Performance Benchmarks for Digital Marketing

We have a chronic problem with using stock art. Not only is stock art not authentic, but most of the time, it’s not relevant. It’s just wasting space on the page. We’re trying to eliminate stock art from all our materials by mentioning why not to use it in specific threads and teaching it in our training.

But somehow, it keeps coming back. And I’m puzzled about how to stop it. If we can fix this stock art issue and get a basic understanding of what I’ve mentioned about TikTok performance benchmarks, then we’ll be in great shape here.

For example, notice how my explanation from a few days ago (below) is based on the funnel metrics.

performance benchmarks

Funnel Metrics

The eBook “Standards of Excellence is about performance benchmarks for digital marketing campaigns.

The current set of standards covers the basic objectives, arranged in a funnel diagram so that our users can clearly see which metric sits at what stage in the funnel.

But instead of organizing these benchmarks into the funnel shape, we are putting in random stock art of stick figures in groups… because it’s easier to mindlessly paste in stock art instead of actually understanding our material.

TikTok has only some of these objectives, and the medium is a short-form video. We haven’t added short-form video benchmarks to the SOE documents, though we mentioned them in our TikTok and 15-second story training.

Primary Metrics

In short, the primary metrics that we are looking at

  1. CPM (cost per million impressions),
  2. View-through rate,
  3. Engagement rate,
  4. Cost per like,
  5. Cost per follower,
  6. Cost per lead, and
  7. Cost per acquisition.

TCPL is for lead gen, and CPA is for e-commerce, so use the benchmark you’re already using.

Secondary Metrics

All other metrics below are diagnostic (secondary).

a. CPM (Cost-Per-Impressions)

We know that CPMs vary from $2 to $10, depending on engagement rate and targeting, much like Facebook.

b. View Through Rate

View-through rates (impression to view) is higher on TikTok since they count a view at 2 second (or less) instead of a standard 3-second view). So getting over 50% here is good.

c. Engagement Rate

10% engagement rate (likes/impressions) is a good organic or paid benchmark not just on TikTok but on all platforms. A “killer” TikTok can get 35% engagement, which drives the effective cost per like down to 3 cents.

d. Cost-Per-Follower

The cost per follower on TikTok is much like the cost per fan on Facebook– expect 10 cents for viral categories (entertainment, fashion, sports) and north of $5 for unsexy (B2B, SaaS, enterprise/industrial).


This is a snippet from our project management system as we’re tuning up our TikTok ads course. We practice #LDT (learn, do, teach), which means we teach from an example. Thus, people who work on our training are not just mindlessly decorating our materials with stock art or robotically pasting modules into our Academy but are active practitioners who understand the material they’re working on.

Want to learn more about how we are creating amazing content, take a look at my “Content Marketing Course”

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