TikTok brands themselves the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Launched internationally in 2017, the video-sharing social networking service has caused a stir in the past year and brands want in on the action, starting with TikTok analytics and competitive insights.
69% of TikTok’s users are between the ages of 16-24, presenting a new opportunity for brands to connect with a younger audience. Based on experience helping clients navigate the short form video platform, here are some competitive insights about what’s working for other brands on TikTok.
TikTok Analytics #1: Create Videos With Saved Sounds
TikTok, which had its origins as the lip-synching app musical.ly, has always treated the sound in videos as more of a separate component than say YouTube does, offering the ability to Save Sounds from a video as a standalone file. Due to the remix culture of TikTok, uploading Saved Sounds increases the chances of a brand campaign going viral on the platform.
For example, The Addams Family movie uploaded “The Addams Family Movie – In Theaters October 11 ” as a Saved Sound, enabling TikTok creators to more easily participate in snapping along to the #SnapLikeanAddams challenge, as they already had the soundtrack taken care of when they uploaded their own video.
Additionally, Sounds are searchable through TikTok, meaning more users will find brand content if a Saved Sound is uploaded. It can also be leveraged as a social media listening tool. There’s a lot of hashtag jacking around brand challenges on TikTok, and by looking at how often a Sound is used as opposed to the brand hashtag, it will be far easier to weed out the videos where irrelevant and unrelated content is being posted.
TikTok Analytics #2: Post Relevant Content Around Trending Hashtags
While creators using popular hashtags to showcase unrelated content is a problem, there’s nothing wrong with brands sharing relevant content using popular hashtags to generate audience engagement. For example, the hashtag #MovieSceneChallenge is popularly used on TikTok to act out favorite quotes from films like The Godfather and Step Brothers. Upcoming movies could easily raise awareness by uploading lines from their project using the #MovieSceneChallenge hashtag to create a contest for users to create their own visuals for that audio.
TikTok Analytics #3: Add Linked Description
While TikTok is currently testing the ability for users to link out to an online website in their TikTok bios or directly in posts, traditionally, sharing active links on TikTok has been a challenge. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for brands.
The movie Last Christmas ran a sponsored campaign around the hashtag #LastChristmasMovie asking creators to share their holiday transformations. When the hashtag was clicked on, it brought up a landing page with a short description of the movie, a feed with all of the videos tagged with that hashtag and, perhaps most importantly, an active “Watch Trailer” link which led to a page where you could buy movie tickets.
With a linked description, viewers can easily continue to engage with the brand off the platform, and it’s an option brands should definitely take advantage of around paid TikTok campaigns.
TikTok Analytics #4: Partner With Influencers
Just like any other social media platform, sometimes the most effective way for a brand to reach TikTok users is to partner with native influencers. Guess’ #InMyDenim campaign challenged users to go from looking disheveled to glamorous after putting on Guess clothing. Guess recruited top TikTok content creators such as @OurFire who has 5.5 million followers and @katyhedges who has 969k Followers to share their own #InMyDenim videos. The strategy was a big success, with the @OurFire #InMyDenim video generating nearly 470K Likes and the @katyhedges video receiving more than 10K Likes and 161 Comments.
TikTok Analytics Insight #5: Embrace Cosplay
Cosplaying is a huge theme on TikTok—content using the hashtag #Cosplayer has been viewed 3.1 billion times on the platform and cosplay content is most relevant to two very different industries.
Superhero TV shows and movies are hugely represented in the cosplayer community. For example, TikTok videos tagged with #JokerCosplay have been viewed more than 104 Million times. Cosplayer is also relevant for the Beauty brands, seeing that content using the hashtag #cosplaymakeup has been viewed 41.9 million times on TikTok.
For superhero-related content, issuing cosplay related challenges would be a great way to boost awareness of an upcoming project while there’s similar opportunity for beauty brands. Mac Cosmetics created a Halloween contest giving away a big prize to the TikTok video that most creatively showcased their products. The #MacHalloween hashtag generated 4.6 million views on TikTok, including a sponsored post where influencer Victoria Lyn turned herself into both Maleficent and Aurora generated 168.7K Likes and 781 Comments.
TikTok Analytics Insight #6: Experiment With Duets
Duets is a TikTok feature to make split screen videos, allowing users to record a new video and play it side by side with a clip that had previously been uploaded to the platform. It’s one of the most popular ways to use TikTok—content featuring the #Duets hashtag has generated 1.4 Billion views on the platform. There are also 175 million views generated on content using the hashtag #duetswelcome, which is frequently used to invite other people to use your video in Duets.
For brands, creating duets often serves as an effective way to generate community engagement through more of a two-way conversation. For example, the San Diego Zoo did a duet video with the Monterey Aquarium showing their respective penguins in split screen walking to Run-D.M.C.’s ‘Walk This Way’.
Brand duets can also be more elaborate in nature, as was the case when Decca Records wanted to promote AURORA’s new single ‘The River’. Boosting the campaign with paid influencers, Decca kicked off the #YouCanCryChallenge where TikTok users were asked to show their raw emotions by creating a chain of duets where it looked like everyone was holding hands out of frame. Ultimately, over 3,000 fans uploaded their own videos, massively increasing audience exposure to AURORA’s song.
TikTok Analytics #7: Use TikTok To Sell Products Within The App
While it’s a relatively new development, TikTok recently launched Hashtag Challenge Plus, a feature which allows companies on TikTok running paid influencer campaigns to sell products directly from the TikTok app.
For example, Kroger’s #TransformUrDorm challenge asked users to share before and after footage of their dorm room makeovers, using their app brand page to sell items such as a toaster and a popcorn maker. Meanwhile, during the U.S. Open, Ralph Lauren launched a tennis-themed Hashtag Challenge Plus campaign, featuring Booksmart actress Diana Silvers, where users could buy a selection of apparel and accessories within TikTok.
For brands curious if TikTok can be an effective direct sales tool for reaching Generation Z, Hashtag Challenge Plus is the feature that will answer that question.
Every platform has its own quirks and unique functionality, but the process of learning how to market around a new social media network isn’t overly challenging when you have the right helping hand. By working with dedicated social media experts like the ListenFirst team, brands have access to both the key strategic analysis necessary to make sure your efforts around TikTok are successful.