How TikTok is capitalizing on the twin trends of creators and e-commerce

Although TikTok is grouped with Facebook, Instagram, and Snap, et al., it does not consider itself a social media platform.

And that’s because its users are usually there to binge on short video content and entertain themselves rather than connecting with people they already know.

TikTok users spend an average of 90 minutes a day watching videos on the platform.

But TikTok has one crucial thing in common with just about every social media platform: the need to attract and retain creators.

“Creators are the lifeblood of our platform,” said Melissa Yang, head of ecosystem partnerships at TikTok, speaking at AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O conference earlier this week. “Almost all content on TikTok is produced by creators.”

And there is no shortage of addictive and often viral content on TikTok.

Brands, meet creators

Due to its user base, TikTok is in a unique position to facilitate transactions between marketers and influencers. Brands want to reach younger, “video native” audiences, and creators generally want to get paid.TikTok is a dancing fly in the FTC's argumentative ointment.

The challenge is to ensure branded content feels native to the platform.

In late 2019, TikTok launched its Creator Marketplace with an API that helps brands find and pay influencers directly through the app. The API also gives TikTok partners – such as influencer marketing solution providers, agencies, and brands – access to first-party data, including growth trends, demographic information, and performance metrics. ‘commitment.

Brands can use this data to identify influencers that fit their needs or upload RFPs to outline exactly what they’re looking for in a creative partner.

For creators, the process is a bit like applying for a job, but cool.

Need more context

But TikTok needs to do more than just match brands and creators.

Brands need to be comfortable with the contexts in which their content appears.

Earlier this month, TikTok announced plans to start testing a tool called TikTok Pulse in June, which curates the top 4% of trending content and videos into particular verticals, such as gaming, fashion and entertainment. kitchen, so that the brands can be adjacent to the most popular. content on the platform.

“It allows brands to be immersed in top trends and high profile content creators to monetize,” Yang said.

Similarly, marketers may choose to avoid this content if it doesn’t seem right for their brand.

viral nation

Sometimes, however, a brand’s organic content goes viral. Look what happened with Ocean Spray and Gap.

And, in some cases, brands have even created new products based on viral TikTok trends.

For example, when Kraft Heinz noticed a snack craze on TikTok — people dipping their burgers in different combinations of sauce and fries — the brand “got involved in the conversation,” Yang said.

Kraft Heinz actually produced and launched a new snack product based on the trend last month.

“It was a vital type of dialogue and product development process that really engaged the community,” Yang said. “It was a trend that already existed on the platform.”

Notice to Buyers

But what good are new products without an easy way for users to buy them online?

Shopping on TikTok is on the rise.

“Commercial activity is an important area for us in which we continue to invest and expect strong growth,” Yang said. “There’s a lot of conversation and a big community on TikTok talking about shopping.”

The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, for example, reaches around 11 billion views.

Kraft Heinz’s success story on TikTok highlights a new wave of innovation among consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in general.

CPGs are in the midst of a “dramatic transformation” in overhauling and restructuring their media plans, said April Carlisle, executive vice president of commerce at Publicis-owned Spark Foundry, also speaking to Programmatic I/ O.

Although CPG brands used to spend money with retailers on traditional media, like flyers – “they were slow to schedule,” Carlisle said – CPG is now the “fastest” vertical breakthrough in e-commerce.

Grocery chains are looking to compete and attract advertising dollars by launching retail media networks.

But CPGs and retailers are also embracing platforms like TikTok, said Michele DeVine, senior vice president of programmatic and customer partnerships at BuzzFeed.

“Grocers have been…leaning into where they’re reaching their customers,” DeVine said, “especially when it comes to TikTok and shoppable video.”

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