With some 689 million active users worldwide, TikTok, the Chinese video app is the perfect example of a disruptor. In a sector where growth has been exponential – think Facebook and Instagram – whose on-going popularity has to do with the traditional network effect, TikTok has built their numbers on the content network effect.
The traditional network effect raises the bar when it comes to shifting to a different platform because even if a new platform boasts better features, less congestion and fewer ads, digital marketers are unlikely to leave a strong platform behind and switch to a less populated one. This is what makes scaled social networks difficult to disrupt, and of course the top ones have heritage on their side.
Enter TikTok who flipped that model on its head. TikTok’s content serves as remix material for everyone to tap into, which, means that every video uploaded to the app makes all future potential videos more valuable. Every ounce of creativity from a joke to a dance or a song generates resources for other creators to exploit.
Little wonder the visual app, which allows users to edit and share 15-second videos with built-in filters, effects, and music – has shaken up the marketing world with its unprecedented virality.
And of course it was only a matter of time before brands latched onto this new and exciting opportunity. As TikTokers started increasingly showcasing a wide range of products ‘TikTok made me buy it’ became the theme with the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt sending sales through the roof. That hashtag clocked up over 346.4M views.
Influencers stepped up and shared their favourite finds on the app creating a new hashtag challenge and going as far as creating content on their account solely based on online shopping.
Now we are seeing influencers basing their content on items they purchased on Amazon, something that has resulted in #AmazonFinds which has over 1.5B views on the app itself. Brands have been using this to their advantage and setting up Amazon shops then linking to them on their TikTok accounts.
Users and brands on TikTok have utilised popular challenges and sounds, their own Amazon shops and the Amazon rewards program to help push sales and the success stories are numerous.
Skin care specialists, The Ordinary commissioned a TikTok user to share a before and after video using their Peeling Solution. The video went viral, generating more than 650k likes and 15k shares, not to mention a rumoured $1 million in sales.
Another beauty brand E.L.F Cosmetics commissioned a song called “Eyes, Lips, Face” (abbreviated as E.L.F) to create a hashtag challenge. Viewers were encouraged to use the song along with #EyesLipsFace while showing off their favourite look with the brand’s products. Viewers watched challenge participants apply an array of different products in the E.L.F. makeup line—which in turn, boosted brand exposure and highlighted their products in action.
Meshing the super power of Amazon with that of TikTok may sound like a recipe for unparalleled success – certainly TikTok advertising is one of the quickest growing marketing platforms right now. An Amazon seller who serves the same audience that TikTok does is in an ideal position to maximise sales.
It does, however, take expertise to navigate these rapidly evolving platforms. Here are some of our key tips to help you do so;
Define your niche
Deciding what your brand niche is will inform your entire strategy – both on Amazon as well as TikTok – this will help you define everything from your keywords to product categories to the photos and videos you pick. When it comes to TikTok you should not create content simply for popularity’s sake – an audience should be chosen for its quality not its quantity. Attracting viewers to your brand profile who ultimately are the wrong match is a waste of time and resources.
Remember the CTA
Everything from the hashtags you use and the users you follow to the influencers you eventually team up with should be on-brand and niche-relevant. Keeping in mind who your ideal target audience is on both Amazon and TikTok is therefore key. If conversions are your goal everything you post through to your product description should conclude with a dynamic call-to-action (CTA).
We have been talking about the power of influencers across all sectors for years now – https://travolution.com/news/marketing/guest-post-tapping-into-travel-influencers-experiences and TikTok is the ideal platform to partner with an influencer. Identifying the best influencer is key. They need to be the opinion leaders and niche experts that reflect your brand’s ethos – don’t be tempted to pick the most popular influencer over a less well-known influencer who has your target audience’s undivided attention.
Influence + # + UGC
Influencers also play a vital part in branded hashtag challenges. Building a following via these challenges requires carefully framing a brand message aimed at triggering others to join in by creating content related to your brand. A good example of this is original basketball brand Converse. Teaming with TikTok they brought together Converse’s global collective of creatives to highlight local content, across sport, music, art and key cultural moments.
This kind of partnership was ahead of its time and used creativity to mesh Converse’s online and offline worlds in a unique way. The collaboration was split into two moments, first Converse asked the TikTok community to engage with the brand by creatively customising their Converse. The next stage occurred when TikTok joined Converse Creative All Stars Series, which took place during London Fashion Week, and hosted a ‘Creator Customisation station’. This creative event had the participation of some of TikTok’s outstanding creators who live streamed the event, giving their followers the opportunity to watch and get inspired.
Without doubt there is a world of opportunities for creative digital marketers to merge on and offline brand propositions – particularly in this era where hybrid shopping is trending. There is a real art to connecting audiences in innovative and memorable ways. Setting out an entire digital marketing strategy that encompasses the best of multiple platforms to achieve a unique stage for your brand is where astute marketers are focusing. Those brands who get that formula right are unstoppable.