▷ It’s time for brands to adapt to the TikTok era, and here’s why
Video is on its way to becoming the medium of choice for social platforms, and tech giant Meta is increasingly integrating the format into its various platforms. The reels have been rolled out to Instagram and Facebook, with many seeing the move as a rip-off of TikTok’s wildly popular short video format…
It’s no surprise that competitors have taken inspiration from TikTok. Although still ranked as the 6th most used social network in the world, the platform has seen phenomenal growth in a short period of time. It claims 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, up from 381 million in 2019, and currently has nearly 15 million users in France alone.
For brands, this recent shift in content focus is part of what is becoming a familiar pattern. As user habits change and new social champions emerge, key players change their behavior, as in the evolution from News Feeds to Stories. However, this time, the ability to foresee the next chapter allows marketers who want to adapt to move forward and start executing their strategies now.
Consider human nature
TikTok’s stratospheric rise is largely due to the pandemic; In France, TikTok’s user base tripled between 2020 and 2021, with users locked in for hookups and escapes. But the app itself has a strong appeal for consumers, as evidenced by its rapid and steady growth: it was the most downloaded app last year with 656 million downloads and is in the top 10 apps in France on the Play Store and Apple. Store.
Originally conceived as a hub for dance and lip sync videos, the platform has quickly grown into a powerful entertainment network. At the heart of this power is the app’s ability to anticipate users’ choices and tap into their mental activity. TikTok’s recommendation algorithm, which learns individual preferences through observation like humans, is already recognized as its biggest asset in attracting users’ attention.
As soon as new users sign up, algorithms analyze their engagement with original content in key categories and can target unique interests in just two hours. Subsequently, TikTok can begin offering increasingly personalized content, using micro-targeting to ensure content relevance and continued use, and gathering additional insights that it can use to make experiences more immersive and relevant in a closed feedback loop. In addition to its ability to be shared on other networks, it is understandable why TikTok has the ability to attract and keep users engaged, and why other platforms want to follow its lead.
Take advantage of advertising opportunities
TikTok’s large, loyal and satisfied audience is also attractive to brands. While paid and organic advertising has high targeting potential and wide reach, the understanding of how to take advantage of these opportunities is relatively new.
There is a growing awareness of the need to cover the basics of creativity, such as preparing ad content for vertical orientation, using visual and sound effects to add depth to content, and providing fast-paced storytelling. However, while very useful for ensuring relevance and authenticity, this knowledge is not enough for brands looking to increase their influence and impact.
The TikTok algorithm is designed to take into account engagement signals such as video completion, ensuring that ads end in content recommendations. In other words, brands need detailed information about creative influence.
Work on the TikTok scene
Social media is not the only evolving landscape. Formative assessment tools are rapidly evolving thanks to advances in artificial intelligence (AI). For example, computer vision systems can now automatically identify each element of a video, frame by frame, and evaluate its effect on consumer engagement, including the facial expression and gaze of models in advertisements, sets, text, objects, and sounds.
By collecting multiple types of data, including past and present media performance data from social platforms, and overlaying performance metrics with creative data, AI and machine learning can create a detailed picture of the creative elements that influence key KPIs. This detailed analysis enables marketers to develop smart creative, optimized video content tailored to best practices for their specific brands and improve performance. The right approach for each brand will be unique, and applying smart creative has provided valuable insight into the big difference small creative elements can make.
Mixed Feelings: Using Emotions Wisely
In an environment where ads have mere seconds to pique users’ interest or lose their followers, it’s no surprise that the emotions portrayed by models have a significant impact on viewers. But what is interesting is the nuance.
An analysis of major brand campaigns showed that six-second view rates were up to 1.7 times higher when actors in ads emphasized strong emotions, such as surprise, in the first few seconds than when they wore neutral expressions. On the other hand, having four or more emotion ranges can lead to a higher conversion rate of 3.3%.
But users are also vulnerable to over-connection. Click-through rate (CTR) increases are 31% higher when models’ faces occupy less than 20% of the frame, and CTRs are also higher when less than half of the video is viewed directly by users. Therefore, users prefer ads that convey emotions but without excessive intimacy.
Simplicity and clarity attract users
Similarly, different uses of audio lead to different responses; therefore, it is important that brands think about the results they want to achieve and choose audio assets accordingly.
Ads that use only music or sound, for example, see their brand equity increase by 51% in favor of simple, informative audio. The evaluation also showed that the same audio or voice approach achieved 1.6 times higher CTR. It’s clear that fast-moving users don’t have time for overly complex and confusing ads, so brands need to keep content simple and relevant.
TikTok seems to have a magic formula for success and giving users what they want, but that formula is constantly changing depending on what content attracts users. As the wider social scene follows the trend for short videos, it’s vital that brands have an accurate, in-depth and constantly updated look at what’s working. Tracking creative assets and their impact is essential for brands to leverage their paid or organic efforts.
About the author
Prune Nouvion, Southern Europe, VidMob: Previously Sales Director Western Europe for Spotify and France Sales Director for LinkedIn, Prune has deep experience in digital marketing and a strong network in the industry. As VidMob’s South European Sales Director, Prune, based in Paris, is responsible for the sales teams responsible for supporting advertisers and agencies. As a world leader in creative intelligence, VibMob maximizes advertisers’ marketing investments by optimizing their creative assets across all social networks.