Right now, every brand wants to go viral on TikTok. The app has more than 1 billion active users, an in-app shopping system, and a powerful algorithm that has helped fuel mass purchases of everything from strawberry dresses to cranberry juice.
But many brands still assume that the way to TikTok fame and fortune is to jump on a viral song or dance trend. It’s not always a great look—the reality is that when brands go into a space that isn’t for them, TikTok users can easily tell.
Still, there are plenty of less-obvious niches of TikTok in which it makes a lot more sense for brands to be posting.
TikTok videos that show people doing strange things with products—like a slow-motion video of makeup being crushed—are constantly going viral on TikTok. That is especially true when those videos are calming to watch—hence, the name #OddlySatisfying. Beauty brands in particular have leaned into #OddlySatisfying. Milk Makeup, for instance, has a video where a model mixes highlight powder and skin cream and spreads them across her hands.
Just as the Netflix reality show “Get Organized: The Home Edit” went viral in 2020 for telling clients to box up the excess in their home, TikTokers are flocking to videos showing them “restocking” household items. They might film themselves shifting around the items in their refrigerator, or putting candies into a new jar. Now the likes of Walmart are partnering with restock influencers to get their products in front of younger audiences.
The platform is awash in videos of people power scrubbing their sinks vacuuming their rugs or wiping their grime off dirty car seats. CleaningTok videos recreate the euphoria of a successful clean, but they also present a great opportunity to promote products: cleaning supplies that TikTokers have embraced, like the cleaning paste brand The Pink Stuff, are now Amazon bestsellers.
A small niche of TikTokers, including @minibrandsmom, have dedicated themselves to collecting miniature versions of everyday objects, like mini ketchup bottles or mini microwaves. The toy brand Zuru, which released a line of toys called Mini Brands—essentially, shrunken-down versions of brands people already know—claimed that videos about its product garnered 1.3 billion views on TikTok in 2020. Companies like Kraft Heinz have partnered with them to get their own minis out there. It isn’t hard to imagine that other brands might find success offering limited-edition versions of their own core products, shrunk down in size, for instance.
Hopping into an existing subculture of TikTok isn’t the only way brands can stay on trend. Some have successfully turned their own brand names into viral challenges. #Gymshark66, a 66-day fitness challenge created by the fitness apparel brand Gymshark, has nearly 250 million views on TikTok. Others, like #ThousandDollarCrocs, asked users to treat their Crocs like luxury items. For a self-trend to gain traction, though, it has to stay authentic to what the brand does and to the unique attributes of their products.
When brands do have a viral video on TikTok, comments can roll in quickly. Tools like Chatdesk Teams ensure that customer experience representatives respond to inquiries in the comments in order to turn those views into sales.