How Influencers & Celebrities Are Creating For Good Amid Coronavirus

influencer-during-COVID

With lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and quarantines in effect around the world, people are confined to their homes passing the time online and on social media. Statista estimates that social media usage during the month of March rose by 32%. Coronavirus may be the first global pandemic chronicled across social media — people are looking to online news sites and social media to find updates, voice their opinions, and entertain themselves.

Many brands have already taken the initiative to launch coronavirus influencer marketing campaigns. Most have been met by positive reactions while some influencers have made headlines during the outbreak for the wrong reasons.

Many influencers are using their social presence to aid, encourage, and inspire others. We share how influencers are responding to Coronavirus and share examples of influencers who are taking the extra step by creating charitable content for social good.

3 Primary Ways Influencers Are Responding To Coronavirus

COVID-19 has caused many influencers to rethink their social content strategy and re-align sponsorships. The lockdown presents an opportunity for influencers to engage differently with their followers, have well-being and mindfulness conversations during times of adversity, and for some, use their social clout to generate donations for COVID-19 relief charities and nonprofits.

1. AMPING UP CONTENT

  • Many influencers are using their time in isolation to up their content by creating IGTV tutorials, hosting Instagram LIVEs, and posting more frequent Stories.
  • Influencers are taking the opportunity to create specific at-home tutorials including loungewear clothing hauls, DIY crafting for kids, self-care routines, etc.
  • Goodwill Content: A study shows that 88% of influencers are actively seeking ways their content can help small businesses during economic hardship.
  • Coronavirus Influencer Trends: Boredom is bringing influencers to TikTok. Many Instagram-focused influencers have created TikTok accounts in the wake of the national lockdown.
  • Fitness influencers are energizing followers by posting at-home fitness workouts and challenges.

2. Business As Usual

  • While nearly 50% of influencers recommend brands acknowledge COVID-19 in current campaigns, some influencers are partaking in campaigns with a “business as usual” approach.
  • The same study shows that while influencers are worried about seeming insensitive during the pandemic, they are more concerned about a lack of collaboration opportunities.
  • In a transparency effort, most “business as usual” influencers are careful to clarify any posts that include content taken before the quarantine — especially travel influencers.

3. Social ‘Media’ Distancing

  • Some influencers are taking this period to take a social media break altogether. These influencers are welcoming the systematic downtime to escape work and also possibly avoid creator burnout.
  • While many influencers are postponing partnerships that may come across insensitive during these times, some influencers like Sina Duvinage of popular account @happygreylucky are pausing content altogether before deciding how to best serve their quarantined followers.

How Influencers Can Continue To Adapt During Coronavirus

  • Leverage their platform(s) to share a socially positive voice
  • Utilize ‘Swipe up’ links in Instagram Stories to share health information, donation links, etc.
  • Take the time to connect with their followers without “capitalizing” on the moment

12 Influencers And Celebrities Creating For A Cause During Coronavirus

Health officials have repeatedly stated that the millennial generation is the core demographic that’s going to help stop the spread of coronavirus around the globe.

Well managed, close relationships with influencers can help companies and brands continue to deliver high-quality content during uncertain times. Influencers work as ambassadors for brands by providing valuable exposure and trust through relevant and appealing influencer content.

Here are 12 examples of influencers and celebrities using their influence to address and aid communities:

1. DR. LESLIE KEEPS KIDS SAFE ON TIKTOK

Dr. Leslie was one of the first TikTok influencers to address the coronavirus back in January and has since grown her platform to over 560K followers. Her first coronavirus video generated over 4.2 million views and her light-hearted humor resonates with her Gen Z audience.

Dr. Leslie answers health questions, busts coronavirus myths, and incorporates TikTok challenges in her content to stay relevant and peak viewer interest.

2. COLOR ME COURTNEY PROMOTES SMALL BUSINESSES

Macro-influencer Courtney Quinn was quick to shift her usual content to focus on COVID assistance creating a small business movement where her followers promote their favorite businesses and business owners could share the best ways to help.

Her audience praised her for her quick thinking initiative and Courtney received more than 3x the average number of comments on her post. The candid influencer known for her motivational captions also launched a #ColorMeChallenge to help her followers through quarantine.

3. TIKTOK QUARANTINE CREW TELLS BACHELOR FANS TO WASH THEIR HANDS

Reality TV star and influencer Tyler Cameron forms TikTok supergroup @TheQuarantineCrew keeping over 560K Bachelorette fans entertained.

The crew made headlines when Hannah Brown, Tyler’s famous Bachelorette-ex joined the quarantine party fueling romance rumors. The friend group creates comical TikTok skits, many of which provide users with relevant health information.

4. BEAUTY YOUTUBER CARLI BYBEL PLAYS FANS’ MONTHLY BILLS

Early on in the Coronavirus outbreak beauty guru Carli Bybel took to her YouTube channel to give back to her fans. In the “Get Ready With Me” video Carli announces the worldwide giveaway will have two winners, and each will have all of their bills paid for the month of April.

The contest took place on Instagram and YouTube and Carli further promoted optimism by requiring giveaway contestants to each share “a positive thing they are taking away from this scary time.”

5. DUDE WITH SIGN ADVOCATES BEST HEALTH PRACTICES WITH WHO AND INSTAGRAM

Seth Phillips, aka dude with sign is a @fuckjerry influencer who captured America’s heart by sharing first world grovels on a cardboard sign. His simple content garners millions of likes per post and has allowed him to work with Jimmy Kimmel and Justin Bieber.

On March 16, he partnered with Instagram and the WHO to create a 6 picture post to publicize best health practices to his over 7 million followers. His blunt approach was well received with a 32% engagement rate, 12% higher than his average.

6. INFLUENCERS JOIN TV ROSTER FOR NICKELODEON LIVE! SPECIAL

kids together coronavirus influencers

A study shows that 75% of Gen Z and Millennials want to become YouTubers when they grow up. With the line between celebrities and social media stars becoming increasingly blurred it is not a huge surprise that social media influencers account for almost one-fourth of Nickelodeon’s LIVE programming talent.

YouTubers David Dobrik and Emma Chamberlain, and TikTok stars Addison Rae, Annie Leblanc, and Charlie D’Amelio were some of the influencers included in the children’s channel event. The “#KidsTogether Nickelodeon Town Hall” sought to answer children’s questions about COVID-19, and share how kids can make an impact during the health crisis.

7. DAVID DOBRIK AND HIS VLOG SQUAD SHOCK THE INTERNET WITH CORONAVIRUS GIFTING SPREE

The recently crowned “Favorite Male Social Star of 2020” returned to YouTube after a month break only to surprise fans with one of his biggest giveaways. The star drove around Los Angeles gifting families in need video game consoles, $10,000 checks and even cars!

David’s generous video immediately started trending worldwide on Twitter. Fellow YouTube vlogger @RyanAbe tweeted, “David Dobrik shooting $10,000 checks out of a t-shirt cannon at random people from his car is the kind of energy I needed to see in the world right now.”

5 Celebrity Influencers Rising to the Cause During Lockdown

1. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER TEAMS UP WITH TIKTOK TO FEED FAMILIES AROUND THE U.S.

With a $3 million donation, TikTok announced a new partnership with the former governor’s charity to provide relief to families during the virus outbreak. His After-School All-Stars program was quick to modify their operations to help children and families affected by the nationwide school closures.

While the partnership may take some by surprise, TikTok has long been a fan of the Terminator. In April 2019 TikTok excitedly welcomed Mr. Schwarzenegger to the app in a newsroom post that launched the #LikeArnold trend.

2. @STASSIEBABY AND DOORDASH ENDORSE #DOYOURPARTCHALLENGE FOR @FEEDINGAMERICA

Anastasia Karanikolaou better known as @Stassiebaby, is a celebrity influencer whose high-profile friendship with Kylie Jenner has helped her amass to near 8 million Instagram followers.

Using her platform for good, Stassie posted a video starting the #DoYourPartChallenge. The challenge has since collected over 1,082 posts and caught the attention of @doordash who eagerly assisted by gifting meals.

3. SELENA GOMEZ TAKES TIME TO SHOW FANS HOW TO HAVE #SAFEHANDS

In a video post notably different from her usual content, Selena Gomez showed her 176 million followers how she washes her hands. The actress/singer got candid with her followers in the one-minute long video, showing she too is abiding the stay at home orders.

Her raw approach to the #SafeHands hashtag challenge was viewed more than 5.6 million times and the star tagged a chain of celebrities friends to help continue the health-conscious trend.

4. JOHN KRAZINSKI SPREADS SOME MUCH NEEDED ‘GOOD NEWS’

John Krazinski created ‘Some Good News’ in hopes to make people smile amid the chaos of COVID-19. While the one month old channel has only 12 videos, it has raked up 2.3 subscribers with an exceptional average of 4.3 million views per video.

Synonymous with its name the channel features uplifting, positive news stories and is filled with celebrity guest appearances. Oprah, Steven Spielberg, and Martha Stewart are just a few of the big names who have virtually joined the news show.

5. KYLIE JENNER ALTERS COSMETIC OPERATIONS TO FOCUS ON CREATING HEALTHCARE NECESSITIES

Kylie Jenner joins a posse of business owners who are switching operations to make COVID-related products in wake of the health crisis. The CEO announced that her cosmetics brand will be producing hand sanitizers to be donated to emergency and healthcare workers. The makeup mogul is just one of the many celebrities who are giving back to the community by making considerable coronavirus donations.

8 Brands Doing Coronavirus Influencer Marketing Right on Instagram and TikTok

coronvirus influencer marketing

As COVID-19 continues to affect nearly every industry, brands face the unforeseen reality of how to responsibly market to an apprehensive audience. With lockdowns and shelter-at-home restrictions in place, Neilsen reports that media usage has seen a 60% increase, a spike launching many new market trends and presenting unique opportunities for marketers.

We explore how brands are launching relevant influencer marketing campaigns by donating to nonprofits, increasing health awareness, and tailoring marketing plans to support an at-home audience. At a time when brand safety is crucial, we look into how companies are responding to new challenges, adjusting goals and mitigating brand risk with influencer marketing campaigns.

While the coronavirus outbreak has postponed or canceled many branded events and/or activations, many companies are continuing with planned marketing campaigns and re-adjusting their CTA’s to acknowledge the virus. While re-shaping goals differs for each business, many companies are finding success in meaningful cause marketing approaches.

Social and environmental responsibility is a priority for consumers, with 87% of customers willing to switch from one brand to another based solely on association with a good cause.

Marketing and advertising efforts are more effective when brands partner with causes, too — 95% of respondents in a survey of college students said that they were less likely to skip a brand’s ad if it was promoting a partnership with a cause.

Here are 8 impactful ways brands have shifted their influencer marketing campaigns to acknowledge the global health crisis and support at-home audiences in the right way.

How These 8 Brands Are Working With Influencers During Coronavirus

1. Proctor & Gamble Joins Charli D’Amelio for a TikTok #DistanceDance

coronavirus tiktok marketing

Proctor & Gamble partnered with the one of most-followed influencers on TikTok, Charlie D’Amelio, to create a COVID-related dance challenge.

P&G encouraged audience interaction by focusing the campaign around a ‘dance challenge’, a strong engagement driver on TikTok. For the first 3 million user-created #DistanceDance videos, P&G pledged to make a donation to Feeding America and Matthew 25. User-created videos in response to the challenge have already surpassed 90,000.

2. Under Armour Teams Up With Athlete Influencers For “Healthy At Home” Donation Challenge

influencer-marketing-coronavirus-fitness-example

Under Armour and MyFitnessPal enlisted health and wellness influencers to create inspiring branded IGTV content for their “Healthy At Home” campaign. The brands partnered with two celebrity influencers along with supporting micro- and mid-tier influencers to transform their social media accounts into a fitness resource for people during social isolation. Additionally, Under Armour will donate $1 to Good Sports, Inc for every MyFitness sign-up to ensure youth sports programs have the necessary equipment, footwear, and funding once play resumes.

‘Home Workout’ Search Sees A 350% Increase In US

Google trend insert :

With gyms and fitness studios closed across the country nearly every brand in the health/wellness industry has restructured their social media strategy to offer online classes, live streams, and at-home workout tips. Activewear brand social media accounts are turning into influencer-hosted channels where fitness influencers host Stories, IG Live Takeovers, and IGTV episodes.

coronavirus-influencer-marketing-fitness

Because of the ease of production time, partnering with fitness influencers allows brands to quickly develop quality content and entertainment for their at-home audience.

3. TRUTH Initiative Curbs Boredom With #WerkItFromHome TikTok Trend

coronavirus-marketing-examples-tiktok

Truth Initiative partnered with popular Gen Z TikTok influencers to boost morale and show users that “plenty of good times” can happen without leaving home.
Truth encouraged young users to escape boredom by dressing up for the #WerkItFromHome challenge and praising those who are doing the right thing by staying at home. The sponsored hashtag included a link to the nonprofit’s website that hosts mental health tips and CDC information. So far, over 2,000 users have participated in the sponsored challenge.

4. #REVOLVEAroundTheWorld Becomes #REVOLVEAroundTheHouse

coronavirus influencer marketing

REVOLVE takes its traveling influencer squad indoors with a full livestream schedule on Instagram and IGTV. The $1.2 billion dollar fashion retailer has been emphasizing loungewear, self-care, and activewear during the lockdown and is still generating content as usual by adjusting their campaign to feature influencers in home settings. REVOLVE’s pioneering influencer strategy has long been an aspirational framework for other brands and the company’s campaign modifications during COVID-19 is a model for marketers as well.

5. Gatorade Unites Sports Fans with TikTok #PlaybyPlay Campaign

coronavirus influencer marketing sports

Gatorade sponsored six athlete influencers popular on TikTok to make their own “big plays” at home and motivate sports fans to re-live iconic sports plays while staying safe and active. The brand supplied users with three official sound clips to choose from to re-enact iconic moments in sports using items around the house. Collectively, the six sponsored TikTok posts scored an average engagement rate of over 21%.

6. The #CookieWithACause Keeps Fans Entertained During Quarantine

influencer marketing coronavirus

Oreo kicked off the #CookieWithACause branded hashtag challenge on TikTok by asking fans to post a video of themselves with a cookie on their forehead and move it to their mouth with their own personal flair. For the first 1 million user-generated videos, Oreo pledged to make a donation to Save The Children. The campaign generated over 29.5 million hashtag views within the first 24 hours, and at least two prominent influencers joined in on cause-focused fun.

7. Shoewear Brand Creates a Big Footprint with #AtHomeWithFrye on Instagram

influencer coronavirus marketing

Frye Company partnered with two established influencers in the fashion/lifestyle space to launch their #AtHomeWithFrye cause campaign to support Feeding America and generate brand positivity. As a part of their COVID-19 initiative, the shoe company is hosting product giveaways every week to generate brand awareness and give back to their loyal customers while stores are closed.

8. EASports Stays Home With Harvey Petito

coronavirus influencer marketing easports

The Australian model encouraged his followers to #StayHomePlayTogether while promoting Fifa20 in the sponsored post. The Instagram post garnered over 30,000 likes in the first six hours.

While Esports has seen its share of live event cancellations due to the coronavirus, Esports is distinctly better positioned to adapt to the COVID-crisis than traditional sports, and has fared comparatively well.
In fact, TIME found that viewership on Twitch rose 31% in March and StreamElements reported that the weekend of March 14 saw YouTube Gaming’s viewership jump up by 15%. Acknowledging the uptick in viewership, Ann Hand, CEO of Super League Gaming, tells Venture Beat, Esports is “an important way that people are going to stay socially connected during this time.”

How Brands Marketing With Influencers Can Further Adjust

  • Brands will need to appeal to more conservative buyers due to the resulting economic disruption caused by the pandemic.
  • 47% of influencers recommend that brands should acknowledge COVID-19 in current campaigns
  • Opportunity for brands to spread socially positive messages in campaigns by partnering with charities and nonprofits.
  • View influencers as instructors and resources for branded content

What Approaches Brands Should Avoid During The COVID-19 Crisis

  • Avoid the spread of misinformation. Vincent Racaniello, creator of the podcast This Week In Virology, warns against sharing medical facts without fact checking, “It’s happened for other outbreaks like Ebola and Zika,” he said. “With the onset of social media, it gives everybody the opportunity to be an expert.”
  • Brands and influencers should veer on the sensitive side of content to avoid an influencer marketing scandal and as to not appear they are profiting from the health emergency.
influencer-marketing-coronavirus-examples

Australian influencer Skye Wheatley made headlines for the wrong reasons when she posed next to empty grocery store shelves for a sponsored Instagram post.

Influencers can help brands reach audiences in a personal way by using a powerful message. From incentivizing posts to spreading positive messaging, marketing with a cause-focused initiative can help brands rise above the noise and leave consumers with a lasting impression. These top examples of marketing for good can help brands and marketers amplify their campaign during COVID-19.

Bloomberg's Instagram Meme Campaign Reaches Over 60M

political instagram campaign

Top Meme Pages Create Viral Content And Sponsor Presidential Candidates?

On February 11, 2020 Michael Bloomberg enlisted the help of top meme creators to spread awareness of his 2020 run for president. In a controversial influencer campaign that has many marketers reminiscing the Fyre Festival fiasco, Bloomberg’s sponsored posts managed to reach over 60 million people showing the true power of influencer marketing.

Read on to see the results of the campaign, 20+ sponsored posts, the response on social media, and more

Over 20 active top meme accounts created screenshot style posts of the presidential candidate’s direct message offer to “make him look cool.”

GOAL

  • Generate awareness and conversation about Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy to jump start the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries
  • Appeal to younger voters whom Bloomberg might seem out of touch or are unfamiliar with
  • Create a funny, viral campaign and reach millions

APPROACH

  • Channel – Instagram
  • Influencers – All 20+ influencers posted the sponsored memes on February 12, 2020.

THE 20 + CAMPAIGN POSTS

1. Fuck Jerry – 14.9M Followers

2. Shitheadsteve – 5.3M Followers

3. WhitePeopleHumor – 4.3M Followers

4. FourTwenty – 3.8M Followers

View this post on Instagram

 

Quick vibe check. (And yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by Four Twenty (@fourtwenty) on

5. Cohmedy – 3.7M Followers

6. KaleSalad – 3.5M Followers

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I actually taste amazing tbh (and yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by Memes (@kalesalad) on

7. GrapeJuiceBoys – 2.7M Followers

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I don’t get it ?? (Paid for by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by @ grapejuiceboys on

8. TheFunnyIntrovert – 2.4M Followers

9. Tank.Sinatra – 2.3M Followers

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Great job Mike… (Yes this is really sponsored by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by Tank.Sinatra (@tank.sinatra) on

10. MoistBuddah – 2.2M Followers

More Posts

11. DrGrayFang – 2M Followers

12. TrashCanPaul – 1.8M Followers

13. MiddleClassFancy – 1.8M Followers

14. FuckAdvertisements – 1.4M Followers

15. Sonny5ideUp – 1.3M Followers

16. NeatDad – 1.3M Followers

17. GamersDoingThings – 1.3M Followers

18. NeatMom – 916K Followers

19. Adam.the.creator – 666K Followers

20. GolfersDoingThings – 572K Followers

21. DoYouEvenLift – 496K Followers

22. Mrs.DowJones – 117K Followers

23. DeportedChild – 2.5K Followers

RESULTS FROM THE INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER

  • The 20+ posts reached nearly 60M Instagram followers. For comparison, the campaign’s reach was more than the populations of California and New York combined. Michael Bloomberg’s Instagram account gained 47,193 followers overnight.

ENGAGEMENT

  • Likes: 1,483,398
  • Comments: 44,593
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 4.3%
  • Around 80% of meme accounts in the campaign had better than average engagement rates. Some had almost double the engagement rate on this sponsored post compared to their typical engagement rate on non-sponsored posts.

Political Instagram Campaign Response

The campaign was novel in it’s approach and broke new ground in terms of political campaigns and influencers. It had engagement similar to other content on the meme accounts, but for the most part more comments with many of the comments negative or promoting other candidates.

As to convincing younger voters, of the commenters, some expressed their opinion by unfollowing and commenting “unfollow” on all the accounts involved, while others explained frustration with comments like “i follow meme pages for laughs not politics.” Many of the memes left followers confused, wondering if it was a legit ad. Most Instagrammers were left unsure as to whether or not the humor was actually at the expense of Mr. Bloomberg.

Notable top meme influencers who did not participate in the political Instagram campaign include memezar -11.3 million followers, epicfunnypage – 16.7 million followers, among many others. Thefatjewish (11 million followers) publicly spoke out against Michael Bloomberg in an Instagram comment, saying “they asked me to do it, I said no.”

Another account Ole Murica (46.6K followers) posted a DM exchange where they can be seen refusing the presidential candidate’s offer to be “heavily compensated.” Per the typical tendencies of the internet, fake Bloomberg memes in the same format are going viral as well which makes it difficult to differentiate the authentic paid endorsements from other meme pages trying to get in on the action.

While political Instagram campaigns are no doubt controversial, WIRED warns that with the upcoming election, “Mike Bloomberg’s meme campaign is also only the beginning.”

Legalities of Political Ads on Instagram

Currently, the FTC’s guidelines say that public online communications advocating for the election or defeat of a candidate for a fee must include a disclaimer to inform who paid for the content. Instagram’s Help Center Guidelines read that in Feed or Stories, an ad about social issues, elections or politics is required to include information about who paid for them. All meme accounts seem to be Instagram and FTC compliant as they included a disclaimer of sponsorship in the caption. In fact, most meme influencers disclaimers’ shared exact wording “(Yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg).”

Doritos Scores On Social with TikTok Hashtag Challenge During Super Bowl

TikTok Hashtag Challenge Doritos SuperBowl

What is a TikTok Hashtag Challenge?

Challenges are an integral part of the short-form video app. Mobile users record themselves attempting to perform a challenge, and post the content with a denoted hashtag. Often times users take it upon themselves to seek out other users to challenge or ‘duet’ with.

If a TikTok Hashtag Challenge gains momentum on the app, or ends up on the For You page, the challenge can garner millions of views across all social media platforms. Top TikTok Hashtag Challenge trends include lip syncing, using AR filters, compiling duets with top creators, and more.

Trending TikTok dances make up many of the most popular videos on the app, with the search for “tiktok dance” doubling in volume since December 2019.

Sponsors have been getting in on the viral trend by creating their own branded challenges to garner interest and engagement. Jimmy Fallon was one of the first celebrities to jump on the wagon, starting a ‘Tumbleweed Challenge’ as one of TikTok’s first influencer collaborations on the platform.

Brands like Chipotle, Mucinex, Walmart, and GymShark have all marketed to Gen Z users on TikTok using branded TikTok Hashtag Campaigns. By sponsoring TikTok Hashtag Challenges, brands essentially turn users into brand content creators.

Musicians, dancers and singers are thriving on the short-from entertainment app with entertainers acknowledging TikTok as a great way to grow a fan base and promote their music.

Nothing, however, is quite like the case of Lil Naz X’s “Old Town Road.” TikTok skyrocketed Lil Nas X to mainstream popularity with his catchy tune after his sound clip was part of a viral TikTok Hashtag Challenge. After landing a record deal from his immediate fame, the aspiring artist broke records with his song placing #1 for 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lil Nas X Partners with Doritos for a #CoolRanchDance In The Wild West

In one of his largest collaborations yet, the TikTok-grown star recently partnered with Doritos in their 2020 Super Bowl ad to star as the sheriff of “The Cool Ranch”. In the one minute ad Lil Nas X challenges Sam Elliott to a comedic dance battle to his hit Western jingle.

The video has over 12.6 million views on the snack brand’s official YouTube page and the commercial ends with the hashtag #CoolRanchDance, a hint for viewers to discover more on social media.

So far 2,776 users have created dance videos using the dance challenge’s official sound clip on TikTok. Most of the user-generated #CoolRanchDance videos feature a western transformation transition, dance moves, and– a bag of Doritos.

GOALS

  • Create an active and meaningful connection with fans by inviting them to participate in the brand’s dance challenge.
  • Communicate Doritos brand philosophy to young mobile users and the Super Bowl’s massive audience.
  • Leverage TikTok’s ‘challenge’ community to generate brand positivity for the cross-channel campaign.
  • Encourage users to download the brand-backed getsway.app to create #CoolRanchDance videos
  • Promote a renewed version of Doritos Cool Ranch Flavored Tortilla Chips

 

APPROACH

  • Channel – TikTok
  • Influencers – Six of the nine influencers who created sponsored posts were labeled as verifed influencers for the campaign as shown by the “official” overlay placed across their videos.

 

Campaign Examples

1. Montana Tucker

@montanatuckerWoah I can’t believe that happened!!! Learn this dance&duet with me! #coolranchdance #ad♬ Old Town Road – Lil Nas X

2. Josh Killacky

@joshkillackyMy alter ego is showing 🤦🏼‍♂️🤣duet my #CoolRanchDance #ad♬ Old Town Road – Lil Nas X

3. James Henry

@jameshenryBring the flavor to the party with #Doritos! Duet this and show everyone your #CoolRanchDance!🏇🏿 #ad♬ Old Town Road – Lil Nas X

RESULTS

Social Reach

  • TikTok fans targeted: 17.7 million fans

 

Engagement

  • Hearts (Likes): 249,249
  • Comments: 2,436
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 11.11%
  • Combined views of videos: 2,997,900 views
  • Hashtag usage (in views) #CoolRanchDance: 1.2 billion views

 

Takeaways

  • Doritos image and offerings match up well with TikTok’s format and influencers.
  • By partnering with TikTok superstar Lil Nas X for a hashtag challenge, Doritos appeals to aspiring entertainers, as they are reminded of Lil Nas X’s sudden fame due to a hashtag challenge.

10 TikTok Marketing Campaigns: How Brands are Using TikTok Influencers

TikTok Marketing Campaign

Insights & Results From These 10 TikTok Marketing Campaigns

TikTok marketing campaigns are relative newcomers to the influencer marketing industry. Chinese owners ByteDance introduced the platform to the US back in 2017, before acquiring and then merging it with the popular Musical.ly app in August of 2018.

Although TikTok is social media’s newest kid on the block, the app has had an astronomical rise to the top. Reports in November indicated that TikTok has so far been downloaded 1.5 billion times, making it one of the most popular platforms in the world. TikTok finished the 2019 year becoming the number one most downloaded app in both the App Store and Google Play.

Now, with brands and influencers feeling more comfortable on the burgeoning platform, it has truly begun to demonstrate its potential as a marketing tool. Combined with a rapidly growing user base of young millennials and Gen Zers, TikTok has found itself in the enviable position of being the hottest influencer marketing tool of the year.

Here are 10 TikTok marketing campaigns that show just how useful the platform can be to brands and marketers:

Top TikTok Marketing Campaigns With Stellar Results

  1. Chipotle: #Boorito Challenge
  2. Mucinex: #TooSickToBeSick Challenge
  3. Charlie’s Angels: Don’t Call Me Angel
  4. Kool-Aid: #OHYeahChristmas with LilJon Contest
  5. #TransformUrDorm Kroger Is First To Try New In-App Shopping Tool
  6. Gymshark: Fitness Niche
  7. Walmart: Black Friday Campaign #DealDropDance
  8. TooFaced: Ongoing Influencer Partnerships
  9. Calvin Klein’s TikTok Marketing
  10. EA Sports: Influencer Partnerships on TikTok

1. Chipotle: #Boorito Challenge

@brittany_broskithe duality of man. On oct 31 u can get a burrito for $4 if u come in costume after 3pm. EAT UP MY BABIES!!! #Boorito chipotle #ad♬ Boo (Remix) – Ronald Stein

Chipotle had its annual “Boorito” offer for Halloween this year, offering food at a reduced price for customers who ordered in a spooky outfit. Like other brands, TikTok has increasingly become a key part in Chipotle’s promotional campaign this year. The challenge involved users posting a video showcasing their before and after Halloween costume transformations, using the custom sound bite that Chipotle created just for the campaign.

The top five posts (based on number of likes) that used the #Boorito and #Contest tags would give winners free burritos for a year. Influencers who were sponsored to participate in the campaign included Brittany Broski, Zach King, and Jiffpom.

Throughout the campaign, the #Boorito tag garnered an astonishing 3.6 billion views, largely helped by partnering with influencers who could promote viral videos for the brand. Broski’s promotion racked up 160K likes in her advertisement.

This isn’t Chipotle’s first experience on TikTok. The brand has a history of success on the platform. It previously did a promotion for National Avocado Day using the tag #GuacDance, encouraging fans to post a video showing off their dance moves. The campaign got 250,000 submissions and 430 million video views in six days. Their latest campaign smashed those numbers out of the water, and will likely embolden them to pursue more campaigns in 2020.

2. Mucinex #TooSickToBeSick Challenge

@jaydencroesDon’t let a cold limit your fun this holiday! I am #TooSickToBeSick 😎🔥 #Mucinex #Sponsored♬ #TooSickToBeSick – Join The Challenge


Pharmaceutical brands have not been known to have the easiest rides when it comes to social media influencer marketing. Traditional advertising is notably harder for medicinal products. Because of FDA and FTC guidelines, influencers have to be extra careful when promoting health products. With social media stars often running afoul of requirements, brands have been cautious in how they use influencer marketing for medical brands.

Kim Kardashian’s dressing-down by the FDA caused many brands to rethink their strategies, with many now opting to avoid directly advertising medical products and instead forming partnerships that utilize influencers’ personalities to market products.

Mucinex’s campaign, its first on TikTok, was in this same mold, using creators to promote an over-the-counter product; a first for TikTok.

The campaign involved challenging users to a “transformation”; a common theme which suits the platform’s style well, making use of transitions. Transitions are slick edits from one video to another, typically done by users to show a quick, smooth change to their viewers.

To participate, users had to post a video contrasting them being “too sick” with them being “so sick” and include the tag #TooSickToBeSick, to promote their cough medicine. The challenge was a success generating over 889 million views.

They partnered with four influencers for the campaign; Jaydencroes, OurFire, dreaknowsbest, and Nick Tangorra. Jayden Croes’ effort notched up 501K likes. Altogether, the four racked up 1.8 million likes and over 20K shares.

3. Charlie’s Angels: Don’t Call Me Angel

@demibagbyShow me your most fierce moves #CharliesAngelsUnite! charliesangelsmovie in theaters Nov 15th! #ad

♬ Don’t Call Me Angel (Charlie’s Angels) – Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus & Lana Del Rey

Influencer marketing and movies go hand-in-hand. Entertainment brands have been using other platforms, like Instagram, to great effect for a number of years now. TikTok is no exception, and some entertainment products are well-suited for campaigns on the app.

The recently rebooted Charlie’s Angels was given a promotional campaign on TikTok, with over 15 influencers involved in the marketing effort. The campaign involved influencers performing a dance or skit to the lead single on the film’s soundtrack, Don’t Call Me Angel. TikTok, along with its predecessor Musical.ly, has become a hotbed for viral songs, and they are often regarded as key to a successful influencer campaign.

It’s the unique approach to music the app takes that differentiates it from other platforms and makes it an attractive option for brands and marketers. While stats are cagey, the historical indications are that the vast majority (85%) of people use other networks with no sound.

TikTok is therefore able to position itself as an app where most users will be watching and listening—a key consideration if you have three of the world’s biggest pop stars performing your tie-in song. The influencers used included Rebecca Zamola, Zoe Laverne, and Lauren Godwin, using the tag #CharliesAngelsUnite, which accrued over 4.2 billion views. 129.2K TikTok users uploaded videos using the feature song from the film.

4. Kool-Aid: #OHYeahChristmas with LilJon Contest

@glitterandlazers

Oh Yeah! Show how you get festive and use #OhYEAHChristmas to enter for a chance to win $10K from koolaidmanofficial. #KoolAid #Ad #contest

♬ All I Really Want for Christmas (feat. Kool-Aid Man) – Lil Jon

Much like Mucinex, Kraft Heinz’s Kool-Aid had its first TikTok campaign in 2019, with a hashtag challenge and a chance to win $10,000. Users were encouraged to post videos of themselves enjoying the holiday spirit and using the tag #OhYEAHChristmas for a chance to win.

The campaign featured rapper Lil Jon and the brand mascot, Kool-Aid Man, with the pair posting three videos to the official account at @Koolaidmanofficial. Kool-Aid’s target market of younger audiences is well-served by marketing on TikTok. 60% of users in the US are 16-24 years old, making it an ideal platform for reaching out to younger consumers.

In addition to Lil Jon, influencers were brought in to engage in the campaign, such as Glitterandlazers, who has a following of 3.8 million users. Her post garnered over 1.3 million views and 79.1K likes.

Other influencers promoting the contest included kidrl, nickandsienna, and kingcamo_1, who have a combined following of 9.1 million users. Over 10K videos have been made for the challenge, which began on December 2nd and ended 10 days later. The winner will be announced early 2020.

5. #TransformUrDorm Kroger Is First To Test Out New In-App Shopping Feature

TikTok Marketing Campaign

Retail giant Kroger stands alone as the first company to participate in TikTok’s new “Hashtag Challenge Plus”. Hashtag Challenge Plus allows users to shop for products associated with a marketing campaign’s hashtag directly through the app.

This is done through the “Explore” tab, which features an in-app experience where campaign products can be purchased within TikTok. This tab has since been removed, but videos associated with the #TransformUrDorm tag have been viewed 875 million times.

This primarily serves as an additional means for TikTok to monetize its platform in a bid to avoid the pitfalls suffered by other similar short-form video platforms in the past. Kroger partnered with four influencers for the campaign: Joey Klaasen, Cosette Rinab, Mia Finney, and Victoria Bachlet, collectively boasting 13.8 million followers.

The campaign challenge itself centered around asking users to post videos showing their dorm transformations. The influencers’ uploads together racked up 3 million views, 252K likes, 1352 comments, and 1747 shares. The campaign hashtag has so far accrued 876.2 million views by TikTok users.

In spite of not being a typical hunting ground for a brand like Kroger, this campaign shows that TikTok can prove a vital tool for some brands in reaching out to those crucial Gen Z audiences that grow in importance every year.

6. Gymshark: Fitness Niche

@gymshark

rybkatwinsofficial rockin’ our pastel collection🙌 which colour is your fave? #gymshark66

♬ original sound – gymshark

Fitness is a vertical that performs extremely well with social media influencer marketing. Fitness influencers command substantial authority and popularity on Instagram, partly because of the aspirational nature of the platform.

Gymshark was early on the Instagram influencer train, investing heavily into the market. They have 2.9 million followers on their brand Instagram account. The company decided to translate this success from one platform to another, shifting some of their focus to younger demographics found on TikTok.

On January 1st 2019, Gymshark announced its 66 Days: Change Your Life challenge. Users were tasked with picking a personal goal, which they would then hope to achieve by March 8th, taking before and after pictures of their progress. The competition promised the winner a year’s supply of Gymshark goods.

Gymshark partnered with six influencers, at the time having a collective following of 19.8 million. They purposefully chose to collaborate with personalities who had higher followings on TikTok than Instagram, though some cross-posted their promotions there as well.

The campaign brought nearly 2 million likes, 12K likes, and an engagement rate of 11.1%. The campaign hashtag, #gymshark66, was viewed 45.5 million times.

7. Walmart: Black Friday Campaign #DealDropDance

Walmart Influencer Marketing

As if any more evidence was needed that the biggest brands in the world are looking to TikTok to market their products; the world’s biggest company by revenue also got in on the act.

Walmart engaged in its first TikTok campaign—a common theme for big brands this year—by encouraging users to post videos of themselves expressing how Black Friday savings at the store make them feel with a jig.

The campaign used the tag #DealDropDance, which has to date generated a staggering 3.6 billion views on videos that included the hashtag. For the effort, Walmart signed six influencers: Montanatucker, dreaknowsbest, bdash_2, kidrl, kingcamo_1, OurFire, reaching over 17 million followers.

OurFire’s promotion, which featured the pair predictably dancing in a store, achieved over 57K likes, 488 comments, and 739 shares from their 5.5 million followers. Walmart’s involvement in yet another signal that the biggest brands are taking TikTok seriously as a marketing tool.

There are few other platforms that have such a defined and engaged Gen Z audience, and with brands catching on we can expect to see them utilizing it more frequently in 2020.

8. TooFaced: Ongoing Influencer Partnerships

@kristenhancher

DAMN my lashes look THICK! Wearing the toofaced DAMN GIRL mascara #TooFacedPartner #TFDamnGirl #sponsored

♬ When I Get Going – Kallico

Unsurprisingly, cosmetics brands prove to be just as popular on TikTok as they are on YouTube and Instagram. Beauty brand TooFaced partnered with TikTok influencer Kristen Hancher for an ongoing campaign.

Using the hashtag #toofacedpartner, influencers post videos of themselves doing makeup routines with a before and after demonstrating their transformations. Hancher’s video featured her briefly makeup-free, before a quick edit to her transformation with her showing the products she used and a song played over the top.

The success of the video among fans was likely bolstered by her presenting herself with no makeup; uncommon for her typical upload. Her promotion garnered 1.8 million views, 167K likes, 1816 comments, and 2219 shares.

In addition to Hancher, other influencers have also partnered with the ongoing campaign. Victoria Lyn, Ewa Zawada, Laurie Elle, and Chloe Rose all signed up to participate by uploading their own promotions for the brand.

The influencers collectively account for 11.9 million followers. With Hancher’s 23.1 million, TooFaced’s reach for the campaign is a staggering 35 million TikTok users. The campaign’s tag has so far got a relatively meager 9.4 million views, but as a long-term project that unlikely to ruffle any feathers just yet.

9. Calvin Klein’s TikTok Marketing

@calvinklein#statements on hair, via #kendalljenner. our now. #mycalvins #calvinklein

♬ original sound – calvinklein

Here we have again another brand launching its first foray into TikTok marketing. Not overly confident with digital marketing, Calvin Klein has used TikTok as something of an experiment to grow their online presence as organically as possible.

While most brands operate their strategies by seeking out influencers and leveraging their existing fan bases, Calvin Klein took a more traditional approach to their marketing. That is to say, they created an official account, hired big-name celebrities, and posted their promotional marketing material directly through the official account.

They have so far produced 22 videos, establishing a following of 5.1K. Under the tag #MyCalvins, stars such as Shawn Mendes, Kendall Jenner, and A$AP Rocky are briefly interviewed for the brand.

Given the relatively low view and like counts that the campaign has so far produced, it’s unclear whether this approach will prove to be successful in the long run. Social media platforms—TikTok in particular—thrive because their distinct subcultures.

The personalities that dominate them are often non-traditional celebrities for precisely this reason. It’s one of the reasons partnering with an influencer closely associated with the platform will give a marketer the most bang for their buck.

10. EA Sports: Influencer Partnerships on TikTok

@brentriveraWhen you’re forced to get out of the house..😫😂 #ApexLegends #ad

♬ original sound – brentrivera

Video game company EA Sports is a match made in heaven for TikTok influencer marketing. The younger generations, Millennials and Gen Z, account for a large proportion of gamers, and TikTok’s gaming subculture is massive (videos with #Fortnite have over 14.3 billion on the platform).

A more comprehensive approach than most brands, EA uses TikTok to promote several of its games, such as Apex Legends, for which they recruited Brent Rivera. Rivera’s post, a comedy skit of him playing the game, which has so far got 700K likes from his 17 million followers.

Other promotions featured Gil Croes, the eighth most popular influencer on the platform with a follower count of 22.6 million. His video, also a comedic skit, featured the game Plants vs. Zombies and was liked by 505.1K users and commented on 1.9K times.

In contrast to these two huge online stars, EA also sought out a collaboration with Indie Cowie, a freestyle soccer player who helped promote Fifa 20. Her upload featured her freestyling in public, with a personal shoutout for Fifa 2020: The Groundbreakers. Partnering with a smaller influencer indicates a sophisticated strategy which is served by collaborations with a range of influencers of all sizes.

Case Study: EOS Lip Balm Marketing With Instagram Influencers

eos-lip-balm-marketing-influencers

The cosmetic industry has always felt most at home on Instagram, and influencer campaigns for beauty brands often bring in enviously high engagement rates. Rising beauty influencers have become the foundation of many brand campaigns, giving a much-needed personal touch to marketing. In short, they’ve become a central part of the beauty industry’s attempts to better resonate with consumers.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Case Study: EOS Lip Balm Marketing Tags Beauty & Lifestyle Influencers

In the latest EOS lip balm marketing campaign, the brand features six new additions to their Flavor Lab lip balm line. A total of 19 influencers were involved in the creation of the new flavors, with many more involved in the wider influencer campaign.

The precautions EOS took for this campaign are worth noting—though they helped create them, the 19 influencers are not featured on the product packaging in any way; and the influencers involved were all trusted, long-term partners on EOS’s books. Perhaps wary that audiences are pushing for more transparency from beauty brands and influencers, EOS employed a strategy which was conscious of this trend.

Goals

  • Drive awareness of EOS’s six new lip balm flavors for their Flavor Lab range.
  • Drive positive engagement using a diverse roster of various influencers tiers.

Approach

  • Channel: Instagram
  • Influencers: Beauty and lifestyle influencers
    • Sample of 35 influencers: 15 micros; 6 megas; 5 mid-tiers; 5 macros; 4 nanos

Preview Of Influencers

Themes

  • Hashtags use among influencers was consistent across the campaign, with #eosgift and #eosflavorlabs the most prominent. Other hashtags included:
    • #eosproducts
    • #eosflavorlabs
    • #eosgift
    • #eosgifted
  • Each influencer shared one post in June announcing the product line launch; two influencers in our sample uploaded two posts.
  • Instagram caption varied in length; some were long while others were medium-length. The vast majority had a unique slant to them as opposed to being cut-and-copy branded messages.
  • Caption content varied with some doing giveaways, others unboxings, gifts, or standard promotions.
  • All posts were tagged with @eosproducts and #EOSFlavorLab.
View this post on Instagram

Anzeige | 🎉GEWINNSPIEL🎉 ✖️Wie schnell die Zeit vergeht: Vor fast genau einem Jahr war ich mit meiner lieben @olesjaswelt in New York & das spannende Projekt mit @eosproducts begann🥰 Wie ihr ja mittlerweile wisst, durfte ich im #eosflavorlab an den neuen Geschmacksrichtungen mitwirken & meine persönliche Meinung in den Entwicklungsprozess miteinfließen lassen☺️ Was für eine unglaublich schöne Erfahrung!👍🏽 Ein Jahr später halte ich nun die Endprodukte in den Händen & bin total happy was dabei rausgekommen ist🤩 Euch erwarten 6 neue Geschmacksrichtungen, die auf jeden Fall Lust auf den Sommer machen☀️ Klickt euch gerne mal durch die Galerie durch & sagt mir, welchen Lip Balm ihr am spannendsten findet😁 Außerdem hat eine von euch die Möglichkeit, alle neuen eos Lip Balms aus dem Flavor Lab zu gewinnen! Yay!😍 Erfüllt folgende Teilnahmebedingungen & schon hüpft ihr in den Lostopf: 1️⃣ Folgt mir (@madeleineschoen) & @eosproducts 2️⃣ Liket dieses Bild 3️⃣ Kommentiert den ☀️-Emoji & verratet mir, welches Bild ihr am schönsten findet☺️ 4️⃣ Das Gewinnspiel geht bis zum 24.07.2019, 23:59 Uhr ✖️Der Gewinner wird von mir per DM benachrichtigt. Keine Barauszahlung des Gewinns möglich. Instagram steht in keiner Verbindung zu diesem Gewinnspiel ➡️ Ich wünsche euch allen ganz viel Glück🥰💕 ________________________________________________________ #eosproducts #eosflavorlab #blogger_de #stuttgart #0711

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Results

Social Reach

  • Instagram followers targeted: 15,312,216

Engagement

  • Likes: 757,618
  • Comments: 17,833
  • Engagement rate: (overall average): 3.30%

Aspyn Ovard Hosts Giveaway For Customized Box

YouTuber Aspyn Ovard has the second-largest following of the influencers in our sample, with 2.2 million followers on Instagram in addition to her 3.4 million subscribers on YouTube. Ovard uploaded two posts; one was a standard promotional post more in-line with others; one was a promoting a giveaway for one of her fans to win a customized box of the whole range of lip balm products.

Ovard scored an impressive 8.39% engagement rate for the post, the highest of any one upload for the campaign. She garnered 162,869 likes and 5,016 comments. As a demonstration of how successful giveaways can be, the increase in likes between this post and her other post was 4%—for her comments it was a 1,267% increase.

Adelaine Morin Steps Her Campaign Up A Gear

Adelaine Morin is another of the six mega-influencers for the EOS lip balm marketing campaign, but wasn’t one of the 19 influencers involved in the creative process in establishing the line. Her post features her using EOS’s lip balm while cheekily posing out the window of her car.

With 83,999 likes and 8,995, she accrued an impressive engagement rate of 7.75%. It’s worth noting that the comment count was the highest of the campaign—without the added incentive for followers of a giveaway of any kind. That’s a truly significant number and a good example of an influencer who commands substantial loyalty from her fan base.

Adri Reynoso Draws Fans In With EOS Gift

Adri Reynoso is the smallest influencer of our sample—a nano-influencer—with just over 2,000 followers. Her post is more personal than many others, with the product featured next to her illustration of a lavender latte to complement the Flavor Lab flavor of the same name.

Reynoso drew 71 likes and 22 comments for an engagement rate of 4.29%, performing better than the 3.3% campaign average. It’s important to point out that the post features the tags #eosgift and #eosproducts but not the required #ad or #sponsored. Marketers should take precautions to ensure there’s no complications arising from a campaign.

Julia Fodor Serves Up Fruity Flavors

With 51,000 followers, Julia Fodor is an emerging mid-tier influencer with what would be considered a modestly substantial following. Her post consisted of her showing off three flavors of lip balm in various settings, including being served on a plate accompanied by fruit.

Despite her efforts to inject some personal creativity into her post, she only got 541 likes and 16 comments for an engagement rate of 1.09%—the lowest of the campaign. In addition, it’s worth strongly considering the inclusion of sponsorship tags to keep all the bases covered.

Takeaways

  • EOS lip balm marketing was successful in leveraging a wide variety of influencer tiers.
  • Mega-influencers performed well, with three of the six performing higher than the campaign engagement rate average.
  • Nano- and micro-influencers performed better on average (3.2%) than mid-tier and macro-influencers (2.4%).
  • Many of the influencers were long-time collaborators, with EOS likely recognizing the importance of associating the right personalities with their brand over time.