TikTok has quickly ascended into the consciousness of pop-culture, seamlessly combining the comedy of the now-defunct Vine, and Musical.ly, the famous lip-syncing app that was acquired in 2017 by ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns and operates TikTok. The past couple of years have brought about tremendous growth for TikTok, and in 2018, the app was downloaded more than Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. TikTok was also on the list of the top 10 most downloaded apps of the past decade and was the #1 downloaded app in the Apple app store during the first quarter of 2019. The app was downloaded over 33 million times.
TikTok users spend 52 minutes on the app each day on average. Additionally, over 90% of TikTokers utilize the app multiple times a day. Over 68% of users watch videos of others, with 55% uploading their own video content. Over the past year, more than 1 billion videos have been viewed each day on the platform. That’s an enormous amount of content.
Brands and marketers alike have seen the massive growth of TikTok as a prime opportunity to engage in influencer marketing on the platform. Many have found great success, pioneering a new movement for influencers on social media’s fastest-growing app. We have compiled a list of 5 TikTok influencer marketing case studies that will inspire you to start your own.
1. Chipotle – Free Guacamole Activation
Chipotle has developed a sort of affinity to influencer marketing, and the brand launched its second challenge of 2019 when they asked their customers to dance in exchange for free guacamole by using the hashtag #GuacDance. The popular food chain partnered with YouTubers Loren Gray and Brent Rivera to promote the dance challenge on TikTok. Collectively, the two influencers helped push the campaign to amass a total of 32,388,592 views and 24,714 posts that used The Guacamole Song by Dr. Jean.
@brentriveraWhen guacamole is free @chipotle when you order online/in-app on July 31st😍 ##GuacDance ##ad♬ The Guacamole Song – Dr. Jean
The official challenge caption on TikTok read as follows: This is what happens when guac is not extra. Show us your guac dance and get free guac from Chipotle when you order online or in-app on 7/31/19. Offer valid July 31, 2019, only. One free guacamole per entrée when ordered via Chipotle app or online. Void where prohibited. Details: chip.tl/avoday
As we mentioned, this was Chipotle’s second influencer activation of 2019. Just months before, the brand also had its annual “Boorito” promotion for Halloween, offering menu items at a reduced price for customers who ordered their food while wearing a costume. As is the case with numerous other brands, TikTok has become an increasingly vital element of Chipotle’s overarching promotional efforts.
2. Kool-Aid – The #OhYeahChristmas with Lil’ Jon Contest
Kool-Aid had its first TikTok campaign in 2019, creating a hashtag challenge with a chance for users to win up to $10,000. Users on the platform were encouraged to post videos of themselves partaking in the festivities of the Christmas holiday, and using the tag #OhYEAHChristmas in their post for a chance to win. The coolest part? Lil’ Jon was in on the action.
@koolaidmanofficialTFW you’re the real gift. Use ##OhYEAHchristmas & ##contest to enter for a chance to win $10K to get everything you want on your Xmas list. ##ad♬ All I Really Want for Christmas (feat. Kool-Aid Man) – Lil Jon
The campaign featured the rapper/producer as well as their classic brand mascot, the Kool-Aid Man. The pair posted three videos to the @Koolaidmanofficial official account that were wildly successful. Keep in mind, Kool-Aid’s target audience, the younger, Gen-Z demographic, is very well-served by marketing on TikTok. In fact, 60% of users in the US are 16-24 years old, making it a perfect place to reach younger consumers.
In addition to Lil’ Jon, Kool-Aid enlisted the services of influencers to engage in the campaign, including heavy-hitters like Glitterandlazers. Her #OhYEAHChristmas post generated over 1.3 million views and 79.1K likes alone.
Other influencers like kidrl, nickandsienna, and kingcamo_1, also contributed to the campaign. When it was all said and done, over 10,000 videos were made for the challenge.
3. Walmart – Black Friday Campaign #DealDropDance
If the world’s biggest company by revenue is jumping on the TikTok influencer marketing bandwagon, you know there is likely some real substance to it. Walmart engaged in its first TikTok campaign last year by encouraging users to post videos of themselves busting a move to express their excitement about the company’s Black Friday savings.
@ourfiredo this ##dealdropdance for a chance to win 💵 for Black Friday! 🥳 @walmart ##contest ##sponsored♬ Water Me – Lizzo
The campaign used the hashtag #DealDropDance, and while it may not immediately come to mind, the campaign was a mega-success. The promotion generated well over 3.6 billion total views on videos that included the hashtag. Walmart activated six influencers to help push the message on TikTok: OurFire, Montanatucker, kingcamo_1, dreaknowsbest, bdash_2, and kidrl. The sextet reached over 17 million followers collectively.
It’s undeniable that few other platforms have such a defined and engaged Gen Z audience than TikTok does. And with brands jumping onboard and dipping both feet into influencer activations, we can expect to see them utilizing it even more frequently this year and beyond.
4. HP – #HPCoachellaDreamland
HP has kind of quietly built a strong social presence online, and TikTok is no exception. While the brand had only posted a few videos and created a rather pedestrian profile, they weren’t exactly moving the needle with their TikTok content. But that was before they hosted a fun and engaging hashtag challenge they named #HPCoachellaDreamland at Coachella last year.
@travisWaited out 4 hours to get better spots, to see Billie Eilish 😂😱 ##HPCoachellaDreamland ##foryou♬ Mega Zoom Challenge – 4mandagreen
One of the most inspirational elements of this campaign was the effective use of influencers and popular events to help to create the buzz needed to pull off a viral brand challenge. With so much attention being funneled from both the influencer and the event itself. your brand has the ability to maximize its efficiency and gain massive traction for a minimal effort. At the campaign’s conclusion, the branded #HPCoachellaDreamland videos generated over 176 million views.
5. GUESS – #InMyDenim Hashtag Challenge
Guess boasts the accomplishment of being the first fashion brand to launch a hashtag challenge on TikTok. And it should be noted that their content is superb. So when they partnered with TikTok to create the #InMyDenim hashtag, it was all but destined to be a success. In the contest, users were asked to film themselves in beautiful places while wearing Guess’s new denim line.
@operamericanoGuess who’s feeling confident 😘 @guess ##inmydenim ##sponsored ##makeeverysecondcount ##fashion ##model♬ #inmydenim I’m a Mess – Bebe Rexha
Guess was able to prove how TikTok could rapidly spread product awareness for a brand. Fashion companies and fashion brands, in general, should take note and look to employ a similar approach to that used by Guess; selling visually exciting products to equally excited consumers.