Chief Marketing Officer at Launchmetrics, the leading Brand Performance Cloud in Fashion, Luxury and Beauty
With 200 million monthly active users in Europe and the U.S. as of 2020, TikTok has become a popular video-sharing content application. And with a new generation of consumers emerging, as well as 2020 estimates from ResearchAndMarkets that the global fashion e-commerce market will reach over $672 billion in 2023, some brands are putting the app at the heart of their marketing strategies in hopes of attracting new audiences.
TikTok has become the birthplace of many trends, a source of inspiration and a perfect outlet to share the latest tips, tricks or even political opinions. It has also become a starting force for many creators’ careers whose creativity can now thrive in a democratized space.
Although TikTok may seem pervasive, the findings of my company and TikTok’s 2021 report, TikTok’s Takeover — which surveyed about 100 marketing, communications and PR professionals in the fashion, luxury and beauty industries — showed that only 43.8% have implemented creator campaigns in the last 12 months. This shows that the fashion, luxury and beauty industry still has some learning to do about how to decode and be successful on the platform.
To help you start your TikTok strategy, I’ve identified a few examples of creators (also mentioned in my company’s report) who feature fashion and luxury brands in original and engaging content. One is Wisdom Kaye, who Vogue called the “best-dressed guy on TikTok.” Wisdom makes themed outfit videos that successfully grab the attention of followers. Wisdom’s content features brands like Prada, Gucci and Saint Laurent. He generates an average media impact value (MIV) of $119,100. (MIV is a monetary representation my company uses for brand performance.)
Another example is Nava Rose, who has more than 5 million followers on TikTok and utilizes the platform to mix mass-market and luxury looks. She has featured brands like Asos, Chanel and Versace and has an average MIV of $169,900.
Another creator, Xenia Adonts, was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list in 2021 and is the founder of a sustainable fashion brand, Attire The Studio. She has been successful at using the platform to engage with her audience via light and personal “get ready with me” videos; she has an average MIV of $146,100.
Tips For Succeeding On TikTok
The key to success with any marketing strategy is choosing the right audience and finding the right place and voice for connecting with the consumer. If you choose to use TikTok, your success will depend in part on how well you respond to the needs of the young consumer, as nearly half of TikTok’s U.S. users are under 29. Here are some tips on how to win with original, relatable and entertaining content.
1. Leverage Existing Trends
Trends are a key part of driving brand performance on the platform. By taking advantage of the latest trends, you can help ensure that you build an engaged fan base that’s eager to explore your brand by viewing entertaining content, creating exposure and taking advantage of purchase opportunities. For example, you could have creators record unboxing or “tips and tricks” videos.
2. Start With Creators
Content is key, but who the content comes from can really make a difference. Choosing the right creator will help amplify the brand message and grab the attention of users. By working with creators who understand the nature of the platform, fashion luxury brands can translate their high-end messaging into a more relatable marketing strategy that will speak to the modern consumer and create close proximity with the target audience.
3. Virality Is Key
Understanding what works on the platform should be the starting point of your marketing strategy. In addition to leveraging existing trends, create content that is native to the channel and that will meet the needs of your audience. TikTok is the go-to place for short, entertaining videos that go viral rapidly and can easily be replicated. As a brand, try to find your own voice through content that will not only be ingrained and native to your brand messaging but that will also make you stand out.
What Does Success Look Like?
Once you understand your goals and choose a creator who can help you craft your message, you should evaluate your success and analyze the performance of your campaign. Seeing what worked and what didn’t will help you make informed decisions for the future of your brand strategy.
When we’re talking about success, measurement is crucial. Although vanity metrics such as likes or comments do matter, I recommend adopting a more holistic system. Metrics that take not only paid, earned or owned posts but also the impact that voices such as creators, celebrities or your brands’ owned media had into account could be a better way to assess your brand’s performance. (Full disclosure: My company offers a system like this.)
When you use TikTok, remember that a “copy and paste” approach likely won’t work. Each platform is different and requires a tailored approach. Craft your message accordingly and work with creators who stay on top of the fast-paced nature of TikTok and can bring you closer to modern consumers via relatable and authentic content. Modern marketing is no longer about one-way communication but about actively taking part in communities to bring brands and consumers closer together than ever.
You may be feeling like TikTok has peaked and that perhaps you’re late to the game, but it is important to remember that it is likely still in its infancy when it comes to brand marketing campaigns. It’s not too late to leverage this channel in your marketing strategy and find creative, impactful ways to increase your brand’s performance.