In the ever-expanding world of social media, TikTok has been gaining more and more popularity beyond just the catchy dances, trending challenges and short form skits. TikTok has become a place for kids, young professionals, and adults to ‘stay in the know’ and rally behind their favorite brands, sports teams, and products. Griffin Haddrill, CEO and Co-Founder of VRTCL, a viral marketing agency explains “Users have “attention power” and are utilizing TikTok as a tool for socializing with their favorite creators and brands. Most importantly those users are leveraging their network and engagement to drive future sales, it may not be immediate but we eventually see those users convert whether it be apps, products, tickets, etc. For that reason alone, it’s the most powerful social media platform that exists today.” Therefore, the need to integrate this medium into marketing strategies is imperative to reach TikTok’s over 1 billion plus global active monthly users in which 43% are between the ages of 18 and 24 years old and 32% between the ages of 25 and 34.
VRTCL has been developing viral content and influencer marketing for brands and artists on TikTok over the past three years. “Ultimately it comes down to creating and predicting trends. When a brand is on the cutting edge of a trend, and done right, it leads to millions of new eyeballs on your product. Basically you are getting a free Super Bowl commercial every month in terms of impressions.” says Sean Young, Creative Director and Co-Founder of VRTCL.
The secret behind viral TikTok trends
“The power of discovery and the power of nostalgia are two of the most impactful marketing tools. It’s our job to understand that and build a bottom up plan that kindles those feelings and engagement from viewers,” says Haddrill. VRTCL began the Lil Nas X’s single “Montero” campaign before the official release to tease the internet of what was to come from the superstar artist. Following, VRTCL ideated a transition trend concept on TikTok that was then adopted by thousands of influencers on the platform and broke out in millions of user generated content videos. VRTCL developed and sourced over a dozen different creative trends and collaborated with multiple influencers before the transition trend concept that became a staple to the song’s success on TikTok. In addition, VRTCL sourced over 100 influencers across multiple different sounds on the platform to create viral success in the song and lead it to 2.2 million video creations on the platform. Gabby Gamad, VRTCL’s Chief Marketing Officer, recognizes that there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to digital strategy. “Part of our job is trial and error and in the fast paced environment of internet trends, we are developing and changing our strategies constantly to maximize success.”
While everyone’s goal is virality, there’s also been an increased interest by brands and record labels to utilize UGC, otherwise known as user generated content. In the brand space, UGC is used in a variety of ways – directly on the brand account, on the recruited creator account and as a paid ad. Gamad adds, “Brands continue to embrace paid UGC as an affordable type of promotion. It’s a way to test out your creative concepts before investing marketing dollars into content creation. This style of content resonates with users and the platform due to the casual, filming style that has always been TikTok. It can feel more authentic than a paid promotion from a highly followed influencer.”
Innovation, accountability and measuring ROI is key
Predicting trends that can be leveraged with viral content has to be matched with accountability and reporting for a successful campaign. As such, VRTCL has developed a TikTok API software that aggregates real time data on the platform and consolidates that information into effective client facing reporting. The software tracks individual videos on the platform to process their views, comments, likes, shares, and profile links into one dashboard that allows its clients to get real time and on demand insights. These insights include how specific influencer campaigns and their channel’s content are doing. Users can quickly cross check that data with Influencers average engagement and track if the brand, song, or content creative is resonating with the TikTok audience. This allows for smarter and more cost effective decisions when sourcing and selecting talent for campaigns.
This software has enabled VRTCL to decrease influencer marketing CPM’s from $2,000 per million views to $1,000 per million views which in return has allowed them to increase clients results and understand their audience better. In addition, after developing this tool, the company has been able to drive more campaign success. For brand clients the agency has been able to increase conversion rates by 20% to their landing pages because the immediate data that they are able to pull from their software has allowed them to understand the content that resonates with audiences the best. Page growth and followership has increased by 35% compared to their 2021 averages.
VRTCL client, Nectar, is a prime example of how TikTok can be a game changer for small businesses. 18 months ago, Jeremy Kim and John Dalsey took their Asian hard seltzer door-to-door to 200 stores in LA and got rejected by every single one. With nowhere to go, they posted their story on TikTok and overnight, their drink went viral.
“With all the red tape surrounding the alcohol industry, TikTok is the sole reason Nectar is scaling as fast as it is,” said Kim. “VRTCL threw gasoline on our fire when we needed it most and has been a critical addition of minds on how we can continually elevate our strategy.”
He continued, “In a world where ‘content is king’, VRTCL is the new-age, adaptive agency that has all the tools to help any type of brand navigate the daunting waters that surround digital marketing in 2022”
Whether you are trying to mix-up your marketing strategy or looking for innovative ways to engage more audience via social media, TikTok is a good start. However, just like any other marketing plan, there must be a strategy to help support its success for virality whether you are releasing a new song, scaling a business or introducing a new product to the market. There is a new wave of social marketing strategies via TikTok that can help propel any business or digital creative because at the end of the day, anyone can go viral. Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, you’re restricted by follower count. However with TikTok, anyone can go viral because of the power of discoverability on the platform.