Inside Kate Spade’s influencer-driven TikTok technique
Kate Spade takes very different approaches to Instagram and TikTok.
On the former, Kate Spade has nearly 3 million followers and features beautifully produced photographs showcasing products, campaign images, and brand announcements. The brand only posted four videos on TikTok and has fewer than 3,000 followers. However, according to CMO Jenny Campbell, it’s TikTok that the brand is currently excited about.
The brand launched its summer campaign on Tuesday via ads on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and connected TV apps like Hulu. But TikTok is where it puts the bulk of its focus and investments. Campbell said the brand saw “an incredible increase in organic performance” on TikTok compared to other platforms. In the first 24 hours after the campaign started on TikTok, the associated hashtag #KateSpadeNYHappyDance was viewed more than 190 million times.
The brand’s presence on TikTok consists largely of organic posts from fans as well as posts from paid influencers like Todrick Hall (1.1 million followers) and Kelli Erdmann (1.9 million followers). The brand has a greater impact on TikTok compared to Instagram because there are more posts with the brand. The hashtag #KateSpade has been posted nearly 100 million times on TikTok and less than 6 million times on Instagram. His Instagram account was launched in February 2011, while his TikTok account was only launched last month.
“We know that every social platform has a different audience that doesn’t necessarily want to see the same thing [brand] content [across] Channels, and our social strategy reflects that mindset, ”said Campbell. “We know that our Instagram followers love to see beautiful product images and storytelling, while our YouTube audience is looking for longer video content as a form of entertainment. On TikTok, the content has to be entertaining. Users see more content from YouTubers they interact with than [from] which you simply follow, but scroll past. “
The Kate Spade campaign capitalizes on the user-centric nature of TikTok marketing. While Kate Spade’s main account shared a video of a dance created by choreographer Dylan Pearce and singer Ines Nassara, Campbell expects the bulk of the engagement to be created by influencers like the popular TikTok dancers Hall on Tuesday and Erdmann. The campaign is also accompanied by a paid TikTok hashtag challenge, which is a popular strategy for many Brands like Elf.
On Instagram, brands tend to see more engagement from posting high-produced content, while on TikTok, behind-the-scenes videos, informal interviews, and casual conversations are much more Popular. In a previous interview, Amanda Bopp, VP of Digital Analytics at Kate Spade, told Glossy that the brand regularly invites TikTok influencers to shoot behind-the-scenes videos during shoots of branded campaigns around the world, which also link to upcoming campaigns and collections.
While an influencer-led TikTok strategy is common, the higher quality a brand is, the more their TikTok content is produced. For example, Dior regularly posts snippets of campaign videos that were created in-house and show models instead of influencers. These videos regularly receive more than 4 million views.
“On TikTok, the things that work best are more authentic and less ambitious than on other platforms,” says Cece Vu, Head of Fashion and Beauty Partnerships at TikTok. “They don’t have to be over the top, they just have to be entertaining or educational.”
Kate Spade’s parent company Tapestry’s quarterly results for the period ended in March showed that Kate Spade has seen plenty of organic growth online. More than 300,000 new customers and 150,000 discontinued customers came in this quarter, driven by social media, especially TikTok. Digital sales for all Tapestry brands grew 30%.
“With the ever-changing cultural and social landscape, we are adapting to a more consumer-centric model on all of our channels,” said Campbell. “However, TikTok allows us to engage with audiences in a way that engages them directly in the fun while encouraging them to create content from their own unique perspectives.”