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How to make TikTok work for your DTC Brand

Garrett Wrenn
Garrett Wrenn
Post IOS 14, the most successful DTC / Omni-Channel brands are aggregating ad spend to focus on creative output for TikTok.

Post IOS 14, the most successful DTC / Omni-Channel brands are aggregating ad spend to focus on creative output for TikTok.

According to this shopify article, ad spend revenue on TikTok has crossed the $12 billion mark and there is an expected 40% increase in brands using the short form video platform this year.

Whether you're the founder of a 7-8 figure DTC brand or recently hired CMO looking to make a big splash, TikTok is presenting a modern version of the California Gold Rush. 

Brands are hiring internal creative teams to focus on content creation or working directly with Influencer Marketing Agencies like Obviously or The Shelf to find people who can articulate the value of their product / brand to perfection. 🧑‍🍳

Below, you will find how brands are crushing it on TikTok, leading indicators of content performing well, and how to repurpose content you invested big💲to create.

3 Brands Crushing it on TikTok + Strategies

Muddy Bites

Who They Are

The bottom part of a chocolate covered waffle cone is your new favorite munchie meal. Normally you have till the end of your ice cream cone to attain that last chocolate covered bite, Muddy Bites has made that into its own snack.

Strategy: Humor, Practical Use, Major Announcements

New products, Major Announcements 🌟

All brands can use this for themselves, in Muddy Bites case, this means new flavor announcements, collaborations, etc. Since Muddy Bites now comes in a multitude of flavors (yum) using TikTok as a place for discovery feeds into the fact that 37% of users discovered something on TikTok and immediately went to buy it (TikTok)

An exciting announcement for any DTC brand is moving into physical store locations. Muddy Bites (amongst other brands) use TikTok to make announcements about different brick and mortar stores they end up in. This is an easy to use digital platform to drive foot traffic. (best snack ever in Hyvee)


Millennials & Gen-Z love trends / memes, Muddy Bites uses trends and turns them into relevant content for their product. Following trends and memes are an easy, fun way to create content that will reach new audiences via TikTok’s algorithm - potentially lead to a viral post.

Example: sees Muddy Bites order on credit card from last Saturday @ 3:00 AM ➝ couldn’t be me

Sneaky charge
Case Studies, Practical Use of Product 🔋

One of the appeals of this delicious snack is that it can be an add-on to another dessert or be eaten on its own. Muddy Bites uses this strategic advantage to show how to make different delicious desserts. This in turn creates different types of demand for their product and can be seen in the customer journey as "let's make this super yummy dessert I just saw on TikTok"

Example: Halloween Party Treat | Fall Treat

Mad Rabbit

Who They Are

MadRabbit is a Tattoo Aftercare company focused on the preservation & care of your tattoos. They market themselves as an all natural, organic aftercare product that's meant to give your tattoos the most pop while hydrating & nourishing your skin.

Strategy: Community Building, Strong Product + Industry Education

Tattoo Ideas + Inspo's 🔏

Knowing your target market allows you to easily create content, in Mad Rabbit’s case - people who have tattoos are either planning their next tattoo or looking for their next inspiration. This makes their strategy simple: more tattoos = more demand for their product.

They’ve done this by making tattoo inspiration content that includes using their hero product to showcase how it works alongside a new tattoo. 

This aspect of their strategy is worth highlighting because the content focuses on community building & inspiration, which helps them reach their target audience without selling to them.

Best Practices for Tattoo Care, Influencer Posts 👀

This content adds to community building and is also a great example of how to use TikTok for industry education, not just sales.

People new to getting tattoos have questions - MadRabbit works with influencers and creators to answer certain questions like this.

Highlighting Other Products 🔊

DTC brands typically have a hero product and as they grow and other products emerge, education is necessary so brands can appear as more than their hero product.

You can also incorporate generic trends to highlight other products, MadRabbit creates posts about their new soap bar, it doesn't highlight how to use the product - just an ASMR soap bar cutting video.

Example: Soap Cutting ASMR

ASMR Trend ➝ Product Interest ➝ Website Exploration ➝ Education On-Site ➝ Purchase


Who They Are

Figs is a clothing company focused on making medical uniforms & scrubs so they are more form fitting & fashionable.

Strategy: Target Market Humor, Product Education, Event Announcements

Target Market Humor ❤️‍🩹

59% of users feel a sense of community on TikTok (Nielsen.) With that in mind, you can build a community by knowing more about your ICP's (ideal customer profile) industry than what your product solves for - this is critical so they can relate to your content. 

Important question to ask: 

*How do you make your content about your customers & your product?*

Example: How you feel going into your 5 day weekend ➝ throws coffee, strut walks out of work

Strut walk & coffee toss

Product Education, Creators, Announcements 👀

New colors? Surgical green is back! 💚

New Merch Line? Figs Pro! 🦯

TikTok is a great way to notify your current customers (& potential new ones) about the current stocking of products to make sure they don’t miss out on it (again).

Figs works with creators and influencers to show how people in the healthcare field are rocking the look. (Rock the look)This can lead to outfit inspirations for consumers and an opportunity for the brand to display other products within the content (product upsells).

Notably, customers who buy once are 9x more likely to convert again & show a 25% increase in AOV around holiday season (Conversational). This data point shows the importance and ease of keeping current customers informed of restocks & new product releases to drive conversion.

Event announcements 🔊

Figs does interactive in-person local events that reward customers for participating. They use TikTok to create hype and document highlights from the in-person event, leaving gift cards around the city, showing the winners. (Gift card Giveaway TikTok)

Building visibility for the next event to drive foot traffic and fomo while showing the brand gives back to customers. (Trust)

Summary of brands killing it on TikTok

Know your target market, Build a community 💡

Use your ICP to make tailored content, build trust, & grow your community. Strategically choose the influencers you work with, people (gen-z in particular) can sniff out inauthentic influencer ads. Some brands focus on finding UGC and then using TikTok's new Spark Ads program to boost creators' organic content.

Humor focused on your target market will help build a sense of community. For Figs, this was healthcare humor. For muddy bites, they use that classic, late night munchies humor.

Important to note - when you build a community your brand gets easy UGC, instant and honest product feedback from your ICP, and more customers who trust the brand and feel a part of the community, leading them to buy more. Hear more about this strategy on DTC Pod from Ryze Superfoods & Obvi.

Follow trends 📈

Certain trends and hashtags gan garner millions or even billions of views (#tiktokmademebuyit) making it an easy way to reach new audiences.

Do your best to work your product(s) into trends, as MadRabbit shows, using an ASMR video of you cutting your new soap bar generates views, showcases a new product they offer, and makes it look aesthetically pleasing.

Product Education Types, Event Announcements 🫰

As brands end up in physical store locations, they use digital platforms to drive foot-traffic.

When it comes to product education, brands can use UGC & influencers to show a product demo or create demand through different use cases.

Muddy Bites does this by creating desserts with their snack, this creates new demand for it. They could even develop a partnership with ice cream shops as a potential add-on topping (gotta have it like Cold Stone).

MadRabbit does this with tattoo inspo posts, showing cool new tattoos, how to use their aftercare products, and what the benefits are. People are inspired to buy stuff from TikTok, wouldn't put it past anyone to get a tattoo from TikTok. (InkTok?)

Indicators on content performance & how to iterate from there:

Brand visibility increases 🔝

Video increases brand recognition by 54% on average (Oberlo), and 84% of consumers reported buying a product after watching video marketing for it. (Neil Patel)

Champions of your product will share in their respective digital communities & groups. Some Popular groups are: Beauty, Recipes, Thrifting, Books, Fitness, & Finance. (More data) Find the UGC!

Ryze & Obvi use communities they've built to get customer feedback & improve LTV (DTC Pod). This is pertinent for every brand because 61% of consumers would be more loyal and likely to buy from a brand if they were invited to be part of a customer advocate community or content creators (HubSpot).

High intent website traffic increases 🔝

41% of Gen-Z prefers to use TikTok over traditional search engines (Hubspot).

When people search for something on TikTok, their intent can be to use it as a search engine vs a social platform. Some popular searches might be, top 5 bars in NYC or vintage clothing.  This is much different from FB & IG,  making discovery a unique and powerful opportunity as brands figure out TikTok SEO & Paid ads.

With more uses as a search engine, 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions (Hubspot) - this means having non-branded content & community is important alongside any of your SEO or paid strategies to build brand awareness and social proof.

Ability to repurpose content ♻️

You can pay up to $10,000 per post with influencers to develop content, if it performs well, continue to let it work for you. This gives you data to iterate with when using it for the ideas below:

  • Use app-like video experiences on-site & for landing pages. (Viddy)
  • Adding videos to landing pages increases conversion rates by 80%-86%
  • Think With Google found that nearly 50% of internet users watched videos of a product or service before checking out.
  • Using this content in SMS campaigns & email campaigns
  • Using the word “video” in email subject lines increases open rates by 19%, click-through rates (CTR) by 65%, and decreases unsubscribes by 26%. (LinkedIn)

Check out how Mad Rabbit saw a 76% lift in session duration at +95% confidence levels using app-like video on-site.

Parting Words: 

Like anything else in life, nothing is one-size fits all. TikTok for some brands can be a great conversion tool, whereas others see its value for building education and demand around a product. 

Whichever bucket you fall into, the best part about TikTok is that it’s really easy to start. 

You don’t need the best looking content or partner with the biggest influencers to catch virality on the platform, it can be as simple as a creator posting about your new product, or you sharing an authentic story about the roots of your brand and the “why” behind it. 

Leading with authenticity is winning right now, so if you’re someone who hasn’t started, find a cool segment about your brand where you can post once a week and see where that gets you. If you’re someone more established looking for ways to repurpose your content, hit me up - would love to show you how Viddy can work for your brand.