How BMO Generated 1.7 Billion Campaign Views on TikTok

Organic Search & SEO
August 30, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

From examining BMO's campaign, these are six best practices to consider when creating a TikTok duet challenge: 

Campaign Set-Up — If you do not have a profile on TikTok, consider creating a campaign-specific account. Create an original sound that is catchy to get people hooked on the trend. Create a campaign hashtag and encourage users to use it when dueting the video. Consider your audience demographics and be sure to make the campaign accessible and inclusive to everyone

Create Incentive — Campaigns that generate high participation rates generally offer users some incentive to partake. Consider partnering with a non-profit organization or offering a prize to encourage or inspire users to join in on the fun!

Partner with Nano Influencers —Analyze your target audience demographics and partner with influential people within these communities. Use a diverse group of influencers to reach an extensive array of users. 

Partner with a TikTok Star — Consider partnering with TikTok creators who have had previous success in leading a challenge on the platform. If running a specific challenge, like a dance, look for creators who share content like this regularly. 

Cross-promote — Use your other social profiles to promote the campaign to these followers, as they may vary across platforms. Encourage users to tag your account when sharing the duet to increase the campaign's reach organically. 

Advertising on TikTok — TikTok prohibited branded content featuring all financial service products. This means financial service brands can no longer partner with influencers on the platform to promote their services. However, financial service brands can still use the app for paid ads and organic posts as long as it follows all government regulations and ads target 18+ audiences.

In May 2020, Kids Help Phone and BMO ran the “Dance + More For Tomorrow Powered by BMO” campaign on social media. The campaign aimed “to connect communities in support of a brighter tomorrow for young people in Canada” with a duet challenge on TikTok. The objective of the virtual campaign was to have users duet BMO on TikTok with a video of them dancing or having fun to show their support for Kids Help Phone. 

About Us - More for Tomorrow

BMO is a Founding Partner of Kids Help Phone. Kids Help Phone is a 24/7 national service offering professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people. Since 1989, BMO has contributed more than $18 million to Kids Help Phone through donations and tremendous employee engagement.

The objective of the virtual campaign was to have users duet BMO on TikTok with a video of them dancing or having fun to show their support for Kids Help Phone. The week long hashtag campaign generated +1.7B views and over +84.8K likes on TikTok. 

TikTok Campaign Results:

Campaign Hashtag Views 1.7B
Likes 84.8K
Video Views 7.5M
Followers Gained 4.2K

Duet Challenge Best Practices:

#1. Campaign Set Up

Campaign Profile. BMO created a new profile for the campaign on TikTok under the username @bmoduet4khp. The profile is set up so that the challenge can be easily understood.

Original Sound. BMO created an original catchy song that was unique for the dance challenge.

Campaign Hashtag. BMO and Kids Help Phone encouraged users to use the hashtag #dance4tomorrow for the duet challenge and to tag BMO and Kids Help Phone to increase brand exposure. 

Bilingual Posts. As BMO is a national bank, they ran the campaign in both French and English. Videos were shared in both languages, and featured both francophone and anglophone influencers.


#2. Create Incentive

Give a Reason to Participate. A great way to encourage users to participate in a duet challenge is to create an incentive such as offering a prize or provide a rewarding reason. By partnering with Kids Help Phone, users felt motivated to participate and show support for this good cause. 

Partner with Non-Profit Organizations. In addition, the partnership is mutually beneficial to BMO and Kids Help Phone. BMO strengthens its reputation and engagement within the community. Kids Help Phone gains awareness and financial support.

#3. Partner with Nano Influencers

Local Stars. For this campaign, BMO partnered with six influential Canadians from across the country. BMO selected a diverse group of influencers to reach a vast audience nationwide that included the Stampede Queen, musician André Moisan, and several Montréal and Toronto soccer players.

These influencers each put their own spin on the duet challenge, using it as an opportunity to expand beyond just dancing.

2021 Calgary Stampede Queen, CF Montréal Player, Montreal Symphony Orchestra
CF Montréal Player, Toronto FC Player, Toronto FC Player

#4. Partner with a TikTok Star

Find Influencers  Known for Doing Challenges. Benny the Bull, the Chicago Bulls mascot, has established a vast audience of 4.5M followers on TikTok. In 2019, Benny came to fame on the platform by creating the #dipandleanchallenge, which generated over 78M views. Benny continues to gain popularity by participating in dancing trends. 

Although BMO's clients are primarily Canadian, their partnership with Benny the Bull earned them notoriety within the TikTok community. Through Benny's celebrity presence on the app, they were able to expand and reach more users during this challenge. 

#5. Cross-Promote

Share on Different Platforms. As BMO does not have a profile on TikTok, they were able to cross-promote the challenge on their Instagram, Twitter and Youtube accounts. These promotional posts encouraged users to duet with them on TikTok and tag the @bmoduet4KHP account. By having other users share the duet on their profiles, BMO was able to reach a larger audience organically.  

#6. Advertising on TikTok

Branded Content Prohibited. In July 2021, TikTok globally prohibited all branded content promoting any financial services product including investments and cryptocurrency. This new policy prohibits financial service brands from paid partnerships of any kind that promote their product or service. 

Paid Ads on TikTok: This global ban is strictly on just “branded content”. Within Canada, ads on TikTok related to financial services are restricted. Meaning ads can only target 18+ and must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, licensing obligations, and industry requirements.  


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