TikTok Next Station: Grow big sales…Create stunning content with TikTok


Can TikTok be used for marketing, creating great content, and growing sales? Most people may think TikTok is just an app to create dancing and hilarious clips for teenagers. In fact, if TikTok is effectively used and meets the target group, it’ll be a powerful marketing tool that can gain awareness and grow sales enormously. We will share real experience and cases from Dr.Ice - Tirasan Sahatsapas, the owner of SOdA PrintingG, that TikTok is successfully used as a marketing tool with the concept “Just one gift in the world” and grows huge sales. Let’s see how TikTok works. 


Business before TikTok 

Dr.Ice said that SOdA PrintingG is a small brand from Petchburi. Its business is image printing on canvas offering home delivery service with the concept ‘Just one gift in the world’. At first, the business might sound so simple but customers experienced the product as a gift. When the business started, there was no Hi5 or Facebook. After a while, it’s time for BB, Facebook, so marketing tools have changed according to social status. Thus, entrepreneurs must know where their customers are, and how their businesses will tie in with tools and connect to customers. The key is how to make customers find us. Dr.Ice added that the sales model is changing now and many businesses have entered into more E-Commerce Platforms but he believes that Line is still an effective tool in Thailand. In 2017-2018, he set up a Line Calling team to support customer inquiries as the key is to make customers feel that they talk to only one person. Product promotions are not enough but the backend must also be efficient, for example, preparing FAQs and creating friendliness for customers.

When Facebook first launched, Dr.Ice boost the post on Facebook and it worked tremendously well, with 500 baht as cost per day and then finally increased to one hundred thousand baht. He could penetrate to a large number of customers with only two hundred thousand baht per day, or 6 million baht a month. Facebook was the only tool he used at that time. Later, Facebook’s Algorithm was adjusted and the visual rate was less than 1%. He didn’t want to stick with the same old method so it was time to find new channels. In 2018, Dr.Ice traveled to China and saw few Chinese crews were taking a video. He found out later that it was streaming created by the TikTok app but he didn’t know what it was. When he was back in Thailand, he found TikTok has been popular and recognized its logo then he knew it’s TikTok. 

The beginning of TikTok Marketing 

After knowing TikTok, Dr.Ice studied more and found that children, housewives, and noodle sellers who knew nothing about technology played TikTok. He realized that this app can reach so many people and its contents are varied, short, and attractive. When teaching at a private university, he assigned the students to create clips on TikTok and submitted them to him by midnight. His students didn’t even know about TikTok but sent the clips to him in the evening. The students could use the tool right away even it was their first trial. TikTok songs are in good beat and rhythm and also catchy to the audience’s ears. Dr.Ice explored all those song lyrics and found them watched by 55 million views, he kept on following up more clips. TikTok is full of creative ideas so he considered with his team to use TikTok as a marketing tool. They realized whether it’s possible to motivate customers to create their own content. 

Challenge customers to create content on TikTok 

When proposing customers to create content, Dr.Ice offered a 100 baht discount for a TikTok clip. All the clips were amazing and kept coming in. He started analyzing factors while always monitoring customers and wondered where customers saw SOdA PrintingG. In 2018, customers started to know SOdA PrintingG from TikTok so his team was certain that this app has worked effectively. Later, the peak of the campaign happened when he got a clip from a customer. He didn’t expect that clip had an impact until he received lots of orders. In 15 days, that clip generated 1,000 pieces of order. The whole team believed that TikTok is real and agreed to keep TikTok furthering. 

Create brand growth by TikTok 

Within the first month, #SOdA PrintingG gained 1 million views and more creative and fun clips were introduced. Some people ordered clips as a gift for their loved ones. Some students wanted to print their pictures on canvas. Customer clips later were not enough to support the brand so it’s time to get more people to perform TikTok every day but no scripts and no brief about functions were guided, only brand hashtag is added. More creative ideas kept coming. The number of views was increased to 5 million in 2018, 23 million views in 2019, and 60 million views at present. 

TikTok grew a high number of sales and Traffic kept coming in. On the past Valentine’s day, Dr.Ice planned to use #Valentinegift and it appeared that 95% of that hashtag were SOdA PrintingG, and customer orders were increased. After that, SOdA PrintingG formed a small music agency to support young talented people who had no opportunity and budget. Some songs gained 25 million views as people saw their TikTok and followed those songs. 

Getting to know customers

Dr.Ice said that TikTok allows him to see teenage customers. These groups love talking about love and chat with each other through songs and use TikTok as a tool. He then produced a song without brand. Normally, there’s only one hook but Dr. Ice arranged 5 hooks and the lyrics consist of business keywords like the gift, image, promtpay. The song content is about teenage life so it attracted more audience in the same generation.

The teenagers took the songs to dance and that created more viral. Printed pictures on brand canvas appear in the clips and that inspired many people to have the same pictures to post in their clips, and sales then increased. Dr.Ice suggested that a successful clip should have clear major content, the lyrics can be adapted to keywords, and the song must be sticky music. If you know these tips then TikTok can help marketing. Before jumping into TikTok, we need to understand how Thai teenagers communicate with each other. Dr.Ice has noticed that those who play TikTok will save their clips and then post them on Facebook or IG as those channels gain many followers; therefore, they will gain Likes more than posting on TikTok, especially in the beginning. 

Dr.Ice still monitors that 15 seconds of the hook is suitable for TikTok as most teenagers will save this clip and then post it in the Story. If Story is longer than 15 seconds, its clip will be automatically cut off into two parts. Teenagers will delete keywords presented after 15 seconds as they won’t post the second clip once divided. When the clip is connected to Story, people will chat in Message and that becomes an additional selling channel. That’s why Dr.Ice has produced songs on several occasions like Valentine's, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and Graduation Day. He has approached teenagers who want to create both rap and dance music. Those teens love to create clips in their bedroom and post their pictures on SOdA PrintingG canvas as a background. When people see those pictures, they want to order such pictures. Dr.Ice believes that TikTok not only creates awareness but also sales and we should be both the giver and the receiver while creating engagement.

When someone asks ‘where can I order these pictures? Those teenagers will include the brand in their answers. Dr.Ice had many talks to them and are familiar with them so he realized that they want to support his brand. He said we can’t only be the receiver and we need their engagement in our brand. He offered a discount Code with teenagers’ names (Social names) when ordering to build a sense of belonging and make them proud and feel cool. Customers who are their friends will get that discount, and those who create clips will also get Cash back so their posts will have value-added. This has motivated them to continually create better content. At present, Dr.Ice has over 7,000 teenager networks and TikTok clips over 200,000 which connect to a new selling model “Shoppertainment” strategy. Those teenagers helped brand selling through Streaming and that led to a 200% sales increase and the advertising budget reduced 70%. SOdA PrintingG could penetrate to more customers and has supported unemployed teenagers and their families during COVID-19 Dr.ice received lots of messages requesting for support of tuition fee. He couldn’t help all of them but with the Code distributed to them, they could pay the tuition fee within 4 days. Some of them could earn 20,000 - 30,000 baht per month. This brand encouraged them to grow sales without stock concern and created an exclusive printed design on canvas for them. They feel engaged that they are part of a brand and enjoy bringing Traffic to the shop. 

Dr.Ice concluded that whatever channel we use, we must know target groups well. We must understand our objectives and find the right tools in line with targets and business. All tools must connect to networks as we can’t work alone. Our business can be highly successful like SOdA PrintingG if we commit to all key principles above mentioned.

Source: “TikTok Next Station”, a seminar topic in Digital SME Conference Thailand 2020, September 15, 2020