Interview: Brands who embrace authenticity of TikTok community gain success: Sameer Singh, TikTok

Sameer Singh

In conversation with Social Samosa, Sameer Singh, Vice- President, Monetization, TikTok charts out key TikTok marketing trends and more.

Sameer Singh or Sam Singh as he is widely known in the industry joined Bytedance in August 2019 from GroupM where he looked after the agency’s South Asian operations as the CEO. In his current role at ByteDance, Singh is tasked to work closely with the technology company’s partners and clients while leading the advertising, sales and marketing strategies across all of ByteDance’s products in India including the short-form video creation app TikTok.

The app has been hailed as one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world which presents an alternative version of online sharing with 500 million active users worldwide.

We get talking to Sameer Singh to know more about his journey so far at Bytedance, TikTok’s user policies, vision for 2020, marketing trends and more.


From GroupM to Bytedance, how has the transformation been? 

The journey has been great. What really excites me about TikTok, is the great sync and parallels between the upwardly mobile middle India and the growth of digital. This in addition to the rise of video fueled basically on the availability of low-cost data and handsets in India. It is also great to witness how the first time internet users have embraced the platform. 

TikTok has committed to offering brand safety to advertisers. What’s the strategy on that front? 

Promoting a safe and positive app experience is TikTok’s top priority and we offer both in-app tools and educational content to our users and our brand advertisers. We also have a robust community and ad policy guidelines which we keep updating. 

Additionally, in order to provide a quality environment for advertisers and partners on our platform, we have employed a series of measures which include a dedicated moderation team with expertise on content management and local cultural relevance.

Also Read: How to measure TikTok campaigns through Creator Marketplace

What kind of content works on the platform? Also, your views on ads vs brand integrations?

Today, brands see TikTok as an exciting way to reach a broader audience. We closely work with brands and offer tailor-made solutions to further the brand narrative and establish connect with users. TikTok solutions such as Brand Takeover, In-feed Native Video, Brand Effect, and Hashtag challenge allow brands to enhance their messaging via short videos and further increase their ad impact. All the solutions can be equally effective depending on the brands’ approach and the desired outcome. 

The brands we see having the most success are those that embrace the creativity and authenticity of the TikTok community. However, we have witnessed that brand integrations are more successful in securing the affinity of the audiences and establishing connect with consumers to bring alive the brand experience.

Which sectors do you see investing more on the platform and the kind of ROI expectations?

Today, short-form ads are driving disruption and arguably are the most common form of advertising we interact with. Brands looking to tap into this audience have certainly benefited by being on a platform like ours. TikTok allows brands to effectively connect with audiences, across the length and breadth of the country, in an interesting and innovative format, i.e. short-form videos.

We have been working very closely with brands to further build on and align their advertising strategies with our proposition. In the last few months, we have successfully partnered with various brands in the Finance, eCommerce, Internet, FMCG, BFSI, and education space and are attracting brands from different verticals such as Gaming, Retail, Automobile, Fashion and more. 

What is your vision for 2020 and TikTok Marketing trends that you foresee? 

In 2020, we foresee every industry vertical to increase its digital ad spends. Given the short attention spans of people, short-format video platforms are seeing a rapid uptake. In this scenario, it is imperative for brands to invest in quality content that resonates with audiences. This year will bring in a wide array of digital advertising options for marketers and it is going to be exciting to see some great content being churned out of these campaigns.