TikTok Trends Check In: What’s Hot for E-Commerce Brands

July 13, 2022
by Ashley R. Cummings

It’s been a big year for the world’s fastest growing social media platform.. Not only has the platform cemented its status in global popularity, it’s also added new features and, of course, new TikTok trends.

TikTok Shopping was one of the latest releases and the platform continues to see higher-than-average engagement rates. In some cases, these engagement rates even dwarf other popular platforms.

But what’s been particularly striking about TikTok’s trends as of late? We ran the numbers and found some of the best TikTok opportunities for e-commerce brands.

TikTok Trend #1: Hair Care Shoots to the Top of the Self-Care Trend

Self-care, and hair care especially, have been all the rage on TikTok lately. For example, beauty and personal care increased in popularity by 186% from 2020 through 2021

Similarly, the hashtag #GRWM (short for Get Ready With Me, where beauty and self-care influencers show off their personal care routine), has amassed over 2.7 billion views.

What explains the sudden explosion of self-care on TikTok?

For starters, TikTok is built for self-care videos. Before-and-after videos, in which people show off the results of their self-care tips, or #GRWM routines are especially popular. 

TikTok users already love to have fun with TikTok’s video editing features. Transitions, such as wiping a hand over the screen and showing up in a different hairstyle are a favorite among creators. 

Similarly, before-and-after viral videos are a perfect way for hair care professionals to show off their latest work.

TikTok users also value authenticity. The #GRWM video is a way for hair stylists to show what it’s really like to build a hair care routine. They can interact with TikTok followers live, in real-time, with zero editing tricks to pass the time. 

TikTok Trend #2: TikTok Influencers Join the Big Leagues

It wasn’t long ago that Influencer Marketing Hub included TikTok as part of the “other” category when weighed against major influencer platforms like Instagram. 

But over the past few years, TikTok has solidified its position as a top-three platform for influencers. It now slightly edges out YouTube to join the likes of Facebook.

But while Facebook and Instagram are flush with mega-influencers with massive audiences, TikTok has a distinct advantage with micro-influencers. These influencers can drive high engagement rates

In fact, TikTok’s general engagement rate of 17% is considered an industry benchmark. Businesses who engage with TikTok influencers have every right to expect higher engagement rates, even when influencers have smaller subscriber counts than similar influencers on Instagram.

TikTok Trend #3: Success Through User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is when brands and influencers invite everyday TikTok users to submit their own videos for contests, hashtags, and advertising campaigns. One potential reason TikTok does so well with influencer marketing and engagement rates? It’s so easy for users to create their own videos to share.

Given this ease of use, users are more willing to generate their own content for challenges and contests on TikTok. Even when branded hashtags and campaigns are obviously there to promote a company, users willingly sign up to show off content to their own followers.

In the UGC trend, branded hashtag challenges have generated some surprisingly engaging results, such as when Walmart released its #DealDropDance promotion. This encouraged users to submit their own dance moves for a chance to win a $100 Walmart gift card. In the end, the campaign scored over 80 million views alone.

In another case, a branded hashtag challenge for a Japanese soft drink scored 52 million unique user video videos. That’s about as many as total viewers for the record TV audience who watched Japan play Scotland in a recent rugby match.

Or take Netflix’s branded hashtag challenge to drum up support for their original TV musical show, “Julie and the Phantoms.” 

Netflix asked its fans to set the show’s theme song to household items, played as musical instruments. Fans responded in droves. They played air guitar on mops, sang into hairbrushes, and eventually created a total of 220 million views and an engagement rate of nearly 14%. 

The lesson? On TikTok, the best campaigns aren’t megaphones from the top-down. They ask users to generate content and join in on the fun.

TikTok Trend #4: Using Collection Ads to Capitalize on Viral Success

Collection Ads still aren’t 100% available on TikTok, but this is a post about upcoming trends just as much as what we’ve observed over the past year. And with TikTok’s engagement rates, any new shopping or advertising innovation is one to keep an eye on.

Collection Ads are particularly interesting because they’re a bit like building your own catalog on TikTok. Businesses can upload products, descriptions, images, and product videos. This information can then go through dynamic ads, giving TikTok target audiences specific, personalized product recommendations

These collection ads then appear as rotating “product cards” on specific TikTok pages, making it easy for TikTok users to move from engaging with a post, to doing a bit of online shopping. 

Brands can build an “Instant Gallery” page that makes this transition easier for its engaged viewers. 

But perhaps the best innovation of Collection Ads is that they don’t rob TikTok users of the organic experience. Organic posts will still play to TikTok users’ favorite kinds of content—they’ll simply have an overlay of advertised products to choose to tap or ignore.

What’s Happening in the World of TikTok Trends

Anyone who’s been expecting TikTok’s astounding engagement rates to come down is going to continue to be disappointed for a while.

Not only are TikTok users still engaged, but brands are getting better at engaging them. We see this in the raw totals for user-generated content and contests which drive engagement rates that wouldn’t be much higher if the brands simply paid people to participate.

Taking advantage of these trends, of course, is another question entirely. Contact our team to find out what you can do to unlock your brand’s true potential on platforms like TikTok in 2022 and beyond.

About the author: Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer and content marketing consultant specializing in e-commerce, marketing, and SaaS. Connect with her on Twitter!

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