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  • Writer's pictureRoundabout team

TikTok case study on how to implement a branded hashtag campaign

Are you looking to add TikTok into your digital marketing mix? Wondering how you can tap into the key trends of the platform to maximize your messaging?

This week, TikTok has published a new case study which provides a basic overview of how to run one of the most successful promotional options on the platform - a branded hashtag challenge.

Branded hashtag challenges are just as they sound - brands create a specific hashtag linked to a video challenge, which they can then use to expand their messaging by facilitating an interactive, engaging video response campaign. That's not necessarily easy - you can't just come up with any idea and expect TikTok users to follow along. But if you can come up with an interesting, engaging idea, which enables users to provide their own creative takes, it can definitely have significant reach and brand awareness benefits.

The case study looks at ZALORA, a fashion eCommerce platform in Asia. ZALORA sought to use TikTok to promote its upcoming fashion festival in Singapore, so it worked with TikTok on a branded hashtag challenge to engage the TikTok community.

"Set to the tune of the campaign's custom Branded Music, ZALORA’s #ZStyleNow Challenge invited participants to flash a “Z” hand signal, which would trigger the guise of an instant outfit change. Plus, it was an opportunity for users to show off their wardrobe and inner fashionista to their world, which gelled perfectly with TikTok's group of young audiences who use TikTok as their de facto platform for self-expression."

@zaloraHow many outfit changes can you do for ##Zstylenow challenge?

Again, that's not necessarily simple - you need an engaging idea, and ideally music, to get more people involved. And as you can see in this example, ZALORA also used a financial incentive to prompt further engagement, with a giveaway of up to $200 in ZALORA products per winner.

So while the concept is relatively straightforward, it does still require solid creative, and an added incentive will also help to further boost your promotion.

In addition to this, ZALORA also ran a Brand Takeover ad, along with in-app banner ads.

"Ad creatives were thoroughly A/B tested and optimized using multiple variations, and consequently boosted the exposure of ZALORA's Branded Hashtag Challenge, driving both new visitors to ZALORA’s website and ultimately new app installs."

So it was a comprehensive campaign, beyond the basics - but the end result was that ZALORA's Challenge videos were viewed nearly a million times, with 62,000 TikTok users engaging with the hashtag and posting videos for the challenge. 

The numbers show that TikTok can indeed be a good platform for maximizing reach, particularly with younger users. And with recent reports suggesting that TikTok viewing is now on par with YouTube among some audience subsets, it could be worth consideration.

But paid tactics aside, the real trick lies in identifying what will resonate with TikTok users, and what they're likely to respond to with their own videos, expanding your messaging. The best way to get a handle on this is to use the app, and take into account what's trending on the 'Discover' page, and how that might relate to your own messaging.

It's the engagement and creativity that you can inspire in others that will ultimately dictate reach, with paid promotion adding an extra boost to your efforts.

You can read the full ZALORA TikTok case study here

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