TikTok Hashtag Challenge: How to Boost Brand Awareness

To best define it, a branded hashtag challenge is where a brand asks users on the platform to perform certain tasks and to tag them using the requested hashtag.

Even though TikTok has been with us for a couple of years, it didn’t really start booming until 2019. Now, there’s influencers on the platform who have a bigger following than other current platforms. Who would’ve thought? 

Since TikTok is now one of the most discussed platforms, brands from all industries now want to snag a piece of the pie for some much-needed engagement. This is a platform that’s known for trumping others when it comes to media engagement too. When compared to Instagram, for instance, TikTok has an average engagement rate of 9.38% vs. Instagram who has 7.2% when looking at users who have fewer than 1,000 followers. This is according to Influencer Marketing Hub, and as followers rise, TikTok continues to lead with the most engagement. 

So, how do brands officially jump on board? The main and most successful way is through the TikTok hashtag challenge. To best define it, a branded hashtag challenge is where a brand asks users on the platform to perform certain tasks and to tag them using the requested hashtag. By doing this, followers will see the challenge and its link to the brand, and the brand will be able to measure success when analyzing its use. 

Sure, other social media platforms allow the use of hashtags, but we’ll show you why your brand should get involved, what the best practices are and how other brands are already redeeming their success by using this method. 

Why Should Brands Partake?  

Aside from engagement being a huge factor in the social media space, there are several other benefits that TikTok is able to deliver that provide real results. These are a few of the following wins marketers seek out in some of their other strategies. 

Increased Conversion: This is a huge and arguably one of the most beneficial parts of a marketing campaign Without conversion or sales, there is no business success. When there is an increase of viewership and engagement, larger portions of conversion are sure to follow.  

Genuine Marketing: It’s not only the brand that is in charge of the hashtag trend. Familiar faces such as influencers and other users are executing the campaign by their own choice and willingness to participate. They also use creative ability in a way that tailors to them. 

Videos Play Automatically: Unlike other platforms, marketers don’t have to wait and see if a user will click on the video to begin playing. Instead, it will start automatically, so this creates a heightened opportunity for the user to watch and eventually become engaged with the content at hand. 

Ability to Reach New Markets: TikTok has had over 1.5 billion downloads and so there is the instant opportunity to expose a video to millions from all over the world. This is a great and inexpensive way to reach a new target market while also being able to retain the current one.  

How are Brands Already Incorporating the Challenge? 

There is no secret sauce to the hashtag challenge, but there are a few strategic elements that make your brand exceed to new heights when they’re added. When a brand does decide to incorporate the challenge, these are a few of the best additions brands have made sure to include in their strategy. 

They Set Clear Rules: When it comes to a hashtag challenge, the creative ability is largely left up to the creators, but that doesn’t mean everything goes. Make sure to include guidelines that support the creators with topics that are welcomed or elements that are not be deemed appropriate for the brand or platform. 

Influencers Should Align: If brands are reaching out to influencers to get the challenge rolling, these influencers should align with the brand in some capacity. Otherwise, this could seem confusing and ingenuine to the viewer. For example, if a user is always telling their viewers how much they love Starbucks, but then launch a challenge with Dunkin’, then it may seem like an advertisement with the only real interest shown in the shape of a paycheck.  

Promote the Challenge: Even though a hashtag challenge is already of promoting the brand, promote the promotion so that there’s more of a chance for the campaign to spread and obtain the proper exposure, engagement, and sales. Brands that have done this have seen a large increase in numbers. 

Make the Challenge Original to your Brand: Brands that have been so successful already are making sure that their challenge has an original element and will make users think of the brand as a result of the challenge. Research and see how the brand can stand out from the rest and bring customers to make the ultimate purchasing decision.   

Gain Inspiration from Others: Although it’s important for brands to be original in their ideas, it’s also a great idea to see how others are proving to be so successful already. By taking notes on the actions and the reactions of the followers, it will help with the development of a new challenge. 

These are the Successful Outcomes 

When brands follow the featured strategies such as the above, then they’ll be able to find success in whichever TikTok hashtag challenge they may find themselves. These are some of the following brands that were able to strategically include them when creating their challenge.  

  • Colgate’s #MakeMomSmile 
  • Pepsi’s #PepsiCanBalance 
  • Guess’ #InMyDenim 
  • Aerie’s #AerieRealPositive 
  • Chipotle’s #GuacDance 

Each of these brand’s were able to establish their challenges within the names of the hashtags. Some were able to incorporate their brand names, and all were able to produce an action in the challenge that became interesting and fun for the users on the platform. 

As seen above, brands from all different industries such as fashion, food and even dental care are all able to participate and create engagement. Without these challenges, there wouldn’t be the same necessary engagement brands desire in order to stay on top of sales.  


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