As we head into the final days of 2021, TikTok has shared a look back at the growing influence of the platform as a commerce and promotional channel, by highlighting some of the key brand-lead trends of the year, which could provide some guidance as to what might work in your own TikTok marketing approach.
And no doubt many brands will be looking TikTok’s way in 2022. According to estimates from App Annie, TikTok will reach 1.5 billion users next year, which would make it the second-biggest social media platform in the world, trailing only Facebook. And that’s without India, where TikTok is banned, and where Facebook has some 349 million users.
Increasingly, at its current growth trajectory, TikTok is becoming the key app of focus for many users in many markets – which is why this listing of brand hits and hashtags from the year provides valuable marketing insight.
First off, TikTok notes the growth and influence of the platform as a brand and product awareness driver.
“The impact of #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, the hashtag with 7B+ views, and the movement clearing shelves across the nation, extends far beyond the platform - to bookstores, coffee shops, TV commercials, and everywhere else. When products became beloved by the community, brands continued to show up to amplify these same #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt moments that had the entire community talking and shopping this year.”
TikTok highlights Clinique’s ‘Almost Lipstick’, which saw a big rise on the back of TikTok clips, and Bissell’s ‘Little Green Machine’ carpet cleaning device, which gained huge exposure due to the #CleanTok community.
The #littlegreenmachine hashtag has now lead to more than 69 million cumulative video views, and that exposure has more than doubled sales of the device for the year.
The breadth of trends attached to the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt movement underlines the rising opportunities, in many sectors, via the app, which likely extends beyond what you might expect. TikTok’s no longer just about dance trends and memes, as its audience grows, so too does the range of content and comversations available, which has lead to major opportunities for many marketers.
Maybe, there’s already an active trend relating to your products.
TikTok also highlights products that were inspired by the platform, including GAP’s brown hoodie, which the company re-added into production after a viral TikTok clip showing the vintage item, and Isle of Paradise’s ‘Self-Tanning Water’.
As explained by TikTok:
“The [Isle of Paradise] trend caught on so quickly, it caused the Self-Tanning Water Refills to sell out at Sephora within 24hrs. Immediately picking up on the trend, Isle of Paradise developed their own branded Pro Glow Spray Tan Kit, launching it within 3 months of the first viral video. It’s the brand’s very first crowdsourced product and a successful one at that, with the Kit already a best-seller at Sephora.”
Smart brands are paying attention to the latest shifts on the platform, and working to align with trends when opportunity rises. And again, with TikTok on track to reach 1.5 billion users next year, it’s worth all businesses establishing a monitoring process, at the least, to keep track of product trends and movements, as a means to inform your own approach – both on TikTok and in your overall marketing process.
TikTok also highlights participatory brand trends, like the #JifRapChallenge, which saw Jif partner with Ludacris to call on users to share a clip of themselves rapping with a spoonful of peanut butter in their mouth.
The challenge utilized TikTok’s Duet feature to promote engagement, while also expanding Jif’s brand messaging. Videos using the hashtag have thus far been viewed more than 7.2 billion times.
There are also brands that have jumped into organic trends, like the NFL partnering with the truly great Emily Zugay for several creative re-branding projects.
Zugay, who’s quickly become world-famous for her design skills, has also worked with McDonald’s, and even Facebook on its Meta re-brand. With the NFL, her branding work for the Detroit Lions even lead to a popular line (get it) of new merchandise.
The expanded reach and resonance of such campaigns further highlights the opportunities of the platform, and while brands can (and do) get it wrong, and miss the trend as a result, those that can get it right can glean major exposure and association benefits.
There’s a heap more insights and highlights in TikTok’s full branded content overview, which you can check out here. And while not all businesses will be able to see the same level of success as these top initiatives, the listing could help provide some guidance for a more effective platform approach.