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Level Up Your Brand Campaigns With A Branded Hashtag Challenge

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A significant 49% of the urban active internet users prefer consuming content in Indic languages*. Denoted as Bharat, this audience group forms a sizeable segment of the country’s population, displaying online behaviour and consumption patterns rooted in language-first communication. Brands will need to tailor their outreach strategy effectively in order to tap into the full potential of this culturally and regionally nuanced audience group.

When it comes to brand campaigns, one size does not fit all. There is a gap that exists because of the traditional ways of looking at campaigns through just one lens of translation. Simply put, Bharat-focused campaigns require more than just a translation - they need to be far more contextualised in order to be successful. With brands constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to connect with the desired audiences, they can best tap into Bharat’s untapped potential by adopting a language-first approach in their outreach strategy.

Contrary to popular belief, Bharat is far more active on social media, with 29% posting and 33% sharing online content daily*. By collaborating with ShareChat - the country’s top language-first social media platform, brands can effortlessly reach Bharat by leveraging the platform’s language-first functionality and custom ad solutions. With a 50+ million strong creator community, brands can also execute branded hashtag campaigns in collaboration with creators to drive engagement and awareness with high impact.

Branded Hashtag challenge helps brands in capturing the audience's attention and driving engagement. The ad format also allows brands to tap into the booming creator ecosystem and strengthen the brand message by delivering it in an engaging and interactive manner.

Hashtags: An Overview

Deployed as a promotional tool on social media, hashtags work as labels that identify and group messages of a similar content type. It involves using simple, but catchy phrases that make it easy for users to find relevant information in one place.

Decoding Branded Hashtag Ad Format


As the term suggests, branded hashtags can be leveraged by brands in their promotional campaigns. Brands can leverage these hashtags by placing them under relevant categories on the platform, allowing users to discover the brand’s campaign on its products and offerings. This also helps brands in targeting their key customer cohorts through the strategic usage and placement of these hashtags. Broadly, there are two types of tags deployed in this ad format: UGC tags and Branded tags.

  • UGC tags refer to User Generated Hashtags that a brand can utilise to reach out to a community sharing similar types of content.

  • Branded tags are dedicated hashtags crafted particularly for brands to reach their preferred target audience. Through branded tags, brands can also collaborate with creators in driving effective engagement and traction around their campaigns.

Brands have complete ownership of the branded hashtags crafted for them, ensuring permanent real estate on the platform. As long as users consume and engage with these tagged content pieces, they continue to see related posts on their feed.

Branded hashtags can be further positioned on the masthead as Top View or First-Pinned Posts on the native feed on ShareChat, to drive maximum awareness and brand recall. This allows the brand to interact with users across various touchpoints.

Brands also have the advantage of leveraging a branded hashtag challenge by providing adequate context to their campaign and generating user-generated content through creator collaboration. Together, these tags further diversify and amplify the regional outreach of the brand and products among user subgroups.

Here is a look at how brands have successfully leveraged hashtag ad formats in their marketing outreach and achieved their desired objectives.

SUGAR Cosmetics’ Branded Hashtag Challenge Campaign: #GetReadyWithSUGAR

SUGAR Cosmetics collaborated with Moj to launch an engagement campaign using the branded hashtag challenge #GetReadyWithSUGAR. In addition, Moj also engaged its users by designing a fun and interactive Makeup Lens Challenge to help boost SUGAR’s brand salience. The campaign performed exceedingly well in all areas, garnering 16 million external shares, 5.8 billion overall views, 462K UGC creations and 222 million in engagement (through likes, comments and shares). Overall the campaign was a huge success and bagged a coveted recognition at ET Brand Equity’s Influencer Marketing Awards, 2022*. Read the full success story here.

Similarly, brands can effectively leverage branded hashtag challenge ad formats to create unique and highly successful campaigns at scale. This format is a simple, yet highly effective tool to generate awareness, improve recall, and drive engagement among the regionally and culturally diverse audience.



Data Sources:

[1] Kantar ICUBE

[2] YouGov Study for ShareChat, Dec 2021

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