TikTok Launches Initiatives to Help Small Businesses in the MENA Region Survive Covid-19

Tiktok For Business will allow MENA-based entrepreneurs to have access to advertising solutions that’ll help them tap into the platform’s ever-increasing user base.
Carolyne Njeri

Carolyne Njeri

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Tiktok, the bite-sized video sharing platform based in China, has launched an initiative to help small and medium-sized businesses in the MENA region combat the effects of the Coronavirus. Through Tiktok’s business platform, Tiktok For Business, entrepreneurs will have access to a variety of advertising solutions that’ll help them tap into the platform’s ever-increasing user base.

The initiative, dubbed “Back to Business Program” will focus on increasing the presence of small enterprises on Tiktok. The platform has donated a total of  US$100 million redeemable in US$300 ad credits per business to be used for free advertising, valid till December 31, 2020. Those already registered on the platform will be able to access the free credits on their dashboards, while newcomers will receive theirs after registration and verification.

Although this program is available worldwide, Tiktok has created special resources dedicated specifically to the MENA region, such as Tiktok For Business in Arabic, to help businesses churn localized content perfectly suited for their target audience. Additionally, the platform will hold a virtual event to increase awareness about their initiative. Business owners will enjoy a keynote address from Tiktok’s MENA GM, live Q&A sessions, and multiple breakout sessions in both English and Arabic, geared towards training them to increase engagement levels with their consumers.

Tiktok also commissioned a study through Feedback Market Research, a research company based in the UAE, to help gain insight into the effect of the pandemic on consumer behavior among its users. The study showed that Tiktok users are more likely to purchase goods online compared to users of other social media channels. The findings of this study concur with others that have all recognized the fast pace at which consumers in the region have taken to e-commerce in response to the pandemic. These results are an indication that more businesses in MENA and around the world should establish a presence on the app if they hope to ride Tiktok’s growing wave.

According to Shanat Oknayan, the General Manager of Global Business Solutions in MENAT, “The Middle East and North Africa region is a big focus for TikTok’s efforts in the SMB space. SMBs play a vital role in communities across the region, and we are working very hard to ensure that those businesses can leverage the power of the platform to further build brands in a new, authentic,and engaging way. Brands will also have the flexibility to expand their reach beyond the current media ecosystem and tap into those consumers and opinion leaders that cannot be reached on other platforms.”

Tiktok has been burgeoning in MENA since the pandemic broke out, making it a suitable platform for any business to grow its consumer base. The platform is especially popular among younger users (41% being between 16 and 24) who are more willing to spend their money online. 

The platform encourages creativity and innovation that enables businesses to create more engaging content for their followers. This is why more brands are wisening to Tiktok’s unique ability to capture wider and more diverse audiences, and the launch of these new self-serve ad tools will without a doubt nudge more of them to register on the platform.

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