Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Douyin or Tik Tok just passes 1 billion global downloads. If you want to enter the China market but you have never heard of Douyin, you may miss a good opportunity to promote your products.
Just after the Spring Festival in China, a large number of Douyin’s users rushed into #Watsons’ stores. It was an online-to-offline marketing campaign which created more than 320,000 user-generated short video clips and 1.5 billions playbacks in just 7 days.
If you want to enter the China market but you have never heard of Douyin, you may miss a good opportunity to promote your products.
Douyin is a super short videos of everything from make-up tips, selfies to amateur dancing, often set to catchy music and animations.
People generally use it to produce and browse quick-fire short clips.
Its editing functions have tapped into young Chinese users’ preference by adding interesting effects, music themes, filters, animated stickers and more. It’s so addictive that some people even watch mind-numbing clips for an hour without doing anything.
Since its launch in 2016, it quickly went viral among millennials in China. As of January of 2019, Douyin has already reached 250 million daily active users (DAU).
Douyin is not simply a short video app for fun but people are using it to sell products.
I know an #influencer who used a short clip and broadcast to sell a product at Douyin. In one afternoon, he successfully sold 45,000 pieces. In return, he could get RMB8.4 per order as commission so he earned RMB300,000 (USD50,000) in one single day.
Besides big brands, brick and mortar retail stores are also using short videos to increase shop exposure, conduct sales promotion, and acquire new customers.
What is a POI?
POI means a point of interest.
According to Wiki,
POI is a specific point location that someone may find useful or interesting.
Most consumers use the term when referring to hotels, campsites, fuel stations or any other categories used in modern navigation systems. Users of mobile devices can be provided with geolocation and time aware POI service, that recommends geolocations nearby and with a temporal relevance, such as POI to special services in a ski resort are available only in winter.
Through LBS technology, Douyin vloggers can publish video clips with POI that links to their stores (aka “Blue V”). Interested users can click POI to access the brand page of the offline stores nearby. Meanwhile, their consumers can also post clips by adding POI, uploading more user-generated content back to Blue V online store.
Why POI can achieve O2O conversion?
The popularity of mobile internet makes more consumers choose to shop on mobile devices, which greatly affects the brick-and-mortar business. Many retail stores are worried about consumers visiting stores with their smartphones. Consumers like to experience in stores, but compare prices online and buy online.
Brick and mortar stores have become "experiential window shopping" in the era of e-commerce. And mobile phones are used as an online price comparison tool in physical stores.
Retail stores try to use different promotional means to attract consumers, hoping to break this phenomenon.
Watsons is the largest health care and beauty care chain store in Asia. It is a traditional retail brand with more than three thousand physical stores in China.
Recently, Watsons is using Douyin as marketing tool with the aim to attract online traffic to buy at its offline stores.
The campaign attracts many douyin users to rush into Watsons’ stores all over the country with their mobile phones. They use POI to locate nearby Watsons’ stores and spend online coupons at offline stores. They shoot and share short clips to participate in an online challenge at 150 Watsons’ retail stores.
It is a typical example of O2O campaign, converting online traffic to offline sales.
How Watsons Uses Douyin’s POI?
As a health care and cosmetics retail brand, Watsons wants to use new digital marketing tools to attract more young consumers, especially female to shop at their physical stores.
The theme of the marketing campaign is called "Be Yourself, Be Beautiful in 2019”:
highlighting a clear attitude of young people to pursuit their own definition of beauty.
Watsons takes full advantage of Douyin’s powerful social viral effects, using influencers to first demonstrate how to add Watsons’ exclusive stickers, music and POI in the short videos. The role of influencers is to detonate the campaign and stimulate other users’ enthusiasm to participate in the challenge.
Watsons also pushed the videos to the potential target audiences by spending in the paid advertising DOU+.
Interested users enter the challenge pages to get coupons and click POI to locate the nearby stores.
Users can also participate in the online challenges by sharing their own short videos with POI and Watsons’ stickers to get a magic box pick-up code (#魔盒 ) which can be used to redeem a “real” magic box at the 150 Watsons’ physical stores.
Influencers post the open-box short videos with POI again, generating another burst of viral advertising.
Seven days after the campaign, the number of online participants in the challenge has exceeded 220,000. The total number of video playback has reached 1.5 billions with over 43 million likes. Over tens of thousands of magic boxes are distributed free of charge to consumers at retail stores.
By using Douyin marketing, brick and mortar stores are no longer an experiential window shopping but an important revenue contributor in digital marketing.
New Marketing Challenges
Technology is changing the way people communicate, and marketing efforts must be constantly refreshed to keep up with the latest trend.
In traditional marketing, we use TVC, OOH, print, radio and online ads as the main stream communication tools.
User-generated short video content becomes more and more important in recent years. Undoubtedly, new platforms and features will continue to be released constantly. Marketers are rushing to adapt in an attempt to cut through the noise and clutter.
Some traditional marketers struggle in the rapid development of new technologies and the fast changing consumer behaviours. Consumers are more connected and distracted than ever before. Marketers are sometimes underprepared for the velocity of change driving the market forward.
Yet, with obstacles always come opportunities.
Enormous challenges lie ahead, but we are entering a world in which anything is possible. There has never been a better time to be a tech-savvy marketer now. With the help of new technologies, marketers can develop more effective on-target marketing campaigns and achieve better marketing #ROI.
As long as we have developed strong and consistent brand presence before looking into any new platforms or methods, all the marketing challenges will seem a lot less daunting.
China Business Strategist and Digital Marketing Expert