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By Emma Shepherd

TikTok has today launched its first global experience designed to help brands and marketers embrace TikTok and reimagine how they connect with their communities.

TikTok said it’s excited to introduce new creative, branding and commerce solutions to help brands of all sizes drive commercial impact.

TikTok’s general manager, global business solutions, Australia and New Zealand, Brett Armstrong, told Mumbrella what that means for brands and marketers within the local region.

“I’d say that TikTok has now really become established as a mainstream marketing platform in Australia and New Zealand. We’ve seen advertisers from sectors spanning Auto, FMCG, finance, QSR, media, telcos, technology, retail and beauty, collaborating closely with us to drive innovation and creativity in advertising in this region,” Armstrong said.

“I’m really proud of the work we’ve partnered on with highly creative, out-of-the-box marketers like the team at Budget Direct, as well as Optus, who’ve been with us from the start, taking risks and being first movers.”

Armstrong added he’s seen many large-scale brands advertise on the platform, including Macca’s on its 50th birthday, and brands like Athlete’s Foot, Mecca and Afterpay have stretched the platform to develop bespoke campaigns that meet their needs.

“Our agency relationships have also grown from strength-to-strength and our dedicated team are close partners with media groups including Omnicom, WPP, Publicis, Mediabrands and Dentsu, as well as creative agencies like M&C Saatchi, DDB and BMF are also key for TikTok locally,” Armstrong explained.

“We’re bringing some truly innovative solutions to Australian and Kiwi brands. I know that many of our partners will be really excited by our new commerce solutions, these developments have been hotly anticipated. TikTok Shopping is one product that I’m certain will be a game-changer for us, in terms of helping brands reach consumers where they are, in droves – and that’s in-app. Measuring impact continues to be top of mind for both advertisers and agencies locally, and the tools we are announcing in this space are really going to deliver new value for our partners, which I know is news that they’ll respond to,” Armstrong said.

TikTok said it will be strengthening brand and creator collaboration with creative tools. When brands join TikTok, the platform tells them to “think like marketers and act like creators”. 61% of TikTok users say videos on TikTok are more “unique” than on any other platform and seven out of ten say TikTok ads are enjoyable, according to recent data collated by the platform.

TikTik is growing its suite of creative solutions that enable advertisers to embrace creativity on the platform and also to help connect them and collaborate with TikTok’s diverse ecosystem of creators.

TikTok Creator Marketplace is a self-serve portal provides brands with access to a variety of creators, while the Application Interface (API) enables access to the platform’s first-party marketplace data for creator marketing outfits such as Whalar, Influential, Captiv8, to provide brands with services to help manage the entire end-to-end process of creator marketing on TikTok.

Open Application Campaigns mean that brands can post campaign briefs to creators across TikTok Creator Marketplace so that they can self-apply and participate. Branded Content Toggle tool allows creators to mark videos and disclose commercial content without disrupting their creative flow.

Lastly, Customised Instant Page mean brands can create landing pages that load in seconds – 11 times faster than standard mobile pages – to let users dive deeper into a brand’s message by watching videos or swiping through different content.

According to the platform, these solutions will enhance brands’ experience on the platform, how they connect with audiences, and how they are discovered by the community.

TikTok’s global managing director, product marketing and strategy, Jiayi (Ray) Cao, told Mumbrella: “This is the moment that we hope will give the industry more of our insights about TikTok, especially for the commercial products, where we are going. It’s all three components, our creators, we want to really help them thrive on the platform, and how does that really benefit advertisers? We want to be able to connect to dots between our creators and the advertisers and our brands. The second part is really how we enable the committee and the brands to get better connected? Oftentimes, brands are seen as quite alienated from traditional advertising, but TikTok are really trying to help brands relate to their audiences. We’re really building this to help brands unlock new opportunities on the platform.”

“This is the first time the advertisers will be hearing from us directly, which is really exciting. We do have detailed roadmaps for when our products will be rolled out in each region globally. Australia and New Zealand are very important for us, as we have already run some tests of our products in the market. For example, we launched Collection Ads in Australia just six months ago, and now it’s gone global. For shopping, we’re testing aggressively in South-East Asia on our shopping solutions, and that will soon be launched in Australia, at the end of the year,” Cao concluded.

For more on this story, the team spoke about it on the Mumbrellacast

 

By Emma Shepherd

Emma Shepherd is a senior journalist at Mumbrella. With over seven years of print and digital experience in the industry, she’s previously worked as a reporter for media outlets Bauer Media (now Are Media), Yahoo Australia, and The Daily Mail among other positions.

Sourced from Mumbrella

Sourced from Forbes

With people’s attention spans growing shorter by the hour, it’s no wonder that TikTok has become an addictive source of content for millions of busybodies around the world. From comedy to advertising, TikTok users can use the platform to create any 15-second video clip they dream up and share it with the world.

TikTok has become an interesting part of many business’ marketing campaigns, which can be wildly successful if the clips tick all the right boxes. Below, members of Forbes Business Council share some of the most creative ways businesses can use this popular platform to advertise their products or services.

1. Use Your Account To Connect The Community 

When doctors create a TikTok account, it’s a great way to improve online visibility and connect with the community. It gives them a platform to talk about current issues, like vaccine misinformation, and answer questions patients frequently ask. It can also help build trust with patients who increasingly rely on online sources to find a new doctor. – Ty Allen, SocialClimb

2. Promote Health And Well-Being In Fun Ways

Who doesn’t want their workplaces to be fun and healthy? I think that because of the fact that TikTok engages a larger audience as compared to creative banners, organizations have started to use them for spreading or promoting messages in a lighter way. I recently have seen organizations promote the importance of getting vaccinated through TikTok videos and I found it extremely interesting. – Neha Madaan, Vanator

3. Make Videos Funny, Memorable, And Catchy

TikTok is best used by businesses in the advertisement angle they take. I say, funny always wins on TikTok. Video ads that are too professional will be overlooked. Make them funny, memorable and catchy and everyone wins. A good strategy is to consider the flight date of the campaign and match it to whatever is trending by putting a business spin on it. As it’s said, don’t make ads, make TikToks. – Olivia Friedman, Institute of Higher Global Studies

4. Encourage Users To Use Products In Unique Places

Recently, I saw a consumer products company hold a contest whereby they encouraged their users to post TikTok videos of them using the product in strange and exotic places. I saw videos from the pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the jungle, a safari in Africa and more. The videos were highly entertaining and a creative use of a social media platform. – Adam Coffey, CoolSys

5. Experiment In A Playful And Humorous Way

TikTok is by far my favorite social media platform because it’s authentically entertaining and you don’t have to struggle to come up with unique ideas. It’s a perfect place for brands to experiment in a playful way and your videos can go viral if you post often. Telling a story with a little humor will always work, so add a bit of it when trying to advertise. – Abigail Aboitiz, 247 Health Solution LLC

6. Use Hashtag Challenges To Boost User Content

I have seen businesses using hashtag challenges like Samsung did while launching their new Galaxy phone, which helped them to boost user-generated content. It’s a very creative idea, and you can encourage many users to watch and join your challenge. When they tap on it, the hashtag takes them to other videos that your team has developed, explaining the challenge and promoting it altogether. – Sanket Shah, InVideo Innovation Pte Ltd.

7. Share Personal Experiences To Build Authenticity

TikTok is yet another platform to share personal experiences. Skincare companies ( The Ordinary, Curology, Glossier and Clinique for example) have excelled in utilizing this feature by working with people to share their testimonials in user-generated content, building an authentic brand image and trust with their consumer base. – Jill Strickman, GENUINE: The Real People Company

8. Show Kindness With Charities And Global Missions

Businesses that are utilizing this platform for showing kindness done with charities and global missions for good have stood out to me. The benefit is the awareness toward the causes being supported that others may not have been aware of by way of a business showing an act of kindness. There is a social benefit to this and it usually returns goodwill back to the business. TikTok for good and get a ROI. – Paul L. Gunn, KUOG Corporation

9. Share Bite-Sized Pieces Of Information 

I love the way young financial management experts share bite-sized information on TikTok to make wealth building and management more accessible to the masses. This is innovative and encourages the next generation to think differently about finances, as well as build personal financial skills — something large financial institutions have struggled to achieve. – Kamales Lardi, Lardi & Partner Consulting GmbH

10. Show The “Why” And Brand Story In Your TikTok

It’s great to see businesses that show the “why” in their TikTok. Your brand story is incredibly important for connecting with customers, and what better way to share a message than a medium created for that. TikTok can help share your story, your mission and humanize you. It’s more than sharing your business; it’s sharing your life’s work. Plus, you can do it however you like. – Steve Byrne, EquiSource

11. Make Sure Platform’s Tone Matches Your Brand

The largest demographic of TikTok users are ages 16-24, which means the platform is especially effective in driving product or service trials amongst this group. I’ve seen the platform used effectively by skincare and beauty brands, but it’s important to make sure it’s the right platform and tone for your desired audience to avoid embracing a trend that’s not strategic based on your objectives. – Muraly Srinarayanathas, Computek College

Sourced from Forbes

Forbes Business Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization for successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.

By Scott Nover

TikTok unveiled new shopping features for brands, positioning it to compete with the largest social media companies on e-commerce.

The Chinese company, owned by ByteDance, has been steadily rolling out shopping features over the last year, partnering with Shopify and Walmart among others. Now, TikTok is giving marketers a suite of shopping tools including shoppable links, livestream shopping, and product galleries in ads. TikTok Shopping first piloted in the US, UK, and Canada in August.

This functionality pits TikTok against Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, which dominate US social commerce, effectively the buying and selling of products through social media. According to the research firm Insider Intelligence, Facebook will sell to 56.1 million users in 2021 on its main app and to 32.4 million on Instagram. Pinterest will attract the third-most buyers with 13.9 million expected, the research firm said.

Mike Proulx, vice president and research director at the research firm Forrester, said in an interview that social commerce is becoming “much more of a native user experience within social media apps.” Forrester research shows 38% of US adults buy products monthly on social media.

Claiming 1 billion global users as of this week, TikTok poses a rising threat to Facebook in one of the most important potential growth areas for both companies.

Social commerce has swept China

In the US, social commerce is still nascent compared to China. Chinese consumers will spend about $351 billion on purchases mediated by social media in 2021, Insider Intelligence projects, while Americans will spend about $37 billion. It’s a growing sector: social commerce sales are expected to rise 36% in the US this year.

WeChat, the ubiquitous chat app owned by Tencent, dominates social commerce in China. But ByteDane tripled its sales on Douyin, TikTok’s counterpart in China, to $77 billion in 2020, according to one Chinese media outlet. While livestream shopping in the US focuses on apparel and beauty, Chinese consumers are accustomed to buying everyday goods like groceries and meals off of influencer-led live streams. It’s uncertain that those habits will translate to the US market, but social commerce is widely considered a promising slice of growing e-commerce sales.

TikTok made me buy it

Since it rose to prominence in the US, TikTok has played a small but growing role as a recommendation engine for shoppers. While dwarfed by direct sales from competing platforms, viral posts on the platform have driven huge sales for a few products: CeraVe skin products, a cleaning paste called The Pink Stuff, catnip called Cat Crack and certain pair of now-famous leggings.

One of the company’s new slogans, “TikTok Made Me Buy It,” has become a rallying cry for creators trying out viral products, but until now the company has not equipped businesses with the tools to actually sell direct to consumers. That’s finally changing as US customers become increasingly comfortable shopping on social.

Feature Image Credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Scott Nover

Sourced from QUARTZ

Sourced from Inc.

It’s not “if” TikTok has potential as a business platform; it’s when your company will decide to leverage it.

Roger Patterson is an EO Vancouver member and the founder and CEO of visual marketing platform Later, and co-founder of accelerator Launch Academy. We asked him about the business case for TikTok. Here’s what he shared.

My first impression of TikTok was typical for a Gen Xer: The platform seemed like a hub for tweens to flaunt dance moves and indulge in pre-adolescent narcissism. But after participating in a company hack week where the mission was to build an integration with TikTok, my eyes opened to its possibilities as a serious business tool.

With more than a billion monthly active users globally, TikTok has become the fastest-growing social media platform of the decade–but with 63 percent of its users under the age of 30, executives are quick to disregard it.

And while increased screen time among the under-15 demographic during the pandemic contributed to its growth, the platform is more than short-form dance videos–it’s the next generation of content creation.

With its suggestive algorithm, musical navigation and brilliant editing tools, TikTok has mastered compelling, short-form video as a service in a way legacy platforms like YouTube and Instagram have not. The latter may have secured more placement in marketing budgets for now, but TikTok as a legitimate new content channel is forcing brands to re-evaluate how they engage consumers.

If you’re a Gen Xer, Boomer or traditionalist doubting TikTok;s business ROI, here are three reasons you should reconsider:

Branded Entertainment Has Become a Must-Have

First and foremost, TikTok is about entertaining its users. Entertainment has become a new form of brand currency, and it’s a must-have. Social media influences 71 percent of consumer buying decisions–and that funnel starts with interest and awareness. Millennials and Gen Z in the US alone have a combined $350 billion of buying power, and they’re also turning to mobile video as a primary source of entertainment.

Brands need to start thinking of entertainment as a service–a way to add value to consumers first and establish a relationship before moving to transaction.

Importantly, entertaining content doesn’t need to exclusively be a frivolous distraction. Done right, TikTok videos can be a gateway to brand education, tying to a brand’s mission or higher purpose in more creative and authentic ways.

Early Adopters are Rewarded with Influence 

Just as Snapchat graduated from the exchange of ephemeral photos to include video, stories and chat–a formula brands quickly acclimatized to–TikTok is showing signs of breaking out of its Gen-Z niche. The platform just launched a TikTok Resumes pilot program and a new Shopify partnership to support social commerce. Recently, Vimeo integrated with TikTok Business: The first video creation platform to do so.

While the platform’s expansion into more mature markets is inevitable, research shows those who get in early have a distinct advantage–higher social status, increased customer loyalty and influence–over competitors who are left playing catch up. Not to mention, building an authentic community on any social platform takes time.

Retail giants including Walmart and Amazon are already diving in head first, securing their position on the platform, as other brands figure out how to embrace the new kid on the social media block. The Washington Post, for example, may not seem a likely brand for TikTok success. However, the legacy publication was an early adopter, turning its news into funny, bite-sized videos that appeal to an entirely different audience than its print or web presence. The reward for its efforts: 40.9 million likes.

Connectivity is the New Word of Mouth

In January, TikTok star Barbara Kristoffersen posted a video of herself wearing a vintage Gap hoodie in brown, a colour the retail giant hadn’t produced since the 2000s. The post went viral, garnering more than 6 million views. By February, retro Gap hoodies were a common sight on style influencers across all platforms. Just a few months later, Gap was taking preorders for a reissue of the iconic pullover sweatshirt.

The fact is, social connectivity is the new word of mouth. And Gen Z’s status as the most socially connected generation of all time can’t be ignored. These are the consumers most likely to be talking, sharing and posting about your brand.

Hesitations some have about social media in general, and TikTok in particular, are legitimate. Between privacy issues, concerns about spyware and misinformation bubbles that just can’t seem to be popped, the internet can feel like a scary place. But ultimately, at its best, social media allows people to connect around shared interests and businesses to relate to their customers in a more direct way–through conversation, not broadcast.

TikTok may be whimsical and fast-changing, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Much like the social media platforms that came before (Facebook started for university students, and is now a key player in the $48 billion social commerce market) TikTok will eventually grow up, expand its demographics and monetize in new ways.

It isn’t a question of if TikTok has business potential; it’s whether Gen X wants to lead the way in harnessing it, or follow.

Feature Image Credit: Alamy. Illustration: Inc. Magazine

Sourced from Inc.

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Here’s a breakdown of how both platforms compare and what makes each one stand out in the influencer marketing space.

If you’re responsible for keeping your brand focused on the right social platforms and leveraging the right influencer partnerships, you’ve probably spent some time wondering whether you should focus on TikTok or Instagram.

TikTok and Instagram both offer distinct attractions for their users. While both are visual, TikTok is more audio and music-driven and has a more creative and spontaneous feel to much of its content. Instagram, on the other hand, is a more established platform with a more polished aesthetic. Because of its longevity, a sophisticated advertising and influencer network has developed on its ecosystem, which can make it easier to venture into known-commodity partnerships with influencers.

Where are your time and resources best spent, and what differentiates the two? The right answer often differs for each brand and that the difference depends on their audience and goals.

What’s your target audience demographic?

The platform you prefer may vary depending on which types of users you’re seeking to connect with. TikTok’s overall audience skews younger, with half of all Gen Z American adults accessing the platform, as compared to only 22 percent of millennials and 14 percent of the 50-64 cohort.

Instagram has a wider user base among all demographics, with 48 percent of 30-49 year olds on the platform and a third of the 50-64 age range. Its growth has stabilized and it’s not experiencing the same rapid user base expansion as TikTok.

How are you hoping to get seen?

Instagram has an advantage on influencer choice, because the network is more established and there are more influencers working there. Because Instagram has been an influencer option for a while, influencers may have a formula in place and be more certain about tried-and-true ways to gain attention from their specific audiences.

Sponsored content and advertising make frequent and expected appearances in Instagram users’ news feeds, while on TikTok, only 5.7% of content creators post about brands, products, or services on a daily basis. That number grows to just 17.3% on a weekly basis, with 60.8% of content creators reporting that they have never shared sponsored content on the app, as per our most recent research where we polled 1,743 influencers from more than 20 countries. This is, by far, one of TikTok’s greatest advantages and presents a great opportunity for marketers looking to capture people’s attention in a less saturated space.

Which metrics are you using to gauge success?

TikTok’s structure and users’ top content interests (#comedy and #dance) mean marketing efforts need to be more subtle, humorous and creative to attract interest. It’s not the platform for a hard sell nor for brands who want to have tight and rigid control of influencer content.

However, it is the ideal place to level up on organic engagement and to create relationships that may boost loyalty and migrate followers over to your other social platforms. In fact, 87.1 percent of TikTok influencers and content creators say their engagement rate is higher than on other platforms.

TikTok’s potential reach also far outstrips any other social platform because its algorithm doesn’t limit views, so if you’re planning campaigns that grow reach and awareness, TikTok might be the best place for your influencer marketing efforts.

If your focus is on a quicker sales cycle or moving your target audience from the middle to the bottom of the sales funnel, you may be better off with a consistent storytelling strategy on Instagram Stories where you link directly to your landing page or ecommerce site.

How well-versed are you in influencer marketing?

Do you already have an established influencer program, or are you just getting started? Your own knowledge level may influence the direction you lean with your platform choice.

If you’re accustomed to working with influencers and have a good grasp on your goals and metrics, you may feel ready to venture directly on to TikTok. You’ll know where you need to go and what you need to do, and you can guide the partnership based on your previous experience, especially if you use an influencer database to source the right people for your niche.

If you’re new to the influencer marketing world, you may want to leverage the knowledge of Instagram influencer partners.

Instagram influencers we surveyed said they typically spend at least three hours daily using the platform, which means they likely have their audiences’ likes, dislikes, and propensities down to a science. If you can source the right influencers for your campaigns, you can rely on them to serve as co-strategists as you plan your new influencer marketing campaigns.

In our recent study on TikTok influencer marketing, marketers surveyed said that analytics and tracking is one of their biggest TikTok challenge areas. If you’re confident in your influencer marketing knowledge, and you’re willing to experiment a little, you can easily and creatively overcome these challenges and get attention in a less saturated market.

Is there a clear winner for brands building an influencer marketing strategy?

In the battle for brand positioning, there’s no clear winner between these two powerhouse platforms. Instead, you can find the right place to showcase your business when you think strategically and evaluate which media sources your ideal buyer consumes.

Not many things in business come down to feeling alone, but you can evaluate which brand feels like a natural fit based on the criteria we mentioned, then continue to adjust while monitoring performance data.

You may find that one platform is clearly right for your brand or you may see opportunities to connect with your target audience across both. As each platform refines its offerings, algorithm, and business-focused features, you can continue to experiment accordingly with your strategy.

And, if you find you’re ready to dive into something new, TikTok can provide a welcome platform for experimentation. By getting your brand in the space, you can see where content is resonating for your audiences, define your goals, then align with the right creators and make a splash.

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Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe

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We are all influencers is a motto in which I firmly believe because the size of our audience does not matter but how we speak to them.

Some brands seem to have understood it very well and applied it to their strategies with influencers on TikTok , the social network of the moment.

Amazon, for example, has been able to take advantage of the videos that users create organically to reuse them in their favour and promote certain products.

Thus, the e-commerce giant is taking advantage of organically driven video trends such as Things TikTok Made Me Buy ” (“Things TikTok Made Me Buy”) or “Things You Didn’t Know You Needed From Amazon” (” Things You Didn ‘ t Know You Need Of Amazon ”) to share unsponsored content that users create on their TikTok accounts.

In addition to amplifying organic user-generated content, Amazon is investing heavily in influencer marketing for TikTok through collaborations to promote offers and increase brand recognition during the year’s busiest commercial campaigns such as Mother’s Day. , back to school, the holiday season and, of course, Prime Day.

Reply to @itsdai_ebb ## greenscreen ♬ 20min by Iil Uzi Vert –

 

The key to Amazon’s success with TikTok influencers is that they give them the creative freedom to innovate and create out-of-the-box content that is perfectly suited to the unconventional language of this Chinese-born social network.

Another brand that has known how to find influencers among users is the fast food chain Chipotle, which today has positioned itself as a benchmark for challenges on TikTok.

Chipotle leverages hashtags and influencer marketing to engage customers and create trends on TikTok. It is not intended to create scripted blockbusters, but genuine and creative user-generated content. The key to his videos and challenges: spontaneity.

For example, the #LidFlipChallenge drove a digital sales record for the company and generated more than 110K videos related to this challenge. The #GuacDance Challenge, launched in collaboration with TikTok creators including Brent Rivera and Loren Gray, generated 500 million impressions from 250K fan videos submitted.

Got it to land w / o catching it in mid-air ## ChipotleLidFlip ## lidflipchallenge ## lidflip ## lookmanohands ♬ Flip – Future

 

Endorsement from TikTok influencers and content creators, whether sponsored or organic, increases brand awareness and builds trust and connection with the audience.

What should we do?

Audience The first thing every brand should ask itself before considering TikTok as part of its digital strategy is if its audience is on that platform.

If the answer is positive, there is no better time than now to start building a presence on TikTok and not wait, as happens with many brands with other social networks, for the social network to be saturated with marketing campaigns to launch and try to draw attention.

Content . Creating content for TikTok is challenging because you only have a few seconds to grab attention before users decide to move on to the next video. TikTok users expect to be entertained or informed, or both, with each video, so you have to be absolutely clear about what the end goal is. In terms of content creation, brands need to understand that authenticity, entertainment, and originality are highly rewarded on TikTok.

The aforementioned examples from Amazon and Chipotle are a sign that these brands understand that TikTok requires its own approach because it is a different audience that expects to see different content that grabs people’s attention from the first second and is useful and educational, but not boring.

Hashtags and Challenges . Know the culture of TikTok well and find ways in which the brand can communicate and integrate naturally. Knowing which hashtags are trending and joining or creating viral challenges will help increase brand awareness, gain followers, and show your community that the brand is part of the TikTok movement.

Influencers . A recent study conducted among advertisers and influencers in the United States, Europe, and Latin America showed that TikTok is driving social commerce, but the impact comes from user-generated content, demonstrating the power and importance of integrating influencers into marketing strategies. TikTok marketing of brands.

According to the survey, 68 percent of content creators reported making a purchase based on a post from someone they follow on the platform.

Finally, remember that the best allies for a brand can be found on the same social network … because we are all influencers .

Feature Image credit: Amanda Vick vía Unsplash 

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Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe

By Chris Kuenne

Brands must focus more on the ‘why’ than the ‘what’

Over the next five years, the global marketing industry is forecasted to grow by 19%. By 2026 brands are expected to spend $66 billion annually on data, technology and new analytical approaches to convert shoppers into buyers, up from $27 billion in 2021.

This conversion funnel obsession has inadvertently confounded brand marketer’s single most important goal: creating enduring relationships with their best consumers. Think about the barrage of re-marketing campaigns that hit you when you considered buying cowboy boots: weeks of banner ads and emails trying to convince you to buy Justin, Lucchese and Corral cowboy boots in black, brown or tan.

For loyal consumers, this modern junk mail and digital harassment likely turned them off, as these brands demonstrated how little they really understood their best customer.

The key to building loyal relationships with a brand’s most valuable customers is to understand how their motivations and preferences drive brand choice, usage and lifetime value. Put simply, companies have been investing in data that reveals what people are doing or might do next, but not why they are doing it.

As digital marketing shifts from conversion craziness to relationship building, how can companies access and operationalize the data upon which true relationships are built?

Look at TikTok’s business model

To start, they can look at online dating and TikTok.

A swipe right on a dating profile is simply much more reflective of who these consumers are.

In the online dating ecosystem, individuals reveal deep insights through their clickstreams. Depending on the particular app or dating site, those looking for a match reveal everything from their sexual orientation to their political views. With this high-resolution data, a dating app could ascertain, for example, that when a 28-year-old woman increased her age preference for the men she was interested in by five years and included those who had previously been married after a series of flops with men her own age, that she was not only motivated to date older men but also likely looking for a more serious relationship.

TikTok is similar. Its business model is to keep users engaged for as many hours as possible by serving increasingly relevant content based on preferences discerned from the videos they watch. TikTok builds out user profiles rooted in viewer preferences directly revealed from high-resolution behaviours, often delivering content users wouldn’t have found just by following their friends.

Acknowledge the power behind the swipe

It isn’t that online dating apps and websites and TikTok aren’t making decisions based on clicks, like other brands are. But their personalized recommendation models are trained on clickstream data that explicitly underpins the preferences and motivations they are seeking to understand, in a way that a click on an ad for cowboy boots on Instagram does not.

A swipe right on a dating profile is simply much more reflective of who these consumers are. This allows these companies to effectively predict what their audience wants next, building deeper customer relationships and a more loyal, more profitable customer base.

So how can credit card marketers or home goods retailers, whose businesses are not based on high-resolution behavioral data like Tinder and TikTok, make the leap to discern preferences and motivations?

Just as an online dating website uses every swipe and match to extrapolate composite profiles, digital marketers in industries from financial services to consumer technology can build deeper customer relationships through emerging methodologies that quantitatively define personas. These techniques combine survey, behavioral and transactional data with advanced analytics to discover clusters based on how consumers’ underlying motivations and preferences drive their economic behavior (brand choice, frequency, price sensitivity, etc.).

Systematically understanding consumers’ motivations and preferences at scale will allow all digital marketers to make the next big leap toward greater personal relevance, more enduring customer loyalty and enhanced customer lifetime value.

Feature Image Credit: Bloomberg/Getty Images

By Chris Kuenne

Chris Kuenne is chairman and CEO of Rosemark.

Sourced from ADWEEK

By Lauren Thomas 

  • Teens are scouring TikTok for fashion inspiration.
  • Thanks to the social media platform’s easily searchable hashtags and the power of influencer accounts, retailers have seen a number of products become viral sensations, including a Lululemon skort, a Gap hoodie and a pair of Aerie leggings.
  • Eyeing a bigger opportunity to win sales, retailers such as Aeropostale and Abercrombie & Fitch are looking for ways to capitalize on these viral moments.

When a Lululemon skort went viral across TikTok earlier this summer, 16-year-old Kylie knew she had to get her hands on it.

But by the time she was searching for her size on Lululemon’s website, it was already sold out. The sought-after skort — part skirt, part shorts with a two-inch inseam — was also totally bought up in a nearby store in Boulder, Colorado, according to Kylie’s mom.

The teen then relied on her favourite TikTok influencers, who often post #fashionhauls and #OOTD (outfit of the day), to alert her when the skort would be back on sale. She was also closely monitoring, even during school hours, other hashtags on the social platform, like ”#preppy” and ”#closettour.” Ultimately, Kylie ended up snagging it in a bigger size and taking it in for alterations.

“My kids come to me all the time now showing me TikTok videos, pointing at them, saying, ‘I want to buy this’ or ‘I think this is cute for the fall,’” said Nicole Leinbach, a Boulder resident who is the mother of Kylie and 13-year-old Claire. “They’re definitely leaning into TikTok to help guide them in what they want.”

It used to be a trip around the mall with friends, but many teens today are scouring TikTok for inspiration. Tethered to their phones, this generation spends an average of 12 hours on social media apps per week. They desire authenticity and individualism, with clothing serving as a key form of self-expression, but Gen Z’s social habits reveal they are seeking guidance from others they trust before committing to a dress or a pair of sneakers.

Thanks to TikTok’s easily searchable hashtags and the power of influencer accounts that boast anywhere from a couple thousand to millions of followers, viral sensations keep occurring for products like the Lululemon skort. For Zara, it was a pair of wide-leg denim pants, while Aerie sold out of a pair of leggings with a unique crossover waist. Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Kate Spade sold through a heart-shaped bag thanks to a popular TikTok video. Eyeing a bigger opportunity, retailers are looking for ways to capitalize on these viral moments. And it will likely become an even bigger part of business strategies this back-to-school season.

“TikTok has the ability to make something go viral much quicker than anything we see on Instagram,” said Jessica Ramirez, retail research analyst at Jane Hali & Associates. “For retailers, that is a huge advantage.”

Gap’s hoodie moment

In January, TikTok star Barbara Kristoffersen posted a video of herself wearing Gap’s iconic logo hoodie in dark brown. It was a vintage find. Gap hadn’t manufactured that style in more than a decade.

Fuelled by the power of TikTok influencers and their devout followings, brown hoodies started appearing on resale sites for as much as $300. People who had the hoodie stowed away in the back of their closets were sharing videos pairing it with Louis Vuitton bags and other luxury brands in neutral hues.

After it went viral on TikTok, Gap is relaunching its logo hoodie in a brown color. It's currently available for presale.
After it went viral on TikTok, Gap is relaunching its logo hoodie in a brown colour. It’s currently available for presale.
Source: Gap PR

Kristoffersen’s post has since racked up nearly 2 million views. And the hashtag ”#gaphoodie” has more than 6.6 million views — and growing — on TikTok.

Gap noticed the momentum shortly after Kristoffersen’s post and began sending her more logo hoodies in various colours. The company also sent hoodies to a handful of other TikTok users. The retailer’s strategy was to rely heavily on the influencer community, Gap Chief Marketing Officer Mary Alderete explained in an interview.

“We did start [a TikTok] account, but we didn’t rush to do a lot of posts,” she said. “These creators get on there … and they’re influencing literally what the trends are.”

To tap an even bigger sales opportunity, Gap decided to manufacture a fresh batch of brown logo hoodies. The product is available for presale and will ship later this fall. The company also partnered with TikTok to crowdsource its next colour based on user votes.

“I don’t think we ever anticipated the arch logo [hoodie] — it’s a classic of ours — but I don’t think we would have necessarily anticipated it taking off like this,” Alderete said. “The key thing is you can’t really force it. You have to ride it.”

After a winning colour is selected, the new hoodies will hit Gap stores and its website just in time for back-to-school shopping, Alderete said. Aside from the holidays, it’s one of the busiest sales periods of the year.

Gap also expects the renewed momentum for its boldface logo to benefit Gap Teen, an apparel vertical it launched in early 2020 to cater to tween and teen girls.

“We have our kids’ back-to-school campaign, but we wanted to do something disruptive for back-to-school for teens,” Alderete explained. “And this crowdsourcing job was our teen approach.”

Teens love #tinytops

The teen retailer Aeropostale is leaning into a similar viral experience it had with its crop tops.

The hashtag ”#tinytops” started blowing up on TikTok in early April, and some of Aeropostale’s merchandise was in the mix, alongside that of American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch. The trend refers to crop tops, which have exploded in popularity in recent months, especially among tweens and teens who are pairing the skin-baring shirts with high-waisted and looser-fitting bottoms.

“It’s very ’90s, Y2K — as the bottoms get bigger with more volume, that’s when the tops get tinier and smaller,” said Natalie Levy, president and chief merchandise officer at Aeropostale’s parent, SPARC.

Aeropostale found itself trending on TikTok when the hashtag "#tinytops" went viral among fashion influencers.
Aeropostale found itself trending on TikTok when the hashtag ”#tinytops” went viral among fashion influencers.
Source: SPARC PR

After some TikTok posts started going viral, including one by Lexi Hidalgo, who has more than 1.6 million followers, people were not only visiting Aeropostale’s website in search of the crop tops, but they also came into stores asking employees specifically for “TikTok items,” Levy said.

Aeropostale reacted fast. It now has sections of its stores devoted to clothing that’s gone viral on TikTok: Crop tops, baggy denim and oversized sweatpants. Those will remain throughout back-to-school season.

“What’s great is we aren’t paying for celebrity influencers or talent … it just happened organically,” Levy added. “We’re really authentic about it.”

Some retailers, though, have taken the approach of directly tapping big-name talent. Abercrombie & Fitch’s Hollister brand debuted a new line of clothing called Social Tourist, in a partnership with TikTok superstars Dixie and Charli D’Amelio. Terms of the deal were never disclosed, but Abercrombie said it has a multiyear deal with the sisters, who combined have more than 170 million followers.

Sharing ideas with a stranger

According to one Gen Z expert, letting content flourish organically might be the best approach to reach consumers under the age of 24.

Hana Ben-Shabat, founder of the advisory and research firm Gen Z Planet, said that many younger TikTok users prefer seeing posts from so-called micro- or nano-influencers, who might only have a couple hundred or thousand followers. They feel as if these people, unlike the D’Amelio sisters, are much more relatable, she said.

“This is a generation that is seeking authenticity in everything they do,” said Ben-Shabat, who is also the author of the upcoming book “Gen Z 360: Preparing for the Inevitable Change in Culture, Work, and Commerce.” “Tiktok is a platform that allows you to go there and be yourself. ‘Be yourself’ is the Gen Z mantra. There’s no doubt about it.”

“And what is the best way to express individuality? Beauty and fashion,” she said.

Across all generations, though, there’s clearly a growing buy-in from people to shop directly from social media apps.

Social commerce sales in the United States are forecast to rise 35.8% this year to $36.62 billion, according to eMarketer. This would mark a slight deceleration from year-over-year growth of 38.9% in 2020, eMarketer said, when the Covid pandemic kept more people at home and shopping from their phones. EMarketer defines social commerce as products or services ordered via social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.

The U.S. lags in comparison with China, which is expected to see social commerce sales eclipse $351.65 billion in 2021, according to eMarketer’s data.

EMarketer doesn’t break out social commerce spending by generation. But it’s worth noting that TikTok usage among teens is still growing, relative to other social platforms. TikTok is now teens’ second-favorite social media app, according to a survey of 7,000 teens from Feb. 19 to March 24 by Piper Sandler. It’s stealing share from Instagram and Snapchat.

And earlier this month, TikTok announced that in the coming weeks it will be rolling out the option to all users to create videos as long as 3 minutes. The shift could make the app even more appealing to influencers and creators hoping to share longer-form content, such as longer fashion hauls or beauty tutorials.

Forty-one percent of back-to-school shoppers are planning to use social media platforms to help them decide what to buy before going back to the classroom, according to a Deloitte survey of 1,200 consumers. That’s the highest percentage Deloitte has tracked in the six years it has asked this question.

“People are attracted to the idea of another stranger sharing ideas, whether it’s their fashion style or just their thoughts,” 43-year-old Leinbach said about her daughters spending time on TikTok.

“Users of TikTok don’t want to see brands trying to push something to them. They’re looking to influencers for inspiration,” she added. “They also, in many ways, feel as if they’re their own influencers within their smaller networks.”

Feature Image Credit: Filip Radwanski | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

By Lauren Thomas 

@LAURENTHOMAS

Sourced from CNBC

Sourced from Forbes

TikTok continues to surge in popularity. As of January of 2021, the platform had more than 680 million users worldwide. With so many users on the short-form video app, it’s quickly become a relevant channel for advertising. However, it can be a challenge for brands to create a short video ad without it coming across as run-of-the-mill, highly produced commercial.

If you’re considering using TikTok in your marketing efforts, it’s important to understand how to effectively reach your target audience on the platform. Below, 13 members of Forbes Agency Council detail the best ways to grab consumers’ attention and gain their trust by leveraging TikTok to market your business.

1. Entertain Before You Try To Sell

Leverage TikTok by making authentic content that aims to entertain first and sell second, if at all. As the adage goes, “If you’re going to crash a party, bring champagne.” To stretch that analogy a bit, modern audiences are smart enough to know if you’ve brought champagne or a cheap bottle of Cava from the shop down the road. – Dan Cullen-Shute, Creature

2. Leverage Influencers And Branded Hashtag Challenges

One way to engage audiences on TikTok in a contextually relevant manner is to work with TikTok influencers to promote your brand or product. The platform has a creator’s marketplace to help you search for influencers that best fit your brand, audience and desired outcome. Another option is the branded hashtag challenge ad format, which encourages user-generated content about your product or brand. – Greg Garunov, Sightly

3. Drive Emotion And Connection

TikTok is built off of driving emotion and connection with the viewer. Marketers can easily leverage authentic influencer content from this platform that could become explosive on other platforms at a lower cost, yet still has a higher impact than even a Super Bowl commercial, as we’ve seen with the viral TikTok leggings, for example. – Logan Rae, Argon Agency

4. Share Practical Advice

Short-form video has been around for decades in the form of video news releases or news segments, with little care paid to it. Instead of trying to sound smart, share practical advice that helps another person level up personally, professionally or emotionally. Raw, unedited advice will captivate an audience that’s willing to listen. – Brad Ginsburg, Global Communication Works (GCW)

5. Give Them A Reason To Watch

Authenticity is key for any platform. TikTok is still purely entertainment; the ad world hasn’t bombarded it—yet. That means two things: The ad value is under-priced, and the audience is growing rapidly. If your marketing doesn’t appear entertaining, they will flick right past you. Remember the give/get model here for a path to success: Give them a reason to watch, and you’ll get an impression or an action. – Rob Fallon, Bluewater

6. Follow The Trends

Part of the magic of TikTok is how the content is created. It’s meant to be fun, not perfect. Brands need to understand that a perfectly produced ad will most likely stand out on TikTok, and not in a good way. Brands need to create content that is native in format and follows the trends that other users are following. That will get you into a conversation, rather than ruining the conversation. – Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

7. Be Timely And Relevant

TikTok trends live and die overnight; what’s popular today may not be tomorrow. The smartest brands on the platform have mastered creating timely and relevant content by jumping on trends within hours of them becoming popular. The great thing about TikTok is that content doesn’t have to be polished or professionally shot. Many brands create content on their mobile devices, with minimal editing. – Charlie Grinnell, RightMetric

8. Find Inspiration In User-Produced Content

It is crucial for brands to engage with the audience in a way that’s endemic to the platform and not like standard ads or social channels. Get inspired by user-produced content (i.e., paid talent), and don’t worry about trying to piggyback on the latest thing. Be creative and design your own tropes that are fun, engaging and relevant to the brand while encouraging the audience to do the same. – Jason Parkin, Compose[d]

9. Lean Into The Creator Community

TikTok can be a powerful channel for creative storytelling and marketing opportunities. Brands should lean into the creator community and co-create content that provides value in terms of entertainment and/or education. Each brand is unique; some brands might create behind-the-scenes content or a sneak peek at a new product, while others provide entertainment or education. – Paula Bruno, Intuition Media Group d/b/a Blissful Media Group

10. Tell A Story

Take your lead from viral TikTok creators and use the power of a story. By using text on top of a video, you won’t come across as overly polished, but you will catch their eye, even if the sound is off. Start with a short bit of text that establishes a problem plaguing your ideal customer, ideally a fear or concern. Then drop in text to help solve their problem step by step. – Samantha Reynolds, ECHO Storytelling Agency

11. Mirror Your Audience’s Interests

Don’t be something you are not, regardless of medium. Ask yourself, “Why is my audience on TikTok?” What are they looking for on the app? Create content to mirror their interests. If they are there to be entertained, post something entertaining. If they are there to learn, offer educational tips or tricks on how to use your product or service. A good rule of thumb is to make it 80% information and 20% ad. – Sara Steever, Paulsen

12. Try Using The Duet Function

TikTok has a more creator-driven aesthetic versus the “produced” approach we see on other channels. To be successful, brands have to adapt their content to trends and do creative, in-app editing instead of pushing out canned content. TikTok users can easily sniff out inauthenticity. Also, using the TikTok Duet function and filters provides a more genuine way to connect with the platform’s dialled-in audience. – Mike Popowski, Dagger

13. Get Your Team Involved

Stick to using in-app features, and commit your team to only filming with their mobile devices. Encourage your team to find content that they can do a TikTok Duet with, or trending content they can do their own versions of, such as challenges or dances. Even supplying your team with swag they can wear is enough to feature your brand without looking as if you’re trying too hard. – Bernard May, National Positions

Sourced from Forbes

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When you launch an eCommerce, the first sale is as symbolic as it is necessary

When you launch an eCommerce, the first sale is as symbolic as it is necessary. It is not so much because of the income or because it is extremely complicated, but because of the optimism and tranquillity, it represents for the team. It can mean the biggest turning point in the life of the company. Obtaining that first customer will be a long and complicated battle, so in this article, we explain how to grow an eCommerce while spending the least. Keep reading!

How to grow an eCommerce with minimal expense

Without a doubt, the first sales are the most complicated and the most exasperating. Consumers won’t come to your platform by magic. Therefore, if you want to know how to grow your eCommerce investing little money, you must aggressively market your business and take advantage of the weaknesses of your competition to attract customers and traffic.

Take note of the following techniques that will help you achieve this. Keep reading!

1 # Presence in social networks

The first point on the list of how to grow an eCommerce could not be other than social networks. To start making yourself known, you must open an account. It is not about being in all of them, but about selecting the ones that will be useful to connect with your target audience, but how do you know which is the ideal one?

TWITTER

The simplicity of Twitter makes it one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience. A good way to find potential clients is to proactively find people who post questions about your field and reach out to them so they keep you in mind. The idea is not to present or mention your products but to help them answer their questions. If you do it right, users will investigate your existence and discover your business.

LINKEDIN

Second, Linkedin is the Internet office. On this platform you can find professionals and executives of all kinds, showing off their skills and connecting with others. Once you have configured your e-commerce profile, you can start doing the same.

You may not sell anything directly through Linkedin, but you will discover many opportunities with other companies, providers and related websites. There are dozens of public and private groups created for specific niches, allowing you to post questions and talk to other members.

INSTAGRAM, TIKTOK AND PINTEREST

On the other hand, social networks like Instagram, TikTok or Pinterest allow you to take a different approach if the audience is young. They are ideal platforms for original and creative content. Take photos of your products as well as videos and tell an engaging story.

FACEBOOK

And finally Facebook. This is still a very powerful social network. Take advantage of your professional profile and create a business page to interact with friends, family and acquaintances and make people talk about your brand. Get creative with status updates and engage in public groups and fan pages relevant to your niche. In addition, you can do paid campaigns.

2 # Create a blog

If you are not yet building a blog associated with your e-commerce or product, you are losing the unlimited potential of content marketing. Producing free and valuable content builds brand trust. It also offers you content to share on social networks and helps you rank in search engines.

To start, think about all those initial inquiries that the audience has about your products and your sector. Use the blog to answer those questions with individual articles. Plus, you can use it to provide lifestyle tips, tutorials, and resources around your products. If you can create regular content, you will soon start to see results thanks to social networks and search engines.

3 # Send your product to influencers

Third, the list of how to grow your eCommerce could not be without influencers. In recent years, influencers have become key pieces for marketing strategies. The Internet is full of bloggers, journalists, entrepreneurs and vloggers of all types specialized in all fields. You need to find the right ones. Many of them have a large following and a loyal following on their web pages.

Therefore, you can send a free sample of your product to those who best fit your brand. Hopefully, you will get a mention on one of their platforms, and you will also let them know that as a company you appreciate their work with a small gift.

In this sense, you can also conduct interviews with them. It is a good way to create original and different content. Interviews work because they are win-win situations. The interviewee gets more visibility and the interviewer has good content to post on the blog, for example. Take the opportunity to ask questions about their lives and careers, but also about the industry in general.

On the other hand, to collaborate with them, you can also run contests or raffles. We all love free stuff and if you’re looking to build trust, running a contest or giveaway could help you get there. This can be done with the collaboration of influencers or on your social networks.

4 # Public relations and communication strategy

If you want to know how to grow your eCommerce, make a public relations strategy. They have the same effect as when a video goes viral and can propel your brand to success. A sure fire public relations trick is to do something unusual, outrageous, funny, or important enough to merit media attention.

If it goes well, your eCommerce will benefit from many high-profile news source links, which is great for both short-term traffic and long-term SEO.

In terms of communication, many electronic businesses publish press releases to attract the attention of the media, although most of them fail. It is a less useful strategy than it used to be but still sire. The secret is to make sure your story is newsworthy, concise, and professional, without being too monotonous.

5 # Create a Mailing list

Email is one of the best channels for attracting leads, and it can even be free. You can create a mailing list of previous and potential customers and send them information, products and content. Include an email subscription form on your website. This is an effective way to convince visitors to sign up for your database.

Instead of just saying “sign up for our newsletter,” offer an incentive or some kind of added value for subscribing.

Another use that you can give is conducting surveys to your consumers, so you receive comments to improve. Customers often have no qualms about saying what their experience with the store has been like and whether something was done wrong.

6 # Experiment with Google Ads

To know how to grow an eCommerce you have to know what Google Ads is. In case you don’t know yet, Google Ads is Google’s pay-per-click advertising platform. It enables online merchants to place ads on almost all Google results pages, YouTube videos, and partner websites.

The biggest advantage of Google Ads is its speed and massive reach. In a few minutes, you can set up and launch an advertising campaign that makes your text, image or video ads appear. You can also set the option for them to be activated and displayed next to Google results when users search for predefined or similar keywords.

7 # Pay attention to web analytics

The behaviour of each user when he visits a web page from when he enters to when he leaves helps you understand why you are or are not selling. Your page statistics will show you what your customers are doing on your website, including the websites they enter, the time they spend on each one, and the route they choose to exit.

Some tools also display additional information. For example, how often a customer visits your website. In this sense, Google Analytics is a totally free tool that helps you measure traffic in many ways.

8 # Sponsor an event

To get good results sponsoring an event you have to give it the right approach. First, you will have to make sure that you select the right event and that the target audience is the same as yours. Will your potential clients be among the attendees? Would your product interest them? How many attendees will it have?

Once the data in hand, classify them according to the type of audience and sponsorship price. Once you attend, avoid typical marketing strategies like handing out flyers. You will have to be creative to establish and build relationships.

Show off some of your most interesting products to tell their story, get people talking about it, and offer immediate promotions like free coupons in exchange for email list subscriptions or social media follow-ups.

9 # Make use of affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is those actions by which you allow other people to market your products and send traffic to your website. In return, for each sale, you pay a percentage. You can track it by giving it a custom link or a unique coupon code.

The great thing about this sales strategy is that you only pay if sales are made, which makes affiliates do their best.

10 # Outperform the Competition on Price Comparison Platforms

Most consumers like to shop around before making a purchase, this includes browsing Google and sites like Amazon for the best options. The most popular platforms are Google Shopping, Yahoo Shopping, Kelkoo, idealo, etc.

To achieve notoriety, you have to follow the rules of each platform, stay competitive on pricing, and wait while you experiment to find out which platform is the best fit for you and offers the best ROI.

What did you think of this article on how to grow eCommerce? Leave your comments and share!

And if you want to set up your own e-commerce and you don’t know how to launch your project, take the Master in e-Commerce & Digital Marketing. You will learn everything related to managing electronic commerce with a comprehensive vision with the best business models and strategies. We will wait for you!

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Author Selena is a blogger and a guest contributor for a well-known brand that includes MESHEBLE, Saveucoupon & INTHEMARKET. In her leisure time, she plays tennis.

Sourced from INFLUENCIVE