What publishers can learn from TikTok to grow engagement and revenue
First, according to research from eMarketer, encouraged by TikTok, brands are adopting a more informal feel to their video advertising. Second, 49% of Generation Z (born 1997 – 2012) get their news from social media (source: Morning Consult). They are also more likely to get their news from digital-first publications than older generations.
With this research in mind, how can publishers of high-traffic domains leverage learnings from TikTok to increase engagement and ultimately revenue?
Create more for less.
A major benefit of TikTok’s informal videos for publishers (and advertisers, for that matter) is the growing acceptability of lower-cost videos and the swell of relatively inexpensive tools to create and edit them. With TikTok lowering the production value bar for publishers, more videos across more content categories can now be created and posted faster with fewer resources.
Bring personality to your videos.
Another lesson learned from TikTok is that video offers a unique opportunity to inject your brand character. Personality-driven videos provide engagement value for the modern publisher, particularly with Gen Z users. Even for publishers reporting hard news, personality-driven video could be effective. As demonstrated by the White House’s briefing to TikTok influencers regarding the war in Ukraine, TikTok has proven its casual style of video more than capable of making serious subjects accessible and even appealing.
Target recirculated content better.
Mixing your original video with in-stream ads offers a better user experience. With more original, varied video content at your disposal, you can better define rules regarding which ones should be recirculated in your native video ad widgets. Show your users the video content that is most relevant to them to achieve optimal engagement and revenue.
Create videos of varying lengths.
TikTokers have found success with super short videos and now some as long as ten minutes. This indicates (maybe after 2-years of binge-watching TV during COVID lockdowns) that users may not have short attention spans for video after all. Experiment to see what lengths work best for YOUR users. And make two versions – the longer one posted with the article and the shorter one for recirculation widgets. By using shorter versions mixed with ads in a native video ad widget, your users see a wider selection of your content in a relatively short period.
We can all profit from implementing learnings from TikTok, without imitating them. Love it or hate it, TikTok’s success in engaging and monetizing audiences with relatively inexpensively made videos must be respected.