On May 18, TikTok introduced Branded Mission, an exciting and promising new offering to help brands collect the User Generated Content (UGC) necessary to acquire, convert, and retain customers–and fairly compensate the talented creators who produce it.
As defined by TikTok, “Branded Mission is an industry-first, three-in-one advertising solution that enables brands to crowdsource authentic content from creators on TikTok, boost top-performing videos as ads, and drive media impressions.”
Branded Mission, which has been taken for a test drive by a handful of big brands, including ASOS, who are already singing its praises, both marries and expands upon the unstoppable success of Branded Hashtag Challenges and content creator-produced UGC.
According to TikTok, here’s how Branded Mission works:
1. Advertisers select requirements for their Branded Mission, which can include complimenting it with a Branded Hashtag Challenge or Branded Effect to maximize the campaign’s impact.
2. Creators can then accept by submitting videos that adhere to the requirements of the brand’s Mission.
3. The top-performing videos with the highest engagement potential will make it onto the shortlist of contenders from which brands can hand select their winner(s).
4. Brands use the winning videos as their media campaign, seen as In-Feed Ads.
5. Eligible creators whose videos are selected by the brand will benefit from a cash payment and boosted traffic, while other creators will see their submissions as organic TikTok videos in the FYP.
For brands both new and old to the explosive short-form video platform, this innovative new way to tap into TikTok’s expansive pool of talented content creators could very well be the solution to the challenges surrounding the procurement of viral UGC that’s engaging and on-brand enough to repurpose into high-performing paid ads.
And for content creators, hailed by the platform as its “lifeblood,” the new offering has the potential to ease their TikTok content monetization woes, not yet fully remedied even with existing solutions like the Creator Fund, which has been heavily scrutinized thanks to its static payout amount and membership limitations.
Given estimates that creator collaborations on TikTok can increase ad recall by as much as 27%, there’s no question that brands need content-creator-produced UGC to flourish on the platform.
However, confusion still exists surrounding how best to secure the right UGC on a platform where native content separates the best from the rest–a challenge that only intensifies as TikTok’s user base approaches the 1.5 billion mark.
According to Maz Malakouti, Director of Paid Social at MuteSix, “There are two challenges at play when it comes to branded UGC on TikTok: First, there’s getting UGC from creators who align with your brand so that when their videos go viral, they’re helping your brand, not hurting it. Then there’s getting UGC from content creators who live and breathe the platform enough to produce the native content compelling enough to convert users into shoppers.”
Navigating TikTok’s growing network of content creators, totaling well over 100,000 according to 2020 estimates, can be dizzying, and Branded Mission can help brands easily partner with both known and unknown creators via “Missions” attractive enough to reign them all in without exhaustive research and outreach efforts.
In other words, Branded Mission is poised to be a win-win all around.
Brands can easily identify the right creator and receive the right content because those who participate are already interested in their brand and comfortable with their content criteria ahead of their submission.
And for content creators, there are no compensation surprises or letdowns, as Branded Missions outline a creator’s list earnings potential before they choose to participate, based on how much the brand is willing to pay.
However, while the offering looks promising, it’s still in its infancy and its impact on the content creator community and the UGC they produce is still unknown.
According to Malakouti, “What remains to be seen is the level of engagement from creators, which means both the type of creators these “Missions” will attract, in addition to the types of content that will be developed.”
Despite the unknown, Malakouti and the rest of the MuteSix team remain optimistic that the new offering will prove to be a success–so long as these Branded Missions attract content creators across all niches and with all size followings, and brands continue to think up “Missions” unique and exciting enough to inspire high-impact branded content.
With MuteSix’s interest piqued and hopes set high, one thing is for certain: TikTok is proving to be on a “mission” of its own–keeping brands, creators, and users happy.
Malakouti notes, “With each new release, it’s always so refreshing to see how hard at work TikTok is at churning out innovative products and features that allow brands to tap into new audiences and tell their story in engaging new ways–and for the creators who tell them to be compensated accordingly.”