According to the latest figures, TikTok's growth is not going to slow down shortly. Therefore, it makes sense to understand how brands and companies can use its tremendous power to their advantage. While most people still believe that TikTok is a platform for children and teenagers, that, of course, is not true. As with Facebook and Instagram, the average age of TikTok users will increase over time, and the demographics will change.
While some brands already understand this great potential, others will miss great opportunities to build engaging communities, strengthen their brand reputation, and of course, drive sales. With over 500 million active users per month, you should no longer ignore TikTok. Did you know that even brands and companies that normally target an older audience have already started building their TikTok accounts?
And why should you care?
In the influencer marketing industry, you really need to keep up with trends, and TikTok is certainly more than just a trend that will soon fade away. And, of course, it's a great place to reach out to a younger demographic, connect with them, and stay relevant in the long run. So, even if your brand or company is primarily targeting an older audience, having a brainstorming session on how TikTok marketing could help you grow is certainly time well spent.
Hashtags on TikTok and how important they are
Just like on the Instagram platform, hashtags also play an important role in TikTok. They are the main way users share and find content, but also how communities are built. Through hashtags, content creators detect emerging trends and discover which niches dominate the platform.
Along with brand acquisition and ads directly shown on news feeds, hashtag challenges are one of the main ways brands can advertise on TikTok. However, hashtag challenges are unique to TikTok, as there are no similar advertising opportunities for other platforms. The general idea behind the hashtag challenges is for users to create videos that benefit their brand's reputation and awareness.
Why are hashtag challenges so popular with TikTok users
TikTok users love to create content through hashtag challenges. If set up correctly, hashtag challenges can go viral and boost your brand quickly, as many people will join in and create content. Participating in the hashtag challenges is incredibly easy for content creators, as it only takes a few clicks. This ease of participation is a great benefit to brands.
As mentioned above, the hashtag challenges are driving huge participation in the platform. One of the reasons is that users can interpret the challenges in their way. Although some introductory videos guide users on how to do the challenge, there is nothing right or wrong. Even if you join an existing challenge, you can propose new ideas and act uniquely. This diversity and the huge space for creativity is what makes TikTok so entertaining and successful.
Benefits for brands and companies
In addition to a highly personalized theme, brands can create their own challenge rules that fit the main objectives of the campaign. Besides, companies can create customized branding and sound effects that support overall challenge growth and brand awareness across the platform.
Other benefits besides TikTok
As with any other platform, you can also generate traffic, tracks, and conversions through TikTok. At first glance, most people and brands struggle to understand how this is possible, but there is a lot of potential. You can take your brand hashtag challenge to different landing pages and increase conversions for a specific campaign or generate leads.
Working with influencers
In addition to these significant benefits, hashtag challenges are a great way to collaborate with TikTok's great influencers. This will also help your brand to be known and loved by the TikTok community. If your brand does not yet have a proper TikTok account, the best way to do so might be to collaborate with the big influencers of the platform anyway. By doing so, you can make sure you reach a wide audience quickly and probably cheaper than just through advertisements.
Depending on the objectives of the whole campaign, it might make sense to work with several different influencers at once. If you browse through the current hashtag challenges, you will notice that at the top of the challenges page, some of the early videos are marked with a red label that says "original". These are the videos of the influencers that the brand initially collaborated with for their challenge.
Brand acquisition and ads within the news feed
TikTok encourages the creators of hashtag challenges to use branding and in-feed advertising, in addition to the challenge of getting the most out of it. Of course, they earn money through the ads, but the value to the brand remains undisputed, as the ads shown in the news feed serve as a full-screen traffic driver for their challenge. This can give your challenge a big boost and maximize the number of people joining in and creating content.
Successful hashtag challenges from the past
Guess — #inmydenim
The fashion brand Guess was among one of the first companies to launch a hashtag challenge on TikTok. They worked with some big influencers of the platform and created the #inmydenim challenge, where users simply show how they wear their Guess jeans. Through this challenge, they reached more than 40 million views across the whole platform, and the videos are still getting engagement.
Jimmy Fallon — #tumbleweedchallenge
Shortly after Jimmy Fallon stumbled upon TikTok, he collaborated with the platform to create his own hashtag challenge, the #tumbleweedchallenge, which generated around 30 million views so far. After the tumbleweed challenge, they kicked off another one: #sharpiechallenge, which was dedicated to raising awareness for cancer and calling attention to “No-shave November”.
Chipotle — #guacdance
On National Avocado Day, Chipotle came up with the #guacdance, which encouraged fans to share dance moves dedicated to guacamole. And with more than 900 million views, the whole campaign was a terrific success and sales increased tremendously.
Today, hashtag challenges are one of the most effective ways for brands to build a reputation at TikTok. They can lead to an increase in conversions, leads, overall sales, and improve the overall reputation of the brand. However, these results are mostly produced by large companies that do not shy away from investing money in the campaign. If you are an individual entrepreneur or run a small business, going through the challenges with the use of viral hashtags can be much more difficult and expensive than for a large brand – which does not change the fact that every "player" of the affiliate marketing game should take them into consideration and be well-aware of them.