How Brands Are Using TikTok Videos for Successful Marketing

Your audience is already there. That’s one of the major reasons why marketers use social media to promote their brand and increase engagement. However, you need to adjust your...

Iss Bautista
Iss Bautista February 5, 2021

Your audience is already there. That’s one of the major reasons why marketers use social media to promote their brand and increase engagement. However, you need to adjust your marketing approach depending on the platform.

In TikTok’s case, music and humor take center stage. But before we dive into this nascent social media app, let’s first look at TikTok data. This is to determine whether it’s worth it to launch a TikTok marketing campaign and get a leg up against the competition.

The first thing you’ll need to know is the age of TikTok users. Although that ranges from ages 10 to 50, the majority of them, at least in the US, are between 10 to 19. This is followed by 20-29 (29.5%), 30-39 (16.4%), 40-49 (13.9%), and 50+ (7.1%), according to Wallaroo.

What this data means is that TikTok users are getting more diverse. As such, it’s best to establish a presence now, especially since a lot of people are staying at home and are using the app to kill boredom.

Here’s a few other relevant TikTok information for a quick overview:

Considering this number, it’s unsurprising that brands, big and small, are trying to establish a presence in the platform. So how are they doing it? What strategies are they implementing? Should you be familiar with a specific approach?

Again, TikTok’s main appeal is humor and music. But under its hood is creative marketing. Specifically, creative marketing that aims to insert your brand or product in a fun and engaging manner.

This isn’t to say that TikTok users aren’t using an informative approach to their content. The strategy certainly has found its foothold in the app. But playfulness is the main theme. Let’s take a look at some of the brands that are successfully using TikTok for business.

1. NBA

The NBA is one of the leading brands using TikTok to increase engagement and maintain its strong brand awareness. The league has managed to accumulate 12.5 million followers and 276.5 million likes.

The league’s YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook pages contain highlights, stat sheets, and the latest news regarding players and the organization. But its TikTok account is different. It has dancing players, dunking mascots, and even dogs playing hoop.

In other words, the league is using TikTok to inject humor into an otherwise intense competition. This is a great approach given that humor is a universal language. Anyone can relate to it.

Even if someone isn’t an NBA fan, they might consider following the page just for its fun and quirky side. From there, they can introduce other aspects of the league, like moments where players perform extraordinary feats.

Take the recent match between the Nets and Wizards for example. The Nets were up by five points with eight seconds left, which means the game should’ve been over. But Bradley Beal and Russel Westbrook were able to win the game by generating six points under eight seconds. That level of play is incredible, even for NBA superstars.

Even if you’re not a fan, you can still appreciate the effort of the players not giving up despite insurmountable odds. And that’s how the NBA is using TikTok marketing to convert non-fans into an avid follower of the sport.

2. Washington Post

@washingtonpostGameStop stocks, explained.♬ original sound – We are a newspaper.

The Washington Post is a great example of a brand that can adapt humor to deliver valuable insights to current topics. Their approach is to combine serious issues with comedy to connect with people, especially younger audiences.

Take the unfolding battle between giant Wall Street hedge funds and the WallStreetBets subreddit. For anyone unaware of what’s happening, it can be boring and intimidating.

But what Washington Post did was decrease its complexity so it can be understood by the common Joes and Janes. Here’s their TikTok post on the matter.

By simplifying the subject, and adding humor to the explanation, Washington Post is raising awareness about market manipulation and how the stock markets work. At least, in the context of short selling and buying stocks.

This is a great way of encouraging the younger generation to educate themselves about the market and its general function. It might even drive some of them to further study the matter and expand their understanding of finance.


@ifadFor many #rural people #climatechange has become a daily challenge. #earthday #fyp

♬ Earth – Lil Dicky

On a more serious matter (as serious as TikTok goes, anyway), we’ll be looking at the United Nation’s IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). What this agency does is help struggling rural populations to grow food and secure nutrition for their families.

The previous examples primarily used playfulness to engage their audience. Meanwhile, IFAD uses inspirational clips to increase awareness. Sure, there are some quirky dance videos in there. But the majority of the agency’s content is to empower people to help the unfortunate and the warming planet.

This is a prime example that you shouldn’t confine yourself to the trend used by people using a platform. Instead, what IFAD does is pushing the concepts to other areas where it can still connect with people. After all, inspiring people – especially the younger generation – to help the poor and fight climate change can be a compelling message.

4. Gymshark

@gymshark@devonlevesque is an inspiration to us all 🙌🔥 #gymshark #bearcrawl #nyc #marathon♬ original sound – Gymshark

Gymshark is another brand that is seeing success in TikTok with 2.3 million followers and 36.8 million likes. As can be expected, it combines humor with fitness routines to deliver its message and enhance its brand awareness.

However, similar to IFAD, it also mixes important messages in there to raise awareness for essential issues. For instance, it posted a short clip of Devon Lévesque’s 26.2-miles bear crawl in New York City. Lévesque did this to bring attention to the mental health of veterans. He’s also a strong advocate of suicide prevention given he lost his father to the illness when he was 16.

Of course, the majority of GymShark’s content is still humorous, with a core message of promoting wellness for everyone. That ranges from routine exercises and eating healthy food to boosting the confidence of someone by working on their physique. Those are powerful creative marketing strategies.

Boosting Your Brand Using TikTok Marketing

Although it might be daunting to establish a presence in a new social media platform, the long-term outcome is definitely worth it. This is especially true considering you can get the attention of younger audiences who will become the next consumer based in the years to come.

If you’re interested in creating a TikTok account for your brand or company, here’s a short guide for you to follow.

1. Humor and creativity

Using humor and creativity is a great way of showing the lighter side of your company. Try to give your audiences a sneak peek behind the scenes. By doing so, you’re showing the genuine and authentic side of your brand. In return, it makes it more human and people can relate to it on a more personal level.

2. Mix it up

Similar to what we saw above, don’t just confine yourself to humor and playfulness alone. Mix it up. Try to align your brand with strong messages that would resonate well with your audience.

3. Stay relevant

When creating TikTok marketing content, try to incorporate current events with your brand. Let’s say your product is coffee. Maybe you could mix it with what’s currently happening with hedge funds and WallStreetBets.

You could create a short clip where someone is drinking coffee while enjoying the rise of the GME stock as retail investors clash against massive corporations. You’re staying relevant with current events while also using subtle product placement to promote your product.

4. Collaborating with micro-influencers

If you want to accelerate your TikTok presence, you could partner with TikTok micro-influencers who already have a significant following. Not only is this a cheap way of gaining new followers, but it also broadens your creativity department by adding someone already familiar with the platform.


Although it could take a while before you establish a significant presence on TikTok, it’s still a good idea to start now. After all, it has the potential to go head-to-head – or even eclipse –other social media giants. In fact, it’s already beating Facebook in other key areas.

Put simply, TikTok marketing has the possibility of boosting your brand to new heights. Again, humor should be your bread and butter. After that, you could try other avenues that are worth exploring.

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