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12 reasons why TikTok Ads not delivering & agency’s tips to fix it

Your ad group has been running for almost 3 days, yet coming back with no impressions, leaving you to wonder what’s amiss with your campaign. Could it be an issue with your campaign setups, or has something gone awry on the TikTok platform? Take a deep breath, and don’t panic! The situation of ‘TikTok ads not delivering’ is a common challenge faced by all advertisers on this platform, regardless of their level of expertise.

To aid in your quest, we’ll explore 9 common issues that might be at the heart of this challenge and provide you with valuable tips to not only resolve it now but also to safeguard your future campaigns from such setbacks!

What is ‘TikTok ads not delivering’?

TikTok ads not delivering’ is a common issue where their advertisements are not receiving any results or impressions. Despite setting up ad campaigns and allocating budgets, these ads do not reach the intended audience or generate the desired engagement.

This can be a frustrating experience to advertisers cause the ad budget is actively spending but showing no impressions or a lack of interaction with the ad content.

TikTok Ads not delivering vs not spending

It’s important to keep in mind that ‘not spending’ and ‘not delivering’ are distinct cases, even though they can have an impact on each other, and both lead to delivery issues.

  • No delivery (TikTok Ads not delivering): Ads are still running and spending but result in no impressions or engagement.
  • Under-delivery (TikTok Ads not spending): Ads are not spending the daily budget as expected.

How to identify if your ads are delivering or not?

To see whether your TikTok ads are delivering:

  • Go to TikTok Ads Manager
  • Check ‘View Data’ under the Ad group/campaign’s name.
  • It concludes all the information you need to review the performance of your ads.
view data to check tiktok ads not delivering

Or, simpler, beside every campaign tab, there are specific icons to notify the working status of the advertisements:

  • Red icon: None of the ads in the ad group are delivering on any placements
  • Orange icon: Some of the ads have been disapproved or have stopped delivering.

Why are your TikTok Ads not delivering?

Mega Digital has identified 9 significant factors that might be contributing to your ad campaigns falling short of expected results. Explore them below!

Account under review or rejected

TikTok ad campaign status
Source: TikTok Ads Manager

Before your account is issued, TikTok will review it to ensure compliance with Advertising Policies. So, what can happen during this time?

In reviewAd account is being reviewed after creating or modifying information.
Not approvedAd account has failed the reviewing process.
PenalizedAd account is disabled due to violations of the ads policy.
Account assessment status

Account reviews can take up to 24 hours. Campaigns and ads will not be delivered during this time. Ads will also be paused while in the review queue. Ads must be approved if they are new or if a part of the ad has been changed.

What you should do:

Your account is in the reviewing session, and cannot create an ad campaign at this time. As a result, advertisers should wait until it passes TikTok’s evaluation before adding ad creatives.

If your account is denied, TikTok will show you what criteria you are missing or violating to be approved. However, there is only one solution for the penalized account: create a new one and avoid violating advertising policies.

However, I will give you the checklist below to help you to avoid delays in ad delivery due to the review process:

  • Landing Page: Ensure it contains valid information, is mobile-friendly, and avoids prohibited products and sensitive information.
  • Ad Messaging: Align your ad messaging with the product/service on your landing page. Match the ad text with the content in your videos or images and ensure the display name matches the branding on the landing page.
  • Ad Language: Use languages accepted in your target location.
  • Ad Quality: Follow TikTok’s specifications for images and videos. Ensure clear and coherent background audio.

Currency Mismatch

TikTok ads not delivering - run out of budget
Source: TikTok Ads Manager

If you are running TikTok advertisements and are not seeing the desired results, it may be because your currency does not correspond to the target nation. For example, if you advertise in German, your product price must be in EURO, while Yen is for Japan. 

What you should do:

TikTok currency setting
Source: TikTok Ads Manager
  • In this situation, ensure that the currency on your ad account is set correctly. You can do this by going to the Currency part in your ad settings. Please change it to the currency of the nation you’re targeting. If you have set it to something else, then save your modifications.

However, Mega Digital suggests you target one ad for one specific location for Ads Manager or use a TikTok agency account to target multiple areas or sell cross-border.

Out of budget

Ad group out of budget TikTok
Source: TikTok Ads Manager

This is a common problem that has occurred for many TikTok advertisers. The campaign minimum on TikTok is $50, with ad groups starting at $20. This bare minimum allows you to see results and ensure the effectiveness of your advertisements. The issue of ads out of budget can happen because your TikTok ads payment may not go through. As a result, if your budget is less than $50, it will lead to your TikTok Ads not delivering.

What you should do:

How to fix zero balance in TikTok ad account
  • The ads manager operates on Pacific Time (PT), so keep this in mind when changing your daily budgets.
  • If you want to reduce your daily budget after it has been spent for the day, you must do so after 00:00 PT or before it is completely spent.
  • Mega Digital advises leaving extra room for algorithms to “learn” and find the ideal customer for your ad. So, if your projected bid for add-to-cart conversion is $20, your budget should be at least 10 times that amount. This way, the algorithm will have enough funds to find and target the right potential customers.

Insufficient Balance

TikTok requires your account to have sufficient budget before the algorithm starts delivering your ads. Therefore, if your account does not have enough balance, your ads will stop running and will not receive any interactions.

Insufficient Balance tiktok not delivering

What you should do

To resolve this issue, follow these steps to top up your account balance:

Step 1: Log in to your TikTok Ads account, navigate to the Tools section, and select Payment under Settings.

payment tiktok ads

Step 2: Click on Add balance.

add balance tiktok not delivering

Step 3: Enter the amount you wish to add and confirm the transaction.

confirm the transaction

Step 4: Select your payment method and provide the necessary payment details.

Step 5: Wait for the payment to be processed and verify your account balance to ensure it has been successfully updated.

Outside of schedule

TikTok ads not delivering - outside of schedule
Source: TikTok Ads Manager

TikTok Ads Outside of Schedule happens once you’ve scheduled an ad; it will be marked with a red dot labeled “out of schedule” until the ads receive approval and begin spending. If you’ve set the schedule for midnight, the status will change to green, and the ad will start utilizing your allocated budget.

Conversely, if you’ve scheduled the ads to begin immediately, they will remain in an “out of schedule” status until they receive approval and commence running.

What you should do:

  • Patiently wait for the approval state and the scheduled time to work in your favor. Of course, TikTok will take its time to assess your video. Therefore, you need to set your time for 2-3 hours in advance.
  • The time schedule should be set depending on the customer’s goals. However, I recommend that customers run ads ALL DAY. This is more efficient for the system and prevents ads from being stopped abruptly.

Unaligned with campaign run dates

Inconsistency between starting dates on the dashboard and its actual ‘go-live’ day can seriously affect ad performance. For example, if the campaign period on the dashboard is set to start two days before the actual campaign launch, TikTok’s algorithm may start delivering ads before the campaign is ready to go live. This can lead to wasted impressions and budget, as well as potentially impact the performance of the campaign.

Alternatively, if the campaign period on the dashboard ends before the campaign run dates, TikTok may stop delivering ads before the campaign has ended, causing an incomplete delivery of impressions and affecting the overall effectiveness of the campaign.

>>> Read more: TikTok Algorithm 2023 Unveiled: Maximization and Performance

What should you do:

If you have encountered delivery issues with your TikTok campaign due to an unaligned campaign period on the dashboard, you can take the following steps to fix it:

  • Adjust the campaign period on the dashboard: Go to the TikTok Ads Manager dashboard and update the campaign period to align with the actual campaign run dates.
  • Pause the campaign: If the campaign has already started delivering impressions, you may need to pause it temporarily to prevent any further delivery until the issue is resolved.

And make sure to monitor the campaign closely to ensure that it is delivering as expected and that there are no further issues.

Incorrect Targeting

Overlapping targeting

Overlapping targeting is when multiple targeting options or criteria intersect or coincide, potentially leading to a more focused but narrower audience. This can occur when advertisers use several targeting parameters simultaneously, and the combined criteria reduce the audience size.

What you should do:

  • Select the criteria and characteristics of the target ad group.
  • Avoid choosing features that are too specific, or you will make the mistake of targeting too deeply.

Too niche targeting

Too in-depth targeting is also a problem. TikTok will narrow the pools of users accessing your ads. Therefore, if your ads target too specific user groups, it will lead to poor visibility, less interaction, and less spending.

What you should do:

  • Expand the targeted audience range, including potential customers or Lookalike Audiences in the Ad Manager setting.

Too large targeting

This problem is the opposite of in-depth targeting. In-depth targeting does not apply to this issue. TikTok will eventually show your ads to all users, including those who have never used the goods or services you’re advertising. Users who find your ads offensive may also report you, affecting ad delivery.

What you should do: 

Re-optimize the target customer. You should combine information about gender, age, interests, and topics they often watch on TikTok. However, only choose some of the most specific characteristics of the target audience to avoid the overlapping issue. Then, let’s TikTok algorithm do its job to optimize audiences accordingly.

Low Bidding Strategy

TikTok ads not approved - Low bidding
Source: TikTok Ads Manager

Bidding strategy is one of the most influential factors determining your ads. Therefore, your bidding price needs to be balanced with the market. 

TikTok bidding methods allow users to bid for ad placements, which means the higher you bid, the better ad placement you can get. As a result, if your bidding is too low, your ad will be placed under your competitors. So, who will scroll long enough to see your advertisements? Therefore, it is essential to consider using your competitors’ bidding prices to ensure your plan stays following the market.

What you should do:

  • Adjust bids according to bidding methods and relative competitors. If you are new to running ads on TikTok, you can use Smart Optimization to optimize bids automatically.
  • According to TikTok’s research, setting a bid 30% higher than the system’s suggestion can increase conversion rates by up to 20%.

>>> Read more: TikTok Bidding Strategy – The key to winning auction

Unsuitable Content

There are two most common issues that many advertisers can make within ad content on TikTok:

  • Reposting content from other platforms
  • Using outdated content to advertise

These types of content often fail to attract users because TikTok’s distribution algorithm focuses on users’ experiences. If a video is not optimized according to TikTok’s standard format or conveys unhelpful content, it is understandable that advertising cannot deliver to users or not spend.

What you should do:

Ads on TikTok are all about embracing the community’s spontaneity, creativity, and fun. Therefore, Mega Digital usually proposes 3 keynotes to make ads that suit the TikTok platform:

  • Adapt to UGC (user-generated content) to create ads related to viewers.
  • Include KOL, KOC, and influencers in the ads to attract users.
  • Keep up with the trends, including soundtracks, filters, or hashtags.

Let’s take some of the best TikTok ad examples from big brands and utilize them to make yours.

>>> Read more: Unfold the top 11 TikTok Video Ideas to captivate your audience

Inaccurate Ads size

TikTok ads not approved - Faults in creative
Source: TikTok

Running into the issue of incorrect ad sizes can result in a variety of problems that may impact the assessment, such as:

  • Low resolution or blurry video/image.
  • Covered video/image with the caption or TikTok logo.
  • Incomplete text in videos.

What you should do: 

Remember that TikTok video dimensions are 1080×1920 and must follow the aspect ratio:

  • Vertical (9:16)
  • ​Square (1:1)
  • Horizontal (16:9)

If you want to use a background, avoid using black or white.

Using an Ad Agency Account is the optimal solution!

Use Agency account
Source: TikTok

TikTok treats agency accounts and personal accounts differently. Every Personal account advertisement will often have a longer approval time, a higher chance of being suspended or lacking advertising function, etc. 

Besides optimizing your ad campaign and accessing a whole pack of ad formats, using a TikTok Agency account will fix all the issues while targeting audiences and reducing the competitive budget compared to a personal account. It will be a miss if you don’t upgrade your TikTok to agency accounts now. 

It would be best if you started using a TikTok agency account to avoid issues related to ads not delivering or spending. However, this type of account is only available for TikTok partners. You can access it by renting their services or try using our account for free.

Final Word

TikTok has clear Ad review checklists you can consult before creating and running ad campaigns. To avoid the issue of having your ad account suspended or TikTok ads not delivering, make sure to follow and adhere to all of TikTok!

But that’s not all. We’ve compiled all the essential insights, tips, and solutions into our comprehensive ebook ‘Cracking all TikTok Ad Issues: Expert Strategies for Troubleshooting.’ Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or new to TikTok advertising, this resource is a must-have. Save this and steer clear from all TikTok Ads issues from now on!

Ebook - TikTok Ads Issues
5/5 - (34 votes)


Hanh Le Nguyen
Hanh Le Nguyen
Advertising & Marketing Specialist


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