KAFFEINE / Arts & Culture, Digital & Social Media, Events, Placemaking, Public Relations, Travel & Tourism


4 January 2023

How to go viral on TikTok by utilising its search function

Our TikTok campaign for KidZania London’s Halloween activation – Festival of Fright - reached 4m people, increased organic web searches for KidZania London by over 40% and increased follower numbers to the brand’s Instagram channel by 1,000 – a 5% uplift.

We delivered these increases despite KidZania London – like many attractions – not having an owned brand presence on TikTok.

Read on for tips on how to go viral on TikTok with no additional spend.

Halloween is a very saturated period for destination marketing so one of our goals was to help KidZania achieve cut-through and directly engage potential future customers by delivering viral TikTok content that would increase brand engagement and followers.   

To do this we focused on working with a small number of TikTok creators to create quality content which would rank highly when key search terms relevant to KidZania were typed into TikTok (Things to do with kids in London for example)’.  

Our approach deliberately emphasized the TikTok creators’ search relevance and the ‘virality’ (content with a reach substantially exceeding the influencers follower count) over their follower numbers.

This increased the likelihood of their content being high quality and going viral - helping KidZania London reach a very wide audience and achieve their campaign goals.

From our shortlist we selected eight influencers across TikTok and Instagram who attended the Halloween event and delivered content across both platforms. This included a TikTok video that went viral, reaching 4 million people from an influencer with just 34k followers and another that reached 39k people from an influencer with just 12k followers.

These results not only demonstrated the validity of our approach but also directly increased interest, engagement and followers for KidZania London – all of which will help the brand reach its future commercial goals. 

How to do this for your brand

For best success the approach we’ve highlighted above should fit within a thought out and structured influence marketing plan. 

All of our influencer marketing is run through a step-by-step process: Set SMART goals, Plan, Activate, Promote, Optimise, Measure and Evolve.

We cover these steps in detail with worked examples in this insight session - How to succeed at influencer marketing 

Within this process, make the following changes for the TikTok campaign above:  

  • Identify your target search terms – During the planning step, take time to understand your search analytics. Think about what your audience might be typing into Google to find your brand and run similar searches in TikTok. When content on your brand or your competitors starts appearing, you have successfully identified the right search themes. Refine and then start looking for influencers ranking highly.
  • Select influencers carefully – During the planning step, focus on reach, quality and brand fit over just follower numbers. Be very clear about what you’re seeking to achieve and do your homework to select the right influencers. Taking time to do this properly will directly impact on the results. The insight session on influencer marketing goes into this in detail.
  • Help shape and curate their content – This is the activate step for success. To maximise the chances of going viral, encourage the influencers to use hashtags or key phrases in their content captions that directly help your brand. Top tip: suggest key phrases or hashtags from the target search terms you initially used to find the creator.
  • Integrate into digital advertising – This is the optimise phase – and we cover it a lot more in How to succeed at influencer marketing. Optimisation of organic content via digital advertising can dramatically increase the impact of your campaign and radically increase your return on investment. Some key questions to ask yourself before you run a similar campaign are:

       -     If organic searches on Google increased, do you have a digital advertising plan to retarget those people who have searched for your brand but did not go to your website to bring them back to your site? 

       -     Have you thought about how you can use Google Adwords to help prompt brand recall and increase click throughs? 

       -     How are you using Behavioural Influencer Amplification to turn the content created into advertising across devices and media platforms – i.e. breaking content out of TikTok or Instagram to reach mass audiences?    

  • Pause and reflect – This is the refine step of our process. In this fast-moving digital marketing world it’s tempting to move swiftly onto the next thing. Resist the temptation. Take time to understand the impact metrics so you can refine the campaign while it’s in motion and when it’s over, to understand what worked well, what didn’t and how you can deliver it better next time. As a basic you should be measuring the outcomes and impact of your campaign. If you can explore audience awareness and intent as a result of the campaign.

       -       Example outcome metrics include: reach and engagements.

       -      Example impact metrics include: growth in followers and growth in web visits and sales.

Keep going: Keep growing

Picture this: Your campaign has been a great success (naturally) and you’ve reached a high number of people on TikTok. Now what? How are you going to build on this? Before you start the campaign, think about how you can continue so you’re consistently increasing your brand presence and driving engagement.

To do this you need to have a content plan and a regular commitment to be consistently sharing content either by being on the channel – or via the careful use of influencer marketing. Either way, if the campaign has been a success, maintain the momentum - don’t stop. 

Kallaway can help you deliver highly effective, integrated, influencer marketing to increase brand reach, audience growth, intent and sales. Talk to us at hello@Kallaway.com