Does your brand need a Douyin Account?

16 Oct 2020
Nathan Li

The world of Douyin can be a little confusing, so let’s get started by clearing a few things up. ByteDance, a technology company that operates a variety of content platforms, is the owner of Douyin, one of the most popular social media platforms in the world – as of March 2020, Douyin is reported to have over 518 million users, according to China Internet Watch. Some people will be aware that there’s a link between Douyin and TikTok, but not quite understand the relationship. A common misconception is that TikTok is just the English name of Douyin, but in fact, they are two totally different apps that have the same operation mode, and ByteDance owns them both.

With Douyin being such a popular platform in China, it’s right for brands with presence in China to consider whether or not they should have an account. First things first, let’s take a look at the users of Douyin and see if they match your target audience. According to a study by Ocean Insights, the user gender split is pretty much half and half. They also found that the app is most popular amongst 19-30 year olds in new first tier (Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Wuhan, etc.) and third tier cities, rather than the commonly mentioned first and second tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian and Xiamen, whilst the age group of users is 19-35 in lower tier cities.

If we dig in to what the audience is watching, videos that come under the genres ‘drama’, ‘life’ and ‘food’ have the best performance overall. The Ocean Insights study found that males prefer to watch videos about ‘military’, ‘gaming’ and ‘automobiles’, whilst females prefer videos about ‘beauty’, ‘baby’ and ‘styling’. They further broke that down in to years that the audience was born – those born between 1995-2000 are most interested in ‘gaming’, ‘3C’ (computer, communications and consumer electronics) and ‘styling’; those born in the early 1990’s like videos about ‘movies’, ‘baby’ and ‘food’; and those born in the 1980’s use Douyin for content about ‘automobiles’, ‘baby’ and ‘food’.

Hopefully by now you’ve got a better idea of whether a Douyin account will be beneficial to your marketing and business objectives in China. If you are thinking of joining Douyin, it would be helpful to know how to produce a good quality Douyin video. Luckily for you, this is something Sinclair has experience with, due to our work with brands like Duolingo. Below are some top tips for delivering a successful video via Douyin:

  1. Use a tone and manner in your videos that will connect with you target audience – make your account feel human and show your brand personality consistently. Don’t feel pressured to change your brand personality to align with the latest trends, as trends are always changing.
  2. A strong script that aligns with your brand personality makes for much easier video shooting.
  3. A Douying brand account is not the same as a KOL account. If you want your video to look professional and sleek, then you should consider using actors in your videos if you have the budget to do so. That’s the quality that is expected on Douyin.
  4. Have a professional team of experts lined-up to handle post-production, including editing, subtitles and background music, as these are technical areas that require the right expertise to deliver the right quality. Do also bear in mind the time involved for postproduction, usually around one week.
  5. Just like all other social media accounts, it’s strongly advised to have a dedicated team who are responsible for managing the Douyin account, interacting with followers, encouraging engagement and maintaining relationships on social. It’s also important for damage control, monitoring and avoiding crisis situations.
  6. Consider how you would like to promote your video. If you have the budget, working with Douyin KOLs is often a successful route to take.

If you’d like to find out more about using Douyin as part of your communications strategy, or you just want to understand China’s social media landscape better, Sinclair would be happy to speak with you. You can reach us here: https://www.sinclaircomms.com/contact-us/

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