We love TikTok at BBI – but this wasn’t always the case.
As the Head of Social Media, it comes with the territory to learn the ins and outs of new platforms and how we can best use them for our clients. Looking back to last year, I’ll be honest, I was a bit sceptical of using TikTok for any brand with target customers older than 16.
Like many people, I had some common misconceptions, I was questioning:
- Would anyone over 18 really be on the platform?
- Would they care about the brands we work with?
- Is this type of content really relevant for them anyway?
- Would it deliver worthwhile results?
But after giving a shot with a few of our clients over the last 12 months, the truth is TikTok has performed much better than we thought it would in all cases. Despite my age worries, for the majority of the content we created, the top audience watching it was aged 25-35, so proof that it’s not just teenagers after all.
Following a great experience working with a whole host of down-to-earth TikTok creators, I’m now finding myself suggesting TikTok over other social platforms again and again. And here’s why.
TikTok is a never-ending stream of great entertaining content, trending sounds and engaging challenges, a huge growing user base and an upbeat positive environment for users. It’s an exciting proposition for any brands looking to engage with their customers.
Plus, to make it even more enticing, you don’t need to have an account to join the fun either. You can live and create content on TikTok through creators – so it’s easy to test the waters before going in all gung-ho.
Price is tolerable
First things first, TikTok is actually really cost effective as a means of content production. There are heaps of amazingly talented video producers out there who can create content, fast and at a reasonable price. This means it’s a great way to produce effective video content on lower budgets. With this in mind, it can be used as little or much as you want to push campaigns, products or one-off projects, that feed into your wider strategy. Plus, content created on TikTok can work really well on Instagram Reels too and can be embedded on your site to show off your product or campaign. The content can then be re-used elsewhere and continue racking up the views and working hard to boost ROI.
Organic reach outperforms other channels hands down
One of the things that makes TikTok unique – and highly valuable to brands – is that it runs on a content graph, rather than a social graph. This differentiates it from usual social media platforms as the content the user sees is not limited to that created by the people they follow. Instead, the TikTok algorithm serves content entirely based on users’ interests as well as the videos they watch and engage with. So showing them more of what they love – hence the success.
For brands, this means being able to reach a huge audience without the need to have any followers at all, so a great place to test and learn. As an open platform where anyone can be discovered, the flow of content is not slowed or obstructed by the need for followers to reach. In essence anyone can create content around a topic, whether they are a massive brand like Nike talking about the mental health benefits of running, or a 22-year-old girl posting safety tips for other women out running. Both have the same chance of reaching the same audience.
Trust creators to do a good job
As with all social platforms, creators know their audience better than anyone. They spend day and night engaging with other users around shared interests and stitching content in response. They get it and you as a brand, have to let them do their thing – if you stuff a brand brief down their necks it will stifle creativity and have a negative impact on results. Sure, you want to promote your brand, but let them suggest how to do it best. It’s not an ad and you will get more engagement in the long run if you keep that in mind.
Use spark ads to push for more views on great content
The best thing about advertising on TikTok is that the content can be so authentic it’s actually difficult to differentiate an ad from other content – which is why it will continue to be super successful. With their motto being “Don’t make ads, make TikToks” the proof is in the pudding. Engagement levels (from our experience) exceed that of other channels.
We’ve recently run a TikTok creator campaign for a UK hotel chain and engagement rates were up to 13% on branded content. Which just goes to show, if it’s interesting, people will watch it, so it’s worth trusting creators to do what they do best.
How to know if TikTok is suitable for your brand
Identifying which channels work best for your brand’s strategy can be overwhelming at the best of times, more so if you’re looking to explore a new platform. Partnering with an agency that not only has experience and expertise in social media, but also across the broader marketing mix gives your brand the opportunity to create TikTok campaigns that will serve a wider marketing objective.
TrunkBBI is an award-winning integrated marketing agency with expertise in performance-led campaigns. We have been helping big brands to activate, engage and grow audiences since 2011 with a range of services. If you need any support with TikTok, be it launching your own presence or reaching out to creators to do it for you, or you’d simply like to have an initial chat to find out more, get in touch – we’d be happy to help!