How We Achieved 50% Lower CPA with TikTok Ads (Compared to YouTube Ads)

TikTok Ads Case Study [Make Money Online Niche]
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1587 Leads at 50% Lower CPA on TikTok Ads (compared to YouTube Ads) in 60 Days

The word is out: TikTok is a promising advertising platform on the rise. 

With over 1.39 billion active users (and counting), the social media giant has quickly established itself as an appealing advertising option for many media buyers in the game. And for one good reason: competition (currently) is as low as one can get.

But with less competition, comes a bigger need to pave your own road for advertising success. The path is still… not totally cleared out for you.

So we set out to take ship on the unknown waters of TikTok Ads and spent more than $25,000 on Ad testing in just a two-month span.

And let me tell you… the results were astonishing!

In this TikTok Ads case study, we will reveal our exact creative and media buying strategy, and how we were able to achieve incredible results with TikTok ads in just under 60 days.

About Our Client’s Niche

The following results are from a high-ticket offer in the MMO (make money online) space. Our client has a mentorship program in which he teaches entrepreneurs how to make bank from affiliate marketing the right way. We ran a razor-sharp ‘book a call’ funnel in which we incentivized prospects to come in and hop on a call with our client.

So do take that into consideration when evaluating the results from this case study overall.

The Task At Hand

Way before we took on the challenge to grow the TikTok channel for our client, he was heavily reliant on Facebook Ads to drive customers to his mentorship program.

Results from this channel were mostly mixed; as he could never truly crack a code to get consistent results with Facebook on a month-to-month basis. And to make the matter even worse, the niche our client is on was not making scaling any easier.

The MMO space is a highly competitive market with CPAs very high across the board. It’s close to impossible to scale with paid traffic profitably when you’re spending such a great deal on Ads. And the client was aware of this.

So not wanting to leave money on the table, he opted for the most logical step: diversifying his marketing channel (aka — not placing all of his eggs in one basket.)

He identified TikTok as a blue ocean opportunity to accomplish this. After all, becoming an early adopter in such a promising platform will always yield great returns for your business. 

There was just one issue: he had no clue on where to start.

Solving The Dilemma

Since the lane for success on this up-and-coming platform was not paved, our client resorted to Linx Digital to come up with an attack strategy for TikTok.

We had already helped this client launch and scale his YouTube Ads profitably in the past — taking his high $500 CPA to a more adequate $350 — so he deemed our 5+ years of video ad experience sound enough to take on this new challenge.

When it comes to transitioning from platform A to B, the key is leveraging the first principles of advertising. Regardless of the platform at hand, if your video ad foundation is good enough, you’ll give yourself the biggest chance of success in these new waters. 

All that remains… is testing and pivoting from there.

Our Strategy

Testing Multiple Audiences

In advertising, the name of the game is Test. Test. Test. 

Therefore, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that as soon we took over our client’s TikTok channel, the first thing we did was launch a diversified testing phase in which we evaluated multiple audiences.

Just like any other advertising platform, the YouTube and Facebook’s of the world, TikTok has a broad spectrum of potential audiences to pick from. So in order to fully find out which one performs best for our client's specific offer, we know that testing is critical.

By diversifying our testing strategy, we were able to pinpoint what audiences our ads resonate with the most.

Our Creative Strategy

In advertising, creative is always king.

But you can’t grab the same type of creative you’d use on YouTube, repurpose it for TikTok, and expect to get the same results. Even when this style of creative has proven to crush it time and time again on YouTube, that still doesn’t mean it will work on TikTok.

Matter of fact, chances are… it won’t. 


Because it's an entirely different playing field. 

While on YouTube a simple voiceover ad with a compelling hook and stock images might do the trick, on TikTok it will simply not cut it. And trust me… we did try it.

After rigorous testing, we found that when it comes to TikTok: educational content rocks the boat. 

This is mainly due to the current TikTok demographics still being quite young. Plus, attention spans are not the same as in other platforms. In TikTok, even more so than in YouTube, if you don’t grab the attention of the prospect in the first few seconds, you’re toast.

The way we approached our ad creation process is simple.

1. Keep the creative very relevant to the offer.

2. Make the wording very crystal clear and specific to your target audience.

How We Addressed Ad Disapprovals on TikTok

In the last few weeks of running campaigns for this client on TikTok, we have run into a few roadblocks. For some reason, our ads started to get disapproved left and right like it was Facebook all over again.

This was definitely not the case when we first began to run ads for this client (TikTok gave us free railway in that sense… at least for a while.) But as time went on, it started to flag our ads as inappropriate. 

Now, of course, this is to be expected in a niche like the MMO space, a market where advertisers do tend to push the envelope as far as their claims are concerned.

So after examining these ads for a while, we stumbled upon the problem: we were claiming the prospect could make a specific figure at the beginning of the ad.

Here are the steps we took to address TikTok's policies and whitewash our advertising:

1) In our messaging, we avoided making any numerical claims on our ad… and instead, pivoted to discussing the benefits of our offer.

2) We expanded on our offer more on the rest of our funnel, which in this case, is the landing page. On the landing page, we made sure to go into greater detail about the type of results our offer is getting. We also included a privacy policy and disclaimers to avoid getting flagged by TikTok.

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About the Make Money Online (MMO) Niche: We have observed CPCs of under $1 for some of the less competitive niches in the advertising space. However, the MMO Niche is one of the most competitive niches out there, so costs tend to be super high. 

After 60 days, cost-per-click (CPC) turned out to be slightly lower on TikTok compared to YouTube — ranging around $4 CPCs on average. This can be attributed to the newness of the platform in the advertising landscape. CPMs however, happened to be higher. Spending a little over $41 per thousand impressions on each ad.

But see, these are just small pieces in a larger puzzle. 

Since this case study was created from an offer in the MMO space, in which the main goal was to book calls to sell a high-end mentorship program…

The biggest elephant in the room was the CPA (cost per acquisition) — and how low we could get it to perform while still providing results for the client.

It was previously agreed that we were going to get the booked call CPA under $500. That is what we typically accomplish for clients on platforms like YouTube or Facebook — so that margin was clearly the expectation coming in.

But much to our surprise, TikTok performed way better than anticipated.

Delivering 146 booked calls at a $174 CPA!

A far cry from the $500 CPA that we aim for in competitive niches such as the MMO industry. 

And this is not to mention, the notable increase in CTR (click-through rate.) ThisTikTok Ad got a little over 1.2% CTR — a slight boost from the 0.73% we get for this same client on YouTube.

But perhaps what’s more impressive, it's how cheap we were able to get each lead on TikTok in comparison to Google. Generally speaking, lead costs in the search giant for the MMO space range well over $25 per lead — while on TikTok it's only $16.

1,587 leads. For just $16 each. You do the math… and it’s a little over $25,000 over the course of 60 days.

Just take a look at the metrics for TikTok vs. YouTube Ads for our client over a 60-day period as shown below:

TikTok vs Youtube Ads compared: the average CPC, CTR, Cost per Lead and CPA over a 60-day period for our client in the MMO niche with TikTok and YouTube Ads. Compared with YouTube Ads, the cost per click, cost per lead and cost per call are considerably lower with Ads for our client.

In just a short 60-day window, TikTok has already proven to have the potential to become an advertising force to be reckoned with. A user-friendly platform that can help your business scale to the moon.

Competition is not so fierce (at least for the moment) and advertisers seem to be getting a good bang for their bunk on their campaigns. And everything points towards this staying like this for the future ahead.

By the way, we also made a video about this particular TikTok ads case study. Watch our expert media buyer Andres go over our client’s dashboard and see the results for yourself. 

Before and After Working with Linx

As a result of working with us, this client is able to diversify traffic sources, while generating high quality leads at a low cost per acquisition. The cost (CPA) for TikTok ads are much lower than Youtube and Facebook advertising

Work with Us

If you want to find out more about what TikTok Ads could do for your business, jump on a free strategy call with us so we can advise how we can help you grow your company!

Want to learn how to achieve great results with TikTok Ads yourself? Enroll in our TikTok Ads Masterclass where we show you our exact methodology for success with TikTok Advertising.