Using TikTok Ads to Reach Potential College Students

/ Case Study - Social

/ The Brief

Using TikTok Ads to Reach Potential College Students

Coegi used TikTok ads to help a higher education client drive better results in their marketing campaigns. Our client is a private college located in Kansas City, Missouri which recently lowered their tuition costs. They were looking to boost their brand awareness among potential students and encourage them to research more about gaining an education at their institution.

/ Highlights

82% Higher CTR than Snapchat
$3.53 Cost Per Page View Conversion

/ Challenge

A younger audience can be hard to reach effectively in the right place, as new social media platforms are constantly emerging. Reaching a potential college student was top of mind for the team. As the campaign was in the planning stages during summer 2020, it became clear that the right platform to invest in was TikTok. The app had seen unprecedented growth throughout the pandemic and was rapidly becoming one of the most popular apps among high school students. However, the platform was unproven in terms of in feed advertising, as it was a fairly new capability from TikTok.

/ Solution

The team took a risk and proposed TikTok ads 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. 

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