Savannah Sanchez on TikTok and Creators as a marketing match made in heaven
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It seems like all eyes are on TikTok these days—and for a good reason. This platform is bringing a whole new world of opportunity to social media marketing.
The numbers are jaw-dropping when it comes to TikTok. They have 100 million monthly active U.S. users—up 800% percent from 2018—and more than 50 million daily U.S. users.
Gen Z is at the forefront of this social media revolution: 60% of TikTok users are within the Gen Z demographic. This demographic represents a huge audience of potential buyers with serious purchasing power. According to McKinsey, Gen Z’s spending power is around $150 billion in the U.S. alone.
But this shift isn’t about revenue potential. The rise of TikTok brought an influx of new creators to the platform. With an insane amount of creativity in those short videos. One great example is this colorful example from @happykelli.
TikTok is a new landscape that many brands are working hard to navigate. This makes professionals with expertise in this emerging channel a valuable resource.
Savannah Sanchez is one of these experts. She works with top eCommerce brands to help with ad creative and media buying strategies.
Savannah lives and breathes social media, and she has the answers on why TikTok is so special. We interviewed her to find out her best tips on how to achieve impressive results there.
How TikTok is different from other social platforms
Too often, businesses post the same content across different channels. But it usually doesn't work because every social channel requires a different approach.
So what makes TikTok different?
When she first started creating ads for TikTok, Savannah repurposed content. She would take whatever creative brands were running on other platforms and try it on TikTok.
This seemed like a reasonable strategy that required minimal effort. But Savannah realized the key to success is to make TikToks, not ads.
“People go to TikTok to be entertained and delighted by short-form videos, so you have to speak the language that TikTokers expect. If they sniff out that it’s an advertisement they’re watching, they will quickly swipe away. The key is to make ads that blend right in with the content they are already enjoying on TikTok. Make sure to use organic TikTok text on your ads and try to incorporate TikTok trends with your ads.”
TikTok as a marketing tool
A recent Nielsen study shows that 61% of TikTok users feel that advertising on TikTok is unique. That it stands out from other top social and video platforms.
The best part is that it’s not intrusive. 43% of TikTok users feel that the advertising on TikTok blends naturally with the content.
Smart marketers are leveraging this to harness the power of TikTok. In that's study, 52% of users say they discover new products on TikTok. They also made purchases based on those findings. There’s even a stream of content posted daily by users called “TikTok Made Me Buy It.”
This made Savannah realized the importance of native content on TikTok. So she completely changed her approach.
“Today, I enjoy sharing real, genuine experiences, experimenting with trending video styles, and creating engaging content for our clients,” she said.
Savannah has expanded her team to meet this new demand. Now she has an expert on the team who films and edits TikTok ads for her clients.
Which brands are the most successful on TikTok? According to Savannah, brands with an average order value under $50. Still, they know how to speak the TikTok language in their ad creatives.
“What I've learned is that getting organic, TikTok-style content for ads is the key to success on this platform. You have to work with creators and know the TikTok trends to see success with TikTok ads.”
Authenticity as a prerequisite for success
An official TikTok Agency Partner, Savannah, helps eCommerce brands with their TikTok strategies. Including companies like Our Place, J.ING, Kitsch, and Blend Jet.
One example comes from her work with the global fashion brand J.ING. They launched campaigns on TikTok to boost brand awareness. They also ended up reaching millions of active users.
Their first A/B test compared an influencer try-on video with a typical product slideshow. They noticed that the influencer video had a 2x click-through rate.
“The use of organic, influencer, user-generated content is the best way to look native to the TikTok feed (so it doesn’t look like an ad), and it’s the best way to reach a cold audience there,” Savannah said.
Another great example of a native TikTok strategy comes from her work with the brand Kitsch. In a few short weeks, the brand saw a massive surge in traffic and online conversions.
Since the campaign’s start on TikTok, their cost per sale dropped. It was down to 50% less than what they’d seen on other social platforms. They also saw a conversion rate of 15%, and CTRs were double than other platforms.
“The increase in click-through rate on our TikTok campaigns can be attributed to the very organic-looking content. Using native TikTok text and overlays while also incorporating some TikTok trends to make the ads not seem like ads and make it seem as organic as possible,” Savannah said.
And that’s not all. Savannah recently shared a tweet with the results from a new client.
TikTok became the site's number one revenue driver over the course of a weekend. Both the CPM on and the cost per add to cart were around $1, which is an incredible return on investment.
Leveraging creator partnerships within social ads
If you ask Savannah, she believes creators are the new agency. There’s a huge untapped potential in the pool of unique TikTok creators. The quality of ads they can produce with a beginner’s camera and a ring light is breathtaking.
“It’s not only that I encourage brands to leverage creator partnerships for TikTok ads; it’s an absolute must. Creators are exactly that — creators. The reason you're drawn to their content is because of their innate ability to make something unique and watch-worthy.”
When it comes to TikTok Creators, as long as their content aligns with your brand message, give them a chance. That means follower counts don't need to be in the millions to make an impact.
Savannah recommends brands allow creators creative freedom. These creators are already comfortable in front of a camera. They aren't afraid to try things and know-how to create content that works.
Savannah also shared some best practices that can help brands get on the right track:
- Use striking visuals—TikTok is all about visuals. Add a visual that captures attention by using vivid colors or text on the screen.
- Keep it short—TikTok has a 60-second video limit. It’s best to keep your ads between 9-15 seconds to keep the user's attention.
- Enrich the content—Add subtitles, write captions, and use background music.
- Pay attention to the format—Make sure to optimize your ads for vertical viewing. Keep the important elements (your brand name, the CTA, etc.) near the center.
- Include a compelling call-to-action—The end goal is to entice users to take action. The only way to do that is with a catchy CTA.
“Ultimately: think like a marketer, but act like a creator.”
The future of TikTok as a marketing channel
TikTok is here to stay.
Why? Because video content consumption is at an all-time high. People love watching videos, and creators keep getting better at their crafts.
It’s more than the numbers, too. TikTok's wired for viral content. Social media users are hungry for authentic and entertaining content.
“Brands are going to realize that they need to be creative and experimental with platforms like TikTok to succeed. I think that many brands will start hiring recent high-school/college grads just for making TikTok content,” Savannah said.
The only way to find out what resonates with your audience is to test, measure, and repeat.
“It’s so important with a platform like TikTok to become a student of a platform and know what type of content trends organically. Brands will become savvier to the trends of the youth, and ultimately that will pave the way to running ads successfully on that platform,” Savannah said.
So what are you waiting for. The time to add TikTok to your marketing toolbox is here. Not only will you open up a new channel to reach your audience, but content creators can help you spread the message and boost conversions.