Black Friday, which falls on 26 November this year, is an opportunity for businesses everywhere to boost their revenue and reach out to a wider customer base. However, even though millions of consumers get into the spirit of Black Friday every year, there are many brands that still don't capitalise on this occasion.
Scott Thwaites, head of emerging markets at TikTok Global Business Solutions, says that for many businesses, it’s a matter of not knowing where to start. “With so many other brands competing for consumers’ attention, it can be overwhelming for individual businesses to try and get their voices heard.”
With that said, Thwaites notes that especially for smaller businesses, the right digital strategy can actually make it incredibly easy and cost-efficient to grab their market’s attention. “Even companies that have to work with tight marketing budgets are able to get maximum impact if they start looking to digital platforms to engage an audience.”
Taking TikTok’s own platform as an example, he says that reaching out to a community that passionately participates in trends and interactions, is a natural fit for businesses looking to grow their exposure.
“However, brands that choose to embark on the journey of engaging their market via digital media should understand that they need to embrace an entirely new approach. You simply cannot achieve the results you want with one-way ads intended to grab the widest possible audience. Instead, you need to take a much more personal approach and actually open your brand up to interaction with your community. The good news is that once your brand commits to this approach, the creative possibilities are endless. You can connect communities, bring awareness to critical public service initiatives, kick-off trends or issue fun challenges.”
In particular, Thwaites says that TikTok For Business is one of the best ways for brands of any size to unleash their creative side and get noticed by the Black Friday crowd. “We encourage brands to communicate with their customers as their authentic selves. This isn’t just a philosophical stance - we have seen first-hand how positively consumers react when brands reach out and engage with them honestly.”
TikTok For Business also offers a few different ways for brands to advertise on the platform, the simplest of which is auction ads. “Auction ads allow businesses to be more flexible, especially when it comes to payment. There aren’t any flat rates as the pricing is based on a mix of bids and competition, and it’s also easy to keep it simple with one type of ad to choose from – the perfect way to get started with advertising on TikTok.”
With all of this in mind, Thwaites has a few tips that can help businesses big and small, new or seasoned, grow new business leads through digital tools.
Spark Ads gives brands the ability to pinpoint organic videos that complement their campaign and then gives them the option to reach out to the creators behind the content with the ultimate goal of re-purposing their clips for a paid campaign. With the creator’s approval, brands can convert the user-generated clips into a variety of content formats and then benefit from boosting already solid performing content, which maximises brand reach.
“TikTok is filled with creators who are starting trends and sharing with the world their take on popular products and services,” says Thwaites, “and now, thanks to Spark Ads brands can tap into this abundance of creative, diverse content and connect with the creators who can help bring their products and services to life.”
Use popular hashtags for exposure
It’s been proven time and again that brands don’t need massive adspend to promote sales like Black Friday. A masterly approach to gain exposure is to make use of trending hashtags when sharing content. Top-performing hashtags give brands a boost by exposing their content to a wider audience, who are drawn to it via a trend page/area.
“Research into what your audience is interested in and is currently talking about is key to finding the right hashtag,” says Thwaites. “It’s not advisable to just use a common Black Friday hashtag, what has proven to be more successful is to find an unrelated but trending hashtag that has the power to draw in attention and help your content stand out from the rest.”
Leave your traditional ways behind and test out new ways to communicate by creating Fomo moments. “Show off your best products with quirky enthusiasm,” says Thwaites, “but ensure you create a sense of urgency that will propel quick purchases.”
Create hype around your product or service by inviting or incentivising your customers to show off what they’ve bought from you, this is a great way to authentically showcase your product range.
“And most importantly, offer helpful hacks,” adds Thwaites. “Tips on how to personalise, upcycle, style or reinvent your products will go a long way to increase trust and reward on Black Friday and beyond.”
“Black Friday is one of the greatest opportunities in the year to gain more momentum in your business, and there is a huge community of potential customers just waiting for brands to show what they’re made of. If you start using the digital platforms at your disposal, there’s no limit to how far you’ll go,” Thwaites concludes.