Issue #32 - Dunkin' on TikTok, and Golf
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Welcome to Good TikTok Creative!
We are very excited about TikTok as a brand new platform for creativity and think this topic is severely under-explored.
As TikTok matures as an ad medium, one issue looms large. Organic reach.
The power of the TikTok algorithm is that any content can get huge reach very quickly. Facebook used to be able to do the same - although not quite the same velocity - but eventually their business model led it to throttle organic content, thus encouraging brands to turn their back on their hard earned Fans and pay to play instead.
Turned out to be a very smart move for Facebook. Will TikTok be tempted to do the same? Or does the pivotal role of Influencers make it harder for them to dial down organic reach?
Dunkin’ is a good lens to consider this. They spotted they were getting free reach and attention through TikTok royalty. Charli D’Amelio was often holding an iced Dunkin coffee in her early videos and this prompted Dunkin to appoint her as a Brand Ambassador last year and they even launched a Charli drink - credited with a sales increase in Q3. Recently they launched a new drink; Charli Cold Foam. This partnership helped Dunkin grow to 2.4m followers. And 17m likes.
The way they use TikTok has other facets too. They only follow 15 people on TikTok and they are true fans, creating a status to aspire to.
As an exec says:
"We only follow those who are really die-hard Dunkin' fans," "We want to keep that group small, and we have worked with them to create content and help us launch products."
And equally smartly, they now pay their employees to post content;
“..we built a formal program to bring crew content creators into the mix and use them to help launch products and give them first access to some of our campaigns.”
They have a team scouring the platform for Dunkin’ fans and are now looking at micro influencers - people with a hundred thousand followers - and working with them on product campaigns - giving the influencer creative control.
Capturing the value of word of mouth has always been a smart marketing approach. And it’s another good way of unlocking the value of TikTok.
The old-school playbook of working with an influencer was filming a temporary, shallow endorsement. Another common practice was providing a rigid creative brief to an influencer, constricting them within your own brand guidelines. Dunkin’ could have just paid Charli a one-off fee to smile, look into the camera and tell people to buy Dunkin’.
But the company is smarter than that. And consumers today, especially Gen-Z and Millennials, expect more than that.
Dunkin’ went ‘all-in’ on partnering with Charli D’Amelio, even creating a menu item called The Charli and aiming to nurture a long term relationship with the world’s biggest TikTok star.
Dunkin’ also deserves credit for being proactive and discovering a trend early. They realised, to use a phrase from this Business Insider article, that Charli was giving Dunkin’ “millions of free video impressions.” And they saw a massive opportunity to co-launch an entire product based on Charli’s already existing passion for Dunkin’.
For old school marketers, user-generated content (UGC) on social platforms can sometimes be scary. I remember working with a few Fortune 100 brands back in 2013 who were incredibly worried about the negative comments they were receiving from people on their Facebook page. The brands even wanted to turn off the ability for people to post about their company.
Now look at how far we have come. Influencer Charli D’Amelio posts dozens of videos featuring Dunkin’ without even asking them, and the brand’s response is to partner with her. This is the right approach when working with influencers today. As a side note—for more best-in-class influencer marketing, check out Gymshark.
Maybe a question your brand could be asking is… Who are the TikTok creators already posting about our product? Charli D’Amelio may not be talking about her love for your company, but there are millions of other TikTokers who might. Who is currently giving your brand free video impressions? Who has passion for your brand on TikTok?
Your next step might be to hop on TikTok Creator Marketplace, reach out to these creators, and try to build some of that Charli x Dunkin’ magic for your own brand.
Golf Digest, the world’s biggest golf publication, recently published a list of the top five Golf TikTok accounts you need to follow. The list ranges from athletes to coaches to personalities who all have a love for the world of golf. It’s yet another community on TikTok that you might be surprised has millions of viewers.
You can imagine that there are TikTok accounts for every sport—from chess to volleyball to basketball to bingo. One way to look this up is by searching hashtags on TikTok. For example, here is the ‘golf’ hashtag, which has 7.5 Billion views.
You can also search #golfpractice, #learngolf, #golflife and any other hashtag variation you can think of. It’s an endless world of niches on TikTok.
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