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Why you should use TikTok for Sonic Branding and Audio Advertising

To many working in the creative industry, TikTok might seem like the new platform that you are fully aware of, but aren’t actively using. And for those of you that are more familiar with what TikTok is, you probably know that it is referred to as a ‘sound-on’ platform. What that means is that the only way to consume content on the platform is with sound. Music and sound are very much at the forefront of the TikTok experience, which makes it a very interesting area for musicians, and even more for brands and advertisers. The prominence of audio content makes TikTok a platform that requires the users’ full attention, unlike other platforms that can easily be used more as a background activity while the user is doing something else.

And since sonic branding is becoming an increasingly important tool for brands to communicate their identity and message, now is a good time to make a move towards advertising on TikTok and start using its potential towards brand awareness.

How to use Sonic Branding on Tik Tok: User-generated sonic branding

When discussing sonic branding on TikTok, it’s good to know that while consumer attention is uniquely focused, it’s also short. The fact is that most users will only look at most videos for a number of seconds, unless the content is engaging and unique. It’s an important thing to keep in mind when running ads on TikTok with a sonic logo. A way to deal with this is to incorporate the sonic logo directly from the start, or to at least introduce it early on. A sonic logo played at the end of an ad (as is tradition in ‘older’ media) will almost certainly be unheard. And since the platform is so competitive for the user’s attention, your logo has to stand out in some way. On their own website, TikTok shares that trends are mostly based around songs or audio snippets, rather than broad-scale sound design. For brands, it means that they should aim to create something distinctive, something they can own, so they can stay in people’s minds and stand out from their competitors. If the brand’s sound is ‘average’, it will disappear in the TikTok void.

And on the topic of sonic logos; an article published in Forbes warns brands and advertisers of constantly ‘hitting’ their audience with the same audio logo for years. This tactic may have run its course in terms of effectiveness. There is a real appetite within consumers to interact with the brands they love on a deeper level. And while we still believe that there is an importance to sonic logos when it comes to brand recognition and consumer recall, now is the time to look at a more interactive approach to the brand-consumer relationship. By allowing the usage and modifying of your sonic brand, it enables your audience to engage in a whole new way. It’s a positive way for the audience to participate in audio branding, which is a great method to raise brand awareness and perception. When you invite your core consumer to take the audio aspects and be creative with it, it builds a more dedicated audience, or even fanbase. Much in the same way they would interact with their favorite artists. This is one of the best ways to establish a long-term relationship with your audience. Right now, TikTok is the ideal platform to start exploring the way you can establish a deeper connection with your target audience. At this point, the platform still consists of solely user-generated content.

The Future: Where Does Audio Branding Go From Here?

To create an audio identity in today’s world means that you really need to think about where users are experiencing audio, and that is changing constantly. Right now, it makes sense for brands to build advertising with audio as a primary creative driver, especially when it comes to platforms like TikTok. But then again, social media platforms are always in a race for popularity, and it often happens that a new idea can conquer the whole market. The best aspects of a new platform are always taken over by other (competing) platforms. Look at how ‘stories’ began on Snapchat, and were then implemented on Facebook and Instagram, and are now the content of choice on TikTok. In a similar manner, the prominence of audio on TikTok could be the basis of an entirely new platform that is audio-only. For brands and advertisers that want to stay in touch with this changing landscape of advertising, it is important to stay on top of the latest trends and course correct when needed. But an increasingly vital role for audio seems to be the common denominator between these new developments.

We love helping brands discover new creative forms to interact with audiences. If you want to make the most out of your sonic branding and other audio advertising on TikTok, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help out!

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