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Tapping into niche TikTok communities through ‘edutainment’ with Papier, Parade, and Fossil Group

Key stat: TikTok has 102.3 million users in the US, 22.7% of which are Gen Z adults, according to our forecast.

Leverage that audience: Brands can expand their customer bases without starting from scratch by participating in conversations that are already happening on TikTok via “edutainment,” or informational content, Colleen Conkling, CMO of stationary company Papier, said at The Lead Innovation conference in New York City last week.

Here are three potential approaches to educating on TikTok, either by leveraging creators or developing organic content.

1. Create tutorials—or work with creators who already do this

People on TikTok want visually pleasing, succinct tutorials on everything from bullet journaling to baking, areas where Papier has entered the conversation with content on specific note-taking strategies and ways to use its journals for recipe development. Content should be instructive, providing specific examples of how to use the featured products.

Kristen Dolzynski, chief design officer of underwear D2C Parade, called this approach “moving away from the old influencer model,” where influencers primarily focused on selling products, and toward a new model where creators share stories of how to use those products.

2. Emphasize health and wellness benefits for unlikely products

The wellness space is an obvious one for consumer packaged goods, supplements, and athleisure brands. But there are other areas to tap into wellness, like Papier pushing “digital detox” in its TikTok campaigns to nudge consumers offline (and toward its products) by emphasizing the mental health benefits of journaling.

Word of warning: Gen Z can see through inauthentic marketing efforts. When leveraging health and wellness, make sure your brand is also making tangible steps to improve this space.

3. Participate in existing productivity and organization conversations

While pushing into “ProducivityTok” may be a natural move for a stationary brand like Papier, Fossil Group has found a less conventional audience by leveraging the concept of time, said CMO Lisa Pillette. TikTok trends like the “5am club” (i.e., people who wake up at 5am to be productive, which has 84 million views on the platform) are opportunities for Fossil Group to emphasize real-world uses for its watches.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.