Here’s what brands need to know about TikTok’s algorithm and the unique path to purchase on the app.
TikTok is revamping the outdated linear sales process and is focusing on driving growth at scale. The smoother and more seamless customer experience from their unique path to purchase is described as an “infinite loop.” Rather than a sales funnel with a defined start and endpoint, TikTok users enter, exit, and re-enter the buyer’s journey at the stage that best matches their needs and wants.
TikTok’s massive success is due to following its user’s lead, building around their behavior, and providing them with the right content based on which stage they are at in the customer journey.
Why Brands Need to Be on TikTok in 2022
Let’s be honest. Putting together a whole strategy for each social platform, monitoring the results, and optimizing performance is a lot of work. And brands have been hesitant to adopt TikTok into their existing social strategy.
Whether this is because of limited internal bandwidth, it being considered a “Gen Z” app, or nobody in the office wanting to be behind the camera — there is no denying the potential of TikTok when you look at the numbers.
Let’s dive into the top TikTok statistics brands need to know:
- TikTok monthly active users: There are 1 billion monthly active users on TikTok.
- Number of App Installs: TikTok has been downloaded 3 billion times and had the most non-game app installs for 6 months in 2021, achieving 383 million downloads from January to June 2021.
- Surpassing competition: In 2021, TikTok was the 7th ranked social media app. Surpassing Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit for monthly active users is impressive considering it was only launched in 2016.
- Engagement Rate: With a session duration of 10.85 minutes, TikTok has been recognized as the top social media platform for engagement. This is twice Pinterest at rank #2 with 5.06 minutes.
- Growth rate: In the U.S., TikTok had a 787.86% user growth rate and a 1157.76% increase in its user base worldwide.
- Influencer earnings: TikTok influencers and creators can earn up to $5 million a year if they have up to 100 million followers. The most popular categories for influencer content are beauty, fitness, dance, pranks, and entertainment.
This rapidly growing social media app’s innovative and unique algorithm allows users to reach more people based on how they interact with your content.
TikTok’s key differentiator is the sense of community on the app. TikTok’s niche communities provide a place for everyone to connect, and new communities are continually emerging as more people join the app.
If you’re new to TikTok, check out #BusinessTok or #BrandTok. These niche communities provide content for marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners on tips, real-life experiences, and live streams of their networking events.
Gina Nacnac, manager of brand partnerships at HireInfluence, shared with us the importance of TikTok marketing for brands in 2022:
In 2022, we’re going to see a rise in Content Creators on TikTok that create content specifically for the brand’s owned channel appearing as the face of the brand for a contracted period of time, like quarterly or every six months. This is going to provide more opportunities for smaller creators to monetize and will provide ways for brands to connect with consumers authentically through relatable creator content.
TikTok’s Unique Path to Purchase
TikTok transforms how brands connect with their audiences, drive purchases and find success. The platform recently conducted a global research study to understand TikTok’s role in and perceptions across the retail consumer journey. Here is what they found:
- People on TikTok are 1.5x more likely to instantly purchase something they discovered on the platform than other platforms’ users.
- TikTok is 1.7x more likely to be the source for product discovery compared to other social platforms.
- TikTokers are 1.4x more likely than the other platform users to research products/brands they find on the platform.
- TikTok users are 1.5x more likely than other platform users to persuade friends or family to purchase a product or service they’ve come across on the app.
- TikTok users are 2.4x more likely than other platform users to create a post and tag a brand after buying a product.
- TikTok users are more than twice as likely to comment or D.M. a brand after purchasing a product compared to other platform users.
Brands that see massive success on TikTok aren’t just pushing products and creating content when it’s time to sell. Instead, they develop a consistent presence by using a TikTok scheduling tool and focusing on their brand’s role as a creator of entertainment. Successful brands leverage their TikTok Business Account to create a home on the platform, establish their unique brand voice, and build a community.
TikTok is revolutionizing the social media marketing landscape through its infinite loop buyer’s journey. Compared to other platforms, TikTok is leading the way at each stage of the customer journey — awareness, consideration, and decision.
How The TikTok Algorithm Works in 2022
One of the key ranking signals on the TikTok algorithm is video completion. Each time a user watches a video in full, that video will be more likely to be suggested to other users’ feeds.
Another major influence on the TikTok algorithm is hashtags and user-viewing habits. TikTok will take note of the type of videos you’re watching and which niche communities they are coming from. It will then suggest similar videos to you based on your content consumption.
For example, if you can’t get enough of DanceTok, good news — the algorithm will keep suggesting related videos. Brands looking to increase the reach of their videos should use trending songs, hashtags, and dances.
This is how TikTok has defined their For You page algorithm:
“This feed is powered by a recommendation system that delivers content to each user that is likely to be of interest to that particular user. Part of the magic of TikTok is that there’s no one For You feed – while different people may come upon some of the same standout videos, each person’s feed is unique and tailored to that specific individual.”
Key Components of the TikTok Algorithm:
- Video Information: video information signals are based on the content you seek out on the Discover tab (i.e., captions, sounds, hashtags).
- User Interactions: as mentioned above, the TikTok algorithm is influenced by a user’s content consumption and interactions on the app.
- Device and Account Settings: although these do not have as strong of an influence on the TikTok algorithm, it’s still worth mentioning. These are settings (i.e., language, country, device type) a user chooses on their account that TikTok considers when optimizing content.
What Engagements Are Not Important to the TikTok Algorithm
As we covered, the TikTok algorithm considers a few key ranking signals when suggesting videos to your feed. But what are the least important metrics of engagement?
- Content already viewed
- Duplicated content
- Potentially upsetting content (TikTok provides examples of “legal consumption of regulated goods” or “graphic medical procedures”)
- Content that gets flagged as spam
And the best news yet? For new users or TikTokers with a low following, the TikTok algorithm doesn’t use follower count as a ranking signal. Meaning small accounts still have the potential for high reach.
Want to see what other businesses are doing on TikTok? Check out this roundup of TikTok marketing examples to inspire your brand.
Incorporating the latest platform trends into a brand’s marketing strategy can help them to more effectively engage, educate, and sustain their audience seamlessly into the TikTok community. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered! Check out the Trend Discovery Tool to uncover what’s trending in your vertical, what’s on consumers’ minds, and what’s viral on TikTok in real-time.
In 2022, businesses need to stay on top of new marketing techniques, trends, and rising platforms to drive key growth and better connect with their audience. One of them is TikTok, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. There is a huge opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the viral nature of the app and allow it to take their digital campaigns to the next level.
Originally published Apr 11, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated April 11 2022
Social Media Marketing