The next frontier of Digital Marketing: TikTok!
The deadliest digital marketing agency competitor with the potential to bring Facebook to its knees lately is none other than TikTok. It’s rampant, unregulated digital marketing reach can only be tamed by us, the digital marketing agency. Read on.
Challenge for a Digital Marketing Agency to Leverage TikTok?
While the sensible part of the country goes ‘Oh lord, it’s back.’, we marketers must go ‘Thank the lord, it’s back.’ Here’s why – it’s a 120 MILLION PLUS monthly active Indian user-market! After it’s ban, the number is only on the rise. Overall, TikTok added 188 million new users in Q1 of 2019.
Indian users made up for almost half the new TikTok populous.
When Brands joined Twitter, they were facing a great rise in problems from their customers. This was a challenge digital marketing agency had to overcome. A new job profile needed to be created as a solution, as we now call it – ORM or Online Reputation Management.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a short-video sharing social app for creative digital expression.
It is this wow factor of TikTok that made it an almost over-night marketing success last year. To the point that it’s going toe-to-toe against the all-father of digital marketing platforms, Facebook with its record 1 BILLION download milestone last Feb. This was a big opportunity for all the digital marketing agency.
Our current challenge with Tik Tok is the content that users are generating. The app is currently feasting on brain cells that could have been used for a better purpose. Banning the digital app only made the situation worse, both digitally and economically. ByteDance, the Chinese app developer and creator of Tik Tok, filed financial losses, of over $500,000 a day. That putt over 250 jobs at risk. Boy, do we love our numbers. Time to leverage on this chaos, as we say.
What did we do?
So we sat down and took some notes. The results we observed have scarred us and enlightened us at the same time. Creativity here has every niche imaginable. From dance moves to facial expressions, mimicry to tomfoolery, everything here is valid. Tik Tok is a digital treasure-trove of user generated content.
Internationally, the most popular of all videos are ‘Challenge videos’. People choose a nice, trendy up-beat song or audio clip and react to it . This picks up trend through cross-sharing social media word-of-mouth. In a nutshell, look cool or look like a fool, share it, have other people follow in suit. Bam! digital challenge successful. Users on the international circuit really do take a lot of effort into making TikTok videos and marketing them.
The Indian POV
The same cannot be said about our dear Indian users. We came across a lot of cringe at every turn. The true gems of the digital platform are happy serving their niche audience of 200. The true concept of a challenge is non-existent here. TikTok India as a whole has daddy issues.
The Common Fuss
If there’s one thing that we found that’s common between both digital audiences, it’d be their shared hatred for ads on the app. True, marketing channels and tools must be unique for each digital media platform, and ByteDance is still experimenting. Ads did premiere in Jan’19 and people instantly hated it. Regardless, brands have leveraged the platform to promote their products and share their messages.
What did Brands do?
ViVo India with their #GoPop challenge used their signature ‘V step’ dance style to promote the V15 Pro smartphone’s unique pop-up camera. Clean & Clear initiated a lip-sync challenge with girls lip-syncing to 1 of 5 rap songs. They called it #UnbottleApnaSwag.
Other brands in India to get with the program include Shaadi.com and Myntra. Internationally, brands like Coca-Cola, GUESS, Nike, Google, Sony Pictures and more have marked their territory on this platform already. It’s time you learned to do the same.
Opportunities for Brands on TikTok
From observation, there are 4 ways to go about leveraging TikTok for digital marketing. These ways do not involve being too intrusive about ads with users.
The #hashtag Challenges
Hashtag challenges on TikTok can be initiated by anyone, free of cost. It can also be sponsored/promoted digitally by TikTok for other marketing brands. This includes digital brands too. The campaigns held here must be content-oriented above all. No one will do a challenge if it isn’t relatable to them. Hashtag challenges are a vital usage point of TikTok and also the most interactive of all the ways you can advertise here.
Huawei leads the way
This revolutionary ad format generates amazing results, as proven by Huawei. The company launched Honor 10 with a 22-day #1MillionAudition campaign in India. Influencers, went wild for the Honor #1MillionAudition that saw over 73K users’ participation. It generated over 40k UGC short videos with 640 Million views, and 321 Million impressions during their campaign’s time-frame.
They’re the first thing your user will see when they open the app and can direct them to your website or hashtag challenge. Users can skip this ad and continue to use the app. Your objective is to ensure that they watch the whole thing and not skip or close the app instantly.As with Instagram Stories, they’re interactive sponsored marketing posts that you can promote your digital brand with. Keep in mind that these ads are just as easy to dismiss by users. Catching their attention needs to be content-oriented.
This is how Snapchat made it real for marketers on their digital platform. Branded lenses can stay on trend for as long as 10 days if the filter is really good.
Getting Started with TikTok
Here’s how you can use digital marketing to leverage on this chaos to execute successful marketing campaigns on TikTok:
- Start by creating a Hashtag challenge integrated with a brand lens. Hashtag challenges are fun activities that include lip-sync, dance moves, wacky skits and such. The easier it is to do, the more chances to make it engaging.
- Select a popular track or audio clip. The right piece of sound can snowball your hashtag challenge to viral video fame across other digital marketing platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Music plays a very important part in creating Tik Tok campaigns. Make sure you are on top of music trends, both local and international. You can also use custom audio like Budwiser used for Spotify ads with DIVINE. Remember the KiKi challenge?
- Cross-promote the social challenge buzz on your brand’s other digital marketing channels and on other digital marketing agency as well. This will prompt your audience on other digital platforms to keep a lookout for something interesting coming soon. On TikTok, use Brand Takeover ads to build the marketing buzz.
- Get TikTok micro influencers to participate through paid partnerships. Give the challenge some time to build an organic digital base. Use in-feed native ads to promote the marketing challenge.
- Once you notice the numbers rise, get digital macro influencers to participate. Again, give time to grow the challenge organically. Closely monitor the digital growth ratio, When it looks like your challenge is losing momentum. Have micro influencers make tutorial videos on YouTube/Instagram/Facebook. This step is vital to maintain the momentum of your challenge, especially when you need to reach your next impressions milestone.
- Finally, when you have reached the peak of your impressions campaign, surprise them all with a Giveaway. (Optional)
As a Digital Marketing Agency, we do not believe in leveraging on giveaways as a bribe for consumers to participate in contests. It takes time and effort to build a name on digital media.
We recommend running simple hashtag challenges on TikTok to build your brand image before launching a Giveaway campaign. When you have a good base of participants from past challenges winning these giveaways, it feels different. They feel good.
With over a decade of experience, Mindstorm has been successful in devising impactful Social Media Marketing campaigns. Contact us if you want to make your brand reach new heights in the digital marketing space.