15 Seconds of Fame: How Brands can Leverage TikTok

March 2nd, 2021 by

TikTok gained serious popularity throughout 2020 and is still one of the most used social apps in 2021, with users typically spending the best part of an hour scrolling through their For You Pages. With well over 1 billion users, TikTok is the fastest growing social app in the world

What is TikTok?

TikTok is considered to be one of the best video-sharing apps available and is very popular with the global Gen Z population. It brings joy to users by making social media fun again with 15-second videos that are jazzed up with music, filters, special effects and more. Driven by an AI algorithm, TikTok provides customized, snackable content based on what you watch and engage with. The AI generated FYP gives you more of the content you want, regardless of when it was posted. TikTok provides content that is natural and authentic and is a place where creators and users can be “real people.”

Tik tok

TikTok users engage with content on the app differently to other social media platforms. Users want to see playful and engaging content that’s less product-focused. TikTok provides brands with the chance to join in on popular trends as TikToks are easy to create—all you need is a phone. Editing can be done in-app, including adding filters, AR lenses and cool transitions.

Why is TikTok so important?

TikTok is where new culture lives. It is a catalyst in activating cultural conversations and gives brands a new way to talk to their audiences. TikTok has made a major impact on music and hashtag challenges and Internet Culture as a whole. It has changed how viral trends are spread and shapes global cultural conversations.

TikTok allows brands to form relationships with future customers. Due to the majority of users being part of the younger generations, brands have the opportunity to drive relevance with potential customers in the longerm; they can create an emotional bond with younger audiences through cultural relevance and entertaining content. 

TikTok has been developing its social commerce functionalities to redirect audiences out of the app to make purchases through links in biographies and captions, and the “Shop Now” button. In addition to this, TikTok has partnered with Shopify to create in-feed shoppable ads.

How can Brands use TikTok?

Brands can leverage a holistic media approach to find success on TikTok; they can use a mixture of owned, paid and creator content to target their audiences. 

Owned content means defining a purpose for your brand’s TikTok channels and establishing video-based content pillars that are relevant for TikTok. The videos should be creative and use native features to TikTok by being snackable (15 seconds or less), using available features (transitions, AR lenses and popular sounds) and entertaining audiences.

Paid-for content involves paying TikTok to boost your TikToks or ads. Brands can auction to have their ads appear naturally in user’s For You Pages as they scroll down, or pay to reserve the top ad view (the first video users see as they open the app), branded lenses, hashtag challenges or brand takeovers. 

The final option is sponsoring or collaborating with TikTok creators to create videos. Brands can search for creators on the Creator Marketplace to ensure they are working with creators who can reach their desired audience.

In recent months TikTok has heavily developed its commerce capabilities so brands are presented with options. Brands can opt for tile experiences, where products or discounts are advertised in click-through tiles, or catalogue experiences, which showcase ads in a FYP-themed TikTok.

What are some TikTok success stories?

Levi’s partnered with TikTok to create shoppable ads featuring the “Shop Now” button. The ads directed viewers to Levi’s online store, and used influencers Callen Schaub, Cosette Rinab, Gaby Morrison and Everett Williams. The influencers used Levis’ laser-powered Future Finish 3D denim customization tech to create their own denims. 

Levi’s has said that it received an insanely high engagement and increased traffic to its website as a result of the ads and collaborations.

Chipotle decided to skip the traditional advertising during the 2019 Super Bowl and decided to go where their key Gen Z audience was: TikTok. Chipotle created their own Super Bowl ads by using 12 popular TikTok creators and licensing the then-current number one song on TikTok, Justin Bieber’s Yummy. 

Chipotle pushed their ads during each of the game’s timeouts, and the campaign hit over 50M views, gained over 10M engagements and saw a 75% increase in delivery sales on the night of the Super Bowl.

Why your brand should use TikTok

TikTok is the capital of new culture on the internet. It’s where the majority of your future customers are, where trends are born and cultural conversations thrive. By not making the most of the opportunities TikTok presents, your brand misses out on creating relevance and relationships with younger generations that will eventually become potential customers. Using TikTok to forge early relationships will put your brand ahead of competitors in the future, as customers will have associated your brand with being trendy and culturally relevant. TikTok has already proven itself to be hugely influential with its users and your brand can access this success. All you have to do is start. 

If you are interested in hearing more about what TikTok can do for your brand, want an initial consultancy or a repeat of the webinar, get in touch with our Head of Strategy Lloyd Williams at lloyd@sociallypowerful.com

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blogs here.

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