Chinese and American TikTok are vastly different from each other, but not in the ways you’d expect. Erica Yang, chief executive of the Chinese-American social agency and venture studio RealHype Creative, outlines three areas US marketers should learn from.
1. Create more premium content
Chinese TikTok has become the short form video version of a TV network, even featuring multi-episode talk shows. This means the quality of its content is far superior across all verticals and categories. “With over 600 million active users on Chinese TikTok, the platform is both more sophisticated and competitive, so in order to stand out, creators and influencers must make high-quality content,” says Yang. “One creator often has an eight-person production team, with scriptwriters and editors.”
2. Small influencers yield bigger impacts and better results
Brands used to pay between $50,000 and $100,000 per post when working with mega influencers. They stopped doing this after they didn’t get the results they needed, says Yang. "A creator who would get 5 million views would suddenly get 4,000 views on a branded post. Instead, brands should work with small influencers whose follower base matches their target audience. Small influencers often have a more intimate relationship with their followers and as a result, their impact is much higher and the results for the brand are better.”
3. Dig into the data
The more premium the content, the more engagement it gets, and with more engagement, you collect more granular data on consumers, says Yang. “Once brands and creators have more granular data, they can drive more engagement traffic, promotional traffic and organic traffic ... Not only does its algorithm know what you like, but it knows what precise content you are likely to enjoy as well.”