HomeBlog for TikTok Industry InsightsTikTok strategy guides and tips7 TikTok Secrets You Can Learn from Big Brands and Agencies

7 TikTok Secrets You Can Learn from Big Brands and Agencies

7 TikTok Secrets you can learn from big brands and agencies

TikTok is a unique platform offering vast potential for finding an audience and virality. However, finding success on the platform can be challenging for many brands and marketers.

What if you could uncover the secrets behind the most successful brands on TikTok and apply them to your own strategy? As experts in

TikTok marketing, we at House of Marketers have conducted an in-depth analysis of the strategies employed by top-performing brands and agencies on TikTok. We have distilled their secret sauce into seven key insights that can transform your TikTok strategy and help you unlock success on the platform.

In this article, we are dissecting the strategies of 7 top-performing brands along with key takeaways for you to get inspired from for your own brand strategies.

Ready to transform your TikTok strategy? Let’s dive in!

Throw away all those traditional marketing rules you have religiously followed over the years. The big brands that succeed on TikTok do so because they don’t replicate the marketing they do elsewhere.

1. Embrace the Power of Influencers – Learn from Maybelline

Influencer marketing isn’t new, but it has taken on a new life on TikTok. Maybelline’s TikTok strategy is a perfect demonstration of successful influencer marketing. Rather than relying solely on their own channels to promote their products, Maybelline made a strategic choice to partner with popular TikTok influencer, Reiko. Together, they created the ‘Mascara Boyfriend’ video.

This wasn’t just any video—it was a story that resonated with viewers, painting a metaphor comparing eyelashes to boyfriends. The video was both entertaining and promotional. It promoted Maybelline’s product, the Hyper Curl mascara. This light-hearted, relatable content resonated with viewers and led to the video going viral, achieving a substantial level of engagement and significantly raising brand awareness for Maybelline.

This approach is a prime example of smart influencer marketing. It leveraged Reiko’s popularity and combined it with a creative concept to make a huge impact. The video went viral, which is every brand’s dream. Maybelline then promoted the video on TikTok as an In-Feed Ad. Before long, it went viral and attracted massive awareness and engagement.

Thanks to this campaign, Maybelline successfully expanded the target audience of a classic product.

Key Takeaways for Your Brand

  • The right influencer can make all the difference. Look for someone who aligns with your brand’s values and can genuinely advocate for your product or service. Their audience should closely match your target demographic.
  • A creative concept can make your brand stand out. Partner with your influencer to develop an engaging storyline or theme for the content.
  • Influencer content is not just about promotion—it’s about connection. Ensure your content resonates with the audience, which in turn can lead to better brand visibility and recall.

TikTok secrets from big brands

2. Keep it Authentic and Real – Taking Notes from Ryan Air

In the age of social media, authenticity can make or break your brand’s image. One brand that’s been leading the charge in the authenticity department is Ryan Air. The Irish budget airline might seem an unlikely candidate for TikTok success, but its humorous, unfiltered content has resonated strongly with TikTok users.

They have leveraged popular TikTok features such as face filters and paired them with their own unique brand of humour to create viral content, like their Christmas 2022 video which garnered over five million views.

Ryan Air does an excellent job of showcasing its brand personality and has built a strong presence on TikTok by tapping into the platform’s culture and creating content that’s not just fun, but also real. From sharing behind-the-scenes clips to leveraging trending TikTok features like the face filter, the airline company shows that budget doesn’t mean boring. They’ve built a reputation for sharing content that’s humorous and engaging, directly connecting with their target market.

@ryanair The only airline to slay this hard 💅 #slay #ryanair ♬ sonido original – ezspeedsongs 🎧

Key Takeaways for Your Brand

  • Embrace your brand’s unique personality. Let it shine through your content, and don’t be afraid to show a less corporate, more human side of your business.
  • Be a part of the TikTok community. Use trending features, participate in challenges, and stay up-to-date with what’s popular on the platform.
  • Authenticity builds trust. By being genuine, your brand can foster stronger connections with your audience, leading to increased loyalty and engagement.

3. Choose Entertainment Over Hard-selling – The Duolingo Way

In the world of TikTok, where content is consumed at lightning speed, standing out from the crowd is crucial. As we wrote in our Guide to Marketing to Generation Z, authenticity and transparency are key when marketing to Gen Z. Duolingo, the language learning platform, has mastered this art. Centring their videos around their mascot, Duo, Duolingo has created a series of entertaining videos where the green owl dances, participates in trends and encourages language learning in a light-hearted manner.

The big, green owl doesn’t just appear in the videos—it dances, it laughs, and it participates in TikTok trends. This character has almost become synonymous with language learning, a testament to Duolingo’s effective branding.

@duolingo I’m prioritizing ME this year #duolingo #languagelearning #dulapeep ♬ original sound – Privacynbling

Key Takeaways for Your Brand

  • Entertainment is a key aspect of TikTok. Your content should be enjoyable, engaging, and in line with TikTok’s upbeat and fun-loving nature.
  • Don’t push for sales aggressively. Instead, subtly incorporate your product or service into entertaining content.
  • Make use of characters or mascots if suitable. They can add a fun element to your content and enhance your brand recognition.

4. Light-hearted Content Works – The Washington Post’s Approach

TikTok secrets from big brands

When you think of traditional news outlets, ‘fun’ and ‘quirky’ may not be the first words that come to mind. But The Washington Post has turned this perception on its head with its TikTok content. Despite being a serious news organization, they’ve managed to appeal to the younger TikTok audience by delivering news in a light-hearted and engaging way.

The Washington Post’s TikTok account is a masterclass in adapting to a platform’s culture while maintaining brand integrity. Instead of simply reposting content from their other social media accounts, they create original TikTok videos that reflect the platform’s distinct tone and style.

Their videos often feature humorous takes on current news events, all while maintaining their journalistic standards. They’ve also adopted a casual, playful tone in their captions and comments, further engaging their TikTok followers.

@washingtonpostThe ozone layer is … healing? The ozone layer — which blocks ultraviolet sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface — continues to slowly thicken.♬ original sound – We are a newspaper.

Key Takeaways for Your Brand

  • Create content specifically tailored for TikTok. What works on other platforms might not necessarily work on TikTok. Understand the platform’s culture and adapt your content accordingly.
  • Don’t be afraid to infuse humour into your content. A light-hearted approach can make your brand more relatable and engaging to the TikTok audience.
  • Engage with your audience in the comments section. This not only boosts your TikTok algorithm but also builds a sense of community.

5. Establish Brand Presence Through Challenges – Coca-Cola’s Success

Creating a brand presence on TikTok involves more than just posting regular content. It requires a deeper understanding of the platform’s culture and trends. Coca-Cola, a brand that needs no introduction, managed to further cement its position among the younger demographic with an innovative TikTok strategy.

Coca-Cola took the TikTok scene by storm by launching a hashtag dance challenge, #ShareTheMagic. The global beverage brand teamed up with musician Khalid and creator Jalaiah Harmon, the original creator of the ‘Renegade’ TikTok dance, to introduce a new dance challenge.

This campaign was a major hit, resulting in massive user engagement and significant brand exposure for Coca-Cola.

Key Takeaways for Your Brand

  • TikTok challenges are a powerful way to create brand awareness and engage users. Consider launching a challenge that’s relevant to your brand and appeals to TikTok users.
  • Collaboration can amplify the impact of your campaign. Partner with influencers, musicians, or popular creators who can help kickstart and spread your challenge.
  • User-generated content is gold on TikTok. A successful challenge can generate a wealth of content, all featuring your brand, and reach millions of users.

6. Leverage User-Generated Engaging Content – Vauxhall’s Strategy

Vauxhall, the UK’s oldest surviving car brand, turned heads on TikTok with their UNBOX YOURSELF campaign. Despite being a traditional car brand, Vauxhall managed to create engaging content that struck a chord with the TikTok audience. The company decided to promote its new electric model, Mokka, on TikTok – a seemingly unconventional choice for a car brand that’s been around since the early 1900s.

Vauxhall partnered with TikTok influencer @cjexplores for a series of stunning videos that followed the creator exploring the UK in her Mokka Electric, Vauxhall’s eco-friendly car model. They later repurposed these videos as TopFeed and In-Feed Ads, which not only helped the campaign reach a broader audience but also gave it an organic, user-generated feel.

@hannahadhdmartyr New Vauxhall mokka elite #newvauxhall #mokka #mokkaelite #vauxhallmokka #fyp #foryou #vauxhall #carsoftiktok #carsalesman #carsaleswoman ♬ Funk Hip Hop Music(814197) – Pavel

Key Takeaways for Your Brand

  • High-quality, engaging content can be repurposed in various ways, including as ads. This can increase your content’s reach and longevity.
  • Partner with creators who align with your brand values and can authentically represent your products or services.
  • Eco-friendly or social initiatives resonate well with the TikTok audience. If your brand is involved in such initiatives, be sure to highlight them in your content.

7. Boost Followers with User-Generated Content – Gymshark’s Success

Gymshark’s exponential growth on TikTok can largely be attributed to their effective use of user-generated content. By promoting content created by their own community, Gymshark was able to foster a sense of authenticity and trust that resonated deeply with the TikTok audience.

Gymshark shared workout tips, funny videos, and their take on current trends, but the real standout was their user-focused content. They encouraged their community to create and share gym-related videos, providing a steady stream of authentic and engaging content.

@zacperna Doesn’t get anymore annoying than this 🤦‍♂️ #spotter #gym #gymtok #fitness #fyp #foryou #gymshark ♬ original sound – Zac Perna

Key Takeaways for Your Brand

  • Encourage your community to create and share content related to your brand. This can boost engagement, create a wealth of content, and foster a vibrant community.
  • User-generated content adds a layer of authenticity to your brand image. It shows prospective customers real-life experiences with your brand, making it more relatable and trustworthy.
  • Striking a balance between user-generated content and brand-created content can help maintain variety and interest in your TikTok account.

Perhaps the biggest change in thinking necessary if you intend to use TikTok as a marketing channel is that it isn’t all about you. TikTok users couldn’t care less about your brand. They come to the platform primarily for entertainment and have little to no interest in any conventional ads you might throw at them.


Success on TikTok isn’t achieved overnight. It requires a deep understanding of the platform, its audience, and its unique culture. However, by learning from leading brands, using creative strategies, and embracing the TikTok spirit of authenticity and fun, you can achieve significant engagement and growth on the platform.

The seven strategies outlined in this article offer valuable insights into how top brands have achieved success on TikTok. From leveraging the power of influencers and user-generated content to creating entertaining and light-hearted content, these tactics can serve as a roadmap for your own TikTok strategy.

Yet, it’s essential to remember that TikTok, like all social media platforms, is constantly evolving. Therefore, continuous learning, testing, and iteration are crucial for long-term success.

House of Marketers is a leading TikTok digital marketing agency. We help businesses micro-target their target audience, source influential creators, and produce high-converting content that attracts the interest of the “right” TikTok users.

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