- Women-first dating app Bumble increased app installs by five times and decreased cost-per-registration by 64% after running direct response ads on social video app TikTok from March to May, per a case study shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Bumble worked with creators such as David Dobrik and Brittany Broski to create native content in "For You" feeds in TikTok. Bumble also used native in-feed videos for direct response, optimization for in-app events, automated bidding and creative optimization features.
- Separately, TikTok announced it would finance creators with a $200 million fund to produce content. The TikTok Creator Fund will be distributed in the next year, per an announcement.
Bumble's positive results on TikTok are a sign that the popular social video app can help mobile marketers to drive app downloads with an influencer campaign. Bumble approached TikTok to diversify its marketing mix and find new users from advertising that was profitable. The partnership between Bumble and TikTok led to the creation of an acquisition channel for Bumble, per the case study. Bumble last month was the second-most popular dating app worldwide, grossing more than $16.5 million in user revenue, behind Tinder, which generated about $65 million, per an estimate by researcher Sensor Tower.
Bumble worked with social influencers on TikTok to boost awareness of its app, a strategy that has become more popular as marketers seek to cut through add clutter by working with tastemakers and content creators who have a dedicated following. Before the coronavirus pandemic dampened marketer demand for advertising, spending on influencer marketing was forecast to reach $9.7 billion this year, with 66% of marketers planning to raise influencer budgets in the following 12-month period, per a survey by CreatorIQ and Influencer Marketing Hub.
Bumble's app install campaign on TikTok came as dating habits shifted during the coronavirus pandemic. Before the health crisis, the number of smartphone owners who use dating apps had been forecast to increase about 5% this year, the third straight year of single-digit growth, per researcher eMarketer. The pandemic has led more people to try virtual dating, driving a 26% increase in messages sent through Bumble, CNBC reported.
Bumble has worked to lift brand awareness in other ways, including the collaboration with AT&T's WarnerMedia on a campaign for the launch of streaming service HBO Max in May. HBO Max offered a preview of the series "Love Life" and a gift card for food delivery to 1,000 Bumble users who participated in a scavenger hunt in the app. In May, Bumble worked with home-sharing startup Airbnb on a series of virtual first dates for people to share while stuck at home. Bumble also introduced "virtual dating tools" to let people meet online as lockdowns went into effect.
TikTok has become a more popular marketing platform as its Chinese parent company ByteDance seeks to monetize the massive growth of the social video app, which has been downloaded more than 2 billion times, including more than 300 million downloads in Q2 amid the coronavirus pandemic, per a separate estimate by Sensor Tower. The $200 million investment in its creators demonstrates how important influencers like Dobrik and Broski are to the app's continued growth while the Bumble campaign points to how the platform can be used beyond awareness-building efforts to drive a direct response from users.
Amid growing political tensions between the U.S. and China, TikTok faces a chance of being banned in the U.S. because of concerns about national security. The possibility of a crackdown has led a group of U.S.-based investors to consider buying a majority interest in TikTok if it would help to quell concerns about data privacy, The Information and the Financial Times reported.