TikTok to Search: How to Run Tonic Search Arbitrage Campaigns

October 16, 2023

Author

Sara Bregasi

Content Writer

Are you running TikTok to Search campaigns with Tonic and looking for a comprehensive guide to help you through this process? 

We’ve got you covered! 

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about setting up TikTok to search arbitrage campaigns with Tonic, from tracking, to tips on how to make your campaigns profitable!

What is TikTok to Search?

TikTok to search arbitrage is when you buy traffic from TikTok (via paid ads) and direct that traffic to a monetization page with relevant search results. The monetization page will display a few different results, and each result will send the user to the website of the business running search engine campaigns. Usually, the TikTok advertiser would get paid each time a visitor clicks on one of these search results. 

How does TikTok to search arbitrage work

These search results are displayed by search feed providers. Search feed providers are Google, Yahoo, or Bing partners. We will dive deeper into search feed providers in a moment. 

This process of buying and selling traffic is commonly referred to as “traffic arbitrage”. It’s extremely effective for conversions, because it ensures that each visitor is qualified twice – firstly, when they click on the ad, and secondly, when they click on a specific result on the monetization page.

What is TikTok to search example

Instead of buying traffic from TikTok, you can buy it from essentially any advertising platform, such as Meta, Google, Taboola, Outbrain, and more. So, why are we focusing on TikTok to search arbitrage? 

TikTok has become one of the fastest growing platforms within the search arbitrage space over the past two years. Being a relatively new platform, the cost of buying traffic from TikTok is lower than most other platforms at the moment. TikTok’s smart algorithm, advanced targeting options, and unprecedented high engagement rates, are also attracting more and more search arbitrage marketers to join the platform.

TikTok to search arbitrage engagement rate

Search arbitrage feed providers

As mentioned above, the search landing pages linked to various offers are generated by search feed providers. These providers are going to be the ones paying you in the end, so you need to review them carefully. 

Some of the most popular search feed providers are: 

  1. Tonic 
  2. Sedo 
  3. Domain Active
  4. System 1
  5. Ads.com

For the purpose of this article, we will focus on Tonic. They have a large range of over 1,000 offers, and they only accept a select number of advertisers. You can apply via the form here.

Tonic search arbitrage

Tonic offers a number of benefits, such as high EPCs, accurate reporting, automated features to reduce your workload, quick creative approval process, and excellent customer support, amongst other things. 

Tonic search arbitrage campaign setup flows

Do you have your TikTok ad account and your Tonic account ready? Now, it’s time to learn how to set your campaigns up for success. The campaign setup will dictate how the data will flow from TikTok to Tonic, and what type of information you will be able to track. 

There are two general ways to set up your campaigns – the direct flow (without a tracker), and the tracked flow (with a tracker). 

  1. Direct flow 

With the direct flow, the visitor will go directly from the TikTok ad to the link provided by Tonic. 

TikTok to Search Direct Campaign Flow

In this case, you will usually have to build the campaign link manually. You will need to append the required tracking information to the links provided by Tonic, and use them as destination URLs for your campaigns. 

Here is an example of how the direct flow links for your campaigns should look like:

TikTok to Search How to Track Tonic Search Arbitrage Campaigns

Note: this is just an example, please make sure to replace information set on parameters like IDs and event names to match the ones you will use in your campaigns. 

Although the direct flow is simple to implement, it comes with its own limitations, especially when it comes to tracking. Your tracking capabilities will be limited to the tracking & reporting capabilities of the search feed provider. That means that you will have limited access to detailed visitor data, which makes optimizing your campaigns more difficult. 

This is why most search arbitrage marketers run their campaigns using the tracked flow.

2. Tracked flow 

With the tracked flow, a third-party tracker is added between TikTok and Tonic. 

TikTok to search tracked campaign flow

With the tracked flow, instead of using the tracking URL you get from Tonic as the destination URL for your campaigns, you will need to use the tracker generated campaign URL. 

There are plenty of affiliate trackers out there, but ClickFlare is one of the only trackers that has a direct integration with major search feed providers, including Tonic.

TikTok to search arbitrage tracker ClickFlare

The main benefit of using a tracker like ClickFlare is that it provides you with extremely granular data on a click level. ClickFlare has a direct integration with both TikTok & Tonic, meaning that after the initial setup, it will automatically update your cost & revenue data. If you are not very keen on the technical side of tracking, ClickFlare offers a free on-boarding session where an expert will guide you through the entire setup process. 

Apart from getting access to more accurate & detailed visitor data, the tracked flow also allows you to easily A/B test two or more sets of keywords or tracking domains under a single campaign. Or, if in the future you want to test another search feed apart from Tonic, with ClickFlare you can also split test the different search feed providers under the same campaign.

How to make TikTok to Search Tonic campaigns profitable

In order to make your TikTok to Search Tonic campaigns profitable, you will need to nail down targeting, have strong creatives & update them frequently, and constantly optimize your campaigns based on your KPIs

Let’s start with targeting. TikTok allows you to target based on three dimensions – demographics, interests & behaviors, and device. Many advertisers make the mistake of being highly selective with their target audience, and in return receive very little traffic. 

Whenever you apply a new targeting criteria, for example “only include visitors from the US”, TikTok provides an estimated audience size (highlighted on the right).

Tiktok to search targeting tips

This will indicate whether your target audience is too narrow, narrow, balanced, or fairly broad. While there is no right or wrong way to do this, generally you might want to avoid being on the “too narrow” or “narrow” side. “Balanced” is what is usually recommended by TikTok, and “fairly broad” could also work, especially if you are trying to gather data. 

When it comes to creatives, TikTok is one of the platforms with the highest ad fatigue. TikTok recommends updating your creatives every 7 days! It sounds daunting, but it can be easier than you think. You can use TikTok Creative Center to see what types of ads are working for your niche. Then, go to a free stock video platform, such as Pexels, and browse over 1,000+ free TikTok videos. You can edit your videos using a free video editor, like CapCut

If you want to take your TikTok creative game to the next level, you can actually pay TikTok creators to make ads for you. This is called UGC (user generated content), and this type of content converts extremely well on the platform.

User Generated Content for TikTok to search arbitrage

There are platforms out there, such as Trend.io or Trendzi, that can connect you to top TikTok creators. If you want to learn more about platforms or tools that can help you with your TikTok journey, we have a full article on that here.  

We hosted a large search arbitrage meetup during Affiliate World Barcelona 2023. Jack Antaki, COO of Trendzi, talked about their TikTok to search Game-Changing Strategy Behind $110M of Testing. You can watch his presentation full of golden nuggets here.

TikTok to Search: How to run Tonic search arbitrage campaigns on autopilot with The Optimizer

We talked about targeting & creatives, now it’s time to focus on campaign optimization. You may have heard that search arbitrage is a “numbers game”, which means that in order to succeed with TikTok to Search, you will most likely need to launch many campaigns & ads, sometimes using different ad accounts. 

This is where automation tools like The Optimizer come in handy. You can connect all your TikTok ad accounts, as well as your tracker or search feed accounts (depending on which campaign flow you go for) in only a few steps. This will allow you to optimize all your search arbitrage activities from a single platform

If you are going for the tracked flow, the configuration will depend on which tracker you are using. The Optimizer has an integration with all the major affiliate trackers, such as ClickFlare, Voluum, RedTrack and 10+ more. If you’re using ClickFlare, we have a tracking template, so you simply need to select “TikTok” on the dropdown menu.

TikTok to search ClickFlare tracker

However, if you’re going for the direct flow, you will need to append these tracking tokens to your current and future campaign URLs in order for TheOptimizer to pull revenue statistics from your campaigns smoothly: 

subid2=__CAMPAIGN_ID__|__AID__|__CID__

Once the setup is done, you can start optimizing your campaigns on autopilot! 

For example, you can pause unprofitable ad groups using rules. 

TikTok to search campaign automation tool the optimizer

With this rule, our system will look at data from the past 7 days, and pause any ad group that has spent more than $20, but received no conversions. You can fully customize the rule and replace metrics such as “spend” and “conversions” with your metrics of choice (e.g., ROI, CPA). 

On the other hand, you can gradually increase budgets for ad groups that are performing exceptionally well.

Increasing TikTok budgets automatically with The Optimizer (search arbitrage)

This rule will look at any ad groups that have spent more than $50, with an ROI greater than 50%, and automatically increase their budget by 15% of the current budget. 

You can use more features, such as specify the time of the day when the budget increase should take place, choose which campaigns should read from this rule, connect your email / Telegram / Slack and receive notifications when rules have been executed, and schedule your rules as often as necessary. 

The above-mentioned rules are just two examples, but you can also pause campaigns & ads, clone campaigns / ad groups / ads, and apply dayparting with rules. 

 If you’re wondering how TikTok’s in-platform automation compares to ours, read our detailed comparison here.

TikTok to Search success stories 

We have built a case study with one of our clients running TikTok to Search campaigns. As a solo affiliate, Harnur made $195K in revenue per month, using The Optimizer to automate his campaign management. Our tool made it possible for Harnur to scale faster than ever, all while working less hours and avoiding burnout. You can read his case study here

TikTok to Search: Conclusion 

TikTok to Search can be very profitable, but you need to have the right tools and setup in order to succeed. You will need to find a search feed provider, decide on a campaign setup flow, master TikTok ads strategies, and deploy the power of automation tools to scale faster

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