Analysis: TikTok queries spike for content creators, but will the dollars trickle in too?

TikTok has blasted onto the scene during this COVID-19 lockdown with more and more celebrities, influencers and content creators taking to the platform to create their short form content. With approximately 800 million monthly active, content creators worldwide are getting creative with TikTok videos in a bid to grow their presence and versatility.

When asked if content creators are seeing more brand collaboration briefs rolling in for the platform, Singapore-based content creator Jianhao Tan said he has seen a “huge increase of interest” from clients looking to experiment on TikTok.

“There were a lot brand deals and collaborations that I didn’t expect which came in. I’m glad to see brands be more adventurous and explore TikTok,” he said adding that most of the queries revolved around explaining how a viral campaign ran on the platform. While Tan is genuinely seeing a shift in work coming in for content creation on the platform, he added that as a content creator, the adoption of the platform for him isn’t instant either.

Malaysian influencer Blake Yap, the creator behind the account #Chinepaiyen, has also been seeing an increase in brand collaboration interest on TikTok. Receiving these queries mostly via email or messages on social media platforms, Yap told Marketing that these collaborations usually come in the form of incorporating brand products or campaign into his own content. He added that while some brands would request him to follow a theme, he generally has creative freedom over the content he produces for the collaborations. Yap has recently collaborated with brands such as Lenovo and Colgate.

Meanwhile Gushcloud CEO Althea Lim said that while there is a strong interest and curiosity from brands wanting to venture into the platform, many are cautious as they are not sure where their content would fit. “Content on TikTok is largely around music and dance and what marketers are now looking for in this tough economy is performance, rather than just awareness,” she added. As such an evolution and education of the platform is needed for marketers to invest more on the platform.

As for influencers entering the platform, she says that naturally this should be their next go-to, given that more consumers are spending time on TikTok than sometimes even Instagram. “We all know it’s a fight for eyeballs and sooner or later, where consumers go, marketers will follow,” she added.

Type of content a challenge

In a previous interview with Marketing, industry players shared that along with the lack of understanding of the platform, content creation remains a challenge for brands. This issue is no different when it comes to content creators and influencers, said Tan.

Candidly speaking, Tan explained that while the content on TikTok is generally interesting, “it does take awhile to get the hang of the content” and some content creators are still figuring out the hang of it. For some it is seen as a platform for song and dance and “weird trends”.

Meanwhile, according to Yap, TikTok’s additional built-in features such as its AR effects allow creators to be more creative on the platform and also make it easier on influencers to self-produce content.

When it comes to content on TikTok, both Tan and Yap choose to create more light-hearted content and fun videos as compared to long established platforms such as Instagram. For both Yap and Tan, Instagram is a platform used more to connect with their fans and provide regular personal updates about their daily lives and thoughts, while TikTok is a platform for them to experiment with new content ideas.

“The great thing about TikTok is that there are no expectations that I’ve set for myself so I’m really there to have fun and have a good time,” said Tan, adding that he initially did not expect for the account to grow so fast. Tan has currently 430,000 followers on his TikTok account.

Meanwhile Gushcloud’s Lim added that just as YouTube advertising was an evolution of TV, and Instagram ads became a digitised version of magazine advertorials, TikTok too will probably be an evolution of mediums such as live-streaming as more and more brands eye monetisation possibilities.

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