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Beyond Traditional Channels: How TikTok Empowers Broadcasters in Nigeria to Pioneer New Shows

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In the ever-evolving media landscape, Nigerian broadcasters continuously seek innovative approaches to captivate their audiences. The emergence of short-form video platforms, notably TikTok, provides a dynamic and influential space for broadcasters to introduce new shows, create a buzz, and cultivate a following within Nigeria’s diverse audience.
TikTok boasts over 3.5 billion downloads and more than 1 billion users globally, presenting an exciting opportunity for broadcasters, including those in the flourishing Nollywood industry. The platform’s distinctive features and expansive user base enable broadcasters to connect with an engaged audience, utilising TikTok’s algorithm to personalise content and reach potential viewers who may not have encountered their shows through traditional channels.

In October, TikTok and Disney joined forces to create a unique content hub celebrating 100 years of the iconic Walt Disney Company. Fans could watch videos from across Disney’s brands, create their own videos with Disney music and effects, play daily Disney trivia, and collect and trade “Character Cards” of favourite characters to win unique profile frames to show off their fandom. Additionally, Paramount Pictures launched a dedicated account for “Mean Girls” on TikTok and has made the entire one-hour-and-47-minute film available for free on the platform. The movie was broken down into 23 clips, allowing viewers to easily navigate through them and watch specific scenes.

Engagement Features: A Gateway to Viewer Interaction

One of the key ways in which TikTok enables broadcasters to launch new shows is through its short-form video format. Broadcasters can capture attention and generate excitement by offering glimpses of upcoming shows, sharing behind-the-scenes footage, or providing sneak peeks. These short videos can easily go viral, generating buzz and excitement among users and ultimately driving viewership for the new shows.
Bianca Sibiya, Head of Content Operations for TikTok Sub-Saharan Africa, adds: “Broadcasters can also experiment with new show formats specifically designed for TikTok. Shorter episodes, interactive elements, and viewer participation can enhance engagement and build community around the show.”

Building Buzz and Anticipation
At the core of TikTok’s success are three pivotal elements: the algorithm-driven “For You Page” (FYP), user-friendly editing tools, and an immersive full-screen, sound-on experience. These features collectively curate personalised content, delivering a unique and engaging experience that has propelled TikTok to unprecedented heights in the digital realm.
TikTok’s ability to leverage trending challenges, sounds, and hashtags is a potent strategy for increasing reach. According to Sibiya, this capability generates buzz and anticipation for new shows. By creating engaging content, employing hashtag challenges, and leveraging influencer marketing, broadcasters can spark conversations, drive social media trends, and build excitement leading up to a show’s launch.

Interactive challenges and contests further incentivize engagement, generating user-created content that amplifies the show’s visibility. Collaborations with TikTok influencers tap into existing communities on the platform, creating a synergy that enhances the promotional efforts for new shows.

Data-Driven Insights and Adaption
TikTok provides broadcasters with valuable data analytics to inform content strategies and optimise show launches. Analyzing viewership, engagement rates, and audience demographics enables broadcasters to identify resonant content and tailor their approach accordingly. This data-driven approach ensures continuous improvement and optimisation of the show’s launch strategy.

Full Production Life-Cycle
Publishers can utilise TikTok for the entire production life cycle of their properties. This includes pre-production activities such as casting and scripting storylines, snippets of main shows, unseen bits, and highlighting music reviews. Sibiya elaborates on this process: “Publishers are encouraged to utilise various content formats, including short-form videos, long-form videos, and photo modes, to promote their content effectively. Furthermore, content co-creation is highly recommended, utilising features such as duets and stitched videos. By participating in TikTok tentpole moments such as #WhatToWatch and #NollywoodNovember, publishers can further enhance their presence on the platform.”

Achieving Success through the launch of new shows on TikTok
Several broadcasters have successfully launched new shows on TikTok. One example is Showmax Naija, which introduced three popular shows: Real Housewives of Lagos, Real Housewives of Abuja, and Wura. These shows gained significant traction on the platform with the respective hashtags #RHOLagos, #RHOAbuja and #WuraShowmax is accumulating impressive view counts of 82.3 million, 10.3 million, and 83.1 million.

Another successful broadcaster on TikTok is Inkblot Productions, known for effectively promoting new movies like A Weekend to Forget and Big Love through their campaigns. MTV Shuga’s fourth season was also promoted on the entertainment platform. FilmHouse employed TikTok creators to boost the visibility of Barbie the Movie for localised distribution and consumption through a strategic campaign.

It’s a Wrap

By embracing TikTok, Nigerian broadcasters can revolutionise their approach, breaking free from traditional channels and embracing a platform that not only resonates with local audiences but also offers a global stage for their content. TikTok’s dynamic features and engaged user base provide an unprecedented avenue for broadcasters to not just broadcast but to innovate and build communities around their shows.

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