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TikTok + Shopify: Where E-Commerce Meets Viral Dance Videos

POSTED. November 18, 2020

TikTok just went on a shopping spree.


What happens when an ultra-relevant mega company collides with another ultra-relevant mega company? Sweet integrations, apparently.


In late October, TikTok announced “a global partnership with Shopify that will help more than 1 million merchants create and run campaigns directly geared toward TikTok's highly engaged community,” per TikTok’s announcement.


This news came only months after TikTok dropped TikTok For Business in June 2020 which allowed brands to monetize the platform.


We’ll take a hot second here to apologize incessantly and in advance for just how many times the word “TikTok” will be dropped in this article. But it’s juicy stuff going on, we promise. 


And, just for fun, we will post a tally at the bottom of how many times that hot button word was used along the way.


TikTok’s partnership update also highlighted a tidbit of data that will have Shopify shop owner’s grinning deliciously. Which is that about 50% of TikTok’s users said they discover new products through ads posted by brands on the platform.


This platform is ripe for products, and with more downloads happening all the time, it’s consistently ripe with new consumers.

Oberlo graphic showing 2 billion TikTok downloads.
Graphic by Oberlo.com

 

TikTok Plugs in Effortlessly 

Merchants won’t even need to depart the coziness of their Shopify dashboard to access functions of the TikTok For Business Ads Manager, either. Here’s what’s in store (no pun intended):


- TikTok (like Facebook) has constructed a pixel that can be swiftly installed to track conversions.


- Merchants are able to build campaigns, target their desired audiences, and, of course, track everything. 


- Using TikTok’s creative tools, merchants can transform their products into clips TickTockers will actually watch. 


For example, a bag of peanuts is dryer than the banter in your AM Zoom call. But creating human-driven, user-generated-type content about peanuts---like a viral peanut dance or someone tossing peanuts into their friend’s mouth---might just be what connects to audiences.


Why the TikTok Train is Worth Jumping On


If you’re a marketer, I’ll go out on a limb and say that any platform with 800 million monthly users is worth your attention.

Oberlo graphic showing 800 million active monthly users on TikTok
Graphic by Oberlo.com

TikTok exploded into a saturated social media market with a seditious, youthful edge. This was further propelled by the international news surrounding the app’s potential ban in the US. 


TikTok emerged from the headline drama relatively unscathed and cemented itself as a powerful platform. 


Data from 2019 featured in a Social Media Examiner article, revealed users spending 52 minutes per day on the app. Instagram clocks about the same usage, but took years to garner compared to TikTok meteoric rise.


Furthermore, 9 of 10 users return to the app more than once throughout the day. For marketers, that means getting recurring eyeballs on your content and a higher likelihood of people following and engaging with your account.


Of course, one of TikTok’s largest appeals is that it can be used as a segue to drive audiences to other pages and sites where purchases can be made and brands can educate consumers on their offerings.


How to Jump on Said TikTok Train


Michael Sanchez, a TikTok marketing expert (that title exists already?), who works with consumer-focused brands, recently sat down with a writer over at Social Media Examiner to discuss why marketers should give TikTok a flying chance.


Sanchez has worked with TikTok directly and guides large brand effort’s on the app to grow followings and foster engagement.


He is also the founder of TikTok Marketing Secrets, a private Facebook group with over 13,000 members. Start small by requesting to join the group and sifting through popular posts and questions.

TikTok marketing facebook group
Screenshot from Facebook.com

Yes, this page sounds like something that would be riffed on over $28 cocktails at a SoHo House Members’s Club. But it’s quite useful. 


The group hosts a multitude of discussions around topics like: establishing audiences, funneling traffic, influencer partnerships, organic traction, etc. Sanchez shares his own insights along with account owners with millions of followers.


There are two different styles of ads on TikTok:


Self-serve ads. That let marketers pay a certain amount of money to have an ad be displayed to an audience via an auction bid. 


Placement ads. That are placed in specific spots within the app. 


Play the Game The Right Way


While it might be tempting to repurpose ads from other platforms, it’s likely not an effective method for targeting TikTokers.


The key is to play TikTok’s game and mold the concept for an ad into an authentic-feeling TikTok. By mimicking the content already performing well on the platform, brands will avoid being brushed off as a pesky ad and ignored.


This means being quirky, spontaneous, and genuine. Not only will it pull in more engagement, but it’s also probably cheaper than over-thinking and over-spending on the production of a short-form video ad.


Ads don’t do well on TikTok---TikToks do well on TikTok. Oh man, that was three mentions in one sentence.


The TikTok Tally


That special word was punched out: 32 times in this article. This is just the start, though. Expect to be hearing it a lot more in the future.

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