5 tips for your Douyin strategy

Many businesses feel pressure to be active on social media. Especially on new platforms with a lot of potential. This is the case for Doyuin. Besides Hai Di Lao, Alipay and Supreme, not many brands have succeeded on the platform.

Why is this the case?

Brands find it very difficult to create the right content. Also, Gen Z and young millennials tend to have a short attention spans as mentioned before. This means that it is critical to grab their attention in less than a second or two. This requires a strategy many companies lack. Douyin is different from other social platforms and has no timeline or homepage which is confusing to new users. This is why when you get started on Douyin it is important to test a lot. Bytedance (the mother company of Douyin) is well-known for their strong AI and algorithms. Reports have said it belongs among the top algorithms in social media globally.

As mentioned earlier, Douyin’s best content is down to earth. Videos shared are from day-to-day happenings, in often an entertaining way. This makes it hard for brands to create and share content. The question is often, “What do I share?”

To test what work, you can write down a list of ideas (think outside the box!) then you rank and prioritise these ideas (you can use the BRASS method for that). When you have several selected, you start shooting (or editing) content. When they are done, you execute them over the course of several days to a week. During the week you analyse and see what content brings the most valuable ROI to you. The content that works is scaled, and what does not work is abandoned. When you know what works, you create similar content in 80% of the time. The other 20%, you experiment with new types of content where you could use the BRASS method once again to test.

Define your personality

Getting started on Douyin will feel unique and potentially confusing. It is a different kind of platform than what most people are used to using. What holds true, regardless of any platform, is defining your goal and objectives that are key to reach your audience and ultimately succeed in your campaign.

Whether you are starting a business or personal channel, the structure of the content will be of a similar nature; easy to understand content with catchy music. Unlike Instagram that is highly polished and filtered, Douyin uses a vertically handheld shot in the heat of the moment, meaning much of the content comes across as “Live” and “Unfiltered”. At first, it can be difficult for the untrained user to portray this style and image.

As a brand you should next identify your voice characteristics, your “do’s and don’ts”, and what is your unique angle on the content you plan to share. Examples include make-up tutorials, behind-the-scenes of a restaurant or broadcasts walking through the city you live or are exploring. It is important to distinguish if content is published from a business or personal perspective, along with the type of account being used (personal or employee for a company).

 Determine your audience

Before you get started with creating content on the platform, it is key to understand what you want to achieve. Is it sales, awareness or brand credibility?

Have a look at your other marketing strategies and/or efforts. Note what is important to your brand, so you can keep your efforts consistent on every channel.

Do not forget to consider factors such as gender, income and interests. They play a very important role in guidance when you start creating content.

If you do not know where to start, search for popular and trending challenges, see who is using and engaging with these hashtags and see what type of content they create. Perhaps you can create something similar and better!

Competitive analysis

It is recommended to review brands active in the same industry on Douyin. Analyse what they do well and how they distribute their content.

Conduct a quick analysis of related accounts to see what posts are getting the highest engagement, what popular hashtags they are using, what their captions are, how often they post, and how quickly they are growing. This information can serve as a benchmark as you start growing your own account.

While analysing your competitors’ content, take note of any opportunities they might have missed. Adding unique content into the mix will help your business to stand out from the rest.

Editorial calendar

Scheduling content is key to become consistent, which is an important factor to become successful. Planning your content for Douyin is not a surprise, however it is difficult to plan far ahead, as you can do with platforms as WeChat and Weibo.

Douyin is heavily based on the now, and your reach, engagement and conversion are highly influenced by Douyin’s challenges and popular songs. It is recommend to make use of the daily hyped videos on Douyin. Unfortunately, there is no way to schedule and auto-post content through Douyin and or a third-party, since the editing mainly takes place within the app. We are big fans of using Airtable and Teambition. Both are available in China.