TikTok is becoming a hub for brands to find their next content creators.
As the short-form video app’s popularity has exploded, so too have the number of brands turning to TikTok to find their next cadre of creators.
Brands like Disney, Chipotle, MLB, and Gatorade have all taken to TikTok to find customers-turned-content-makers through competitions and hashtag challenges. The campaigns have been a way for brands to engage with their audiences on TikTok, while also giving super-fans an opportunity to identify themselves as brand ambassadors.
These influencer teams are being dubbed by some brands as “creator classes.” These creators span the country and bring a different personality or creative aspect to the brand’s social content.
“It’s no longer about trying to get that one creator with a giant following to mention your brand once,” said Ali Fazal, VP of marketing at Grin, an influencer management platform. “These classes allow brands to integrate the creator into their overall marketing strategy. Sort of like the opposite of a Cameo, they want these creators to be an extension of their marketing teams.” That idea has helped brands find influencers who organically love the brand, and is giving fans a huge boost in becoming creators.
For example, the influencers in the MLB’s creator class show different facets of their love for baseball. “One is an esports player, one is more comedic,” said Kathryn Buckles, director of brand and content marketing at MLB, of the league’s first class. “We also have someone who focuses on youth baseball, and a food creator that likes to replicate ballpark dishes.”
The MLB revealed the 11 members of its creator class earlier this month after it announced its search back in June. “We saw all these baseball creators and wanted to give them a chance to spotlight themselves as brand ambassadors,” said Buckles. “This is our inaugural class, so we want to help support these creators. They’ll have a wide scope of content that they can make.” The hashtag #mlbcreatorclass racked up over 53 million views on TikTok.
MLB creator class members will get to work with MLB on content strategies that highlight league players and teams both on and off the field. Creators will get access to MLB merchandise, the opportunity to attend games, and visit the MLB offices.
MLB tapped its fans to help select the members of the creator class. “We had folks pumping up our class entrants and tagging us a lot to show who they liked,” Buckles said. Even though only 11 creators make up the inaugural class, the process allowed the MLB to identify other fans who they could potentially work with in the future.