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Why are TikTok ads not spending money? 5 Easy Ways to Fix

Ever felt like your TikTok ad budget was just frustrating and confusing? You allocated $50, but your TikTok only spent $0.1 or even not spent at all. This issue is called TikTok ads not spending. But fear not, you’re not alone. This blog post is the correct location for you. In this article, we’ll go over the 7 common reasons why your TikTok ads are active but not spending and 7 useful ways to fix it. Keep reading, and you’ll soon have your ads spending right and achieving your marketing goals!

Distinguishing issues: TikTok Ads not spending vs. Not delivering

First, let’s clear the air and distinguish between 2 different issues: TikTok ads not spending and TikTok ads not delivering. Even though they might seem similar, these are separate problems, each requiring its own set of solutions.

TikTok Ads not spending vs TikTok Ads Not delivering
  • TikTok Ads not spending: Your TikTok ads are not using up the daily budget you have allocated to them. For example, you have allocated a daily budget of $40 to your TikTok ad campaign. However, after a day of running your ads, you notice that only $10 has been spent. 
  • TikTok Ads not delivering: Your ads don’t get the expected result or reach on TikTok, despite your budget and campaigns. This can be frustrating as your budget is spent, but your ads show no impressions or interactions.

>>> Learn more: TikTok Ads not delivering: Why and How to fix it  [TikTok Agency Solution] 

Why are TikTok ads not spending money?

You might be asking yourself, “Why are my TikTok ads not spending?” Well, there are several reasons for this problem, but here are the top 5 common ones.

#1. Budget Issues

Many TikTok advertisers face a common and frustrating issue: their ad budgets aren’t being utilized as expected. In TikTok, the minimum campaign budget is set at $50, and ad groups start at $20, it can be dispiriting to see your allocated budget left unspent.

One of the foundational strategies for overcoming the issue of unspent budgets on TikTok involves addressing your budget allocation. Often, your budget may be too modest in proportion to your campaign objectives. If you are promoting a high-value product or service, yet you allocate a relatively small budget, the TikTok algorithm may not recognize it as sufficient for optimal delivery. Or the opposite. 


  • Ensure your payment is processed correctly to prevent delivery issues.
  • We recommend an initial budget of at least (50 times the targeted CPA).
  • In case a significant change is not observed, a gradual increase in the budget is recommended.
  • Allocate your budget among different ad groups, each ad group should have a different budget limit.
  • Identifying spending thresholds and ensuring efficient allocation through data-backed insights.

#2. Bidding Too Low

When it comes to TikTok advertising, how much you bid on ad placements is a critical factor. TikTok allows you to set your bid flexibly, and it’s essential to strike the right balance. Here’s why: Cost cap allows you to control your advertising costs by setting a fixed Cost Per Action (CPA). This means your ad won’t spend more than the CPA you’ve set. However, it’s important to understand that with a cost cap, there might be periods when your ad spending is low and other times when it’s higher.

To clarify, if you’re using a cost cap and notice that your ad spend is low in the initial 3-5 days, it doesn’t necessarily mean your campaign is underperforming. TikTok’s algorithm is actively searching for users who are likely to convert at or below your set CPA. So, it might take a bit of time for the system to find the right audience that aligns with your target CPA, which can result in variable spending patterns over time.

bidding strategy


  • Adjust your bids according to TikTok’s bidding methods and your competitors.
  • New advertisers can use the “Lowest Cost” bidding strategy for guidance.

>>> Learn more: TikTok Bidding Strategy: The Key to Winning The Auction

#3. Policy Violation

If you notice your ad spending is consistently at zero, it’s definitely because of the policy violation issue. Compliance with TikTok’s policy is a must, if not, your ad won’t work as planned. Your ad content should match TikTok’s unique concept, which means it should have minimal text, be visually appealing, and follow the platform’s landing page rules. 


  • Vigilantly adhere to TikTok’s Ad Creative Policy.
  • Ensure your ad campaigns align with TikTok’s unique aesthetics to optimize performance.
  • Pay close attention to details like using music you have the right to use and keeping ad captions consistent with the ad’s content.

#4. Targeting Troubles

Targeting Overlap

When multiple TikTok ad campaigns target the same audience, it creates “targeting overlap“. This repetition can lead to ad fatigue, competition, and higher costs. Advertisers often end up bidding against each other for the same viewers, driving up ad costs and potentially annoying the audience with repetitive content.

targeting overlap


  • Monitor and adjust: Regularly review your targeting settings to ensure you’re not competing with other campaigns for the same audience segments.
  • Tweak your targeting parameters: Make adjustments to your targeting settings or schedule your ads strategically to minimize overlap.


Over-targeting occurs when advertisers use overly specific criteria to define their target audience. While precise targeting is essential, going too far can result in “over-targeting.” This can limit your ad’s reach and, in turn, hinder performance. When you restrict your audience too much, you might miss potential customers who could be interested in your products or services.


  • Define your target audience effectively: Strike a balance between specificity and reach when defining your target audience and criteria.
  • A/B testing: Conduct A/B testing to optimize your targeting strategy and identify the most effective targeting criteria without excluding potential customers.

#5. TikTok Ads Learning Phase

One common reason for TikTok ads not spending fully is the TikTok learning phase. During this initial ad delivery stage, TikTok is on a quest to discover the right audience for your ad groups.

But remember, this phase is like an experiment, so TikTok won’t use your whole budget right away. It needs time to figure out the best audience and how to allocate your budget.


  • To speed up your ad spending, aim for at least 50 conversions. 
  • Keep an eye on your ads for a few days, tweak your bids, expand your audience, and try out new ad content. The learning phase won’t be a roadblock for your business!

#6. Ad Scheduling

Sometimes, TikTok ads fail to spend due to the selected scheduling settings. If you’ve specified particular hours for your ads to run, they will only be active during those times. Consequently, you might miss out on valuable impressions if your audience is more active at other times.

TikTok Ads not spending ad scheduling


  • Research the behavior of your target users.
  • Determine the times when target audiences typically use and interact with content on TikTok.
  • Based on that, choose appropriate times to schedule your ads.

>>> Read more: When is the best time to post on TikTok in 2024? [Updated]

#7. Ad Creative and Relevance Issues

TikTok is a platform that highly values creative and original content. If you fail to meet TikTok’s requirements for content quality and technical specifications, your ads will receive low user engagement. Consequently, TikTok will struggle to distribute your ads to the right audience.

tiktok ads not spending


Firstly, you should focus on authentic, engaging content by following the guidelines below:

  • Create short, sharp ads that clearly demonstrate product benefits.
  • Use authentic, user-generated content to connect with the audience.
  • Partner with influencers in your industry to build trust and authority.

Besides, you should ensure your ads meet TikTok’s size and dimension requirements. You can take detail information about TikTok placements in our article “Unlocking Success Advertising Campaign with TikTok Ad Placements

Mega Digital’s tips to steer clear from ‘not spending’

#1. Objective Realignment

Should you continue to face challenges with unspent budgets, consider a temporary shift from the “Purchase Conversions” objective to “Add to Cart” events. This strategic realignment can reinvigorate your ad expenditure, and upon achieving the desired results, a return to the previous objective is feasible.


#2. Placement Optimization

Simplify your campaign by adopting TikTok as the exclusive placement option. By deactivating unrelated placements that do not align with your ad content, you can ensure a seamless and uninterrupted experience for TikTok users. This approach significantly amplifies the reach and effectiveness of your ad campaigns.

tiktok ads not spending and the ecommerce purchase funnel

#3. TikTok Ad Agency Accounts – A Shortcut to Success

If the aforementioned strategies fail to address your unspent budget issues, don’t lose hope. There’s an alternative path to consider: TikTok ad agency account. This type of account offers solutions to many issues. Beyond streamlining your ad campaigns and providing access to a wide array of ad formats, these specialized accounts bring a multitude of benefits:

  • Issue resolution: Agency accounts effectively address problems associated with audience targeting and budget competition. They ensure that your ad campaigns run smoothly and your budget is utilized efficiently.
  • Geographical targeting: TikTok agency accounts empower you to target multiple geographical locations. This unparalleled flexibility allows you to fine-tune your campaigns, reaching the right audience in the right place.
  • Exclusive insights and tools: With agency accounts, you gain access to a treasure chest of exclusive insights and tools. Uncover valuable data-driven information and wield powerful marketing instruments, giving you the competitive edge you seek.

Upgrading to a TikTok agency account is a strategic move for advertisers seeking to steer clear of issues related to ads not delivering or underwhelming budget spending. Yet, it’s important to note that these accounts are exclusively available to TikTok partners. You can gain access by either availing their services for a fee or, alternatively, experimenting with our complimentary account here.


With these strategies and insights, you’re well-equipped to tackle the challenge of TikTok ads not spending. Keep persevering, experimenting, and mastering TikTok ad campaigns to establish your digital power. TikTok advertising can be tricky, and TikTok ads not spending are just one part of the challenge. But don’t worry! We’ve got a solution for you. If you want to master TikTok ads, check out our eBook, “Cracking all TikTok Ad Issues: Expert Strategies for Troubleshooting”. You’ll find answers to many TikTok ad problems and learn how to steer clear of them. Grab your free eBook now to level up your TikTok ad game. Download here!

Ebook - TikTok Ads Issues
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Phuong Linh Linh
Phuong Linh Linh
TikTok Advertising Specialist


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