TikTok event reveals platform’s efficacy in fostering organic brand engagement

TikTok for Business AUNZ team held a Discover Commerce 2022 event in Sydney’s Alexandria yesterday. The event hosted several TikTok representatives, creators and strategists to discuss how content marketing on the app is driving commerce.

The event featured talks from several key commerce leaders at the company, including Kim Braganza, TikTok ANZ brand strategist and Jan Hofmann-Cassiani, Tiktok ANZ head of product marketing. The speakers covered the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend, a prolific phenomenon across the app that’s been predominantly driven by organic user engagement. TikTok’s infinite path to purchase loop inspired yesterday’s release  of ‘The Why #TikTokMadeThemBuyIt eBook’, which TikTok explains ‘provides insights into the impact of the platform, looking at how the community engages with brands directly, how activity correlates to sales, and provides insight into one of the more prolific hashtags #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.’

After an opening keynote address, Braganza and Hofmann-Cassiani discussed the ‘ecosystem of engagement’ that defines the consumer journey on TikTok, and sparks the call to action in consumer behaviour.

Several stats popped up on screen, alongside infinite loops of viral TikToks. Braganza stated 47% of Australian TikTok users discover products from videos posted directly by a brand, and 36% discover products through ads within their feed.

The contrast of TikTok’s efficacy in fostering natural engagement between brands and consumers compared to other platforms, illustrating: 1 in 4 TikTok users were 1.7x more likely to follow a brand vs other platforms’ users;, 1 in 3 TikTok users were 2.3x more likely to create a post featuring a brand vs other platforms; and 1 in 3 TikTok users were 2.4x more likely to tag a brand on a created post compared to other platforms users.

Hosting the event was Millie Ford, also known as @milligram96, who boasts 1.3 million followers on TikTok. A TikTok skit she posted to over 12 million viewers was shown onstage, featuring a native product placement of Lipton Ice Tea. The TikTok was used as an exemplary instance of how ‘branded content and native ads drive product discovery’ on the platform.

Globally, hashtags have proven to be a powerful tool with #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt receiving 12.4 billion video views (April, 2022) and more than 50% of branded hashtag challenges recording more than $5 return on ad spend in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. Interaction is also at an all time high, with 1 in 4 users recently participating in a hashtag challenge.

The product that exemplifies the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon most may be the Dyson Airwrap, a $799 hair styling tool that has received 58.9 million views in Australia alone, with countless users singing the praises of the costly tool and convincing other users of its worthiness as a beauty and lifestyle investment.

Following a comedic interlude by Ford, TikTok ANZ head of partnerships Elisa Kelsall hosted a panel with Erica McCarthy, consumer marketing manager at MAC Cosmetics, and Denny Handlin, TikTok ANZ creative lab lead. The trio discussed MAC’s journey on TikTok, and how they are leveraging content & community to drive commerce. McCarthy and Handlin posited the efficacy of influencer-created TikTok creative as compared to traditional channels like television.

McCarthy also discussed the phenomenon of the TikTok viral MAC mascara earlier in 2022 that saw MAC’s inventory in the product completely wiped out within hours of release, in addition to present supply chain issues in restocking the cult-status item. The hashtag #MACStackMascara gained over 45 million views on TikTok in one week, thanks to creators and unpaid, organic fans alike singing the praises of the mascara’s clump-resistant formula.

McCarthy also laughingly noted that her and her team are ‘looking at TikToks all day, everyday’, hinting at the influence the platform has over creative and consumer marketing direction.

Following the panels, the audience was ushered into a large TikTok hub arena, with stations like #BeautyTok and #FoodTok setup for the audience to interact with. TikTok celebrities like @itsbybrandon and DJ Paris Lawrence littered the hub, sharing their creative prowess with the attendees. A section was also devoted to the most viral consumer products on TikTok in a museum-like ensemble emblazoned with ‘#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt’ overhead. Naturally, the Airwrap was positioned front and centre on a pedestal, with other artefacts like an airfryer, a pair of Nike Air Force ones, and CeraVe moisturiser surrounding it.

The #WhyTikTokMadeThemBuyIt ebook

TikTok’s infinite path to purchase loop inspired yesterday’s release of ‘The Why #TikTokMadeThemBuyIt eBook’, which TikTok explains ‘provides insights into the impact of the platform, looking at how the community engages with brands directly, how activity correlates to sales, and provides insight into one of the more prolific hashtags #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.’

Research shows that 67% of users say TikTok inspires them to shop even when they’re not planning to, a statistic that contributed to the inspiration behind the eBook and event.

The free ebook is available to download on the TikTok website.


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