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I’ve recently spent some time orientating myself with TikTok, an app you’ll definitely have heard of, but perhaps not used professionally.

How the platform will build up its advertising offer isn’t clear, but right now it can provide some fantastic insight into the state of influencer marketing (note: this post **isn’t** going to discuss the value, or not, of influencer marketing!).

What I’m suggesting is super-simple, super obvious (really) and you definitely don’t need any lip-sync skills 🤩

To get started you’ll need 3 things…


Step 1 – open the TikTok app

Step 2 – click on the search icon 🔎

Step 3 – type in #ad

Step 4 – click on ‘Hashtags’

Step 5 – click on #ad in the list

You should see a list of thumbnail images like this (just the 1.6 billion I found 👍)


Step 6 – start to scroll and click into anything that takes your fancy

Step 7 – scan the caption + watch the 15 second clip to figure out who the ad is for

Step 8 – click on the user’s profile icon to get an idea of who the brand’s using


Step 9 – click back into the feed

Step 10 – repeat

Yes, of course there’s heaps of fashion brands on there. And a load of weird stuff.

But I quickly found examples from across many sectors, supporting big brands I know and smaller brands I don’t.

I’d suggest that within quarter of an hour your view/ understanding of the influencer game, and how it’s manifesting on emerging platforms like TikTok, will be much improved.

Of course there’s no reason you couldn’t do this in Instagram, but I was curious to see what shape it was taking in TikTok; a platform most brands are probably a long way from thinking about.

I’d love to hear any thoughts on brands’ use of this platform…




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