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Case Study: TikTok

Follow Me on TikTok: How TikTok Used Influencer Marketing to Attract Users from Other Platforms


TikTok broke all records when it hit the 100M active user mark just nine months after its release. Today, TikTok boasts over 1B active users.

Client Location

Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo

Campaign platform

YouTube, Instagram

Campaign snapshot

Users Reached


Trending Video on YouTube


Likes on TikTok


Value-add impressions and views

The big question

How Does a Growing Social Platform Tap Influence on Other Social Platforms?

The background

Finding New Audiences for TikTok

Today TikTok is a household name and a major influencer marketing platform in its own right. It’s easy to forget it wasn’t always this way.

In 2019, TikTok was growing but needed to branch out to maintain its growth trajectory. The ease with which a viewer could become a performer and go viral on the platform earned it a reputation as the destination for teens doing the latest dance trends.

Today, we know that TikTok is far from a one trick pony but in the summer of 2019, the platform needed to demonstrate its viability to new creators and audience segments if it was to continue on its impressive trajectory.

With BENlabs AI building clear audience clusters and modeling results within those clusters, gaming and geek culture were clear opportunities for audience segments who could drive the next phase of growth for TikTok.

The E3 gaming conference and San Diego Comic-Con presented just the opportunity TikTok needed to secure its place in gaming and geek culture, attracting new creators and new audiences to the platform.

The AI

All About the Algorithm

BENlabs AI helps to make every campaign a success and it learns even more with every single engagement.

Here’s how BENlabs proprietary AI helped TIkTok convert an audience by appealing to that audience’s favorite creators:

Smart Creator Matching

BENlabs AI identified the key indicators that suggested a creator could move an audience: posting frequency, platform spread, and how dedicated the community was to the creator, not just the creator’s content. With this data, Smart Creator Matching prequalified creators and the BENlabs team brought those creators on board to become TikTok creators at key events.

Audience Intelligence

Looking beyond established TikTok audiences and on-platform patterns, BENlabs AI identified engaged audiences who could help the platform continue its impressive growth. Highlighting gaming and geek culture were identified as the highest potential performing clusters. AI’s predictions bore out with incredible, predictable campaign performance.

Predictive Analytics

Building a model based on creator performance and audience engagement on other platforms, and the importance of E3 and Comic-Con in the geek culture calendar, BENlabs AI was able to accurately predict response and overall campaign performance. This allowed the campaign to launch scaled, confident in the return on investment.


Long-Form Creators Make the Short-Form Switch

Gaming and geek culture content tends to be longer form: streaming gameplay, thoughtful reviews, analysis and the like. TikTok’s content format is short-form. These two things are clearly at odds. 

BENlabs worked with gaming and geek culture content creators, including key campaign creator Lazarbeam, to help them understand and adapt their content to a short-form format. This meant helping creators to step out of their comfort zone.

Creators made short-form content at E3 and San Diego Comic-Con, sharing interesting sights at the shows, quick humorous skits, and hot takes. Audiences got behind-the-scenes access to these major events in the geek culture calendar.

Following their favorite gaming and geek culture creators onto the TikTok platform, these audiences saw first-hand the value TikTok could offer… and that it was about much more than dance trends.

The results

When Creators Create, Followers Follow

One key campaign goal was to drive creators to TikTok, knowing that where creators go, audiences follow.

Lazarbeam took to YouTube to build hype around his TikTok efforts, quickly becoming the #1 trending video on YouTube. With parallel efforts from a range of creators saw impressive engagement with two thirds cracking the trending videos list.

Established audiences on YouTube and Instagram saw TikTok in a new light. No longer was it a social platform for other people, it was a new avenue to get access to their favorite creators and brand new content not available elsewhere.

Reaching 55 million users on Instagram and YouTube with this exciting new opportunity brought new audiences to TikTok, with creator content getting over 10 million views on TikTok.

The takeaway

Zooming Out

In social media as in marketing, the goal is always to achieve critical mass. While bringing end users on board was the goal for TikTok, appealing to end users directly was not the right tactic. Zooming out on the problem helped to make the solution clear.

The key to this campaign’s success was the understanding that where content creators post, dedicated audiences will follow and engage. BENlabs — both the team and the AI tools — helped to make it clear that, by appealing to gaming and geek culture creators, TikTok’s unique short video format would resonate with gaming and geek culture audiences, who would become TikTok’s newest users.

By appealing to the leading voices in this segment, TikTok added users at scale at a critical point early in its growth curve. This tactic also helped to reposition the social platform away from the viral dance trends that threatened to pigeon hole it and limit its growth.

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