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The Secrets to Sustained Success on TikTok

At the BoF Professional Summit, viral TikTok creators Nic Kauffman and Wisdom Kaye explained what drives success on the platform, while communications executive Christopher Bugg and talent agent Pranav Mandavia discussed the critical elements of a compelling TikTok strategy for brands.
BoF Professional Technology Summit panelists: Nic Kaufmann, Wisdom Kaye, Pranav Mandavia and Chris Bugg.

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Background:

TikTok has become one of the world’s largest and buzziest social media platforms, with over a billion active monthly users. But while fashion brands are eager to experiment with the platform, they’re still figuring out what strategies work best to effectively engage creators like Nic Kauffman and Wisdom Kaye, who took the stage at last month’s BoF Professional Summit alongside Christopher Bugg, communication director of Prada Group and Pranav Mandavia, a talent agent from United Talent Agency and BoF senior editorial associate Alexandra Mondalek.

Successful campaigns on TikTok tend to cast a wide net, allowing creators to do what they want with a hashtag or product. Both Kaye and Kaufmann underscored the need for brands to relinquish creative control to creators to yield the best results. For creators, “the key to sustained viral success as a creator is “differentiation [of your content], as well as being a multifaceted creative,” according to Kaye.

“What defines success on TikTok is the requirement for authenticity,” Kaufmann said, explaining how his best videos — that is, those that have attracted the most viewers — are the result of brand collaborations in which he was given a wide berth to style, produce and direct his content, free of interference.

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Meanwhile, for brands, “understanding that TikTok creators are multi-hyphenates” is the key to getting the best out of partnerships,” according to Mandavia.

“When a brand partners with a TikTok creator, they need to remember that they’re essentially hiring a cameraman, a stylist, a model, all in one — we cover every single aspect of that,” said Kaye, a content creator with over eight million followers, who has partnered with brands such as Dior, Zegna and Fendi.

Key Insights:

  • Between them, viral content creators Nic Kaufmann and Wisdom Kaye have a collective 26 million followers on TikTok and have partnered with brands such as Dior, Prada, Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss.
  • For brands, relinquishing creative control to creators will yield authentic content and drive organic engagement, as seen with Prada’s bucket hat challenge.
  • Brands looking to partner with talent on the platform must understand that TikTok creators are multi-hyphenates — their roles encompass styling, modelling and production.

Additional Resources:

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