My Brand Went Viral on TikTok – Now What?
3: Conversion

The third instalment of our event insights, here are some of our best tips on TikTok conversion - and achieving #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt cult status.
Fanbytes | Fanbytes event Conversion

In 30 seconds:

  • Want to become one of the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt brands going viral on TikTok – over and over again? We hear you.
  • How can you get users excited to purchase from your brand – and create a strategy that keeps them coming back?
  • We shared our expertise at our recent event – plus, get more insights in our report.

In our recent Fanbytes LIVE event, we focused on how to maintain momentum and build a long term, consistent Gen Z marketing strategy on TikTok. 

The third part of our event focussed on conversion: how marketers can use TikTok to actually drive sales and meaningful action. 

In his talk, Fanbytes by Brainlabs’ Head of Creative Strategy, Tom Sweeney showcased exactly how TikTok can do far more than simply boost upper-funnel metrics – and examined some of Fanbytes by Brainlabs’ staggering success stories to explain what we can learn from the campaigns that made people buy over and again.

Below are some of our top takeouts.

1. Lean into brand personality to make a lasting impression.

TikTok’s majority audience – Gen Z – are famed for having an “8 second attention span”, but in reality, according to a Google survey, the truth is you have 8 seconds to attract their attention, but should you succeed, brands can sustain their interest for far longer.  That’s great news for marketers looking to push consumers from awareness through to conversion. The trouble with TikTok, however, is there are many other voices and instantly-gratifying videos to compete with in those first 8 seconds. 

How can brands stand out? Tom advised, “Imagine the one characteristic that people identify about your brand. If you could dial that up to 11, what would that look like?” A key example of a brand getting this right is, of course, RyanAir. Tom explained, “why do you think that the airline with the tightest margins in the world really leans into TikTok? It’s because they’ve discovered that through this method, you can push customers through the full funnel.

2. Authenticity drives emotion - and emotion drives action

Showcasing personality on TikTok leads to what Tom called “the admin effect”. He explained, “if you look at the comments in any successful video from a brand, it’s not, “Wow, I really love Duolingo”. It’s “give this social media manager a raise”. This is where the correlation between the personality of the admin or influencer and that of the brand is paramount. 

TikTok’s Gen Z audience is notoriously sceptical about brands, but as digital natives, they root for other individuals on the platform – and will support them with purchases. This is also why influencers perform so well. Tom explained, “people celebrate influencers. When they get a brand deal, they’re like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re talking about this. This is so sick. I’m glad you’re getting paid.” They want them to succeed”. He added, “that emotion drives action.

3. Reinforce follower bonds for better results throughout the funnel

Throughout the day our panellists had explored the importance of community on TikTok, but Tom clarified the importance of the follower community, and how appealing to these users can boost brands’ performance throughout the marketing funnel. This is because, in doing so, the TikTok algorithm can help to grow your community for you. “If your content is liked by your audience, if they watch it and engage with it, the TikTok algorithm will extend and extend the reach.” It’s therefore vital to take time to understand what your followers are saying, searching for and enjoying on TikTok. Tom urged, “Come on! You know so much more about your audiences and what they actually care about, and that’s what you need to do to convert them over time.

TikTok finds your community for you

Tom explained that the TikTok algorithm works by rewarding users who appeal to their core community first.

4. Embrace storytelling 2.0

Another key tactic to capture TikTok users’ interest and sustain it long enough to convert them is by experimenting with storytelling devices. Tom explained, “It’s about starting almost with the revealer sometimes. It’s about getting to the meat of the story.” Whereas traditional storytelling would ramp up a narrative to a crescendo, the requirements of the short-form video platforms mean marketers must experiment with new ways to reel viewers in. But this also creates space for creativity. Tom noted, “Audiences love variety. So give that to them.”

Tom gave a recent example of Fanbytes’ work with Casio to explain. The ad featured a BMX biker landing a tricky jump, before showing the run up to it. Tom explained, “people associate the thrill of the jump, the excitement, the payoff with the product.”

That’s how you can guide people from a piece of really engaging content to consideration and ultimately conversion. Because this was used as an ad  – and it drove £104 average order value.

5. Replicate what works

Once you’ve begun experimenting with ways to reel your particular audience in and convert them, Tom advised, it’s time to replicate the strategies that work. TikTok has tools to help this. “TikTok has a playlist feature, for instance – it’s giving you all the signals.” This is one great way to make similar content easy to find on your profile. But learning what works for your audience is necessarily a trial and error process, as every brand’s personality and following – and therefore follower favourites – will be different. Tom explained, “scale on TikTok is all about increasing your hit rate. It’s about creativity, not schedules. It’s not about planning, it’s about reacting.”

6. Don’t forget your audience are creators too

Inspiring deeper actions amongst your audience requires understanding why they are on the platform, too. In a previous talk, Tom had advised that “no one wakes up and thinks ‘I wonder what the brands are up to today?’”. In this session he explored this further. “TikTok is a platform for consumption – but also creation.” 83% of TikTok users have created their own video, so brands should be considering ways to inspire users to create content themselves. This can look like a UGC campaign – or by creating original content that other users will want to copy. 

It’s also vital to look at the creators in your niche too, as these present a key opportunity to interact and foster stronger relationships. Tom counselled, “identify your champions, engage with them meaningfully to shift that consideration phase, you can then start to get them to convert.”

7. Strengthen your strategy with influencers

Fanbytes recently worked with beauty brand MAC to promote their MACStack Mascara, a campaign that went TikTok viral, with the product becoming the best-selling mascara in the UK. Tom explained that the strategy behind this was inspired by the way organic trends spread through TikTok. We worked with influencers to replicate and reinforce this pattern and intrigue users with an emotional hook. “We needed to make a huge amount of noise to achieve massive reach. But noise alone isn’t enough to change people’s habits. […] We built the ultimate influencer feedback loop.”
We started with lots of influencers posting a huge variety of content, including saying “You need to try this because the results are incredible”… So we encourage people to take that challenge. Does it live up to the hype?” We doubled down on the most successful types of content for each stage of the funnel. We amplified them using paid ads and we drove people in store.

Get more of our TikTok advice

Going viral on TikTok takes knowledge of the platform, but translating this to sales conversions and even long-term brand love takes knowledge of your consumer. TikTok has the unique tools to turn this understanding into high-performing campaigns – throughout the marketing funnel.

Our event, ‘My Brand Went Viral on TikTok – Now What?’ covered awareness, consideration, conversion and advocacy, examining how brands can use TikTok to transform their relationships with consumers – and even be part of the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon.

Read the full event takeouts by clicking the button below.

#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt - Getting in on the action

Hopefully by now, you’ll have heard of the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon.

The name alludes to the growing sense – or consensus – amongst TikTok users that TikTok video content can be incredibly persuasive. User-generated content (UGC) throughout the app is known to be highly trusted by TikTok’s majority Gen Z user base, who actively seek out UGC product reviews on the platform to help inform their purchase decisions. On top of this, influencer content, which is also highly regarded by Gen Z, performs particularly well on this platform associated with authenticity and entertainment.

But TikTok’s algorithm can also serve organic UGC and Influencer reviews unprompted, as the app’s recommendations bring high-performing content to users’ For You Pages (FYP). This is a new experience for shoppers: rather than actively seeking out a product and its reviews, the review can appear in the user’s feed first simply because it’s entertaining – and result in later interest in (and purchase of) a product.

How can you ensure your brand is the one TikTokers want to buy from in this manner?

A clue to one crucial factor is, yet again, in the name. As the fact it’s a hashtag suggests, #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is a branch of social media content. Hashtags are what social media users employ to categorise or signpost their content. The hashtag simply would not exist if users weren’t encouraged to create their own TikTok videos in response to feeling influenced to buy. 

Fanbytes | TikTok marketing isn’t a funnel - it’s a loop

#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is about participation

The pattern that informs the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt user / customer journey should inform all your conversion campaigns on TikTok: Buying is now a community experience – and can even become an exciting movement to join. Brands should capture this opportunity by encouraging participation and interactivity throughout their marketing.

Now what?

Check out our event takeouts from ‘My Brand Went Viral on TikTok – Now What?’ for a fuller picture of our advice from the day.

Alternatively, get in touch to find out more about how Fanbytes by Brainlabs can deliver  stand-out TikTok marketing for your brand, from influencer marketing services, to TikTok account growth, content creation and full-funnel TikTok marketing strategies.

Want to read more of our advice for growing your business on TikTok? Check out our articles below:

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