One of the most engaging video sharing platforms TikTok isn't just a medium of content consumption. Many leading brands are coming up with innovative TikTok campaigns that not only help them in promotions but also in earning revenues. Recently, itel, an entry-level mobile phone brand from TRANSSION Holdings, initiated a social media campaign on TikTok, clocking over 2 billion views in just three days. All users had to do was to upload TikTok videos performing on a song specially composed for itel using relevant tags. Itel is not alone. TikTok has run many more interactive campaigns with brands such as Amazfit, Moov and Bingo and even with movie Bala, to name a few.
With brands focussing on TikTok and its audience, even creators (TikTok users) are looking for ways to monetise the content they create. Unfortunately, unlike YouTube, TikTok does not have a revenue-sharing model for its creators as of now. However, creators are leveraging their TikTok accounts for brand promotions and sponsorships and diverting traffic to their channels and pages to earn revenues. But, all this has to be done on their own as TikTok does not facilitate any tie-ups or promotions.
Honey Singh, CEO (PR & Content Marketing), #ARM Worldwide explains, "Brands are paying content creators for direct branded content or participating in hashtag challenges. Another way they earn extra is by cross-sharing the same branded content on Instagram. Brands and agencies focus on content quality, the relevancy of influencer and audience engagement for doing paid With brands focussing on the platform and its audience, even users are looking at how to earn money from TikTok video app with the content they create associations. TikTok influencers can multifold their earning by just focussing on the quality of their content."
Brand sponsorships and promotions
You need to have an active TikTok account with a huge follower base to start earning revenues. That is one of the key requirements for the brands to approach creators. If you are an influencer, you can hook up with sponsors, who will pay you to promote their product or company on the platform.
"Here, the number game is simple -- the more followers you have, the more power you possess towards negotiating and visibility. While you can't put a number on minimum followers, brands usually show interest in key influencers above a million followers and micro-influencers above 30,000 followers as per the campaigns we have seen take place. In addition to the follower base, engagements play a vital role in defining success for the brand. Brands look for creators who complement their brand's value and personality," explains, Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive.
However, having a huge follower base doesn't promise sponsorships. An increasing number of companies also consider the target audience the influencers are catering to. Brands are getting conscious about reaching out to the right target audience instead of approaching a bigger audience, that is, a focus on justified return on investment. Similarly, top creators and influencers are paid by the brands to participate in the hashtag challenges running on TikTok.
For instance, a fitness influencer is likely to be approached by a gym or a fitness wearable brand to promote their products. Whether one should disclose about the promotion is clearly up to them.
"This is like a classic evolutionary cycle. In the starting phase, when a creator is about to become an influencer and gain traction, one might want to take up certain campaigns where they will be paid only in kind. But as one grows up higher and spends more time and effort into making the content, they will automatically want to do it for select brands that would pay them upfront in money. It could be a new theme, a new product launch, a new brand positioning, or whatever the brand's objective is," explains Nimesh Shah, Head Maven, Windchimes Communications.
In most cases, brands sign up influencers for creating relevant content for anywhere between three to five posts. Depending on the popularity and the reach of the influencer, he could be paid anywhere between a few thousands to Rs 50,000 or even more.
Directing traffic to other revenue-based channels
The nature of the app is such that it has a lot of millennials who are super-active on the platform. According to Global Web Index, 41 per cent TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24. And for influencers popular across other social media platforms, TikTok could be a great way to reach out to the untapped millennial audience. A creator can also direct this untapped audience to other platforms including YouTube and Instagram to increase ad revenues. Interestingly, a lot of TikTokers are also uploading their catchy TikTok content on other platforms to cater to the audience who are resisting the TikTok platform but do get access to everything the influencer is posting across platforms.
"Using the LIVE.LY app is also helpful in generating more revenues, as you can live-stream directly to your Tik Tok audience. Live streaming allows the audience to share small tips in the form of donations, which is a great way to earn even for budding creators. In addition, TikTok had also launched link-sharing via your bio and through posts, helping users reach out to more audiences and make more lucrative deals with brands. Currently, the platform does not support monetisation through the video content, which limits creators from pushing the platform more than others who do support revenue models," adds Rais.
Tiktok has a diverse user-base with over 200 million users in India, spread across Tier-I, II and III cities. Some of the most popular categories across TikTok that users explore for content are travel, music, dance and DIY. TikTok's recent campaign #EduTok focusses on creators sharing their knowledge with the larger community. Since its launch over five months ago, #EduTok has garnered over 52.7 billion views to date, which highlights the shift in content consumption from entertaining TikTok videos to the ones that focus on personal development and education.
The platform has been continuously working towards developing interactive and trendsetting content in the form of launch challenges, hashtags, stickers, features and effects, enabling users to create more engaging content.