How Brands Can Transform Their Marketing Strategy Using TikTok Challenges

How TikTok challenges can help brands' marketing strategiesBy now you’re probably familiar with TikTok, the social media platform made famous by millions of users showcasing a range of content from singing, to cooking, to storytelling, to its iconic dance recreations. But did you know that these dance challenges could be used to your benefit? To be specific, TikTok challenges are a popular type of content where users create and participate in video challenges, usually involving the performance of a specific action or dancing to a particular song or sound. These dancing challenges could be ideated by anyone from users, brands, or influencers, and can range from fun and silly to far more complex and creative.

For any individual to partake in TikTok challenges, they would usually record a video of themselves either dancing or recreating whatever action is core to the challenge, and then use the designated hashtag in order to share it on their platform and ensure it is seen by those following the challenge. These challenges can have a widely varying range of styles or themes and are typically coupled up with certain songs, sound effects, or some other audio track.

Often, these TikTok challenges go viral on the platform as eager participants from all around the globe post their recreations and add their own spin to the challenge. Of course, this viral nature has made these challenges a popular and valuable tool for brands looking to promote themselves or their products, in addition to naturally driving engagement and building a sense of community amongst TikTok’s user base.

Benefits of using TikTok challenges for brand promotion

TikTok challenges present an array of opportunities for brands looking to promote themselves on social media:

  • Increased brand awareness: Thanks to their virality, challenges aid the goal of brand awareness by pushing the content in question to a large, varied audience. As more users participate in TikTok challenges, their followers and friends are also exposed or introduced to the brand, which pushes their message further.  

  • Engagement with your target audience: Not only do TikTok challenges help reach a wide audience, but they can be tailored in such a manner that they connect with a brand’s core or desired audience, too. These challenges, when done correctly, can bring people together and help to create a sense of unity and community for the brand.

  • Opportunity for user-generated content: Brands open themselves up to a huge wealth of user-generated content by running TikTok challenges on the platform. As users participate and share videos, they are effectively promoting the brand by doing so, and the brand can also repost or share these videos (with credit, of course) as a simple way of curating content for their own platforms and social media profiles.

  • Potential for virality: As previously mentioned, TikTok challenges have the potential to go viral, bringing plenty of eyes and attention to the brand featured. This significantly contributes to the goal of brand awareness, reach, engagement, and much more, whilst simultaneously increasing the notoriety of the brand among a far-reaching audience. 

Examples of viral TikTok challenges

There have been many viral TikTok challenges over the years, as challenges come and go on a near-constant basis across varying communities and fandoms on TikTok. Whilst there are too many to list, with many more occurring as you read this, you can familiarize yourself with a few notable examples:

  • The "Renegade" dance challenge: This challenge, set to the song "Lottery (Renegade)" by K Camp, focused on a set dance routine that was performed to the song. This challenge took little time to go viral and was performed by avid TikTok users across the world.

  • The "Don't Rush" challenge: This challenge, set to the song "Don't Rush" by Young T & Bugsey, was in the format of a transformation or transition video. It would start with the user showcasing a casual or natural look and then transitioning to a stylish, glamorous look. The challenge became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to bring some fun and creativity to people's stay-at-home routines. This challenge took off during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for people to bring some fun and creativity to their stay-at-home routines, giving them an opportunity to dress up even as everyone was stuck at home.

  • The "Lalala" challenge: This challenge, set to the song "Lalala" by Y2K and bbno$, involved users lip-syncing to the song and incorporating their own sound effects and visual effects throughout the video. Users loved this challenge thanks to its humorous approach and it remained popular for a good amount of time.

  • The "Wipe It Down" challenge: This challenge, set to the song "Wipe It Down" by Bhad Bhabie, showed users wiping down a surface or object such as a mirror and then transforming into a totally different look or outfit. The catchiness of the song as well as the range of looks showcased contributed to this challenge’s virality.

How to identify the right TikTok challenge for your brand

Finding the right approach for a TikTok challenge for your brand can be tricky with all the options out there, but there are a few key steps you can follow to make the process easier.

Firstly, take the time to research popular challenges and trends. This will give you a sense of what kind of content is currently resonating with TikTok users, and you can also see what brands or audiences in your industry or niche are focusing on. TikTok’s search functions are great for this, as you can browse popular hashtags and immediately find videos of challenges to see which are getting the most views or engagements currently. 

You should also take the time to consider your brand’s values and message to ensure you can find a challenge or format that would accurately reflect this. By ensuring you do this carefully, you can boost your chances of finding a challenge that appeals to your target audience. In addition to this, you don’t need to stick to just one challenge right away; consider testing out a variety of challenges, songs, or formats to see which ones are successful and ‘land’ with users. This will give you the chance to gather data and assess what factors contribute best to this success or drive the most engagement.

There are a few ways to help your research journey when looking into TikTok trends and challenges. For starters, you can use TikTok’s in-built search function to manually look up specific hashtags, creators, or content. This will allow you to check out current challenges and see which ones are performing the best. Specifically, by browsing popular hashtags, you can find content that TikTok users are explicitly tagging as part of a greater challenge. This will help you figure out which ones are trending at the moment and figure out which challenges may have better staying power.

You can also keep an eye on specific influencers and creators, as they are of course the ones participating in TikTok challenges and their content can provide first-hand insights into trending topics, challenges, music, and more. By taking it a step further and following those creators who fall into your brand’s industry or are of interest to your target audience, you can keep up to date on all the latest challenges and see trends as they happen. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to check out external sources such as other social media and online news sites. Many of these sources post about or report on current TikTok trends and challenges, and some TikTok challenges spread to other platforms such as Instagram or Facebook, so don’t neglect this option in your research. 

Tips for creating and promoting a TikTok challenge

Here are a few pointers when it comes to coming up with your own challenge for your brand:

  • Collaborate with influencers and creators: Working with TikTok creators is the natural course for promoting your new challenge and helping it reach a large audience. These influencers usually have big, highly engaged audiences and can help push for your challenge to become viral, encouraging their followers or other creators to participate in the process.

  • Use hashtags and cross-promotion on other social media platforms: Never neglect the power of other major social media platforms. It can help to increase the visibility of your content, drive participation, and keep your content relevant in more than one place. Ensuring that you use challenge-specific hashtags and focusing on platforms where your target audience is present is key to making this tactic successful.

  • Encourage user participation and provide incentives: Reward systems are a natural method to drive your challenge and push people to take part. You could offer discounts, brand giveaways or prizes, or some other form of perk to encourage user participation in your challenge. A sense of community and enjoyment will also help make users take part and make it easy for them to do so.

  • Use a catchy song or sound: TikTok is the home of catchy sounds, songs, and other tunes – so make sure you choose something memorable! This will help your challenge stand out and get noticed by users, especially since there is a plethora of content that users are constantly engaging with.

  • Use visually appealing graphics and effects: Consider incorporating a fun graphical effect into your challenge to make it eye-catching and appealing to users. TikTok has a variety of filters that could help with this, and it makes it easy for users to take part and emulate it since they have access to the very same filters.

  • Create a landing page for your challenge: Creating a landing page specifically for your challenge can be a great way to convert social media followers to customers and keep them engaged. An email sign-up form or retargeting cookies will allow you to reach those visitors again in the future. Companies like Unbounce and HeyFlow offer web design software built specifically for landing pages.

Best practices for managing a TikTok challenge

Of course, there are a few things to be aware of when running a TikTok challenge, and ensuring that you manage it correctly is key. You should take care to monitor and moderate comments and submissions to ensure that on all your posts of the TikTok challenge, the conversation stays positive and respectful. Users will feel safe and welcomed as a result, and the more positive environment will push them to take part. Additionally, you should be sure to respond to user inquiries and feedback to make sure that users feel valued and heard, and to ensure that they feel part of the community.

User privacy is a core concern on platforms such as TikTok, so it’s essential that you protect their privacy and follow all relevant guidelines. You should also be sure to obtain explicit consent from users before resharing their content on your own platform. To further make sure you comply, follow community guidelines as set out on TIkTok’s platform to be sure that you maintain acceptable behavior throughout. 

Potential challenges and drawbacks to consider

There are naturally a few downsides that may occur when choosing to utilize TikTok challenges in your strategy: 

  • Limited control over content: With this kind of broad user-generated content, you can’t control every aspect of what users create in your TikTok challenge. This could lead to the possibility of inappropriate, offensive, or misaligned content being associated with your brand which could damage your reputation if handled incorrectly.

  • Risk of controversy: TikTok challenges can occasionally be perceived poorly by users, either due to the content itself or due to assumptions by users, which could also lead to negative publicity or otherwise for the brand.

  • Difficulty standing out: Due to the huge popularity of TikTok and its challenges, it can be tough for brands to stand out from the crowd, meaning there is the chance that brands won’t achieve their desired levels of engagement or reach with this sort of tactic.

  • Potential for oversaturation: Conversely, if a TikTok challenge does too well, there is the chance that it could be seen as overdone, overplayed, or too mainstream, decreasing the interest from users. This could lead to difficulty in sustaining the momentum and impact of your TikTok challenge.

Conclusion

It’s clear that TikTok challenges present a modern, unique way for brands to promote themselves or their products or services. These viral challenges can be used to boost brand awareness or engagement or act as a way to generate a huge variety of user-generated content from audiences and creators alike. 

However, it's important to also be aware that there are plenty of potential drawbacks to this approach when handled incorrectly – with inadequate research, lack of management over your TikTok challenge, or failure to find a way to stand out, you may not achieve your desired results, so it should be of high priority to plan effectively when using a TikTok challenge in your brand strategy.

As TikTok continues to soar in popularity, it's likely that TikTok challenges will remain a prominent feature of the platform and a highly-viable form of promotion for brands. Ultimately, identifying the right approach for a challenge will be key to maximizing the success and impact of a campaign of this type.

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Candice is an influencer marketing enthusiast and marketing copywriter at HypeAuditor. When she’s not searching for the perfect music and filters for her Instagram Stories, she can usually be found keeping up with the latest gaming and tech influencers on Twitch and YouTube – or drinking a latte macchiato.
Topics:TikTok
March 15, 2023
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Candice is an influencer marketing enthusiast and marketing copywriter at HypeAuditor. When she’s not searching for the perfect music and filters for her Instagram Stories, she can usually be found keeping up with the latest gaming and tech influencers on Twitch and YouTube – or drinking a latte macchiato.
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Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
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