Despite all the rave about Clubhouse (which is very well deserved, by the way), TikTok is continuing to gain momentum and could ultimately have a huge impact on the influencer marketing industry. Because TikTok is not yet saturated with sponsored content and advertisements, we’re able to retreat to the short-form video app to see people talk about and demonstrate products they actually like.
We already know that word-of-mouth marketing has a huge impact on purchasing habits and behaviors. (Fun Fact: 90% of all women are likely to share a product or good deal with a friend). This continues to be true on all social media platforms, but especially TikTok due to the algorithm format and high level of visibility. TikTok’s users – who are primarily Gen Z and millennials – organically post about products they buy or life hacks they love, and other users quickly catch on to these trends. Once someone shows interest in a certain topic, relevant videos are placed into their suggested content, allowing them to not only research or purchase what they see, but also recreate or reimagine that specific content. This process differs from other platforms in that brands are not yet known for creating original content on TikTok – they tend to get involved once a trend is already gaining momentum. Given the platform’s tricky algorithm, there is no way of predicting which videos will go viral, but we do know one thing: you don’t have to be famous or have 500k+ followers to gain recognition on TikTok.
We should also mention that these trends are not limited to the viral dances that TikTok became known for; they include fashion trends, food trends, buying trends, organization trends and more! Let’s take a deeper look into some of these trends that were just started by “real life” influencers on TikTok.
The “TikTok Leggings” from Aerie
The internet craze over the Aerie Crossover Leggings started with one user: @hannahschlenker. She posted a dance video while wearing the leggings back in November, and received thousands of comments about how flattering they were. The leggings sold out almost immediately after she told her followers where she purchased them. Fast forward four months later, these leggings (nicknamed the “TikTok Leggings”) are still incredibly tough to find!
The Viral Feta Pasta Trend
Has anyone tried this one yet?! In the U.S., feta sales shot through the roof after TikTok users became obsessed with a Finnish food blogger’s pasta recipe. Groceries stores, which saw up to a 200% increase in demand for feta, followed the trend and started setting up displays dedicated to the dish.
The Bell Pepper Craze
@janellerohner is a nurse and mother who follows a keto diet. Late last year, she shared her favorite keto snack on TikTok (spoiler alert: it’s bell peppers with cream cheese) and caused an influx of bell pepper content to flow across social media. Now, people are using them to dip, make sandwiches and more!
The beauty of TikTok right now is its authenticity, which has been easy enough to maintain because brands and companies have been slow to join. However, we’re expecting this to change in 2021. The app is launching new business and ad features, including business profiles and Q&A capabilities, and influencers from other platforms are growing their audiences on TikTok. Looking ahead, brands need to be smart about how they advertise and utilize influencer marketing on TikTok, keeping in mind the desire for authentic, organic content.
Is your brand looking to target Gen Z and millennials? Get ahead of TikTok’s emerging features and join the conversation now. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Lily D’Orio, Influencer Marketing Coordinator