TikTok is the newest social media platform on the market, and yet it has cemented itself as one of the major social media platforms that everyone is on. It has come a long way from being simply lip-sync videos on an app called Musical.ly. Today, after a boost from lockdown, if you’re not making TikToks you are at least watching them. And if you aren’t following TikTok trends, you should be setting them.
So how can affiliate marketers use it? It turns out in lots of ways. Now that TikTok isn’t so music and dance-focused, it allows for a lot more wiggle room to create content around a brand or product. But the bread and butter of TikTok are trends. Not only has the app adopted hashtags, allowing creators to wade in on established trends, but TikTok’s trends come hard and fast, changing with the wind.
But that’s in terms of content. As a marketer, TikTok’s data trends are far more interesting and valuable. Well, then you’ll be interested in the information that TikTok has recently released, detailing all the data they have collected on the content on the site, including what is getting attention and who has the most influence.
What does the information say?
The information gathered looked at the “hooks” of the most viral videos on the platform, meaning that they looked at the content of the first three seconds of the video to see what viewers were sticking around for.
The first takeaway from the data is that content should focus on a person speaking, rather than dancing to a musical number, surprisingly. 37% of viral videos focused on a person speaking, and of those, over half of them were talking to the camera. A third of the videos featured the creator speaking to another person.
An interesting difference from other platforms comes in the primary emotion being depicted in the content. Happiness came out on top with 58% of content depicting happiness in the first three seconds, followed by surprise at 24%, and then anger at only 9%.
The most popular genres to get into were also outlined, with some unsurprising results. At the top of the board was Humour, with 36.5% of popular videos having a comedic edge to them. Behind it is Dance and Pets with 21% each, then Fashion at 10%, Outdoors at 9%, Life Hacks and Advice at 7%, Cooking and Recipes at 5.6% and a range of other genres including Reaction, Prank, Fitness, Challenge, Beauty, DIY, and Education all coming in last at under 5%.
All of these genres have different impacts on the engagement of the content, however. TikTok measured median plays, likes, shares, and comments to see what was getting the desired engagement. Of the top five genres: Humour, Dance, Pets, Fashion and Outdoors, Dance got the most median plays, however, Dance and Pets tied for most median likes, Outdoors received the most median shares and Pets received the most median comments.
What is the main takeaway?
Ultimately, what the information tells us is that TikTok viewers appreciate “organic” content most of all. At first glance, that might appear as if it goes against the very idea of marketing, but TikTok has a reputation for causing viewers to separate from their money since lockdown, where it has had minimal professional marketing presence.
Small businesses have all managed to market their products and services through other means. For example, a British pool cleaning service, thepoolguy, has become one of the countries biggest creators by showing the process of cleaning a pool, tapping into “cleaning” and “oddly satisfying” trends on TikTok. Now his website features merchandise with his TikTok catchphrase on it beside the information on how to hire him.
As another example, a Texan beekeeper, Erika Thompson, has gone viral for her videos on removing hives from homes to her safer colony, appealing to animal rights and viewers just looking for a soothing video.
Brands can make an impact on TikTok by being as genuine and as positive as possible. Where Facebook and Twitter have both been accused of stoking hate, the data shows that TikTok viewers aren’t looking to be angry, but to be happy.
How do we use this information?
If you or your brand is thinking of expanding into TikTok, you might have to rethink your content. Unlike a lot of other platforms, TikTok doesn’t appreciate “professional” looking content. A decent camera is appreciated, but if your content features the car salesman’s voice or too much flash, viewers will quickly swipe through.
Instead, ditch the set for someone’s living room, talk directly to the camera like they’re an old friend, and bring something else to the table, whether that is a review, a demonstration, or a tap into a trend.
For more information, follow our regularly updated blog, or book a free call with a member of our team for more personalized advice.