The popularity of TikTok symbolizes more than our technology evolving. It symbolizes the shift in the way consumers connect with brands. As the space continues to grow, brands are facing several key challenges: increasing competition, product differentiation, and changing customer habits.
The Direct-to-consumer space is becoming overcrowded with an estimate of over 20,000 D2C brands existing today. As a result, more and more brands within a specific niche are becoming indistinguishable. This means brands need to cultivate a distinct brand message that resonates with their audience. Establishing an emotional connection between a brand and its audience is key to longevity.
This is why community building for brands is vital in the Digital Age. Keeping a pulse on your audience online and off is the only way to stay in tune with what consumers want. With 75% of the average US citizen open to trying new brands, establishing brand loyalty is a massive challenge for D2C brands.
So how can a brand meet its customers where they’re at and speak directly to them?
Shift to TikTok
TikTok is more than a social media platform. It’s a broadcasting medium. Millennials and Gen Z are the leading consumer groups in online shopping. No other platform provides brands with direct insight into their customers.
- 60% of Tiktok is Gen Z with an estimated 143B in Spending power
- Users spend an average of 14 hours a month on the app
- 23% of all U.S. internet users have the app
What makes TikTok such a unique and powerful broadcasting medium lies in its content. Ads on Tiktoks are typically from real users, which inherently makes their testimonials feel more authentic and user-focused.
The snackability of Tiktok’s content combined with its freshness lends itself to virality which makes TikTok a cost-effective way for brands to connect with and sell to their fans.
Here are 3 food and beverage brands that have used TikTok in an authentic way to sell their brand message and increase sales:
1. Building a Relationship w/ Fans (Little Moon)
Little Moons, an independent mochi brand, uses TikTok as a way to “personify” its brand. Little Moons Marketing director, Ross Faarquhar, told the Grocer “ The process of creating TikTok content should be the exact opposite to other social media platforms”. The brand’s TikTok is spontaneous, allowing them to be relevant, and not always “brand safe”.
When Little Moons, rose to viral fame through organic fan-made content on TikTok in early 2021, they saw the power of using TikTok as a way to directly communicate their brand voice to consumers. By using their viral moment as a launching pad they have seen an overall increase of 1300% increase sales with 6.7M impressions.
As a result, Little Moons uses its TikTok channel to build relationships with its fans by creating content that makes fans feel like they’re interacting with an actual person. Little Moons participates in the creator economy by posting regular videos featuring viral trends such as ASMR, the iconic duo, and Girl… don’t do it it’s not worth it sound.
They also take the time to build relationships with their fans by taking the time to post content responding to fans, thanking fans in the comment, and offering content creators who feature their product free product.
All of these things work together in solidifying their brand identity and turning their fans into an organic demand channel.
2. Show How Fans How You Fit Into their Life (F’real)
F’real, a US-based milkshake brand, uses TikTok to show how their brand fits into their fans’ lifestyles. Their president noticed the brand being organically featured in fan TikToks. So the company created its own TikTok business account to own the conversation.
Instead of just using its account to promote its brand’s latest launches, the brand creates content to show how its product adds value to its customers’ lives. For example, one of their most successful videos is their braces life hack video featuring an everyday dentist. F’real positioned their milkshake as an easy way for people with braces to enjoy sweets without ruining their teeth. Creating content like this is so powerful because it blurs the lines between ads and organic fan-made content while capitalizing on the viral trend of “life hacks”.
It’s fun content that people seek to see on the platform.
This unique tiktok attracted 3.3M vies and increased their sales by 7.7% per month!
3. Letting Your Fans Become the Face of Your Brand (Truff)
Finally sauce brand, Truff, a social media king uses TikTok as a way for fans to represent the brand. With the reigning dominance of viral food recipes, Truff decided to let their fans in on the action by announcing the #HowITruffContest.
Through the contest, fans were encouraged to showcase their creativity by using any product from the brand’s line in an original recipe of their own. The company gifted the grand prize winner with a $10k cash prize and a matching donation to Whole Foods’ Whole Planet Foundation.
The viral campaign drove 16.8 M views across all submitted videos. According to owners Nick Guillen and Nick Ajluni, social media efforts like this are the key reason they were able to increase their startup revenue up to +20M!
SocialLadder is a platform for automating brands’ interaction with creators, allowing brands to build scalable, authentic creator programs. Activate your fans and let your communities promote your brand
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