“At this current time, whether you’re a retailer or a supplier, with large or small budget pots, in the youth market, there is nowhere more effective or impactful versus ROI than TikTok, in terms of hitting key marketing metrics,” says Rob Lough, COO and co-founder of celebrated digital agency KidsKnowBest.
There's no doubt about it, TikTok is challenging the way content is integrated into today’s marketing mix. But how do you implement an effective campaign on the channel? Rob Lough shares some useful pointers...
Written by Rob Lough
TikTok recently went big on its marketing to the industry with the tagline “Don’t make ads, make TikToks” which is a beautifully succinct line and the new kids on the block have hit the nail on the head. This isn’t just a tagline, it’s a thought process, once your strategy is defined and your media channel has been selected this is exactly the thinking required. Our chief creative officer King ADZ is constantly reminding us of “the right to play” if you haven’t optimised your creative for specific platforms, put the ball down and walk away.
Since day dot, the delivery systems to serve ads/marketing/media/content, whatever else we might be calling in five years’ time, have constantly changed. Word of mouth, posters, billboards, newspapers, TV, SEO, programmatic, social, gaming and many more – all vastly different beasts that require vastly different strategies. Thousands of years of advertising but yet all delivery systems have one common theme: people.
People don’t hate advertising; they hate out of place advertising. You wouldn’t place a billboard ad on TV, you shouldn’t place a TVC on YouTube and, in turn, you shouldn’t place a YouTube ad on TikTok.
The more delivery systems that come our way, the more fragmented we become as humans. Research and insights have never been more important, especially in youth marketing, where new trends emerge with vapid regularity. For us, the process is key. Audience insight leads into strategy, which leads into media placement, which leads into creative. The first two make complete sense, but a lot of time people place creative before placement. And in the days of one size fits all TV ads, that worked, but this is no longer the case. So, yes, TikTok is an incredibly effective marketing channel currently, but there is a need to stop getting bogged down by platforms and go back to the core focus – people.
Now you’ve worked out your consumers’ needs and the strategy required and everything points to TikTok, how do you implement an effective campaign on the channel?
Here is what we know so far:
- This is still very-much a creator-led platform
Unlike Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, brands and publishers haven’t yet gatecrashed the party.
- It can be a confusing platform
Before lockdown, a large portion of our clients over the age of 25 were in unison with the words: “I downloaded it, but I had no idea what was going on.”
- Dance, comedy and challenges are a huge part of the TikTok experience
Having sprouted from the Musical.ly app in 2018, the core community still seem to have a large impact on the content trends of the app.
The first two are key here. Who better to help you with the confusion than the creators themselves? They know the platform inside out and know exactly what works for their audience. So why put yourself through the rigmarole of creating your own content when you can get creators to do it for you? Just ensure you do your research first or, the main reason I am writing this article, work in partnership with an agency who know which creative and creators will work for your specific audience.
Add in the launch of the TikTok for Business ads platform – which inspired the “Don’t make ads, make TikToks” campaign – and it makes for a very exciting place for brands to merge marketing and music in their branding. Audio is hugely important part of any campaigns taking place on TikTok. Branded jingles, sounds and tunes are going to have a huge role to play in brands successes, as seen with UNO’s recent #unowhoyouare campaign, so find yourself a trusted sound producer.
Nothing lasts forever; TikTok will eventually be replaced by the next hot delivery system for advertisers. However, at this current time, whether you’re a retailer or a supplier, with large or small budget pots, in the youth market, there is nowhere more effective or impactful versus ROI than TikTok, in terms of hitting key marketing metrics.
The digital world moves at an unprecedented rate: we’re only 20-years into internet 2.0 and it's changed beyond belief – we used to marvel that we could watch full-screen videos! It is important to recognise that the energy created by this rapid movement is a powerful force which we can harness and use to increase the power of brands. Wherever you go somewhere new, you often rely on the knowledge of a local fixer. In the digital world the fixers are the kids who are half our age having twice as much fun. We need to act cool and look after them properly, and perhaps they will allow us to hang out with them for a while.