Influencer agency Mediakix has released an analysis of over 100 Branded Hashtag Challenges launched on TikTok between July 2020 and March 2021. It found that the three most popular types of TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenges are sponsored challenges, followed by contests, and then Hashtag Challenge Plus campaigns.
A Branded Hashtag Challenge is a brand-sponsored version of a TikTok hashtag challenge, in which a TikTok user records themselves doing a specific action or ‘challenge’, inspiring the audience to complete the challenge or reinvent their own version. In this way, hashtag challenges have the ability to tap into the viral effect, reaching audiences far beyond the initial following of the first creator’s post.
TikTok estimates over 35 per cent of its user base participate in hashtag challenges, which is why so many brands are keen to get involved. The Branded Hashtag Challenge is the largest-scale ad format on TikTok and offers the most touchpoints for users to drive mass awareness. The two main components of a Branded Hashtag Challenge are a sponsored banner on TikTok’s Discover page, and a sponsored challenge page. Brands can optimize their reach through additional TikTok ad offerings in combination with the Branded Hashtag Challenge, such as TopView ads, In-feed Ads, or a shoppable in-app experience via TikTok’s Hashtag Challenge Plus feature.
The study found that an average of 14 brands advertise on TikTok via a Branded Hashtag Challenge every month. It also found that the average Branded Hashtag Challenge generates 6.1bn views. Samsung’s #VideoSnapChallenge was the highest-viewed Branded Hashtag Challenge during the period studied, generating over 27bn views during the period analysed. studied period. In second place was L’Oréal Paris, with its Carol’s Daughter, Urban Decay, NYX Cosmetics, and Maybelline: #LetsFaceIt campaign, which generated 16.9bn views. Bose was in third place with its #CancelTheNoise campaign, which amassed 13.6bn views.
The study also looked at whether brands needed to be active on TikTok to advertise. It found that 84 per cent of large brands advertising on TikTok through Branded Hashtag Challenges have posted less than 100 videos on their brand’s TikTok account. This finding shows that while brands of nearly every industry are jumping to advertise on TikTok, most brands are still hesitant to commit to TikTok as an active brand channel.
In fact, 11 per centof brands advertising on TikTok through Branded Hashtag Challenges do not have an official user account on TikTok. These include Kohler, Marc Jacobs, Midea, Hormel Foods, and Burt’s Bees.
While most brands do not actively post a high volume of TikTok videos to their user account, two top brands Amazon Prime Video and RedBull have established branded channels on the platform. Amazon Prime Video has created over 1,800 TikTok videos. RedBull is also one of the largest content-producing brands on TikTok, with over 2,540 TikTok videos.
Brand analysis finds food and beverage companies to be the most frequent industry to advertise on TikTok through Branded Hashtag Challenges. The top five brand advertiser categories are Food & Beverage, followed by Entertainment, Beauty, Fashion, and Tech/CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods).
The Mediakix analysis found that brands typically partner with anywhere from 1-25 influencers per Branded Hashtag Challenge.
TikTok influencer Michael Le is the most common influencer brands partner with for Branded Hashtag Challenges. In the nine-month period Le created content for seven sponsored challenges for Crocs, Moncler, Amazon, Apple, American Eagle, Got Milk? And Bliss.
Avani and The Wilking Sisters were also high on the list as the most sought-after influencers for Branded Hashtag Challenges. Each influencer participated in five campaigns during the period analyzed.
Of the 540 influencers who participated across the 100-plus campaigns, 68% were mega-influencers, with over 1m followers. Mid-tier influencers (50,000 – 500,000 followers) are slightly more preferable to be chosen for partnerships in Branded Hashtag Challenges than macro-influencers (500,000 – 1,000,000 followers), with mid-tier influencers representing 16% of influencers used in Branded Hashtag Campaigns.