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7 tips for an effective Branded Hashtag Challenge

With Branded Hashtag Challenges, consumers are creating content for brands at a scale never seen before. It’s a unique co-creation opportunity that turns TikTok users into your unofficial brand ambassadors by engaging them in an authentic way.

Done well, it can generate hundreds of thousands of UGC videos and millions of views around your campaign initiatives. These tips will help you drive mass awareness and engagement by creating your own viral moment.

What is a Branded Hashtag Challenge?

Our most popular format lets your brand make waves across TikTok. Share a video using a sponsored hashtag, then it’s over to TikTok’s creative community to respond by making and sharing videos of their own.

By doing so, everyday users and fans become advocates for your brand, co-narrating your story. Because Branded Hashtag Challenge is all about driving authentic interaction between brands and users, it’s the solution to choose if your campaign objective is engagement. It also means you can build affinity with your brand among our millions of users, leading to loyalty.


Why Branded Hashtag Challenges drive big results

A Hashtag Challenge is discoverable through many means within the app: official videos, the Discover page, other formats, music and existing UGC responses, all of which combine to drive huge reach. Each UGC video created and submitted has its own authority, and inspires other users to submit their own.

Branded Hashtag Challenge is available in a bundle with a TopView Lite and In-Feed Ads, both included for one day only, so there are often multiple touchpoints for users to gain access to your campaign.

And your interactive Hashtag Challenge can be boosted with the Branded Hashtag Challenge PLUS. This flagship product gives you the option of a shoppable element via an Explore tab, to encourage direct conversions.

Tips for a successful campaign

1. Keep it authentic

Users respond well to brands participating in the TikTok community – when it’s done in a natural way. Your idea should suit your brand, product and the relationship you already have with the TikTok community. Nothing should feel forced. And everyone should feel welcome.

2. Think like your audience

The success of the Branded Hashtag Challenge is down to its authentic partnership between brands and users. So you should give them something as a pay-off for taking part. Could you incentivise participation with competitions, offers or exclusivity? Discover how congstar achieved mass exposure and genuine engagement with their incentivised Hashtag Challenge.

3. Join trends and be part of culture

When defining your idea, look to what the TikTok community is already creating. Identify emerging and popular trends that align with your brand, then integrate those into your challenge concept. Cultural impact leads to business impact.

4. Get creative with sound

Music and audio effects lie at the heart of TikTok. Think, what does your brand sound like? High tempo, energetic music will help your audience engage. Always give them a sonic outline to create against.

5. Make it fun

TikTok is all about bringing joy and inspiring creativity. And your challenge should do the same. Visual effects help get your message across in a fun way. Try dramatic themed transformations or use Branded Effects for a virtual try-on or gamified experiences.

6. Add impact with people

Make the most of characters or celebrities associated with your brand for instant recognition – animating them with a Branded Effect or Duet adds a TikTok flavour. Or co-create with TikTok Creators. They’ll set the tone for your challenge and inspire other popular Creators to add their own entries. See how Sports Direct successfully used Creators to launch a new PUMA football boot.

7. Keep your story simple

Make your idea accessible and relatable – the lower the barrier to entry, the more likely users are to get involved. Your challenge should be easy to copy and unexpected. Ask, can people do it at home without purchasing anything or going to a location? Is it clear how to take part in this challenge?

How to get started

To set up your own Branded Hashtag Challenge, get in touch with the TikTok team. They’re based in key hubs across Europe and partner with creative and media agencies, and directly with brands.

They’ll collaborate with you to plan the best campaigns for any brand’s marketing goals. They can also oversee audio licensing and arrange partnerships with TikTok Creators.

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