Just when you think you know and understand social media, another platform graces our smartphones and proves to us that there is so much we still don’t know and understand.
It wasn’t just our love for banana bread or sourdough starters that formed during this pandemic, it was also the beloved Tik Tok and its 850 million downloads that started our passion for dancing, food hacks, amateur comedy, and so much more. We are now connected to the world through our shared interests and passions.
The Marketing Association hosted a room full of marketers from around Auckland, and with the guidance of the vivacious MC, Cassie Roma, we delved into the world of Tik Tok during another insightful Brainy Breakfast. With the setting of Eden Park behind us, we learned how Tik Tok has re-engineered the value equation by providing the world with authentic content that has a little bit of something for everyone. Cassie established the five Cs that are important to store in the back of your mind when entering the world of Tik Tok: culture, community, creativity, curiosity, and connection. To be successful on Tik Tok, it’s paramount to keep the five Cs in mind to ensure the general rule of “don’t make ads, make Tik Toks” is followed.
“Don’t make ads, make Tik Toks” is a general rule of thumb to suit the organic and not-so-curated content that this new platform shares. If you keep in mind that the Tik Tok audience has always responded to connection and creativity – not sales pitches – then you’ll have a lot more success. Think about embodying the one who takes their clients out for coffee, not the cold-caller or the door-to-door salesman. This audience wants to be talked with, not talked at. So, if you’re wanting to use Tik Tok commercially, think about how you can connect with your audience and utilise the five Cs.
Tik Tokers are co-creating culture on their own terms with authentic and entertaining content; it’s bringing people together by showing a big reality TV show of the world. This sense of community has been built through the shared language of video by serving short-form and engaging content experiences whenever you want. Everyone became creators and it’s the creativity that draws us in.
Tik Tok’s real point of difference is that it shows you what to watch when you don’t know what to watch. Human beings are constantly craving that release of dopamine and as it’s been proven, social media can help us with that. Tik Tok has taken this to a whole new level by using the algorithm to serve you with content you’re guaranteed to be interested in.
In other words: Tik Tok itches that scratch you didn’t know you had with content you didn’t know you needed.
As consumers become more cynical towards advertising, it is important that yours is meaningful and authentic and cherishes storytelling over selling. This ad from the dating app Bumble shows a much more seamless and unobtrusive experience than what you’d see on Facebook or Instagram. It integrates into the user’s feed just like any other video.
As a brand, it’s hard to know where to begin; this is much different to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the other mediums that we’ve seemingly mastered. As new social media platforms continue to pop up, we’ve got to assess each one and what makes it truly valuable. Tik Tok requires a different content approach and the ability to explore and embrace curiosity and see what works for you, and if you’re willing to do that, your brand will thrive. The water cooler moment has transformed into something so much more. Connection has materialised into its truest form. When communities have the power to collaborate, that’s when a movement is formed.
Entertainment through social media used to be one-way creation where the only way to interact was through comments, likes, tags and reactions. Now, we have the ability to form connections and create value together through a more dynamic experience. The main reason users go to Tik Tok is that it makes them feel good, and as the grandfather of entertainment, Walt Disney once said, “people spend money where they feel good”. There is continued correlation between consumer happiness and business growth.
This platform can reach a mass audience with its ‘For You’ section which is the first thing you see when you open the app. You can spend hours scrolling through this section (it is commonly said that five Tik Tok minutes is the equivalent of five real hours) and brands are switching up their strategies to mould into this ‘ad-free experience’. When it comes down to it, you want to spend money on brands that you can relate to, and Tik Toks give everyone the opportunity to find something with its more entertainment-oriented content.
Tik Tok is empowering creators at an unprecedented scale and all the tools you need to edit your video is right there in the app. So now, everyone is a creator with the potential to co-create with your brand.
The E.L.F. Cosmetics campaign is a great example of this (did you know that stood for Eyes, Lips, Face? Neither). This campaign turned into the most viral campaign ever to be created on Tik Tok with almost 5 million user-generated videos. It combined the genius of sing-worthy, dance-worthy and therefore, share-worthy content to create an engaging campaign that would disrupt culture.
E.L.F. jumped on the Tik Tok bandwagon early and although this was deemed unconventional at the time, it blew up. This is a prime example of how Tik Tok is embracing the different and defying the ‘norm’. Marketing has never been so open-minded.
The question is, where do you start?
Strong narratives are what thrive on Tik Tok and it’s constant short-form broadcast, so the first port of call would be to develop a strong creative strategy that plans to entertain first and sell second.
Although Tik Tok has the ability to share videos onto various social media platforms, you won’t resonate with all audiences with the same content, so sit down with your colleagues and really think about your creative strategy.
Take a deep-dive into what your community really values about you as a brand. Your values are what makes your brand distinctive and what can be shared with your audience. From there, test the waters. Authenticity is what thrives and is nurtured on Tik Tok and you won’t be able to know what works and what doesn’t if you don’t try.
Tik Tok exemplifies the zeitgeist of our strange 2020/2021 and the excitement comes from knowing that we haven’t even scratched the surface of what it can become. The Brainy Breakfast and its array of amazing speakers explained the power of Tik Tok and the role it plays.
It’s already evolved significantly from just housing the ‘Tik Tok dance’ – it houses a community. Every brand needs to cultivate and engage with its own community. So, keep the five Cs in mind and begin to scratch the Tik Tok surface to let the world know what makes your brand special.