Client Background and Challenge Overview
Coegi serves a number of education partners ranging from large public institutions to small private colleges all across the nation. A challenge facing any education client is operating in a constantly changing digital landscape. Student audiences in particular tend to adapt quickly to new forms of social media and move on from older platforms just as quickly. A community college based out of San Jose, California wanted to face this challenge head on by exploring one of the industry’s newest social media tactics, TikTok Lead Generation, ahead of their larger fall and spring campaigns.
TikTok has experienced enormous success since its inception back in 2016. This growth was spurred even more by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which forced many users to move their entire daily lives online. Part of TikTok’s success among younger audiences in particular can be attributed to the general popularity of video content among these audiences. Video content has been trending upward across Instagram and Snapchat for several years as well. As many social media platforms have experienced before, with growth, comes greater advertising capabilities. In April 2021, TikTok launched a new lead generation capability, enabling advertisers to capture user data related to their client’s business goals.
Lead generation campaigns can be great solutions for educational partners because leads are strong indicators of user interest. They also provide universities and colleges with valuable information that can be used to retarget interested students and encourage them to apply or form more personalized connections with admissions counselors. Bringing lead generation to the platforms where students are spending the most time is an exciting step for the education industry.
Coegi developed a one month test campaign on TikTok targeted at high school students, likely college students, and parents of students. This campaign was scheduled to run during the summer which allowed Coegi to test this tactic during one of the lighter months of the education advertising cycle so as not to conflict with more important, higher spend campaigns during the fall.
This campaign garnered 15 leads during its one month flight. Students made up 12 out of the 15 total leads generated with parents generating the final 3 leads. We are excited about these results for a number of reasons. First, the call to action to fill out the lead form appears only after the viewer has watched the ad for about 10-15 seconds meaning that users were not immediately scrolling past the ad. Additionally, this was likely the very first time that many of our users saw or interacted with a lead generation advertisement on TikTok as the tactic is still so new. The breakdown of students vs. parents submitting leads is also exciting for educational clients because parents have traditionally been the highest converting audience on other social media platforms.
Where do we go next
TikTok lead generation is a very promising tactic for reaching and converting younger audiences. The wide variety of content on TikTok also presents exciting opportunities for educational clients to flex their creative muscles and develop really innovative assets. Specifically related to lead generation, partnerships with influencers could be a highly successful strategy for educational clients. Students love hearing from their peers and they will take these kinds of recommendations into strong consideration when making decisions about schools. Influencers who relate to our target audiences could encourage students to take the next step in their enrollment journey and sign up for reminders about application dates or campus visits.