TikTok has exploded in popularity over the last few years, and while COVID-19 probably helped this in 2020 and 2021, TikTok is still likely to increase its user base over the next year. This is despite India banning TikTok and the Trump administration threatening to ban TikTok in the USA in 2020.
TikTok now has more than 1 billion monthly active users. Many of these are young, with 28% of TikTok's users aged under 18 and 35% aged 19-29. It has a clear female skew, with 59% of TikTok's users being female, compared to 39% male (with 2% identifying as "other"). The only social apps with more users are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, and WeChat. TikTok reached 3 billion downloads in June 2021 and was the seventh-most downloaded app of the 2010s.
We believe the TikTok trends for 2022 will be predominantly positive. And it is crucial for brands, particularly those targeting the younger demographic, to recognize TikTok's possibilities for marketing.
14 TikTok Trends You Need to Know in 2022:
- 1. More Brands and Influencers Will Use TikTok for Marketing in 2022
- 2. TikTok Will Keep its Popularity, Even as the World Opens Up
- 3. TikTok Will Replace Television for More of Generation Z
- 4. More Celebrities Will Use TikTok to Reach Their Young Fans
- 5. Certain Songs Will Become Exceptionally Popular and Used to Back Multiple TikTok Videos
- 6. Hashtag #memes Will Increase in Popularity
- 7. Brands and Influencers Will Create More Episodic Content
- 8. Branded Hashtag Challenges Will Become Even More Popular on TikTok
- 9. User-Generated Content Will Become Increasingly Important to Marketers
- 10. Brands Will Use Duets More to Interact With Their Fans
- 11. Social Commerce Will Become More Common on TikTok
- 12. Focus on More Behind the Scenes Videos
- 13. The Boundary Between Native Content and TikTok Ads Will Blur
- 14. Longer Videos Will Become More Common
14 TikTok Trends for 2022:
1. More Brands and Influencers Will Use TikTok for Marketing in 2022
TikTok has grown in popularity so rapidly that many brands have yet to understand or even recognize the platform. However, this is changing, particularly now that TikTok has a formal advertising network. As a result, expect to see a sizable increase in the number of brands marketing on TikTok this year, particularly those targeting Generation Z or Millennials.
Likewise, as TikTok numbers have risen, so have the number of influencers on the platform. In the early days, TikTok was mainly known for people making their versions of music videos. Now, however, people upload a much more comprehensive range of videos to TikTok, allowing more people to become recognized as experts in different fields. Also, quite a few influencers on other platforms have created a TikTok presence to widen their exposure. Thirty-five percent of influencers say they have started to use TikTok more frequently over the past year, according to a Tribe Dynamics survey.
The increase in influencers will also help increase the number of firms marketing on the platform. Many firms work with influencers to help sell their products to their numerous followers. TikTok has an intelligent algorithm that accurately presents suggested content to viewers. This makes it easier for brands to reach their target customers through paid ads or influencer marketing.
2. TikTok Will Keep its Popularity, Even as the World Opens Up
The use of TikTok was already rising before COVID; however, the pandemic dramatically accelerated the number of people downloading and spending time on the app. The various lockdowns worldwide gave people much more leisure time, and they had to find something to do with their time while remaining at home and for many people, watching and making TikTok videos filled this void.
COVID continued into 2021, and depending on your location, you were still likely to spend more time at home than usual. Therefore inevitably, people continued to make more videos of themselves doing things home-based than they did pre-COVID. While many people continued to make simple music videos at home, others experimented with other video genres. Home fitness videos became particularly popular, as people demonstrated how they could still keep fit despite being stuck at home.
It is beginning to look like Covid's here to stay now, and much of the world has opened up, albeit often requiring vaccinations and Covid passports. But that hasn't led to people abandoning TikTok. Instead, it has just meant that you now see more TikTok videos filmed outside the home environment as people start to move about more.
This trend should continue in 2022, as people share their expanding lives via their TikTok accounts. And, of course, music lovers will continue to upload lip-synching videos in vast quantities, as they always have.
3. TikTok Will Replace Television for More of Generation Z
TikTok has always appealed to Generation Z. If you were to listen to many teenage conversations, you would hear them discussing the app. Indeed, many use the phrase "to TikTok" as a verb, describing the time and ways they spend using the app.
According to Qustodio, global TikTok users aged 4-15 averaged nearly 75 minutes per day on the app in 2020, up considerably from 2019's average of 38 minutes per day. US youngsters spend even longer on TikTok, averaging 87 minutes per day in 2020, almost double 2019's 44 minutes per day. TikTok is now the most popular social app globally for Generation Z, taking the top slot from Instagram (which has now dropped to third position after Facebook).
98% of Generation Z own smartphones, and many have used their phones and tablets since they were toddlers. While the older generations still amuse themselves by watching television, Generation Z takes less interest in the big screen, particularly disdainful of watching scheduled content. Today's youngsters, Generation Alpha, expand on this pattern further.
IBM surveyed Generation Z and found that 75% consider their mobile/smartphone as their device of choice. A mere 3% preferred an interactive/Smart tv, with none considering a traditional tv to be of great value. When asked how they spent most of their time outside school or work, by far the most common answer was spending time online (74%). 87% claim to have access to high-speed internet at home.
TikTok encourages episodic content. You can look at each episode as equivalent to a (very) mini television episode. Some TikTokers make longer episodes, made up of multiple TikTok videos.
4. More Celebrities Will Use TikTok to Reach Their Young Fans
It has taken a while, but celebrities are now heading to TikTok. Of course, some of the younger stars will have had TikTok accounts well before gaining their fame.
Cosmopolitan lists 132 celebrities on the platform and they are certainly not all Generation Z. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger (former Mr. Olympia, Conan, Terminator, and Governor of California) has a TikTok account.
5. Certain Songs Will Become Exceptionally Popular and Used to Back Multiple TikTok Videos
This trend probably is relevant every year on TikTok. Although music isn't essential for a successful TikTok video, many videos feature a soundtrack. TikTok has arrangements with most major music studios, permitting short clips from songs, and music has become an integral part of many TikTok videos. Indeed, you can search for videos featuring popular music.
Certain songs go viral on TikTok. This is often years after the track initially gained popularity in some cases. This will continue in 2022, and many people will make videos backed by these popular tracks.
Often, these tracks become popular because people use them for dance challenges.
The most popular songs on TikTok in the first ten months of 2021 were:
- "Oh No" by Kreepa
- "Aesthetic" by Xilo
- "Buss It" by Erica Banks
- "Lotus Flower Bomb" by Wale feat. Miguel
- "drivers license" by Olivia Rodrigo
6. Hashtag #memes Will Increase in Popularity
Memes are becoming increasingly popular across all social media, particularly with Millennials and Generation Z. Even though video makes a less obvious medium for memes than still images, they are still common on TikTok. TikTok filmmakers create short videos highlighting their favorite memes, and the more people who share these videos on TikTok, the more people become inspired to make similar videos themselves.
7. Brands and Influencers Will Create More Episodic Content
Videos on TikTok are short, until recently maxing out at sixty seconds. Indeed, the most common video length on the platform is still the original length of 15 seconds, and much of the music on TikTok is limited to that brief timeframe. However, both brands and influencers have discovered they can hook their audience by producing episodic content, i.e., a series of videos following in sequence with each other.
If you manage to hook an audience with the first video in your sequence, people want to see what follows. This is how some people tend to share in-depth videos on the platform – they simply split them into small chunks.
You can't just break up a long video without thought, however. You need to create a cliffhanger at the end of each episode, giving the viewer a reason to carry on to the following video.
8. Branded Hashtag Challenges Will Become Even More Popular on TikTok
Hashtag challenges have been popular on TikTok since Jimmy Fallon set the #TumbleWeedChallenge during an episode of his show. The challenge was for people to roll on the ground like a tumbleweed while an old western style of music played in the background.
Brands are taking more notice of the popularity of hashtag challenges and creating ones that will appeal to their target audience. With a branded hashtag challenge, a company invents a hashtag and asks its followers to create videos related to that hashtag and possibly their product. TikTok has encouraged this and made it easy, although relatively expensive, for brands to advertise their hashtag challenges.
The important thing is to make your branded hashtag challenge fun for your followers. You don't want it to look too obviously like an example of marketing.
9. User-Generated Content Will Become Increasingly Important to Marketers
User-generated content (UGC) is becoming valuable for many brands across most social network sites. However, it can be challenging for brands to make fresh content continually. If they can benefit from content created by others, that makes their posting easier.
User-generated content is any type of content that fans or customers create for a brand – videos, in the case of TikTok. Brands can use UGC to turn customers and supporters into brand advocates. Brands are now encouraging their customers to make and share videos on TikTok depicting themselves using their products, ideally using a branded hashtag.
The most significant advantage of user-generated content for a business is that TikTok viewers view it more favorably than official content. Generation Z, in particular, trusts content from real people far more than they trust branded content.
Brands sometimes try to imitate UGC. You have to ensure that your content looks as natural as UGC does if you do this. Don't work with offline celebrities; focus on TikTok influencers and ordinary people.
10. Brands Will Use Duets More to Interact With Their Fans
One of the more popular features of TikTok is Duets. Duets allow somebody to make a video and then encourage others to create a video to play alongside their original. It provides a way for TikTok followers to interact with other people's or brands' videos. You can make a duet with any TikTok video from a brand, influencer, friend, or even yourself, as long as the original video's creator allows it.
Brands can also use Duets as a challenge. They are a clear example of user-generated content, potentially leading to massive engagement by your potential customers. If you're working with influencers, you have the potential for considerable viewership of your video, as your video will be visible to the followers of anybody who makes a Duet containing it.
11. Social Commerce Will Become More Common on TikTok
We've previously written about how we expect social commerce to grow. Notably, the earliest advances in social commerce have been in China, the home of TikTok. Also, it is the younger users who are most likely to engage in social commerce –the same demographic that TikTok targets.
TikTok's Hashtag Challenge Plus lets brands set a sponsored hashtag challenge. TikTok users post videos of themselves using a specified product or doing something else relevant to a marketing campaign. The difference between this and a regular hashtag challenge is that the Hashtag Challenge Plus adds a shoppable component to the hashtag. The app includes a tab where the user can purchase the product from within TikTok.
TikTok has also announced a partnership with Shopify, making it easier for Shopify's merchants to reach TikTok's young audience. Shopify brands can create, run and optimize their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from their Shopify dashboard after installing the new TikTok channel app. In addition, merchants can create native, shareable content, turning their products into In-Feed video ads.
12. Focus on More Behind the Scenes Videos
@disneyparksPOV: You’re going behind the scenes with #Disney #Imagineers to see the new adventures of the #JungleCruise 🌿 #Disneyland #Skipper #BTS♬ original sound - Disney Parks
Most people take a genuine interest in what happens behind the scenes in the businesses they use and admire. TikTok gives an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your personal side. This can be particularly effective if you do something unusual, exciting, or even messy.
Local Pro Plumbing generated nearly 20,000 views for a video showing sewerage escaping.
@localproplumbing#fyp #fypシ #viral #plumbing #plumber 🚨 BLOCKED SEWERAGE ALERT 🚨 Warning ⚠️ uses might find disturbing 😂😂 toilet 🚽 💦 ⛲️♬ original sound - Local Pro Plumbing
As we move forwards into 2022, expect to see many firms using their employees as the brand's public face.
13. The Boundary Between Native Content and TikTok Ads Will Blur
An essential rule for any TikTok advertiser is to make sure your ads don't look like ads. Generation Z notoriously hates anything that resembles an advertisement.
Native advertising on TikTok is paid content that aligns with the typical style and tone of the content of everyday TikTok videos. In the case of influencer marketing, native advertising videos are just like the other videos an influencer uploads – they just happen to incorporate a sponsor's product as naturally as possible.
While official TikTok ads are clearly signposted as such, to be successful, they still have to entertain viewers. So, they certainly can't be the same ads a company plays on TV or even a 15-second cut-down version of one.
Some brands may resist this trend, as they can't keep a consistent look across all their advertising channels. But they will quickly learn that TikTok users don't subscribe to the one-size-fits-all mentality.
14. Longer Videos Will Become More Common
TikTok will never be another YouTube, which lets verified users upload videos of up to 128GB, approximately 12 hours long. Indeed, TikTok has traditionally been known as the home of fifteen-second videos. Until mid-2021, it limited videos to one minute in length.
However, TikTok now lets users upload videos up to three minutes long. This gives creators more flexibility to hook viewers and minimizes the need for multi-part posts – although, as we stated above, we believe episodic content will continue.
While the increase in maximum video length may have little effect on lip-syncing videos (most music on the app is still restricted to 15 seconds), it is exceptionally handy for creators in niches such as cooking, who no longer have to rush through their recipes. The extended video length gives opportunities for creators to experiment with new video types on TikTok.