Brands are increasingly harnessing the power of TikTok in the MEA region


Content creation has seen a paradigm shift over the past few years, becoming more streamlined and accessible to everyone, said Shant Oknayan, TikTok’s Head of Global Business Solutions for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. .

This paradigm shift has resulted in the exponential growth of content libraries and many new genres of content flourishing today, he told the Khaleej Times. “We expect this genre growth to continue as the consumer is now back in the driver’s seat when it comes to the type of content they consume.”

TikTok consumers, he noted, receive content that is relevant to them at that time based on their consumption habits and interests, rather than what they are explicitly looking for or what their friends , their family or the people they follow post. Therefore, people are consuming content that they find genuinely engaging, exciting, and educational, and as long as that continues, there are endless possibilities as to what genres of content will continue to grow on the platform.

“TikTok has basically provided an easy way to produce content, allowing everyone to be a content creator by putting a studio with music, effects and editing tools in everyone’s pockets,” said he declared. “Our consumers come together in content-driven communities, and as such, the evolution of content is as diverse as those communities themselves. Because of this, we are seeing the birth of a new type of word-of-mouth ear, which not only leads to different flourishing movements and content on the platform, but also has real business impact.

Another factor that sets the platform apart is its simplicity in creating and consuming content, and the fact that any content can go viral based on engagement. “Our algorithm levels the playing field and gives any content the same chance of discovery as content from any celebrity. A creator, whether big or small, can go viral instantly if their content is engaging for audiences, giving brands a diverse pool of talent to work with,” Oknayan explained.

Asked about the growing number of brands turning to the platform as a strategic marketing tool, Oknayan noted that the power of the community makes TikTok “a shopper’s paradise” and a platform that can cater to businesses from all sizes and their needs. .

“When we launched TikTok for Business in 2020, our goal was to empower businesses of all sizes to harness the power of TikTok to grow their brand,” he said. “We have also introduced tools to measure the value and impact of native advertising. Two years later, the list of local, regional and international brands that have chosen to explore the capabilities of the platform continues to grow, and so does the impact. These brands of all sizes use TikTok as a window into culture and a direct pathway to ongoing conversations within their communities.

Oknayan also highlighted how the unparalleled power of TikTok’s community increases discoverability and, in many cases, has caused brands to become sell-out hits overnight. The secret, he revealed, is “community commerce,” where consumers seek validation when making a purchase and the TikTok community is there to be a trusted source of peer review and word of mouth recommendations. by ear.

“You may be familiar with the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon, which is a great example of this, as it has resulted in a diverse range of products from Feta cheese to Sunset lamps and KVD makeup being sold in stores, and continues to translate into true impact on world affairs. We believe community commerce is the future of marketing, and that’s what TikTok is. When advertising messages are delivered as advertising, but enjoyed as entertainment, brands see incredible results on the platform,” he said.

TikTok’s ‘What’s Next Trend’ annual report, released earlier this year, highlighted that 67% of users in the region believe TikTok has inspired them to shop even when they weren’t looking to; while 78% believe the best brands on TikTok are those that work with users.

The report also outlined content that saw significant growth in 2021 or remained among the most popular topics for Arab audiences, promising impact for brands in 2022. In 2021, Tech content consumption grew by 302 % in the CCG, followed by Mode content at 287%. percent, the food and beverage content at 197 percent and the beauty content at 169 percent.

Oknayan said that while these categories should continue to thrive, there are a host of other categories and subcategories popping up every day, reflecting the diversity of the community and providing brands with the opportunity to reach and be part of relevant communities. authentically.

When asked if the platform would see more collaboration between brands and content creators, he said yes: “It’s something we continually encourage brands to do more of. On TikTok, brands don’t just have the ability to speak to their audience, they can also speak through their audience. Brands can leverage the creator communities and consumer cultures built on TikTok to showcase their authenticity and reality, and this can be done seamlessly and efficiently through the Creator Marketplace.

“More and more brands have started to realize that they have a lot to gain by unleashing their creativity on the platform, especially by working with our talented pool of content creators, and giving them the creative freedom to make what they do best, engage with communities, authentically with TikToks,” he added.

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