NJBIA's Annual Public Policy Forum - Planning Prosperity REGISTER NOW

The social media platform TikTok, with over 1 billion users, is becoming increasingly effective in driving enrollment for trade schools and higher education, according to advertising experts.

TikTok allows schools to connect directly with coveted Gen-Zers, according to Colling Media, a national full-service digital advertising and marketing agency. The social media platform helps showcase programs and on-campus life through on-trend videos that feel less like an advertisement and more like a backstage pass, the company says.

“Our schools have been incredibly successful using TikTok ads to connect with 17- to 21-year-olds who are making decisions about their future,” said Matt Wilkens, Colling’s paid social media manager. “What’s interesting about our TikTok campaigns is they are producing higher-quality leads and increasing start rates for enrolled students.”

In 2021, Colling Media EDU cost per enrollment for TikTok ad performance was 38% less than on Facebook. 2022 TikTok ad campaigns showed as much as a 24% decrease in cost per thousand impressions (CPM), and a 29% decrease in cost per enrollment.

“We are always looking for new ways to speak to consumers, and we embraced TikTok early on,” Brian Colling, CEO of Colling Media said in a statement this week.

“After nearly two years, we have found great success by understanding that TikTok is a socially driven entertainment platform that has great reach, particularly with younger audiences,” Colling said. “We believe that every EDU-focused marketing team in the country needs to dive in and include TikTok as an integral part of their omnichannel marketing strategy.”

TikTok’s advertising platform can be leveraged in the marketing plan of any business that needs to reach a young, highly engaged audience. Advertisers can take advantage of TikTok users’ time spent on the app (an average 89 minutes per day) to slide into their feeds with a high volume of low-production value advertisements, according to Colling Media.