TikTok's HypeHouse is Influencer Marketing Goals
Influencer marketing has changed dramatically over the years. The influencers from Myspace create and share content completely different from those on TikTok. Brand deals probably did not come to fruition until the birth of Youtube. Youtube gave audiences to some of the most well-known stars you know today. For example, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Liza Koshy, Lilly Singh, and King Bach. TikTok has now risen to the surface of popularity for many young people. With Covid-19 the demand for social media ads has grown expeditiously. With social media usage soaring by 72% as an effect of life under lockdown, influencer marketing has swiftly become the dominating brand awareness tactic of 2020. With consumers confined to their homes and influencers challenged by the limitations of travel and access to activities, social media stars were, and still are, forced to rethink their content to keep followers engaged during trying times. With thousands of brands competing to provide an essential form of escapism, purposeful and personalized content has started winning out ahead of an advertorial.
With that, consumers were looking to be reenergized, this is where gamification and competition have helped to unearth a new excitement amongst these pools of followers. TikTok is the new thing millions of people now waste their time on. Which has affected how influencer marketing operates. Brands as recognized as Gucci have taken marketing moves on TikTok. I even saw Gucci promote their upcoming virtual fashion show on my ‘For You Page’. The first thing I see when I open the TikTok app is an ad. The first one I saw today was an ad for a hair-curling creme. It had over seventy thousand likes.
One of the most well-known names in the TikTok industry is the HypeHouse created by Chase Hudson and Thomas Petrou. There are many other influencer houses like the SwayHouse and the C4 House. An influencer house is a house where many famous influencers reside, they carry out brand-deals and create collaborations with others in their house. This is a great way to get an active audience for your space because it is easier to keep the content fresh and trending. People love seeing people’s interactions with other people. (Did that make sense?) You see, Thomas Petrou was able to bring his expertise from the last house he was in. Which was called the Team Ten House. This house was created by Youtube star, Jake Paul. There, Petrou saw the value of having a whole bunch of TikTokers in one space. Petrou backs the efficiency of influencer houses by giving the statement, “When we moved in, Chase had 3,500,000 followers. If he went and got an apartment by himself, he might have 5 or 6 million now but not 9 million. Also, when you have a house, everyone wants to come over. No one wants to go to a two-bedroom apartment. Now, we can invite every big creator to the house.” He spoke nothing but insightful words.
Influencers are more geared to going somewhere that is grander and has the best possibility of producing entertaining content. There is nothing that will appeal more to teenagers than a house full of teenagers. Another member of the HypeHouse named Addison Rae states, “I moved here December 2nd and I had about 2.8 million followers. Now, I’m at 13 million.” So, it cannot be debated that influencer houses are highly effective. I think a part of a successful house has to be picking the right people, squeezing out consistent and entertaining content, and, making sure there is chemistry among the residents. The people have to be content creators that have a good following to build off of. A person with thirty-five followers is probably not an active person in the influencer community and will probably not get the attention of brand deals. Squeezing out consistent and entertaining content is important because when people like something they want more of it or they will lose interest. Alex Warren said, “Consistency is huge. I treat it like a job. I wake up, plan my content out for the day, and film at least three videos a day. Post frequently on all platforms, be yourself, and be passionate. People love that.” Wait, I’m writing this down, ‘Be yourself...be passionate. People….love that.’ Not only does it need to be consistent but people need to like what they see or they will, again, lose interest. I imagine that may be a lot of pressure on those favored teens. However, somehow they get the job done.
Chemistry is also important because the audience wants to see people who bounce entertainment off of each other. They don’t necessarily have to like each other. A good example of that can be found in the reality television show, The Bad Girls Club. They didn’t really get along most of the time but the fiery chemistry they had made them entertaining and a fun watch. Chemistry is important in any form of entertainment. The HypeHouse has chemistry, it is a very different kind of chemistry from the Bad Girls Club but its chemistry nonetheless. Though the HypeHouse is mainly famous on TikTok they are trying to expand their horizons on more platforms. This is a smart way to gather more brand deals. Petrou said, “We want to push people to YouTube because, even though TikTok is great, we don’t know where it’s going. We don’t know if the app is going to disappear in a year. Or, maybe it’ll be the next Instagram. We don’t know. As of right now, people spend the most time on TikTok. People probably spend about four hours a day on TikTok.”
With talk of TikTok being banned from the U.S, it is the best choice for all influencers to spread their engagement across platforms. Petrou plans on expanding the HypeHouse to the next generation. Much like an agency, they will represent other people and give them new opportunities. He states, “I see The Hype House living on past us. I see us funneling through the house and blowing up new creators and giving them a career; just like an agent or manager would. We’re not going to be sitting here in five years. The next generation of TikTokers will be here.” Many members of the HypeHouse have gone off to do very cool (and I imagine lucrative) brand deals. For example, Charli D'aMelio is currently doing a campaign with Dunkin Donuts with her very own drink. The drink itself is, frankly, not very original but it sells because Charli D'amelio created it and posts about it on her social media accounts. Addison Rae is campaigning with American Eagle to sell jeans. At my local mall, a big mirror selfie picture of her was plastered on the window of the American Eagle store. I’m sure she is selling jeans like hotcakes. Iron Roots Inc. suggests that the essence of why influencers sell a product better than traditional celebrities is that people are more inclined to trust people who seem more “real” to them — who seem more relatable, and whose achievements seem somewhat attainable to the user. Also, I can assure you that they are not doing anything for free. HypeHouse leader, Thomas Petrou states, “We actually turn down a lot of offers. I’ve turned down a lot of popular rappers because they want to come on and promote their music. But we don’t get paid for it, so why would we do that?”
Along with influencer houses, there are other marketing tactics that take part in social media, some of which influencer houses use. Competitions and challenges have commonly formed part of brand and influencer partnerships, with giveaways forming a typical approach. But what we are now seeing is a change to this traditional model. We have seen challenges with the song WAP by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. A dance was created for their dance to promote their song. The dance first became very popular, as did the song. The influencer no longer acts as simply a vessel fuelled by a brand, who may have provided products to giveaway. Rather, influencers are creating and hosting such events themselves, as part of their own brand value proposition. Health and wellbeing, cooking and baking, arts and crafts, and entertainment such as music and film have all increased dramatically over the course of this year, even travel continues to rise with more influencers choosing to explore more local areas. Some brands, such as Airbnb, even in their darkest of moments turned to YouTube to offer consumers solace and entertainment. While officially unable to offer up their rooms for people, as usual, Airbnb hosts worldwide gathered online for a #StayHome campaign that allowed customers to book a flamenco class, tarot card reading, and even visit a colony of penguins.
We have seen many changes to what marketing is and was. As well as how the influencer community and what it encapsulates continuously keeps on changing. Change does not always mean bad. The creation and recreation of what influencer marketing is have put those in the position to get a lucrative job in a field they are passionate about. I’m sure some of these kids wouldn’t survive in the corporate world or an average 9-5. Not that those are bad jobs it’s just that there is a percentage of influencers who probably wouldn’t fit into those fields. And that’s okay. In my opinion, influencers should inspire us to do what we really have a passion for and share it with the world. Whether that’s traveling the world in an RV, having pet alpacas, or working an average 9 to 5 job.
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Author: Lydia Hill