Breaking down TikTok, metrics and how to use it on an organic basis with influencers

TikTok, the favourite social video platform amongst GenZ, has seen huge growth in millennials and adults searching for positive, light-hearted content during the pandemic.

Tik Tok is first and foremost a digital marketing tool for brand awareness and user acquisition, and should be an integral channel in your marketing plan beyond 2020.  TikTok has seen a huge recent increase of viral videos and new users –a total of 65 million unique downloads took place in March alone, adding to the 800 million users recorded in January 2020.

So, what is TikTok?

TikTok is primarily a video sharing platform. Unlike other social platforms, it is designed to showcase what you are doing there and then, rather than provide aspirational content like Instagram which serves us up predominantly luxurious content that we can Pinterest for our holidays or add to our wish list. The aim of TikTok videos (only up to 60 seconds) is to serve content that is fun, easy to digest, video based and positive content - a welcome distraction at the moment!

Tik Tok can be very useful to educate a specific audience – viral campaigns run by the World Health Organisation dispelling some of the myths around Covid-19 have been very successful, alongside domestic abuse campaigns highlighting how to spot the signs of and how to help others.  The hashtag #happyathome which focuses on UGC content around lockdown and staying at home, has had more than 7.5 billion views.

So what can your brand do with TikTok influencers on an ORGANIC basis, and how should you be measuring them?

Importantly – the differentiation between user types is crucial here.

A ‘content creator’ that you find on Instagram is very different in the world of TikTok. Here, a content creator is as the name suggests, a user that creates content – this could be a photographer, a working professional – but is not be able to influence others with their content.

An ‘influencer’ on TikTok could be a micro influencer with only 10k followers with an amazing engagement rate, or a macro influencer with millions of views.

Increasing user generated content for your brand

Using influencers on TikTok will inevitably create a domino effect for any UGC content, especially if it is light-hearted and authentic to the influencer. For reference, when a user opens TikTok, they’ll see a For You page which is content served to them based on their interests. So thereby using influencers increases the likelihood of serving a greater audience this content.

Overall results of a campaign would include from UGC content:

  • Total views across all UGC videos
  • Total Hearts (equivalent to likes) on all UGC videos
  • Total comments on all UGC videos
  • Average engagement rate across all UGC videos
  • Total shares across all UGC videos
  • Total reach of a specific hashtag
  • Number of replays of a specific song
  • Total of user – generated videos using a specific hashtag
  • Total of user generated videos using a specific song
  • Sale of sales on e-commerce if the product is physical

Note – TikTok currently does not have the ability for organic videos content to have a clickable link to send traffic to an e-commerce site or landing page. TikTok is working with vetted content creators to add a clickable link in the bio. So unlike Instagram, TikTok is not yet proven to increase sales and e-commerce, rather it is a very powerful tool for brand authenticity, storytelling, and positive content.

Our comments on how best to use the platform:

Selecting the right influencer to represent your brand here is key in rolling out the ‘best’ organic campaign on TikTok – don’t only use ‘content creators’, look for ‘influencers’ on the platform to spread your message.  In terms of metrics and measurement, do not just count on views. Assess the volume of content under the campaign hashtag and therefore the ‘share of voice’ on the topic or product in specific market, in addition to traffic / sales that could be attributed over the time-frame to the campaign.

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