‘Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks’ – A Social First Approach To Content Creation — Piquant

Forget mobile first, it’s all about ‘social first’ when it comes to content creation. At Piquant, we consider the social media applications of our content first, to produce campaign concepts and video content tailored to the requirements, visual language and audience expectations of social media platforms. We help brands create social first content opportunities and capitalise on trends, developing social first concepts and producing scenarios that allow us to harvest authentic content.

Why ‘Social First’?

The Social First approach takes into account the audience’s changing media consumption habits, to target them effectively on the platforms that they are using. It allows for the dissemination of complex narratives across multiple platforms and mediums to build and develop a brand. The medium is just as important as the message, and we have seen a great shift over the past few years in what content audiences consume, especially when it comes to youth audiences. If the core audience for your brand is young people, you definitely need a social first approach. Youth audiences are interacting and engaging with short-form, immersive vertical videos, now synonymous with TikTok and Reels. These videos, especially on TikTok, are trend driven, encourage participation from audiences, and usually lack the slick production of traditional video ad content. And the driver behind all this? It’s TikTok.

Don’t make ads, make TikToks

TikTok has captured the world’s attention, and created a home for content like nowhere else on the internet. That is, until other social media platforms started to try to replicate their success by introducing their own forms of immersive, full screen video content (looking at you Instagram). TikTok are arguably the harbingers of the social first movement, with their mantra for brands and advertisers: ‘don’t make ads, make TikToks’. People don’t check TikTok, they watch it, and ads don’t have to be an unwelcome intrusion into their feeds. By taking a social first approach to content creation, you can lean into the characteristics that make TikTok content unique, to serve ads that fit seamlessly into your audiences’ feeds. Ads that leverage the power of sound, that ride on the latest trends, that feel human and spontaneous. Content that uses transitions, split screen, green screens, voice overs and POV’s to adapt the message into content for TikTok.

Content like this allows brands to connect with audiences on an emotional level, build communities, and drive brand awareness. Using TikTok and adopting its unique visual style to create content that is in line with the brand tone, message and purpose helps to build a brand over time. It is important to remember what works today might not work tomorrow – the media environment is constantly changing and evolving. But always taking a social first approach to content creation prioritises social, and allows a brand to grow and pivot with their audiences.

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