TikTok Marketing 2022: 5 TikTok Marketing Examples You Need to See
If you're not on TikTok, you're missing out. This is especially true if you're a marketer because this social network is the perfect platform to go viral and generate new leads.
TikTok is a video-sharing platform where users can create and share short 15-second videos. It was initially called Musical.ly and was acquired by ByteDance in 2017, which then merged with TikTok (a similar app in China) and rebranded as TikTok.
TikTok has reached 500 million active users globally in just a year, making it the fastest-growing social media app ever.
The app is flooded with content, and for marketers, this opens up a lot of opportunities to engage with their audiences on the platform.
It also means that there are a lot of ways to stand out from the crowd.
Whether it be through creative marketing strategies or unique content creation, brands have been making their mark on the app.
Here are 5 examples of how brands are marketing on TikTok:
1. Mcdonald's Menu Hacks Hashtag challenge
McDonald's has been quite active on TikTok, uploading their latest products, partnering with influencers, and collaborating with celebrities. Their latest campaign, #McDonaldsHacks, was inspired by thousands of TikTok users who have been customizing their orders by mixing and matching different menu items.
Mcdonald's launched the Menu Hacks campaign for a limited time, demonstrating their commitment to customer engagement. Menu Hacks include the Hash Brown McMuffin®, which is a Sausage McMuffin® with Egg and Hash Browns, and the Crunchy Double, which is a Double Cheeseburger with Nuggets inside. The items are still given separately so that it doesn’t take away from the customer’s experience of putting a Hash Brown inside their Sausage McMuffin, for example.
The company chose a hashtag challenge on TikTok, which was an excellent choice because this is where their target demographic is and where they would receive the most engagements. The hashtag challenge encourages users to order and build their Menu Hacks to be featured on McDonald's TikTok channel. As of this writing, the TikTok sponsored post had received 4.1 billion views.
Hashtag challenges are undoubtedly one of the most successful methods for brands to engage with their target audience and advertise their products/services without coming off as pushy or in your face. This can enhance brand exposure, sales, and develop new loyal consumers if done correctly. In the case of McDonald's, it allows them to remain relevant to their audience and keep things interesting.
2. Chipotle’s trendjacking and collabs with influencers
Chipotle's success on TikTok exemplifies how businesses can successfully engage their audiences with creative and engaging content. Chipotle has amassed over 1.7 million followers and 35 million likes on the platform so far by uploading fan-made videos of fans creating their favorite Chipotle dishes or menu hacks, dancing to the latest viral songs, or taking part in the latest TikTok trend. Just the #chipotlehack hashtag alone has 37.6m views!
Chipotle has also launched several campaigns with popular TikTok influencers and celebrities, including singer Kacey Musgraves and influencers Newton Nguyen, Zack Fairhurst, Zahra and Moneysigneric. With these partnerships, both Chipotle and the influencer have been able to reach new audiences and gain more followers simply by posting music videos with brand mentions.
Additionally, Chipotle provides behind-the-scenes film from actual Chipotle kitchen crew members. In order to promote brand recognition rapidly, you might want to take a page from Chipotle and provide behind-the-scenes footage of your own brands especially if you are a small business.
3. Duolingo’s “meme”-fication of their mascot
Duolingo is a language learning platform that offers free and paid courses in 35 languages. A meme has been created around the Duo the Owl mascot's aggressive reminders and notifications, which urge users to brush up on their language lessons. The main thought was that if you didn't keep up with your language lessons, this owl would murder you.
The company didn’t shy away from the meme-ification of their mascot; they embraced it, creating a TikTok account that now has 2.9 million followers and 54.8 million likes.
Initially, most of their TikToks were just tutorials, sharing “how-to” videos teaching phrases in various languages. They then started participating in multiple trends injecting their brand by using their own staff or their mascot, a big green owl named Duo.
Their very first smash hit TikTok was an employee just casually sitting while the camera pans over to Duo looming over the table. Meanwhile the popular “live, laugh, love” audio trend plays in the background.
The caption reads, “when you’re just tryna do your work without being terrorized by an owl,” referring to the widely circulated joke where Duo is shown as threatening students who fail to complete their daily language learning sessions.
4. Converse’s Content
The brand has found a great deal of success on the platform, amassing over 297.3K followers, with nearly 2.4 million likes on their videos.
Not only are these numbers impressive for a fashion and lifestyle brand on TikTok, but they’re also fairly consistent with brands in other categories.
On TikTok, Converse largely depends on influencer collaborations. They leverage popular fashion and cultural influencers to style their products and showcase their latest collections, artist and celebrity partnerships, and flagship products.
Because TikTok is a very visual platform, it's an excellent choice for hosting these collaborations. The more your audience can see your influencers enjoying your products, the more likely it is that they will believe what you have to say about their awesomeness on social media.
As a result, the company's TikToks show a solid awareness of popular visual stimuli and trends among its target demographic. It also helps that the majority of their material is created by TikTok influencers, who are seen as aspirational by their followers.
5. SendAFriend’s Content
SendAFriend, a startup that sells stuffed animals and ships them to recipients with personalized notes, has been using TikTok since the start of the pandemic to reach its Gen Z audience. Founder Tyler Macke typically runs ads on Facebook but started advertising on TikTok in March when he saw younger users flocking thereafter the coronavirus outbreak shut down schools.
He discovered TikTok's viewership is unlike other social media's. Instagram is mainly used to browse photos and check what friends are up to. On TikTok, they are looking for a bit of entertainment. They want something funny or interesting.
SendAFriend creator Tyler, a Gen Z-er himself, embraced the TikTok platform and made ads that looked like typical TikTok content. This made it easier for users to stop, watch, and take it in. Tyler was able to keep up with social media trends and adapt his marketing plan accordingly allowing SendAFriend to reach a younger audience with ease.
When the Send A Friend team saw that sending a teddy bear to your friend was something people wanted to see, they decided to take the idea and run with it. People just love seeing other people unbox things on Tiktok so this was the main trend they went after, showing the cute experience of "sending a friend" to someone.
The brand capitalizes on the "TikTok made me purchase it" trend and many other trends that their audience can relate to. One more approach that they made good use of on TikTok was by using the "Link in bio" function. Send A Friend was able to get up to $5 million in revenues in just two years thanks to their TikTok efforts.
Best practices for TikTok advertising
Due to the character and time limit of TikTok’s content and ads, your brand will need to be able to keep its message short and sweet. Here are some best practices for marketing on TikTok:
- Be genuine and creative.
With Gen Z’s, authenticity is everything and like any other social media platform, consumers here want to see material that is original, creative, and genuine. Since so many people use TikTok, the app is overflowing with content and users will be able to judge whether a brand is being genuine or not.
One of the ways you can be authentic and original is by sharing behind-the-scenes or in-the-moment content. People love to see what their fave brands are up to and this is one way to increase your engagement rate.
- Make use of trending sounds and hashtags.
Using trending hashtags as well as sounds in your ads and content can help you gain more views. On TikTok, users can click the sound and see what other content was made around it so this is one way to get your brand in front of audiences and improve recognition among users.
Also, Tiktok's algorithm works in such a way that if a user finds a certain trend interesting and watches it for a few seconds, Tiktok will keep feeding them similar material, improving your chances of showing up in more feeds.
- Partner with influencers with higher followings and engagement rates.
You might have seen some influencer-branded content on TikTok. Influencers can be a great way to promote your brand because they already have an audience that trusts them (and not to mention, they’re also familiar with the platform).
TikTok ads that use influencers can yield better returns if the influencer is someone who has a genuine interest in and usage for your product. But to generate sales, make sure to check that their target demographic is similar to yours. Also, the more people that follow and interact with them, the better they'll be for your brand.
If you run an online business, TikTok is a social media site you can’t afford to ignore. The platform hosts some of the most engaged audiences out there—in fact, users spend an average of 1 hour per session—and the vast majority of content creators are enthusiastic about their posts and eager to engage with their fan base. If you want a social media presence, there’s no reason not to give TikTok a go.
Unlike other platforms, TikTok's discovery algorithm provides every video the same opportunity to go viral, regardless of the creator's popularity. This enables rapid social media growth and near-limitless ad testing.
Plus, the biggest difference between TikTok and other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram is that the user’s feed on these two mostly consists of people and channels you already know and follow. Meanwhile, TikTok prioritizes unknown creators.
TikTok's user experience is meant to keep users in the app for as long as possible and allows you to include a “Link in bio,” making it ideal for promoting and selling.
While there are certainly challenges with using TikTok, such as low user-engagement rates and difficulties with targeting users, it’s an undeniably intriguing platform that offers an additional path to reach people you otherwise can’t.