Listen, the world isn't asking for more hot takes, but it is definitely in need of HotToks: a way to keep your eyes fixed on the incoming curve balls that are TikTok trends. The most successful influencer content on TikTok uses popular trends, formats, and filters to tell the brand's story. As TikTok puts it, "Dont Make Ads, Make TikToks."
As a recurring series, we'll help you:
Understand 'the why' behind each TikTok trend and its performance
Tap into key cultural moments you may have missed
Distill the slew of app updates
Share tips on how to integrate all this into your TikTok marketing strategy
We hope this serves as a useful resource you navigate the exciting, entertaining, and creative landscape that is TikTok. Here we gooo!
1. Battle of the Socials
Watch out. TikTok might snatch your wig and leave you broke. As reported by TechCrunch, IG is still in its heyday in terms of influencer marketing spend in the US compared to other social media platforms (it is currently on track to make about $2.23B).
But TikTok is not far behind, on track to be making $774.8M. New reports claim that TikTok is on its way to defeat Facebook in influencer marketing spend this year, and might devastate YouTube in this front by as soon as 2024.
All of this is coming to light because the IG algorithm keeps playing hard-to-get. IG has agreed to take it easy on their algorithm switcheroonies, but as it stands, their algorithm is increasingly favoring smaller, nicher creators—a nod to TikTok—which is why we sometimes have trouble finding our own friends’ content on the platform. The spending on nano-influencers is reported to rise by a whopping 220.5% though, so Instagram could be onto something here. Should Instagram mind its own business before TikTok steals it?
Not only has #GentleMinions (a cheeky combo of “gentlemen” and “minions”) become a Gen Z TikTok storm, it has also become an IRL storm, with theaters banning “formal attire” for showings of Minions: The Rise of Gru. According to Tommy Clark, head of social at ecommerce analytics firm Triple Whale, this whole movie marketing miracle was a “perfect storm.”
Thanks to some key marketing magic elements, Minions: The Rise of Gru had a full-blown moment on TikTok and gr(u)ew its target audience from mainly younger groups to now also appeal to the older Gen Z crowd. The movie was released on July 1, 2022, but the hype began earlier. The Minions franchise naturally fits in with a large Gen Z demographic who heavily use TikTok. Not to mention the weird yellow characters are super cute and easily meme-able. And Phoebe Bridgers, BROCKHAMPTON, H.E.R., and other names not typically associated with a movie like this are on the soundtrack roster. Lastly, a song was released on June 28, featuring rapper Yeat with Minion sound effects. Now with over 1.9M TikTok videos using this sound, this song has become a sensation on the platform. To make matters worse (or better for the marketing team?) YouTube king Mr. Beast also put his own spin on the #GentleMinions trend.
Welcome to the beautiful month of August, where back to school season will be in the fullest swing, and the sorority girlies are going to find their forever home.
The University of Alabama rush (or, “recruitment”), specifically, has been the most prominent on TikTok, bringing the hashtag #BamaRush to 1.6B views. Needless to say, everyone is legitimately fascinated by this type of content, and for some reason, #BamaRush keeps appearing on the FYPs of people who have nothing to do with Greek life, college, or Alabama.
This phenomenon has attracted worldwide attention, prompting TikTok creators to make educational, comedic, and inquisitive videos regarding #BamaRush. The rush culture is infamous for its stressful, draining nature (not to mention the not-so-pretty historical connotations), especially at a school like University of Alabama because of its huge Greek system. There’s a lot of pressure for these girlies, who air out their rush processes, to make it into a house, whether we can see it underneath all the designer bags and Kendra Scott jewelry or not.
If you’ve never seen this on your FYP, I encourage you to go down this TikTok rabbit hole. There’s really a certain je ne sais quoi that keeps people (all over the world) coming back. And if you feel like you’re watching a trashy reality TV series, you’re not alone…