TikTok exploring strategies for monetising India business
The global monetisation team of TikTok's Chinese parent, ByteDance, had flown down last month for meetings with key Indian creators and influencers on the app, as well as digital agencies and marketers, people familiar with the matter said. During the meetings, the executives sought information on payment mechanisms for influencers here, and what brands need from the app and their concerns, they said.
TikTok is in the process of launching new tools and features that would make it easier for brands to get more information on influencers and their user base, and push their product placement and purchase details more visibly through pop-up formats. The app also began advertising this month for TikTok ads within the app and on rival platforms like Instagram.
ByteDance did not respond to ET's queries on these developments till the time of going to press.
“TikTok is now trying to figure out how to make more money and also help influencers make more money … They are in the process of launching a lot of new features through which they want to help creators make more money so that they don’t feel like they are not getting their worth. If you are spending 10 hours a day creating content for the app, then you are not doing anything else, which means that you are not making money through any other means,” said a person in the know of the meetings.
Another marketer who was present at one of these meetings said: “The monetisation team had questions ranging from why brands think TikTok is not a good platform and they want to develop things on the brand front as well. They also asked how influencers get paid and whether it is via agencies or direct bank account transfers. A market like Los Angeles would be a very mature market for the app, but in India 50% influencers don’t even know how to make an invoice.”
Sources said tools being launched by the company would enable brands to get more insights on creators like what kind of a gender ratios do their followers have, which cities are they from and their interests, besides new features that would enable brands to get more visibility for their products.
“For instance, if you are an influencer who talks about beauty products in a video, if users click at the bottom centre of the screen, a half screen pop up will come and users can see what products were used in that video and what were those products priced at. Currently, the app does not support links in the captions,” a person familiar with the matter said.
“Once a half screen pops up, users will see the products and the price and will be automatically redirected to websites where their products were being sold. This would make it convenient for brands to measure their returns on investments. Till now brands were saying they were using TikTok only for branding and that they don’t know if it is getting them any sales at all,” he added.
Brands can currently advertise on the platform through paid hashtag challenges which invite users to create content around sponsored ads, banner ads and ads on the discover page.