What can brands expect from TikTok in 2020?

Sameer Singh, VP, Monetization, TikTok India, says the platform will continue to work towards developing interactive, trendsetting content & collaborate with advertisers to supplement their campaigns

e4m by Shikha Paliwal
Updated: Jan 16, 2020 9:24 AM


Sameer Singh

Last year TikTok emerged as an attractive destination for brands, in 2020 too the social media app intends to effectively collaborate with them says Sameer Singh, VP, Monetization, TikTok India

Social media continues to attract the largest share of digital advertising spends. Understandably so, Indians are increasingly online and social media has users hooked. Even though Google and Facebook remain popular for digital advertising, one social media platform that emerged as a big draw for brands last year was ByteDance owned TikTok. With over 120 million monthly active users, the app is dominated by Gen Z but it is gaining popularity with users from across age groups. It has, therefore, found favour with brands looking to catch consumer attention with its user-generated content that is showcased through short-form videos.

Hootsuite annual report on the latest trends in social media in 2020 states that “TikTok can be a great way for innovative brands to reach a very specific demographic, since a whopping 69% of users on the platform are 16-24 years old. And with Gen Z still fully in the driver’s seat, TikTok can be an invaluable source of insight into the tastes and motivations of the next generation on social.”

So, what can brands expect from the platform in 2020? According to Sameer Singh, Vice-President, Monetization, TikTok India the platform will continue to work towards developing interactive and trendsetting content and collaborate with advertisers to supplement their brand campaigns. “At TikTok, we enable people from every corner of the country with a global platform that gives them unlimited opportunity to capture and share their creativity. This makes the app unique and will continue to give brands an opportunity to reach out to their audiences. This will hold true, as the next wave of 200-400 million come online and consume content, especially those, who might experience TikTok as their first social media platform where they can interact not only with their friends and family but also with the like-minded users globally.”

He further adds, “We believe that short, organic video content will continue to grow as users are looking for creative, snackable content online. This, in turn, will give the advertisers a wider array of users that they can reach out to on TikTok and creators that they can collaborate and engage with.”

The app only started monetising its platform in April last year and has since seen several brands from across verticals engage with its users to successfully launch products or build brand engagement. Smartphone makers like OPPO and Samsung have extensively used the platform to launch their phones.

E-commerce giants like Flipkart and Myntra too successfully collaborated with TikTok. In fact, Flipkart's #BigBillionStar challenge created around its Billion Day Festive sale garnered over 8 billion views.

With an intent to create awareness about its new logo, online classifieds platform OLX ran the #OLXDekhaHai campaign while food aggregator Zomato too used it to promote the original shows for its app.

Perhaps, the one campaign that not only had a successful run on the platform but also became a case study of sorts of how to use TikTok for advertising was Pepsi’s ‘Har Ghoont Mein Swag challenge’ which broke all records on the app in terms of views and user-generated videos. The campaign which started with actors Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani saw Pepsi India return to the platform in association with the movie franchise Dabangg 3.

In 2020 the social media app expects to see brands from across business verticals flock to the platforms, says Singh, “TikTok has championed the art of creative content marketing with its unique ad formats tailor-made basis the brand narrative. Together with us, advertisers are developing content and challenges that are relevant to the entire TikTok community and is enabling user engagement, which will continue to thrive. TikTok's diverse demographics are attracting brands from different verticals such as e-commerce, retail, automobile, fashion and fin-tech and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with more brands across verticals.”

The year 2019 on TikTok belonged to the short-format videos and it doesn’t show any signs of waning even this year, elaborates Singh, “The change in behaviour of creating and consuming content has pushed marketers to adapt to short format video advertising of 15 seconds or less, to grab the attention of its audience. Understanding the importance of effective engagement and involvement, brands are starting to collaborate with TikTok via our innovative advertising solutions to achieve optimum results.”

With the aim of turning the attention from the simple song and dance routines to more meaningful conversations, the platform had also launched its #EduTok program with a focus on education, health, safety etc. The attempt to raise the quality and dialogue on the platform has also helped allay fears of brand safety.

Says Singh, “ In 2019, TikTok users moved beyond the traditional consumption of entertainment content and are now avidly looking at videos to educate themselves. We expect the trend to continue in 2020 with brand collaborations across categories and themes such as self-improvement, health, fitness, e-learning languages, among others. At the same time, it will be critical for brands to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach, create quality content that will break through the clutter, while being creative, fun and engaging, in order to attract audiences.”

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