TikTok has become one of the hottest apps in 2020. From dancing videos to DIYs to comedy skits, TikTok has quickly become the second-coming of Vine to many people. According to Business Insider, TikTok has hit 1.5 billion downloads and is still outperforming other social media apps. The app was launched back in 2017 and as of today, TikTok is the #2 most downloaded free app in the App Store, whereas Instagram is #10 and Snapchat is #19. For many people, when they hear the app they think of popular dance videos. However, TikTok is quickly on the rise of becoming one of the new platforms for businesses to market themselves.
Currently, users can create short videos between 3 to 15 seconds or string four 15-second segments together. You can add effects, voice-over, texts, and much more to spice up your videos to attract more viewers. Worldwide, TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times. In March 2020, TikTok saw a big uptick in searching, exceeding its rival Snapchat for the first time ever. With over 2 billion downloads worldwide and over 800 million monthly active users, TikTok has become the go-to platform for brands to engage with audiences.
Here are three ways you can use TikTok for your business right now:
- Start your own channels and upload relevant videos
- Utilize hashtags to create challenges, encourage organic content from followers
- Work with influencers to spread content to a broader audience
Let’s take a look at these tactics and see how different brands are capitalizing on Tiktok for their business in 2020.
1. Brand Channels
The first way brands are using TikTok is by starting their own channels. By uploading relevant videos through their accounts, brands are more personable to their fans. In a world where consumers are becoming more skeptical of ads, the raw and unedited videos on TikTok can be a great way to show a different side of the brand. Here are some companies that have strong brand channels:
Many brands have started their own TikTok channels to be more personable to their followers. However, one brand that is doing this differently is Wonderlife (@wonderlife_aliexpress). Wonderlife is a store on AliExpress, the online retail service based in China that is owned by the Alibaba Group, that sells cheap life-hack products. When you scroll through their feed, you would find all their short videos to be showing how one of their products is used. Currently, they have over 3 million followers on TikTok and many videos with over 1 million views. Clicking on any videos, you would find the top comment is people asking where they can find the product or the product name. By showing the usability of their products, Wonderlife successfully grabs users’ attention that makes them want to go shop at their AliExpress store.
@wonderlife_aliexpressdo u like these new ways?????????♬ The Git Up – Blanco Brown
NBA (@nba) was one of TikTok’s early adopters and currently, they have accumulated over 10 million followers. They consistently put out great content on the platform, such as at home workouts from players or fans’ shootouts from different teams. Unlike @wonderlife_aliexpress who is showcasing their products and trying to sell them, @NBA is showing more of their comedy, memes, and motivations on TikTok. By doing this, NBA fans feel closer to the players and the league.
@nba@therealmobamba takes you through his ##indoorworkout for ##workoutwednesday! Pro tip: Just don’t make your mom mad ???? ##hoopsathome ##JrNBAatHome♬ original sound – nba
@nbaThis @pacers fan really went all out! ???????? ##bestfandom♬ Dune 5x – Zandyr
2. Hashtag Challenges
Aside from having their own channels, many brands have utilized hashtags to create #HashtagChallenges. Those challenges are simple to join in and fun, attracting participants to create organic content. Many brands also use influencers to help kickstart their challenge campaigns. Nowadays, it is the norm for brands to combine their hashtag challenges with influencer marketing, but we’ll dive into this later. The following brands had great hashtag challenge campaigns:
Back in 2018, Malaysia McDonald launched its #BigMacTikTok campaign to improve its users’ involvement. Users are required to dance to one of the pre-recorded BigMacTikTok music clips and share the video with others via the official McDonald’s mobile app. Encouraging people to participate, Malaysia McDonald gave prizes out. For everyone who uploaded a video and shares it with the McDonald’s app, they get a voucher for a free Big Mac (yum). At the end of this challenge, McDonald’s picked out the top 10 winners who all received different amounts of money (You can check out the winners here). With this campaign, McDonald intended to create massive brand engagement in addition to boost its mobile app installs and usage. Today, two years later, McDonald’s Big Mac campaign generated over 13 million views on the platform and it is one of the pioneer brands to use TikTok.
In the U.S., Chipotle (@chipotle) is the first fast-casual brand to partner with TikTok for a hashtag challenge – #ChipotleLidFlip. The “lid-flipping challenge” urged customers to post videos of them flipping Chipotle packaging. Within the first six days, 110,000 user-generated videos were submitted in which generated around 104 million views, as reported by CNBC. Today, almost a year later, the hashtag has generated over 300 million views. The thinking behind this challenge is to connect with younger audiences.
“Chipotle is able to connect with people through food, but we’re also able to connect with people through culturally relevant moments and platforms,” says Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer of Chipotle. “We are excited to engage with some of our biggest fans in a new way and are thrilled to be the first fast casual brand in the U.S. to work with TikTok on a hashtag challenge.”
Notably, YouTuber David Dobrik (@daviddobrik), who is the biggest Chipotle Superfan, was asked to participate in the challenge. By inviting Dobrik on the trend, Chipotle was able to target Gen Z more because of their love for YouTube creators.
@daviddobrik##ChipotleLidFlip @chipotle ##ad♬ Flip – Future
3. Influencer Marketing
Last but not least, like every other social media platform, many brands have teamed up with influencers to promote their products or hashtag challenges. There are many “superstar” TikTokers who have massive numbers of followers (The most followed TikTok influencer today is Charli D’Amelio with over 50 MILLION fans). These influencers create unique content to inspire their audience, broadening the target audience for many brands. Here are a few brands that are killing it with influencer marketing on TikTok:
KIND is a food company that has many famous products such as KIND Bars, KIND Fruit & Nut, and KIND Nuts & Spices. Surprise! they’re on TikTok too. Aside from having their own TikTok channel (@kindsnacks), KIND also started a hashtag challenge, #KINDSimpleCrunchContest. When you click on the hashtag, you will find @zachking to have one of the top videos to be displayed. Zachary King (@zachking) is a Vine, YouTube, and TikTok star who is known for his videos of humorous magic tricks. Started on Vine and YouTube, he is now becoming one of the top influencers on TikTok (41.5 million followers as of today). To promote the challenge, KIND partnered with King to create posts that include the #ad hashtag to indicate they’re sponsored. By partnering with relevant influencers such as Zach King, KIND is extending the reach of the campaign and aims to reach younger consumers.
@zachkingEven art gets hungry sometimes. Check out the @kindsnacks ##KINDSimpleCrunchContest ##ad♬ original sound – zachking
For each video, TikTok also displays how many times it has been shared to other social media platforms, such as SMS, Instagram, or Facebook Messenger. @zachking’s KIND snack video has been shared almost 60,000 times, which has definitely helped KIND to reach a wider range of audiences.
First Aid Beauty
Aside from the popular dance videos, beauty and makeup tutorials are popular on TikTok too. Avani Gregg (@avani) is a 17-year-old TikTok phenomenon with over 17.2M followers and 1B total likes, primarily with girls. Unlike many other brands on TikTok, First Aid Beauty neither have their own TikTok account or a hashtag challenge. It seems like they went with the traditional influencer marketing routine – sending influencers products in exchange for social posts. In this video, Avani puts on the First Aid Beauty’s mask, then started to do a popular TikTok dance.
@avanican’t touch this glowy face 😉 mask- First Aid Beauty’s FAB Pharma arnica relief & rescue mask ???? healed, hydrated & smooth ☺️ ##firstaidbeauty ##ad♬ #hiteverybeat – lulbabyynelii
At this stage, using the TikTok platform for your business is not a question of if, but when. The sooner brands and companies leverage this platform for business, the better opportunities they’ll have to find untapped audiences. If you’re looking for some help getting started on TikTok we’d love to talk about your goals and how we could help your brand grow!