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TikTok has been gaining popularity ever since its 2016 launch. The primary reason is simple—TikTok is addictive and fun. Its algorithm can keep users hooked for hours, showing them videos that match their preferences by analyzing posts they’ve shared, liked, or watched fully, as well as the accounts and hashtags they’ve interacted with.
Apart from being the source of fast-paced entertainment, TikTok has launched the careers of influencers like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae Easterling and has been rewarding the most talented creators through the TikTok Creator Fund. Those creators are also the ones who often start new trends with their posts and inspire similar content creation across this platform.
No one could have predicted in 2016 that TikTok would become a marketing tool unmatched by other socials. TikTok has enormous potential to trigger organic reach and bring viral visibility, and that is the main reason why more and more businesses are turning to this app and finding ways to use the most popular TikTok trends to their advantage.
TikTok trends refer to popular sounds, hashtags, dances, challenges, ways you edit your posts, and much more. You can think of many TikTok trends as big memes—ideas behind trends are copied and easily adjusted and applied to various situations. Users get the gist right away, and the trend spreads across the app like wildfire.
TikTok has evolved into an app that thrives on trends, which gives content creators plenty of space to showcase their creativity by adding a twist or a fresh point of view to the most popular ideas.
Thanks to the Discover page in the app, it’s easy for marketing teams to identify trending content, get inspired, and come up with their own creative solutions for their TikTok strategies.
TikTok can bring marketing success to brands without them lifting a finger. One of the most famous examples is Ocean Spray—thanks to Nathan Apodaca and his spontaneous post involving a skateboard, Fleetwood Mac, and Ocean Spray cranberry juice, the 91-year old brand was revived unexpectedly, earning 15 billion impressions in less than a month.
While unintended TikTok popularity is what any TikTok user wishes for, no brand will wait until a user accidentally makes them TikTok famous. Businesses have to figure out how to evoke the interest of the TikTok audiences strategically, and it’s a good idea to start with some tried-and-true formulas.
That’s where trends gain importance for brands—by learning what kind of content is trending, you can create better posts that will bring more exposure and conversions. Following trends is a perfect way to come up with easily recognizable content that will resonate with your audience in a flash, as long as you’re ready to hop on a trend at the right time—you need an agile content strategy that never lets the hype evaporate.
Many brands even start trends of their own and then benefit from user-generated content (UGC) and the exposure it brings them.
UGC refers to brand-related videos made by fans or customers. Brands on TikTok aim for such content because it brings more interaction and presents the brand in a more positive, engaging, or humorous light.
User-generated content is an excellent promotional tool because social media users, including your target audience, trust real people. While partnering with influencers is also a great marketing move and your audience is likely to trust the positive opinions and recommendations of the TikTokers they appreciate, UGC usually communicates the opinions of those who benefited from your products or services and had no hidden motives to share stories about them. For your business, it also means connecting to the target audience at a whole new level and getting tons of original content with a massive reach that you can easily repost.
Whether you choose to start a new trend that could trigger a lot of UGC or decide to use an existing trend, following trends on TikTok is a proven way for brands to expand their reach, engage younger audiences (even though TikTok nowadays attracts older generations as well), and reveal their lighter side. You’ll have to invest effort in your content creation for sure, but without leveraging trends, it will be hard to take your TikTok campaign to the next level.
While most of the trends come and go fast, here are a few that have established themselves as tried-and-true recipes for attracting views:
Branded hashtag challenges are great for encouraging UGC. Laura Mercier Cosmetics did it with the #readySETgo hashtag. Their goal was to promote their setting powder by creating a “before and after” challenge where users showcase their glow-up after using the product. The results of the campaign were impressive—the brand has seen 8.1 billion impressions and 2,500 videos made by fans.
Duet and Stitch are still among the most popular content formats. While Duet enables you to create posts where your video plays next to someone else’s, Stitch lets you start with up to five seconds of someone else’s video and then add your reaction.
You can use either to expand your brand awareness because your goal is exactly what these features enable—reaching as many people as possible and encouraging users to engage with your content and your brand in general.
NBA’s prompt “Tell me you’re an NBA fan without telling me you’re an NBA fan” is the perfect example of the effective Stitch use, persuading TikTokers to incorporate NBA’s original video into their own video responses.
First time #NBAAllStar Zach Lavine wants to know what makes you an NBA Fan! Stitch your reply to this video! ⭐️NBA All-Star, Mar. 7 6:30pm/et on TNT!
Puma, for instance, is a brand that benefited from the Duet feature. After the viral success of a video posted by a barista showing a failed attempt to make a coffee with the Puma logo on top, the brand came up with a challenge for their audience. They encouraged the use of the Duet feature and challenged the viewership to make a coffee with the Puma logo.
Even though the video had nothing to do with Puma products, it captured the attention of the brand’s target audience. This example proves that TikTok marketing strategies don’t have to be overly complicated or only promote products to attract views and likes and eventually boost revenue—they can also rely on being light-hearted and fun.
🚨BAKERS, ARTISTS, & BARISTAS🚨 Can you recreate the PUMA logo like @1leogonzalez? If so, let’s 👀 it!! Best posts will get featured on @puma 🙌
Luxury brands like Gucci aren’t resistant to TikTok crazes either. Their TikTok account is followed by millions of people, and it abounds with creative videos promoting their new collections, mostly through skillfully edited behind-the-scenes videos that showcase the brand’s management and culture in an easily digestible way.
While this TikTok trend might seem too plain and straightforward, demonstrating product use is a time-tested way of telling a trustworthy brand story. Even though TikTok now allows for three-minute videos, shorter formats prove to be more effective—they succeed in catching viewers’ interest faster, without being pushy or aggressive.
With millions of likes, the TikTok profile of the world-famous jeans brand Levi’s is a great example of short and catchy content on one social media platform being more effective than extensive multichannel campaigns. The brand’s approach is mostly practical—they know what is trending on TikTok and go with it, so they often use one of the most popular types of TikTok content—DIY hacks.
Levi’s is sharing tips and tricks on how to clean and maintain denim or how to give your jeans a second life when they’ve been worn for too long—all this by reducing the environmental impact to a minimum.
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) refers to a reaction to soothing sounds and low tones affecting the listener’s senses on a subconscious level. It induces relaxation and mild spine-tingling and comes from light and repetitive sounds, such as chewing gum, whispering, tapping on a hard surface, paper crackling, and others. In marketing, using ASMR aims at persuading the target audience to associate particular sounds with a brand or a product.
Using ASMR can help you make a profound connection with your audience and, as a consequence, increase the memorability of your brand and boost your conversion rates.
Cosmetics brands such as florence by mills and SEPHORA are known to share videos that trigger ASMR, but there are many such videos on TikTok that center around food and cooking, too. To find inspiration on how you can use sounds that could resonate with your audience this way, search for videos with hashtags #ASMR and #oddlysatisfying.
While TikTok abounds with in-app sounds that can be used, as a brand, you can put more effort into original and high-quality sound production by investing in a good binaural microphone for the most realistic reproduction or getting professional audio editing software.
Source: florence by mills
The way you use editing can also become a TikTok trend. TikTok’s in-app editing tools enable switching between different shots smoothly and naturally, and brands make it look even better as they usually can count on content creators proficient in various types of editing software to help them.
When the transition is done properly, viewers will most likely watch the video several times, mesmerized by the editing magic. BMW is one of the brands that often relies on this approach—and they even demonstrate how some of their videos with fascinating edits were created, as in the example below.
To get to your audience’s For You page, you need to learn the principles TikTok’s algorithm is built upon. You can get your first insights by accessing your profile analytics—based on this data, you’ll see that many factors, including posting time and frequency and your target audiences’ habits, affect your content’s performance.
While metrics definitely matter, you shouldn’t forget that the appeal of your content also depends on its authenticity. Brands can benefit from being real and not shying away from controversial topics, as long as they’re keeping it tactful.
This approach helped the skincare brand Peace Out amass over 2 million likes on their videos. While the majority of beauty brands are still representing their products as a means of achieving the ultimate goal—perfection—Peace Out talks openly about acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentations, and other skin issues. That way, they’re embracing the anti-aspirational perspective, celebrating who their viewers already are, and providing solutions for improvement instead of focusing on what the consumers should be. They’re sending out a message that a relationship between beauty products and people is not about appearance exclusively. Based on Peace Out’s engagement figures, the conclusion is that the TikTok audience appreciates the approach.
Source: Scott Graham
Due to its cheerful nature and short video formats, TikTok might seem like a walkover at first. Still, to succeed on this platform as a brand, apart from sharing attention-worthy videos relevant to your brand’s message, you need an in-depth understanding of what kind of content is hot on this app and how to use that to your benefit. Understanding TikTok trends from a business perspective requires a lot of time spent on studying the app, figuring out its underlying principles, and learning how other brands are using TikTok.
Even though trends are one of the core elements of TikTok, it’s not enough to adjust another brand’s ideas and approach to your brand’s message. You have to find out which trends to follow and how to do it so that your brand identity is preserved.
While checking trending videos on the Discover page is a good starting point when brainstorming ideas for your future content, the execution stage is where businesses make mistakes, which, as a consequence, causes their strategy to fail or bring below-average results.
If your TikTok videos aren’t getting views, not following trends could be one of the main reasons. A strategy that brought you followers on another platform might be completely useless on TikTok. Also, something that had a strong impact a few months ago might be obsolete now only because the audience has had enough of it.
Here’s what else might negatively affect the outcome of your TikTok strategy:
Brands that make revolutionary marketing moves on socials never leave anything to chance. They know they can’t complete the puzzle on their own. If you want to create a successful TikTok campaign, consider talking to professionals with enough experience and knowledge of leveraging TikTok trends in marketing campaigns.
Hopping on a wrong trend train or not following a trend properly might result in your TikToks not conveying the intended message. Making a good estimate of what trends you should go for is a challenging task, but you don’t have to keep wasting resources by making wild guesses one after another.
Kubbco is a team of social media experts who can assist you with all your TikTok-related concerns and build your TikTok strategy from the ground up. We bring ideas to the table and discuss them with the client, execute those that show the most promise and have the best test results, and monitor relevant metrics all along—ready to adjust our approach at any moment.
Our services include:
During our five-week collaboration with OLAPLEX, their engagement figures went through the roof—out of 28 videos we made together, two gained over 1 million views, attracting 22,000 new followers and 224,000 total interactions.
Our other clients also achieved incredible results. Check out what we accomplished by collaborating with essence cosmetics, Matas, and NATURLI’ Foods:
|Client||Collaboration Timespan||Videos Posted||Followers Gained||Total Interactions||Total Views||Viral Videos|
|essence cosmetics||2 years 2 months||556||386,000||7.1 million||73 million||12|
|Matas||8 weeks||25||13,500||209,000||5.6 million||8|
|NATURLI’ Foods||23 weeks||112||5,200||179,000||6.2 million||20|
If you’d like to learn how you can improve your brand’s TikTok strategy, reach out to our team and sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on social media marketing and our take on the latest TikTok trends.
Featured image: Samson Katt