Digital AF

Episode 11 - Redefining Your Content And Community Through TikTok


April Ford

In today’s episode of Digital AF, a few of our digital marketing specialists chat about TikTok. This platform allows businesses to stay up to date with trends, engage with their audience, and present themselves with authentic and creative content. Listen to today’s episode to understand the importance of redefining your content and community as a brand, through TikTok.

In today’s episode of Digital AF, a few of our digital marketing specialists chat about TikTok. This platform allows businesses to stay up to date with trends, engage with their audience, and present themselves with authentic and creative content. Listen to today’s episode to understand the importance of redefining your content and community as a brand, through TikTok.

Jessi (00:00):

Welcome to Digital AF. My name is Jessi, and I'm the Assistant Marketing Manager here at April Ford. Today, I want to chat about to TikTok. TikTok is a creative and trendsetting video-sharing platform that allows your business to stay up-to-date with trends, engage with your audience, and present your brand on a platform that many businesses are already taking advantage of. In this week's episode of Digital AF, I have Tayte, our Social Media Team Manager, and Alex, our Marketing and Production Assistant. They're joining me today to chat about redefining your content and community as a brand through TikTok. We recently attended an Interactive Minds event in Brisbane, where we heard from TikTok's Brand Strategist. This podcast will recap some of the main points we covered during this event, as well as further insights into the TikTok platform for your business.

Speaker 2 (00:47):

Digital AF, the digital marketing podcast that features real conversations from those who live and breathe the digital agency life. April Ford Digital Agency shares their tips, tricks, and exposes the truth about what works and what doesn't. Welcome to Digital AF. Let's get into it.

Jessi (01:05):

So Tayte, there are three key pillars that TikTok content targets to redefine entertainment. These include authenticity, community, and creativity. When we say authenticity, why do you think that authentic content is an important aspect of TikTok?

Tayte (01:25):

Authenticity is the key to brand success on TikTok. It's all about sharing your real self, and this candidness is super relatable, and people will connect with it. It'll spark joy with them, and it has the ability to lift moods. TikTok creates an opportunity for brands to create an authentic, meaningful impact in a way they never have before. This can be done through identifying your consumer's purpose, and thinking about why your audience is on the platform, what they're looking for and what they're doing there, getting involved with them. It's about building your relationship with the audience and encouraging engagement.

Tayte (01:53):

Think about what you can teach them, and how you can create content that's specific to them. Stay true to your brand values, discover what works for your audience and leverage that. It could be educational, it might be skits. It might be funny. It might be... It could be anything. It's important to show your real self, who you actually are as a brand. Not trying to pretend to be something else, just because of what TikTok is like. It's important to leverage trends, so they tell you what you are not just so you're trying to sell a product and be more you. Relationships on TikTok are built through respect and understanding. Show all aspects of who you are, including your vulnerabilities and imperfections.

Jessi (02:24):

Yeah, that's some great points. Thank you, Tayte. The next pillar is community. Alex, how do you think communities on TikTok differ from other platforms?

Alex (02:32):

With other social platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, they're based off social graphs. Everything that you'll see on these platforms are a mixture of what you are interested in, and then, also what your friends and family are interested in. The TikTok algorithm is different. It's based off content graphs. So, it's designed to be super personalised and curated to only your unique interests based on your likes, engagement and interests. So, it's likely if you were to hand your friend or a work colleague your For You page, they would be a little bit confused and wouldn't really be interested in anything because it's super curated to you.

Alex (03:07):

Over time, your page will actually become more specific, and you'll begin to identify what communities you might belong to based on the content you're being served. I feel like it's pretty rare that I ever come across videos that I don't find interesting or relevant to me. So, I think it's super important for companies and brands to do their research into what communities they should be targeting on TikTok, so that they can make sure that their content is being served to the right audience.

Jessi (03:29):

Yeah, that's great. Thank you. The final pillar is creativity. Tayte, why do you think that it is essential for businesses to value creativity when creating their TikTok content?

Tayte (03:38):

Well, TikTok's mission is actually simple. It's to inspire creativity and bring joy. Naturally, they push content that is creative, that is interesting and a little bit different to what we see every single day. This is kind of reason enough to value creativity because TikTok does. Creative content is engaging content that encourages interaction between your brand and your specific audiences. Creativity helps people build brand recognition, and encourages recall. And as we know, marketing is all about being front of mind when consumers discover a need or a want.

Jessi (04:09):

I think it's pretty important that we value those three aspects when we even create TikTok content for April Ford for as well. In regards to how brand should utilise TikTok, there are three important focus points. Brands must be seen, heard, and felt. You want to ensure that your brand is seen. Alex, what does this mean?

Alex (04:26):

With the combination of both visual and audio elements, TikTok is an immersive platform. It's one of those platforms that you can't really be multitasking with, especially with the short-form content. You have to be on the app the whole time to be able to scroll through the videos. Otherwise, that same video is just going to keep replaying in the background while you're doing your laundry or something. So, it's safe to say a majority of TikTok users, including myself, have super short attention spans. So, your content needs to be visually interesting and attention-grabbing right from the beginning. Otherwise, you're at risk of just being scrolled past within a matter of milliseconds.

Jessi (04:59):

Yeah. The second focus point is ensuring your brand is heard. Tayte, could you elaborate on this further?

Tayte (05:04):

Sure. As TikTok's brand strategist said to us last week, "Culture moves at the speed of sound. Sound is incredibly efficient. We respond to it and process it 100 times faster than we do images." I don't know about you guys, but sound really does trigger memories in me. I'll be driving and a sound will come on, and I'll be taken back to that moment in time. So, very efficient in processing your memories.

Jessi (05:24):

Yeah. I think it's also great as well with the trending sounds that we have on TikTok. It just provides a lot more opportunity for your video to be viewed by an audience.

Tayte (05:32):

For sure.

Jessi (05:33):

Finally, you want your brand to be felt. Alex, why is this an important focus point for brands?

Alex (05:37):

As much as it's important for the brands to be looking into the communities, they also need to be looking into exactly what the members of these communities are genuinely interested in and what actually resonates with them, so that they can kind of create pillars based on what they respond well to. Coming back to what Tayte said about authenticity and relatability, users are more likely to interact with content that makes them feel involved rather than just being sold to. I think it's super cool to see such a change in the brand of consumer relationships, rather than a big brand just kind of talking at you and asking you to buy something. It's really cool to kind of be able to see almost a collaboration between the consumer and the brand to kind of advertise their product without advertising it.

Jessi (06:18):

I also just wanted to link back to TikTok communities. Brands looking to further connect with their audience will benefit from delving deeper into TikTok communities relevant to their industry. Tayte, can you give me an example of how a brand could benefit from targeting and understanding TikTok communities?

Tayte (06:32):

For sure. Communities are very powerful places to put your content into. They're kind of like cults, but in a good way. It's also important to create original content because you're reaching an audience that you can't reach on Facebook or on Instagram, on TikTok. For example, I know Woolworths is the one that stood out to me as an example. The person, Liam, his name is, he used to work at Woolworths, and he was making content for them on his shifts and everything like that.

Tayte (06:59):

Woolworths picked up on that and realised that he was really getting to an audience that they've never targeted before or never been able to reach before. So, they've brought him in and he's now their Content Coordinator. It's funny because I've never noticed Woolworths on Facebook or Instagram or anything like that. But now that I am on TikTok, they really can relate to me more so on that platform.

Alex (07:20):

They have found a way to like shift to a brand new audience. It's really cool. It's like I would never be interested in looking at the social media of a grocery store, but now I'm fully invested.

Tayte (07:29):

Absolutely. That's just because of the different content that you put on TikTok rather than other platforms. As you were saying, you don't talk at people, you talk with people and start a conversation.

Jessi (07:37):

And because it's more authentic, as a consumer, you don't really realise you're being marketed to. It's still the Woolworths brand, but they're marketing to you in a different way than they have before.

Tayte (07:45):

Yeah, and they relate to you. They kind of find those things that you have in common and work with that.

Alex (07:51):

Yeah. I feel like a lot of the stuff that he posts, it's kind of like, oh, I would never think a brand would be able to post that a lot of the time. It's like people taking risks or putting out content that you would never really think of. It's almost like a shock factor for people to kind of be like, "This is so cool that they're letting him do this."

Tayte (08:07):

Yeah. And then you kind of go into... If I'm doing my groceries or something and you're there at the end of the day, because he makes those funny closing, "We're closing." I don't know what he says, but he's like, "Grab your trolley and head to the register." When you're in there and you kind of hear that, you're like, "That's funny. I've seen Liam do that on TikTok."

Jessi (08:24):

I think it's great that Woolworths does that. And also, they found a way to target their community. These TikTok communities exist because of the highly accurate targeting and subculture connection achieved by TikTok's algorithm. Alex, can you explain how the TikTok algorithm works, and what are the benefits of TikTok's accurate and user-focused algorithm?

Alex (08:42):

Sure. Your For You page is where you'll find your stream of curated content. When you first start your account, you'll be served a really wide range of subject material. I feel like when you first get TikTok, everyone's kind of like, "What is this?" Because it's such a weird range of these videos that have kind of been picked up by TikTok thinking that it's going to be the most popular video at the time, and it's got nothing to do with you. So, you kind of have to go through it at first and just kind of deal with it. And then, it'll kind of start picking up what videos you like and what is connected to the content that you are responding well to. It'll start making your For You page way more specific.

Alex (09:19):

I know when I started using it back in 2019, I was trying to get my friend on it, and she was like, "This is so stupid. I'm getting the weirdest videos. This is not interesting to me at all." I actually just had to send her all of my favourite videos, and I told her to go through and like every single one of them, because we kind of have the same sense of humour, same interests. We kind of curated her For You page for her. We kind of hacked the system a little, and she was into it in no time. But I do feel it's cool that, yeah, we've made her For You page like mine.

Alex (09:49):

But over time, hers will kind of start bringing in even more specific things that I might not be interested in. So, it's really cool that nobody's For You page is really exactly the same. Even Tayte and I will send each other videos and I'm like, "I've seen that," and she'll send me one, and I'll send her one and we've all seen them. But I feel sometimes I'll reference something and Tayte's like, "I don't know what you're talking about."

Tayte (10:11):

I think it's really funny too. We always talk about how some of our friends who are a little bit like boomer energy or they're not even... They're kind of reluctant to get on the TikTok trend, and they'll send you videos on Instagram a month later. And I've seen this on TikTok. TikTok is so ahead of the game in terms of the algorithm, things like that.

Alex (10:29):

Yeah. They won't admit... As soon as you tell them "it's from TikTok", it's suddenly no longer funny.

Tayte (10:31):

Oh no, no, no, no.

Alex (10:33):

Oh yeah, yeah I'm not into that. It's like, "Oh sorry."

Tayte (10:35):

Then they go, "See, I don't even need TikTok because I'm seeing the stuff anyway." Like yeah, but I've seen that a month before you. You kind of seem a little bit lame.

Alex (10:42):

You kind of seem like you're trying to act better than me, and you're not, because you're watching Instagram Reels - sorry.

Tayte (10:45):

Grow up.

Alex (10:45):

Yeah, grow up. Grow up and get on TikTok.

Tayte (10:49):

Get with the times.

Jessi (10:52):

I feel like a lot of people that aren't on TikTok are very judgmental of it, especially business owners when they themselves aren't on TikTok. They can't see the future potential to invest in the platform for their business. Whether they think the platform is just for dancing due to TikTok's previous branding as Musically. I remember when it was that and yep. I wasn't on it then, but then they transitioned. But then, they transitioned to TikTok in late 2018, and it really took off as a platform. But I still think a lot of people were judgemental of it. I think it's only now that a lot of bigger brands are using it. They're starting to see the value in it. Although it can be difficult to understand the value in this platform if you aren't currently using it, I do encourage you to explore the app for yourself if you aren't currently using it.

Jessi (11:37):

Let the algorithm become tailored to your interests and research how other successful businesses, including those within your industry, are building a community on TikTok to display another side of the business that is more authentic and creative. There are some examples of businesses thriving on TikTok, which clearly highlight the benefits of using this platform. I know I personally love watching Vogue Australia and Mecca beauty. These are some great accounts that are engaging with their communities.

Jessi (11:59):

Tayte, you mentioned Woolworths before, but are there any other main TikTok accounts you followed that are utilising TikTok to its full potential?

Tayte (12:05):

Absolutely. I think it's important for brands to kind of incorporate a bunch of different things, like humor, education, relatable skits, user-generated content and more. I've noticed Lululemon does a really good job of this, so does McDonald's. One of my personal favorite is DISSH. I love their content. It kind of teaches you how you can style their clothes, what you can wear for specific occasions. I think if you're looking for something, there's always an answer on TikTok. I love when they're a niche topic, so topics that you might think no one else is experienced, and then you come across a TikTok and they're kind of talking about how they've experienced that exact same thing that you were thinking you were the only one in the world to have ever experienced.

Tayte (12:38):

I saw this TikTok yesterday, and it was a McDonald's UGC. He'd finished his thing of fries. And he was like, "Oh I'm devo that I finished my thing of fries." He looks in the bottom of the bag, and there's the chips in the bottom of the bag. You know how that always happens when you get... It was so funny because I was like, "Oh my God, that's hilarious." I mean, not that I thought I was the only one in the world that's ever happened to, but you just don't think that's such a funny thing that everyone is thinking about.

Alex (13:01):

It is just like those little things when you're like "Oh my God".

Tayte (13:02):

Yeah. Those tiny, tiny little things, and I'm like, "Oh my gosh, it's so funny that everyone just experiences the same thing." It's just funny that you can relate to those things other people are experiencing.

Jessi (13:12):

Yeah. I think it's a great way to showcase the brands. Alex, are there any other accounts that stand out to you that are using TikTok?

Alex (13:18):

Yeah, I agree with Tayte. A lot of the fashion and beauty brands are mainly what I follow. I feel like they use UGC really well, user-generated content super well to kind of coming back to how we were saying you're not being sold a product generically. It's kind of cool to see other people in your communities using these products. I feel like literally everything I own is because I've seen somebody on TikTok being like, "This is my outfit for today. This tops from DISSH. These pants are from KOOKAI. These boots are from Jo Mercer and this is my makeup." And I'm like, "All right. Well, now, I own all of it."

Tayte (13:52):

Add to cart.

Alex (13:52):

Yeah, add to cart. So, I feel like brands like Summer Fridays, Ouai, Kosas, ILIA, a lot of the clean beauty brands are really good with UGC, and kind of incorporating the use of their products into videos rather than just advertising a video of the product.

Tayte (14:09):

Yeah. Education and starting a conversation around it.

Alex (14:11):

Creativity. Just thinking outside the box.

Tayte (14:14):

Showing you how to use it as well. Because I know you are really good with your makeup stuff, but Jessi and I are a little bit not as good. So, it's kind of good on TikTok, and you can kind of watch how they use it and watch what they pair it with and how they do it. I always save beauty products, and I'm like, "Okay, cool. I'm going to buy that and come back to the video and learn how to use it." Because otherwise, I just wouldn't know.

Jessi (14:34):

Yeah. I even find that funny that Alex just mentioned Kosas beauty before, because I didn't even realise, but I purchased something from user-generated content the other day who was promoting that on TikTok. Now, I feel like I've just been marketed to it. I didn't know.

Tayte (14:47):

The marketer was marketed too.

Alex (14:52):

They just make it look so good.

Tayte (14:54):

They do. It's such a clean way of getting a message across.

Alex (14:58):

Yeah, definitely.

Jessi (14:59):

Well, thank you so much for joining me Tayte and Alex. Did you guys have anything else you wanted to add?

Alex (15:03):

Yeah, I think just, don't be afraid to jump on TikTok as a normal person or as a company. I know at first it obviously seems a little bit out there and maybe something that you don't think that you're going to be interested in, but I think it's a super cool way to be able to kind of market your brand, market your company, market yourself as well. I think it's a cool outlet to kind of be creative.

Tayte (15:24):

Yeah, for sure. Yeah. TikTok has a range of sounds, effects, elements and more to encourage this creativity. No matter how creative you are or you aren't, there's no excuse for lack thereof. And of course, our creative minds here at AF are here to give your brand a one-up on TikTok too.

Jessi (15:37):

Yeah. Thank you so much for that guys. Thank you to everyone listening. If you are interested in exploring TikTok as a potential service for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 004 777, or jump on our website, We are always happy to have a chat and discuss whether this is a strategic investment for your business. Thanks for joining me. See you.

Tayte (15:57):

Bye. Thanks.

Alex (15:57):

Bye. Thanks.

Expand Transcript