5 Things I Learned About Content Marketing By Accidentally Going Viral On TikTok

Of all the ways we could describe 2020, weird certainly is up there. With the majority of the world in lockdown for most (if not all) of the year, it’s meant a lot of spare time. Some of us learned how to make banana bread, others started a side hustle. As for me? I accidentally went viral on TikTok.

TikTok, once a platform I considered to be purely for teens doing dances, has grown to be a force in the social media ecosystem for all demographics. In case you’re not across it, TikTok is a short-form video sharing platform app that allows users to create TikToks up to 60 seconds long on virtually any topic. Its key difference? In my opinion, it’s the ability to tap into microcosms of society and culture.

 

You see, everyone starts out on TikTok with the same ‘For You Page’, which is essentially an explore page filled with all different users’ video content. You’ll be served dances, generic funny and viral videos, and then this is where the personalisation kicks in. Once you start engaging with a certain type of content (such as dogs, for example) the algorithm gets to work, personalising your FYP with similar content and creators.

Pretty soon, your FYP will be unique to your location, demographics and interests as TikTok categorises you into niches that it knows you’ll engage and interact with. As a queer, Australian powerlifter, for me this looked like: LGBTQ+ content, Australian politics, women in fitness… The more I engaged, the niche-r it became. Pretty soon, I started to post content of my own, and within a few weeks, one of my TikToks went viral, amassing over 550K+ views and 100K likes.

Spurred on by its success, I started to post more frequently. Almost a year on, I’ve grown my following to a community of 87K+ strong, with a total of 2.7million likes across all my content. While most of my content is centred around my personal experiences, as a digital marketing expert, I couldn’t help but glean some insights that can be applied to my day job as well. Although TikTok may not be a relevant channel for every brand to utilise, content marketing more broadly should be the cornerstone for any engaging digital strategy.

So, here are the 5 things I learned about content marketing by accidentally going viral on TikTok:

  1. Find Your ‘Why’, Niche Down & Run With It

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’. While corny, it’s absolutely true. As a brand (business or personal), it’s crucial to identify your why, otherwise known as your vision, mission or brand story. Why do you do what you do? Drill down on that and then run with it. For me, my why is to empower women and non-binary people (especially POC) to take up more space and live authentically. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Find your why and let your content flow organically from there.

  1. Test, Learn & Test Some More

Once you have your niche, it’s time to test! There are so many different variables to test when it comes to content creation. From the type (video, blog),  length (short and snappy or long-form), tone of voice (humorous, educational) and even stylistic choices (colour, use of music, crop of video). The great thing about content marketing, especially on an app like TikTok with a short shelf life, is that you can churn and burn until you find something that sticks. Start to build your secret sauce with the content that resonates best with your audience.

  1. Tap Into Trends To Boost Reach & Relevancy

Now you know what you’re saying and how to say it, how can you amplify this to reach new audiences? Trends and memes are a staple of internet culture, and while it can be confusing to get your head around some of them, jumping on them while they’re hot can work wonders for increasing relevance. Here’s a great example from one of our own clients, Pickering’s Gin, who jumped onto the ‘Bernie Sanders In Mittens’ meme with the below post:

As you can see, the post got some awesome engagement, with plenty of laugh and love reacts as well as shares. The key is to be quick: there’s nothing more cringey to a millennial or Gen Z audience than trying to revive a meme that is past its heyday. 

  1. Fuel Your Strategy With Insights

Now, you didn’t think I’d get through a blog post without mentioning data, right? While the analytics on TikTok isn’t as informative for creators as say, Google Analytics, they do provide some key insights on followers’ gender, location and (probably most importantly) time most active on the app. Using this, I know that my audience heavily skews to users in the US, followed by Australia and the UK, and that my key posting times should be around 5:00PM, 7:00PM and 11:00PM UTC to ensure all those audiences are awake and likely to engage with my content. On a post-level, I can see things like average watch time and the number of shares. These are crucial indicators of whether or not a TikTok will be successful and pushed out to more viewers! Use the data you have on your platform of choice to drive these decisions around posting time for the best chance of success.

  1. Before Posting, Ask Yourself: Is This Relevant And/Or Shareable?

The best content is something that makes your audience think “oh my god, that’s so me” and then share it with their best friends. As mentioned above, shares and comments are extremely important metrics to all social algorithms and weighted higher than just likes, for example. When I look back at my best-performing TikToks, they’ve been something niche enough but also relevant enough for that specific audience to share around – like one of my best-performing ones below:

Your content needs to be super engaging, funny or informative enough that people want to boost and share it around. Before you post, ask yourself how relevant and shareable your content is. If you’re unsure of the answer, you might be better off going to the drawing board and coming up with another angle. 

So there you have it! The 5 things I’ve learnt about content marketing by accidentally going viral have helped my TikTok take off and grow my personal brand. Although my first viral post was an accident, these tips will help you achieve sustainable growth for your own following and community, making your content strategy absolutely unmissable. 

If you’re keen to chat more about content marketing, TikTok or need a hand with your own digital strategy, reach out to me at paff@pilotfishmedia.com.

Happy TikTok’ing!

How to switch off from social media when you’re online 24/7

Now that so many of us are spending the majority of our time at home, we’re all relying on social media to stay in touch with the world, and this is resulting in us getting a bit too much screen time. 

Linked to increase risk of anxiety, depression and a feeling of loneliness, our Head of Agency Daniella, reveals her top tips to switch off from social media and stop us ‘doomscrolling’:

  • Gradually start to limit how much time you spend on social media each day

“The key to breaking a bad habit is making sure you create a gradual transition. Going cold turkey and jumping from spending hours on Twitter and Instagram to nothing probably won’t work in the long run. Instead, make a conscious decision to reduce your social media consumption by 30 minutes each day until you reach a comfortable amount of time online.” 

  • Physically remove your phone from your presence

“It may sound simple, but out of sight, out of mind is a real thing. We’re so used to having our devices as an extension of us and in arm’s reach that by simply removing our phone prevents us from mindlessly checking our socials. Try putting your phone in another room when you’re watching a film or when cooking and eating a meal and dedicate yourself to just one activity at a time. Most importantly make sure your phone is away an hour before bed – you may need to put it in another room or in a drawer to avoid temptation.”

  • Schedule in more meaningful interactions 

“While you may be overhauling your social media use, your friends and family may not, so it’s important to make sure you stay connected with them. Where it’s not possible to see your loved ones in real life, make sure you schedule a phone call. You don’t need social media to stay updated on their life – and you’ll probably leave the call much more fulfilled than just looking at their Instagram story. Better yet, take the time to write them a letter which will not only be a lovely surprise, but a keepsake.”

  • Keep your mind occupied with mindfulness before bedtime

“It’s so easy to sit in bed and lose hours watching the latest Tiktok trends before we actually go to sleep, but the last hour before bed is key to step away from all of your devices. While your phone is away, this is a great time to reflect with some meditation or a gentle form of exercise, such as yoga, to calm the mind and release any tension from the day, which will also help with a restful night’s sleep.”

  • If you’re used to having something to hand, keep them busy

“We mostly pick up our phone because we’re bored and resort to refreshing our social media pages to pass the time, so keep your hands occupied! Journaling has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and is as simple as picking up a pen and writing whatever comes to mind. It will help you process your thoughts and experiences of the day and give you a medium to articulate and understand your feelings.”

  • Turn your notifications off 

“If you’re struggling to remember when to turn off, try setting a time limit to the apps on your phone. Handy features like ‘screen time’ will give you the option to set app limits to certain – or all – of your apps, so you’ll know when it’s time to give the scrolling a rest. Turning off notifications from socials altogether is another easy way to stop getting distracted and unnecessarily picking up your phone.” 

  • Spend your time online wisely

“If limiting the amount of time you spend on social media is proving a bit of a struggle, then make sure what you are consuming is worthwhile. Go through your following list and take some time to evaluate which accounts have a positive impact on your life, and which aren’t so fulfilling. Unfollow any account that won’t benefit your mental health and fill your feed with what brings you joy – no matter what that may be.” 

 

Breaking the Rules – The Brands with the Most Complained About Adverts

Advertisements are always evolving and pushing the boundaries to try and get their message across, whether that’s on TV, in print, or across the many digital platforms that are at our fingertips these days.

But sometimes, things go a little too far, whether that’s an advert that’s in poor taste, culturally insensitive, or just misleading and factually incorrect.

And if anybody wants to complain about an ad, they head to the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency). But which brands have fallen foul of the ASA the most often?

To find out, we’ve analysed the last five years of ASA rulings (note that not all of these rulings were necessarily upheld by the authority).

Most Complained About Brands

  1. Roofoods Ltd (Deliveroo)

Complaints – 323

Rulings – 3

The brand which drew the most complaints across the last five years was Roofoods (better known as Deliveroo), with 323 complaints across three different rulings. The most notable ad which people weren’t happy about was their ‘magic bag’ TV advert. The ad saw a woman collecting a Mary Poppins-style bag containing meals from numerous different restaurants, which, as anyone who has ordered from Deliveroo before will know, isn’t actually possible on the app.

 

  1. Amazon Europe Core Sarl

Complaints – 299

Rulings – 8

In second place was Amazon Europe, with the majority of the 299 complaints relating to the one-day delivery service offered as part of Amazon Prime. Customers complained that their packages didn’t arrive within a day, with a significant number of Prime items not being available for the next-day delivery.

 

  1. Omega Pharma Ltd

Complaints – 222

Rulings – 4

The brand in third place might not be as recognisable as Deliveroo or Amazon, but they still clocked up a hefty number of complaints over the last five years. Omega Pharma saw 222 complaints, which related to promoting an unhealthy body image, particularly amongst young girls, as well as using actors under the age of 18 to do so.

How Many ASA Complaints Are Upheld?

We analysed a total of 1,935 complaints made to the ASA over the last five years or so – of which, the vast majority were upheld to some degree.

1,379 rulings were fully upheld, as well as a further 136 which were partially upheld, meaning over three-quarters of the complaints were dealt with in some way, while it was deemed that no further action was necessary in the case of 420 rulings.

 

The Most Commonly Complained About Topics

The topic which drew the most complaints from the public was food, drink and supplements, with 757 complaints across 92 rulings. This included the misleading Deliveroo advert mentioned earlier, as well as an advert for Philadelphia which suggested that men were incapable of caring for children and a KFC poster which landed them in hot water for using the word ‘cluck’ in place of an expletive.

Other topics which were commonly complained about include ads relating to health conditions (676) and holidays, travel and motoring (554).

The Most Commonly Complained About Media

While we increasingly consume media through the internet, it seems that the adverts which rile people the most are still on TV, with just over 40% of rulings applying to TV ads.

Some of the most complained about TV ads included Deliveroo’s ‘magic bag’ ad (300 complaints), a Photobox advert which the RSPCA complained was harmful to a dog featured in the ad (a ruling which wasn’t upheld), and a Department for Education ad which it was claimed misrepresented how much you could earn by training as a teacher.

Following TV, the most complained about ads featured on brands websites (1,698 complaints) and social media (576 complaints).

 

Methodology

All data was sourced from the ASA, analysing each ruling from December 9th 2015 to December 12th 2020.

Note that not all rulings listed were necessarily upheld and that when analysing the most complained about topics and forms of media, the topic and/or media weren’t always noted in the ruling.

 

The Real Housewives of Instagram

For nearly 15 years, we’ve been following the Real Housewives of the world as they have dished up drama, scandals and glamour on our TV screens. As one of the most iconic reality TV shows, the Real Housewives franchise is a great guilty pleasure to sink yourself into.

However, which housewives from the various series are pulling in the most cash from their Instagram accounts? From Beverly Hills to Cheshire, we’ve looked at the social following of each of the Real Housewives to reveal who are the richest real housewives of Instagram.

The Housewives Making The Most From Their Insta’ Posts

Known as the most dramatic instalment of the Real Housewives franchise, the Real Housewives of Atlanta stars appear in seven of the top ten spots, making them the most lucrative housewives of all of the series.

So who took the top three spots for the most cash made from Instagram posts? Check out below!

1.   Kandi Burruss

Region: Atlanta

Instagram Followers: 8.2 Million

Estimated Instagram Earnings Per Post: $27,243 / £21,030

Taking the top spot for the highest earner on Instagram, Kandi Burruss can earn $27,243 / £21,030 for each post she creates for her 8.2 million followers. Appearing on 12 series of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kandi has provided fans with a lot of drama over the years.

 

2.   Porsha Williams

Region: Atlanta

Instagram Followers: 5.9 Million

Estimated Instagram Earnings Per Post: $19,808 / £15,291

Coming in second is fellow Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams. Boasting a respectable 5.9 million Instagram followers, the American TV personality is set to make  $19,808 / £15,291 from her social media profile.

 

3.   Eva Marcille

Region: Atlanta

Instagram Followers: 4.2 Million

Estimated Instagram Earnings Per Post: $13,938 / £10,759

Despite only appearing in three seasons of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Eva Marcille takes the 3rd spot on our list. Eva can bring in $13,938 / £10,759 per post of her flashy lifestyle to her 4.2 million followers.

 

The Top 50 Real Housewives of Insta

Despite only appearing in one season, the Real Housewives of Miami star Larsa Pippen made quite an impression on her series. Since being on the show she has amassed 2 million Instagram followers, meaning she could earn $6,689/£5,163 per post.

In comparison to our US counterparts, the Real Housewives of Cheshire who represents the UK branch of the franchise don’t rank as highly. Coming in at place 50, Tanya Bardsley is the highest British earner, raking in $2,620/£2,023 per post to her 527,000 followers.

It seems that not all Housewives will find their fortune on Instagram however. A number of wives from various different series, including Cindy Barshop (New York City), Tammy Knickerbocker (Orange County) and Dina Manzo (New Jersey), may have a few thousand followers but will not make anything from their posts.

Check out the full table below to see if your favourite Real Housewive appears on our list!

The Real Winners of The Great British Bake Off

There’s much more to winning the Great British Bake Off than just a cake stand, some flowers and the prestige of baking glory. Since becoming one of the nation’s favourite programmes after its launch in 2010, winning a series of the show is just the icing on the cake. As this year’s series gets off to a flying start, drawing over 10.8 million viewers in its first week, the bakers are beginning to build a personal brand that could be cooked to perfection by the series’ end. 

 

Although GBBO may be much sweeter evening viewing than other reality TV counterparts, the show has become a career launching platform which offers contestants the chance to craft lucrative careers from scratch. 

 

A famous example of Bake Off success is series 6 winner Nadiya Hussain. After her successful stint on the Bake Off, Nadiya has gone on to present numerous cookery shows for the BBC, signed publishing contracts covering baking to fiction, and made it to Debrett’s list of the 500 most influential people in Britain. Nadiya’s success probably isn’t news to you. With an Instagram boasting 627K followers, she’s become a household name.

 

It’s not only winners, however, who benefit from taking on the Bake Off. Bakers who charm the nation often succeed without winning the coveted Bake Off cake stand. Contestants such as Ruby Tandoh, Kim-Joy and Liam Charles have all gone on to enjoy success after competing on the show. All three have written columns for the Guardian and published their own baking books, with Liam also presenting his own programme Liam Bakes on Channel 4 in 2018. 

 

It just goes to show that the proof is in the pudding. Although the official Bake Off prize may seem initially underwhelming, the much loved show gives its contestants a platform to build their brand, show off their bakes and begin a piping hot career that’s fresh out the oven. 

 

Two episodes in, it’s all to play for. This year at PFM, we’ll be following this batch of bakers to see who comes out on top on social. Our social scoreboard will show how competitors are performing online by tracking who’s gaining the most Instagram followers throughout the series. 

 

Although Pantomime Producer Lottie Bedlow (@lottiegotcake) currently leads the pack, having gained almost 7000 followers since appearing on the show, we’re waiting to see who ends up on top. We’ve already seen upside-down cakes knocked to the floor this year, and there could always be another #BinGate

 

Have you picked your favourite baker yet? Whatever happens, get ready to see a lot more of our digital winners after the competition has ended. 

 

Marketing during the pandemic – social media advertising advice

The global pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we do business, as every company under the sun has been affected. Consumer behaviours have changed considerably and with all the talk of a new ‘normal’, things won’t be going back to the way they were any time soon. Now that the way we market to consumers must change, here are some key points to consider for social media advertising.