Ready to tap into the viral growth of TikTok challenges?
Challenges are one of the biggest trends on TikTok, and innovative brands are already using them to fast-track their growth and reach millions of users on the app.
In this blog post we’re delving into how TikTok challenges work and how you can use them for your brand. Plus, we’re sharing 12 TikTok challenges to inspire your next campaign!
What Are TikTok Challenges?
TikTok challenges can take almost any form — they must be easy to replicate by the masses and are intriguing enough for your audience to want to participate in. They could be as simple as the #RosesAreRed challenge or more difficult like the #ThePushupChallenge.
Challenges are a unique way to get your audience to create user generated content that aligns with your brand. When TikTok challenges are done right, they tend to gain traction and spread like wildfire on the app.
They’re one of the most engaging tactics you can use on the platform. Your brand can utilize them to build awareness, create relatable content, and grow your TikTok community.
TikTok challenges are driven by organic and sponsored content – you’ll see branded challenges like Colgate’s #MakeMomSmile challenge and organic content, like the #LevelUp challenge.
Whether you’re a brand looking to get your audience engaged or a creator looking to hop on the next trending TikTok challenge, there’s a lot to gain from TikTok challenges!
How to Create a Branded Hashtag Challenge on TikTok
Much like Instagram hashtags, TikTok hashtags help users share and find content.
They’re also how a lot of the niche communities are built on TikTok. For instance, the #KeepingActive hashtag has become a go-to for fitness enthusiasts on the app.
It showcases a huge and diverse range of content, ranging from videos on how to exercise in small spaces to how to improve your pushups. Celebrities like Lizzo have even jumped in on the hype, creating organic content for the hashtag.
Using a branded hashtag to label your TikTok challenge is a great idea. Not only will it make it easier for TikTok users to share their take on the trend, but it’ll also make any challenge-related content much easier to find in the TikTok app — which is key for brand awareness and discoverability.
Plus, there’s the option to take your challenge to the next level with TikTok ads. TikTok’s branded hashtag challenges ads get people thinking, moving, and creating. They’re a strong asset for audience engagement and building brand reputation on the app — mainly because they get prime real estate in your TikTok feed (a small “skip ad” button appear in the top right corner of the otherwise unrecognizable ad format!).
Take for example Guess’ #InMyDenim branded hashtag challenge. By partnering with influencers and creating on trend TikTok videos to go alongside the challenge, Guess made a splash with their 6-day challenge.
Source: TikTok Ads
#InMyDenim realized over 5,550 user-generated videos, 10.5 million video views, 14.3% engagement rate and over 12,000 additional followers for Guess’ business account on TikTok.
Whether you’re sold on an organic or sponsored branded hashtag challenge (note: you should be), it’s important to consider two things: what your audience will be able to participate in, and why they’ll want to get involved.
Step #1: Create a TikTok Challenge
Make sure your challenge is easy to do, entertaining, and most importantly, inclusive and accessible for all.
For example, Colgate created the hashtag #MakeMomSmile in celebration of Mother’s Day. This challenge is pretty open ended — the call to action for TikTok users is to make your mother or mother-figure in your life smile, whether it be breakfast in bed or a dance-off challenge. Other brands even opted in on the hashtag, including the New York Giants, Houston Rockets and the Dallas Cowboys.
The beauty of branded TikTok challenges is that they create space for your audience to be creative in a fun and collaborative way, which ultimately benefits all parties.
Step #2: Drive Awareness
To garner awareness around your challenge, try engaging with TikTok-specific influencers to help create a groundswell.
By partnering with popular creators you’ll be able to reach a brand new audience on TikTok by tapping into that creator’s already loyal and engaged following.
Brands like Aerie have partnered with influencers to spread the word of their debut on TikTok and gain recognition of their sponsored hashtag #AerieREALPositivity, where they asked their audience to share three things they are grateful for, followed by a positive statement they wanted to share with the world.
TIP: If you want to take it one step further (and have the budget to do so!) TikTok’s Hashtag Challenge Plus ad feature makes branded hashtags shoppable. There is a dedicated page accessed through the app where users can browse the hashtag and shop for products.
Want to learn more about TikTok Branded Challenges and other ad options on the platform? Check out Later’s 30-minute workshop on how to use TikTok for business!
12 TikTok Challenges to Take Inspiration From for Your Next Campaign
Whatever your budget, there are plenty of ways to get creative with TikTok challenges.
Here are our top 12 TikTok challenges, both organic and branded, that’ll inspire your next campaign:
TikTok Challenge #1: Chipotle’s GuacDance
Chipotle was one of the first brands to take off on TikTok, so it makes sense they dove into branded hashtag challenges without any hesitation.
After their success of the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge, the brand forged ahead with the #GuacDance challenge. They asked their audience to create a dance which would result in them getting free guacamole when they ordered online on July 31, which happened to be National Avocado Day.
To date, the #GuacDance challenge hashtag has over 1 billion views.
Chipotle used big names which helped the challenge gain traction on the app, including Loren Gray and Brent Rivera.
TIP: Partner with influencers in your hashtag campaign to help spread awareness of your challenge and target new audiences.
TikTok Challenge #2: Album Cover Challenge
This organic challenge asks users to demonstrate what song relates best to their current situation by recreating the album artwork in a TikTok video.
The possibilities are endless with this challenge, which is what makes it so fun. Think about how many song titles, cool album covers, and relatable situations there are out there.
This challenge is a great opportunity for brands and creators alike to get on board with since it’s so easy to find a relatable moment that speaks directly to brand categories.
For example, if you’re a sweatpants brand you could start your TikTok with the text caption “When you find your jeans at the bottom of your pants drawer.” Cut to: a screen shot of Taylor Swift’s album cover with the song “I Forgot That You Existed.”
TIP: Ask yourself how an organic trend can work in favor of your brand.
TikTok Challenge #3: Kaiser Permanente’s Own The Curve
This challenge is a major reflection of how you can put the creativity in users’ hands when it comes to a challenge.
The #OwnTheCurve challenge is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and encourages people to adhere to current social guidelines, like staying home, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing.
The hashtag encourages TikTok users to “do something creative” — some videos in the hashtag feed include doing yoga, learning how to play the guitar, and a lot of tips for people to #OwnTheCurve.
TIP: A unique combination of educational and creative content is a recipe for hashtag success.
TikTok Challenge #4: DJ At Home
The #DJAtHome challenge is an organic one that has taken off due to the current social climate. People are bored at home and are making some pretty hilarious videos because of it.
TikTok describes the challenge well: “Whether you’re performing for your family, or a party of one, pick your favorite song and pull on your headphones because it’s time to #DJAtHome.”
It’s a super fun TikTok challenge that anyone can get involved in. And when we say anyone, we mean anyone: 1.3 billion people have viewed the challenge!
TIP: Sometimes the simplest challenges are the best. Making your challenges accessible for everyone means you’ll get more engagement!
TikTok Challenge #5: Level Up
The #LevelUp challenge is an organic one which started with people showing off their moves to Ciara’s song, Level Up, but some pet owners out there saw an opportunity to take this challenge to new heights. Literally.
In the top videos in this hashtag, you’ll see users showing off their dance moves to this song, but you’ll also see people who have lined their hallway with toilet paper rolls and their pet jumping over them. Each beat, the layer of toilet paper rolls would get higher and higher.
TIP: Keep your challenge title general – that way, it gives it up for interpretation and encourages freedom of expression.
TikTok Challenge #6: Pass the Brush
The #PassTheBrush challenge one is another one started by creators. In the challenge, beauty gurus everywhere go from zero to hero with their makeup looks and pass the brush onto someone else to do the same.
This challenge creates an opportunity for TikTok users to get connected with others and come together for one common goal.
James Charles has the most popular video with the hashtag, with a total of 7.9 million likes. He collaborated with the likes of Patrick Starr, Nikita Dragun, Manny MUA, and Bretman Rock — just to name a few.
TIP: Start a hashtag challenge that starts a collective movement — the more people that can get involved in a challenge, the better.
TikTok Challenge #7: Chase Bank’s Show Me Your Walk
Now, we know it’s important to have easily accessible challenges and to speak powerfully to the current social climate. The #ShowMeYourWalk challenge does just that and more.
It’s sponsored by Chase Bank and the challenge asks users to celebrate their graduation and demonstrate a walk, roll, strut, or dance across their own version of a graduation stage. Even non-graduating celebrities wanted to get in on the action:
That said, Chase Bank tailored this challenge to speak to Gen Z, who is the main audience on the app. A clever way of bringing their audience together on TikTok while promoting their brand.
TIP: Remember who you’re speaking to on TikTok when you’re creating these challenges.
TikTok Challenge #8: Scoob! The Movie’s ScoobDance
The #ScoobDance hashtag is sponsored by SCOOB! The Movie and the challenge asks users to learn the original dance and share their moves on TikTok.
We know dancing is huge on the app, so what better way to get your audience involved than through creating an original dance challenge. This one in particular was created in partnership with Jalaiah Harmon, who is the original creator of the viral dance sensation, the renegade.
TIP: Dance routines and moves are so popular, so if it makes sense for your brand, try incorporating one in your next hashtag challenge.
TikTok Challenge #9: Leaving My Body
The #LeavingMyBody challenge encourages users to use the purple flame effect on TikTok to show what they’re letting go of while dancing along to a catchy song.
For instance, if you’re a social media manager, you might attempt this challenge with the caption “The stress leaving my body after I’ve scheduled all our social media posts for the week.”
TIP: If you’re looking at ways to create a challenge for your brand, scroll through the different visual effects on TikTok for some inspiration!
TikTok Challenge #10: I’m Just a Kid
Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia.
The #ImJustAKid challenge encourages users to recreate their childhood photos. A lot of people are quarantining with their families, so what better way to bring them together than with a TikTok challenge.
The challenge is successful because it’s so unique and personal — and everyone can get involved.
TIP: Make sure your challenges are super easy to do.
TikTok Challenge #11: Honey’s Pass The Card
Launching your challenge during a holiday is a great way to get your TikTok challenge to resonate with users and have your brand be top of mind.
For Mother’s Day, Honey created the #PassTheCard challenge, where creators write a note to their mom and pass on the challenge by tagging other users.
Some users wrote how their moms give them the confidence to love who they are, show them they can do anything, and get them through tough times.
TIP: Connect your hashtag to a popular holiday to keep your brand relevant and top of mind during these days of the year.
TikTok Challenge #12: E.L.F’s Eyes Lips Face
The #EyesLipsFace challenge was incredibly popular in 2019, so we think it deserves a shout out here. It was started by e.l.f Cosmetics and asks users to show off their makeup looks.
This was a great move to build awareness for their brand (can you guess what e.l.f stands for yet?) but it was a first of its kind as the cosmetics company partnered with TikTok to create an original sound to accompany the challenge.
TIP: When it comes to creating challenges for your own brand, think of different ways to incorporate features that are exclusively found on TikTok.
TikTok challenges are an opportunity for your brand to reach a new audience, build your brand awareness, and get people making fun content.
Whether you choose to launch an original challenge or put a branded twist on an existing trend, there’s no better time to get involved and start growing your brand on the most popular social sharing app!
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