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Why do brands and marketing teams need to use TikTok?

25th January 2023

Consultant and pro TikToker Lucy gives her thoughts on brands using TikTok to help marketing, advertising, promoting and selling. 

Over the past few years, even before COVID, brands were slowly making the switch to online to expand and reach more customers especially within the retail business. For example, the expansion of ASOS and Pretty Little Thing at the expense of brick-and-mortar stores such as Debenhams. During the COVID period, brands had to adapt in order to receive customers, which lead to an emphasis on the online channel.

The convenience of ordering 6 styles of jeans online, trying them on at home in the comfort of your own bedroom, then returning them for free is a luxury brick-and-mortar stores can only dream of. Let’s face it, who likes a small stuffy changing room?

So given the switch to online, it seems crucial that brands are reaching their target audience whilst were using our phones, Marketing is literally everywhere.

Tik Tok for brand marketing purposes

Covid’s Impact

Before COVID, TikTok was often seen as a social media tool for ‘Gen Z’ but during the boredom of lockdown, sitting within the same four walls, it seemed we all flocked to TikTok as a way of filling our days. I’m definitely guilty of aimlessly scrolling.

Over the last few years as more and more people become aware of TikTok, brands learnt that they had an untouched social media platform in which they could be selling and promoting. This has expanded the platform to all ages and has increased to 79% of users finding new brands via TikTok. Often the best brands using TikTok are the ones who reach past the Gen Z customers.

What Brands use TikTok well?

Some of my personal favourites consist of Marks & Spencer and Ryanair. The M&S in Romford went viral on TikTok, with celebs like Olly Murs popping in to meet the well-known faces and now famous members of staff! M&S are traditionally a business known for appealing to the older/wealthier consumer, not Gen Z. Yet they are hitting the mark every time with outrageously funny content.

Little Moons did amazingly well using the world of TikTok to make people aware of the new and upcoming flavours. Gen Z consumers literally ran to Tesco to buy the product meaning it then became a craze of user generated content. The best part is neither Tesco nor Little Moons paid a penny for this.

One thing I love about TikTok is there is no rule book. The best content is often that which is spontaneous and funny. Influencers are always active and aware on the platform, so brands should be capitalising here. Well known celebs such as Steven Bartlett, host of one of Europe’s biggest podcasts, ‘The Diary of a CEO’ promotes his podcast on TikTok encouraging people to transfer to Spotify to listen to his podcast.

I think that’s the key, brands can use this social media platform, for marketing purposes, to take consumers onto others. Suggesting you CAN sell via TikTok, but you don’t HAVE to. You can reach consumers easier than any other platform purely based on your personal algorithm, displaying content based on your previous and personal interests or likes. TikTok is literally doing the hard part for you, putting the brand in touch with likeminded consumers.

Tips and Tricks

If you want my advice or any tips for starting a TikTok journey, I suggest hopping onto the popular trends and trending sounds that consumers are interested in and engaging with. Tell a story and keep people engaged. It is easier than you might think to flick past a video within the first few seconds. Using a popular, trending sound that people are familiar with gives you more chance of engaging with consumers. I often find myself quoting sounds I’ve heard through TikTok to my family. Despite none of us having similar interests or following the same content, we’ve all seen the same video or heard that same sound! This is because brands have tapped into trending sounds and content.

Overall, I believe the use of TikTok to promote and sell within a brand can be extremely useful. The Key thing within using Tik Tok is hopping onto trends and using the platform practically in order to widen your consumers to more than just Gen Z.

Seven are experts in FMCG, consumer and retail recruitment.

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