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Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
The   Bazaar   Voice
Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
tiktok ugc

TikTok is fertile ground for brands that know how to properly work the soil. People on the social media platform find communities, express themselves, and get real. That’s why brands that embrace the TikTok’s culture for authentic UGC flourish, earning higher credibility, loyalty, trust, recommendations, and recall from consumers.

User-generated content (UGC) is an invaluable tool for brands on TikTok, like a hand trowel for a gardener. TikTok users crave and expect to see content from relatable creators like them. Both TikTok’s What’s Next: Shopping Trend Report and Bazaaarvoice’s Shopper Experience Index found that brands attract customers by building trust with real, honest, and authentic content, which is exactly what UGC provides.

TikTok is designed for UGC. Brands just need to know how to cultivate it within their community and what to do with it when they have it. Find out how to do just that with these tactics and best practices for growing a thriving UGC garden on TikTok. 

Unlocking the power of TikTok UGC: Challenges and opportunities

The TikTok space is vast and filled with many unique, interesting, and creative people. Discover how to navigate its terrain and face any roadblocks to building a UGC culture for your brand head-on. 

Challenge: Maintaining brand authenticity 

TikTok is a hotbed for UGC, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the kind you want to amplify or even have at all. As with every social channel, there can be fraudulent or low-quality content. 

Opportunity: Develop a strong TikTok community

Ensure the content users create about your brand and products reflects your brand’s standards and identity by building a healthy community. Start by identifying your target audience and how you’ll reach and engage with them. 

Gen Z accounts for the largest percentage of TikTok users globally, followed by millennials. Keep their interests and priorities in mind to guide your content strategy, including what you plan to feature in your videos and how. Silly instructional videos work well as they convey your brand’s personality while also teaching your audience how to do new things.

While the younger audience makes up the majority of TikTok users overall, you still need to analyze your follower data. Those unique insights will show you your followers’ demographics and what kind of content they respond to. 

tiktok ugc

You also need to be in tune with what other sub-communities and topics matter to them. TikTok is full of niche UGC that speaks to a diverse range of people and lifestyles. And those communities have influence. TikTok’s research found that 31% of users make purchases based on what their friends and community are talking about. So, create and share relevant content that speaks to those trends and conversations.

Every day, it seems as if there’s a new meme, dance craze, style, sound bite, or general obsession taking over the internet. It’s not always easy keeping up with the cool kids and staying relevant.

Opportunity: Stay up to date on what’s new 

TikTok has a valuable built-in resource for staying on top of trends: the TikTok Creative Center. Here, brands can look at top trending hashtags, songs, creators, and videos over the past seven, 30, or 120 days. You can also filter by industry and geographical region. 

For example, based on what’s trending in the apparel industry in the U.S., you can tailor your content to include gift ideas.

Then, you can click on each trend to see more robust insights, like related videos, audience age range, related interests, related hashtags, and regional popularity. The further you dig into each trending category, also known as trendjacking, on a regular basis, the more in tune you’ll be with what consumers want to see. You can find more inspiration for TikTok trends here.

Challenge: Engaging with a diverse, global audience

With 1.9 billion users across the globe, the TikTok audience can be intimidating but full of potential. You have to think about how to resonate with a broad range of consumers. 

Opportunity: Showcase vulnerability and different perspectives

There’s always multiple sides to one story and many people who experience aspects of life differently. That may be because of geographical location, age, gender, lifestyle, background, or circumstance. 

As TikTok recommends in its Shopping Trends Report, “brands can build trust by destigmatizing non-traditional pathways, showing the full journey, and sharing diverse perspectives and stories to resonate with a broader audience.”

How to source and promote UGC on TikTok

Once you’re aligned with how to connect and engage with the audience that will be producing the UGC for your TikTok, use these tactics to usher in the flow of content.

Promote branded hashtags

One way to facilitate relevant UGC about your brand is to start the trend and set the tone yourself with branded hashtags. Post the type of content you’d like others to create and use a hashtag that includes your brand name or a variation. Encourage others to post content with the same hashtag(s) and offer an incentive, like a chance to be featured on your profile page.

Once your audience starts creating UGC with branded hashtags, you can repost the content on your profile or interact with the content in different ways. For example, you can: 

  • Use the Video Reply feature to respond to a video in the comments section with a related video
  • Use the Stitch feature to incorporate and interact with a specific snippet of another user’s video within your own
  • Use the Duet feature to create side-by-side collaborative videos where you can respond, interact, or perform alongside another user’s original video
tiktok ugc

The apparel brand Doen promotes its #shopdoen hashtag, which has a ton of high-quality, authentic UGC tagged with it.

Launch challenges and contests

Engaging your audience through challenges and contests on TikTok is a fun and effective way to spark tailored UGC. Start by creating a unique and compelling challenge that aligns with your brand or product. Encourage users to participate by showcasing their creativity and skills. Make sure to include a hashtag specific to the challenge to easily track entries. 

Contests add an extra layer of excitement and incentive. Ask participants to submit their entries for a chance to win exclusive prizes or be featured on your platform. You can encourage users to use TikTok’s duet and reaction features to foster collaboration and community engagement

By tapping into the creativity of your audience, you can gain a lot of authentic and diverse content while strengthening the connection with your community. Celebrate and highlight notable submissions on your page to recognize your talented followers and encourage ongoing participation.

A successful example of this tactic in action is a collaboration that e.l.f. Cosmetics did with Enthusiast Gaming. The beauty brand targeted TikTok’s massive gaming community with a challenge called TikTok Gamers Greatest Talent. The challenge called for gamers to show off their hidden talents. The campaign resulted in a 16.8% engagement rate with the #TikTokGGT hashtag and over 9 billion video views.

Work directly with UGC creators and influencers

A direct line for sourcing and leveraging quality UGC is the actual creators of the content. Partner with UGC creators and influencers to collaborate on content campaigns relevant to your TikTok audience. Those can be your actual customers or legitimate influencers in your industry with larger followings.

Seek out potential collaborators by reaching out to your most engaged customers on TikTok or creators who meet your criteria in the TikTok Creative Center. Be sure the creators and influencers you choose to work with already have a relevant presence and audience for your brand. Provide them with style guidelines and be prepared to discuss an exchange or fee for their UGC.

Walmart used this tactic with great success. The global retail brand launched a campaign asking TikTok creators to show their insider tips, tricks, and hacks “only Walmart shoppers would know.” The  #IYWYK (If You Walmart, You Know) creator campaign resulted in a 20% lift in engagement rate and a 9.2% increase in awareness.

Repurpose UGC for social commerce

Another great benefit of TikTok UGC is you can use it for shoppable content. With TikTok Shop, brands can upload their product catalog to the app and link content with products. From there, shoppers can make purchases directly in the app. So, anytime a customer or collaborator makes a video featuring your product, you can share that content with the linked product.

Working with UGC creators on livestream shopping campaigns is a fun and interactive way to leverage social commerce on TikTok. 

Measure your TikTok UGC performance along the way 

You’ll need to consistently track your performance metrics to determine the success of your TikTok UGC campaigns. By reviewing your analytics, you can look at the engagement for your individual pieces of content, TikTok Shop insights, and more. Analyzing your results will show you what types of content perform the best and any areas of opportunity you can improve.

Learn everything you need to know about reporting on success with our TikTok analytics guide.

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