TikTok Ads not delivering or spending [TikTok Agency Guide]

Have you ever gotten the problem of TikTok ads not delivering after doing every single step correctly? Don’t worry, this is a typical case with many advertisers even when they’re so familiar with TikTok. So, why does this issue keep happening? And what can we do to fix it? In general, 4 main criteria can lead to the issue of TikTok Ads not delivering or spending:  

  • Account Assessment
  • Ad Budget
  • Campaign set-ups
  • Ad Creatives

Let’s dig into the details and find out how to resolve these problems.

Why are your TikTok Ads not delivering or spending?

What does ‘TikTok Ads not delivering or spending’ mean? It means that active ads are not being served to the target audience you specified — and, thus are not generating any impressions. This can happen to new ads as well as ads that have previously been active.

To see whether your TikTok ads are delivering or not, go to Ads Manager and check ‘View Data’ under Ad group/campaign’s name. It concludes all the information you need to review the performance of your ads.
For whatever causes the ‘not delivering’ stage, there is always a simple solution. Check out 4 main factors below that can trigger ad performance.

1. Account Assessment

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.

2. Ad Budget

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

Currency Mismatch

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.

Out of budget or insufficient adgroup

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:

  • 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. 

3. Campaign set-ups

TikTok Ads Outside of schedule

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

After you schedule an ad, it will have a red dot next to it that says “out of schedule” until the ads are approved and spent. So, if you schedule them for midnight, they will turn green and begin spending your budget. Alternatively, if you schedule the ads to begin immediately, they will be “out of schedule” until they are approved.

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.

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’s algorithm 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

Using too many targeting criteria will affect the TikTok ads distribution algorithm. This will make TikTok difficult to allocate your advertisements to the right audiences. Thus, your TikTok ads will not be delivered.

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 in-depth 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 place 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.

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

4. Ad creatives

TikTok ads not approved - Faults in creative
Source: TikTok

Unsuitable Content

There are two most common issues that many advertisers can make within ad content on TikTok: reposting content from other platforms or 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.

Inaccurate Ads size

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 here.

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’s!

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