Last updated on March 30th, 2023 at 07:33 pm
How many people watched your TikTok videos today? My guess is not nearly as many as you’d like… let’s be honest, we all want more eyeballs.
Tiktok is one of those social media platforms that has truly changed the way we consume information. Not just entertainment, but actual usable information. I’ve talked about the impact of TikTok on businesses before. It’s ability to thrust a person or brand into the limelight is unparalleled.
Most of the time when people see that someone has become famous overnight, they don’t see the fact that that person spent years (yeeaaarrrrsssss) grinding away in the dark. However, TikTok is one of those rare opportunities that can not only shortcut the path to superstardom, but literally transform your life instantly.
In a world where you’re subjected to the TikTok algorithm and going viral is an absolute crap shoot, then you’ve likely asked yourself ‘how to blow up on TikTok’. Why is it that some people get more viewers and seemingly have TikTok success while others follow all of the advice of trending hashtags, trending music, trending topics, capturing attention in the first few seconds, yada, yada, yada… and still struggle to engage audiences?
Or, like our case study, a tequila brand can find a distributor and kickoff their 10,000 person email list.
Today, I’m going to share how the guys behind the newly launched premium tequila brand, Esquisito, leveraged their newly created TikTok account to take their view count to more than 15 Million views in only five weeks.
That’s more views than 80% of the top watched shows in the United States in the 2021/2022 season, but who’s counting?
So, if you want to know how to blow up on TikTok, then pay close attention to what the guys at Esquisito did. They’re dope enough to give us a crash course of actionable advice on how to drive more engagement across more people in a matter of weeks.
*The below is shared courtesy of Jose Bernardo De La Vega and the Esquisito team.
Our Marketing approach
We are Liquid Death for Tequila.
Mike Cessario set out to build a company where he would make people laugh. We think this approach is fucking genius.
We believe all other Tequila brands are boring AF, so we are doing the exact opposite of all other premium brands. They can have the perfect photo shoots, the models that never smile, and the image heavy marketing.
But, why can’t you have a high end brand that’s fun? Their approach is so 2003. And, it’s clearly a mistake given that short videos have taken over our consumption habits.
I say fuck it, it can be done, I’m having the most fun ever and we are crushing it. We’re going all in with being outrageous. We’re what would happen if Dom Perignon and Liquid Death had a baby.
Our bottle sells for $195 on our website or at a liquor store. However, in all of our videos we ask people what they think of our bottle being $1,200 at a club. Like the Rolex video, we’re anchoring our brand. $195 is inline with Clase Azul and DJ 1942. We want to use fun and controversy to bring about eyeballs, but ensure that our prices are comparable to other premium Tequila brands.
This allows us to create viral content that tends to fall more inline with Dollar Shave Club than… hell, what’s the last premium shave company ad you can remember? Our TikTok videos are created in a way where people right will have a strong reaction. In marketing you don’t want to be bleh… you want to be WOW or WTF! We want people to talk.
This post is no fluff and pure execution, let’s get to it!
How we got over 15 million views on Tik Tok in just 5 weeks on a brand new account
We recently launched our Premium Tequila brand called Esquisito and our organic social strategy is crushing.
Step 1 – Get as much Attention as possible (pinned post 2.7M views)
We took a page out of Elon’s playbook and found an angle that generated a ton of buzz through controversy.
We were shooting videos asking people for their best tequila story and this guy walks up and says… I’ll trade my watch for the bottle.
This guy said he wanted to trade his $30k Rolex for our bottle of Tequila?!
Mike (the on-camera personality for our TikTok content creation) looked at his watch and within a few seconds of starting the interview knew we had a banger!
This was such a good angle because it compared our bottle to a super high-end brand. This immediately set the tone. The bar for our product was that of a premium and expensive product. Not “a” premium product, but “the” premium product. A Rolex.
We got a lot of hate in the comments which we really enjoyed because a) they were hilarious and b) controversy is a way to incentivize engagement.
My favorites were everyone telling us the Rolex was fake. All of the TikTok Rolex appraisers came to play and it amped our engagement.
Step 2 – Build credibility (pinned post 1.4M views)
Nothing beats turning a big skeptic into your biggest fan.
We were in South Beach creating content where it’s easier to run into an influencer than getting Elon to appoint a new Twitter CEO.
We started chatting up this guy and it turns out he’s East Side Ivo, an influencer who has 2.5M+ followers on Instagram and 1.4M+ on TikTok. We asked if he would create a TikTok video for us… that will be $15K.
Haha… not in the budget. But, we weren’t missing this opportunity that easily.
We kept riffing with them when Ivo starts roasting Mike for his outfit.
Then he tries the Tequila…
Our hearts stopped. A few seconds felt like a few hours. Then he says… “It’s the ONE”
His friend tried it and gave us a legendary one liner…
“DAMN, it’s the ONE and not the two”
And just like that… we knew we had another banger.
The video was funny, genuine, clearly not staged and this time no one had anything bad to say about the tequila in the comments, people really wanted to try it… HELL YES!
Step 3 – Choose a TikTok trend to go massively viral (6.2M views)
TikTok trends can be tricky. What works for some brands can be a huge fail for others. But, it’s also one of those tricks that TikTok does so much better than other social media platforms. The right trend can be massive for your brand.
We scoured TikTok to find trending topics that would resonate with our audience. We tested some that were just “ok” before landing on what we knew would be killer – “double it and give it to someone else”.
For us that became, “Do you want 1 margarita shot or double it and give it to the next person?”
6.2 Million views later, we decided that working with trends was a winning strategy. We’ll be doing a lot of trends in the coming months and I’m as excited about it as an Argentinian seeing Messi win the World Cup.
This might seem like it was easy to do, given the way I explained it… let me stop you there, boss, it wasn’t.
But, while it wasn’t easy, it was a blast. We really enjoyed interviewing strangers. This approach would encourage people to engage in the authentic ways that resonate on social media.
Difficult or not, I know you want the numbers. Over a 5 week period:
- 18 days of shooting
- 3.5 hours shooting daily
- 374 videos total
- 1.5 hours editing each video posted
- 28 videos posted on our TikTok feed in 28 days
- 5 videos have 1M+ views (17.85%)
- 27 videos have 10K+ views (96%)
- $1000 spent – our only expense was going back and forth to Miami Beach from downtown Miami on shoot days (~$60/day)
- 1:4 people said “yes” to interviews in our initial interviews, but
- 1:2 people said “yes” as we got better in our approach
- 2 Talent Needed – Mike (on-camera) and Me (recording)
Now I’m sure you’re wandering… ok so you got all these views, so what? What does it all mean? Well, we are in pre-launch for our tequila brand and just launched our TikTok. Within 5 weeks:
- We are onboarding with the second largest spirits distributor in Florida because of our social presence
- 3 high-end liquor stores in Miami have committed to our Tequila in their stores
- 800 people signed-up to our email list (should have set this up sooner, but it’s a nice start to our 10K goal for launch)
- We’ve started conversations with high-end liquor distributors in Africa and Australia for orders in early 2023
- Tons of people are reaching out for collabs to continue spreading our message (like this blog post)
Key Thoughts on How to Blow Up on TikTok
Man… Jose dropped some knowledge with the above. And, if you follow his advice, you can blow up on TikTok too. Here’s what I picked up from what he put down:
- Controversy can drive high engagement. This doesn’t mean that you have to be an asshole. However, if you want to reach a wider audience when you post content, then pick a side. Luke warm marketing does nothing.
- Collaborate with influencers. 92% of consumers trust word of mouth more than they do a brand. Influencers are like the Barry Bonds of marketing. They’re the performance enhancing drug that your brand needs to get instant trust across more views.
- Follow the trends. Trends are killer tools for creators to pull out of their toolkit in order to get more eyeballs. TikTok is a much better medium for this than other platforms. The trick is to make sure you focus on something that fits well within your niche and is relevant to your audience.
If you’ve ever asked yourself how to blow up on TikTok, then I hope next time you open the TikTok app to post content, you’ll remember this advice. Who knows, maybe it’ll help you create a video that gives you the level of followers you want and engagement you deserve.