TikTok was the leading app for consumer spending last year, with 92% of the users making purchases after watching a video on the platform.
With the number of downloads, daily users, and engagement rates increasing even further in 2023, more and more brands are advertising on TikTok. But this rapid growth means that the platform moves fast, and trends go in and out of style at a breakneck speed.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the top TikTok trends to watch out for in 2023, and how you can incorporate them into your own TikTok marketing strategy.
The Three Driving Forces for TikTok Ad Trends in 2023
According to TikTok’s 2023 trend reports, there are three core forces driving TikTok ad trends this year.
Image by TikTok
1. The first trend force is all about entertainment through relatability and trust. Recent world events have led to people craving authenticity and connections more than ever. TikTok’s popularity boomed during the global lockdown, as people turned to social media for the human interaction that was missing from their everyday lives. In turn, this changed the type of content users prefer to engage with online.
Image by SensorTower
Advertisements that come across as overly staged and “salesy” are on their way out, while content that feels native to TikTok is the new norm. In fact, 65% of over a billion TikTok users say they rely on online creators for their buying decisions. Simple advertisements featuring an honest and relatable figure will go a long way in 2023.
2. The second trend force is focused on joy and well-being. According to a recent study by Future Forum, over 40% of respondents report feeling burned out, with the percentage being even higher for people aged 18-29 years old. The younger generation is prioritizing their physical and mental well-being, and they prefer consuming helpful, funny and uplifting content.
3. Building up on the two previous points, the third and final trend force this year revolves around community building. Online users are looking for relatable, entertaining content that speaks to them on a personal level. They want to feel like they belong, like they are heard, and they seek to learn from other like-minded people.
What are the TikTok Ad Trends for 2023?
TikTok Ad Trend 1: Brands Are Investing More Money on TikTok Advertising
TikTok ad revenues are projected to hit $18.04 billion in 2023, and continue to grow by another $5.5 billion in 2024. With TikTok’s increasing relevance as a marketing channel, professional advertisers and brands will need to include it in their overall marketing strategy.
TikTok Ad Trend 2: User-Generated Content is Dominating TikTok Advertising
User-generated content, or UGC, refers to content created by platform users instead of companies. This type of native content blends in with other videos on the app, and it comes across as more trustworthy.
Image by Trend.io
On the other hand, it is also cheaper and easier for brands. Instead of paying professional creatives to shoot and run an ad, now they can pay a fee or commission to creators to post a video, often shot and edited on a smartphone.
You have probably heard this saying a thousand times, but TikTok is a creative-hungry platform. Ad fatigue is higher than for any other platform, so advertisers need to be flexible and adapt quickly.
UGC’s ability to be more engaging and flexible while costing less will make this type of content extremely popular on TikTok in the coming months.
TikTok Ad Trend 3: Storytelling Can Help TikTok Ads Stand Out
Storytelling has always been an important part of marketing. A good story has been proven to help people remember your core message longer, and to create a deeper connection with your audience.
Considering the trend driving forces we discussed earlier, online users are craving that feeling of deeper connection and understanding with the brands they purchase from. You can share your brand’s story (i.e., how it started), show how the product fits into a lifestyle or routine, and share results.
TikTok ads that tell a story will stand out more and convert better than ads that lack the storytelling element.
TikTok Ad Trend 4: More Authenticity in TikTok Product Demos and Tutorials
Product demos and tutorials can be very useful, and something that is working really well right now are ads where a creator or customer is using the product and naturally embedding it in their video.
Image by TikTok
Based on TikTok’s recent research, 75% of users who took an action as a result of TikTok (for example purchased a product after seeing it on the platform), agree that a creator showcasing a product is more useful than reading online reviews.
TikTok Ad Trend 5: Well-being is More Important Than Ever for TikTok Advertising
The population, especially the younger generation, is prioritizing their physical and mental well-being more than ever. They are seeking out healthier food options, fitness tips, and raising awareness about mental health.
Image by TheTab
If possible, you should strive to create a story that showcases how your product promotes well-being and leads to a better lifestyle.
TikTok Ad Trend 6: Using Humor and Memes Improves TikTok Ads Performance
Incorporating humor in your ads can make them more memorable, and it causes a positive association between your product and the viewer.
According to TikTok, 4 in 10 users admit that uplifting content is a key motivator when it comes to making a purchase.
Image by TikTok
You have probably seen or used memes before. This type of humorous content, often involving references to current pop culture, can improve your ad’s performance. If you are using relevant memes, users tend to share it more often with each other, comment and generally engage more with your content.
TikTok Ad Trend 7: Using Popular Audio Clips on TikTok Boosts Engagement
Popular audio clips are songs, sound effects or snippets of spoken words (e.g., from shows, movies, interviews) that are trending on TikTok. Incorporating these sounds in your TikTok ads can skyrocket your engagement.
You can find trending sounds on TikTok’s Creative Center, but an even easier way is simply typing “trending sounds” on TikTok’s search bar. You can incorporate these sounds into your ads through lip-syncing, comedy sketches, or dance challenges.
TikTok Ad Trend 8: Picking a Niche is Crucial for TikTok Advertising
When discussing the three TikTok trend forces, we mentioned that community building will play an important role in 2023.
In order for the community feeling to be established, you will need to stimulate a sense of belonging and understanding within your audience. The best way to do that is by segmenting your target audience into specific niches, and creating different ads to cater to each niche.
There are many free tools out there, such as this one by HubSpot, that can help you create a detailed buyer persona if you do not have one already.
Image by HubSpot
For every product you are promoting, you must have a clear idea of who your target customer is, what they like or dislike, and what their pain points are.
TikTok Ad Trend 9: Educational Content Gains Popularity on TikTok
TikTok’s most recent trend research shows that 92% of users who took an action as a result of TikTok said that they learn new things from the platform.
The younger generation is turning to TikTok to ask questions, and the hashtag #EduTok is very popular with 155 billion lifetime views.
You can leverage this by creating educational videos that include your product or are related to it. For example, if you are promoting a new yoga mat, you can create a video with the top 5 yoga positions you need to try as a beginner.
By creating content that is entertaining and informative, advertisers are not only promoting their brands but also establishing themselves as a trusted source of information within their niche.
TikTok Ad Trend 10: Improved Search Function Can Benefit TikTok Ads
The last top trend goes hand in hand with the previous one. Nearly half of Gen Z users search for things on TikTok and Instagram rather than on Google.
This demand for educational content has motivated TikTok to improve their search function even further.
This means that apart from crafting the perfect video ad, you also need to write a good caption which adds extra value (for example by providing details you did not include in the video), and add the keywords you wish to target.
The key takeaway from these top 10 trends is that TikTok ads should be relatable and inspire trust, they should be entertaining and uplifting, and they should be tailored to the specific audience you wish to target in order to facilitate community building.
If you want to learn more about TikTok marketing, read our articles on how to make money on TikTok with affiliate marketing and useful TikTok ad details you should know about.