Image Source: Synergyzer

Brands have an undying love for advertising on social media. After all, not only the returns are exciting but they [brands] are also able to keep a tab on live updates and results. For instance, TikTok, despite the ban in Pakistan, remains a lucrative platform for brands to advertise their products on.

Why, you may ask? Simple. The returns are just uh-mazing!

And there are multiple ways in which brands can leverage TikTok’s powerful platform to reach out to their intended audiences. The best way for a brand to show up on the platform is by establishing an organic brand presence and amplifying its content through the platform’s paid media ad solutions.

Why advertising on TikTok is different from other platforms

On TikTok, your feed is curated for you based on your interests and not based on your social network. Hence, it helps brands reach their intended target audiences.

People are spending more time watching videos on their smartphones, resulting in a shift of consumer time spent towards short-form videos. This is where platforms like TikTok come in. Because the content is curated according to the user behavior on the app, it is easy for the brands to target their intended audiences.

To its credit, TikTok offers an effortless, compelling, and personalized viewing experience, and encourages creativity through the easy-to-use video capturing and editing tools, empowering everyone to be a creator directly from their smartphones thereby making the app popular among the Gen Z and mobile-savvy audience.

Moreover, in the latest global Nielsen study conducted for the MENAT region (Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey), users find TikTok content authentic and joyful, and consequently, they find ads on TikTok more trustworthy, less intrusive, and more creative. (This para could go to the next section)

Ads or TikTok?

Here’s the interesting bit. Users see TikTok as an ad-friendly environment, believing the platform to be more trustworthy, less intrusive, more creative, and entertaining because it is driven by authenticity and creativity above all else.

Today, there is a new marketing reality: consumers have shrinking attention spans, and their time spent is even more scattered by multiple devices. They dislike online advertising and are hard to engage. TikTok locks user attention through edge-to-edge vertical videos, delivering a full-screen visually immersive experience that drives engagement and real business results.

TikTok is a platform that allows users to express their creative ideas through their content, giving rise to extremely interactive hashtag challenges and trending topics that anyone can participate in. By letting users create their own content for a brand’s campaign, hashtag challenges give users a sense of being part of the brand, turning them into authentic and powerful brand ambassadors.

Brands & TikTok

There is a reason why some of the major brands in Pakistan like PepsiCo Kurkure, Samsung, Mondelez, Noon Academy, Nestle, and Daraz have worked with TikTok over the last few months. That said, there are some small or medium-sized brands like Beechtree, Pepper Land, and Mo Bargh under the Ahead Brands Group that have also used TikTok as a platform to promote their products.

In fact, TikTok is one of the few social media platforms that are providing as much engagement and reach to small and medium-sized businesses as it is to the top brands. Because of the reach and impact the platform has on a wide range of audiences, it is no surprise that TikTok now has more and more small and medium-sized brands exploring advertising opportunities with it.

Image Source: Synergyzer

With TikTok, small businesses can build their content for a mobile, sound-on environment, where there are a number of opportunities to inculcate sound: music, sound effects, voice-overs, reactions, and more. We’ve seen incredible examples of businesses sharing their story through authentic, fun, short-form videos.

Content Creators on the platform

Content creators also play a major role in how brands promote their products and businesses on the platform. Brands work with them to tell brand stories rather than focusing on products, and TikTok is right in the heart of this change due to the creative prowess content creators bring to the platform. Jumping onto trends keeps the brands trending on TikTok, which provides many exciting opportunities in turning consumers into advocates for those brands while engaging them in the creative storytelling process.

What’s in it for creators, one may ask. Well, in addition to significant monetary benefits from brand collaborations, TikTok creators are given opportunities to build their own brand, get recognized for their creativity on the platform, and work with brands that are aligned with their values and personal vision.

Tips for brands

Following are some ways brands can utilize TikTok for most of its potential.

Be authentic:

Audiences on TikTok resonate strongest with authenticity, and consumers can tell very quickly and very easily if a brand is not being authentic to its core values and to what it stands for.

Be creative:

TikTok provides businesses with a platform to unleash their creative side. It allows them to tap into an engaged community in a fun and rewarding way that resonates and connects with different audiences like nowhere else, and creativity is one of the driving forces behind that connection.

Be engaging:

Be a part of its community – join the conversation and participate, and welcome people into your brand. Enjoy the rich storytelling and creativity that is possible with everything TikTok offers and have fun with it!

There is a lesson in all of this for businesses. Brands need to go out of their comfort zone to build connections with their customers by investing in content and creativity on platforms like TikTok. That is why TikTok says: Don’t make ads, make TikToks!

“In addition to significant monetary benefits from brand collaborations, TikTok creators are given opportunities to build their own brand, get recognized for their creativity on the platform and work with brands that are aligned with their values and personal vision”.

Contributed by Humayoun Ahmed Khan.

This article was originally published in Synergyzer Issue 2, 2021.

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