A TikTok Influencer Marketing Case Study: In September 2018, TikTok became the most downloaded social media app in the USA. The short form video sharing platform is rising in popularity with more than 800 million monthly active users. Like its peers, TikTok too is oozing with the potential to be a marketing channel and businesses are beginning to recognize it. Formerly known as Musical.ly, the platform has a younger audience and is deeply rooted in music.
Gymshark is a UK-based fitness clothing brand has grown leaps and bounds since the advent of social media, particularly with the use of influencer marketing campaigns. The company projects sales in 9-figures and views TikTok as a novel way to reach and engage a unique demographic.
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Beginning with TikTok Influencer Marketing
On Instagram, fitness is an extremely popular category with famous influencer attracting millions of followers. Gymshark has collaborated with Instagram influencers to create a unique visual identity resonating with its fan base. Needless to say, their strategy has worked for them as the brand has accumulated a rabid following of 3 million on its Instagram account.
In 2019, the company decided to include TikTok into its influencer marketing efforts, collaborating with fitness and lifestyle influencer to expand its reach.
On January 1 2019, Gymshark announced the 66 Days | Change Your Life campaign. The premise was that it takes 66 days to develop a habit. People were asked to choose a goal for themselves and upload an initial photo on January 1 with a dated placard. Then, 66 days later, on March 7, upload the initial and final photos. Fans were free to document their progress throughout the challenge. The brand asked the fans to tag the brand using @GymShark and #gymshark66. The winner of the challenge would win a free year-long supply of GymShark goods.
In order to promote the challenge, increase brand awareness and create meaningful engagement on their channel, Gymshark collaborated with 6 influencers on TikTok. All 6 influencers had more followers on TikTok than they had on Instagram and interestingly, 4 of the 6 accounts were operated by twin siblings (twins are extremely popular on TikTok). The following influencers were chosen to promote the challenge:
- Wilking Sisters – 1.1 million fans
- Rybka Twins – 5.2 million fans
- Laurie Elle – 2.5 million fans
- Twin Melody – 6.3 million fans
- Lesotwins – 1.2 million fans
- Antonie Lokhorst – 3.5 million fans
Using TikTok’s usual style of 15 second long videos, the campaign posts featured choreographed dance & acrobatic movements executed on background music. The campaign potentially targeted 19.8 million fans and influencers also shared some of the videos on their Instagram accounts as well. The result was as follows:
- Likes: 1,916,400
- Comments: 12,576
- Engagement rate (overall average): 11.11%
- Hashtag usage (in views) #gymshark66: 45.5 million views
Highlights of the TikTok Influencer Marketing Campaign
Twin sisters Melanie and Miranda Wilking (1.1 million fans on TikTok at the time) created a dance video sporting branded Gymshark clothes. Lip syncing to the song “My Boyfriend’s Back”, the duo tagged @Gymshark and #Gymshark66 and in the caption, they talked about their matching set of workout clothes. The post amassed 227k likes and 1400 comments.
Twin Melody, also individually known as Aitana and Paula Etxeberria feature cover songs, lip-syncing videos, and dance videos on their Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok profiles. For their Gymshark collaboration, Twin Melody dressed in Gymshark summer workout gear against a winter backdrop as they tossed and kincked heart-shaped snowballs in slow motion.
With 6.3 million TikTok fans on their account at the time, the post received 438k hearts and 3.6k comments. In the caption, the sisters wrote about “loving” their matching Gymshark outfits, while tagging @Gymshark and #Gymshark66. Twin Melody also posted the video on their Instagram account, where it received 430,133 views.
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Key Takeaways and Final Thoughts
Gymshark’s expansion into TikTok is proof of TikTok’s potential as a channel for influencer marketing. Gymshark’s visually impactful image and TikTok’s format & influencers proved to be the perfect cocktail for successfully promoting the brand.
With the right combination of the brand’s offering and the platform’s core strengths, brands can succeed at achieving excellent engagement levels when they partner with the right influencers.