TikTok commissioned Kantar to investigate the value of user-generated content (UGC), specifically hashtag challenges, for brands on TikTok. The desired outcome of the research was to provide an objective point of view on the impact of UGC through TikTok and provide practical and actionable guidance for creating breakthrough, brand-building UGC marketing at scale.
The study focused on branded hashtag challenges – where brands trigger user-generated content by issuing challenges, by studying he metadata of over 60 TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenges across 16 markets. The study digged into views, viewers, as well as shares, likes, and comments. Here are the three major findings from the study –
TikTok creates engagement on an enormous scale
- It is clear that TikTok attracts big numbers. Hashtag Challenges can have incredible reach. The most successful challenges have surpassed iconic TV moments and the most viewed YouTube adverts.
- A branded hashtag challenge for a soft drink in Japan recorded 52 million unique user video views, almost as many as the record TV audience (60m) for Japan v Scotland.
“Hashtag Challenges, first and foremost deliver scale…you can’t find engagement like this on any other platform,” Carolyn Nephew, Senior Manager, Performance Media, Reckitt Benckiser.
TikTok is perfectly placed to trigger engagement
- Tik Tok’s success owes to its combination of different elements Kantar’s study of 223 adverts, across an enormous range of categories, revealed the winning features of the most successful ad campaigns. The most important differentiators are celebrities, social media hashtags, voiceover, character, and music.
- All these elements play a key role in success on the platform. Influencers and creators who are considered to be celebrities on the platforms are the ones who launch the challenge.
- The hashtag gives the challenge a life beyond Tik Tok and on the general social media landscape.
- The platform not only encourages voiceover but offers a range of effects.
- Every hashtag challenge video features a real person with an authentic character.
- Music is a unique strength on the platform that has helped not only the creator but also the artist of the track reach new heights.
- Sound is turned on by default in TikTok. Audio cues are always present, and hashtag challenges can tap into the emotional response and memory formation that music evokes. The powerful effect of music is integral to engagement.
- The things that make certain adverts superpowered are baked into the experience of TikTok.
TikTok requires new and different thinking
- The behaviors needed to make the most out of the platform are fresh and unique.
- The features on the platform make it unique and hard to compare to other platforms.
- There is a huge opportunity for brands to into the powerful audience response on the platform but it’s crucial that they understand the platform and engage with users on their own terms.