How to Maximize Content Distribution on TikTok
Purpose of Research
- Identify popular entities in the sport, music and content space who invest in activations.
- Analyze the posting strategy for activations on TikTok to assess success on Standalone or Episodic content.
The following terms are defined as follows for this report:
- Activation: A brand’s film, event, or storytelling initiative
- Standalone: Only one TikTok video shared for an activation
- Episodic: Multiple TikTok videos shared for an activation
The following metrics were considered to develop key insights:
- Share of TikTok content made about an activation
- Aggregated performance of standalone v.s. episodic content
- Performance of pre-, during or post-activation launch content
- View and engagement retention over episodic content
Consider sharing half of your activations on TikTok.
~35% of your TikTok content should be about activations.
Prioritize episodic content for activation distribution.
Post pre-activation launch and on launch day.
Increase cadence on launch day as opposed to post-launch.
Keep content about activations within four posts.
Views and engagements tend to fall off after the 4th post on average amongst competitive set episodic content.
Let’s dive into examples of how to launch activations with multiple posts—as well as how not to.
Keep TikTok content to 5% of the run time of your full-length activation.
The YouTube activation is 5 minutes and 45 seconds, while the average TikTok post is 15 seconds in length.
Make pre-launch content about the activation without showing it.
To launch their first feature film “Project Iceman” Yes Theory posted seven TikTok videos about the premiere & ways to purchase the film.
Longer-form release footage isn’t as successful as shorter content.
Yes Theory released this 2.5 minute clip from the documentary. It saw -73% fewer views and engagements than other TikTok videos for the activation.
Keep launch content low barrier to entry, educational and direct.
Patagonia’s Gerry Lopez feature performed well on YouTube (2M views) but wasn’t optimized for TikTok, generating only 124K views + engagements.
Don’t unveil the entire activation on TikTok.
Some ways the post-launch content for the Gerry Lopez activation went wrong:
- Keep videos short only if there is a very direct and specific message to communicate. Patagonia’s videos averaged 10 seconds but only featured random clips from the film.
- Include voiceovers or contextual audio. This lowest-performing TikTok video for the activation is the only one that didn’t feature any added audio or voiceovers from the film.
- Behind the scenes and filming process content is missing from Patagonia’s release strategy, which may have provided a stronger content-mix to entice TikTok viewers.
Post on activation launch days, to make content intentional.
Most brands are posting after launch, seeing lower performance.
Let’s dive into examples of how to launch activations with a single post—as well as how not to.
*MrBeast has been omitted from aggregate data points due to skewing properties.
MrBeast is taking a TikTok-only strategy, not sharing outside activations on the platform. All content is focused on account growth.
Standalone Tactics from MrBeast:
- Keep content fairly repetitive with different storylines. MrBeast’s top-performing videos are all about people winning things or doing outrageous tasks within the lens of whether they follow the account on TikTok or not.
- Create a caption template. The top three videos use the same format:
1. “bro really knew karate”
2. “Bro really went to Paris and back”
3. “bro flew from Paris to see me”
- Keep videos in the 30-45 second range. From August 2022 - July 2023, MrBeast’s average length was 30 seconds, but these top performers are 45-seconds long.
Ben Kielesinski’s Standalone content out-performs his serial content.
Ben posted 1 series of 5 videos from August 2022 - July 2023, on average his Standalone content performs 132% better than his series did.
Standalone Tactics from Ben Kielesinski:
- Communicate a story from beginning to end in 60 seconds. Ben’s style is consistently high-performing due to his established storytelling format where he:
(i) Poses an opportunity to the viewer.
(ii) Shows the details of pursuing that opportunity.
(iii) Checks in at the end with the viewer who went along on the journey.
- Apple hosted an activation with him for a Watch event. In 1 minute, he represented all the features of the watch in a linear, easy-to-follow manner.
Show key takeaways about your activation in a list form.
Yes Theory’s top-performing activation content is typically episodic but this video performed 136% higher than their Standalone average.
Standalone content should not be copied & pasted to TikTok.
DC Shoes is the only brand in the competitive set that posted the exact same activation video from YouTube to TikTok.
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