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Lorry Destainville Explains How to Reach New Audiences with TikTok at Make it Big 2021

With over one billion monthly users worldwide, one could say TikTok is going viral on the social commerce scene.

At BigCommerce’s 2021 Make it Big Conference, BigCommerce Senior Brand Manager Leah Spector sat down with TikTok’s Global Head of Partnerships Lorry Destainville and discussed why brands should tap into the platform’s content, advertising and commerce capabilities.

Lorry Destainville’s Key Takeaways at Make it Big

In this Make it Big 2021 session, Lorry uncovered what’s behind the TikTok appeal and the opportunities for brands both big and small to take advantage of the latest TikTok trends. From tips to get started to building a content strategy, Lorry shared how to create authentic content that resonates with users on the platform.

Here are a few key takeaways from Lorry Destainville’s Make it Big session:

Leah Spector: Why do you think brands should be on TikTok now? And does it differ at all between small businesses versus larger enterprises?

Lorry Destainville: “It doesn’t. I think the opportunity is the same — to really connect with the community. And the way to do that is very much the same, as well. We want businesses to feel empowered to be authentic. It’s not really a question of overthinking what the content is going to be about. Just talk about your passion. And that is an opportunity for businesses of all sizes. 

“We invite business to think like creators, to a certain extent. What is going to be the content that users would want to engage with today? Doing a bit of research can really help to understand what is the content that these users want to see. So, in the first steps, perhaps engaging and commenting with other content that’s being put out there by other creators and businesses can be a good first step. 

“I suppose along with that, we have our advertising solution that we’ve been bringing to businesses for the past year or so. This is an opportunity for businesses of all sizes, as well. We have marquee offering and product experience that bigger brands may want to consider with our hashtag challenge, for example. But, we also have a self-service platform that is available to small businesses that may be working toward more performance goals with driving sales and driving visits to their business. So there’s a home for all businesses, and there’s also an opportunity to grow your business via our paid offering, as well.”

LS: How can brands who are just getting started create effective content?

LD: “Take it one step at a time. First, take the time to listen and discover the community that your brand is going to engage with, and learn from the content that’s out there and the best practices from creators and other businesses, as well. Then, as I said, be authentic. Talk about your passion. It may well be that you sell products, goods, and you may want to document and explain what led you to produce these products, what led you to take on this business, and perhaps talk about the process itself. And take it from there. See the trends that we’re showcasing on Our #discovery tag. Look at what other businesses are talking about, and put your content out there. Take the leap of faith to a certain extent. 

“I think what’s important to consider is that not every single video has to go viral, even though every video has the chance to do that. So, think about — every piece of content has that potential and it doesn’t require a high-value production to make that happen. The most authentic content at the end of the day is what’s really going to impress and engage the users on that journey.”

“The most authentic content at the end of the day is what’s really going to impress and engage the users on that journey.”

LS: How does TikTok approach commerce?

LD: “I think the commerce trends that we’ve seen on the platform are largely driven by the community. And part of this, too, is also the nature of the content and where we see the opportunity for brands. 

“To a certain extent, we want brands to unlearn the traditional retail marketing techniques that they may have practiced for many years, and really look to lean in. Sometimes these moments may be created by the community, and as a matter for brands to really jump on the opportunity. A good example of that was the global shortage of feta cheese that just happened on the back of one creator’s video, and he created this huge movement. And we want brands to be very agile, essentially, in reacting to these moments. 

“We want brands to unlearn the traditional retail marketing techniques that they may have practiced for many years.”

“There are so many of these examples where we’re really inviting users to take action and clear shells, which kind of skip the funnel marketing if you think about it, because it really creates this moment for users to go directly and purchase the products. And we may think of these moments as opportunities for larger businesses only. But again, this is the same experience and the same opportunity for small businesses. 

“I would invite anyone who is running a small business to check out the hashtag #smallbusiness. So many examples can be found of great content and how that translated to this very important moment and hashtag of #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. This hashtag alone has over four billion views, and it keeps on growing. It is a great opportunity to understand how users are essentially communicating about the products and the merchants that they love in a very authentic way. 

“It’s really the essence of community commerce, if you think about it. It’s shopping, it’s entertainment, it’s a sense of community. And we’re really working hard to address this opportunity and give more tools to businesses and the creators as well. 

“It’s really the essence of community commerce: it’s shopping, it’s entertainment, it’s a sense of community.”

“We want to make it very easy for creators and merchants to communicate with one another and really leverage this aspect of community commerce. It’s early days. We’re still testing, but you will see some new features that are becoming available with storefronts, where we empower businesses to showcase their products and identify the products that they’re sending within the videos, making their content shoppable in essence. Watch out for more opportunities to get involved. But this is a really exciting development that we can’t wait to bring to merchants around the globe.”

Krystin Gresham avatar

Krystin Gresham is a Content Marketing Manager at BigCommerce where she focuses on thought leadership content. Krystin holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas A&M University. With a background in both retail and tech, Krystin enjoys staying up on the latest retail and technology trends in the ecommerce industry. When she's not crafting content, Krystin enjoys traveling with her husband and volunteering with the Junior League of Austin.