Chances are you’ve heard about the coolest kid on the block, TikTok, and whether you’re an avid user or observing from afar, it is clear that the app isn't going anywhere anytime soon. 

The video-sharing platform allows users to share 15-second long clips, backed by music. Dance challenges, lip-synching videos and act-out memes are created and recreated by users across the platform, with usage accelerating during quarantine. 

TikTok recently made headlines for surpassing two billion downloads globally, making it the first non-Facebook app to achieve this feat since January 2014

With the app’s obvious potential, brands everywhere are jumping on the opportunity to market to 800 million active users

So, how will TikTok marketing benefit your business? 

Well, some benefits of TikTok marketing are:
  • Exposure: TikTok has a massive and young, user base. This will make it easier for brands to increase their exposure to a more youthful audience
  • Video is growing in popularity: Video appears to be the future of social media, as video-based platforms like YouTube, Zoom and now TikTok are blowing up. A large part of the app's appeal is the ease with which you can garner millions of views on your video, increasing the possibility of reaching new consumers. 
  • High engagement: TikTok’s algorithm makes it garnering millions of views on your videos achievable.
  • Localisation: Operating in 140 countries, TikTok is global but it tailors the videos users see according to their location. This allows brands to create localised marketing campaigns.
  • Micro-influencers: There are many TikTok users from smaller cities that have a large following. These micro-influencers tend to have close relationships with their followers, allowing trust to form between them. This creates an opportunity for brands to collaborate with these users and gain more traction on their campaigns. 
  • Branded marketing channel: TikTok allows brands to create a personal marketing channel, focused purely on their brand. Businesses can get their channel verified on the app and use it to easily make quality, branded video content. 
Now that you know why brands use TikTok as a marketing platform, take a look at some of the branded marketing the app has seen:

1. Chipotle 

American fast-food chain Chipotle reigns supreme in the world of TikTok brand challenges. 

The brand is the first fast-food chain with an official TikTok account. According to the brand’s CMO Chris Brandt, the team decided to venture into what once was uncharted territory because “almost half of our customer base is Gen Z or millennials, so social media is a fact of life. They just expect you to be in the places where they are.”

The brand kicked off its TikTok career in May 2019 with the mesmerizing '#ChipotleLidFlip' challenge, which launched alongside the account of superfan and influencer, David Dobrik. 

Chipotle launched the challenge at the beginning of May to promote its Cinco De Mayo free delivery special. In the first six days of the challenge, it garnered 104 million views and 110 000 user-generated video submissions. 

The campaign: Soon after the success of the lid flip challenge, Chipotle stumbled upon what is now the most successful TikTok brand challenge to date.

The '#GuacDance' challenge was launched on national avocado day and aimed to promote free guacamole online and through its app

Here, users were urged to showcase their dance moves alongside Dr. Jeans’ ‘Guacamole song.’ Popular TikTok users Brent Rivera and Loren Gray promoted the challenge through their accounts.

Why was the campaign a success? The '#GuacDance' challenge achieved 250 000 video submissions and 430 million views in six days and led to the brand’s most successful guacamole day ever, with 800 000 sides served

The campaign was the perfect recipe for TikTok success: fun, lighthearted and current

The usage of Dr Jean’s ‘Guacamole song’ (which had previously gone viral on Vine) was a smart move from the brand, as they struck up the nostalgia of a fond pop-culture memory in the user and promoted their product simultaneously. 

Collaborating with popular TikTok users also helped expand the campaigns reach, resulting in an overall boost in engagement. 

2. The NBA

Previously renowned on Vine, the NBA is dedicated to TikTok marketing. According to DigiDay the corporation has a team of several employees dedicated to the app that post five to six videos per day to their 10.8 million followers.

The campaign: The NBA is the king of diversified content on TikTok. The brand never sticks to one type of video, regularly posting challenges, funny videos of players, fans or celebrities, and more recently, motivational videos of how players are keeping fit during quarantine. 

This diversification of content is best demonstrated when looking at the parallels of its best-performing content. 

Two of the brand’s most-viewed videos are funny and lighthearted; one shows team mascots throwing cakes at each other and a second one documents two babies racing each other. This is followed by an interview-type video with famed player Steph Curry —each of these videos have millions of views. 

Why was the campaign a success? The NBA’s TikTok channel has been a success largely because it caters to everyone. Whether you’re interested in-game highlights, funny moments, challenges or getting to learn more about the players — the NBA has you covered. 

NBA vice president of social and digital content, Bob Carney, explained the brand’s dedication to the platform: “I think what makes TikTok so exciting is that literally one of our biggest goals in the entire company is cultivating the next generation of fans. It gets really, really exciting for everybody when you can reach a completely new audience.”

3. Gymshark

Fitness apparel and accessories brand Gymshark is another retail brand that has chosen to expand its digital marketing strategy to TikTok. 

The brand has become majorly popular amongst fitness fanatics, with its content on TikTok catering to that niche and earning it 1.8 million followers and 26.2 million likes

The campaign: Gymshark has mastered the art of targeted messaging on TikTok. It knows exactly who its audience is and produces content with them in mind. 

What differentiates Gymshark from other accounts is that the team posts content that is beneficial to their consumers, like workout videos, challenges, or inspirational fitness journeys

One of the brand’s most notable campaigns was the 66 Days: Change your life challenge, which launched on 1 January 2019, lining up with consumer's new year's resolutions. 

Here, the brand urged users to set fitness goals for themselves and take before and after pictures of their progress, with the winner receiving a year's supply of Gymshark merchandise

The brand partnered up with six fitness influencers, who at the time had a collective following of 19.8 million to promote the challenge to their followers. 

Why was the campaign a success? Gymshark’s ‘#gymshark66’ challenge was a major success for the brand, receiving 45.5 million views, 2 million likes, and an engagement rate of 11.11%

This challenge proves that when brands find their niche on a platform and create targeted content that includes relevant influencers, they can achieve high engagement on their posts and increase brand awareness

Not only did Gymshark achieve this feat but it did it in style, promoting its fitness apparel in the process. 

Are there any TikTok marketing campaigns that caught your eye recently? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Want to know more about TikTok Marketing? Be sure to check out Five tips for marketing on TikTok right here.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy