Even in comparison to other social media platforms, TikTok's organic reach is outstanding. While many had passed it off as a fad during its launch, it's clear now that TikTok is here to stay — and that it's a powerful marketing tool for brands. Stay on top of TikTok marketing trends both app-wide and in your industry, and you're setting yourself up for increased brand exposure and user engagement.
Because over half of the top brands have virtually no presence on TikTok, there's an incredible opportunity for smaller brands to make an impact on an app not yet saturated with brand marketing.
As with most things on the internet, TikTok trends come and go quickly. What's in style one day may be out the next, so it's crucial to stay up-to-date on popular tags, challenges, and content types to succeed as a brand on TikTok.
TikTok marketing trends 2022
Since everything on TikTok revolves around video and audio, the level of engagement is sky-high. Because it's such a creator-driven platform, there is an abundance of organic user-generated content (UGC) already on the app, often featuring brand products and endorsements. It isn't just an app for teenagers to post videos of themselves lip-syncing to the latest pop hits, it's become a legitimate place for conversations to happen and brand/product discovery.
The biggest trends leverage TikTok's unique features to make those conversations possible, or spin them in an interesting way.
1. TikTok Stitches and Duets
One of the main draws of TikTok is how it encourages creativity and collaboration. Its 700 million active users are incentivized to incorporate other users' video and audio to create something new.
Remixing content is a practice that's older than the internet, and may very well be the foundation of pop culture as we know it. There are a number of tools that TikTok offers that allow users to do that, but stitches and duets stand out and make the experience all the more engaging.
TikTok Stitch may have been introduced in 2020, but it's one of the features that's made TikTok the powerhouse it is today. If you scroll through your TikTok feed, chances are that you've already seen a number of TikTok Stitch videos already.
Alo Yoga duets a video from a fan of one of the brand's gym bags.
Stitch allows creators to seamlessly reinterpret and add on to other users' content. It also allows proper credit to go to the original user whose video is being used to make the new content.
With Duets, users are able to play a snippet of another user's TikTok video alongside their own in a split-screen format. Both up-down and side-to-side formats are supported. While the original idea may have been for Duets to be used to let creators sing along with each other, TikTok users have made Duets for all types of content, such as reactions, comedy, or even educational videos. Creators can even "duet" their own videos to maximize reach.
Morphe's team takes advantage of duets by asking fans to show their love for the brand, using the unique hashtag #MorpheBabes.
Pixlee TurnTo [now Emplifi] gives brands like Morphe and Alo an easy way to automatically collect TikTok videos mentioning their brand handles or hashtags, in addition to videos from authenticated creators in the brand's network. From there, these brands can determine which videos to engage with, and reshare this UGC on all of their marketing channels.
By featuring your community members' videos via a stitch or duet — or letting them create their own pointing back to your brand's original video — there's an unprecedented opportunity to promote products while upholding the app's emphasis on creators.
2. The #LearnOnTikTok hashtag
In terms of sheer numbers, there's only one hashtag to use for educational content on TikTok. The #LearnOnTikTok hashtag has nearly 300 billion views, 5 to 6 times as many as other similar hashtags.
This is especially useful for high-value content such as instructional or how-to videos, where viewers will already have an existing relationship with your brand. There is an endless library of topics that users will want to learn about, especially since you should be the experts in your field.
Since TikTok videos are so short, you have a limited amount of time to get your point across. This means heavy use of editing to make videos snappy and engaging.
But just because the videos are short doesn't mean they're shallow – on the contrary, because you have to condense the subject matter into such a short time frame, not a single second can be wasted.
eCommerce platform Wish took advantage of the #LearnOnTikTok tag by featuring customer UGC to educate customers about furniture sold on the brand's site.
Even if these videos are already packed, you can't miss the opportunity to insert a call to action at some point. Using these types of content to direct users to your other social media channels or links in your TikTok bio makes this trend even more useful to your marketing strategy.
3. TikTok subcultures
There are a number of niches on TikTok, many of which have a thriving community of active and engaged users. You can usually find them under a hashtag related to their chosen subject matter, such as #CleanTok or #MoneyTok.
Getting involved in one of these TikTok subcultures is an easy way to gain an established audience. Knowing your own audience will let you really drill down into what kind of subcultures they would be involved in, so doing your homework is an important part of this trend.
But making full use of a TikTok subculture isn't just about tossing their hashtag onto any video you post. Your content needs to be authentic for that specific subculture, and you need to be able to say that you're really part of that subculture. Additionally, you should pay attention to the best time to post on TikTok according to your audience's engagement habits.
TikTok users are good at spotting brands and accounts that are inauthentic, so do your research beforehand. This is another trend that benefits from the use of authentic customer UGC, so consider a platform like Pixlee TurnTo to get access and permission to use your fans' content on TikTok.
4. No trend at all
Surprisingly, sometimes the best thing you can do is to buck the trends and simply do your own thing.
TikTok users value authenticity and a raw feel to the content that they consume. Not everything needs to use every single TikTok feature and link back to a dozen other accounts; so long as the subject matter is interesting and the content is entertaining, people are going to watch it.
Knowing when not to join in on trends and just rely on the strength of your created content is one of the most powerful moves you can make.
Because TikTok is still so young, brands are still figuring out what works best. Both Delta and Carnival Cruises see success by featuring community and employee content on the app, giving a behind-the-scenes look into brand culture.
Staying true to your brand's values, message, and aesthetic is the most authentic thing possible. Your brand identity is worth more than being able to say you joined the latest challenge or had a single post go viral for a couple of hours.
Brands that continue to steadily produce varied, high-value content in the face of never-ending trends will always end up on top in the long run.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on pixlee.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.