TikTok Ads: A Success Story

TikTok Ads: A Success Story

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Date Published:
Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Whether you’re just starting to hear about it or have seen untold hours accidentally fly by watching “just a few more videos”, TikTok has established itself as a major player in not only the social media landscape, but in online video sharing and entertainment. And by “major player”, I really mean MAJOR.

TikTok was the #1 most visited domain of 2021.

To put that into perspective, more users loaded TikTok than Google, Facebook, major news sites, or even YouTube. Now, this begs the question: How can businesses use TikTok advertising to reach all of these users?

Great! But does it really work?

The Moran Group partnered with a Community College in Texas with the goal of increasing overall student enrollment during their spring enrollment window. To accomplish this goal, we put forward a strategy to engage users at all levels of the “conversion funnel.”

In essence, this means ensuring that you are walking users through every step of the process between Awareness of your brand, Consideration for your brand and its services/products, and actually taking the action of purchasing, signing up, calling, or whatever else leads to goal accomplishment.

We recommended using TikTok ads to reinforce brand awareness created by other tactics and drive Consideration by generating traffic on information pages. Our Key Performance Indicators for these goals are as follows:


  • Reach - The number of users that saw our ads.
  • Frequency - The average number of times an individual user saw our ads.
  • Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM) - Indication of how expensive it was to reach users


  • Clicks - Number of times the ads were clicked on.
  • Cost per Click (CPC) - Indication of how much it costs per click to the website.
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR)- Indication of how often users clicked, typically seen as a gauge of audience interest.

With the client’s needs being to reach a younger audience, we utilized TikTok’s integrated audience targeting to reach users aged 17-24 with an interest in college education. Ad units were purchased on a pay-per-click basis, meaning we only paid when a user clicked on the ad.

Now, with all the technical talk out of the way, let’s have a look at TikTok ad performance as compared to other consideration-focused tactics:

Nice numbers! What do they mean?

Targeting across all three tactics was essentially identical, which makes for an easy comparison of performance metrics. It’s also important to understand that these three tactics had very different budget allotments, which means differences in the total number of users reached. With that out of the way, let’s look at our two key areas of analysis:


  • All three platforms reached sizable audiences at an effective frequency for driving ad recall among audience members.
  • The differentiator here is the CPM for TikTok being substantially lower than both Display and Facebook. This means that TikTok is able to more efficiently drive awareness among the target audience than the other two platforms by having cheaper overall impressions.


  • TikTok was able to generate clicks at a much more efficient rate than either Facebook or Display, with a substantially lower CPC.
  • Along with the more cost efficient clicks is the significantly higher CTR, thanks in no small part to the video qualities of TikTok ads being more visually captivating than static display ad units or Facebook posts.

Should I only be advertising on TikTok then?

As a business owner or marketing professional, it’s nearly certain that you have a limited amount of funds with which to advertise your business. At The Moran Group, we start every client off with the same process; defining goals, establishing a strategy to accomplish those goals, and selecting tactics that align with that strategy.

TikTok ads are an excellent fit for some strategies such as driving awareness and consideration among soon-to-be high school graduates thanks to the somewhat younger skewed demographics, but could be a particularly poor fit for advertising social security benefits to an older audience due to the lower usage rate in that demographic. To help navigate these considerations, reach out to our team at The Moran Group and find out if TikTok ads are a good fit for your business!

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