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the pandemic, leaving many of us with very few places to go. This hasn’t impacted all brands in the same way, with ASOS even seeing sales surging during lockdown, and Amina Muaddi’s $800 party heels selling out drop after drop.
However, not everyone’s been so lucky. Fashion marketing is tough enough, as engagement rates struggle to climb above 0.90% on Facebook and Instagram. It’s getting harder to excite and inspire audiences who are constantly inundated with ads for jeans, bags, clothes and more.
Enter TikTok. 70% of marketing fashion execs think it’s crucial to explore new media platforms like TikTok in lieu of traditional Facebook and Insta ads. And with good reason – have you heard of the curious case of the strawberry dress? TikTok lent its usual viral magic to a £370 party dress, selling it out week after week in the middle of lockdown. The dress has gone so viral, it’s inspired a matching mask, and designer Irika Matoshi says she’s working “24/7” to meet demand.
Inspired to achieve this level of virality, more brands are investing in TikTok and we’re seeing some real stars emerging. Here’s the top 5 fashion brands on TikTok in 2020.
ASOS, the go-to online fashion and beauty retailer, has upped the ante on TikTok. They’ve recently debuted their own branded hashtag challenge: the #AySauce challenge! This gets TikTokkers to show off their ‘ASOS sauce’, i.e. their outfits from ASOS while dancing, or throwing up peace signs. The challenge takes it one step further, with a custom filter that’s activated when you show a peace sign.
Fashion brands on TikTok don’t have to limit themselves to overly perfect Insta-styles ads. ASOS’s approach shows a little humor pays off. Their challenge was simple and easy to recreate, all you had to do was some hand gestures, or a peace sign to activate the filter, and participate. It hits all the sweet spots, since it’s actually entertaining and focused on the user. They’re using custom audio, giving the brand another recognisable dimension on TikTok (“it’s that #AYSAUCE Challenge sound!”).
This was a really successful campaign, with nearly 350 million views, and over 5,800 user generated videos!
Topshop is another fashion brand on TikTok that’s done well across their feed and paid ads. While their own following is still small, they’re talked about a lot (#topshop has over 20.6M views, and is chock full of user generated content).
When scrolling through my feed, I’ve seen Topshop ads on at least five separate occasions. However, they’re not disruptive, and it’s difficult to spot that they’re ads because they blend in just seamlessly with the rest of my TikTok feed. Often featuring snappy transitions with outfit changes, always to trending or custom audio, the ads look like the kind of videos you expect to see on TikTok.
This subtlety is increasingly important, as McKinsey notes that fashion marketing in 2020 is struggling to excite customers when they’re constantly seeing ads and are spoilt for choice in terms of brands. If there’s more to your ad than a hard sell, users will find it entertaining enough to watch anyway. Even better, if they see something they like in the video, they can swipe up to get it instantly.
Online fashion brand Boohoo already has an engaged, loyal Gen Z following thanks to its great designs and affordable clothing. Their recent challenge, #itsfromboohoo hits the nail on the head, and makes them one of the best fashion brands on TikTok.
Boohoo were heavily featured in the press this July (as was their stock price dip), but they didn’t let this stop them. After announcing they would rectify factory conditions by building a ‘model factory’ in Leicester, the brand also kicked off their TikTok campaign.
Their #itsfromboohoo challenge encouraged TikTokkers to choreograph their own dance, mouthing along to the custom audio they produced (“It’s Boohoo, baby!”). This catchy combination is everything that TikTok is about: its easy, its fun, and its a little gawky. They work with top influencers like Kelianne Stankus, giving them social proof and winning over the hearts of their Gen Z audience once more. Their challenge was recreated by popular accounts like @crushinit, and garnered 11.3M views in total.
SHEIN is an online-only retailer, and a relatively newer player in the fashion industry. When SHEIN first came to UK markets, a big focus was gaining consumer trust and loyalty, since no one had really heard of them before.
Fast forward to 2020, and now they’re one of the best fashion brands on TikTok and Snapchat – even partnering with Addison Rae (60.7M followers)! So, what’s their secret sauce? They know their audience, and they know what works on TikTok.
Shein’s feed is full of interesting outfit transitions and influencers. However, one of their most interesting videos is this quirky little makeup sponge dryer. That’s right, a mini tumble dryer that dries your makeup sponge for you. By posting unique products like this, Shein knows they’re going to stand out compared to other fashion brands. I mean, where else can you get a mini tumble dryer?!
Beyond being quirky, the video’s also a customer testimonial, which really helps to add trust. It’s also the kind of video that does really well on TikTok, but might stick out like a sore thumb on Instagram. The icing on the cake? It’s set to a trending sound. All of these moves set it up to go viral, which it did with over 45k views!
Creating constantly interesting content that’s a little ‘out-there’ for Instagram is what makes SHEIN so good on TikTok. It keeps their feed from getting repetitive, since no two days are ever the same.
Gymshark is known for their well-fitting workout clothing. They’re one of the brands dealing with our post-COVID landscape pretty well: with their relatable hashtag #workoutfromhome. They capitalise on the TikTok craze of sharing home workouts, featuring people wearing Gymshark. The audio works to draw attention to the clothing, while the video shows off the workout.
They’re also savvy about partnering with influencers, like the Rybka Twins (12M followers). This video is a really good example of successful influencer marketing: they feature relatable moments like pulling down your sleeves, and pulling up the top of your leggings before working out.
Gymshark is another brand who keep their content interesting, sharing everything from workout hairstyles to tutorials on their feed. That’s the kind of content that makes them so popular on TikTok, with over 2 million followers.
The fashion industry’s changing after a difficult time for most retail brands. This means ad space continues to become more expensive, and competitive on traditional routes of advertising like Facebook and Instagram, or even physical adverts. We’re spending less time commuting and more time at home, so it’s worth meeting your audience where they already are: TikTok. Want more info on how to get started on TikTok? Click here.