tik tok

Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks!

Last week Incubeta’s (AUS) Managing Director Sam Shennan took to the (virtual) stage at TikTok’s Vibe Report; Retail alongside TikTok’s Creative Strategist Denny Handlin and  Founder & CEO of St. Frock, Sandradee Makejev, to unpack how TikTok can connect you with your next digital consumer.

Matilda Rose Moir

Platform Playfulness 

Kicking off the panel Sandradee, the Founder & CEO of St. Frock (one of Incubeta’s valued clients) highlighted the immense evolution of TikTok content she’s seen over the past 18 months; and what this meant for her as a user, and marketer. Originally saturated with a somewhat young audience, the platform transformed throughout the Covid pandemic, and with mass downloading of the app, TikTok clearly has a large range of communities and content.

This variety of communities has led to the creation of a content ecosystem akin to nothing else in the digital space. Within 3 minutes viewers can be served cooking content, dance snippets, dating advice or even Russian ice diving! The content is both diverse and inspirational – with each TikTok possessing the potential to impact one’s outlook on life. The question we, as marketers, need to be asking ourselves is how we can take this playful nature of the TikTok channel, and use it to our advantage.

With a huge organic reach, TikTok offers brands the opportunity to globally connect with diverse communities  – and now is the time to get onboard. You need to be early to the party, interacting with, and growing your audience now before getting left behind. Talk to your followers, take inspiration from the existing content, and use TikTok’s capabilities to support your overarching business strategy.

Building & Designing Content

Focusing the conversation on content creation, Sam discussed the process of thinking, designing and building TikToks, and how it varies substantially from other channels. Unlike the traditional approach to content creation, you don’t just use it to push out a concept, campaign or sale – you need to start from the platform and work back.

Brands should be using the discovery page, analyzing what’s trending, what’s globally popular and what’s hot in terms of music, style, transitions and creators. From here you can build out several creative concepts, leveraging competitor and platform analysis to help build assets that work for your brand.

TikTok should be playing a critical role in your creative process. If you start with the platform, regularly monitor activity, and use the insights you gain to execute your strategy – you’ll see an uplift in both your performance and engagement.

Here’s an example of the work that Incubeta did with the Australian mattress and furniture company, Koala to drive engagement on TikTok.

Migrating From Traditional Production

Put simply, the barrier to entry is a phone. Creating concepts differs immensely from traditional production methods used with other platforms, and the beauty of TikTok is the ease with which one can get involved. You don’t need to invest money or time, you just need to live in the moment – TikTok is raw, it’s ready and it’s current.

Brands should be migrating away from the traditional production methods they’re used to, and spend their efforts coming up with current and popular creative ideas. Rather than substantial production, post-production and talent costs, brands simply need a phone, an idea, and an understanding of the TikTok environment – realizing that less curation can often lead to better performance. The small amount of time and money you spend making the creative ‘TikTok centric’ far outweighs the performance uplift.

It’s important to also remember the versatility and changeability of TikTok – what’s trendy now can pass, or grow incredibly quickly. You need to get your creative brain involved, TikTok is an immensely powerful tool, and a great way to interact with your customers – ensure you continually monitor the landscape, produce fresh content, and remain relevant and relatable.

Advice to Brands

Remember the first mover advantage – get in there, stop being shy and embrace all that TikTok can offer you. If you’re nimble and explore the platform now you’ll be ahead of the curve and won’t get left behind.

The two most important things to consider are:

  • Don’t wait for other brands/competitors to try out TikTok first
  • Don’t get set on one style 

The nature of TikTok is fast, easily consumable content and the things that worked last week could be old news the following week. Additionally, the content you think will drive engagement might perform poorly and vice versa. Be sure to continually analyze, and continually inform your strategy – exploring all avenues of creativity. 

TikTok is real, raw and authentic and the scope of your creativity is limitless. Remember to experiment, tell stories and channel originality. 

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