TikTok movies increase gross sales, publicity for small jap Ontario businesseses

Eastern Ontario business owners say they have seen sales jump in the past few months after reaching out to TikTok to advertise where marketing videos go viral.

The video-sharing platform is credited with bringing back the short video and a social media culture that focuses less on carefully curated ambitious content and more on bite-sized entertainment from everyday life.

The formula worked for Corey McMullan at McMullan Appliance and Mattress in Smiths Falls, Ontario, about an hour’s drive south of Ottawa.

McMullan said he was reluctant to download the app at first, but a simple but powerful video editor piqued his interest.

When he published clips on YouTube and Facebook in March, they gained little importance. When he turned the camera shortly thereafter to make his own folk reviews of washing machines and other products, the results were completely different.

“In August, I knew that the number of emails and calls we received was changing,” McMullan said.

Sales rose “tens of thousands” and he now receives daily emails from New Zealand and Alabama asking how to buy his equipment. His profile is now approaching 70,000 followers.

“They really like the authenticity,” McMullan said, adding that his light-hearted, light-hearted approach to the videos instills confidence.

“Nobody wants to buy equipment. It’s extremely intimidating. You have to trade a lot of money for something and you don’t know if you trust the seller.”

Corey McMullan posts a video on TikTok every day highlighting the features and how-tos of the devices being sold in his family’s store. (Stu Mills / CBC)

Change from the shop window front to the online shop

About three hours west of Ottawa in Apsley, Ontario, Polly Laneville and her husband James brought their love of specialty candy to TikTok.

“We introduced ourselves in a video and that video just went crazy and exploded. We gained 40,000 followers within 24 hours. It just wasn’t anything we ever imagined, ”Laneville said.

A month after sharing happy, short candy reviews in her Willy Wonka-inspired storefront, she and her husband quit their main jobs to focus on the business called Tastely Box.

They now have close to 250,000 followers on their account where they share 15 second candy Q&A as well as extremely sour candy reviews from around the world every day. The Lanevilles plan to shift their focus to selling online to an international audience while downsizing the storefront.

Laneville admits that the store was created primarily as a window dressing for their TikTok videos.

“People like to feel like you care about what they have to say,” she said of her daily request for candy reviews.

“We try to make it bizarre and let people see our real personalities and get a real rating from us. I don’t want to say that everything is great because not everything is! “

TikTok is a democratization of marketing creativity

According to Aron Darmody, marketing professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, TikTok’s explosion as a small business marketing tool is a natural continuation of the collaboration, or “co-creation,” that began about a decade ago.

Darmody says the app allows companies to have greater power to “play” with the importance of a brand, which is a “democratization of creativity” in marketing.

“Consumers are given licenses and freedoms to work for the brand in some way … paid advertising.

For Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, TikTok enables a “soft-sell” approach that allows retailers to sell well beyond national borders.

“It feels more like an entertainment platform,” said Geist.

A year ago, Ottawa-based e-commerce company Shopify announced it was partnering with TikTok to help its then more than one million merchants make it easier to promote their products on the video-sharing app.

Tastely Box sources curated collections of international candies and ships them to candy lovers around the world. (Stu Mills / CBC)

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