Friday 25, Sep 2020, Delhi (India)
Today social distancing has highlighted the presence of digital channels more than ever, lockdowns have elevated digital media as the call of the hour across the entire business chain, including the beauty and fashion industry. For now, beauty and fashion brands are navigating ways to connect with consumers through various digital platforms. The outbreak of coronavirus has created fear among consumers, and they are embracing digital options for shopping, entertainment, communications with the fashion influencers, fashion world, and the beauty industry. The live streaming sessions on Instagram and creative content videos on this free app TikTok have effectively turned the beauty and fashion world into virtual meetings of consumers with beauty and fashion influencers. TikTok has exploded from nowhere to become one of the worlds most downloaded application. Read on further to know how TikTok- a moderate video-sharing app turned out to be so global?
With the advent of digitalisation and easy internet accessibility to mobile phones and social media, the fashion industry got a new definition and fashion influencers a new medium. Both the high-end as well as local fashion brands have adjusted well to digital innovations, with digital channels expanding, they have taken the initiative of lowering the entry barriers for the fashion industry, making it a global industry. Today because of the digital revolution, every smartphone is a showcase, every post a ticket to the designer's house, and every hashtag an invite to the fashion show. Digitalization has revolutionized a hyper form of window shopping, brand experience is now just a click away. Unlike earlier the fashion shows aren't privy to the only ones who attended the show or came across it in the newspapers the next day. Now, because of digitalization, everyone has a front-row ticket to fashion shows via online applications like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram's live feature.
The world is a global village and platforms like Instagram have allowed famous fashion designers to stay connected with the consumers, glorifying accessibility. The photo-sharing mobile application like Instagram and Pinterest are considered the perfect fit for the fashion industry and relies majorly on powerful visuals. Instagram’s feature of visual storytelling propelled into the forefront of the fashion world, somewhere or the other the application since 2010 is redefining the fashion industry. The application has democratized fashion, connecting the consumers with famous fashion designers, fashion influencers, and fashion brands. Applications like Instagram and Facebook enabled brands to build a voice and speak more specifically to their consumers, the famous fashion designers are not just thinking about the people at the shows now. According to speculated data, Instagram reached 800 million monthly active users in September 2017 with the highest level of engagement. The studies show how Instagram users in India more than doubled in a year. Over 50% of Indian Instagrammers have frequently purchased products from the brands they follow. After the coming of applications, brands started utilizing Instagram stories for new store launches and Instagram's live feature for the latest season launched. Digital dissemination of content only got stronger with the coming of Instagram, and now there is TikTok, it is the Wild West of social media, and the fashion brands are testing the waters to reach young consumers.
TikTok was launched in 2017, and in 2018 its parent company the Chinese media business named ByteDance, acquired Musical.ly. Musical.ly was a social media platform for sharing music videos, the company acquired it for $1 Billion and emerged it with TikTok. The application has since been downloaded by 1 billion people across the globe. TikTok has always been about winning fans rather than making friends. The TikTok users can see the content they didn’t ask to see, created by people they don’t know. Currently, TikTok is the most downloaded mobile application in the country, with more than 200 million users. For now, TikTok has fewer users than YouTube(265 million) in India, but it is believed that TikTok has more potential in the coming years to grow. The application has zero-tolerance for objectionable content on the platform that incites violence or self-harm, appropriate action is taken against the user videos that violate the guidelines.
In the last two years, TikTok has become the country's most downloaded application it is just an app where the users post short videos, but in India, it has become the stage on which most teenagers across the world are competing for attention with the dream of becoming a global icon. The application is successfully shaping a new youth culture in which the youth in big cities and rural areas are trying to be TikTok’s next big celebrity. TikTok provides various options, which include sports highlight, cooking instructions, an amusing clip of an animal, but in India, it's most likely lip-syncing to a popular Bollywood song. Reasons, why it is so famous in the country, is as following-
India is a country with the maximum youth population, 473 million people are under the age of 25, and today almost 500 million Indians use the internet, and it is speculated that the youth is the most active on social media.
Not all of India's population is good when it comes to expressing themselves through tweets or captions on Instagram, a data even states how some of them are first-time internet users. TikTok provides them with an opportunity to express themselves through these videos.
India is one of the most diversified countries, for people speaking in local dialects, these platforms are easier as it provides the regional language option as well. It supports 15 Indian languages.
TikTok is an amalgamation of timepass and creative outlet for the Indians, but now it’s also a career choice, a pathway to financial success.
It’s speculated that from 2012-2018, the time spent by an Indian watching online videos grew from an average of 2 minutes a day to 52 minutes a day, the application makes its users believe that they have a golden opportunity to become a global celebrity, irrespective of who they are, where they live, as long as they can get online and hold audience’s attention for anywhere from 15 seconds to one minute. The user category falls into two buckets: content creator and mere viewers. TikTok is taken over by beauty and fashion influencers in the country, they are taking over the platform to upload tutorials on everything from nail art to season styles.
TikTok is all about beauty and brains meeting comedy and lip-syncing. The application is now being used in conjunction with Instagram as both applications have unique features that the others don’t. Beauty and fashion influencers are benefiting from these applications and utilizing them to leverage their coverage and content, unusually engaging their existing consumers and gaining new followers too. The beauty and fashion influencers through humor are breaking down the Instagram face barrier, they are utilizing the application for creating content like outfit inspiration, home aesthetics, and beauty tutorials. Instagram used to do it earlier but TikTok is doing it in more fun, supportive and interactive way. They are providing the audiences with a daily dose of glam, along with cracking them up. The fashion influencers are taking the platform as an opportunity to showcase their downtimes too. Through beauty influencers makeup choices and tutorials videos, their followers can witness the various sides of their personalities.
With TikTok’s explosive popularity and specific demographics, beauty and fashion brands have flocked to the platform to experiment with the marketing features of the app like branded hashtag challenges, influencers takeovers, in-feed ads and shop-able ads. The mobile video platform has become part of the marketing equation, the fashion brands are sponsoring their challenges to great effect, with views and consumer participation often significantly exceeding expectations. The application comes without the baggage of heavy advertising and an established class of influencers. The platform provides the brand and fashion influencers to create more user-generated content, they come up with unique ideas like videos for challenges or campaigns.
TikTok by brands is considered to be a good home for candid, unfiltered content. Both the beauty and fashion brands have drawn billions of views by sponsoring hashtag challenges that encourage users to create and submit video responses. Brands are founding success by creating campaigns tied to buzzy events and celebrations, and they also offer prizes to incentivize consumers to create unique content in response. Although the brands aren’t yet able to measure sales conversion from the platform, there is some evidence that TikTok videos lead to amazing brand recall.
Like all other social media crazes, the application could witness the usual problems of running out of popularity in the coming years. But if TikTok stays in the branding, beauty and fashion influencers will keep utilising it as a platform to connect with their consumers it may last as Instagram did. To become a long term platform, the strategist may have to figure out how to keep users coming back to use the application.
The draw for TikTok is the ability to create and engage at the same, users are encouraged to showcase their talent through dancing and lip-syncing. Even those with a few thousand followers can make money through the platform, the beauty and fashion influencers get paid for lip-syncing to songs by small music labels, for collaborations with fashion brands. One photo of a TikTok fashion influencer wearing Knock-off's of Reebok can earn them up to INR 1,700, this makes for a reasonable income in parts of India where 45% of full-time workers earns less than INR 10,000 a month. Earning options also expand as you gain more followers. What do you think will TikTok survive for the long run? I Knock Fashion would love to hear your opinion, use the comment section below and let us know your views about the same.