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TikTok: The Clock Is Ticking for Student Enrollment

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat,, Vine, and now TikTok? The newest addition to the changing social media landscape, this video-sharing app is capturing more than its share of attention (and users). Should it also be capturing a share of your college’s digital marketing budget?

The answer is probably. 

With 500 million monthly active users worldwide—and  41 percent of them between 16 and 24—TikTok may be a smart choice for your higher education institution. In fact, it now ranks as the third most frequently used app behind Facebook and Instagram, respectively. That’s huge growth for a platform that’s only been around for one-quarter the time of these social media behemoths. 

Enrollment Isn’t Everything
Although the main goal of your paid media campaigns may be enrollment for the coming year, you can’t afford to ignore the prospects of the future. With the user base of TikTok more heavily focused on the early high school-aged students, brand awareness is key. Getting your brand in front of these younger students gives you a better chance of making their consideration set when they start their search process. (By the time they reach their junior or senior year, it may already be too late.) 

But Student Experience Is
So, what are these student prospects looking for? A look at your college experience. How are they going to feel at your school? Will they fit in? And nothing can give them that experience (short of a college visit) better than video. TikTok ads can be anywhere from five to 60 seconds—with 9 to 15 seconds considered optimal. But remember, you only have about a second or two to engage them, or your prospects will skip the ad, or swipe up instantly.  

Video Content Is King
This isn’t anything new: Video content is the future of digital advertising. But TikTok is a new option and it’s about time you hop on board. Contrary to popular belief, creating a TikTok video ad doesn’t mean a two-week production time or a six-figure budget. The beauty of advertising on a social media application like TikTok is that it encourages more organic-looking content that’s filmed on a smartphone—and maybe even by students themselves, adding that all-important, peer-to-peer element this audience craves. 

With one billion videos viewed every single day over the last year, your potential student is on TikTok, and they’re listening.

Austin Williams is a fully integrated advertising and new york digital marketing agency, our in-house services include research, brand identity, campaign development, media planning and buying, website development, digital marketing, content creation and public relations. We are a financial advertising agency, healthcare marketing agency, higher education marketing agency, and professional services marketing agency.


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