Rapaport Magazine

How to sell on Tik Tok

The founders of tech jeweler Evermée defied expectations and went viral on the social media platform. Here are the secrets of their success.

By Leah Meirovich

Image: Evermée. 

When Evermée founders Jonas Vodeges and Gerrit Kesten first decided to use TikTok as a platform to sell jewelry from their e-commerce site, many in the industry told them it wouldn’t work. But the young entrepreneurs, who create tech jewelry, gave it a try anyway. Their first video — highlighting a smart necklace that users can fill with pictures and then scan with their phones to see the images — got more than 2 million views. Since then, the brand has seen multiple videos go viral. Here, Vodeges and Kesten discuss their decision to go against the grain, and how they blew up TikTok. They also have advice for those interested in tackling the social media behemoth.

What made you think of using TikTok to sell jewelry when most people didn’t consider it worthwhile?

Vodeges: I think it was the curiosity about different sales channels, and because we are a native direct-to-consumer brand, it was pretty logical to go into all social media channels. We were already pretty familiar with Instagram, but on Instagram, it was hard for us to actually communicate our product, because [the unique thing about our jewelry is] the functionality, and you can’t really see that in a picture. So for us, the video marketing was way more approachable.

How did you figure out what would make a good TikTok video?

Kesten: I checked out all the videos and realized the most important thing with the different platforms was to understand their algorithms. You want to know what makes a video go viral. I did some research and figured out that in the end, the most important thing was storytelling. You have to be entertaining. That’s all the viewers care about. And in the process of telling a story, you can present your product. You should also surprise your audience. People will click on it because it is so unexpected, and they have never seen anything like it before. But the other side of it is that they don’t completely understand, and they want to understand, so they rewatch it to figure out what’s happening, and that sends a good signal to the algorithm.

Your jewelry is different from the norm in that it incorporates technology. Do you think your product went viral because of its nature, or do you think jewelers can do the same with a regular gold bracelet or diamond ring?

Vodeges: I think we definitely have a little bit of a secret sauce with the technology, but I still believe you can do the same thing with any other product. The main objective is telling a story, so you can’t just have a pretty model wearing jewelry. You need to introduce the person in the video, have them show who they are and why they wear this certain piece of jewelry, and in that moment, the viewer can connect with it. But it has to be entertaining. If you don’t grab their attention in the first five seconds, it’s easy to scroll to the next video.

So for instance, a girl is standing in the park, and a guy comes from behind her, and he has a necklace. It’s intriguing.... You are going to leave viewers wanting to know what happens next. Or if you sell watches, and you want to show how sturdy they are, you can have a beautiful woman pull out a diamond watch, then grab a hammer and smash it before putting it on and going out to work on a construction site, or something like that. People are shocked, and they want to figure out what’s going on.

What have the viral TikTok videos done for your sales?

Vodeges: Sales are really not the goal, although we definitely had a large increase in sales. It’s more about creating brand awareness. The more people know about you, the more likely other people will see your product. Even if a viewer doesn’t buy, if they like and comment, the video is going to rate higher and will be automatically shown for free to more people. So every single person that likes your video invites more potential customers into the product, even though they are not potential buyers.

Do you need to make sure you have a great e-commerce site to appeal to the people who will be driven there?

Kesten: You actually don’t want to drive people to your website. The game is to have them buy it directly on TikTok. You want to secure the sale. If they purchase it on TikTok, they see something they like, click, and poof, they buy. Five seconds later, they’ve forgotten all about it and continue scrolling. Two or three weeks later, when the product arrives, that’s when you invite them into your brand — let’s say with a discount code for a bracelet or charm. If you bring them in straight from the video, and they see multiple products, they may get overwhelmed and be unable to make a decision straight away. Then they leave your site with the thought of coming back later, continue scrolling, and forget about you.

What should you avoid doing when making a video?

Kesten: Don’t be too professional. People like real and raw, something that’s happening in everyday life. A shiny, beautiful, perfectly shot video will make them swipe faster.

What are your top five tips for jewelers who want to try selling on TikTok?

1. Spend time understanding the algorithm, because it’s updated all the time, and make sure the video is fun.

2. Music is very important. Listen to the music in the background of the most popular videos to get a sense of what works.

3. Don’t be afraid to get on TikTok and just try it out, because you don’t need followers — they’re not important. Every single video has a chance of going viral, whether you’ve got zero followers or a million. So just get on there and try things out.

4. Don’t think too hard initially. Just create something and see what happens, and if you don’t like it in five or six days, just delete it and try again. If it’s not good, no one is going to see it anyway.

5. Make it brief: no more than 15 seconds or so in total. And make sure to do something that will grab a viewer’s attention in the first two to five seconds, or it’s too late. 

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - February 2022. To subscribe click here.

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