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TikTok Shop Update - Tested the Promote option

TikTok Shop Update - Tested the Promote option

by John Roman

A month ago

Figured it was time to provide an update on our journey of going from $0 to $1,000,000 annually on TikTok Shop. Last update ended with us hitting a major roadblock that pretty much suffocated all momentum we had rolling. If you missed it, you can read the last update by clicking on this sentence.

We have some new products in the TikTok Shop that we are hoping can be hero products, including one that is very similar to our recently deceased hero product.  It is showing early signs of life and we think it will likely be able to do the volume the previous hero product was doing. Regardless of it’s performance, we need to find more hero products.

I always see the ‘Promote’ option for posts on TikTok.  This past weekend, I decided to promote some of our videos that include shoppable items. I selected the following 3 TikToks.

Video #1 

@battlbox GTFO Wrist Strap 2.0 is HERE #gtfo #bracelet #glassbreaker #survival #tool #battlbox #tech #fyp ♬ original sound - BattlBox

 Video #2 

@battlbox The Wrist Strap THAT Saved LIVES #edc #survival #tool #battlbox #tech #fyp ♬ original sound - BattlBox

 Video #3 

@battlbox This thing is the real deal #fyp #shop #tiktokshop #storage #protection ♬ original sound - BattlBox

 Now, let's provide some interesting context because the results were across a pretty large spectrum!

Video #1 - This was a behind-the-scenes video showing us sending a bunch of the product to Amazon. We briefly speak to the product and transition to a ‘cut to scene’ showing it in action.

The video was a few days old post wise and there was not any momentum left on it. We were sitting at 8,000 views on it which made it the best-performing TikTok of the previous week. From a sales perspective, we had sold 2 of the item directly from the post.

Video #2 - This was a full-on TikTok talking about the product. Talking about the benefits and showing it in action. As the same with the first video (and the next one too) there was no more view momentum left on it. It had been posted a couple of weeks prior and was leading the way with the most viewed TikTok for the month sitting at 19,600 views. Sales wise, we had received 9 sales from it.

Video #3 - This one was not like the others. Different product and had been sitting at around 3,200 views which makes it pretty close to an average TikTok for us. Zero sales had occurred from the post.

Here were the stats on Video #1 and #2 since they already had sales history.

When i entered the ‘promote’ module on video #1, I was propositioned to pick the amount of views I wanted. There were 3 options with the middle one highlighted saying it was the best value. The cost was going to be $23.44 for 30,100 views. I proceeded and went through the same process for video #2. When I came to video #3, i noticed it was different. The screen and offer setup was all the same except for the expected results. This time it said for $23.44, I would receive 3,000 views.  Literally a tenth of the expected results?!?! I was not expecting to see the major disparity between the two. Was this because the other two videos had shown more virality on the platform already? Well, who knows, but let’s look at the results.

Video #1 results


We received an extra 54% more views than expected!  The $23.44 netted us 46,077 views. What an awesome surprise! Sales wise we received 3 additional sales from the uplift in views. Some quick math and it was right above a 3.0 ROAS. Icing on the cake was that it got us 29 new followers and 101 profile views. A weird stat that I did not like, was that only 2.8% watched the full video. That seems super low but with the ROAS that was achieved, it does not matter. The demographic was surprising that there were actually more females that watched it than males with a 55/45 split.

Video #2 results


We received an extra 95% views with this one, 58,638 views were brought in! Now, if you recall, this one had much better organically from a virality side of the house. Is this why more views were delivered? Because the algorithm thought it was better content? Brought us 65 new followers and and 154 profile visits. 20.61% watched the full video which seems healthy. Pretty even on gender side with a slight majority of males with a 51/49 split. Video #2 outperformed Video #1 on every metric. So knowing this, and knowing it had the most organic sales going into this test at 9, I was excited to see the results.  ZERO Sales! 

Video #3 results


Well, the bar was set pretty low since only 3,000 views were being offered for this one for the same price as the others. We came in with the best percentage over expectations though at 110% extra views being delivered! This unfortunately still only meant 6,289 views. Less followers and less profile views, but when you take into consideration how few less people saw it, I feel like this video might have honed in on our demographic better than the rest which is interesting. 86% male viewership which is very close to our normally expected gender breakdown. So how many sales?!?! None. Sigh.

Below is the data and sales analysis from Video #1 and #2. The video views are grossly wrong compared to the view count on the actual TikToks. Maybe this is the only time the video showed with shoppable product and all of the other views were shown without? Not entirely sure on this.


Summary and Next Steps

We have 1 winner from a sales perspective that provided us with a 3.0 ROAS. If you look at the test in its entirety, we were at a 1.0 ROAS which is obviously sucky.

Lots of learnings with this test but I also have a bunch of questions where the answers are not clear yet.  As I get ready for the next round of tests for these 3 videos, I realized that I had optimized the ‘promote’ towards ‘boosting’ the account (more video views) the first time. In this next round, I will test having TikTok optimize a campaign towards ‘Get Sales’ and see how it performs. 

Read Part 2


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