As part of its ongoing growth and push to implement more monetization opportunities, TikTok has been increasingly leaning into eCommerce, which can help facilitate increased advertiser activity, while also providing more revenue potential for individual creators through brand partnerships.
That’s already become a key use case for Douyin, the Chinese version of the app, and now, with the holiday season fast approaching, TikTok is pressing its case as a key product showcase and shopping destination, via what it’s calling ‘Community Commerce’ or creator-driven word-of-mouth marketing.
As explained by TikTok:
“The TikTok made me buy it phenomenon has helped products of all kinds fly off the shelves - from from leggings and milk frothers to cranberry juice, cleaning products, homewares, and everything in between. TikTok is so notorious for helping brands take off that's it's often covered in the news, and some retailers have created #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt sections in their stores, knowing that shoppers are looking to buy things they see on the app.”
Indeed, the rising popularity of the platform presents a whole new range of marketing opportunities, and the virality of TikTok trends is driving new shopping behaviors as a result.
To help brands tap into this, TikTok has shared some new insights and tips to help marketers boost their product marketing efforts in the app, which could help shape your approach to TikTok marketing.
First off, TikTok notes that its platform presents new opportunities for marketers, in terms of maximizing engagement with their products through entertainment.
“People are less satisfied with much of the advertising they see online. They're looking for ad experiences that are genuinely entertaining, especially when it comes to commerce marketing; around one-third of people want commerce to be more entertaining.”
Which is what TikTok does best, providing short, entertaining clips that keep people watching, and scrolling through their feeds. That presents a unique opportunity for brands to tap into those same trends, which is where many eCommerce retailers are generating results – by creating TikToks, not ads, on the platform.
TikTok also notes that another key advantage it has in this regard is its algorithm, and its ‘hyper-relevant For You page’:
“While other content feeds are built around a user's following, the For You page is built around videos that users like, share, and watch repeatedly. So if someone's For You page shows them a video talking about, say, makeup products or homewares, there's a good chance they care about beauty or interior design.”
This is a key point – with TikTok more aligned around content than creators or profiles, it has more opportunity to showcase a broader range of clips from different providers. TikTok’s algorithm is also very good at detecting what you like, and showing you more of it (as anyone who’s spent more than an hour scrolling through the app will attest), with its full-screen presentation format also providing directly indicative signals that the algorithm can then use to further attune its recommendations to each individual viewer.
That works for regular clips, and as TikTok notes, is also effective in showcasing relevant products, a key note to consider in your planning.
TikTok also notes that Community Commerce facilitates discovery by encouraging audiences to create entertaining content, as opposed to it being shared by the brands themselves.
“That content is then shared with and enjoyed by those creators' trusted communities. In essence, it's the digitization of word-of-mouth marketing - and it empowers brands to form genuine connections with people in a way that drives awareness, favorability, and sales.”
Leaning into TikTok’s community sharing and remix culture can be a great way to boost brand awareness in this respect, and partnering with experienced creators on the platform can help to fuel this approach, as they work to bring your product into line with audience expectation in the app.
Finally, TikTok also notes that its evolving eCommerce tools enable users to go from ‘discovery to action in a split second’:
“They hear about a product in videos on their For You page, then engage with that content and use our advertising products to visit a brand's site to browse or make a purchase. All of this takes place within the TikTok app itself, and it happens so smoothly that users can return to their feeds as soon as they're done, then restart the process.”
There are some valuable notes here, some key considerations for your approach – and again, with the holiday season fast approaching, and TikTok still leading the monthly app download charts, it may well be worth experimenting with TikTok marketing, and seeing what results you can generate, especially through influencer partnerships or platform experts.
It’s certainly an addictive platform, and if you can tap into that with your promotions, that could be a strong driver for optimal response.
You can read more of TikTok’s advertising tips and insights here.