Is short-form video app Douyin right for your brand?

Forget live streaming and long video content, it’s all about short-form video and China’s hot new app Douyin.


Douyin, which is called Tik Tok in other markets, has skyrocketed in popularity in China with consumers embracing the short video platform.


The app, which has been described as a mix between Snapchat and enables users to create short 15-30 second videos to share on social media. It was developed by Chinese tech company ByteDance, which also owns news app Jinri Toutiao which is one of China’s most popular apps.


In the first quarter of 2018, Douyin was downloaded 45.8 million times and topped the Apple App Store’s global non-game download chart, pushing YouTube and What’s App to second and third place, respectively.


It now has more than 150 million daily active users, each of which open the app 4.7 times a day, on average.


While there is no denying the popularity of the app, what are the opportunities for advertisers?


More bang for your buck

With the saturation of platforms such as WeChat and Weibo, marketers looking to get more for their advertising spend would do well to explore opportunities on Douyin.


These competitive platforms are full of brands competing to engage with consumers, which means standing-out and cutting through the clutter requires a significant investment.  For SME brands achieving a positive return on investment on WeChat and Weibo can be a costly and difficult exercise.


However, new apps, like Douyin, offer great opportunities to marketers as there is less clutter and it is therefore easier to connect with audiences. As these new platforms have smaller user numbers and less sophisticated advertising solutions, including data and results collections, it can be a lucrative opportunity for a brand.


Marketers need to be flexible

While the opportunities seem positive, working with new, emerging platforms, such as Douyin is not necessarily for everyone. Marketers need to flexible and nimble and able to move quickly to trial new techniques, absorb the learnings and adapt a strategy based on what works and what doesn’t work.


Already brands such as Adidas, Xiaomi and Pizza Hut, are running campaigns on the platform in a bid to engage with its highly desirable audience of young wealthy Chinese millennials.


And as Douyin’s userbase continues to grow, it is creating a new army of KOLs who are amassing huge followings based on the creative content they are sharing. Again, brands have much to gain from working with these emerging KOLs but they must accept the data and results will not be as robust as more established channels.


UMS has compiled a report to provide a snapshot of China’s hottest new app.