As social media continues to evolve, so too do the content trends that come with it. TikTok, the popular video-sharing app, has become one of the most popular platforms for content creation and engagement and is constantly introducing new features that allow users to create fun, creative, and engaging content. This year, keep an eye out for the latest content trends on TikTok that will dominate the platform in 2023.
These trends include Branded Hashtag Challenges (HTC), TikTok SEO, Micro-Influencers, Remixing Content, Engaging with Comments, TikTok LIVE, and Authentic Brand Identities. Brands should keep these trends in mind when creating campaigns and content strategies to ensure they get the most out of their efforts. With the right strategy and execution, businesses can use TikTok to reach a wider audience, build a strong brand identity, and increase their sales.
Top Content Trends on TikTok to Use to Increase Audience Engagement
User-generated content (UGC) has been around for some time now, but the unprecedented ability to remix content on TikTok is taking it to a whole new level in 2023. Of course, nothing is really original, but TikTok’s editing features and tools lower the barrier to entry for creation, embedding in creative network effects which make TikTok the place where trends evolve. Experts believe this is only the beginning of this TikTok trend, and it will continue to grow.
Two popular TikTok features that add to the remixing trend are Duet and Stitch. Duet allows you to post your video side-by-side with a video from another creator on TikTok. To Duet a video on TikTok, you can tap the Share button on the side of the video you’d like to Duet, then tap Duet at the bottom. The Stitch feature enables you to create a unique video by combining the video you are creating with another existing TikTok video. To use the Stitch feature, you can open the TikTok app and find a video you’d like to Stitch, hit the “Send to” button, and select up to five seconds from the video.
TikTok Made Me Buy It
TikTok’s #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon has had an undeniable impact on retailers around the world. The hashtag has over three billion views and brands like L’Oreal UK and Ireland have used it in their e-commerce campaigns. Retailers have created dedicated sections for the products that have gone viral on the app, such as Amazon’s secret TikTok Finds section. Whole brands and products are getting memed into existence thanks to TikTok.
Bookstores have started adding the phrase “TikTok made me buy it” to the title of popular books, and Barnes and Noble have created a “TikTok BookTok Reads” section both online and in-store. Publishers have credited the success of books such as “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid to the power of TikTok, as well as delivering the best-selling year for print books on record.
Branded Hashtag Challenges
Branded Hashtag Challenges (HTC) on TikTok are providing an interesting alternative ad format by tapping into users’ desires to express themselves. With HTC, brands can spark trends or participate in cultural movements by issuing challenges to fans on TikTok. There are two formats: Community challenges and Niche challenges. The first starts from a viral question or trend that has broad appeal, whereas niche challenges target a specific subgroup like beauty, fashion, or food.
As with all user-generated content, you have to think carefully about what might go wrong, but when it goes right, it can generate significant results. Universal Pictures launched a branded hashtag challenge, #FindYourMagic, to promote an upcoming film that bagged more than 1.3 million likes, 19,000 participants, and 11,000 new followers. This trend is here to stay, and businesses will be looking to capitalize on it in 2023 and beyond.
Prabhakar Raghavan, an SVP at Google, admitted that 40% of young people go to TikTok or Instagram when looking for a place to eat, as opposed to Google. As this generational shift gathers pace, being able to rank content on TikTok search will be of increasing importance. TikTok has started to add different search engine features to its interface, for example, auto-fill in the search bar and comment section to improve the user search experience.
TikTok has recently started testing search ads in beta with selected advertisers, in response to the rising search volume on the platform. With all the hype around AI tools, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance reportedly building a ChatGPT competitor, much of the current advice on AIO (AI Optimization) i.e. how to get your content or products mentioned by AI, may also soon apply to TikTok.
2023 will be an exciting year for micro-influencers on TikTok, those who have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. While mega influencers have traditionally been popular on the platform, the trend is now shifting to smaller creators with more authentic and relatable content, and they’re expected to show up more in For You Pages (FYP). This trend is reflected in the conversations with Will Padilla, Creator (@sellthatsaas) and Senior Account Executive at GRIN, who believes that nano and micro-influencers will secure more brand partnerships and make a splash this year.
Working with micro-influencers on TikTok for e-commerce stores requires being communicative, flexible, responsive, and consistent. Furthermore, it’s important to have clear goals and a defined strategy as well as to understand how content fits into TikTok’s algorithm. Finding micro-influencers is as simple as searching for them on TikTok using their username and either sending them a DM or contacting their management if posted in their bio.
Engaging with Comments
Sometimes the most entertaining thing about a video is its comments section, and this is an area TikTok has invested in. You can like comments, which makes the most popular rise to the top of the comments section. Creators can use the green screen effect to screenshot and highlight the most entertaining responses, as well as post a video reply to specific comments.
Engaging with comments can be a useful strategy for e-commerce marketers on TikTok. According to TikTok, 21% of users feel more connected to brands that comment on other people’s posts. The app’s engagement features make it easier for influencers and brands to get user-generated content on their sponsored posts, which can generate brand awareness and create meaningful connections with target customers.
During a live shopping event on TikTok, consumers can buy products directly from the platform. The event called ‘On Trend’ features exclusive discounts from brands including L’Oreal, Charlotte Tilbury, and Nutri Bullet. TikTok live shopping offers brands an opportunity to showcase their products in real time through livestream events. If TikTok can replicate Douyin’s success with live-stream shopping, that could see more than 500 million users becoming active consumers in the app.
TikTok has pulled the plug on ‘live shopping’ in the West as it believes that the West is not yet ready for ‘live commerce’. However, TikTok might not be giving up on live shopping in the US after all. According to a report from The Financial Times, TikTok is looking to partner with TalkShopLive to launch live shopping features in North America. Whether this trend takes off or dies remains to be seen.
Authentic Brand Identities
TikTok is all about creating genuine content that will make a connection with its audience. That is why content such as “behind the scenes” videos have been a hit with brands on TikTok – it allows viewers to get a real look at the brand, and the people behind it, and get an unfiltered view of the brand’s identity. This is something that appeals to the younger, Gen Z audience and why it is seen as one of the biggest TikTok trends ever. Being authentic is key to achieving success on TikTok, and should form a major part of any brand’s 2022 TikTok strategy.
Another way for brands to engage with their audience is to show them what it is like to be a business owner – what their day-to-day looks like, and how they manage their own lives and businesses. “What I eat in a day” TikToks are a great way to do this, as they can either be inspiring or relatable to viewers. Additionally, the “glow up” trend is a great way for brands to show the progress they have made, and the “self-growth” and “what I learned” hashtags are great for inspiring others with stories of transformation and success. Finally, being vulnerable and open about struggles with mental health, job losses, and life’s ups and downs is something that resonates with many TikTok users.
TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms that is constantly evolving and offering something new. 2023 is going to be a great year for brands to take advantage of the many trends TikTok has to offer, from branded hashtag challenges and micro-influencers to remixing content and engaging with comments. TikTok LIVE, TikTok SEO and authentic brand identities will also be big trends this year, and brands should keep an eye on the platform for new opportunities to grow their presence and reach. With the right strategy, brands can make the most of their TikTok presence and increase their audience engagement and sales.
illustration by Storyset