TikTok is a ‘sound on’ environment, which is a shift for many marketers who’ve become accustomed to building for ‘sound off’ situations, in order to maximize their messaging to a broader range of people.
But according to TikTok, 88% of its users consider sound to be essential to the in-app experience, while 73% are more likely to stop and look at ads with audio, making it a key consideration for brand content campaigns.
And now, TikTok’s looking to help brands lean into audio experience, via an expansion of its marketing partner program, in order to facilitate custom music and effects to accompany promotions.
As explained by TikTok:
“We're introducing six certified Sound Partners who can help brands build sound-on strategies for TikTok. In addition to our Commercial Music Library - a pool of over 150,000 pre-cleared, royalty-free tracks sourced from emerging artists and top-tier music houses - we're excited to connect brands with trusted partners who can help them leverage the unique potential of TikTok's sound-on environment at scale.”
TikTok’s new sound partners will offer solutions within two sub-specialties – ‘Custom Sound’ and ‘Subscription Sound’.
Custom Sound partners, including KARM, MassiveMusic and The Elements, will be able to create bespoke tracks aimed at sparking community engagement, with expertise in building audio for the platform’s hashtag Challenges and video campaigns.
Subscription Sound partners, meanwhile, will offer ‘flexible music offerings’ via monthly, yearly, or project-based licensing plans. Partners in this category include Epidemic Sound, SongTradr and UnitedMasters.
TikTok says that many brands have generated strong results from sound-aligned campaigns, including online fashion retailer ASOS which sparked its own branded trend with its #AySauceChallenge.
Show us your AySauce ???? Drop your fresh three ’fits with our #AySauceChallenge ????♬ Ay Sauce - Cashino
“Globally, the Branded Hashtag Challenge Plus recorded over 1.2 billion video views in just six days, with 488,000 videos created and 167,000 users taking part. ASOS also commissioned a Brand Lift Study for the campaign which found that it achieved a 25% increase in aided brand awareness.”
The creative, collaborative nature of the platform is perfectly aligned to this type of approach, inviting the TikTok community to take part in the promotion, as opposed to more disruptive campaigns.
But then again, that does also come with a level of risk. If you end up using the wrong audio, in an attempt to create your own trend, you could fall info ‘How do you do, fellow kids’ territory, which could see your brand lambasted in responses, both on and off the app.
Which may be more reason to lean on these official partner brands, utilizing their platform expertise to help avoid missteps, while also aligning with key trends.
You can learn more about TikTok’s Marketing Partner Program here.