View Through Rate
CPM compared to FB/IG
With the relaunch of the Thomann TikTok channel, we managed to more than double the engagement rate. Additionally, we celebrated our first viral hit on the platform with almost a million views (without any ad budget). Alongside a 53-fold increase in followers within 5 months, paid profile visits also increased by 18 %.
Thomann, a long-standing Sunlab client, operates the largest online shop for musical supplies in Europe. Offering over 90,000 products distributed across more than 23 countries and generating an annual revenue exceeding one billion euros, Thomann stands as a heavyweight in German e-commerce. Their commitment to music goes beyond products; it's a way of life.
TikTok as a platform & initial situation
Abundant potential for the music industry
The rapidly evolving dynamics of the social media landscape require us to continuously evaluate our clients' social media marketing strategy for new opportunities and risks.
Notably, TikTok's presence in the industry is undeniable. While Thomann had been exploring the platform for some time, there was no internal consensus on the strategy for reaching a younger audience. Nonetheless, the platform - formerly known as musical.ly - promised exceptional potential for the music company, given its focus on music.
Expansive reach with compelling content
The COVID-19 pandemic marked a turning point for Thomann's approach to TikTok, as it brought older generations onto the platform. TikTok also evolved into an influential platform, giving rise to viral trends regularly. This is mainly due to its algorithm: Unlike Instagram and Facebook, TikTok's "For You Page" displays curated content, introducing users to new creators. Consequently, the emphasis is on the content itself rather than the number of followers. This unique trait allows for achieving extremely high reach without a substantial advertising budget, as long as the content is compelling. Another advantage of the platform is its lower advertising costs: TikTok's CPM is approximately 51 % cheaper than that of Facebook or Instagram.
Thus, in 2020, Thomann embarked on its first attempt to incorporate the platform into its social media marketing strategy. The goals included:
Expanding the social media strategy
Generating reach within a younger target audience
Engaging musicians within the TikTok community with Thomann
Inspiring non-musicians to learn an instrument
Exploring a new sales channel (increasing ROAS/sales)
However, achieving these goals initially proved elusive due to numerous challenges. Some background sounds require licenses for commercial use, particularly for companies. Consequently, many videos encountered copyright issues, resulting in muting. The platform also rejected some videos during the creation of paid ads. This forced a shift towards focusing on the organic channel use, which was further restricted by the inability to use various viral sounds. With limited TikTok experience, these obstacles led to the initial project's failure.
Utilizing original sounds
In April 2022, Thomann, in collaboration with Sunlab, made a fresh attempt on the platform. A new content and ad strategy aimed to address previous issues. The use of custom sounds or those from the Commercial Music Library - a pool of songs permissible for promotional use - was a key strategy. This approach circumvented the licensing issue. Simultaneously, the strategy involved riding the trend wave by interpreting viral hits with original sounds. As a result, ads performed so well that some required no promotion, relying solely on organic reach. This effect was bolstered by ad only formats. A dedicated community manager now interacts with the reached audience, ensuring additional visibility.
Results and Achievements
Increased followers and high engagement
Thomann's experience demonstrates that starting out TikTok can be challenging for businesses, but persistence pays off. Together with Sunlab, the music company succeeded in establishing a successful profile within a few months, now boasting over 140,000 followers. This marks a 53-fold increase compared to the 2,700 followers at the start of 2022. Engagement rate has more than doubled, and paid profile visits have risen by 18 %, with a 13 % higher view-through rate. The most notable success is the achievement of viral hits without any advertising budget. For instance, the video "Tenor Voice Crack" garnered over 940,000 views (as of 08/04/22).
View through rate
Following the successful traffic and engagement campaigns, the plan is to test conversion-optimized ads in the near future. This entails implementing a pixel to track website events and conversions. Furthermore, the success story of the main channel is to be extended to Thomann's brands, each of which will have its own TikTok account.
"With a new content and ad strategy, we rapidly built a growing music community on TikTok. This allows us to engage in intensive branding within Gen Z and beyond. Sunlab's support was instrumental, providing us comprehensive insight into ad optimization possibilities, connecting us with TikTok representatives, and aiding in assessing new content ideas."
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