branded content, tiktok, affiliate marketing

TikTok releases study on branded content on the platform

Being the newest social media platform to take off in recent years, TikTok has had some catching up to do. They are gaining their sea legs with a content fund for creators, micro-influencers are being established, and businesses are only just starting to see the potential in branded content on the platform.

As part of that catch-up process, TikTok has recently released a study on branded content on the site. TikTok and IPSOS have partnered up to offer a data-based summary of what you can do to make sure you get eyes on your branded content, focusing on the creative element.

They have condensed what they have found down into a handy infographic, but we are going to break it down and go through each point in-depth so that you really know what you are doing when making marketing content for TikTok. Take a look at our guide below.

Highlight the product offer

We’ll get the most obvious part out of the way first. The infographic released by TikTok mentions that you should highlight any product offer or product claim alongside the product. Obviously, if you have a sale or an exclusive offer to showcase, you will want to include it in your TikTok content. And a piece of marketing content isn’t marketing much if you don’t mention the product claim.

They point out that there will be a 3% amplification of your brand with an ad recall and a 9% uptake in brand linkage.

So, point out what your product is the best, at or why audiences should buy it. Marketing 101.

Let creators interact with the product

If you frequent any of the popular product hashtags like #tiktokmademebuyit or #amazonfinds or #hauls, you will see a lot of this. Creators unpacking, showing off, and demonstrating the product. It isn’t just for marketing’s sake. There is some satisfaction in watching all these items that makes them as popular as cleaning videos and cooking videos.

To simply showcase the product from afar, doesn’t allow for that imagination to run. You can’t see yourself using the product as well, you can’t see where it would fit into your life. As the infographic points out, having a creator provide the product information makes the ad more memorable, to the point that it will add 4% in ad recall and 10% in brand linkage.

Include a character or a narrative

There is a reason TikTok is so popular, and it hasn’t entirely got to do with our shrinking attention span. We want a narrative. If we can get hundreds of narratives in bite-size pieces, that is a recipe for greatness.

The important part here is a narrative. If you aren’t offering that, you aren’t providing the point of a TikTok.

The study calls this a “character” however a memorable character is one big ingredient of a good narrative, and you can build a narrative without a character.

But we can see where they got that idea. One of the biggest trends on TikTok has been watching the Duolingo mascot aggressively perform all his TikTok trends. You don’t necessarily need a mascot (Duo works because he is in fact a reversal of everything you would expect from a mascot, being quite edgy instead of friendly to get you to learn your French), but a memorable character can come from a narrator, a person captured in the footage, a member of the brand team, etc. A good narrative doesn’t need a character, but a character needs a good narrative to be memorable.

Scatter your branding cues

Don’t fall into the trap of performing your skit or dance and then add “This TikTok trend was brought to you by…!” Your audience will swipe before you’ve even finished that sentence and that’s if you kept their attention for that long.

Instead, scatter 3-5 brand cues throughout your video, ideally in the first act. Mention your brand, what your product does, and why the audience should use it, not necessarily in that order, in between the focal points of your branded content. It will gain you a whopping 14% in brand linkage and allow you to avoid a 17% drop.

Combine brand-led and creator-led content

When it comes to quality content in the long term, don’t just stick to the same thing. A healthy mix of creator-led content and brand-led content will get you the maximum impact on the site. So, one day you’ve got a creator using the content, the other a video that focuses on the product without human interaction. This will gain you 2.8x above the normal IPSOS ad recall.

Combine songs and voiceovers

The unique aspect of TikTok is its free use of audio. Whether it’s copyrighted or not, whether it’s a clip from a movie or a kid in their car, it’s up for grabs, allowing for a virality that is rarely seen anymore. It’s why a lot of new artists came into the limelight in 2020.

All of these “sounds” are available for you to use in your TikTok content, at least until the likes of Taylor Swift have something to say about it, but the best sounds to go for are some combination of music and voice. This can mean having a song playing in the background of your own content or using a sound clip that is relevant to your brand while a song plays. Have fun with it.

If you’re looking for more affiliate marketing advice, take a look at our blog, or for more personalized advice, book a free call with a member of our team.

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