9 Pro Tips on How to Scale Your Tiktok Ads 9 Pro Tips on How to Scale Your Tiktok Ads


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Jairene Cruz


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Hey, TikTok marketers! Are your ads already buzzing on the platform? That's great — but are you itching to take it to the next level and earn more from campaigns that are already working? Then it’s time to talk about scaling your TikTok ad campaigns.

Why stick to small-scale success when you could be reaching millions more? Whether you're a seasoned TikTok advertiser or just getting your feet wet, this blog post will be a game-changer. You'll discover how to maximize your reach, optimize your budget, and truly harness the power of TikTok advertising.

If you’re ready to scale up and blow your competition out of the water, then we’re ready to show you how!

But first, let's have a quick rundown of the cost of running TikTok ads in 2024.

What is the Cost of TikTok Ads' CPM in 2024?

In the bustling landscape of social media advertising, TikTok has emerged as a powerhouse platform. However, it's no secret that advertising on TikTok comes with a heftier price tag than other platforms. Yet, in the eyes of many businesses, the cost is justified by the impressive engagement levels this platform can drive.

TikTok primarily operates on a CPM (cost per mille) basis for its in-feed ads. Essentially, CPM refers to the cost incurred for every 1,000 views of your ad. As of November 2023, the average CPM for TikTok stands at $9.16.

Here's the data on the average CPM for TikTok Ads from mid-January to mid-February 2024, according to Varos, a benchmarking SaaS tool:

Average CPM of TikTok Ads over 4 weeks (mid-January to mid-February of 2024)

But there's more to the story! The starting price for TikTok advertising is as low as $0.50 CPM and $0.02 cost per click.

However, you'll need to shell out a minimum budget of $500 to launch a campaign. On top of that, a daily allocation of $50 is required at the campaign level, along with a minimum of $20 per day at the ad group level.

Certain ad types above can cost from $50,000 to $150,000 for six days. For instance, your business could spend $150,000 on a branded takeover or hashtag challenge. This expenditure also puts your business on TikTok's Discovery banner, offering valuable visibility.

E-commerce businesses and small to medium-sized marketers often use CPM or CPC-based advertising to boost their brand awareness and get more sales. It's usually just one part of a total business advertising strategy.

The costs associated with TikTok advertising might seem intimidating, especially for small-scale advertisers, but remember that this investment can significantly contribute to your brand's visibility, popularity, and customer engagement.

Even if you're operating on a constrained budget, the platform offers flexible options that allow you to start small and gradually scale up as you see returns on your investment.

This is where the skill of scaling your ad campaigns comes into play.

By mastering the art of budget optimization, targeting, and ad placement, you can achieve remarkable success on TikTok without breaking the bank!

What to Remember When Scaling Your Ad Campaigns

In simple terms, scaling means increasing your budget and expanding your reach to drive more conversions and sales. It's a crucial step in growing your business, as it allows you to tap into new audiences and maximize the impact of your advertising efforts.

But before you start with scaling, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind.

One of the first is compliance with TikTok's stringent policies.

These rigorous rules can make it difficult for advertisers to operate successfully, but they are essential to maintaining TikTok as a platform that has their users’ best interests at heart.

Making unsubstantiated claims or promises can lead to disapproval of your ads or even banning your account. Hence, understanding and abiding by these TikTok Ads policies is crucial to maintaining your presence on the platform.

The second thing to be mindful of is TikTok Ads’ tracking accuracy.

Tracking accuracy is a significant concern on TikTok. While TikTok Ads has its own analytics section, it can be a little lacking.

To overcome this, using third-party tracking tools becomes vital. There are only a handful of approved third-party trackers that TikTok Ads support, which you can find here.

These tools work well with TikTok Ads and provide accurate measurements, enabling effective optimization of your campaigns.

9 Tips for Scaling Your TikTok Ad Campaigns

Now that we've discussed the importance of scaling and its challenges, let's dive into the real meat of the matter - the 'how.' You're just steps away from taking your campaign to a new level.

Here, we'll reveal some smart, actionable tips that pros use to effectively scale their TikTok ad campaigns.

#1. Use a spy tool

One of the biggest hurdles in scaling is human limitations. If your creativity has run dry and if you use the same ads and marketing tactics over and over again, you are bound to hit a wall. Which is why having a spy tool can ultimately help you reach a wider audience.

TikTok Ads spy tools allow you to monitor and learn from your competitor's ad strategies, providing a wealth of information to enhance your campaigns.

One of the key benefits of using these tools is the ability to uncover your competitors’ targeting options. Knowing who your competitors are targeting can help you identify new potential audiences for your own ads. You might discover a demographic or interest group you hadn't considered before, opening up new opportunities for audience expansion.

Anstrex’s In-Stream Ads tool can help uncover these for you:

Perhaps the most creative aspect these tools offer is access to your competitors' ad creatives. Seeing what content resonates with your target audience can inspire your creatives.

You can learn from what works and avoid what doesn't, enabling you to craft compelling ads that capture your audience's attention.

In addition, we provide comprehensive collections of TikTok ads and videos that are constantly updated. This means you'll always have the latest successful ad examples at your fingertips. We’ve collected over 5 million TikTok Ads so far, and updates are made daily.

If you’d like to see for yourself how our tool works, register for a free plan here.

#2. Find out your breakeven CPA (Cost per Action)

Determining the breakeven Cost Per Action is a pivotal strategy for effectively scaling your TikTok ad campaigns.

Breakeven CPA refers to the point where the cost of acquiring a new customer equals the revenue generated from that customer. It's the threshold where your ad campaign neither makes a profit nor incurs a loss. Identifying this breakeven point can help you understand how much you can spend on your campaigns without jeopardizing profitability.

You must know your average order value (AOV) and gross margin to calculate your breakeven CPA. Subtract the cost of goods sold (COGS) from the AOV to get your gross profit per order.

This gross profit is your breakeven CPA. Knowing this number lets you set realistic budget goals for your TikTok ad campaigns. If your actual CPA is below the breakeven CPA, you're making a profit. If it's higher, you're operating at a loss.

Where do you use this?

It can be used when evaluating the outcome of your campaigns and when setting the Cost Cap for your campaign. We'll talk more about this in the next tip.

#3. Split-Test Optimization Goal and Bid Strategy

There are three types of Optimization Goals and two types of Bid Strategies available. There are four combinations you can test that can possibly land you the best-performing campaigns.

Bid Strategies

TikTok provides two strategic bidding options to support your business goals, whether it's boosting brand awareness, improved lead generation, or conversions optimization. To enhance the efficiency of your campaign, we suggest you align your bidding strategy with your main campaign objective.

Currently, TikTok Ads Manager supports two bidding strategies:

  1. Cost Cap: This puts you in control of the average CPA result. Use the breakeven CPA you’ve determined in strategy #2 in this list.

  2. Maximum Delivery: This ensures you get the maximum results for your budget.

To boost your ad performance via bidding, consider these tips:

  • If cost control is your priority, choose either Cost Cap or Cost Cap as your bidding strategy.

  • When using Cost Cap or Bid Cap, set your bid to match your desired cost per action (CPA).

  • If fully utilizing your daily budget is your key focus, opt for the Lowest Cost bid strategy and adopting the minimum recommended bid.

Bidding not only helps manage your cost per action but also indicates how competitive your ads are in the auction environment.

A higher bid than your competitors could mean you're well-positioned to secure the ad inventory, but it might also lead to overspending. We urge you to view bidding as a powerful tool in achieving your objectives, and not just leave it untouched.

Optimization Goals

There are three types of optimization goals to choose from: "Conversion," "Click," and "Reach." Some campaign objectives will set this by default, but some of them allow you to switch to a different setting.

Most of the time, you can switch between Conversions and Clicks, we suggest you try testing one per campaign, with all other settings the same, in order to fully compare which works best.

#4. Utilize Lookalike Audiences

Leveraging TikTok's lookalike audiences feature can be a game-changer when scaling your ad campaigns. By targeting users who share characteristics with your existing customers or website visitors, you can increase the potential for engagement and conversion.

Here are the steps to follow:

a. Understand Your Current Audience

Before creating a lookalike audience, it's crucial to thoroughly understand your current customer base or website visitors. Analyze your target audience’s demographics, interests, behaviors, and other attributes. This will help you create a more accurate lookalike audience.

b. Create a Custom Audience

Utilize TikTok’s Custom Audience feature to build a database of users who have interacted with your brand, either through your website, app, or past ad campaigns. This audience will form the basis for your lookalike audience.

To do this, head over to the Tools section in your TikTok Ads dashboard, then click on Audience Manager.

In the Audiences page, click on the Create Audiences button, then choose Custom Audience in the dropdown.

There are different ways to add a custom audience, and these are:

  • Customer File

  • Engagement - Based on those who engaged with your organic TikTok content

  • App Activity

  • Website traffic

  • Lead generation

  • Business Account

  • Shop Activity

  • Offline Activity

c. Define Your Lookalike Audience

Once you've set up your custom audience, use it to create a lookalike audience. Keep in mind, though, that your source audience size needs be at least 100 for a lookalike to be created.

If you want to generate custom audiences based on your TikTok activity alone, make sure you create a custom audience as soon as you upload a new video or as soon as you go on live.

d. Test Different Similarity Levels

Experiment with different similarity levels to see which works best for your campaign. While a high similarity level may yield a highly targeted audience, a lower similarity level could help reach a larger pool of potential customers.

Your options for levels are:

  • Narrow - These pinpoint users who are virtually twins of your source audience. By zeroing in on these high-similarity users, you're tapping into a gold mine of potential customers who are likely to resonate with your brand. However, expect the audience size to be small.

  • Broad - With this level, you significantly expand your potential outreach, even though the similarity between this audience and your source audience might be moderate. It's a valuable tool for casting a wider net while maintaining a reasonable level of resemblance to your original audience.

  • Balanced - This is the default option and goes somewhere between Narrow and Broad.

e. Use Multiple Lookalike Audiences

Don't limit yourself to one lookalike audience. Create multiple lookalike audiences based on different custom audiences or different similarity levels.

We recommend creating one custom audience group for every source you have (website traffic, previous/current customers, TikTok profile engagement, etc.)

This allows you to test and compare their performance. For a more efficient marketing strategy, create one campaign per audience group. After all, you can create up to 999 campaigns per ad account!

f. Continually Refine Your Audience

As you gather more data about your campaign performance, refine your lookalike audience to improve its effectiveness. This might involve adjusting the similarity level or updating the custom audience it's based on.

g. Combine Other Targeting Methods in a Campaign

Aside from just using your lookalike audience as target when running a campaign, combine it with other targeting options, such as interest or behavioral targeting. This can further refine your audience and improve campaign performance.

The downside to this approach is that if your lookalike audience is small, you might not get any traffic at all. This is recommended if you have at least 10,000 users in your lookalike audience.

#5. Clone Your Success

Cloning your TikTok ad success is a tried-and-true method to scale your campaigns effectively.

Initially, you can duplicate your winning campaign and adjust its daily budget, without pausing the original one. This can be an efficient way to scale your efforts while maintaining control over your budget and performance, and without messing up your original campaign’s working algorithm.

But there’s more to cloning than that. We’re not just talking of clicking the duplicate button in your campaign—we’re talking about identifying what works within your ad group.

You can then replicate and improve these elements to amplify your results.

Here's how to do it:

  • Start by analyzing your best-performing ads.

Understand what makes them so successful. It could be the creative elements, the call-to-action, or the targeting parameters — each aspect contributes to the overall performance.

  • Create a template.

Once you've identified the winning elements, use them as a template to create new ads.

Remember, the goal isn't to make a replica. Instead, you want to test variations while maintaining the core elements that led to the original ad's success.

For instance, if a certain visual style or messaging tone resonates well with your audience, incorporate that into your new ads.

If a specific demographic or targeting set proved effective, use them again. However, introduce small changes to keep the content fresh and engaging.

  • Test.

Keep in mind that testing is crucial to this process. Initially, launch your new ads on a smaller scale and closely monitor their performance. This allows you to validate whether the success of your original ad can indeed be cloned.

  • Don't forget about timing and context.

If an ad performed exceptionally well during a specific season or event, plan to clone it around the same period for maximum impact.

Doing it after the said season or event will only give you unnecessary expenditure, upsetting your budget for other well-performing ads.

#6. Increase Budget Gradually

Sometimes, all it takes to scale is to have a bigger budget. This takes off the limit you reach when your daily budget has been spent.

However, scaling your TikTok Ads effectively requires a careful, measured approach. Rather than allocating a large budget all at once, it's advisable to gradually increase your spending, closely monitoring the results at each step.

So, we recommend that you:

  • Start Small

Begin your advertising journey with a manageable budget that allows you to test different ads without significant financial risk. This initial phase is essential for gathering data and identifying which ads perform well.

  • Analyze Performance

Regularly review your ad performance. Look at key metrics like engagement rate, conversion rate, cost per click, and return on ad spend (ROAS). These insights will tell you which ads are worth investing more in.

  • Increase Budget for High-Performing Ads

Once you've identified your best-performing ads, increase their budgets incrementally. A good rule of thumb is to increase by 20 to 50% each time (each day or each week). This method ensures your money is being directed towards ads that have proven to be effective.

#7. Surf Scaling

This is a modified version of increasing your budget.

The surf scaling strategy on TikTok is a dynamic approach to budget allocation, where advertisers strategically increase and decrease their ad budgets throughout the day or the week, depending on where the "tide" is rising—hence the term Surf Scaling.

This method allows for optimal profit and loss (P/L) management by capitalizing on high-engagement periods and minimizing spend during low-engagement times, thus maximizing overall campaign efficiency. In short—you increase the daily budget when the sales or engagements are increasing, and you pause the campaign when it's not showing good results.

This process can be incredibly effective for businesses. By continually adjusting budgets on days of the week or hours of the day that the campaign performs well, they can maximize their reach, conversions, and ROI on TikTok. It allows brands to ride the wave of user preferences, ensuring their advertising efforts hit the mark and deliver the desired results.

While you are not violating any policies by using this technique, be warned that the results are not always what you expect.

When you get too eager and increase your daily ad budget too high, you might end up breaking your campaign and causing it to restart its algorithm.

Some adjust by 20%, others by 50%, others by 100%!

It's up to you if you want to take the risk. Others were able to increase their budgets really high and were able to ride the wave, while others sank and lost their big budgets into nothingness.

This underscores the point that there's no one-size-fits-all strategy for scaling TikTok ads. Experimenting with different techniques is essential to determine what works best for your situation.

#8. Use Automation to Manage Campaigns

One common challenge that many advertisers face is fluctuating ad performance. Some professionals have noted that TikTok ads might perform well for a day or two and then suddenly drop off, making scaling seem daunting.

The key to overcoming this hurdle is persistence and constant monitoring of your ad's performance. You can make timely adjustments to boost your ads' effectiveness by closely monitoring your ads.

However, because of this rapid change, it would also be best to use Automated Rules. This allows you to keep your spending at bay when you are not getting the return you expect, even while you’re sleeping.

Automated Rules

Automated rules are a powerful feature in TikTok Ads that allows advertisers to manage their campaigns more efficiently. By setting up these rules, you can automatically adjust your ad campaigns based on specific performance metrics.

How do Automated Rules work? It's simple. You define certain conditions for your advertising campaign, ad group, or ad. When those conditions are met, an action you've specified is triggered automatically. This could be anything from adjusting bids, budgets, or even pausing or enabling your ads.

The beauty of Automated Rules lies in their flexibility. They can be set up to run at any time interval — hourly, daily, weekly, or custom intervals, depending on your requirements. Plus, they can be applied to all types of campaigns, whether it's traffic, app installs, conversions, or video views.

What's more, Automated Rules are not just about making changes. They can also send alerts when certain conditions are met, helping you stay on top of your campaign's performance without having to constantly monitor it.

In short, Automated Rules on TikTok Ads are designed to save you time and increase the efficiency of your ad campaigns.

#9. Keep Ads Fresh

Another challenge with TikTok Ads is ad creative fatigue. People tend to lose interest in an ad within 14 to 21 days of its launch, which means you need to have a steady stream of new content to capture their attention.

Not to mention, TikTok's algorithm itself prefers newer content.

To stop ad fatigue, we suggest rotating ads to keep audiences engaged.

Rotating ads is a powerful TikTok advertising strategy that optimizes ad performance by testing different creative content. Advertisers are encouraged to create multiple ads within a single campaign, each with various visuals and messaging. This approach not only diversifies the content but also caters to a broader audience demographic.

Once these ads are in rotation, the TikTok algorithm distributes them evenly within the ad group, ensuring each ad gets a fair chance to engage users. The system then analyzes user interaction, identifying which ads resonate best and optimizing ad delivery accordingly.

If you find yourself short on creative ideas, you can utilize a spy tool like Anstrex In-Stream, as we’ve discussed in tip #1.

Remember that the key to success is continually experimenting, analyzing, and adapting your strategies to find what works best for your business.

Wrapping Up

Scaling your TikTok ads is not just about using bigger budgets; it's about having a smarter strategy, agility in execution, and persistent optimization.

The path to scaling is punctuated by both data-driven decision-making and creative innovation. By leveraging spy tools like Anstrex InStream, learning from advertising pros, and carefully monitoring ad performance, you can carve out a significant presence on TikTok that speaks directly to your audience's preferences and behaviors.

TikTok Advertising changes as quickly as the current users’ attention span. So, stay curious, keep engaging with your community, and be dedicated to delivering content that captivates because, in the end, that’s what converts.

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