By Lisa Friedrich, Head of SMB, EMEA - TikTok
Contemporary digital platforms have enabled small-to-medium businesses, startups, and enterprises to stand out and find successes that were hitherto reserved for the behemoths of the industry.
Cutting-edge technology paired with authentic and creative content today has democratized opportunities for everyone irrespective of the size or budget of their business. With smaller and independent brands storming the barricades of bigger ones on digital platforms, there has never been a more exciting time to be David rather than Goliath for business.
In image above: Lisa Friedrich, Head of SMB across EMEA for TikTok
The genesis of this fundamental shift in brand marketing is simple: creative content on digital platforms no longer requires major production budgets or lengthy and complicated solutions. The built-in offerings, effects, and algorithms of digital platforms paired with authentic and immersive full-screen creative content are more than adequate to leave a deep and lasting impact on audiences and win their hearts.
The benefits of equal opportunities between small and large businesses are at the forefront of a significant shift in consumer behavior and brand expectations. But in order to leverage this surge of interest, SMBs, startups, and agencies must play it right.
With access to a wider range of products and services, users today seek more unique and authentic experiences and services – creating a space for brands to convey their story and purpose in new and powerful ways.
Digital platforms are facilitating this space by not only serving audiences the content they love but also helping them with the discovery of new interests and products. Brands that seek out and identify relevant communities on digital platforms and build an effective creative strategy around them are able to create meaningful calls for action that deliver real impact.
On platforms such as TikTok, this authenticity finds the next level through engagement and connections with audiences that don’t break the bank. That’s because native and authentic content is highly efficient to produce, and structuring content around narrative formats that are simple to execute at scale save both time and production costs. On effective and efficient digital platforms, brands don’t need big budgets or big production to tell big stories. Advertising has never been easier, especially with small budgets, as digital platforms now supply the tools that help brands create exciting and engaging content all on their own.
On such digital platforms, brands, therefore, have the opportunity to break through the noise and be embraced as part of the community. Users value authenticity and integrity more than anything else, which means that brands need to develop a nuanced and creative approach rather than obsessing about big production budgets to deliver big results.
One of the most effective ways of doing that is to embrace communities and their subcultures — a space where true inspiration thrives. A recent survey showed that 76% of users liked it when brands were a part of special interest groups on TikTok. By carefully evaluating the passion points of their audiences — whether in #gaming, #cooking, #parenting, and everything in between – and nurturing their communities, brands can offer a diverse range of products and services on digital platforms and achieve accurate business results with a variety of creative ideas.
An array of video creation and optimization solutions provided by digital platforms can help with content being built from the ground up. A TikTok analysis in 2021 found that retail companies that utilized the platform’s creative tools delivered creative content 14x more efficiently. On top of that, engagement inevitably turns into action on digital platforms – the viral hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has garnered more than 52 billion views and counting.
The success of Dkhoon AlEmiratia on TikTok, a Saudi perfume brand that produces fragrances inspired by the Kingdom's authentic heritage, is a prime example of how digital platforms have revolutionized the way businesses reach and engage with their audiences. Their goal was not only to reconnect with existing customers but also to boost their revenue.
By leveraging the power of TikTok through engaging video content that tapped into existing trends, and utilizing Spark Ads and Collections, Dkhoon AlEmiratia was able to generate a 300 percent increase in conversations around their brand on the platform. Moreover, the campaign garnered an impressive 10.4 million impressions and a 37 percent reduction in cost per acquisition. This success story is a testament to the potential that lies within the world of digital marketing, and how brands can achieve real business results with creativity, authenticity, and a willingness to adapt to new platforms and technologies.
Therefore, whether it’s raising brand awareness, driving app installs, or increasing online and offline sales, businesses today can use different creative and cost-effective formats across digital platforms to exceed their marketing objectives. In the journey of digital transformation, businesses have become part of the entertainment, and consumers part of the community. And in that journey, brands that demonstrate authenticity, bravery, originality, and creativity will emerge as the ultimate winners – it’s not size or budget that matters today but simply harnessing the power of digital platforms.