I saw a statistic recently that consumers are watching more minutes of TikTok a week than they are Netflix. The following evening I proceeded to make myself into the perfect case study by scrolling on TikTok so long that the app itself triggered a warning asking me if I might like to stop scrolling and go to bed. Such is the power of TikTok right now.
This is not a new phenomenon. This kind of voracity surrounded Instagram before TikTok, Facebook before that, and MySpace at the start of it all. But it is important to recognize that these moments have all come few and far between. As a brand, it’s important to pay attention to these trends, and be an early adopter to a growing platform.
Over the last couple of years, we have tracked the rising popularity of TikTok as a platform to boost profitability and growth. Brands that have begun dipping their toes in the waters of TikTok are seeing exponential growth and cheaper-than-average advertising costs.
While Facebook and Instagram have become oversaturated by brands and ads to the point of stagnating growth, TikTok is still an uncluttered and growing whitespace, perfect for mid-market brands that need to find places where there exists under-priced attention. TikTok is that place right now.
The brands we steward are experiencing popularity and growth that is rising at a faster rate on TikTok than it ever did on other social media platforms. This is a crucial time for brands that haven’t yet done so to start exploring the still somewhat unknown terrain that is TikTok.
From Scrubdaddy to RyanAir brands of all categories have been able to make it big on TikTok. As a genuine word-of-mouth platform, viewers place a lot of value on things that are authentic and relatable. Most videos are consumed in such a “raw” state that it provides an excuse for brands to be vulnerable and communicate in a way they never have before.
Word-of-mouth messaging doesn’t just make things go viral - it actually helps drive up sales. Individuals on TikTok have become such big influencers of product promotion that customers have flocked to major eCommerce sites to buy an item they saw while scrolling the platform during their downtime. This started a movement known as “TikTok made me buy it”, which is even now a dedicated page on Amazon.
Short-Form Videos are the Catalyst for New Sales
Because videos on TikTok are often short and snappy, it is important for brands to reflect the same authenticity as original creators. When a product becomes popular on TikTok through influencer videos and other viral messages spreading around, it’s going to make audiences want to purchase that item right away. It is becoming easier for individuals to purchase and try an item out so they can join the conversation about it on TikTok.
Creation Vs. Collaboration: What Works for Your Brand
Many smaller brands that are just starting out tend to wonder whether it’s worth making their own account and building up a following from scratch. Wouldn’t it be easier to partner with influencers and collaborators with established TikTok profiles who can promote your products for you?
In truth, the path you should take depends on the needs and goals of your brand. Tapping the existing clout of influencers is certainly the easiest (and the fastest) way to get started,. Going this route allows you to sit back as dynamic content is created for you on a regular basis. But this is only feasible if you have a planned budget in place
Brands that are emerging on TikTok by creating their own profiles may need to put a little more time and thought into what they’re doing. It is necessary to juggle being organic, authentic, and influential at the same time while facing constant engagement with new audiences. This might make it necessary to implement testing and learning sessions, but the results can pave the way for a more streamlined strategy moving forward.
It is necessary to juggle being organic, authentic, and influential at the same time.
Affordable Marketing Makes TikTok Options More Flexible
There’s another reason why brands are taking the time to establish their own presence on TikTok. It’s no secret that boosting videos with paid media can extend the reach of your marketing campaigns; it’s also no secret that we are seeing much faster growth on TikTok than on any other platform.
New followers can be found for as little as $0.07 per follower, making it easy for even the smallest brands with the most minuscule budgets. It’s worth getting on board now before the platform gets too busy - and prices go up.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing on TikTok
In a recent blog postwritten by Bobsled, an Acadia company, it was noted that the interconnection between TikTok and Amazon Prime is growing. Almost 50% of Amazon Prime shoppers actively use TikTok at least several times a week, and that number just continues to rise. After seeing that statistic, many brands are eager to hitch a ride on the TikTok train, but too many sellers jump the gun and end up making costly mistakes.
Make sure when you do get on TikTok, you’re doing so in a way that aligns with your brand’s vision, as well as your objectives and key results. The following list of do’s and don’ts are based on Acadia’s experiences with client results on TikTok.
1. Invest in Both Organic and Paid Marketing
Other popular social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, are becoming more and more pay-to-play as time goes on. While this will most likely happen with TikTok as well, it is not there yet. This is a huge benefit for mid-market brands. TikTok is a platform that allows you to catch up to your biggest competitors and own a larger share of the voice without having to pay for advertising.
2. Take Advantage of Shopping Integrations on TikTok
Facebook’s relevancy has been eroding for some time now, and cost-per-clicks have been rising across all Meta platforms, making it more difficult for brands to acquire customers profitably.
Meanwhile, TikTok has started to introduce more and more integrations that make shopping directly from the TikTok app easier. We are starting to see more shoppable ads, interactive links, and real-time product purchase opportunities during TikTok Live videos. Shoppers can quite literally engage with the product as an influencer talks about it, encouraging them to buy the item right on the spot.
There’s more to come, too. TikTok is becoming aware of the power it holds for marketers, and the platform’s developers are always focused on making new tools for brands to use.
3. Understand that Every Brand Has Potential
One misconception is that only beauty brands are seeing much success on TikTok. While content is certainly popular, all brands are starting to see major returns through TikTok. New food trends have some brands selling out because everybody wants to try the new dish. Language learning apps like DuoLingo are creating groundbreaking (and downright bizarre) content that keeps them relevant to audiences of all ages.
At Acadia, we work with brands of all categories and niches to get on TikTok. From hotel companies to sexual wellness brands, everybody is starting to find that their marketing efforts on this new platform are showing incredible returns. There are even pest control companies and ultra-niche vendors who have found quite a loyal following on TikTok.
1. Treat TikTok Like All Other Social Media Platforms
The biggest mistake brands make when including TikTok in their marketing campaigns for the first time is that they tend to treat it just like all other platforms. The reality is, TikTok calls for a completely different style of content and engagement.
Brands must avoid the pitfall of over-marketing on this platform that is so new, dynamic, and fundamentally different from all others. Audience engagement, for example, is a key feature of TikTok that must be consistently used to its full advantage. Mid-market brands will see success on TikTok by focusing on creating authentic, organic content. Don’t be afraid to put a face to the name!
2. Act Like a Follower
Brands that act like followers won’t get very far. Current and future customers are looking to you for leadership in your niche, and they don’t want to see someone who is just simply following the latest trends. As a unique brand, it is integral that you create your own conversation. Every brand tells a story, and yours should be done in a way that authentically reflects what you do.
3. Stop Testing Different Strategies on TikTok
While many folks worry that TikTok is shortening our attention spans, it detracts from the truth: we already do have short attention spans. People who visit TikTok on a regular basis like to view short-form video formats and other types of content that are constantly changing from week to week.
It can be overwhelming to keep track of trends, but brands need to do more than stick with the first strategy that works for them. Continue testing and playing around with different formats each week - this is what successful brands are doing. Remember, audiences are looking to be surprised by something new on their For You Pages. Give the hashtag #StopTheScroll a whole new meaning!
Expand Your Omnichannel Marketing Efforts and Drive New Success for Your Brand
TikTok can be a difficult learning curve for those who are not well versed in the world of social media. Even for those who are, TikTok itself can feel like uncharted waters that can only be navigated by young, well-researched audiences. Learn more about marketing towards new trends and topics with our recent article, Marketing to a New Generation of Consumers.
While TikTok still has a lot of room left for growth, it is already emerging as the most popular and influential social media space for retailers in all types of shopping categories.
How Acadia Can Help
Acadia offers three different approaches for brands looking to scale up their TikTok channel:
- We can create original content for brands that may not have their own in-house solution for creative content.
- We can act as a strategist for brands that already have media experts and designated social media creatives, offering guidance and final edits along with platform management.
- We can also work directly with influencers and creators to partner with brands.
Want to learn more about managing this type of media campaign successfully? Contact us today.