Erica Yang and Adrian Quihuis of Real Hype Creative: 'You can't ignore TikTok'


Our conversation with Erica and Adrian is a part of our partner marketing ecosystem speaker series, courtesy of impact.com. Stream the discussion here.



Erica Yang came to the U.S. from China to study civil engineering, even attending graduate school to advance her skills in civil and environmental engineering.

Her career path, however, has veered far from what she earned her degrees in. Yang is the founder and CEO of Real Hype Creative Technology, a cross-border marketing agency and venture studio. The company, based in Los Angeles and Shanghai, focuses on marketing campaigns on social media, particularly through short-form videos.


Still, Yang said there’s some overlap between the work ethic required of engineers and social media marketers. Both roles demand tenacity and consistency when searching for a solution. Like in engineering, social media is often about learning by doing.


“You aren’t going to know how until you start doing it and do it over and over again,” Yang said.


Real Hype’s clients include many celebrities and international brands who may not have the time or capacity to create their own content strategy or viral content. The Real Hype team helps manage clients’ social media accounts and connect celebrities with commercial opportunities, often with international brands. Negotiating those contracts often include a blend of upfront payments and commission, Yang said.


When matching brands up with celebrities, Yang said the team considers the core brand messaging and the mission statement before determining what celebrity influencer may be the right fit.


Adrian Quihuis, the company’s head of influencer marketing and TikTok E-Commerce live streaming, said what works the best on TikTok depends on the product and message. Short videos that last about 6-15 seconds can work to grab attention, and longer videos of one to three minutes can effectively convey a message or offer details about a product.


“For us, we’re always dealing with TikTok content strategy,” Quihuis said. “Some videos are great for going viral and great for brand awareness. Then you have the other ones that are a little bit longer, a little more details and polished to get your customer and audience to really understand and get behind the product.”


Yang said it’s important to think about TikTok as more than just a social media app. “It’s an ecosystem,” she said.


It’s also crucial to recognize that TikTok is more interest-driven than other apps, Yang said. Whereas other apps show users mostly content they have already chosen to follow, TikTok works to follow and predict a user’s changing interests.


“It’s very precisely pushing content based on interests,” she said. “So it is one of the most efficient distribution channels.”


As for the future of marketing on TikTok, Quihuis said to expect livestream selling where users can immediately purchase a product that an influencer is discussing in real-time. That’ll have implications for publishers, influencers as well as the payment industry and could open doors for smaller brands as well as big brands looking to build brand awareness and loyalty.


All brands can benefit from having a TikTok presence, Yang said, particularly in the push to reach Gen Z consumers.


Yang's advice? “You can’t ignore TikTok.”


Stream the full conversation here courtesy of impact.com.


The partner marketing ecosystem speaker series is brought to you by Impact. Watch our website for upcoming interviews in the series.


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