While the influencer marketing industry has exploded over the last five years, both Instagram and YouTube have remained the go-to platforms for content creators and brands to collaborate on. For some time, they remained unrivaled in their ability to inspire user engagement with tens of thousands of authentic personalities, with countless campaigns and posts having found success through the tools and audience-size that each platform offers.
However, now that the short-form video app TikTok has proven its popularity with users under 24 in particular, influencers and brands have begun to take notice of the potential in expanding their efforts to tailor TikTok campaigns.
If you are unaware of the platform, TikTok is a video-only platform that allows users to create clips between 15 and 60 seconds long. Armed with a wealth of editing tools and a massive song library, TikTok provides a unique and addictive experience to its global monthly user base of 800 million worldwide – a staggering number considering it is only 200 million less than Instagram.
So without further ado, we have listed four influencer marketing campaigns that have utilized TikTok to reach and inspire audiences to engage with brands in a new way.
Courtesy: Guess, TikTok
At the beginning of September 2018, Guess became the first brand in the USA to release a marketing campaign as an official partner with TikTok, and the first company to release a partnered fashion-related campaign through the app in the world. The week-long partnered campaign ensured that when every TikTok user in the US opened their app, they were directed to Guess’ #InMyDenim hashtag challenge.
Guess recruited the help of influencers Chriss Kerr Rio and Sharla May of the popular @ourfire channel (pictured above) and Madison Willow of @madison_willow in launching the challenge, which asked users to show off their best Guess denim looks with the hashtag #InMyDenim. Since its launch, videos with the tag have racked up over 38 million views and allowed Guess to reach a new audience amongst Millenials and Generation Z.
Hashtag challenges are one of TikTok’s signature offerings to brands wanting to use the platform to increase engagement and awareness. These campaigns encourage users to attempt and share their own individual takes on the challenges posed by different companies or personalities and has proven to be a great way to create user-generated content and build consumer relationships with products.
Courtesy: @falcopunch, TikTok
To celebrate the launch of their Galaxy A smartphone, Samsung successfully utilized TikTok to create a hashtag challenge that would prompt users to experiment with the platform’s transition effects and produce creative visual content to communicate the brand’s abstract message.
The #GalaxyA campaign was launched in the German market and targeted at the then 4.1 million active daily users across the country. Samsung collaborated with popular TikTokers Falco Punch and Selina Mour in launching the campaign, which asked users to draw the letter “A” on the palm of their hand and ‘teleport’ it to the hand of another user by using one of the apps transition effects. This was to communicate the message that Galaxy’s “A-series… connects you with your friends”.
An example of another hashtag challenge being put to good use, the #GalaxyA campaign resulted in the creation of videos that have garnered over 30 million views. The campaign encourages users to also overlay the video with a song tailor-made for the challenge called “Write My Story”. Pre-set music is a common element to challenges that guarantee the content maintains an identifiable thread, rhythm, and personality.
When BMW launched its new 1 Series in July 2019, it harnessed the popularity of TikTok’s hashtag challenge to build excitement. Using the hashtag #THE1Challenge, BMW asked a number of influencers to create entertaining clips of them dancing in, on and around the new cars. Popular TikTokers Sky&Tami, Falco Punch and PatroX all showed off their true-to-style videos that have now been watched over 7 million times.
When discussing why BMW chose TikTok to engage with their audience, the Global Head of Digital Marketing at BMW Jörg Poggenpohl said, “TikTok is another highly dynamic and internationally fast-growing social media channel that we’re using to promote the BMW brand, tapping into a young, digitally savvy target group.”.
It may seem counterproductive for a premium car company to use a platform preferred by under 24-year-olds to distribute their message, but by asking young users to engage with the brand and create videos, BMW has exposed their products to consumers that may be important to them in the future. Preferences for brands are set at an early age and it’s young people who tend to decide what is in and out of fashion. By aligning themselves with the latest trend in social media, BMW is showing the world that they are not only relevant but forward-thinking.
Courtesy: Ralph Lauren
At the beginning of this month, Ralph Lauren trialed the newly released ‘hashtag challenge plus’ offering and became the first instance of a luxury fashion brand partnering with TikTok in the US and was set up to both increase brand awareness and to study consumer activity around the products.
The ‘hashtag challenge plus’ is different from the standard hashtag challenge offered to brands as it allows users of TikTok to continue their interaction with a challenge to the point where they can, in this instance, be guided to a tailored store of Ralph Lauren products and buy products within the app.
Ralph Lauren’s campaign has been timed to commemorate the beginning of the US Open tennis event, of which they are the official outfitter. The #WinningRL campaign collaborated with actress, model, and influencer Diana Silvers (pictured above) in posing a challenge to users to show off a time they won a real-life challenge. Armed with custom US Open stickers, the three video creators who use the hashtag that receive the most engagement will receive official Polo Ralph Lauren US Open apparel.
Videos with the hashtag have been viewed over 500,000 times so far, though there have been no figures released on how successful the campaign has been at increasing awareness and driving sales. Regardless, it is interesting to see how TikTok is continuing to expand its monetization and sales options to lure brands and influencers into using the platform.
As time progresses, TikTok will need to continue to attract content creators into remaining loyal to their features if they are to survive. So far, it seems unrivaled in its ability to inspire hordes of regular users to become brand ambassadors through what are essentially self-made advertisements. Once it has secured a competitive monetization system for the most popular of these users, the sky’s the limit on how high its popularity could soar.