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Digital Transformation Brand Strategy TikTok

Brandformance: How marketers are combining brand and performance marketing on TikTok



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July 27, 2023 | 8 min read

TikTok's "brandformance" strategy combines brand building and performance marketing to drive tangible results for brands. By leveraging creativity, entertainment, and targeted advertising on the platform, brands can generate demand, attract new customers, and achieve long-term growth. Here’s how.

TikTok marketing on mobile

In the dynamic realm of marketing, brands are constantly seeking tangible results from their advertising efforts. They prioritize effectiveness and strive to demonstrate a strong correlation between their marketing spend and a favorable return on investment.

Creativity is crucial for these ads to captivate audiences emotionally, and TikTok's entertaining content effectively engages users, facilitating conversions through a non-linear purchase journey. Brands can tap into broader trends or movements, particularly through content ads, to generate demand, attract new customers, and enhance earned media visibility. This approach also enhances ad recall among both TikTok users and non-users.

Often referred to as "brandformance", this is a holistic strategy that harmoniously combines brand and performance advertising. It plays a crucial role in driving overall business growth by expanding audience reach, leading to immediate gains in purchase intent and simultaneously fostering long-term, sustainable demand. Brands looking to adopt this strategy can leverage these key insights to unlock the full potential of their marketing efforts, captivate audiences, and achieve tangible results.

How marketers can successfully capitalize on “brandformance”

Picture this: a new activewear brand launches a TikTok campaign to build awareness, gain market share and engage the younger audience. Their entertaining videos feature athletes and creators sporting their apparel, accompanied by catchy music that keeps viewers hooked. Through targeted content ads, the brand highlights the unique features of its activewear, such as sweatproof fabric and durability, driving a surge in awareness, user-generated content (UGC), and positive sentiment among TikTok users and non-users alike.

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This overwhelming response leads to increased consideration and purchases of their activewear, resulting in immediate gains in sales and long-term brand loyalty. By leveraging brand storytelling, engaging content, and targeted advertising, the brand successfully drives overall business growth and cements its position in the market.

Just like this example, there are many brands out there that can embrace a comprehensive full-funnel strategy that effectively combines both brand building and performance marketing. In fact, those that do will see their "brandformance" campaigns demonstrating impressive results. A recent study conducted by WARC in collaboration with TikTok found that there was a 36% increase in cost-per-acquisition (CPA) efficiency and a 33% higher conversion rate (CVR) when marketers used this strategy.

When it comes to conversion campaigns, implementing a full-funnel approach has proven to yield more efficient outcomes compared to single-objective campaigns, resulting in 4.3x more conversions.

To embark on this transformative journey, marketers must shift their focus away from solely prioritizing short-term performance metrics and start accounting for long-term benefits. Achieving success requires striking a balance across various factors, including time frames, messaging types, audience types, and buyer journeys.

With entertainment, marketers also have a unique opportunity to create content that immediately connects and engages with their target audience. Utilizing the power of sound and storytelling are two key creative strategies proven to drive brand recall in cluttered and competitive environments. Ipsos research shows that ads that use sound as brand cues are 8.53x more likely to be high performing for branded attention.

By incorporating sound and music into ad formats, featuring real people, remixing trends, incorporating suspense into video storytelling, harnessing social cues, and employing episodic storytelling, marketers can increase watch viewability and keep audiences engaged.

A "brandformance" TikTok case study

Flip — one of the leading payment service providers in Indonesia — embarked on an assessment of the effectiveness of brand ads on TikTok. Their goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of brand ads on TikTok in driving users toward the conversion funnel, particularly for increasing checkout and registration rates with improved efficiency.

Through scientific testing by comparing a control group (users did not see brand ads but only performance ads) to the experimental group (users saw both brand and performance ads), the test unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of TikTok brand ads in driving full-funnel performance.

Flip Indonesia's holistic approach successfully integrated upper and lower-funnel campaigns, resulting in an impressive 9.9% increase in conversion rate, a 10.9% improvement in cost per action, and a 2% boost in reach. With a test-and-learn mindset, Flip Indonesia gained valuable insights to optimize future campaigns, propelling their journey toward even greater success.

At the end of the day, advertising influences people’s behavior by building and reinforcing brand memories. These long-term memory structures create powerful associations between products and services and also brand equity measures such as trust and reliability.

In an ever-evolving marketing landscape with shifting consumer preferences, brands must adapt and remain relevant. The strategic utilization of marketing strategies like "brandformance" empowers brands to navigate this dynamic environment, connect with their target audience, and gain a competitive edge.

Research released by WARC, the global authority on marketing effectiveness, in partnership with TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile video, provides a holistic overview of what it means to deliver impact at a time of flux. Explore more in the joint study, When Entertainment Meets Effectiveness, to find out more about how you can maximize your marketing strategies on TikTok.

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Digital Transformation Brand Strategy TikTok

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TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles,...

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