BBDO Singapore’s Naomi Lam says TikTok is more than just a platform for “song and dance” – it can also be used effectively by brands for marketing and campaign purposes to grow their business.

With the rising popularity of TikTok in the APAC region, more brands are hopping on the bandwagon and starting to use the social media platform to grow their business. 

While most marketers are only using the short-video platform to drive brand awareness, some brands have started to experiment using TikTok in a more creative way to achieve different marketing objectives.

Learning from some of the most successful TikTok campaigns, we have summarised four effective tactics that brands can leverage to reach and succeed in their marketing goals by using TikTok creatively.

  1. Engage your audience with a new brand experience, using TikTok effects

Since the pandemic, marketers have been exploring ways to provide exciting brand experiences for consumers and keep them engaged during social distancing. Many of them have done so successfully by turning to TikTok.

One example is Mountain Dew, which has been helping consumers in the Philippines chase real-world thrills. However, during last year’s lockdown with people staying home, how could Mountain Dew keep delivering such thrilling experiences?

Enter the #DewThrillTokChallenge. Working with BBDO Guerrero, the brand created a virtual Mountain Dew experience on TikTok to transport the confined thrill-seekers to different exciting adventures. Leveraging the TikTok green-screen effect, it gave a taste of the thrills that people have been missing, in the safety of their own homes.

The Mountain Dew TikTok Challenge organically garnered hundreds of user-generated TikToks and 2.9 million views in total. 

Check out the adventures of TikTok Creator junnie.boy and user happypill365.

  1. Educate your audience on a difficult topic, one TikTok at a time

Many people only think of TikTok as the platform for “song and dance” and overlook its ability to help spread important messages. If you are one of them, this example may change your mind. 

Street Grace is an organisation dedicated to ending the sexual exploitation of minors. While educating teenagers on preventing exploitation is a big part of its mission, getting teens to engage with such a serious topic online is not an easy job.

That is why Street Grace decided to meet its audience where they are spending more and more of their time – on TikTok. With its TikTok account “Help Locker”, it breaks down and debunks common myths about trafficking into bite-size TikToks. Each TikTok conveys important and relevant information but in the tone and style that has become popular on the platform.

Since its launch, the Help Locker account has gained over 151,000 followers and more than three million engagements from its audience.

Check out the educational TikToks from the Help Locker here.

  1. Demonstrate product features leveraging TikTok Challenges

If you’re planning a product launch, you may consider including TikTok as a component of your integrated campaign. It can be a channel to amplify your message and even help demonstrate your product features more authentically. 

V Energy, an energy drink brand in Australia, is all about its transformational energy boost and helping consumers get things done. 

To build upon the brand awareness campaign and further demonstrate its energy-boosting product feature, V Energy launched the #VMakeItHappen TikTok Challenge. 

To kick things off, V and Clemenger BBDO partnered with TikTok creators to co-create authentic and entertaining TikToks, with each piece showing the product’s transformational effect on different consumption occasions. 

The brand then invited the TikTok community to join in and show how they make things happen in their daily lives, with a little help from V. 

The campaign not only garnered more than 21 million views and user participation of 653,000, but it also lifted its ad recall by 81% and increased consumer perception of V Energy as “a cool brand” by 3%.

Check out the humorous #VMakeItHappen TikToks from TikTok creators @rifenstine

  1. Drive sales promotions by harnessing the power of TikTok creators

Some marketers are hesitant to invest in TikTok campaigns as they doubt whether TikTok engagement can bring actual impact to their business. However, when a brand identifies the right TikTok creators and collaboration ideas, they can produce a positive and direct impact on the brand’s actual sales.

Charli D’Amelio, one of the most famous TikTokers in America, has been confessing her love for Dunkin’ since she joined TikTok. Once the brand noticed her appreciation for their product, Dunkin’ decided to collaborate with the influencer and create a special “Charli” cold brew coffee. 

Since the launch of the “Charli”, Dunkin’ has sold hundreds of thousands of the new product and received an overwhelming response from fans across social platforms. 

Dunkin’s cold brew coffee sales saw a 20% to 45% boost during the first two days of the “Charli” launch. The collaboration earned the brand many national headlines across entertainment, lifestyle, news and business media. 

Check out the Dunkin x Charli campaign here.

TikTok’s role in marketing

These examples demonstrate that TikTok can be a powerful marketing platform to help brands drive different marketing objectives.

However, to fully harness the power of the platform, it’s crucial for marketers to first have a clear view of the role that TikTok can play as part of their marketing or campaign plan, and to execute it in a way that is authentic to the native TikTok experience.