How Brands Can Use TikTok Challenges to Grow Their Business

Have you noticed some weird trends on TikTok where suddenly a lot of people start making the same type of videos? Well, if you pay close attention, you will find that a lot of these video trends are actually the result of a TikTok challenge.

A TikTok challenge can be started by any TikTok user, individual or brand. These usually ask people to perform a certain task and share their video using a challenge-specific hashtag. As more and more people participate in the challenge and share videos using the challenge hashtag, the hashtag starts trending on TikTok. 

Brands can leverage this tactic to get tons of user-generated content and views on their branded hashtag as well as challenge videos. A successful hashtag challenge can also increase brand awareness and help form a positive brand image among their audience. Brands can leverage TikTok challenges by either participating in an existing one or creating a new one. Let’s learn more about each in detail.

How Brands Can Use TikTok Challenges to Grow Their Business:


Participate in Existing Challenges

The easiest and most common way for brands to leverage TikTok challenges for business is to participate in an ongoing challenge. All you need to do is to find a trending TikTok challenge and then participate in it. 

This allows you to ride the popularity of an already trending TikTok challenge, without much effort on your part. And, given that people often follow the trending hashtags associated with these challenges, you can also get more views and followers using this tactic.

Find Trending Hashtag Challenges

If you want to participate in an existing challenge, you first need to do some research and look for trending TikTok hashtags. You can find these on the “Discover” tab of your TikTok account.

You will see the most popular hashtags, along with the top content that uses the hashtag and the total views that the hashtag gathered. Not all hashtag challenges have the word “challenge” in the hashtag. 

You need to go through the trending hashtags to see if it requires you to do something specific and create your own video on it. If so, then that can be treated as a TikTok challenge and you can participate to get more views on your video.

For example, one trending hashtag on TikTok these days is #albumlookalike. It basically asks TikTok users to pose as their favourite album cover. This may not seem like a challenge just by looking at the hashtag, but when you read what it asks then you realize that it is.

Therefore, you should be thorough with your research and identify some trending TikTok hashtag challenges.


Select a Relevant Challenge for Your Brand

The next step is to decide which of the trending challenges you can participate in as a brand. You need to choose something that is relevant to your brand or niche. 

What this means is that it makes sense for a Food & Beverage brand to participate in an eating or cooking related challenge, but not for other brands. Similarly, a makeover challenge might be relevant for beauty and fashion brands, but not for others. You get the gist, right?

However, if you absolutely cannot find any challenge related to your niche, then you can still participate in generic challenges that are not industry-specific. Remember the “Mannequin Challenge” of 2016? Brands and individuals participated in that challenge, which went viral across social media platforms.


Give it Your Branded Twist and Participate

Once you have selected a trending TikTok challenge, the next step is to participate in it and create your video of undertaking the challenge. You can ask your employees to do that or collaborate with influencers to represent your brand in the challenge.

We would recommend asking your employees to be the face of your brand when participating in existing challenges. It looks more authentic and relatable.

You can also use brand elements, like a logo in the background, to make sure that people know that your brand participated in the challenge and not just an individual. 

Vineyard Vines, for example, participated in the #bottlecapchallenge by having a person dress up as their mascot. The brand has participated in other TikTok challenges as well, using the same tactic. Using a brand mascot makes this video different from others and also gives it your branded twist.

@vineyardvinesHad to do it 🐳 ##bottlecapchallenge ##vineyardvines ##foryou ##whale ##foryoupage♬ Lalala - Y2K & bbno$

By participating in a relevant challenge, you can show to your audience that your brand is fun and modern. This helps you connect with a younger audience and form a positive brand image in their minds.


Create Your Own Challenge

Another way in which you can use TikTok challenges for your business is to create one and then promote it to ensure that it trends. This is, however, easier said than done.

Creating your own branded challenge requires lots of research, creativity, and time. You need to come up with an idea and then see it through to execution starting from scratch. 

It may seem cumbersome, but it is worth it. TikTok's challenges have a way of going viral and if you come up with a good enough idea, your challenge might go viral as well. If not, it will at least trend enough to get you some good user-generated content and followers.

Here are three main steps that you need to follow to create your branded TikTok challenge.


Take Inspiration From Other Brands

As with any other marketing tactic, the first step is always research. You need to do your homework and collect all relevant information before you create your challenge.

This entails looking at past challenges that were successful and how brands used them for their businesses. What was the concept? Who was it for? How did they promote it? What benefits did they derive from it?

Only after you have analyzed the past success stories, can start creating your challenge. Learn from other brands’ successes and failures to fuel your own strategy.

You can also take inspiration from past challenges and trending TikTok hashtags for your challenge idea. Once you know what type of content people usually like, you can design your challenge on a similar theme.


Set Clear Rules for Your Challenge

The next step is to actually execute your idea and create the challenge. This requires you to describe what the challenge is and how people can participate in it. The more clear your guidelines are, the easier it will be for people to participate.

See this #inmydenim challenge from Guess, for example. The rules are clearly stated and simple. Participants have to show a messy look first and then transform into a stylish look using denim. The brand did not specifically ask people to wear their denim, to expand the scope of the challenge and allow more people to participate.

You also need to show them how to participate, by first participating yourself. The first TikTok video on the challenge should come from you. So, define the challenge clearly, create a hashtag, and create one or more videos demonstrating the challenge.

As you can see from the Guess example above, the first three videos are official branded videos done in collaboration with TikTok influencers. The rest of the videos are created by other TikTok users. And, the number of videos and total views clearly show that this challenge was quite popular.


Promote It

The final step in this process to create a successful branded TikTok challenge is to promote your challenge. An easy way to do that is to use TikTok influencer marketing to increase the reach and popularity of your challenge.

You can ask influencers to take your challenge by creating and sharing a video on TikTok following the rules and using your branded hashtag. This will let their followers know about the challenge and some of them will likely participate in it. 

As more people participate in your challenge, their followers will see it and some of them will also participate. This starts a whole chain and that is how challenges go viral.

And, if enough people start participating and the total views cross a particular threshold, then your hashtag might even feature in the “Discover” section. This helps make sure that even more people know about the challenge and participate in it.

Overall, collaborating with TikTok influencers can give you challenge the desired push at the start and things can simply escalate from there.

In the Guess example cited above, the three official videos are, in fact, created in collaboration with influencers. Two of those influencers have over a million followers who would have seen their challenge videos and some also participated.

Apart from this, you can also cross-promote your challenge on other social media platforms. This is especially helpful if you have more or a different set of followers on other platforms.


What Next?

TikTok hashtag challenges can be extremely helpful in strengthening your brand’s presence on the platform. You can win more followers, engage your current followers, and establish a positive brand image from a single successful challenge.

Use these tips to leverage TikTok challenges for your business and achieve your TikTok marketing goals in no time. All the best!

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