As the most downloaded app of 2022, TikTok continues to be a vital advertising and marketing platform for businesses around the world. This has become especially true in the consumer-focused market. Though it would be remiss to overlook the conversations about potential limitations of the app for university systems and government agencies, among others, consumer attention favoring the app shows no signs of slowing down.
Over 50% of TikTok users have made a purchase after seeing a brand or product on the app, making this a potentially lucrative revenue driver for businesses in a variety of industries. So how can businesses increase their visibility and, ultimately, generate more sales on TikTok? Here’s what you can expect when it comes to TikTok consumer trends in 2023.
Food and Beverage
Viral recipes will continue to top the trend charts within the food and beverage industry on TikTok in 2023, but brands can leverage this to a greater extent with influencer collaborations and even developing new products based on user interest on the app.
Particularly for consumer packaged goods and direct-to-consumer options, adapting existing products to match popularity can reap lucrative rewards.
Belgian Boys are a good example of this, jumping on a 2020 trend for pancake cereal and releasing a limited-run mini pancake cereal early in 2023. Their marketing strategy is heavily TikTok-focused, collaborating with influencers who were part of the trend initially to gain additional engagement and sales.
Restaurants are naturally eager to generate as much foot traffic as possible to make up for lost time and money over the past few years.
As TikTok becomes a more prominent search tool for younger audiences, restaurants must adapt their social content to capture more attention when users are looking for somewhere new to eat or a must-try dish in their location.
Surveys have found that over 72% of users have visited a restaurant after seeing appetizing food online, while 30% said they would travel farther than normal to visit somewhere they saw on TikTok.
While Yelp reviews were previously the must-have social proof for budding restaurateurs, the shift to TikTok is impossible to ignore. Working with “review influencers” to hype a new location or marquee dishes will still be important in this industry.
Accounts like The VIP List have grown significantly since incorporating high-end restaurant reviews into their content, with thousands of imitations of their style and tone appearing across TikTok. Collaborating with these types of influencers is a tactic many restaurants should consider.
The alcoholic beverage industry can be especially challenging to market on social media due to age restrictions around the products, but many brands are effectively using TikTok to promote their drinks by finding creative partnership opportunities. Recipes for cocktails are some of the most popular videos, especially when paired with a behind-the-scenes look at the bar or restaurant they’re being served in.
Digital marketing manager, Laura Higgins, at Samson and Surrey says, “TikTok’s main appeal is for entertainment and education — both of which are present in the alcohol category where we see an influx of at-home bartenders, professional bartenders, and niche experts educating consumers on a variety of topics from where cocktails originated from to creating a Giant Old Fashioned, using our very own FEW Whiskey!”
Creators and influencer partnerships are just as important for this sector as they are for restaurants marketing on TikTok. This is especially the case as paid advertising for alcohol brands is more heavily restricted on the site than other types of products.
Influencers like The Tipsy Bartender have worked on a number of brand deals, partnering with alcoholic beverage brands to make cocktails in front of a mass audience. “If you can rally behind a set of core influencers that advocate for your brand over and over in their own words and way, you are winning on the platform,” Higgins says.
It’s no surprise that one of the most popular topics on TikTok is beauty, given the skew toward a younger demographic and the affinity those interested in this industry have for video content. YouTube hair and makeup reviews and tutorials continue to be some of the platform’s most popular content, and this has translated across to short-form videos on TikTok too.
Brands like The Ordinary are a great example of how beauty brands can make use of unique TikTok features like video stitching and dueting to go viral. Their low product cost has helped them attract younger audiences who have limited disposable income to spend on high-end beauty products.
Once users began posting reviews of their products on TikTok, others quickly emerged as others tested skincare staples on themselves in the hope of achieving similar results.
On the brand side, behind-the-scenes content and beauty hacks are incredibly popular, giving an expert look at how to use individual products. From there, reposting user-generated content (UGC) and building a team of in-house brand advocates is a prime opportunity to create highly engaging, entertaining, and informative content.
Fashion and Retail
Trends like #cottagecore or #coastalgrandmother may come and go, but fashion brands have a real opportunity to leverage TikTok to gain more sales and engaged followers in 2023. It’s all about knowing where to focus your attention.
Trend forecasters are emerging as influencers in their own right in this space — these individuals use their expert knowledge to predict both micro and macro trends in fashion, giving brands a chance to adjust their strategy and even product lines to better fit with anticipated popularity.
Working with these industry professionals can also provide fashion and retail brands with valuable insight into long-term shifts in consumer behavior and values that could ultimately impact their bottom line.
Rising interest in sustainability and “de-influencing” is a concern for many retail brands. But pivoting to focus more on eco-conscious content (think fewer hauls and more upcycling), while also partnering with industry-specific content creators will drive better results in the coming months.
Leverage opportunities as a brand on TikTok in 2023
For many industries, the key to success on TikTok influencing this year will be in creating engaging and entertaining content, while partnering with relevant influencers and creators who can expose your brand to a wider audience. Investing time and money in TikTok marketing, both in paid advertising and organic content, is certainly worth exploring as a product-based brand.