Babylist’s online baby registry is making a big bet on video this year, leveraging TikTok in a game to boost brand awareness. The California-based company went so far as to hire a dedicated TikTok publisher late last year, according to Lee Anne Grant, vice president of marketing and revenue at Babylist.
It is a growing trend. As TikTok grows more popular, brands like Amazon and VolunteerMatch are looking to hire TikTok social media managers to boost their presence on the app.
Babylist, founded in 2011, launched the brand’s account about eight months ago and has since gained more than 416,000 subscribers on the video app. Regularly, Babylist videos accumulate thousands of views per publication, sometimes going viral. A video of a father helping deliver his child seen 8 million views.
“[One of the] Babylist’s six main marketing goals relate to the growth of TikTok,” Grant said. “Our plan is to spend a lot more than we currently do.”
By the end of the year, TikTok is expected to become one of Babylist’s top three advertising channels. Grant added that the baby brand plans to invest far more ad dollars in TikTok than any other ad channel this year.
This year, Babylist’s TikTok spend will be just over 7% of total marketing spend, up from 2% of total marketing spend last year, said a brand spokesperson, who did not provide amounts. specific in dollars. According to Kantar, Babylist spent over $291,000 on media in 2021, compared to $145,000 spent in 2020. These numbers do not include social spending as Kantar does not track these numbers. Ad tracking firm Pathmatics reports that Babylist spent $5.1 million on Facebook and Instagram ads in 2021, up slightly from $4.8 spent in 2020.
The baby brand‘s TikTok strategy is twofold, leveraging paid and organic efforts. Videos are made up of user-generated content, creator content, and videos produced internally, by grant.
Babylist’s target audience is intended parents, from anyone carrying a child to those adopting, adopting or using surrogate mothers. To target these people and grow its user base, Grant says the company is using TikTok’s machine learning and targeting capabilities.
Babylist’s TikTok efforts aren’t relegated to driving direct sales. Instead, Grant says the team views the platform as one that delivers brand awareness, customer acquisition and sales. Success is measured by the number of people signed up for a baby registry, she added. It’s a common theme in the number of brands approaching TikTok as a brand awareness channel as opposed to a performance marketing channel. In fact, most advertisers have yet to consider the platform as another brand or performance channel similar to Facebook and Instagram, according to previous Digiday reports.
“We are looking for people to hear about Babylist and sign up more,” she said. “You can’t put an exact number on that, but we feel like it’s working and it’s getting results.”
Babylist is not alone in its TikTok efforts. Brands like L’Oreal, Dr. Squatch and Hotwire have ramped up their spending and content efforts to present themselves to the platform’s growing audience. In reality, eMarketer Reports that TikTok’s global ad revenue is expected to triple to $11.64 billion this year.
Over the past two years, after gaining popularity during the pandemic lockdown, TikTok has continued to become a staple of media spending, even consuming more and more marketing dollars. Earlier this year, Digiday reported that not only is the ByteDance-owned company seeing more performance advertisers testing the platform, but larger advertisers are also spending more.
Babylist may be on the right track in moving away from relying on TikTok for sales and conversion, according to Glenn Ginsburg, president of influencer marketing agency QYOU media.
“There is a happy medium where native and influencer content on social platforms consistently outperforms traditional ad units in views, engagement and clicks,” Ginsburg said. “A growth and content marketing strategy can catapult DTC brands to a new level of awareness and relevance.”
Overall, Babylist’s Grant says the brand wants to double its video views and plans to continue investing ad dollars in TikTok and expand its YouTube footprint. By the end of the year, Babylist hopes to reach more than one million followers on TikTok.