Image of Ben Jeffries (left) & Sam Kimmel by Laurie Heifetz.
It was standing room only at the “Why Marketers are Winning Big on TikTok” talk at Advertising Week New York last month. The annual event was held at the sparkling, new Lower East Side venue, The Market Line. Ben Jeffries, the CEO of Influencer.com, and Sam Kimmel, of Strategic Global Creator Partnerships at TikTok, participated in the “fireside chat.”
Remember the “As Seen on TV” product tag? Ben mentioned that “As Seen on TikTok” is very prevalent now. Sam said that 83% of the TikTok audience misses shopping in person. She described going to the mall with your mom, sister and best friend — “the community aspect of shopping — that went away during Covid.”
“TikTok became somewhat of a digital mall. You had the ability to discover random products. It almost felt like window shopping in the mall,'” she observed. She also said that the community aspect included commenting and sending videos to friends and family. “The joy and engagement around shopping were recreated,” she stated.
Ben said that e-commerce was happening, but live shopping was the most prevalent. Sam offered that creators have been such a critical piece in driving shopping behavior on TikTok. One of three users have bought something because a creator recommended it, she told the audience. “A lot of that comes back to core principles of TikTok, that authenticity, because we’re not that filtered, polished aspirational content. People trust creators and don’t feel they’re being hard-sold to.”
“Creators, or influencers, were often thought of as a media tactic, and it was the last step of your campaign,” she continued. “Now the brands develop products with the creators.” A striking example is Addison Rae, who went on to have her own top-selling line at Sephora.
And what does the future hold? Sam stated, “Research shows that the creator economy is going to be valued at over $100 billion next year.”