TikTok is the app with fun lip-synching videos, facial and dress transformation cuts, and song snippets. But underneath the party-esque exterior, lies a sleeping giant of marketing prowess.
Teenagers from all over the world flocked to the platform and have made quite a rattle. The sleeping giant has heard the rattle and has begun to wake.
New Way for Product Promotion
The catchy video shorts certainly grab people’s attention. They share the new internet gem with friends and family. As more people follow the creators’ videos, the influential effect that the creators wield grows. The TikTok creator community, in large part, is composed of global youth who see the platform as a fantastic creative outlet, but many are recognizing the power the platform truly holds for rising influencers.
Elsewhere, Amazon, a well-established e-commerce, is still looking for additional ways to help their sellers promote their new products adressing to different international marketing agencies. But in that, they have found a strange bedfellow in TikTok. The fact that the growing influencer community on TikTok holds significant power to promote many new products and increase the brand awareness. A popular TikToker donning a clothing item could spark a trend, and trends translate to sales. And there is Amazon, ready to make the sales happen.
With such an organically business-savvy, symbiotic relationship blooming, it should come as no surprise that Amazon brand management companies like Quiverr are stepping into the fray to assist in the venture. Many employees of such companies are perpetually scouring Amazon for hot new products or great deals, then making the purchases, and making TikToks of themselves testing typically innocuous products in a creative and memorable manner.
The TikTok's Power
While Amazon does open sellers to a nearly global network of prospects, the sheer volume of available offerings makes it very tough for new products to be found, let alone to stand out. As powerful of an e-commerce platform as Amazon is, when it comes to finding new products, it remains a cluttered and confusing place.
TikTok brings the ability to cut through the noise by using the flourishing services to promote some more unique and unusual products; in other words, not what typically jumps out at a person logging on to the Amazon marketplace. Some recent examples of unusual and quirky products advertised on TikTok are cereal dispensers, two-in-one sponge holders and dispensers, and laser keyboards.
TikTokers take on the task of presenting the more obscure products by introducing them, demonstrating how they function and explaining the product’s benefits. They then leverage the power of the hashtag by utilizing #AmazonFinds, #AmazonMustHaves, and #FoundItOnAmazon to rank in social media searches.
Those viewers interested in the products are then able to hop over the Amazon sales page via specifically tailored Amazon affiliate links. In this manner, everyone wins: customers are purchasing a product they are interested in, Amazon sellers are making sales to audiences that may not have ever known about their product otherwise, and TikTokers are making an affiliate commission for promoting the lesser-known products.
TikTokers promoting the products and directing buyers to them via affiliate links are making a handsome commission off of their efforts, earning between 1% and 10% of every sale. As the platform continues to grow, more and more influencers are leveraging it for just these purposes. The phenomenon has grown by leaps and bounds, even to the extent that it has earned its own, very fitting hashtag: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.
Unlike affiliate based media owned companies, such as the NYT-owned Wirecutter, where niche products are marketed to earn affiliate commissions, TikTokers are building their Amazon product promotional juggernauts on their own. Many of the products promoted are organic features, with only a fraction of them being sponsored by the product maker. But the trend is growing with brands catching on to the power of the TikTok platform. In a way, many are comparing this current initiative to QVC hosts of the late 20th century, who were able to make gargantuan sales numbers mostly by entertainingly promoting products.
The TikTok Ecosystem Change
While brands are beginning to conduct their own experimentation with #AmazonFinds TikTok accounts, the independent promotions by TikTokers may begin to lose some of their allure. But a brand can only get so far by promoting unique or niche products with the #AmazonFinds hashtag, while there is little they can do to substitute influencer power.
Promoting a brand’s own products with the #AmazonFinds hashtag has a feeling of being manufactured, and not organic, a key appeal to influencer reviews. Some brands have taken a more clever approach to combat this perception. Instead of relying on their own official channels to push the #AmazonFinds hashtag, or outwardly paying for sponsored posts, they are instead tasking their own employees to become TikTok personalities. This way, the use of the #AmazonFinds hashtag feels more natural.
In fact, this strategy is being sought after by e-commerce services (like Advantage Digital Commerce) as well. These companies as well as international marketing agencies are looking to recruit more staff who will serve as TikTok influencer personalities geared at promoting specific company’s products. In other words, a company like Advantage will identify influencers, and seek to employ them specifically to promote their company’s products or those of the company’s seller clients. The strategy is gaining traction, so much so in fact, that Walmart has started to dabble in hiring staff for similar purposes to promote their own brand’s offerings.
Influencers on TikTok are continuing to push forward too. Teens are specifically creative in their promotion of products they believe in. Many do not want the rub of the perception of being independent-minded influencers who are selling out to particular brands. After all, that is the true nature of an influencers’ appeal, their perceived authenticity.
By and large, a new methodology of brand promotion is taking shape. The #AmazonFinds niche keeps growing, and soon a decentralized TikToker network will begin to wield even more influence over which products end up going viral. Brands who are recognizing the platform’s power and prowess want to share in the benefits. This means that they will be increasingly likely to turn their own employees into TikTok influencer hosts.