If by now you haven’t heard of TikTok, the social media juggernaut transforming not just how we consume media but also how purchasing decisions are influenced, you’ve clearly not been paying attention. Making short form videos the content of choice for billions of people globally, TikTok has huge amounts of potential for brands who use the platform well. As we highlighted previously, TikTok data can improve your SEO strategy, so understanding the platform is important.
The impact TikTok has on consumer buying behaviour can’t be ignored – 71.2% of users have shopped when stumbling on something that has appeared in their feed, whilst 58% said they used TikTok for shopping inspiration. Whether you’re a budding start-up that sees the potential of TikTok purchasing trends or an established brand wanting to see what it can do on the platform, understanding TikTok’s influence is crucial. Here, we’ll explore how TikTok purchase intent targeting can work for brands and the influence of trends like the TikTok Made Me Buy It hashtag on buyer behaviour.
TikTok initially launched as a platform for creative expression through short videos, but rapidly evolved into a marketing powerhouse. Its unique concept of the ‘infinite loop’, where content is continuously and seamlessly presented to users, has revolutionised how people engage with social media. This endless stream of content, tailored to individual preferences, ensures that users are constantly engaged, making it an ideal platform for brands to capture attention.
Its ‘Infinite Loop’ concept was introduced in early 2022, with the idea that TikTok users will experience a unique purchase journey unlike other platforms. Unlike the traditional funnel model where consumers would make a one-time purchase, TikTok’s Infinite Loop creates an environment for consumers to enter, exit, and re-enter at different stages of their purchase journey, based on their changing needs and wants. This means brands can build more meaningful, long-lasting relationships with consumers, encouraging repeat purchases and loyalty.
Having relevant, personalised content that aligns with user preferences and interests can bring huge gains. Shopping on TikTok isn’t just a transactional experience but an entertaining and engaging one. The platform has a unique ability to blend commerce with entertainment, and 50% of users are satisfied with their purchases when TikTok is part of the journey – 25% more than on other platforms.
So, why is it successful? This is down to its user’s creativity and willingness to participate. When users connect and create content together, they present significant opportunities for brands. This collaborative environment drives massive engagement, helps products sell out, and leads brands to success. TikTok users are 2.4x more likely to tag a brand after buying a product than on other platforms too, so the reach continues.
Whilst the user base predominantly consists of millennials and Gen Z, with 71% of TikTok’s advertising audience between 18 and 34, these users are not just passive consumers – they actively shape market trends and influence brand popularity. Their interests vary widely, everything from music and dance to DIY, cooking, and much more, so understanding these demographic trends and behavioural patterns is key for ecommerce businesses aiming to tailor their content effectively on TikTok.
Users prefer short, captivating videos that offer value, entertainment, or both. The pattern of engagement includes not just viewing but also interacting – liking, commenting, and sharing. These interactions are vital signs for businesses to gauge the effectiveness of their content.
TikTok’s algorithm tailors content to individual users based on their previous interactions, search history, and preferences. So for businesses, understanding and leveraging this algorithm is crucial. Content that aligns well with the algorithm’s criteria tends to gain more visibility, driving higher engagement rates.
Certain products and services have found a natural fit on TikTok. From fashion and beauty to tech gadgets and DIY tools, products that lend themselves to visual and creative expression tend to do well on the platform. However, it’s not just about the product itself, but how it’s presented. Creative strategies, like using trending music or challenges, play a crucial role in catching the audience’s interest.
Influencers on TikTok have the power to shape consumer trends significantly. Their endorsement or creative use of a product can lead to it going viral, driving consumer interest and sales. Brands are increasingly recognising the value of collaborating with influencers to tap into their loyal followings. Moreover, the ripple effect of viral content on TikTok can catapult a product from obscurity to must-have status practically overnight.
The TikTok Made Me Buy It hashtag is one example of how a trend can really take off and be used by influencers to sell. At the time of writing, #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt had reached 77.8 billion views, and this community of users sharing purchases made because of content they’ve seen then influences others to do the same. In fact, 92% of global users have taken action to buy after watching a video on the platform. Another factor is the TikTok Shop, where brands can help users discover their products, including live shopping where you can buy from a live video. With social commerce representing big business, with 44% of UK shoppers buying through social platforms, TikTok purchasing trends are unlikely to disappear.
Success on TikTok hinges on producing content that resonates with its unique style and audience. The platform helps by offering TikTok purchase intent targeting, which “makes it easier to identify and target customers most likely to purchase.” This works by using TikTok purchase intention data that shows what users have searched for, interacted with and have been close to purchasing before.
Authenticity breeds engagement on TikTok, so brands that share real stories, embrace user-generated content (UGC), and participate in challenges and hashtags tend to see higher engagement. Creative strategies that blend a brand’s message with TikTok’s informal nature can significantly boost user interaction. 73% of users feel positive and emotionally uplifted after watching authentic content on TikTok, so tapping into this can ensure a positive outcome.
As TikTok offers a range of advertising tools, from in-feed ads to branded hashtags, businesses should leverage these tools to reach a wider audience. Additionally, TikTok’s analytics provide valuable insights into audience behaviour, engagement rates, and campaign performance, enabling brands to fine-tune their strategies for better results.
So what does the future hold considering TikTok’s role in digital marketing is poised to grow even more influential? With the platform’s continual introduction of new features and its adaptive algorithm, it’s expected to set trends in how brands engage with consumers. With Google SGE on the horizon and looking to help uncover hidden gems and more UGC content in the SERPs, it provides a greater opportunity for short form videos to be found. Social commerce is expected to grow by over 20% over the next few years, expecting to reach $107.17 billion by 2025, so many more brands will want to get involved.
For businesses to stay relevant in their TikTok marketing efforts, they must embrace adaptability and innovation. Regular experimentation with new content formats and staying in tune with the platform’s evolving user base can help businesses maintain a competitive edge too.
TikTok offers plenty of opportunities for businesses to expand their reach and connect with consumers in meaningful ways. Considering TikTok in your digital marketing plans is more than just a trend – it’s a forward-thinking approach to staying connected with the ever-evolving consumer landscape.
For expert guidance and tailored marketing strategies, don’t hesitate to contact our agency today. To get further insights, please visit our blog, where you can learn more about Google’s October 2023 Core Update, and how AI is changing customer service for ecommerce brands.