Key points to remember:

  • Douyin recently announced plans to help 100 new brands reach 100 million RMB ($ 15.7 million) in annual sales in the coming year.
  • In 2022, the platform will focus on ‘interest-based e-commerce’ which prioritizes high-quality content to motivate audience interest to buy based on specific interests.
  • With China’s crackdown on content and celebrities showing no signs of stopping, one content commerce strategy Douyin appears to be adopting is to host longer variety shows.

While its global counterpart TikTok receives a lot of attention, the Chinese-language short film platform Douyin has grown into one of the most influential short film platforms in China since its launch in September 2016. The latest two years have seen Douyin evolve well beyond his initial goal. seconds long videos and venturing into long-form movies, e-commerce and social shopping, making the platform a key way to reach and sell to Chinese millennials and Gen Z. (Offering, at Passage, a look at what owner Bytedance could hope to do with TikTok in 2022 and 2023.)

One of Douyin’s defining attributes, which has fueled continued growth since launch, is a strong content commerce strategy that offers lessons to any business considering the Chinese market. Earlier this month, Douyin’s e-commerce department hosted a joint forum with investment firm Source Code Capital – in which Bytedance founder and recently deceased CEO Zhang Yiming is a sponsor – to discuss their new white paper on the growth of emerging brands. on Douyin.

The white paper maps the growth trajectory of seven successful consumer brands on Douyin, detailing how they have benefited from Douyin’s promotion and sales channels, and pledges to help 100 new brands reach RMB 100 million (15 , $ 7 million) in annual sales in the coming year. . While the white paper has yet to be released online, the forum discussion makes it clear that Douyin will rely more on content commerce to drive its ecommerce segment. As Zhang Hao, director of Douyin’s e-commerce service provider, told the forum, Douyin will focus on “interest-based e-commerce (兴趣 电 商)” which prioritizes high content. quality to motivate the public’s interest to buy according to specific criteria. interests.

Compared to traditional high display and advertising density e-commerce, interest-based e-commerce aims to attract potential consumers “upstream of the traffic” and enable brands to build more substantial customer relationships. An example of an interest-based e-commerce that has become hugely influential over the past two years – but has fizzled amid the Chinese government’s crackdown on “overly entertaining” content like competitive entertainment shows. ‘idols – is the integration of streetwear brands in shows like fashion. concentrated Fourtry or beauty brands on last year’s hit Sisters making waves. In both cases, the brands featured may have been unfamiliar to young viewers initially, but have gradually become familiar and the programs have infused more avenues for online shopping during the season.

While the Chinese crackdown on content and celebrities shows no signs of stopping, one content commerce strategy Douyin appears to be adopting is to host longer variety shows, which is in stark contrast to short, generated video content. by users who defined its debut. years. During this year, Douyin aired several long-running entertainment programs, among which talent shows such as Click on “Like”! China has talent (点 赞! è¾¾ 人 秀) developed by Fremantle, SYCO and Star Canxing Entertainment, and Rent the program (为 æ­Œ 而 赞), a music competition show co-developed by Douyin and Zhejiang Television. Both shows incorporate Douyin’s well-known “like” click “feature to better engage audiences at home (and, no doubt, get them used to clicking links to buy while watching shows). Douyin also exclusively broadcast the talk show Just be real (非常 静 距离) which explores the life stories of celebrities, and GirlsSpectacular trip (容 ​​我 SA 娇), a reality show starring Hong Kong idols Joey Yung, Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi that focuses on the lives of modern women.

Douyin’s variety show initiative is certainly impressive, as it transformed the platform from a mere sponsor of other variety shows on television a few years ago to a notable creator of engaging programming aside from. whole. For brands, Douyin’s talent and talk shows are also known to be relatively safe options, while idol-based entertainment programs remain under strict surveillance.

However, it is still too early to say whether Douyin’s variety shows can become the backbone of its broader content commerce push, which relies on the production of engaging content that drives e-commerce sales (and attracts sponsors). A major challenge for Douyin is how he can fit his short bread and butter video entertainment into longer programs. As evidenced by the seemingly inferior performances of several celebrities championed by Douyin on the platform’s talent shows, what goes viral on Douyin may not necessarily turn out to be a hit in front of a larger audience or sustain long draws on the platform. a formal talent show.

The big question Douyin will need to answer in 2022 is whether he can create successful indigenous programs based on the large amount of user-generated content on the platform and competently promote them to an audience accustomed to longer thematic entertainment programs. Otherwise, no matter how many shows that Douyin airs exclusively, it will only be one of many short video and streaming platforms that will broadcast similar and easily replicable programs.

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