long has the problem (in this case, no conversions) been going on?”. It can take up to 10 days on TikTok before an advert leaves the learning phase and starts converting. TikTok, unlike Facebook, is a nascent platform and really requires time to learn.

Let’s say you want to create a campaign to increase installs for your new e-commerce app. You set your cost per install bid at $10 and start running your ad. As your ad starts delivering, it enters the Learning Phase. TikTok Ads is going to try and find out who in your target audience is most likely to click on the ad and install your app.

During this phase, your cost per install may fluctuate anywhere from $5-30 as users start to install your app. As you get 50 installs, the Learning Phase passes and your cost per install becomes more stable. With your campaign now delivering stably, you are on your way to building your business and growing your app's user base.

1. How to identify whether an ad group has passed the learning phase

  1. Achieving 50 conversions is the most significant indicator of passing the learning phase.
  2. After you pass the Learning Phase, you do not need to do anything else. The system will start delivering more stably now that it understands your ads and audience better.
  3. If an ad group finds it difficult to obtain at least 20 conversions within the first 10 days, there is a high chance that this group will not pass the learning phase. 
  4. If you did not pass the learning phase, try optimizing the creative, broadening the target audience, or increasing the bid and trying again.

2. Don’t adjust your Ad Group during the learning phase

  1. It is suggested that the advertiser does not make any adjustments which may have a negative impact to the data accumulation (lowering the bid or the budget, deleting creative, or narrowing the target audience) during the learning phase. 
  2. If the delivery performance is far below expectation during the learning phase, the advertiser could try to increase the bid, optimize creative, or broaden the target audience. 
  3. If the CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) performance is far below expectation during the learning phase, it is suggested that the advertiser should not conduct any adjustment until achieving at least 20 conversions. Please be cautious that any improper adjustment during the learning phase may affect the ability of the system to explore, which could trigger further fluctuations in estimates and CPA. 
  4. Historical data analysis suggests that most ad groups which fail to pass the learning phase are unlikely to pass it without some adjustments. Advertisers are recommended to optimize the original ad group before trying again to pass the learning phase. 

3. Look at the Bounce Rate

If the traffic from TikTok has a +10% higher bounce rate than your other social channels, first look at the CPC (Cost-Per-Click) you get from TikTok and then run a comparison to other channels. If it’s vastly cheaper on TikTok, you might want to increase it to drive higher-quality traffic. You can also experiment with TikTok Instant Page if you see a high bounce rate (more information, below.)

4. Check Conversion vs. Other Channels

If the traffic from TikTok is converting lower than your other channels, look at the targeting, audiences and copy/messaging to see if there’s a misalignment (ergo, you have a more enticing offer/discount on another channel, are you speaking to a different audience?)

However, if you have a low Click-Through-Rate (benchmarks can vary from 1% on in-feed videos to as high as 10% on take-overs), it could be the creative and we recommend that you follow the creative steps laid out in our previous article and think about 1) your hook, 2) catchy problem statement, 3) the way you phrase the solution, and 4) your Call-to-Action (CTA). 

I'm Seeing Conversions; How do I scale? 

This is where things become much more exciting, albeit care and patience are required. Most of us wish to pump cash into the ad sets that are performing straight away. Trust us in saying this is not the way to get scalable long-term results, and slow and steady wins the race every time. You must ensure that once your initial campaign results are positive, you scale diligently according to a predetermined pace. We’ll lay out what that pace should look like below:

1. The Double-Rhythm 

  1. Say you were running ads for a budget of $50 p/day. 
  2. Double it to $100 p/day and wait to see if the performance holds. 
  3. If so, double your budget again to $200 p/day. 

Once you've established consistent conversions at around $500 p/day for >2 days, proceed with doubling the budget again.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8
$50 $100 $200 $400 $500 $500 $1000


Follow this rhythm as long as your conversions are A) consistently bringing positive RoAS or B) results are increasing. Be on the lookout for frequency so it doesn’t skyrocket (e.g.>10). If this happens, chances are, you’ll see diminishing returns on your campaigns over time.  

When this happens, the key tip here to consider is to add new creatives to your campaigns.

2. Move Your Winners Into One Ad-Set

While you’re double your budgets and following that process, it’s time to set up an ad set optimized for scaling. To do this, merge all winning creatives and headlines, toss them into a single Automated Creative Optimization (or ACO, for short), and start the campaign with a higher budget of $500- $1000 p/day. Add the winning headlines and your destination URL to the creatives and follow the below settings:

Promotion Type: Website.
Pixel: Your Pixel.
Optimization Event: Completed Payment.
Placements: Automatic Placement.
Creative Type: Turn ACO (Automatic Creative Optmimization) on.
Targeting: Select Automatic Targeting.
Location: Your Preferred Geographic Location.
Budget: Start anywhere from €500-€1000.
Start Date/Time: Start any day, just start at midnight.
Optimization Goal: If you have Value, use value, otherwise you can use Conversion.
Bid Strategy: Don’t need to set a minimum RoAS.

If this campaign is performing well at a higher spend, keep doubling your budget as long as performance remains positive.

If you’ve hit your limit, it’s time to repeat this process. Test another set of creatives, take those winners and create another scaling ad set!

Experiment, Optimize, and Learn

TikTok is an exciting beast to add to your social marketing strategy, and we hope that these two articles have removed some fears you might’ve had prior. We wish to leave you with a few additional tips that have helped us tremendously: 

1. Source Content Weekly

TikTok ads typically fatigue faster than on Facebook or Instagram. Hence, you should set up a process where you are constantly securing 5-10 pieces of creative pieces from influencers per week that you can test, optimize and learn from. To make that easier, take existing videos and swap out the first 3-seconds to try different hooks and angles. Or have a different ending to the videos with different CTA’s. 

2. Instant Pages

This allows you to create landing pages natively on TikTok (think Instant Experiences/Canvas on Facebook.) You can read more over at TikTok For Business. We just recently tested a listicle in this format and sent the traffic directly to a PDP (Product Detail Page), and we saw a high conversion rate – and we’ll continue to test this format. 

Finally, book a meeting with our team here to learn more about how you can integrate TikTok as a foundational part of your social media strategy.