Why online lit platform Wattpad is keying its organic digital strategy on TikTok videos

On-line literature platform Wattpad is holding onto its advert {dollars}, leveraging natural development on social media and prioritizing its owned channels to construct up group engagement by means of unique interviews and comedic TikTok movies.

“There’s all this engagement already taking place on Wattpad,” stated Abby Yew, Wattpad’s head of promoting. “We haven’t centered on development in any respect.”

Wattpad is an internet literature platform, based in 2006, on which customers can create and publish written content material. In accordance with the model, about 90 million individuals use the platform, 5 million of whom are Wattpad writers. Wattpad has 1.4 million TikTok followers and practically double that on Instagram, the place it has 2.2 million followers. As a substitute of spending massive on more and more steep CPMs in a crowded digital market, Wattpad leverages a largely natural social media technique, tapping into current communities like #BookTok on TikTok to spice up engagement and construct its on-line group.

“Once you speak about our channels, as a result of we’re not centered on development in promoting and paid media, we’re actually using and leveraging our personal channels,” Yew stated. 

For instance, a TikTok e book influencer will organically advocate a narrative written by a Wattpad creator. To capitalize on that motion, Wattpad’s social crew joins the dialog, reacting in actual time, in response to Yew. Different instances, the corporate posts unique content material with Wattpad’s extra notable writers. Any paid media is reserved for retargeting functions, “however it’s actually very low, decrease funnel, focus versus something consciousness and engagement. It’s all natural,” Yew stated.

That’s to not say the model doesn’t spend on digital media in any respect. To date this yr, Wattpad has spent a minimum of $250,000 on paid digital media, in response to Pathmatics. That determine is considerably increased than final yr’s spend, which was simply $46,900. Per Kantar, the model spent simply shy of $700,000 on media this yr. (Kantar figures don’t embrace social and digital spend as Pathmatics figures do.) Final yr, that spend was lower than half at $255,000.

Except for social media, Wattpad additionally has paid investments in desktop and cell show, in response to Pathmatics. 

Wattpad isn’t alone in leaning into on-line communities and traits like #BookTok to realize traction with customers. Earlier this yr, Penguin Random Home inked a take care of TikTok that allowed customers to hyperlink to books in movies utilizing the hashtag, in response to earlier Digiday reporting. 

Whereas natural social could be a key element of any advertising and marketing plan, advertising and marketing consultants say stress mounting on social media platforms to show a revenue by way of advert income may restrict natural development in the long run. 

“Whereas a characteristic might begin free as a way of testing use instances, sooner or later sooner or later we count on to must pay-to-play,” Shalanna Clark, head of promoting at advertising and marketing company Code3, stated in an e-mail to Digiday. Whereas manufacturers ought to search for methods to boost their natural social presence to authentically construct group, “social media fickleness calls for a stage of paid supply to make sure the consumer sees your message, not to mention engages with it,” stated Clark. 

Wattpad has dabbled with paid efforts up to now, however didn’t see the return on funding. Therefore, why the corporate is now bullish on natural advertising and marketing and build up its owned channels, per Yew.

“We’re so lucky that the product is so sticky in itself and that we’re in a position to then simply deal with desire, model loyalty and moving into that dialog with our audiences,” Yew stated.

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