With over two billion app downloads to its name, TikTok has certainly made a spectacular impact on the social media scene since it was first launched in 2016.
As it continues to make its way into the lives and hearts of millions of consumers worldwide, —and not just that of teenagers—its growth is showing no signs of stopping.
It’s an absolute goldmine of opportunities for businesses to reach and engage with buyers. So if you haven’t already started marketing on TikTok, now’s time to get rolling.
In this article, we’ll dive into the top ten TikTok trends you need to know about, with a forward-looking focus on up and coming TikTok trends in 2021. That way, you know just what you need to get started—or if you already have a TikTok strategy in place, what to tweak for maximum results.
Let’s get to it.
1. Brands and Influencers Are Embracing TikTok
Think “influencers” and your mind may immediately go to Instagram and YouTube. But the rise of influencer marketing over the past few years has been witnessed on other social media platforms, especially TikTok.
More and more, influencers are recognizing the potential of TikTok, the fastest-growing social media network ever, to reach new audiences.
According to a recent report on influence marketing trends, more than one-third (35 percent) of influencers say they have started to use TikTok more frequently over the past year (Tribe Dynamics, 2020).
Not only has TikTok become a more popular platform for influencers, but businesses are also starting to pay attention to it. In fact, 35 percent of brands that have a dedicated influencer marketing strategy have a team that focuses on just TikTok influencer marketing.
This is one of the hottest TikTok trends there currently is and chances are it will continue to be so as we move into 2021.
2. TikTok Trends: Focus on Social Commerce
Expect to see more social commerce on TikTok in 2021—one of the fastest-rising TikTok trends we’ve identified.
In late 2020, TikTok announced a partnership with leading ecommerce platform Shopify. According to reports, the collaboration will facilitate Shopify merchants’ reach on TikTok and help them boost sales (TechCrunch, 2020).
Part of the initiative includes allowing sellers operating on Shopify to manage their TikTok marketing efforts from their Shopify accounts directly. This means that aside from creating and distributing content, businesses will also be able to monitor and track the performances of their TikTok marketing campaigns and relevant metrics.
Moving forward, analysts say the purchase process will also be streamlined on TikTok and consumers will also be able to carry out in-app shopping.
Plus, to incentivize businesses, Shopify sellers are granted $300 to use for their first TikTok campaign. With so much to offer, social commerce will definitely be one of the top TikTok trends to look out for (and take advantage of) in 2021.
3. Branded Hashtag Challenges
If you’ve never heard of a hashtag challenge, then pay close attention because this is one of the most popular TikTok trends there is now.
In a nutshell, a hashtag challenge is when consumers are asked to carry out a particular task, record themselves doing it, and posting it on social media with a specified hashtag. Though hashtag challenges are common across different platforms, TikTok is where it got popularized.
Because of its potential to go viral and thus boost brand awareness, businesses big and small have been quick to take advantage of it.
Even Universal Pictures themselves have jumped on the TikTok trend, launching a branded hashtag challenge, #FindYourMagic, to promote an upcoming film. The result? They bagged more than 1.3 million likes, 19,000 participants, and 11,000 new followers (TikTok, 2020).
4. More Video Ads To Come on TikTok
In 2019, consumers spent nearly seven hours a week watching videos online—59 percent more time than just three years prior in 2016.
Given the surge in demand, it’s no surprise that companies have been stepping up their video marketing efforts. According to the latest reports, the number of businesses engaging in video marketing has increased from 61 percent in 2016 to 85 percent in 2020.
Coupled with TikTok launching its “TikTok For Business” platform in summer 2020, we’re expecting video ads to be one of the rising TikTok trends in 2021 (TechCrunch, 2020).
Plus, TikTok is also going all out to encourage and help brands advertise on its platform. It’s launching a new e-learning center to host guides, resources, and tips on running video ads on TikTok—basically everything and anything a business needs to succeed with video marketing on its platform.
If you’re serious about succeeding on TikTok, this is definitely one of the top TikTok trends to take notice of for 2021.
5. TikTok Trends 2021: #Memes
It would be an understatement to say that memes are part of social media culture. Users eat, breathe, and live memes—and those on TikTok are no exception to this rule.
They’re easy to consume, fun, engaging, and extremely shareable, which explains why they’ve become so popular.
The statistics around TikTok memes are proof of this: The #memes hashtag has been used a whopping 34.4 billion times on the platform (SMPerth, 2020).
In fact, this TikTok trend has gotten so popular that it’s transcended even TikTok’s own borders. TikTok meme compilations can now be found all over the internet, including YouTube and Facebook. Accounts dedicated to publishing TikTok memes have also been created on Instagram.
Looking to engage on TikTok in 2021? Having established itself as one of the hottest TikTok trends today and beyond, memes are definitely your answer.
6. Remixing Is the New User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is certainly no new phenomenon. But with TikTok, users now have new ways to jazz up this content, also known as “remixing”—and they’re loving it.
Defined as “the art of taking existing formats, templates, or ideas, and recreating them to express a user’s own personality or ideas,” remixing has grown in popularity in recent months and especially on TikTok (Talkwalker, 2020).
Thanks to TikTok’s built-in editing features and tools, users are able to get much more creative with the type of content they produce. Adding music to their videos is just a first and basic step. TikTok also offers AR effects for content creators to add interactive and engaging special visual effects to their videos.
Reports show that mentions of remixing linked to platforms like TikTok skyrocketed during the COVID-19 lockdown. As people were kept indoors by the coronavirus restrictions, they needed to get more creative with their physical constraints and limitations. Enter: remixing.
Experts reckon that this is only the beginning of this TikTok trend and are fully expecting it to grow even more in 2021.
7. More Celebrities To Jump on TikTok Trends
Given the platform’s massive reach, an increasing number of celebrities have also decided to jump on the TikTok bandwagon (Izea, 2020).
From singers and actors to reality stars and even politicians, there have been some pretty big names that have joined TikTok. These include the likes of Will Smith, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and more.
Though it’s more popular among the younger generation (Gen Z, in particular), these celebrities know and are harnessing the power of TikTok for them to become more involved with younger fans.
Some have even taken it one step further by documenting their learning experience with TikTok itself. Perhaps the most famous of them all is Reese Witherspoon’s. Last year, the actress posted a video (which went viral) of her son teaching her what TikTok’s all about. Today, she’s not only on TikTok but has also amassed a 3.7 million-strong following.
8. Promoting Music on TikTok
As we head into 2021, expect one of the hottest TikTok trends to be the promotion of new music.
In September 2020, TikTok announced the launch of a brand new feature, Stitch. It’s a new editing feature that allows users to reuse content from fellow TikTokers. Selecting chunks of up to five seconds, users can integrate these video snippets into their own content.
This encourages a new sort of collaboration between TikTok content creators, which experts say has never been seen before on social media (Music Promo Today, 2020).
That said, going forward, it’s very likely that we’ll see more artists, especially musicians, taking to TikTok to advertise their music, merchandise, and events.
As one of the biggest TikTok trends to watch out for in 2021, it also presents new opportunities for businesses to reach untapped audiences and get themselves in front of new eyes.
9. TikTok Trends: The New TV
Known for its short-form content, TikTok may not be similar to television shows in the conventional way most of us know TV programs to be. But where it’s able to draw parallels is the consistency and regularity of new content, much like upcoming TV episodes (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2020).
Because the majority of TikTok content is found through hashtags, its users have a direct path to new content that’s published and tagged under the same hashtag and know just how to access it. This works in the same way TV viewers would turn into the same channel at the same time each week for a new episode of the TV show.
Analysts say such an approach works wonders for brands as it helps to hook users in and leave them wanting more. As we head into 2021, expect this to continue into the new year and possibly beyond.
10. Giving Your Brand an Identity
TikTok prides itself on real and genuine content. In fact, TikTok marketing experts agree that authenticity is the way to go to achieve success on TikTok and it’s what TikTok audiences really relate to.
This is exactly why content like “behind the scenes” videos has worked so well for brands on TikTok. It provides viewers with a real look at what the brand is about, the people behind it, and in a way, an unfiltered, direct view of the brand’s identity.
Analysts say that such content is particularly appealing to the younger, Gen Z crowd, who’s a dominating force on TikTok (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2020).
Publishing raw and authentic content is one of the biggest TikTok trends there’s ever been (if not the biggest) and it’s certainly something to take note of for your 2021 TikTok strategy.
There you have it: the top ten TikTok trends that will probably continue into 2021.
With 800 million users and rising, there’s so much to take advantage of on TikTok. But it’s one thing to be on the platform and posting content regularly, and a whole other ball game to be jumping on and leveraging TikTok trends to grow your business.
We hope that this breakdown of these TikTok trends has been helpful for your social media and brand strategy.
Know of any other rising TikTok trends that businesses and marketers should know about? Leave us a comment below!
Summary: TikTok Trends
Here’s a summary of the TikTok trends you need to know in 2021:
- More brands and influencers will start using TikTok as a marketing platform in 2021 (Tribe Dynamics, 2020).
- Social commerce will become increasingly popular following TikTok and Shopify’s partnership (TechCrunch, 2020).
- Given how effective it’s been in boosting brand awareness, branded hashtag challenges will continue to be one of the biggest TikTok trends in 2021 (TikTok, 2020).
- The rise of video marketing and TikTok’s introduction of its TikTok for Business platform, users can expect to see more video ads on TikTok in 2021 (TechCrunch, 2020).
- The hashtag #memes has been used 34.4 billion times so far and will continue to trend into 2021 (SMPerth, 2020).
- Thanks to TikTok’s powerful built-in editing features and tools, more and more users will be remixing their TikTok content (Talkwalker, 2020).
- More celebrities will be joining TikTok as they get involved and engage with younger fans (Izea, 2020).
- Expect to see more artists and musicians collaborating with others and promoting new music following the launch of Stitch (Music Promo Today, 2020).
- TikTok has the ability to make users feel like they’re watching TV shows and this will continue into 2021 (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2020).
- Publishing real and authentic brand content is and will continue to be a pillar of TikTok success (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2020).
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Want to Learn More?
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Is there anything else you’d like to know about TikTok trends and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!