clear mode, tiktok, social media marketing, affiliate marketing

TikTok’s latest feature, “clear mode” could be a problem for affiliate marketing

The popular social media app, TikTok, has released its “clear mode” feature, which has got a lot of people talking.

The point of clear mode is to offer the user a “distraction-free scrolling experience”, according to an interview given to TechCrunch. It comes in the midst of a lot of changes for the social media platform, including expanding its creator fund and gearing up marketing on the site.

TikTok doesn’t have to work too hard at being a platform for marketing purposes. More and more, users are finding what they want to buy online, and TikTok offers an environment where marketing content and user-generated content are constantly offering you things to buy and new means of showcasing items and services. That, coupled with an algorithm that knows what the user wants, very intimately, makes for a platform that is very good at showing you things you are likely to spend your money on.

But will this “clear mode” throw a wrench into that foolproof system? We’re exploring TikTok’s clear mode and what it will mean for the user and marketers.

How will this affect users?

So, what is clear mode? Clear mode offers the users an empty screen for the content to be displayed without distraction. So, the caption, the like, comment and extra buttons, and anything else that is cluttering the screen will be wiped away with a command.

Useful, initially, if you come across a video with text you can’t read because it’s behind a caption or heart button. Internet creators will like it because they can report on goings-on with screenshots that aren’t full of numbers and buttons getting in the way of the content.

It’s an option, and not mandatory, and you can turn it off whenever you get interested in a detail you can’t see, like the username of the creator or the number of likes on a video.

How will this affect brands?

Brands will have to quickly make sure that their content is well branded. If their name and logo is prominent, users are likely to remember them, which will inevitably turn into sales. As long as the content clearly outlines who you are and what you do, there shouldn’t be any need for the clutter on the TikTok screen. In fact, this might be beneficial, because users might stick around to see who is featured in the content that they are watching to get a name.

However, the same cannot be said for affiliates.

How will this affect affiliates?

Affiliate marketers do not have the reputation brands do. They’re not likely to have a recognizable logo or a name that goes beyond the heads of their followers. Therefore, having their username prominently displayed on the app will allow them to not miss out on a lot of followers.

What can they do about it?

The first tip is to not panic too much. If a user likes what you’re doing, with the clear mode in place they will have to access your profile in order to follow anyway. This means they’re going to see your name anyway. Your name isn’t what is going to make them sign up. Your content is. Users aren’t remembering long nonsensical usernames, they’re remembering your content, the keywords of which are what they’re searching for when they’re looking for you again.

This brings us to tip #2: learn your basic SEO. Don’t just set your video hashtags to what’s trending at the moment. Your cookie recipe will get lost in a sea of One Direction videos with fans getting wound up that you’re not a Harry Styles fan account. Instead, make your hashtags as specific as possible to what you’re doing, but spread yourself when it comes to who it would appeal to. So, start with #cookies, #cookierecipe, #baking, etc. and go into #mumsbaking #GBBOfans, etc.

Another tip is to get into the heads of your target demographics. The Go! Agency’s head strategist, Christopher Tompkins offered this insight:

“Spend a lot of time developing your buyer personas. Many buyer personas are created based on medium research and intuition. That works well enough for the launch of new ads, but once that initial buyer persona has been exhausted, you’re inevitably going to branch out into something off-base. Instead, create very tight buyer personas that you can turn into repeat customers.”

If you’re interested in keeping up with the latest news in affiliate marketing, take a look at our blog, or for a more personalized approach, book a free call with a member of our team. You can also take a deep dive into all things affiliate marketing by getting your tickets to the Elevate Summit that kicks of on June 14th. There will be expert advice shared through talks, panels, and workshops to get your insights from.

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