It’s no secret that the influencer marketing industry has grown exponentially over the past few years, as more and more brands and creators jump at the chance to advertise their product or service on the likes of platforms, including Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
For a long time, they sat comfortably with the knowledge that there weren’t too many rivals in the industry – but all that quickly changed when TikTok came along.
TikTok is the internet’s answer to Vine, which didn’t monetize its content quickly enough to survive. However, TikTok is smarter than this and is wasting no time in making sure that its platform is influencer marketing friendly.
Let’s take a look at how hashtag challenges are changing the face of influencer marketing on TikTok, and why they’re in a breed of their own.
What is a Hashtag Challenge?
So, before we dive into some examples of successful hashtag challenges, let’s talk about what they are first. A challenge is an important part of the landscape that TikTok has created for its users.
TikTokkers record themselves completing a challenge, and they upload the video along with the hashtag that’s associated with the challenge. A lot of the time, users will challenge someone else to do it as well, which is how they can go viral so quickly.
If you gain enough exposure and momentum with your hashtag challenge, it can be featured on the ‘For You’ page, where a lot more people are going to see it – and hopefully, participate in it.
This is one of the main ways that people interact with one another, and now it’s being seen as the perfect way for big influencers and brands to interact with their audience.
Sponsors have been getting in on this viral trend in a big way, by coming up with their own hashtags to get people to engage with their brand more and hopefully buy their product.
Let’s take a look at a few hashtag challenges that have done really well by brands that are making the most of the power behind the internet’s newest social media app.
1. Brand: Guess – #inmydenim
@danizvulunDo you love denim as much as I do? 💙##inmydenim @guess♬ #inmydenim I’m a Mess – Bebe Rexha
Guess was one of the first American brands to come up with a brand new marketing campaign where TikTok was a partner. In late 2018, Guess released a fashion-related TikTok campaign, where whenever anyone opened their TikTok app, they were asked if they wanted to participate in the #inmydenim Guess challenge.
The challenge asked TikTok users to show off their best Guess denim looks, using the hashtag. The hashtag challenge quickly took off, and before long, over 38 million views of videos with the hashtag had been achieved, and it allowed Guess as a brand to reach both Generation Z and millennials.
2. Brand: Samsung – #galaxya
@domelipaLos invito a unirse al reto de los nuevos ##GalaxyA , ¿quien se une? ##danceAwesome 😍☺♬ original sound – Samsung
Samsung wanted to do something special to celebrate the launch of their newest smartphone, the Galaxy A. To do so, they created a hashtag that could be used on TikTok, and then encouraged TikTok users everywhere to create cool content with TikTok’s creative filters to get their abstract message across about what can be achieved with their latest device.
The campaign generated as many as 30 million views on TikTok videos that had #galaxya associated with it.
3. Brand: BMW – #the1challenge
@falcopunchEndless ##joy with @skyandtami , @patroxofficial & ##BMW 😎 Join ##THE1challenge ##anzeige♬ Like That – NGHTMRE & Big Gigantic
BMW came out with its brand new 1 Series in mid-2019 and used the popularity of hashtag challenges on TikTok to get the word out. It asked a number of popular creators and influencers to create original, fun content of them dancing around a brand new car, using the hashtag #the1challenge.
BMW saw the writing on the wall and knew that if they partnered with the right creators on the internet’s newest social media sharing app, they could make a lot of noise for their latest car marketing campaign.
While it may seem a bit odd for a popular car company to target teens through an app like TikTok, it has actually done something really clever here. It has exposed its brand to people that will more than likely be interested in it in the future, therefore setting up their next generation of cars with the next generation of consumers.
4. Brand: Ralph Lauren #winningrl
@ralphlaurenAre you winning at real life? 🏆 Tell us how with ##WinningRL and we’ll pick 3 champs♬ Clap – TikTok アシスタント
Luxury clothing brand Ralph Lauren trialed, taking the hashtag challenge on TikTok one step further – the hashtag challenge plus campaign. This is when a TikTok user can continue their interaction with a challenge video to the point that they can actually purchase the product that it relates to.
When watching the video, there will be a link or a plug to guide them to a store where they can then purchase the product.
Ralph Lauren not only wanted to increase their overall brand awareness, but they also wanted to be able to study consumer activity as well. Ralph Lauren also decided to time this campaign with the U.S. Tennis Open, and so far, videos with the hashtag #winningrl have been viewed over 500k times.
It’s interesting to see what TikTok does as it gets bigger and bigger and becomes more popular with brands and influencers who have a product or service to sell.
As time goes on, TikTok will need to be able to appeal to content creators who want to remain loyal to them as a platform in order to be sustainable. To do so, they have to not only figure out what their user base wants but to be continually updating this to keep on top of the trends.
It’s definitely taking a step in the right direction by allowing brands and influencers to create marketing campaigns, as this was the one thing that brought Vine down.
If TikTok can keep on top of its hashtag challenges and allow brands and influencers to connect to their audience through influencer marketing, there’s no reason why TikTok can’t continue to thrive and get even more popular than it already is.
Watch out for the next hashtag challenge and see if you can come up with some creative content too.
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