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Guerrilla Marketing on TikTok to Target Gen Z

The most downloaded app worldwide for May 2020 is TikTok. It has more than 111.9 million downloads surpassing other social media (non-game) apps such as Zoom, Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram.

The majority of TikTok users are Generation Z, who are between the ages of 18-24, tech-savvy, and are heavily influenced by digital media and influencers. For many companies, this is their ideal target market.

TikTok has many functionalities that enable both content consumers and content creators to easily play their roles. The short videos and endless content recommendations pushed keeps the content consumers deeply engaged. With little initial capital investments, content creators can record videos using a smartphone, some creativity, and knowledge of how to use the app. The tricky part here is getting the content to go viral. The formula and steps to go viral on this platform compared to other social media platforms seem so simple but yet so hard. There are many videos of normal people of all ages gaining thousands of TikTok views and followers within a couple of days. The key is to consistently publish content that is original and creative. Test various concepts and see what works best for you. 

One way to leverage TikTok influencers' fan base that is similar to your target market. Have influencers create user-generated content to naturally engage their audiences to your company's products or services.

Another method is to create your TikTok account and start a Hashtag Challenge. Chipotle was early in the TikTok game and ran successful challenges such as #Boorito Challenge. This challenge was for a Chipotle’s Halloween promotion campaign for burritos where users needed to create a TikTok video showcasing their before and after Halloween costume transformations while using the custom Chipotle music. People went crazy with this and the campaign resulted in 4 billion views. Check out some videos.

Fortnite currently has 9 videos posted and already has 2 million followers. It launched its TikTok with #EmoteRoyaleContent challenge that enticed people to create dance moves that could be turned into emotes on Fortnite game characters. Check out their page.

Hashtag challenge is not the only method. You can have some fun and create your own videos. Young Nails is a nail polish brand with almost 2 million followers on TikTok. It achieved its following by consistently creating intriguing, fun, and engaging videos. Check out their page as well.

Here are more examples of TikTok trending challenges and campaigns:

Most recently, high fashion brands such as Gucci, Dior, Balenciaga, and Louis Vuitton are using TikTok as a new medium during COVID. The "Gucci Model Challenge" has been trending with over 12 million videos, encouraging other luxury brands to generate organic marketing on TikTok.

Guerrilla marketing is low-cost, unconventional marketing that engages people to promote a product or service. This free TikTok app is a vehicle to apply guerrilla marketing.


My name is Wendy Wang, the Co-Head of Communications of Boston University Guerrilla Marketing Society. Majoring in Marketing and Management Information Systems, I have many other interests and passions that challenge my creative thinking and artistic skills. I enjoy constantly learning and live by the mindset that if you are not moving forward you're moving backward. Feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin to chat or if you are a company interested in partnering with us!



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