Influence Weekly #258 - Inside Ocean Spray's holiday TikTok strategy

Influence Weekly #258
November 11th, 2022
Executive Summary
  • Everything We Know About TikTok Academy
  • QVC Emerges as a Draw for Influencers
  • Inside Ocean Spray's holiday TikTok strategy
  • TikTok scrutinizes and scores the creators on its shopping platform

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Great Reads

Exclusive: How TikTok scrutinizes and scores the creators on its shopping platform - MarketWatch
In documents marked as confidential and shared with merchants and brands currently testing the company’s commerce platform, the Bytedance Inc.-owned company discussed a new ranking system that’s powered both by the number of sales a given creator generates, and a host of proprietary measures. These included a “cooperation index,” meant to measure how enthusiastic that creator is when working with brands, a “diligence index,” meant to measure how willing they were to load their feeds up with shoppable products, and more.

These metrics give us a glimpse at a future where a creator’s likelihood of thriving on the uber-popular platform won’t only be tied to their popularity as a TikToker, but as a salesperson as well. 

While most of us are familiar with TikTok’s uncanny ability to influence people’s purchases off-platform, the company’s attempts to bring those purchases in-house have met a mixed reception. Less than a year ago, the company debuted live shopping for users across the U.K., only to be reportedly met with widespread backlash from the region’s influencers and users alike. That stumble hasn’t stopped the company from reportedly forging ahead with plans to bring its shopping service stateside though, with a planned U.S. expansion described earlier this month by the Financial Times.

Jessica Morrobel Of Travelingwithjessica: The Ever-Evolving Creator Marketplace
Initially, Jessica Morrobel started her Instagram account while working in corporate America to share her day-to-day life with friends and family. Her content featured outfits and discussions around her job, emphasizing conversations around her natural, curly hair and corporate America. However, she soon noticed that other people began following her for her relatable content. 

When asked about her signature content today, Jessica explained, “It’s ever-evolving. I feel like it changes every month based on trends or based on what resonates with my audience, but I would say right now, it’s natural hair and curly hair tips for beginners, as well as sharing things to do and places to stay while traveling.”

Her favorite type of content to produce is constantly changing, but she shares that its content focused on solo trips as a woman and luxury travel content, such as resort and spa stays currently. 

Regarding viral content, Jessica shares that a recent post on her curly haircut went viral. The post featured her hair and the process she takes to transform it from curls to a voluminous blowout style. 

Many comments on the styling video asked if she would create a voiceover for the same piece in Spanish, which she did. The English and Spanish versions of the voluminous blowout styling video went viral, opening her up to new audiences. 

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Campaign Insights

Visa program unlocks new opportunities in the creator economy
Creators are driving a revolution in digital commerce and culture – producing content that entertains, engages, and educates online communities in powerful new ways.  To serve this growing category of small business, Visa (NYSE: V) today announced the launch of the Visa Ready Creator Commerce program. The global initiative will help creator-centric platforms, such as social-commerce and video gaming companies, embed financial tools – like faster and more flexible payouts through Visa Direct and tipping and donations.

“Creators are reshaping and expanding the small business ecosystem,” said Vanessa Colella, SVP and Global Head of Innovation and Digital Partnerships at Visa. “We want to harness the scale and reach of our network to help this community thrive. With the Visa Ready Creator Commerce program, we’re building a connective layer – bringing platforms and technology enablers together to deliver modern financial tools for the creator economy.”

The midterms turned politicians into content creators - The Verge
In the middle of a rally during the final week of his campaign, Josh Shapiro received his first notification to BeReal. The on-the-spot photo app has amassed a huge following amongst young people seeking authenticity over platforms that encourage more polished posts — but it’s an unusual platform for politicians, who are used to more painstakingly rehearsed contact with voters.

For the Shapiro team, launching the BeReal account was a natural next step for their digital program that hasn’t just advertised Shapiro as a candidate but also cast him as the leading role on the platforms young people use the most.

“[Young people] see these platforms, where someone has to be wholeheartedly who they are, and they’re a little bit more discerning,” Annie Newman, Shapiro’s digital director, said in an interview last week. “We can tell when somebody’s acting authentically or doing something their digital director asked them to do.”
Interesting People

Nicole Blackmore Of Latinococo: Being A Mental Health And Domestic Abuse Advocate Online
At her start, Nicole used to post polls, questions, and captions about her experiences. The polls and questions would keep people anonymous if they liked. This openness about her experiences led Nicole to receive many direct messages from other women and men sharing their experiences with domestic abuse. 

“When I was helping people, it just powered me back up, if that makes sense. I feel like I was quite weak at the stage, and then it just gave me so much strength, and it was more so that I wanted to prove to them that when you go through that, it doesn’t mean your life is over and just to show that if you put your head to things and get your confidence back, you can work hard towards anything that you want to do.”

On bipolar disorder, she says, “I feel like a lot of people stereotype that illness in a way, and I think everyone feels like people that suffer with bipolar are just completely manic all over, and they’re just absolute psychopaths. For me, I’ve dealt with that since I was a child, [but] I only found out that I had bipolar when I was 17.”

Unfortunately, not knowing she had bipolar disorder led to more personal turmoil during her childhood and teen years. 

She shares, “In a way, I’ve tried to use the bipolar. So, when I”m on a mania,.. My manias have pushed me so much to go for everything that I wanted to do when I’m in that mindset… I just don’t stop, and I do not come up for air, but then I kind of excel in what I’m doing when I’m like that. It’s got its pros and cons, but it can be exhausting.”

Twitch streamers want to be the political pundits for the next generation
“Americans vote on vibes,” Twitch streamer Hasan Piker said four hours into his pre-Election Day stream Monday, reacting to a clip of a news broadcast. 

It’s the kind of comment — purposefully incendiary — that has made Piker, an internet personality who livestreams a show for up to nine hours almost every day, one of the most followed of a new crop of social media stars who focus on politics, current events and social commentary. He has about 2.3 million followers on Twitch, which is owned by Amazon.

“I think politics is boring or controversial or sometimes both,” Piker said in a recent interview. “And it’s hard to make it entertaining.”

Viewership is crucial on Twitch; having engaged viewers is more important. In response to his vibes comment, the chat that accompanies his streams erupted with emotes. One comment complained about the “awful vibes here in Ohio.” It served as a segue into Piker’s discussing early voter turnout.

Jeannette Kaplun: Empowering Women And Latinas Online
Since she started sharing content in 1999, creating content for the many social media platforms, demographics, and content styles now available on the Internet has become increasingly complicated. 

Jeannette Kaplun explains that she carefully republishes her content on different platforms to suit different audiences and algorithms. 

“For Instagram, it’s mostly reels. One piece of content might be republished on six different platforms, but the captions will change. I’m mostly doing food on the blog because people love recipes on the blog, but a lot of travel is a pillar across all my platforms, including the blog.”

Another area that Jeannette focuses on producing content for is parenting content about raising teenagers, which is noticeably lacking in the parenting sphere. 

Most of all, she loves sharing content that will make women feel stronger and help them recognize their existing strengths. 

“I try to support other women, not only during Hispanic Heritage Month, which I have very mixed feelings about because I dislike tremendously the notion that we should only be celebrated in the specific month when there are challenges that we overcome every single day. That deserves to be celebrated on a continuous basis, not only when it’s convenient for marketers.”

Industry News

Everything We Know About TikTok Academy
Currently, TikTok Academy supplies two options on its curriculum: The 101 Course and the Small Business Course.

101 Course
The 101 Course, also referred to as TikTok 101 provides users with an in-depth look into how the platform operates on a global scale. The modules will guide you through each of the platform’s product offerings as well as their essential guidelines for safety. Then, users will discover more about how to make successful content on TikTok and how the algorithms help to share and promote relevant content to their audience. The 101 Course is said to take 2-4 hours to complete. 

Small Business Course
The Small Business Course targets small to midsize businesses that are looking to build up their customer base through TikTok. This course consists of four 15–minute lessons, making it a quick and easy resource for developing brands. Throughout these lessons, users will learn how to set up a TikTok For Business account and also discover how they can make their content more engaging for their viewers. Brands will also learn how to produce and express an advertising campaign as well as how to use the many monetization features that TikTok offers. 

Instagram rolls out an in-app scheduling tool to all professional accounts
Instagram is rolling out an in-app scheduling tool to all professional accounts in its app, the company has announced. The new tool allows businesses and creators to schedule their posts in advance without having to use third-party apps or Creator Studio. Social media managers and creators have long relied on third-party tools to schedule posts on Instagram, so the new scheduling tool will likely be a game changer. The official launch comes a few weeks after the social network began testing the scheduling tool with select users.

With the new tool, businesses and creators will be able to schedule posts, reels and carousels directly in the app up to 75 days in advance.

Once you have created a post, you can access the scheduling tool by tapping “Advanced settings.” Then, you will see a new “Schedule this post” toggle. After you have selected the new option, you will be able to select the time and date you want the post to go live. You then need to navigate back to the Instagram post flow and tap “schedule.” Creators and businesses will be able to see scheduled posts in the “Scheduled Content” section that is accessible via the hamburger menu. The section also lets you reschedule content if needed.

YouTube Music, Premium Surpass 80 Million Subscribers Globally
YouTube has surpassed 80 million Music and Premium subscribers globally, including folks currently signed-up to free trials.

This marks a year-over-year increase of 30 million people—"and a monumental moment for music on YouTube, our subscribers, and artists," Lyor Cohen, the company's global head of Music, wrote in a blog announcement(Opens in a new window).

Cohen credits YouTube's "twin engine of revenue"—subscriptions and ads—as its main driver of success, noting that between July 2021 and June 2022, the firm contributed $6 billion in revenue(Opens in a new window) to the music industry, 30% of which came from user-generated content.

"And now we've reached this 80+ million milestone by building a subscription service with the music industry that puts fans first," Cohen said. "Hopefully these milestones demonstrate our commitment to becoming the [No. 1] contributor of revenue to the music industry."

Fast-growing Amaze acquires Spring
Amaze Software Inc. announced the acquisition of Spring’s best-in-class merchandising platform. Spring is most likely better known to imaging industry executives as Teespring, which is changed to in January 2021. Terms weren’t disclosed.

In a statement, the company said, “We believe anyone can be a creator and those creators play an important role in how we learn, connect, and find joy. We take our role to innovate on behalf of the creative economy seriously–enabling creators and creative entrepreneurs to unleash the potential of their content and connections with authentic, shoppable experiences that allow them to sell anything, anywhere.

Looking to the future, combined core capabilities will provide brands and creators with an expanded toolset that will help them drive success through unique opportunities to engage more authentically with customers, and create products, and merchandise across social spheres.

TikTok is making billions and record labels like Universal and Sony want a bigger cut of the action
TikTok has attracted more than 1 billion users with videos set to music. Now the world’s largest record labels want the social media app to pay more for those songs.

Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group are asking TikTok to share the advertising revenue and increase the royalties it pays them for rights, according to people familiar with the talks. The companies have been negotiating all year and are trying to reach a deal before their contracts expire in the coming months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

As TikTok has grown in popularity, it has become one of the music industry’s most powerful kingmakers. Record labels rely on TikTok to identify promising artists and to market new releases. It’s the single most important marketing tool the companies have, according to Mark Mulligan, an analyst with Midia Research Ltd.

The social media app has started to profit from its popularity. It earned $4 billion in revenue last year and is on track for $12 billion in 2022, according to the research firm eMarketer. The music companies want TikTok to share more of that money, compensating them with a cut of advertising sales based on the number of plays their artists get. An executive at one of the major labels said that TikTok should be paying between two and ten times more than its existing agreement, based on similar relationships with other platforms with large audiences, such as Facebook and YouTube.
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Great Paywalled Content

How Much TikTok Is Paying Creators Through Its New Ads Program Pulse - Business Insider
TikTok has begun sharing ad revenue with creators as part of the rollout of its Pulse program. Early payouts suggest that it may not be the windfall creators hoped for.

View counts and revenue for every 1,000 video views (RPM) from the program appear somewhat variable, resulting in some payouts ranging from pennies to $17, according to seven creators who shared their payment information with Insider. The creators each had hundreds of thousands of followers; several produce gaming content while others make lifestyle videos.

While most of the creators saw Pulse RPMs in the $7 to $8 range (competitive when compared to other video platforms like YouTube), one creator's RPM for the pay period was closer to $3. 

The creators told Insider that the actual number of views that qualified for TikTok Pulse ranged between 4 and 6,000 during the first 30-day payment period, amounting to just a few dollars or cents in earnings.

"I was pretty shocked when this whole thing came out," said Betts Waller, a gaming creator who has around 378,000 followers on his TikTok account Forrest Dump. "I was super excited to join it, but I'm six cents richer today."

Meta’s Instagram Head Adam Mosseri Feels ‘Urgency’ for Reels to Work - Bloomberg
Instagram is locked in a battle for relevance among current social media users, and those of the next generation. The app is leaning into its short-form video feature, Reels, as a way to get people to spend more time on the app, going head-to-head with Bytedance Ltd.’s TikTok, which popularized the format. Instagram’s move to stay relevant with the internet’s tastes is important for maintaining user growth and for convincing advertisers to spend on the platform, even when marketing budgets are shrinking, said James Lee, managing director at Mizuho Securities.

“Instagram, by far right now, is a probably strategically more important asset to Meta” than any of the rest of its family of apps, Lee said. The number of users on Meta’s legacy Facebook app has largely plateaued over the past 18 months, while the amount it makes for each user slid to the lowest in six quarters. 

Inside Ocean Spray's holiday TikTok strategy with JoJo Siwa - Digiday
TikTok has become Ocean Spray’s go-to social media platform as the cranberry juice brand looks to organically boost brand awareness with Gen Z. To do so, the 110-year-old beverage brand is investing in influencer marketing — specifically YouTube star JoJo Siwa.

The ad depicts Siwa dancing while singing the tune as the cranberry sauce is wiggling. With the help of Siwa, Ocean Spray is creating a TikTok duet using its new song created by Mack Goudy Jr. of the legendary electronic dance group: The Detroit Grand Pubahs, “Wiggle, Wiggle, Jiggle, Jiggle” through TikTok and Instagram reels.

As a result, TikTok users can now create their own version of the video including the brand’s jingle. Additionally, Ocean Spray ads will appear on broadcast TV ads during the holiday season. The financial agreement between Ocean Spray and Siwa was not made available.

QVC Emerges as a Draw for Influencers - The Information
Dani Austin, a creator who started posting videos on YouTube 10 years ago, is taking her social media audience to their television screens by posting livestreams on QVC. The shopping channel’s online shop is “actually one of my top sellers when I post sales and deals,” Austin said in an interview with The Information. “QVC has always really resonated with my audience.”

QVC launched its YouTube channel in 2006 and over the last 12 years or so has been working with influencers more closely, such as to help them launch their own brands, bring them live on air and sell products through affiliate links. QVC and HSN, also part of Qurate Retail, generated about $8 billion last year combined from ecommerce sales off their websites. That’s less than 2% of Amazon or Walmart’s revenues, but it’s sizable compared to some of the newer entrants. 

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