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Why TikTok is the Fast Track to Engaging Consumers in 2022

March 10, 2022 • Written by Catherine Kulke

Whether you’re addicted to TikTok or think you’re too old for Gen Z’s favorite social media platform (you’re not), it’s hard to deny the short-form video app’s influence. Over the past few years, TikTok matured from a niche space for teens trading dance moves into a global cultural hub—and a powerful marketing engine. However, when it comes to advertising on TikTok, the platform’s algorithm is notoriously difficult to crack. And as more and more brands capitalize on TikTok’s marketing opportunities, the competition for creators’ attention is growing fiercer.

Augmented reality effects don’t just help brands stand out on TikTok, they’re a proven way to “hack” the platform’s algorithm—and get more eyes on your campaigns. Additionally, Camera IQ’s recent survey on AR and consumer behavior revealed that TikTok AR experiences align with consumers’ own preferences for branded content. Let’s take a look at a few research-backed reasons TikTok and AR are a match made in heaven for marketers.

TikTok Captures Consumer Preferences

In 2022, consumers are inundated with content. They’re adept at swiping and scrolling past posts that don’t speak to their interests. Consequently, it’s more important than ever for marketers to craft messaging that their audiences actually want to pay attention to.

What do your customers want in their feeds? When asked what they looked to gain from branded content on social media, consumers shared two main priorities: education and entertainment. A significant 60% of survey respondents sought to learn more about brands’ products and services, and 57% wanted to be entertained by brands. These preferences not only correspond with consumers’ overwhelming embrace of branded AR experiences, but also point directly to TikTok.

TikTok’s mission statement is to “inspire creativity and bring joy,” meaning playful, entertaining content is the heart and soul of the platform. Meanwhile, hashtags like #TikTokTaughtMe have given rise to entire user communities devoted to learning about a shared interest, from cooking to skincare. As brands look to leverage social AR (and social media more broadly) to educate and entertain their fans, TikTok is the most obvious entry point to these conversations.

Consumers Seek Education and Entertainment

  • 60% of consumers want to learn more about brands
  • 57% of consumers want to be entertained by brands

TikTok Marketing Unzips Gen Z Wallets

While TikTok’s global user base now spans generations, teens and young adults are especially active on the app, making the platform a priority for any brand hoping to speak—and sell—to younger audiences. Over half (54%) of the Gen Z consumers we surveyed used TikTok, establishing it as the second-most-popular social network after Instagram (64%) among the demographic. That means Gen Z is more likely to log into TikTok than Facebook or Snapchat: a respective 51% and 53% of younger consumers were active on these two platforms. TikTok is an integral part of Gen Z’s life online, and a core component of any Gen Z-oriented marketing strategy.

TikTok doesn’t just enable brands to drive awareness among Gen Z—it’s also the secret to opening their wallets. Social media ranks as the No. 1 way Gen Z consumers discover new brands, outperforming word-of-mouth recommendations, traditional advertising, and Google. Add AR to the equation, and brands have a full-funnel plan for growth. A study by Snap Inc. found that three out of five consumers would be more likely to make a purchase after an AR experience, and predicts a 37% increase in the proportion of Gen Z consumers who use AR before buying a product by 2025.

TikTok Is a Go-to Platform for Gen Z

  • 54% of Gen Z consumers use TikTok
  • 47% of millennial consumers use TikTok

TikTok Starts Viral Trends

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok, you know to keep your sound on. Audio is an essential part of TikTok videos, with many creators riffing on trending songs and other soundbites. In fact, 68% of time spent on short-form video apps involves music-dependent content.
TikTok is revolutionizing the way songs are shared, and hits are made. In the past few years, the platform has given rise to blockbuster releases including Doja Cat’s “Say So,” which skyrocketed in popularity after Haley Sharpe posted a viral dance to the track in 2019. As TikTok continues to transform the music industry, record labels have a unique opportunity to help artists get big, quick.

TikTok’s potential to ignite viral conversations isn’t limited to music. Brands across industries have seen new and older offerings—from TV shows to beauty products and food items (feta cheese, anyone?)—become overnight sensations thanks to TikTok.

So, how can you put your brand on everyone’s “For You” page? You can’t predict whether or not a creator’s dance video will go viral, but you can be confident fans will rally around a relevant AR campaign. According to our survey, 76% of consumers would share an AR experience with their social network, rendering the technology a valuable tool for expanding your brand’s fanbase. Additionally, social AR empowers marketers to curate intimate, immersive experiences for massive audiences. Just ask one of the 2M TikTok users that tuned into The Weeknd’s live, AR concert on the platform.

Music Is the Pulse of TikTok

  • 68% of time spent on short-form video apps involves music

In 2022, brands can no longer tell consumers what they’re supposed to want. Instead, savvy marketers must listen to their audiences, and deliver content that reflects their own preferences. Consumers are hungry for AR experiences, and TikTok’s unique format and culture allows marketers to speak even more directly to their fans’ interests.

Ready to launch social AR campaigns built for your brand’s target audience? Learn how Camera IQ can help your team engage the creator generation on TikTok here, and download the Ultimate Guide to AR Marketing on TikTok for a complete roadmap to designing and promoting winning effects on today’s hottest platform.

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