If you’re not on TikTok, is your brand even relevant?
In today’s digital market, one of the best marketing practices includes utilizing TikTok and its many trends to advertise your brand, product, and service. In this article, we’ll present how real brands in the Philippines took advantage of marketing using TikTok, and how content on that platform helped better reach more target customers, promoted products and services, and increased brand awareness – all within budget.
Why TikTok matters for brands
When you think about top social media platforms, what comes up first?
We’re pretty sure that Facebook is there. X too. Instagram? Maybe… but it has been overtaken by TikTok as the 3rd most consumed social media platform, especially in the Philippines!
Since it rose to fame during the pandemic, TikTok has cemented its place as a go-to platform for entertainment, socialization, marketing brands, and even shopping. This is mainly due to its algorithm that makes discovery easier. Even new creators benefit from the algorithm that places your videos on relevant For You pages.
Let’s dissect this ‘superior’ algorithm by comparing it to the longstanding top social media platform, Facebook. Make no mistake – both platforms are important tools for marketing products and services. You just need to decide which one may be a better fit for your brand.
- Content. On Facebook, all types of content are present: short-form content like status updates, long-form content like vlogs, whole photo albums, and short and long videos alike. TikTok, meanwhile, started as a platform exclusively for short-form videos, perfectly catering to short attention spans. Updates have since allowed photo slideshows (with background music) and semi-long form content (up to 10 minutes).
- Feed. Facebook’s algorithm favors sponsored content and personal connections. The more you interact with pages and accounts, the more they show up on your feed. On TikTok, those aren’t required! Users can scroll endlessly and the platform’s algorithm adjusts according to their preferences such as recent watches, likes, comments, and shares.
- Virality. Facebook relies on user shares. The more people share a piece of content, the higher the chance it will reach a wider audience. On TikTok, it doesn’t matter if you have thousands of followers or less than ten. The algorithm will bring your content to For You pages regardless.
- Discoverability. Simply put, it takes longer for content to be discovered by bigger audiences outside of your targets on Facebook compared to TikTok. TikTok makes content discoverability easier.
At a glance, TikTok marketing reaps more benefits compared to other social media platforms because of its algorithm. It casts a wider audience net, capturing even those you weren’t even trying to reach (but found value in discovering you anyway!) There’s also a higher virality potential, especially if you create relevant content directed to your target audience.
Related: How To Go Viral
That said, let’s delve into some basic TikTok tips for marketing your brand, product, or service effectively:
- Utilize organic storytelling. Users love authenticity on TikTok. They need to see you as a human, not as a brand. This highlights the cost-effectivity of TikTok marketing – you don’t need a whole expensive production to create your content. You can get by with a phone and a dream! The more authentic and candid the content, the more people gravitate towards it.
- Show everyday life. Some of the viral TikTok videos are just about normal rants or random daily videos. When striving for virality, make use of the normal things or scenarios that people can easily relate to and kick it up a notch. Elevate your content with informative, helpful, evergreen tidbits that can potentially make everyday life better. If you can seamlessly and naturally incorporate your brand into that, then you’ve found your winning content formula.
- Collaborate with user-generated content (UGC) creators. Brand discovery becomes easier when people with an established following promote it. Collaborating with nano-, micro-, macro-, and even up-and-coming TikTok creators to publish authentic reviews can help extend your brand reach, can add to your social proof, and can potentially lead customers towards a sale!
Tiktok Campaign and Success of Local Brands
Let’s look at how two well-known Philippine companies made good with TikTok marketing.
As one of the largest bus companies in the Philippines, Victory Liner is a household name for Filipinos. Throughout the years of bridging Northern and Central Luzon, it has grown to a transport fleet size of more than 1000 units!
Their TikTok campaign had two objectives:
- Build Victory Liner, Inc.’s reputation on TikTok by increasing brand awareness on the platform
- Create a positive digital footprint for the brand, its people, and its services
Victory Liner partnered with us at NGP-IMC to successfully launch their digital marketing campaign on TikTok.
We contributed 4 video content every month to maintain consistency and regulate content frequency enough to amplify brand awareness on the platform. One video per week was enough, given that Victory Liner is a known brand among local audiences. These weekly videos were the perfect way to inform the audience about new developments, innovations, and some behind-the-scenes updates without becoming overbearing and flooding their feeds.
The campaign mainly utilized organic marketing and PR to:
- Highlight the key routes, terminals, and services of the company.
- Promote new services, branches, promos, and other announcements.
- Release important updates regarding observances relevant to traveling, especially during peak seasons (weekends and holidays).
- Maximize evergreen information through travel content, particularly safety measures, bus types, travel guides, and FAQs about the company and its services.
We also took advantage of TikTok trends to increase discoverability on the platform. One trend we rode was the “Wes Anderson style” TikToks to feature the pet-friendly Victory Liner bus. Partnering with different travel content creators was also part of the strategy to ensure content diversity.
Victory Liner’s TikTok campaign succeeded in achieving its objectives.
- Most videos released during the campaign hit KPI viewership.
The published TikTok videos were able to:
- Garner more than 100,000 organic views during the first video launch;
- Reach niche audiences, such as small and mid-sized enterprise owners, to encourage them to use Victory Liner’s services such as point-to-point courier service Drop & Go, and;
- Increase awareness about new initiatives such as pet-friendly buses, enhanced Drop & Go services, and additional bus types and routes.
The use of social media trends to deliver content effectively raked in a high view count for the videos. This also made it easier to reach the target audience, from consumers to possible brand partners. These showcased how well-known and trusted Victory Liner is in the industry.
- The campaign showed care and consideration for the company’s personnel, from drivers to office staff.
In addition to riding trends and coordinating partnerships to enhance services, we established a good digital footprint for Victory Liner by letting their personnel take part in content production. They were well-engaged every time they were featured in the content, particularly in showing how they got themselves and their vehicles ready for travel.
More than showing the active cooperation and synergy between the management and their employees, it is a great strategy to present how well employee engagement and advocacy are at Victory Liner. It reflects the company’s care not only for its customers but also for the vehicles and the people that make it possible to travel worry-free.
Known for its wide selection, Robinsons Appliances is a well-known household and business appliance provider. They have multiple branches throughout the country, ready to cater to every Filipino’s appliance needs.
Their TikTok campaign had two objectives:
- Increase brand awareness to capture new and old audiences on the platform
- Promote specific products, stores, and promos in easily digestible content formats
Robinsons Appliances partnered with NGP-IMC to launch a successful digital marketing campaign on TikTok.
The company already knew they wanted to build a presence on TikTok, knowing that the platform’s primary audience are younger Filipinos (Millennials and Gen Z, some with purchasing power). We then took note of their specific interests, challenges, and needs to create opportunities to integrate Robinsons Appliances’ product offerings.
Organic storytelling, snippets of everyday life, and UGC all played a crucial role in the campaign’s success. Highlighting the practical value of Robinsons Appliances’ vast product offerings, we strategized creating content that encouraged viewers to see themselves using and enjoying the items. The best content showed the connection between important life milestones and having a big ticket item – like an appliance – to mark that. Aspirational life content like finally graduating, moving out and living independently, getting married, starting a family, starting a new career, and more, were the life milestones connected to Robinsons’ appliance roster to build relevance and emotional appeal.
The campaign utilized organic and paid marketing and PR to:
- Effectively communicate Robinsons Appliances as a relevant and trustworthy partner in going about adult life.
- Add value to the audience’s lives by providing tips and tricks for situations that may lead them to purchase from Robinsons Appliances.
- Publish authentic product reviews by UGC creators to increase social proof.
We also made sure that the content addressed common life pain points – easily solved by owning an appliance or two from Robinsons Appliances!
Other evergreen content included value-adding videos that explained concepts or terminologies to young audiences (like what “inverter” technology really means). Practical content also showed appliance shopping tips and hacks, mainly by UGC creators. To increase the discoverability of these videos, we often used viral songs and latched on ‘challenges’.
Robinsons Appliances’ TikTok campaign succeeded in achieving its two main objectives:
- Garnered strong awareness and engagement for new products, especially gaming and kitchen appliances.
We were able to tap into different demographics by publishing content relevant to their interests.
For example, in the gaming niche, a video game-themed content that featured a cosplayer gained high engagement. A whole different content about a washer garnered even higher engagement, with some customers inquiring about the product in the comments. With the variation in products – and thus the variation in audiences interested – we had to adjust our strategy on the fly to cater to different audiences!
Deep target market knowledge played an important role in the campaign’s success.
- Promoted specific products, stores, and promos in easily digestible content formats.
Frequent short-form video content about all the different applications of different appliances helped meet our KPIs. Latching onto trends also helped speed up the awareness building. Better still, all the existing native content and user–generated content can still be repurposed for future campaigns.
Insights and Takeaways
- When creating content, focus on providing information and giving value to your audiences.
Audiences are smarter now. If nothing is in it for them, your content will be forgotten. More than hard promotion, offer information and insights into why your product or service is relevant to them. Does it solve a problem? Did they learn something new?
Victory Liner’s TikTok approach didn’t even focus on promoting the brand name. People already know them. What they did focus on was keeping their audiences informed – from travel tips to bus tours, helping show that Victory Liner is in it for the benefit of their passengers.
Similarly, Robinsons Appliances subtly injected their store as the place to shop for every imaginable ‘reward’ for every possible milestone. By latching onto important real-life moments and making it more appealing by teaching them how to be smarter adults, the brand was able to position themselves as synonymous to an empowering, exciting place to shop from.
- When creating content for TikTok, make sure you’re connecting your stories to your audience.
People love stories. Compelling narratives that present everyday life from a different lens works better than hard–selling. So tell your audience a story about your brand!
Victory Liner told their own story by giving passengers a glimpse of what life with this bus liner is like – convenient travels, convenient deliveries, and happy tourists!
Robinsons Appliances gave solutions to their audience’s pain points by narrating and acknowledging the problem, then telling a story of the solution offered. The solutions were, of course, linked not just to the specific product, but to its availability in Robinsons’ stores nationwide.
- When creating content, put sincerity over virality.
Victory Liner, Robinsons Appliances, and many other brands thriving in the Philippines put sincerity over virality. That is, their content focuses more on what they can do for their audience versus what the audience can give them. Take this template, keep user benefit in mind, and the rest will follow.
Work With NGP
Ronadine Amata doesn’t let her being a student hinder her from writing about what she loves. She talks about film, cooking, culture, education, PR, Digital Marketing, brand strategies, and even the highs and lows of freelancing.
Rona’s sheer creativity stems from her exposure to her true passion, film. As the Director of Events and External Affairs Committee, and eventually the Vice President for Internal Affairs of the University of the Philippines’ Cinema Guild, she brought to life countless communications partnership activities that created a significant impact in the guild’s progress. Infusing this process into her writing, she is able to convey ideas across multiple industries – real estate, technology, lifestyle, digital marketing and PR, and more.