Tiptoeing or diving head first into TikTok in 2021? Whether you're a brand just getting your feet wet or a seasoned advertiser, we asked our best and brightest to answer some of our most asked questions surrounding advertising on the fast growing platform.  What brands are recently getting it right on TikTok?  You have to be willing to embrace the environment, and not just some of it, but all of it. The brands that can be successful on any platform dive in head first and accept it’s unique attributes and it’s flaws. Listening to consumers, giving the reins to TikTok influencers to create content, tapping into hashtags, and participating in challenges earn significant street cred on the platform and catapult a brand to the next level.  Beauty has really led the platform. Brands like E.l.f. , Revlon and Maybelline are known among those surpassing 10 figures in campaign views. Hair-care brand Marc Anthony, for example, earned over 3.1 billion views on its official #StrictlyCurls hashtag challenge launched in August 2020. This was a massive leap from last year, when the #StrictlyCurls hashtag took off organically with a viral video tutorial that generated 8.1 million views and a 160% year-over-year sales increase for the brand in June 2019.* Is it worth putting my resources in?  Tiktok hosts 800 million active users worldwide with no plans of stopping its rapid growth. With more than 33 million downloads, 52 min average daily view time, and 90% of users accessing the app on the daily, it's a go-to space for brands looking to expand their footprint with prospecting efforts. While 41% (almost half) of users aged between 16-24, the age range has become increasingly diverse through 2020, with the number of US adult TikTok users growing 5.5x in less than 18 months (increase in couple challenges, mom content, fitness etc).* Users of all ages are joining the TikTok, with celebrities, influencers, publishers, and household brands now a part of the mix. What business outcome can I expect from TikTok?   TikTok ads are already a proven marketing strategy for many brands, with many brands seeing significant increases in brand awareness with little investment, while maintaining the lowest CPM's of all other social platforms. According to later.com*, Guess used TikTok to promote their Fall’18 Denim Fit collection, encouraging the TikTok community to transform their style by wearing Guess denim to the soundtrack of Bebe Rexh’s “I’m a Mess.”  The #InMyDenim ad campaign included a brand takeover on the app welcome screen, as well as 4 influencer partnership videos to demo the concept and reach more users.During the 6-day campaign period, #InMyDenim realized over 5.5K user-generated videos, 10.5M video views, 14.3% `engagement rate, and over 12K additional followers for Guess’ account on TikTok.  How can I stay authentic to my brand and still create a TikTok presence?  The truth is, you can and you can’t. You have to align with TikTok’s brand norms if you want to play, otherwise your brand comes off as opportunistic and inauthentic. The short answer is, if you can’t give in to the platform, your brand shouldn’t be on it. Top performing videos on TikTok are known to be easy to replicate by the masses or a spin-off of an existing trend. Use your brands voice and style to mimic top performing content & these best practices.  The good news is that TikTok is a very brand safe environment. The platform has put into place moderation efforts to reflect the positivity of the community's content. 96.4% of violating videos globally were found and removed before they were reported to TikTok*. From a brand standpoint it’s important to always convey your brand with authentic language and to not over sensationalize your product and/or brand ('best concealer in the world") as this type of wording will be flagged on the platform. How do I build a presence on TikTok when so many brands have already dominated the space? TikTok's algorithm is unlike any other social platform and is measured on the performance of each video. Unlike Instagram or YouTube, with good content, even accounts with zero followers can get millions of views on a new video. The platform is experiencing a period of exponential growth, which means there’s a huge audience ready to be tapped into by creative and fast-thinking brands.   Resources* * https://www.glossy.co/beauty/beauty-brands-are-setting-their-sights-in-tiktok/ * https://later.com/blog/tiktok-marketing/ *Stats provided by TikTok

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