The team took a risk and proposed TikTok in tandem with Snapchat and Instagram to reach their target audience of potential students in high school.
Snapchat and Instagram were set up as conversion campaigns driving users to complete a form fill or research the brand as a whole by visiting pages with information on campus visits or majors.
The TikTok campaign began as an awareness campaign optimizing towards video views as this aligned with the organic behaviors of users on the platform. Ads were shown to users in the in-feed environment on TikTok, where users are likely spending the majority of the time on the app.
Targeting started off relatively broad, reaching potential students interested in education across Missouri and Kansas as the platform only went to the granularity of state level geographic targeting.
The ads focused on key competitive advantages of the college such as optional standardized testing and lower tuition, both major decision factors for potential students in light of the pandemic.
The TikTok awareness campaign was so efficient in terms of CPM and results after just one month of delivery, that the objective was adjusted from video views to focusing on driving users to the site and encouraging them to interact with the landing page.
The TikTok platform saw extremely strong results, driving a 82% higher CTR than Snapchat and 688% higher than Instagram. Users on TikTok were also more efficient to convert at a cost of $3.53 per page view conversion tracked.
The college was also able to grow their strategy with the TikTok platform as the campaign progressed and TikTok developed more targeting features. In the 2021 campaign, they were able to implement DMA-level targeting to focus more on their target markets and employed targeting based on the types of videos users engaged with, both of which were new features to the TikTok ads platform.