In 30 seconds:
- TikTok’s new ad product, Branded Mission, is now in beta testing for brands and marketers in more than a dozen markets globally.
- The new digital marketing tool allows brands to crowdsource videos from content creators and turn them into ads.
- Making a branded mission work is about more than just writing the perfect brief, though. For campaigns to succeed, brands need to understand the principles of good TikTok marketing.
Branded Missions: they’re TikTok’s newest offering to advertisers and creators.
In recent years the social media platform has been introducing new ways to appeal to the legion of brands who use it to advertise to their followers – as well as better utilise its growing network of content creators.
The latest solution? A new form of two-way engagement that encourages TikTok users to produce authentic content to a brand’s advertising brief.
But making the most of advertising opportunities on TikTok is about more than just crafting the right brief. For brands to truly succeed on the platform, they need to understand its users, its interface, and approach each campaign with fresh eyes.
After all – not all TikTok challenges are the same.
As the resident TikTok marketing experts, we’ve delved deep into everything you need to know about TikTok Branded Missions and creator collaborations to ensure that your TikTok marketing campaign is a viral success.
What is a TikTok Branded Mission?
TikTok describes its Branded Mission offering as “an industry-first ad solution that enables advertisers to crowdsource authentic content from creators on TikTok, turn top-performing videos into ads, and improve brand affinity with media impressions.”
What does that mean in practice?
It all starts with a brief. Advertisers select requirements for their branded mission, and can choose whether to incorporate other advertising options such as Branded Hashtag Challenge or Branded Effect.
Eligible creators (with the TikTok branded content toggle on) then submit videos which adhere to the “mission”. The best-performing of those videos from the creator community form a shortlist, from which brands can hand select their winners.
The “missions” are available to all TikTok creators who are at least 18 years old, with 1,000 followers or more. The influencers whose videos are selected by the brands will benefit from “a cash payment” from the TikTok creator fund and “boosted traffic”, according to the platform, while the brands use their videos as In-Feed Ads.
Any videos which are not selected will become simple organic TikTok videos in the FYP.
So, the potential benefit to creators is clear. But what do brands stand to gain from this new feature? We’re exploring what makes collaborations like these work, so you can understand the best approach to marketing with influencers on TikTok.
Top TikTok Branded Content Examples
If you’re looking for inspiration for TikTok branded content campaigns – we have a lot of them. Our favourites show how brands have fully embraced the TikTok platform, bringing their content more in-line with Gen Z expectations and highlighting great influencer partnerships.
Here are a couple more of our recent favourites:
ASOS was the first European brand to try TikTok’s new Branded Mission, which they did on their Halloween #ASOSAlterEgo campaign.
The clothing brand used its branded mission page to ask participants to dress as their Halloween ‘alter ego’, and it provided branded music as well as a branded effect which split the screen into four – both of which made it even easier for users to create content to fit the challenge and get involved.
This may have taken place prior to the launch of the TikTok Branded Mission, but Origins’ launch into the TikTok world is a great example of the huge effect TikTok collaboration can have on branded content performance.
We worked with makeup brand Origins on the launch of their TikTok account via a #ShowYourOrigins challenge that encouraged users to celebrate their heritages via short-form videos.
We came up with the idea for the challenge, knowing it would be something Gen Z audiences on TikTok would love. We worked with a diverse group of influencers, and Origins re-posted the commissioned videos to their own account, with a caption that included a call-to-action for others to join the trend.
After this, we asked the additional influencers posted their challenge videos to emulate an organic trend – and it worked. In the first phase of the campaign alone, we grew Origins’ TikTok profile from under 100 followers to over 10,500, spurred many UGC videos from the TikTok community, and skyrocketed brand sentiment: every video had dozens of positive comments.
This method focused on building meaningful connections rather than forcing brand messaging – which therefore fit much better with TikTok’s audience. Senior Campaigns Manager, Jacqui Smith says of the campaign, “We wanted it to feel really real and tell authentic stories.” By emulating an organic trend and creating an opportunity for TikTokers to tell their own story, we closed the gap between established creators and Origins’ audience, and got young people to feel involved with the brand.
What makes a TikTok collaboration work?
The TikTok Branded Mission is the newest in a long history of advertising solutions on the platform, and it represents a clear understanding of what users enjoy from branded posts: authentic interaction.
TikTok has long established a culture of collaboration, from stitches to duets, and influencers who work with marketers have found that TikTokers trust their recommendations all the way to the check-out: 88% of Gen Z and Millennials learn about products they’re interested in buying on social media.
But to make sure your message connects, you need to know how to create challenges and content that TikTokers genuinely want to become involved in, and that place your brand in the best light.
To make sure your TikTok collaboration keys into that recipe for success, brands should be mindful of these top tips:
1. Be a story-teller
… or hire one!
On TikTok, authentic content is the name of the game. Users value authenticity; and more than half of them say they can be their “true selves” while on the platform.
That’s important, because Gen Z, who make up the majority of TikTok’s user base (and the biggest consumer generation, too!), don’t trust traditional advertising formats. They don’t like fakery – they like true stories, and they can get them on TikTok, mostly from the influencers that at least 3 out of 4 of them follow.
What does this mean for your brand? Well, TikTok influencers are natural marketers. They understand the platform’s culture, their own audience, and how to make a popular post. They’re storytellers, and having them on your side means you’re much more likely to capture the interest of your target audience.
The best way to make the most of your collaboration with an influencer is therefore to bow to their storytelling expertise. Let them create authentic content on your behalf, and you’ll find your efforts reflected in Gen Z’s engagement and increased brand affinity.
2. Be a hub
It’s vital that brands consider the entire ecosystem of their TikTok presence – not only their latest campaign.
That’s because, if your campaign is a viral success, a percentage of users will land on your account page.
Even more importantly, if audiences engage with your content in high numbers, the TikTok algorithm is likely to serve them more of it.
That means that your entire account, including your bio and all your past videos, should be designed to showcase your brand’s products and expertise.
By treating your TikTok account as a central hub, you can work on creating an environment that users want to join. After all, TikTok is all about community, and it’s only by showcasing to users what kind of community your brand represents that you can expect them to follow along for the ride.
3. Go niche
Speaking of communities – TikTok is full of them, both big and small. From car enthusiasts to crochet masters, you can expect to find a legion of TikTokers creating content to fit with any interest.
That’s great news for brands, because it means that targeting specific audiences and communities is easy – just as long as you’re involved with them.
That’s one way that collaborations on TikTok can be so valuable. By working with the right influencer, you can make sure that your content aligns with your target audiences’ interests. Plus, the creator acts as a gateway into those communities, because they already have an established presence there.
This is one way that the Branded Mission can help brands to get started on a campaign; by encouraging various creators to reach out with ideas that will land well with their own audiences.
It’s important to remember, though, that truly bespoke campaigns rely on clear communication between both parties. We’ve written before about how to find the perfect influencer for your brand campaign – so you’ll find more tips there.
Collaboration on TikTok
The TikTok influencer landscape is a huge industry, and it’s having a massive effect on the way young people view brands and make purchasing decisions.
That said, it’s no wonder that TikTok is experimenting with more ways to bring brands and creators closer together. But, no matter the latest advertising solution or marketing playbook, effective collaboration with TikTok creators still hinges on a few key elements. Namely: authenticity, communication, and trust.
A TikTok Branded Mission might represent an exciting way for a brand to dip their toe into the TikTok influencer world as a route to begin reaching the experts – but the true magic begins when you collaborate more, better, and with a consistent brief in mind.
Do you have more questions about marketing on TikTok, TikTok’s features, or just after tips to reach Gen Z? Look no further: