How To Reduce Your Acquisition Costs On TikTok Ads

June 4, 2024

TikTok has carved out a unique niche among social media platforms. It has become an indispensable tool for brands aiming to capture the attention of a global audience. The benefits of creating viral TikTok ads are hard to quantify and harder to achieve, but creating successful and cost-efficient TikTok ads is just as hard. Ecommerce brands striving to find success need to recognize the opportunity that lowering customer acquisition costs (CAC) on TikTok ads presents: it can unlock new levels of scale by enabling brands to reach more users and effectively convert the platform’s rapidly growing base of new customers with the right content. 

This article serves as a comprehensive guide on how to reduce your acquisition costs on TikTok ads, including practical strategies and innovative approaches to help brands leverage TikTok more profitably. By understanding the nuances of TikTok’s platform and user base, brands can develop targeted campaigns that not only engage users but also optimize ad spend efficiently.

Whether you’re new to TikTok or looking to refine your existing ad strategies, this guide provides essential insights and tools to enhance your advertising efficacy on one of the world’s most popular social media platforms.

Internal Customer Data: A Key to Lowering Acquisition Costs on TikTok Ads

Internal customer data provides a comprehensive view of who your customers are, what they have purchased, and the types of advertising they have responded to. 

By analyzing purchase histories and customer interactions with previous ads, brands can identify patterns and preferences that help refine targeting strategies. For example, if data shows that a particular age group is buying specific products, TikTok ads can be tailored to this demographic.

Brands can also analyze customer reviews to gauge what customers genuinely think about your products, revealing language, interests, and emotional triggers that resonate, enabling you to create content that speaks directly to them. 

Understanding your internal customer data enables you to create personalized ads that are more likely to engage viewers, compel action, and thus reduce the cost per acquisition (CPA).

External Data: Harnessing Broader Insights to Reduce TikTok Ad Costs

By stepping outside internal metrics and embracing broader external data, brands can gain invaluable insights that lead to more effective and economical advertising strategies.

Analyzing industry reports and Google search trends lets brands spot emerging trends and shifts in consumer demand. For instance, recognizing a seasonal increase in demand for specific products can allow brands to time their campaigns accordingly, ensuring ads are run during peak interest periods, which can significantly improve ad performance and reduce costs.

By monitoring trending searches related to your industry or product category on TikTok, you can tailor your TikTok ads to align with these interests. This alignment increases the relevance of your ads, which typically leads to higher engagement rates and lower costs per acquisition.

Competitor Analysis: A Strategic Tool to Lower Acquisition Costs on TikTok Ads

Closely observing and learning from the competition offers a strategic advantage: brands can avoid some of the costly trial-and-error processes by eliminating the need to start totally from scratch. Instead, brands can start with proven tactics that enhance ad performance and efficiency.

Observing competitors’ ads can reveal what types of content resonate with audiences, which hooks are most effective, and the visual and textual elements that drive engagement. 

If a competitor’s ad has been consistently performing well over several weeks or months, it’s clear that specific elements of their strategy are effective. Brands can adopt similar tactics, adapt them to their unique context, and implement them in their campaigns, reducing the need to start from scratch.

Understanding the types of visuals used, the pacing of the content, and the messaging can provide guidance on what TikTok users find appealing. This includes noting the frequency and cadence of competitors’ ads, which can help determine the optimal posting schedule and rhythm for your own ads. 

By benchmarking against successful competitor campaigns, you can set a performance baseline for your own ads. This approach not only saves time and resources but also allows you to focus on innovating in areas that can provide a competitive advantage rather than just keeping pace.

Emerging Trends: Leveraging Timely Content to Reduce Acquisition Costs on TikTok Ads

TikTok is a platform driven by trends, whether they are related to entertainment, education, or inspiration. By tapping into what is current and popular, brands can craft content that aligns with user interests, leading to higher engagement rates and lower acquisition costs.

One of the critical aspects of leveraging trends on TikTok is the ability to respond rapidly. The lifecycle of trends on TikTok can be incredibly short, with new trends emerging and old ones fading within days or even hours. Brands must be agile, ready to create and deploy content quickly to capitalize on these trends. 

But simply chasing trends is not enough. Brands need to understand why a particular trend is resonating by analyzing the elements of trending content that make it successful, such as its humor, relatability, visual appeal, or its connection to current events. By understanding these elements, brands can not only participate in trends but also start new ones themselves, setting the pace on the platform rather than just keeping up.

For trends to be genuinely effective in reducing acquisition costs, brands must integrate trending content with their overall marketing strategy and choose trends that align with their values and target audience to ensure consistency. This strategic alignment ensures that the content not only attracts views but also leads to conversions and customer retention.

Personas Mapped to Creative: A Strategic Approach to Lower TikTok Ad Costs

Personas are detailed profiles of your ideal customers based on a mixture of demographic and psychographic data. These profiles include age, gender, interests, pain points, motivations, preferences, and behaviors. 

Once personas are developed, map them to specific creative concepts; designing ad content that aligns with the characteristics and preferences of each persona. For example, if a persona is identified as a “tech-savvy millennial,” the creative content should include modern, tech-related elements that appeal directly to this group’s interests and lifestyle.

Understanding these elements lets brands create highly targeted ads that speak directly to the core of the audience’s desires and needs. 

Moreover, by knowing who to target and how to communicate effectively with them, brands can use their advertising budgets more efficiently. Wasted impressions decrease because ads are shown only to those most likely to be interested in the product or service, optimizing the ad spend. 

For more details on creating and leveraging personas, our guide to Effective Persona Targeting may be useful.

Optimized TikTok Ad Content: Leveraging UGC, Authenticity, and Native Experience

Effectively reducing acquisition costs on TikTok demands that brands optimize their ad content by harnessing the power of user-generated content (UGC), creating authentic and engaging ads, and ensuring that content aligns with the platform’s native experience. 

UGC has become a cornerstone of successful marketing on TikTok, owing to its authenticity and relatability. Content created by actual users rather than brands showcases real people using products in their daily lives, which builds trust and engagement. 

Brands can encourage their audience to share their own stories or experiences with products through challenges or testimonials, turning their customer base into a loyal community while gathering valuable content for ad creatives

This form of content is not only cost-effective—leveraging the creative efforts of consumers themselves—but also drives higher engagement as viewers see authentic experiences rather than scripted advertisements.

Authenticity on TikTok means creating ads that mirror the genuine emotions and experiences of real people to keep the audience interested throughout the video and prompt them to interact through likes, comments, and shares. 

High engagement rates boost the visibility of ads, reducing cost per reach and enhancing overall campaign effectiveness. To achieve this, brands should focus on content that starts strong and keeps viewers hooked with compelling narratives or visuals.

Optimizing content for TikTok’s native experience ensures that ads blend seamlessly into the user’s feed, echoing the informal and dynamic vibe of the platform. TikTok users favor content that entertains and engages without appearing out of place. 

Successful TikTok ads often feature in-platform editing tools, use trending audio, and follow popular video formats to maintain the platform’s casual feel. This approach not only maintains user interest but also aligns with TikTok’s algorithm preferences, which favor content that keeps users on the app longer.

Brands need to continually adapt their strategies based on what works on the platform, using features like Spark Ads to amplify successful organic posts and employing analytics to refine their approach. 

Efficient Testing, Analysis, and Insight Implementation

To drive down acquisition costs and enhance ad performance of TikTok ads, brands must adopt a strategic approach encompassing testing, data analysis, and efficient application of the insights they uncover.

Start by developing a strategic testing roadmap. A well-structured testing roadmap is pivotal for systematically experimenting with different ad variables. 

This roadmap helps brands prioritize their testing strategies based on potential impacts, blending iterative improvements on proven strategies with the exploration of innovative ideas that could significantly lower acquisition costs. 

By focusing on both tweaking existing successful elements and introducing new concepts, brands can maintain a balanced approach that maximizes the likelihood of discovering cost-efficient, high-performance advertising methods. 

Setting clear, measurable objectives for each campaign is critical. These objectives should align with broader marketing goals, such as enhancing brand awareness or increasing sales conversion rates. By specifying targets, such as aiming to achieve a $25 CPA, brands can tailor their testing to achieve these specific outcomes. 

Monitoring key performance indicators like CPA, CTR, and conversion rates enables brands to gauge the success of their campaigns against these benchmarks. 

Distinguishing between leading indicators, which predict future successes, and lagging indicators, which confirm past performance, is essential for adjusting strategies in real time.

The true power of a disciplined testing strategy lies in applying the insights gained from data analysis. Understanding what elements of a campaign are working allows brands to scale these successes and minimize or eliminate underperforming aspects. 

This cycle of testing, measuring, and adapting is crucial for staying aligned with consumer behavior and platform dynamics, so TikTok ad campaigns remain relevant and effective.

External testing tools like post-purchase surveys through KnoCommerce and advanced analytics platforms like Triple Whale can greatly enhance your understanding of campaign effectiveness. 

These tools offer deeper insights into customer behaviors and the actual drivers of purchase decisions, providing a level of detail beyond what native platform analytics can offer. 

Understanding the full customer journey across multiple channels helps brands fine-tune their messaging and allocation of budget, leading to more precisely targeted campaigns and improved cost efficiency.

Reducing Your Acquisition Costs On TikTok

The strategic use of TikTok ads is a unique opportunity for large ecommerce brands to expand their digital footprint and connect with new, diverse audiences. However, the journey to achieving cost-effective advertising on TikTok requires a nuanced understanding of the platform’s algorithm, user behavior, and the latest trends to craft campaigns that are not only creative but also resonate on a personal level with potential customers.

Brands that can effectively lower their acquisition costs while maintaining high engagement can allocate resources more efficiently, achieving better scalability and sustainability in their marketing efforts.

While TikTok definitely poses certain challenges, the potential rewards justify the effort. As TikTok continues to grow and evolve, so too should your strategies, always aiming to stay ahead of the curve in one of the most dynamic advertising environments today.

About the Author: Jeremy Fenderson is the Sr. Director, Client Partnerships at adQuadrant. He has over 10 years of experience marketing technology, products and services globally. Obsessed with all things digital, he has a passion for connecting people with products and services that improve their lives. He received his BA in Business from Valdosta State University in Georgia. Originally from Lakewood, CA, Jeremy has lived around the world in Georgia, Las Vegas, and even England.

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