Since 2017, TikTok has positioned itself as a tool to showcase customised content in the form of short videos.
At first, the platform was used as a means to publish (and viralize) personal advice, tricks, dances, music, talents, and stories of common people. But it has continued to evolve to become an ally for media companies to conquer new, younger, audiences.
Kaio Philipe, Bloomberg Línea COO, and Yanae Saldanha, content partnership manager in Latin America for TikTok, explained the advantages of TikTok for media companies at a recent INMA members-only Webinar.
This has been the case with Bloomberg Línea and other important media outlets in Latin America, such as Clarín and La Nación of Argentina; Estadão and Folha of Brazil; and Azteca Noticias of Mexico.
The inspiration for these cases in Latin America comes from the United States through the example of The Washington Post, Morning Brew, and Planet Money. More than an imitation of how TV news programs are broadcast, TikTok is a different and creative form of storytelling.
As Saldanha puts it: “We moved from being a young social app to a community-driven entertainment platform.”
TikTok, the most downloaded app
This evolution has also changed TikTok’s audience age range: The original 18-to-25-year-old group matured and now most of its users and followers sit in the 25-to-30-year-old age range, according to the Brazilian executive, who emphasises that TikTok is the most downloaded app in the planet, in 155 countries and 75 languages.
Saldanha adds that Brazil is the country in the region with the most users of the platform and provides another interesting fact: “TikTok has a daily average length of stay of 83 minutes, and it places third, after television and the videos seen over the Internet (OTT)”.
Saldanha said TikTok’s alliances with businesses in the Latin American region have grown because the tool offers the options to publish live video streaming or prerecorded content. In addition to that, the duration limit of a video increased to up to 10 minutes, which eliminates the need to make a rollover of short videos to tell a history.
TikTok also makes it possible to develop projects for those media outlets that require it.
Quality, without losing freshness
In the case of Bloomberg Línea, as Philipe explains, the journalists of the financial news service decided to show the news and trends of the moment in a different fashion.
For example, one of the videos published by Bloomberg Línea shows two journalists role-playing a game of cards and talking about the details of the inflation in Brazil, which becomes a pleasant and friendly forum to tell economy stories by lowering to the tone without losing depth and reliability.
Philipe indicates that the early attempts to convey these messages to the TikTok audiences meant a few thousand followers. But as they advanced and learned how to use the tool, they started to obtain millions of views, hundreds of thousands of likes, and thousands of shares.
“During the first month, the publishers made summaries of our articles,” Philipe said. “Little by little, we noticed that we obtained better results by following trends, making sketches and analogies through card games, and we started to adapt to the platform.”
The media company not only was satisfied with telling stories in an attractive form with the help of journalists, but it also appointed people from its social media department to make commercial videos on the same platform for clients such as bank Ion Itau.
The process to generate the videos was not only an exercise to see which journalists could perform the task of presenting. It was a disciplined and structured planning process that began with brainstorming on a weekly basis, followed by the creation of scripts, editorial checks, recordings, editing and, finally, publishing to the platform.
Many of the subjects had to do with local and international current news, such as the above-mentioned content on inflation in Brazil, the monkeypox outbreak, and the war in Ukraine.
Before publishing content, the editorial team had to make sure that the quality of the production and the content was optimal, without losing the freshness and a certain degree of informality typical of the platform, Philipe said: “As we are a media company recognised by its expertise in business and finance, the subjects we address might be sensitive, therefore the delivery of the message should be impeccable, always avoiding ambiguity.”