Remember when you couldn’t get ‘Old Town Road’ out of your head, when everyone’s parents were doing The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ dance and when you couldn’t scroll through your social media feeds without seeing someone making the infamous ‘Dalgona’ coffee? Well, that was all TikTok.
TikTok has continued to skyrocket in popularity after receiving its first billion downloads in February 2019 and taking just under 8 months to secure half a billion more. Because of this, brands have recently flocked to Gen Z’s favorite platform to become a part of the long list of brands and artists that have exploded since finding success on the app.
However, similarly with any new platform, a lot of you have found it hard to navigate and identify the best opportunities and ways to leverage it for your brand. At Fanbytes by Brainlabs, we have worked on 200+ brand campaigns on TikTok with the likes of Burger King, Warner & Boohoo, and so we know a bit about what types of campaigns you should be running to leverage a platform seeping with brand opportunities. Here’s our top 3.
The Top 3 Campaigns Brands Can Run On TikTok In 2023:
1. Organic awareness campaign
If you, as a brand, arrive on TikTok with heavily product placement-focused content and a tunnel-vision way of thinking, you are going to fall flat on your face. You could risk not only alienating your audience but also jeopardizing your reputation too. This can cause long-term issues for your brand identity as you’re in danger of being recognized as static, lazy, and uninspired due to a lack of innovation and desire to entertain your target demographic.
Remedy this by activating an organic awareness campaign. TikTok is a great platform to optimize your brand awareness to succeed in generating leads or traffic. We have seen many big brands take this approach and benefit massively from doing so.
Take The Washington Post for example who have 543.4k followers and 23.4 million likes! Their success is largely due to their organic brand awareness content that is mostly shot ‘behind the scenes’ in their own office and by their own employees.
We are a newspaper. (@washingtonpost) has created a short video on TikTok with music If u know how I feel why would u say that. Seriously though - don't touch your face #newspaper
We took a similar approach on our campaign with ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). We leveraged top UK TikTok influencers to raise awareness of the ACCA and change perceptions of accountancy from boring to fun. We had our influencers visit an accountancy firm and produce engaging, TikTok-friendly content. This included everything from various comedy skits and memes to incorporating TikTok dances and popular songs.
This brand awareness campaign generated 1 million views, 182k hearts, and a massive 13.6% engagement rate. What’s more, we gained Gen Z’s approval by receiving hundreds of positive comments and were able to also drive engaged traffic to their landing page. This just goes to show the power of the combination of influencers and organic content.
2. Paid ads campaign
Instagram is becoming increasingly saturated and competitive which is leading to the rise of CPIs and a decreasing ROAS. As a result, more brands are navigating to TikTok, a platform which provides marketers a new channel to reach a highly engaged young audience. However, with TikTok ads platform still in its infancy, there are a lot of factors that can make it difficult for a brand with a lack of experience on the platform to manage a campaign of their own.
At Fanbytes by Brainlabs, a specialised TikTok marketing agency and partner with TikTok, we have run paid ads campaigns for a lot of big brands. In doing so, we have found that, with the implementation of some tried and tested secret hacks and formulas, you can drive super low CPI’s. Consequently, this option is especially great for apps who are looking to drive measurable results.
However, if you are going to run a paid ads campaign, you have to treat it similarly to the way you would create an organic piece of content on your profile. Why? TikTok successfully speaks the language of its users through the relevance of popular culture, through championing music, memes, and boosting content which incorporates relatable storytelling.
So, when a brand dismisses these things in their ads, they are not only contradicting the very foundations of TikTok but also sending the message that they do not understand their audiences tastes or behaviors. As a result, they risk distancing their brand further away from their target audience, alternatively to engaging them.
TikTok predominantly functions on music. So, by incorporating popular tracks in your creatives not only grabs users’ attention but also helps demonstrate an understanding that you are a contemporary, dynamic brand that ultimately understands Gen Z culture.
Understanding this, we practised the hack in a recent campaign we ran with Yubo, a social live-streaming app. Rather than just a direct CTA to download the app, we monitored trending songs on our TikTok analytics platform, Bytesights, and incorporated Roxanne by Ariona Zervas into our creatives, which was blowing up at the time.
There were hundreds of thousands of challenge videos and duets created to this track, so by overlaying it into our ads, we were able to ensure the content was trendy, relevant to users, and would come across as natural and organic to users when scrolling through their feed. This worked extremely well driving a CPI of less than £1 and exceeding expectations.
3. Account growth
It’s important to remain active and build a presence on the platform you are trying to dominate. This way your content is likely to be welcomed and boosted by TikTok’s users and you’ll better understand the nuances and behaviors of the platform to inform your content creation. The problem is that too many brands are limiting TikTok by simply viewing it from a short-term campaign lens when they should also be focusing on its great long-term growth potential.
Note that TikTok is not saturated like its social counterparts such as Instagram, so brands who invest time and effort into embracing TikTok’s brand opportunities now have a higher chance of standing out and expanding their reach. This is just one important reason why you might want to consider running an account growth campaign today.
A great example of an effective account growth campaign goes to Bang Energy who saw a triple-digit growth of 699% from 2018 as well as $687million+ in sales predominantly due to TikTok and savvy influencer marketing. They are an international energy drink company who created their first TikTok video around a year ago when TikTok wasn’t even close to achieving the reputation it yields now.
This brand mostly achieved their growth from doing the following things:
1. Partnering with several well-known and engaged influencers and athletes such as @andreaespadatv (3.7m followers), @nathandavisjrndj (8.5m followers), and @itstaylerholder (12.1m followers). These influencers have large followings and opened up a huge reach for Bang Energy.
2. Jumping on trending dance challenges, comedy skits and viral trends quickly and efficiently. They have been seen participating in the #gogogochallenge, #genieinabottlechallenge, #handgesturechallenge & so many more. They would use the above TikTok influencers on the platform in these videos whilst using light product placement. A common thread in their content is their ability to sell the lifestyle/ experience alternatively to just the product. This is imperative on TikTok as users are quick to see through ingenuine marketing tactics and are engaged only when viewing content that is organic, natural and similar to that which they see when scrolling through their feeds.
Bang Energy (@bangenergy) has created a short video on TikTok with music Go Go Go Who's Next?. Whose next? 😆#BangEnergy #EnergyDrink #gogogo ￼#gogogochallenge @bangenergy.ceo
3. Creating their own hashtag #bangenergy which currently has 2.9 billion views.
This is only a fraction of what can be done through activating an account growth campaign. At Fanbytes by Brainlabs we have recently launched Bytelabs, the first full suite of tech and services for brands on TikTok. We build engaged audiences for brands on TikTok through the insights collected on Bytesights, our in-house TikTok analytics platform, through content creation, ad optimisation and audience development.
bang energy | 3.3B people have watched this. Watch short videos about #bangenergy on TikTok.
Want to know more?
For any brand looking to master the world of TikTok, you need to first understand the culture and nuances on the platform. This is the only way you can activate a successful TikTok marketing campaign. At Fanbytes by Brainlabs, we combine our industry-leading tools, our experience on the platform, and our understanding of Gen Z to guarantee results for our clients. If you’d like to find out more or get in contact, click here.