TikTok Marketing: What’s It All About?

Let’s go back to the start of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has begun. You remember, you were there, the whole world changed in an instant. This moment in history marked a massive shift in consumer activity across the world, as businesses large and small were forced to close doors, send staff home and endure prolonged periods of total lockdown. Businesses had to adopt new strategies and approaches to marketing to keep afloat in the rapidly changing landscape of consumer behaviour.

Enter: TikTok and the Short-Form Video

TikTok shot to popularity during this tumultuous time, opening the door to many exciting new marketing possibilities. Initially released as an app for lip-synching and dance videos, TikTok has officially taken on a life of its own, growing into something much larger and more useful than was originally conceived. TikTok’s arrival on the social media scene shook other platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and in response, they introduced a new feature, Reels. Even YouTube hopped on the bandwagon with Shorts. These social media giants knew they had fresh competition for users and boosted their services to match those of TikTok. More features, you say? Yes, music to the ears of digital marketers across the world! Now we have even more creative ways to reach and engage users across multiple platforms.

The Curious Case of Nathan Apodaca

Let’s take a closer look at the power of TikTok marketing through the case of Nathan Apodaca. So take Nathan Apodaca, add the song Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, a skateboard, and a bottle of Ocean Spray’s Cran-Raspberry juice, and what do you get? You get a viral TikTok video with the power to boost the sales of a completely unaffiliated company. That’s a fairly large win for Ocean Spray, especially considering they didn’t even lift a finger in the process. Even Fleetwood Mac’s 45-year-old song saw a huge bump in the streaming department. One man’s commute to work is another man’s goldmine. Mind you, Nathan Apodaca didn’t come off too badly himself, he was gifted a cranberry-red car by Ocean Spray filled with bottles of their Cran-Raspberry juice. Additionally, he received several sponsorships to go along with his newfound fame and fancy new car, teaming up with the likes of Snoop Dogg for a foray into the world of rap.

What Makes TikTok Tick?

It’s all about the format, you see, TikTok’s short-form videos are quick to grab someone’s attention and easy for audiences to connect with, while the wide range of editing tools afford creators the opportunity to produce videos that are unique to their style and vision, sometimes resulting in wonderful, ultra-creative videos, just like in the case of Nathan Apodaca. Granted, this example is a completely organic one, it just happened because of one person who decided to make a video for the fun of it. There are, however, many other brands that have used a TikTok marketing strategy to launch successful campaigns, including Converse, which developed a multi-faceted strategy to target users in London in 2020.

The Converse TikTok Marketing Campaign

TikTok users were encouraged to customise their own Converse shoes and post a video along with the hashtag #ConverseAllStar, for the chance to win tickets to the Converse Creative All Star Series event. The world-famous shoe brand went about enlisting the help of a few popular TikTok creators to get the ball rolling and generate reach for the 6-day challenge. By the end, Converse had received thousands of entries, all of which lived on a primary competition page, where an explore tab was added with three sections, which were used to drive even more user engagement. Additionally, in-feed ads were used to re-direct people to their e-commerce sites. All this in the lead-up to the Converse Creative All Star Series event, which was live-streamed by some of the campaign’s best TikTok creators. Overall, the challenge produced more than 24 million total video views, 1.8 million clicks to the primary challenge page, a 9.22% engagement rate, and brand recall saw an uptick of 75%, according to TikTok for business. Ultimately, the thing to note is that the TikTok revolution has been a powerful one, brands who get on board can greatly benefit from using the platform as another avenue to market their products. When done right, TikTok marketing is a smart and creative way to launch a campaign, increase brand awareness, and at the end of the day, generate more revenue for your business, all that’s really required is a bit of creativity.