Take a moment.
Hop on TikTok.
Scroll through your feed.
What do you see, aside from funny videos?
Several content collabs between influencers or TikTok creators and brands, right?
This makes sense. Besides, it’s expected for brands to promote their products in places where their target audience spends time.
But there are still horror stories of TikTok influencer marketing campaigns that flopped big time 😞.
So, what separates the successful ones from the others?
Well, good news….you’re about to find out!
We recently scoured through the universe of TikTok influencer marketing campaigns to find some success stories of businesses that use TikTok to grow their brand and generate sales.
Below, we’ll go through each one to discover what made them successful so you can use them to inspire your next TikTok campaign.
Get set. Ready. Go 🏃!
What is TikTok Influencer Marketing?
TikTok influencer marketing is when brands collaborate with TikTok creators or influencers, to create content—short-form videos—promoting their brand to TikTok users or potential customers.
It usually involves the use of branded hashtag challenges, product tutorials, comedy skits, or product reviews.
How does it work?
First, the brand finds the right influencer—one whose followers overlap with the brand’s target audience demographic (more on this later).
Second, the brand rewards the influencer with cash or gifted products to create content about the brand or its product.
Finally, the influencer either posts the content on their TikTok account, or the company posts it themselves on their branded business account.
You may ask, why pay influencers when you can create and post on your own TikTok account?
Well, TikTok users are likely to avoid any post that looks like a corporate advertisement, due to ad fatigue.
But once their favorite influencer says a product’s cool, most will dip their hands into their pockets and buy.
Benefits of TikTok Influencer Marketing
There are other channels you can use for running influencer marketing campaigns.
But according to recent data, TikTok is the most used social media channel by brands exploring influencer partnerships.
So, what’s so special about TikTok?
Well, here are some benefits.
Benefit #1: Niche targeting
There’s a joke among TikTok users, that each person might be using a different version of the TikTok app.
Now, although it's not entirely true, it sure appears that way.
Because if you took out your phone and compared your TikTok feed with that of a friend, it’s almost certain that your feed won’t look the same.
Because the algorithm carefully curates and serves ultra-relevant content to each person, based on the actions they take on the platform.
As a result, each TikTok user belongs to one or more small niche communities, dominated by the same creators or influencers.
This is great news for your brand 😃! It means you can ensure only your target audience sees your content, by working with influencers or TikTok creators in your niche.
Let’s say you’re a clothing brand promoting bold, trendy wears like crop tops, oversized hoodies, and ripped jeans.
All you need to do is collaborate with a TikTok creator whose audience is mainly young people.
Such precise targeting increases the likelihood of getting conversions from your campaign.
This leads to the next point…
Benefit #2: Brand awareness
Influencers usually have a large fan base.
So, working with them allows you to take advantage of their large following, to ensure your brand gets in front of many eyeballs.
This helps grow your brand awareness.
Benefit #3: Virality
For most social media platforms, accounts with high follower counts get the largest reach.
But that's not the case with TikTok's algorithm.
TikTok contents are ranked based on their quality, authenticity, and relevance.
This means the numbers don’t matter. Accounts with both a small or large number of followers have an equal chance of being seen by millions.
Plus, the TikTok audience loves participating in trends and challenges, which generates buzz for anything influencers feature, including products.
Benefit #4: Trusted endorsements
The TikTok platform is big on authentic content—content that’s perceived as personable, creative, and honest.
That’s why TikTok videos appear in a vertical orientation, resembling videos you can take with your mobile device on any day.
No frills. No advanced edits.
This makes the videos come across as real and honest, which makes users trust and believe product recommendations from TikTok creators.
For the record, that’s almost 71 times the population of China. Astounding, right?
That said, let’s move on…
10 Inspiring TikTok Influencer Marketing Examples
Now that you know why you should make influencer collaborations a part of your TikTok marketing strategy, let’s take a look at some examples you can model.
Example #1: Mucinex
Does a brand need to be very active on TikTok to run influencer marketing campaigns?
The answer is no. At least, not in Mucinex’s case.
In 2019, Mucinex, though lacking an active TikTok presence, enlisted the help of multiple TikTok creators to promote their over-the-counter cough medicine.
This campaign was meant to generate awareness for the product, in preparation for the flu season.
The campaign featured the creators waking up dressed as Zombies, grabbing a Mucinex, and transforming into fully dressed partygoers. This portrayed the product as a potent remedy for any degree of cold.
To make it even more interesting, every video used Mucinex's original sound and the #TooSickToBeSick hashtag.
Soon, the campaign became a TikTok trend. Several content creators joined in the fun, creating their own videos.
Today, the #TooSickToBeSick hashtag has over 1 billion views!
Judging from the number of views alone, this campaign is a textbook example of success!
Now, enough of the story.
How can you achieve similar success with your campaign?
The major takeaways:
- Key into real-life events: Mucinex’s zombie-themed campaign keyed into the Halloween season. It’s one of the reasons people joined in the campaign.
So, take a look at the current happenings like social media holidays. And if they relate to your product, look for a way to include them in your campaign.
- Create catchy hashtags: People are more likely to connect with and recall campaigns with catchy hashtags. And one way to create catchy hashtags is to use words popular with your target audience.
For example, Mucinex’s campaign uses the word “sick”, which most young people take to mean “stylish.”
Example #2: Crocs
With an account having 1.9M followers and 19.1M likes, Crocs sure knows how to cause a splash using TikTok influencer marketing.
Recently, the footwear brand created a challenge known as #ThousandDollarCrocs.
They urged their followers to create a customized version of what they feel thousand-dollar Crocs should look like.
They enlisted the help of popular TikTok influencer, Adam Waheed to launch the campaign…
…and within 36 hours, there were 45k videos featuring the hashtag!
In fact, the hashtag currently has 3.1 billion views and several videos from different creators who jumped in on the trend.
That’s not all…
The campaign and others like it have grown the brand's popularity and generated sales too.
According to Heidi Cooley, Head of Global Marketing, “We believe that our brand momentum has never been stronger around the world. …we're building incredible goodwill with fans that believe in our vision…”
Some key takeaways from this campaign:
- Pick the right influencers to foster authentic content: Crocs has partnered with big names like Post Malone, and Justin Bieber, to name a few.
But you know what’s common with all of them?
They all have a genuine love for the brand!
According to Heidi, “Every collaboration comes from a place of authenticity. Ruby Rose was a fan of Crocs before we ever reached out to her about a partnership.”
- Adopt a cross-channel approach: Crocs launched the same campaign on Instagram, to direct their already existing content on the platform to TikTok.
So, instead of relying only on TikTok, promote your own challenge on other social media channels too.
This way, your campaign will go viral faster with the help of the large following you already have on other platforms.
- Use original sound: 65% of TikTokers relate better to types of content from brands featuring original sounds.
So, try to create an original score to go with your campaign. It may cost a bit more, but the results are worth it.
Example #3: Chipotle
Chipotle was one of the first brands to take advantage of influencer collaborations to promote their brand on TikTok.
First, they did the #LidFlipChallenge in 2018.
But their most popular and successful TikTok challenge was the #Guacdance.
They launched the campaign in collaboration with influencers Brent Rivera and Loren Gray in honor of National Avocado Day.
Participants were encouraged to film themselves dancing to Dr. Jean's viral "guacamole song" and upload it using the hashtag #GuacDance.
Here's one example from popular influencer, Brent Rivera:
In the six days that followed, the campaign got 250k video submissions. And Chipotle’s order system kept ringing, with 800k+ guacamoles served in 24 hours!
So, what can you learn from this campaign?
Here's the major takeaway:
- Use trends popular with your target audience: Chipotle cashed in on an already popular internet culture piece: the Dr. Jean Guacamole video.
It’s why the trend became popular within such a short period.
So, find what your customers are currently buzzing about. Then use it to craft your campaign.
Example #4: Guess
This Guess campaign is a story not just of a successful TikTok influencer campaign, but also of the resurrection of a failing business.
Here’s a little summary:
The denim brand suffered a decline in sales in 2017.
So, they were in dire need of a break. Or more specifically, any strategy that could get more people thinking about the brand and swiping their credit cards at Guess stores.
What better way to achieve that goal than TikTok influencer marketing?
They launched a campaign called #InMyDenim, to promote their Fall '18 Denim Fit Collection. The main goal was to connect with millennials and Gen Z consumers doing their back-to-school shopping.
To lay the seeds of the campaign, they enlisted the help of popular TikTok content creators, Ourfire and Madison Willow.
They posted before-and-after transformation videos, where they transformed from ragtags to glamorous beauties, with Bebe Rexha’s “I’m a Mess” playing in the background.
They also ran a takeover ad that directed TikTok users to join the campaign when they logged into the app.
At the end of its six-day run on TikTok, it received 5k+ videos with 10M+ views (currently 55.3M).
Plus, Guess’s official account gained over 12k new TikTok followers.
So, what did they do right?
Here are the key takeaways:
- Pick a song that matches your campaign: If you can't create an original sound, pick one that matches your campaign.
For example, Guess's choice of Bebe Rexha's I'm a Mess perfectly complements their goal of trying to show the ability of Guess apparel to glam people up.
- Pick Influencers that your target audience resonates with: Don't select an influencer randomly.
Your target audience must know, follow, and engage with the influencer’s content. And your brand values must resonate with them.
(P.S…Looking for influencers who jibe with your brand values and target audience? Hop on Insense to access a list of 20k+ creators and influencers on the platform.)
Example #5: GymShark
Gymshark, a brand synonymous with influencer marketing, has done it all. From product seeding and influencer collabs, to TikTok influencer marketing.
For example, in 2019, they collaborated with several micro-influencers, to create the "change your life" campaign with the branded hashtag #Gymshark66
The idea was to encourage people to set personal fitness goals they wanted to achieve in 66 days. Then share their progress on TikTok using the hashtag #Gymshark66, to get the opportunity to win a year's supply of the activewear firm's products.
Gymshark used micro-influencers like Austin Dotson to sow the seeds…
….and soon, the rest of the TikTok fitness community joined in too.
To make it more engaging, Gymshark featured weekly challenges like #ActiveEveryday66 and #HealthySwaps66.
140k+ user-generated content (UGC) videos. 1M+ likes. 4M new followers. And 319M+ views.
Not that bad, right?
So, what can you learn here?
Here are the major takeaways
- Encourage more engagement with incentives: To get more people to participate in the campaign, add an incentive.
It could be a free supply of your product like Gymshark did. A chance to partake in a sweepstake. Free tickets to an event. Or even cash prizes.
Whatever you choose, ensure it's connected to your product.
- Engage your audience: If your campaign has a long run time, you could engage participants with weekly or daily challenges.
Example #6: ASOS
In 2021, ASOS launched the #AySauce TikTok campaign with 28 content creators from the UK and USA.
The challenge encouraged people to "channel their ASOS vibe."
They encouraged participants to create 15-second videos showcasing three of their best outfits, like this one…
ASOS also ran in-feed ads, to boost the visibility of the campaign and encourage more people to get into the campaign.
In just 6 days, the campaign recorded 1.2B video views, 488k video submissions, and a 15.79% engagement rate.
How did they get TikTok users to participate in the campaign?
Here are the key takeaways:
- Turbocharge your campaign's reach with multiple creators: Work with multiple creators to tap into their credibility and huge combined fan base.
- Combine your campaign with ads: For quick results and massive engagement, combine your influencer campaign with ads.
You can feature videos from creators taking part in the challenge.
Example #7: Red Bull
You know what never goes out of fashion on TikTok?
If you logged in to TikTok, your feed would resemble a never-ending digital dance party !🥳
So, to raise awareness for its Dance Your Style competition, Red Bull tapped into the dance trend.
They collaborated with 23 TikTok creators to launch the #RedBullDanceYourStyle, encouraging users to show off their best dance moves.
A jury picked the best 8 videos, whose creators then competed against 8 other wildcard dancers for a chance in the World Final. Who won the big prize was then all down to the audience.
Red Bull also ran TikTok ads to widen the campaign's visibility.
And it worked!
By the end of the campaign, 1M+ creators submitted their videos, which received 7B+ views and a UGC engagement rate of 14.94%.
The key takeaway from this successful campaign?
- Tap into TikTok's favorite pastime: To make your campaign more attractive and engaging, make dancing a part of it.
Example #8: Kool-Aid
Kool-Aid ran its first TikTok campaign when the platform was just gaining popularity.
In 2019, they enlisted the help of rapper Lil Jon, who took part in three duet videos alongside the mascot Kool-Aid Man to launch the campaign.
But, Kool-Aid added a little twist…
They wanted the audience to take part too. And every participant had the chance to take home a $10,000 cash prize.
All they had to do, was post videos of themselves enjoying the holiday season, using the branded hashtag #OhYEAHChristmas.
Take, for example, this post by TikTok creator, @nicooobas…
The campaign was a massive success.
There were 10k video submissions, 1.9B+ video views, and a 142.5% lift in ad recall.
What’s to learn here?
- Always have a goal: Aside from going viral, set a goal that's relevant to your business. This way, you can measure the impact of your campaign with the right metrics.
Example #9: Warner Music
These days, TikTok has grown to become a channel for discovering new music.
In fact, 75% of TikTokers say they've discovered new artists on TikTok. While 63% have heard new songs on the platform they've never heard anywhere else.
This explains why Warner Music used the platform to promote Justin Quiles's #DjNoPareRemix to young people in Argentina and Mexico.
It all started with 6 TikTok influencers, who created videos dancing to the song, like this one…
Others hopped in on the challenge. And soon, the campaign racked up 13k+ video submissions, 1.5M views, and 26k+ likes.
Also, the #DjNoPareRemix hashtag currently has 65.8M views.
It opened the door for other music labels to run similar campaigns to promote their music acts.
Now, what can you take from this campaign?
- Give Influencers creative freedom: You can give specific guidelines for your campaign. But they shouldn't restrict the creative ability of the Influencer.
Give them ample opportunity to think outside the box and experiment and you’ll be surprised what they come up with!
- Engage multiple micro-influencers: It's logical to think that a higher follower count means a higher reach and engagement rate. But the reverse is actually the case.
Just take a look at the data:
Nano influencers and micro-influencers have view rates of 20.65% and 14% respectively. On the other hand, that of macro- and mega-influencers is just 9.14%.
Big difference, right?
This goes to say that your campaign would be better off if you used nano- or micro-influencers.
Example #10: Aerie
At the heart of every successful TikTok campaign is its ability to connect deeply with the emotions of participants.
Take Aerie's TikTok campaign for example.
They understood the challenges people were facing as they were forced to quarantine all through the pandemic.
We're talking loneliness, hopelessness, and anxiety, to cut the list short.
So, Aerie launched the #AerieREALPositivity campaign.
The goal was to spread positivity, by encouraging people to share three things they're grateful for, while an original song, “100% Real Love” by PopUpGirl, played in the background.
This struck a chord with people across the world.
And in just one week, the campaign got 1.3B+ views and Aerie's TikTok account gained 15k new followers.
That's not all…
Their digital sales for the quarter went up by 75%. And 16k people followed their Instagram account.
What can you pick from this campaign?
- Empathize with the current challenges of your customers: TikTok influencer campaigns are not just about conversion or awareness.
Those are vital. But what's more vital, is fostering a deep connection with your target audience.
Once you do that, sales and brand visibility will follow.
How to Launch a Successful TikTok Influencer Marketing Campaign with Insense
Kudos for reading this far!
By now, you're already eager to start your own TikTok influencer marketing campaign.
But before you do that, there's one more secret we'd love to share with you:
All successful TikTok influencer campaigns start with picking the right influencer. We're talking influencers who:
- Align with brand values.
- Match the energy of the target audience.
So, how can you find the right influencers?
Well, there's the hard route of searching on Google or hopping from one social media platform to the next. And then there's the easier option of using a modern influencer marketing tool; the Insense platform.
Insense gives you access to 20k+ digital creators and influencers for you to choose from for your campaign.
You can use filters like ethnicity, age, and location, to pick the right influencer…
…and manage all your campaigns from one central location.
Several brands have used the platform to launch successful TikTok influencer campaigns.
You can join them if you book a free demo now!
See you next time.