Is TikTok a New Tool to Discover Products?

Nidhi Agarwal
Content Writer
July 8, 2022
min read
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Even as Google remains a significant search market, TikTok is becoming an alternative. Its transformation from mere dance videos to a trusted source of information for millennials and GenZ is building a unique consumer experience to discover new products.  

TikTok's Path to Purchase report released in June 2022 reveals that 49% of its users find products through videos created by brands, creators, and other users. And at least 37% immediately bought the TikTok products soon after discovering it. 

Interestingly, its strong engagement and unique discovery algorithm have made the e-commerce store Shopify jump on the bandwagon early. 

To power up TikTok marketing for its merchants, Shopify has introduced organic product discovery and shopping tabs. Merchants in the US and UK having TikTok for a business account can add this shopping tab and sync their product catalogues — a mini-storefront linked directly to their online store.

So, why is this social media channel a notch above Instagram, YouTube or Facebook? 

TikTok vs Other Social Media Channels  

1. Higher engagement rate

TikTok has the highest social media engagement rate per post. Data collated by Nielsen shows that TikTok influencers bring an engagement rate of 20% compared to Instagram's 6.15% and YouTube's 5.22%. 

Having the highest social media engagement rate per post makes it possible for brands to reach a broader audience and boost their awareness and sales. 

Instagram and YouTube have been trying to duplicate TikTok's content format to retain the users on their platforms. Instagram launched reels and YouTube its short videos right after TikTok gained popularity. Yet, TikTok remains to stay at the top of all major platforms. 

Read more: TikTok Analytics: 6 Important Metrics For Your Campaigns 

2. Robust algorithm that finds related content 

Unlike other social platforms, Tiktok has a game-changing algorithm that shows content based on the user's interests and activities on the app. It expands the possibility of discovering products users are interested in buying. 

Like Instagram's 'Explore' page, TikTok has a 'For You' page that displays fresh content for the users. The only difference between TikTok and Instagram's page is that the latter shows content based on people you know and follow, limiting the possibility of discovering new content like products, videos, etc. 

On the other hand, TikTok's algorithm shows content based on the user's interests and interactions on the app. The algorithm ignores the profile of a brand and its popularity, which means even relatively unknown brands can become viral on the platform and sell products. 

3. Niche user communities 

With 800M+ monthly active users, TikTok's niche communities like LGBT TikTok, Skater TikTok, Twilight TikTok, etc., create a sense of belonging in the user. Their fun and entertaining content drive users to purchase products. At least 39% of its users say that the 'feeling of joy' created from the humorous content has driven them to buy a product. 

4. Viral hashtags 

If the popularity of hashtags has dialled down on Instagram, then it has gained prominence on TikTok. #BookTok, #BusinessTok, and #TikTokMadeMeBuyit have millions of views and show a catalogue of TikTok products, reviews, tips, lessons, and live streams, created by influencers on the app.

These hashtags help in search and impact the users' purchase decisions. Popular hashtag challenges used for TikTok marketing encourage other users to participate in creating content for the hashtag and go viral. 

Not sure how to find influencers who can boost your traffic and sales? Use to analyse creator profiles and pick the right talent.

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Booming Industries on TikTok

One of the most talked-about interests on TikTok is beauty, fashion, and jewellery, followed by art, interior, food, mobile accessories, toys, and dental, among others.

Statistics show that many beauty products have gone viral on the channel overnight after receiving user reviews. Maybelline mascara and Diecem's peeling solution under TikTok products lists saw a spike of nearly 400%. Even the hashtags like #skyhighmascara and #theordinaryskincare have close to 200 million views on the app. 

Let's look at some best TikTok marketing examples! 

1. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna 

Fenty Beauty is one of the most viral beauty brands on the platform that uses several different TikTok marketing strategies to connect with its target audience. In 2017, Rihanna, a top Barbadian singer, actress, and fashion designer, launched Fenty Beauty. 

The brand targets the Gen Z audience, for which it leverages five popular TikTok influencers to promote its range of beauty products through makeup tutorials, product launches and wear-tests videos. The TikTok marketing strategy boosted the brand's audience by 1180% in a week, and major publications like Vogue, glamour, Billboard, and more covered the brand's success. 

TikTok influencer reviewing Fenty Beauty's product under the hashtag #Fentybeauty
Image by TikTok

TikTok marketing tip: Like Fenty Beauty, you can use different video formats and effects to show off the quality of your products. Using the full-screen focus at a 9:16 ratio, you can flaunt your product range on the app and get discovered easily. 

2. Arcade Studios 

Arcade studios is an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Canada with a TikTok marketing strategy to promote its services. The agency uses fun and creative content to promote its services like photography, videography, motion graphics, etc. Their profile shows clients their expertise in creating different types of content, whether byte-sized humorous videos, a day from the team's work-life, or video series on social media insights. 

Image from Arcade Studio's day-in-the-life video series on TikTok
Image by TikTok

TikTok marketing tip: Use the platform to promote more than just products. If you're a freelancer, a creative professional, or an agency, you can use the app to flaunt your talent and skills. 

Four TikTok Marketing Tips Brands Can Adopt 

1. Drive engagement with influencers  

Brands like L'oreal Paris, SuperGoop, Casetify etc., are crushing their TikTok influencer marketing strategies to reach their target audience through entertaining content. 

But as you proceed with your campaign, you will face a challenge in finding the niche TikTok creators, managing the campaigns, and measuring the ROI. 

To help brands overcome the challenge of finding influencers, TikTok has launched a creator marketplace for you to pick top influencers in almost every niche. 

Another option would be to go for an end-to-end influencer marketing platform such as The platform helps you land the perfect creator in your niche with a database of 6M+ influencers and 20+ filters. It helps in campaign optimisation and measures ROI. 

TikTok marketing tip: Always go for the creator who understands your niche, has dominance on other platforms like YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, knows your target audience, and can generate high engagements and sales. Using a tool would help you identify all those metrics within minutes. 

Learn in depth: How to Leverage TikTok Influencer Marketing in 2022 

2. Stay on trend 

TikTok is a platform driven by the latest trends. Following the trending hashtags makes you more discoverable. Since users like to watch videos on the same trend one after another, this Tiktok marketing strategy can clock more views and engagements. 

Like Aerie and Gymshark, use a hashtag challenge strategy to start your trend. Getting insights into what your competitors will give you an edge. Influencer marketing platforms like helps you make brand comparisons, and market trend features show you the latest trends on multiple social media platforms. 

TikTok marketing tip: Creating just any type of content for the trend won't work. The trend you pick should suit your marketing strategy and tell your brand's story effectively. Otherwise, you might end up losing your existing viewers. 

3. Build communities with constant communication 

Communities create a sense of belonging and strengthen the connection between customers and a brand, leading to increased brand loyalty. Regular interaction with your audiences through comments, likes, and shares can fit you right. Join existing communities too. Those into finance can join communities like #MoneyTok and #PersonalFinance to share your views and ideas and connect with the audience.

4. Cross-promote content to expand the reach 

Cross-promoting TikTok content on Instagram, YouTube etc., is a great way to target your customers on other platforms and expand your reach. 

The platform's automatic sharing feature allows you to post content on Instagram and YouTube directly from the platform. You can post the content on Instagram reels, stories or posts or even YouTube shorts or videos. 

Summing Up

The increasing popularity of TikTok creates a massive opportunity for companies to start a campaign on the platform and get ahead of the leading brands. But research shows that 50% of top global brands still don't use TikTok marketing to grow their business. 

Before diving deep into understanding how to use TikTok to sell products in changing marketing, commence your journey with influencer marketing. Soon to be a 16-billion-dollar industry, TikTok influencer marketing is just a start. 

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