Earlier this week, Flipkart garnered over three billion views in three days on popular short-video app TikTok, for a campaign on its upcoming Big Billion Days festive sale.
This is perhaps the first instance of a big ecommerce player using the ByteDance-owned app to push its brand as it looked to target the next 100 million internet users.
Flipkart’s campaign featured Amitabh Bachchan, MS Dhoni, and Alia Bhatt and has been running under the hashtag next #BigBillionStar, with the winners bagging Realme 3 phones.
“We have also partnered with TikTok, to reach out to the new age audience, through a challenge underpinning user generated content. So far, the challenge has clocked in over 4.1 billion views on the platform,” said Flipkart’s group chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy.
Experts tracking the space say that after a two-week ban was lifted by the courts in the last week of April, TikTok has been strongly chasing brands and advertising agencies to onboard influencers.
“This year, we are partnering with an array of regional and local influencers, and a diverse portfolio of online and offline brands,” said Vikas Gupta, Vice President, Marketing at Flipkart.
“We plan to reach out to the next 200 million consumers, who we believe will hail from smaller cities and will need easy discovery and they are not just accessible through mainstream media channels anymore,” he added.
Chinese brands like Oppo, Vivo, Club Factory and brands like Pepsico have already seen success on TikTok, but home-grown brands, apart from the likes of Myntra and Snapdeal, have yet to test the app’s advertising value, says Aditya Gurwara, a marketing expert.
Emerging consumer brands like Dunzo, Bounce, dating app TanTan, social commerce platform Meesho and short-video social network app Vigo have also been advertising on the ByteDance-owned app to reach out to a new set of people.
For months now, they have been advertising on the two-year old app to reach out to tier II and III cities.
In India, TikTok claims to have over 120 million monthly active users, and throwing trending hashtags as a challenge has emerged as its big money-making tool, where influencers and their followers start making videos.
TikTok also makes money through what is known as cost per mile, cost per day and cost per click methods.
For instance, when TikTok users open the app, they will see a number of hashtags trending once they skip the day’s in-seed advertisement. While some hashtags are selected by TikTok’s team, other specific ones are paid for by advertisers, under its gold and silver packages, according to marketing experts tracking the space.
“These packages are sold for over Rs 50 lakh and trend for three days. The brands also get a complimentary, in-app, full-day advertisement along with these packages. TikTok promises 300 million views for the silver package, and 600 million views for the gold package,” a marketing expert said on the condition of anonymity.
An influencer with over 10 million followers charges Rs 80,000-120,000 lakh for generating over a million views, while a celebrity present on TikTok charges Rs 2-4 lakhs for the same.
While brands do not necessarily need to associate with celebrities for events such as Flipkart’s Big Billion Star campaign, experts say their names undoubtedly add more credibility to the brand name.
“A typical TikTok content campaign usually leverages 15-30 popular content creators with followers of over a million, and of course, the sponsored promotions,” says Praneesh Bhuvaneshwar, co-founder, Qoruz, an influencer data analytics company.
Spending on these campaigns is split between direct tie-ups with TikTok and on content partnerships with influencers via their managers or agencies, he said.
Brands spend Rs 40 lakh to Rs 1.2 crore on influencers.
The influencers act as a secondary layer to the sponsored promotional expenses done directly done with TikTok, which has been aggressively promoting brands over the last few months.