There are countless brands using TikTok today to raise awareness for their organization and gain new Tiktok followers. While the app does not yet allow for in-app purchases directly from organic posts, brands have found considerable success by creating relatable and entertaining content for TikTok campaigns. From viral songs and hashtags to challenges, there is no end to the possibilities when it comes to branding on TikTok. Keep reading to learn about 5 brands on TikTok who are absolutely crushing it in 2020.

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1. The Washington Post


Disrespect ?☕️ ##newspaper ##broadcast

♬ original sound – odins_daughter

When you think of a news organization that creates serious journalistic content, you expect their social media channels to follow suit. The Washington Post has found considerable success on TikTok because it broke the mold and tailored their content to meet the style of the app. Instead of posting the same content that is found on their website or other social media channels, The Washington Post keeps its TikTok lighthearted and hilarious.

The organization manages to stay on-brand while bringing some edge to their TikTok videos. Their content often hints at or mentions relevant topics, such as upcoming elections or major events, but with a touch of humor. The comedic videos prove that The Washington Post knows their audience on TikTok.

Catering to younger viewers who consumer content in bite-sized pieces has led to the brand gaining more than 420,000 followers and 20 million likes. Their recent video series on the coronavirus brought a touch of humor and entertainment to an otherwise serious situation. While the rest of their platforms share relevant updates on the virus and its spread across the globe, their TikTok features funny videos of everyday life in quarantine.

2. Chipotle



♬ original sound – chipotle

Chipotle has had considerable success in the past when marketing to younger audiences. Though the brand has been around for decades, their target audience remains young people, such as college students or young professionals. With their target audience in mind, they are able to adapt to meet those viewers where they are, including TikTok.

The #GuacDance challenge was one of the first viral challenges to launch on TikTok. Chipotle took advantage of Avocado Day, encouraging users to make up their own dance that celebrates avocados or guacamole. The challenge was successful in its simplicity. There were no complicated dance moves to learn or special effects needed. Users had the freedom to be as creative as they wanted. Today, videos using the #guacdance hashtag have more than one billion views on TikTok.

3. San Diego Zoo


Say hi to Otis, the 4,100 lb. floaty river pup. ##sandiegozoo

♬ Cute Doggies Only – kadin.foote

The San Diego Zoo saw an incredible opportunity with TikTok and took it. Who doesn’t enjoy videos of adorable animals paired with fun music or popular audio tracks? The brand raises awareness for the many animals and attractions at their zoo while catering to their audience. Videos from the San Diego Zoo can be enjoyed by all ages, and they require relatively little investment from the organization to create.

The San Diego Zoo also utilizes the duet feature on TikTok. Brands have a unique opportunity to cross-promote their products or services by partnering with other users. Creating a duet highlights both your brand and another’s, reaching a new audience. The zoo also shares videos on a consistent basis. They are not posting content every day, but they regularly post a few videos each month. This strategy has enabled them to gain almost 300,000 followers and more than 3 million likes.

4. The NBA


Spin, ball fake and layup for Josh Jackson ? ##nba ##highlight ##topplay

♬ original sound – nba

Content from the NBA is everywhere, from television and online outlets to social media pages for the brand and teams. However, the NBA successfully uses TikTok by creating content that is exclusive for the platform. The videos shared on their TikTok page are not the same clips posted to their other platforms or reused material from other campaigns. The NBA recognizes the need to match the style of content on TikTok in order to be successful.

The brand also manages to stay lighthearted in their posts. Instead of focusing their attention on games and stats, that may be interesting to some sports fans, they share content that is more personal. Athlete interviews, funny clips of popular athletes, and motivational quotes or footage help the NBA connect with a younger audience, whether they are diehard basketball fans or not.

Relatable content is crucial for success with TikTok marketing. Simply posting videos that you use on other channels will not always be beneficial. TikTok users have created their own unique style and expect a certain type of content when they visit the app. By giving a glimpse into the personal lives of popular athletes and keeping content humorous, the NBA has gained more than 10 million followers and 180 million likes.

5. Elf Cosmetics


Did you know Elf stands for eyes lips face?!? ##eyeslipsface (read bio) @elfcosmetics ##ad

♬ eyes. lips. face. (feat. Holla FyeSixWun) – iLL Wayno

Music is a cornerstone of the TikTok app, which was originally known as The karaoke-style app has morphed over time to feature content like skits, voice-overs, and vlogs, but music is still an essential part of the experience. Users can search for videos by the audio track used and certain songs often correlate to a specific style of video or type of content.

Elf Cosmetics saw the potential in music on TikTok and commissioned a song for the app. The Eyes Lips Face track quickly went viral, and the brand started TikTok influencer campaigns to promote the use of their song. Now, the Eyes Lips Face track has been used in more than 1.7 million videos and Elf Cosmetics has more than 11,000 followers. The hashtag #eyeslipsface has been used almost 5 billion times, showing that a small investment can lead to impressive brand recognition on TikTok.

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