Global Marketing

TikTok: The Next Frontier of Global Marketing

TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing social media platform, seemingly exploded out of nowhere. The app currently has over 2 billion users worldwide, 60% of which are between 13-24 years old. And yet, TikTok is only being used by 4% of social media marketers.

There is a reason brands are apprehensive to enter this massive digital space. First of all, it is overtly anti-marketing. TikTok users flock to the app with an almost urgent intention to showcase their knowledge of new trends, dances, pranks, comedy routines — the list goes on.

So how can you leave an impression on the the impossible-to-ignore platform? Make sure your customers are there, then capture their attention with organic influencer marketing.

Case Study: FENTY Beauty House

Targeting a Gen Z audience, Fenty Beauty invested in a TikTok strategy by opening a dedicated content creation “Fenty House” in March 2020. After the physical location has closed due to coronavirus, Fenty's influencers continued promoting the brand remotely.

For a brand like Fenty Beauty, TikTok is the perfect space to promote diversity and inclusivity — values that closely align with Gen Z and the Fenty brand. Challan Trishann, one of the Fenty Beauty House creators, believes that “Fenty Beauty works [so well on TikTok] because it’s a brand that everybody loves and that has something for everybody. Everybody can find their match.”

Case Study: Chipotle

The Chipotle team first decided to create a presence on TikTok after seeing their brand repeatedly mentioned by users of the app when a Chipotle Instagram video of an employee flipping a lid over a burrito bowl made it over to the platform.

Shortly after, Chipotle launched a #GuacDance challenge, where guacamole fans filmed themselves dancing to a popular avocado-centric song. The campaign took place in July 2019 and became TikTok's highest performing brand challenge in the US, resulting in an extraordinary 250,000 video submissions and Chipotle's most successful guacamole day in history, with more than 800,000 sides of guac served.

The Power of the Zeitgeist

Ultimately, the success behind running these types of campaigns relies on trendjacking: harnessing the creativity of amateur TikTokers who are, too, seeking a way to break the noise and stay relevant in their followers' feeds. This symbiotic relationship between marketers and creators is an incredibly powerful tool that can strengthen a brand's digital strategy overnight — but the most important caveat? You can't try too hard.

llustration by The Sporting Press, The Hollywood Reporter