With more than 689 million monthly active users worldwide, TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms of recent times. It has also been one of the most downloaded apps on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 62% of TikTok users in the US are aged between 10 and 29. If your brand’s target audience falls within the age group of 13 to 40, you must consider developing a TikTok strategy to grow your business.
It has now become common knowledge in the market that if you want to boost the organic reach for your brand, you need to invest in social media marketing. And while Instagram, Snapchat and even Facebook have started to use vertical videos, TikTok still manages to establish itself as a powerful tool for brands.
Now, talking about brands that have been using their TikTok strategies quite successful in recent times, NBA is one of the earliest adopters of the video-creating app. Currently, they have over 12.4 million followers on TikTok, and their videos have garnered a whopping 288 million likes on the platform. To give you a better idea of how a brand uses TikTok to grow its business, let’s discuss how NBA has employed TikTok to its advantage.
NBA’s Journey with TikTok So Far
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league based in North America. 30 teams are part of this league, and it is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the US and Canada. NBA has a team of several employees who are dedicated to TikTok and posts five to six videos every day.
The league first collaborated with TikTok owner Bytedance in November 2018 to publish custom highlights along with local-language clips, targeting several countries such as Brazil, India, and China. The people at NBA understood that fans would not sit around a TV for three hours straight to watch a game. On TikTok, which is available for free to the users, the 60-second videos keep things interesting for the fans.
During the All-Star Weekend (2019), the NBA garnered over 44 million views on its TikTok videos. More than 3,000 TikTok users submitted their videos to NBA’s hashtag challenge during that time. Now, the hashtag challenges are one of the most organic behaviors on TikTok, where users mimic each other’s videos, generally syncing to the same song. The league also shared its own players’ talents on the platform. The video of Steph Curry’s dunks got more than 80,000 likes.
During the 2020 All-Star Weekend, TikTok influencers Addison Rae Easterling and the D’Amelio sisters (Charli and Dixie) started appearing as a part of the league’s courtship of TikTok. Those three TikTok stars have combined followers of around 200 million followers on this social media platform. These influencers were also featured in more than two dozen TikTok videos on NBA’s official TikTok account and had appeared on ESPN’s broadcast of the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game.
Easterling, who is one of the top earners on the app, made a video with Chicago Bulls cheerleaders where she gives the cheerleader a lesson on the popular dance routine Renegade. The 20-second video posted on the NBA’s TikTok account garnered over 50 million views, topping the list of league-themed clips.
TikTok as a Tool for Business Growth
When it comes to driving more views on TikTok, NBA is currently at the top of all sports leagues. Even though all other leagues are also interested in using the app to their advantage, the NBA is well ahead. Even though the platform is not a profit centre for any league right now, the leagues such as NBA, MLB, NFL etc., are looking at it as a way to boost engagement and attract more fans to the sport.
Last year, the New York Yankees, a popular baseball team in the Major League Baseball (MLB), and their broadcast partner, YES Network, secured a three-year sponsorship agreement to create exclusive content for the video publishing platform.
The National Football League (NFL) also signed a two-year partnership with TikTok a couple of years back while launching the NFL account on the platform. The NFL account featured different hashtag challenges, including #GoingPro prior to the 2020 NFL draft, which then garnered 6.5 billion views.
While sports leagues are drawing a great amount of attention by using TikTok, the consumer brands are still working on their strategies for the platform. As mentioned, it is more about engagement than generating revenue or any exposure for ads. The engagement metrics for TikTok, however, are quite strong.
According to Hookit, a social media analytics firm, sports teams generally has six to seven times as many followers on Instagram when compared to their numbers of TikTok. But surprisingly, the engagement-per-post statistics (likes, shares, and comments) on TikTok are on par, even though TikTok has a lower number of users. In 2020, the average number of views per video was 20% higher on the video-sharing platform.
Since a majority of the young audiences are on TikTok, it has been easier for brands like NBA to drive more engagement with their short yet interesting videos of players. Also, their plan of collaborating with the influencers has shown great results in favour of the NBA. While the TikTok strategy of your consumer-based business needs to be different than that of the NBA, it is quite evident that having a TikTok strategy for your brand can increase your reach and engagement to another level.
Author bio: Karen Hamada is a marketing manager at a reputed ecommerce company based in the US. She is also a part of the team of experts at MyAssignmenthelp.com, where she offers homework help to students on request. She has also contributed to the website’s repository with well-crafted case study assignment samples.