How TikTok creators and types have nearly collaborated amid the pandemic

In March 2020, Jorge Soto started making TikToks in his room from what he calls “quarantine boredom”. Over the next several months, the 19-year-old Rhode Island creator slowly began gaining audiences – he now has 2.1 million followers on TikTok with his @horchata_soto account – as he finished his senior year of high school.

Soto is one of several TikTok creators who found an audience on the platform during the pandemic as people spent more time using the app at home. While the need for social distancing has likely helped YouTubers build their following, it also meant finding new ways to work with brands and other YouTubers. With the recent surge in the virus due to the delta variant, developers can now opt for virtual collaboration again.

As for Soto, he began working virtually with fellow creators from states like Texas and California to do skits in June 2020. “We made our parts separately,” he said. “We tried to be creative [using] Phone calls [in the skits] So we wouldn’t have to be in the same place to do it as if Covid wasn’t the barrier even though it was. ”

Hopping on Zoom or FaceTime to develop possible collaborations with other creators or brands has become the norm for TikTokers who have been successful during the pandemic, as brands and agencies have prioritized influencer campaigns on the platform. It was easier to find ways to get sketches, commercials, or other collaborations working, even though you’re not in the same place or on set when creating a TikTok, according to the creators and agency directors, because the viral content is on the platform not often this does a highly produced quality, especially when compared to Instagram.

“TikTok has such authenticity that it differs from other platforms,” ​​said Sarah Steele, an Arkansas-based TikTok inventor with nearly 300,000 followers, who is called @thecorporatemama. They can be effective, “Regardless of your production level – you could literally just be on the phone and sit at your desk and tell your story and that might hit more than some really well-produced Instagram videos that brands have, so I guess that Brands are starting to see the value of it. ”

Brands looking to partner with creators have tried to capitalize on the laid-back nature of TikTok content, according to agency managers. “TikTok users and the platform itself prefer raw, creative, and entertaining content. Hence, these attributes are necessary for brands wishing to participate, ”said Melissa Hochman, vice president of digital strategy, Saatchi & Saatchi.

Katy Wellhousen, Account Director of Social and Influence at influencer agency 160 over 90, confirmed this feeling: “At TikTok, there is less expectation that you have to have the perfectly manicured aesthetic that big cities offer for content on platforms like Instagram. That, coupled with the simple fact that it was harder to get to NYC or LA, has spawned creators in all parts of the United States. “

However, it can be difficult for creators and brands to partner with YouTubers to collaborate solely through Zoom or FaceTime. “It can get very lonely if you’re just alone in your room,” said Soto. “So it can be refreshing to talk to other people who have the same mentality and way of thinking.”

“Building a sense of community among creators with long-term brand relationships is incredibly important, and admittedly it’s more difficult to do through Zoom than bringing them together IRL,” said Wellhousen.

Some YouTubers have started meeting in person after the vaccination. “I just met up with my very first TikTok friend a few weeks ago,” said Miranda Rae, a TikTok inventor with 4.2 million followers under the account name @mirandaalol. “Now that I have my vaccine, I feel more comfortable meeting people.”

That said, Rae doesn’t just meet up with fellow TikTokers to collaborate on content now that she prefers to meet in person. “I want to make friends before filming with them,” says Rae. “I don’t want it to be just a business. I want to enter into a bond. “

How TikTok creators and brands have virtually collaborated amid the pandemic

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