TikTok’s like marmite: you either love it or you hate it. But for one of our retailers, TikTok became the key to increased traffic across all their channels.

Since its launch in 2017, TikTok, owned by the company ByteDance, has been downloaded 3 billion times and gained 383 million installs in the first half of 2021. This makes TikTok the first non-Facebook app to reach the milestone of 3 billion downloads.

With such a huge audience, TikTok can be a great place for brands to advertise and show their personality. For one of our clients, TikTok was an integral part of generating traffic, which they found out the hard way...

So, what happened?

During a call with our Client Success team, we found out that a client of ours had experienced an unexplained drop in their traffic. Traffic had dropped from around 16,000 users a day across all of their channels to about half of that, ringing alarm bells.

The client saw a drop in organic traffic by 17%, a paid traffic drop of 25%, and an email traffic drop of 87%, which had previously been one of their best-performing channels. 

After speaking with the client, they noted that they hadn’t been seeing much return through TikTok, and so had decided to turn off ads on the platform. Unfortunately, this was the culprit behind the drop in traffic.

TikTok had been driving traffic for other channels

The drop in traffic in each of our clients’ channels coincided with them turning off TikTok ads. So, while TikTok seemed to be a potential waste of time for our client, it ended up being a crucial part of generating traffic and revenue.

TikTok is brilliant for increasing brand awareness. With multiple types of ad opportunities for advertisers, and with less interruptive ads than traditional ads, the platform is great for connecting with a wide range of potential customers. 

While our client wasn’t experiencing many transactions through TikTok, the platform had become increasingly important in their generation of traffic to other channels.

As soon as TikTok ads were turned back on, our client saw their regular traffic levels return. This goes to show that TikTok should not be underestimated in its ability to increase brand awareness, and is a powerful tool for advertisers to take advantage of.

Graph showing overall traffic in October 2021. Traffic decreased with TikTok ads turned off and increased when ads were turned back on

Click to enlarge. Source: Bidnamic data.

The graph above demonstrates that traffic started to drop at the same time TikTok ads were turned off, and then rose to past levels once the ads had been turned back on.

What makes TikTok so special for advertisers?

User engagement is incredibly high on the app, with 90% of TikTok users visiting the app more than once per day. An engaging video can go from zero views to millions in the blink of an eye, giving brands a golden opportunity to get their products or services in front of potential customers. 

Taking advantage of branded hashtags can be highly beneficial. A brilliant example of this comes from e.l.f. Cosmetics and their partnership with creative agency Movers+Shakers: the agency created a catchy song with a corresponding challenge, prompting users to get involved. Popular influencers were also enlisted to spread the campaign even further. They created the hashtag #eyeslipsface and found that videos using this hashtag accumulated nearly 1.2 billion views.

 

As the campaign gained more traction, it even attracted the attention of big names like Lizzo and Reese Witherspoon, who provided unsolicited organic support. This is one of the best parts of brands using TikTok: user-generated content using branded hashtags could provide your brand with organic promotion, boosting your visibility on the platform. 

The experience our client had after turning off TikTok ads serves as a great lesson for how useful the platform can be in generating traffic. Even if TikTok is not a major source of transactions for you, it can help drive traffic and revenue generation for your other channels, improving your overall advertising efforts.

Google Shopping is another platform that can be used to increase brand awareness and get your products in front of interested shoppers. For more information on how to optimise your Shopping campaigns, book a free consultation with one of our specialists today.

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Tom Cross

Tom Cross

Tom is a Content Marketing Executive, producing content and case studies to simplify the Google Shopping experience, and help our clients discover if Google Shopping is the right channel for them. With an MA in English Literature, Tom has a passion for writing and sharing information with the masses.