Ellie Atkinson
Ellie Atkinson 17 December 2021

The Power of TikTok for Brands

For those that have missed the hype… first of all, where have you been? And secondly, TikTok is a video-sharing app which allows users to create and share snappy videos on any topic like dancing, singing or even just funny videos hopping on the back of trending audio. With attention spans at an all-time low, these short videos are designed to grab attention. So, why haven’t brands joined in on the fun?

With many of us spending more time at home, this appetite for endless entertainment has ramped up. With this in mind, it’s no shock that this September, TikTok passed the 1 billion users’ milestone. TikTok is loved by everyone from teens to actors, to grandparents to musicians – the gangs all here. 

Debunking the Common TikTok Myths

One of the common myths about TikTok is that many people think it’s just for Gen-Z. However, 80% of users are aged between 10-49 and there are many users over this bracket who have also found success on the app.

For instance, the much-loved Grandad Joe has 4.6M followers and MomBarrased5 has close to 100K followers. Both share content for everyone to enjoy, with MomBarrassed5 particularly focusing on parenting hacks and funny tales of being a parent.

Another myth is that people think TikTok is just for dancing, most likely due to Addison Rae appearing on everyone’s For You Page and then creeping up in media headlines. But overall entertainment is the biggest area of content on the app, followed by dancing, pranks and fitness and sports content. 

Any brand can find success on TikTok - as long as they find the right lane. For instance, Crocs made a comeback by working with creatives and launching successful collaborations. Little Moons has also found success, since joining the app it has seen a 700% boost in sales, proving the power the app can have on your brand.

Where your Brand can Fit in 

As TikTok becomes the first non-Facebook app to reach 3 billion downloads, we take a look at how it is entering into, and altering, the narrative of social shopping.

The hashtag #TIKTOKMADEMEBUYIT has 5.4B views on the platform, proving just how popular TikTok is when it comes to impulse purchases and shopping research. For instance, 79% of people have discovered new brands through TikTok.

With this in mind, brands really ought to jump on the app and start creating content and a name for themselves if they want to increase their profile and popularity. When your audience is inspired, they may be interested in purchasing the products shown.

The Pink Stuff, create cleaning videos showing just how incredible their products are. If you haven’t seen it, check them out. It’s compelling stuff. In fact, over 600K people flocked to a video of cleaning an oven. Sales increased and of course it raised the brands profile.

It is important to note that TikTok has a monthly dwell time of 19.6 hours – more than Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube on a mobile. When you think about it, that’s a lot of time for people to browse, stumble on content and find new brands and products.

Brand Virality vs Brand Vision

These days it feels like everyone’s goal on social media is to go viral. But let’s be honest, that is unpredictable and unsustainable. If you do go viral, you are then faced with a battle of trying to top your last video and prove to your audience that you can keep up with this success.

Even though viral videos provide a short-term burst in sales, they have no long-term vision or strategy. In fact, most product-led successes from viral videos don’t have brands behind them. Making it difficult for brands to orchestrate. 

Brand vision is far more important for your brand and its TikTok content. This is best for long-term growth, establishing yourself on the platform with your audience and you can then build upon this, learn from it and optimise accordingly. Without the worry of jumping on a trend in hopes of having your 15 minutes in the spotlight.

How to Build your Brand on TikTok

When it comes to new apps, sometimes you just have to throw stuff out there and see what sticks – the power of creative freedom is in your hands.

This way, your brand can have fun, jump on the bandwagon of funny memes, hilarious sounds and create your own fun twist on a current popular video or sound. Your brand can experiment, see what works for you and your audience. 

Even though it can feel like a guessing game when establishing yourself on a new platform, it is important for brands to have an understanding of the app, the language of TikTok. Sometimes a brand’s first thought is to push products at customers, instead of reeling them in.

A brand’s content needs to fit in seamlessly with all the other videos on the TikTok ‘For You Page’. With this in mind, brands need to keep on top of what is trending; is there a new meme, a popular hashtag, a funny audio?

Jumping on the bandwagon with an original twist may be suitable to your audience – especially as 73% of people want to see ‘funny content’ from brands. Using memes and trends can help find your authentic voice on the platform that can then engage with your audience.

Also, 63% of TikTok users are likely to watch ads on TikTok, as long as they are seamlessly embedded within their feeds unlike TV ads which are sales focused. 

The Future of TikTok for Brands

Recently, there have been developments between the content and commerce sector and a blurred line between the two, especially with rollout of TikTok shops – which are currently only available to exclusive brands and partners, with a full rollout coming soon.

TikTok Shops offer in-app purchases as well as driving people to external ecommerce sites. This provides consumers with a frictionless process from discovering product to purchase. TikTok Shops are set to facilitate further in-app commerce capabilities and affiliate in app tagging amongst other features.

As the rollout begins with its first phase, brands need to stay ahead of the curve and be social commerce ready for when product tagging drops.

The estimated global worth of livestreaming will be $247 Billion by 2027 and only on TikTok, Live Shopping is now available in the UK. This is where users can buy products directly from the livestream - a step ahead from the likes of Facebook and Instagram.

As technology advances, the global AR market size is estimated to reach over $340billion by 2028, so it is no surprise that TikTok is following in Snapchat’s footsteps by developing its own AR Capabilities.

We’ve seen a few brands offer ‘try-on’s where they can use their camera to see what the brand’s new shoes would look like on them, for instance JD Sports did this through their campaign #JDVAPORMAXSHUFFLE. The campaign showed there is a 94% higher conversion rate with AR try-ons, proving that this is the next step for brands with AR technology. 

TikTok is constantly evolving, providing endless entertainment for its audience but also merging with ecommerce to generate revenue. If brands want to capitalise on the app, they need to get ready or they may lose out to their competitors. 

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