April 18, 2024

Marketing to Generation Z: What we can learn from TikTok trends over the past few months

If you want your influencer marketing, owned channel content, and sponsored social ad campaigns to succeed on TikTok, you need to keep up with the trends. However, the platform’s trending content also shows more patterns of what works (and doesn’t) with Gen Zers. Our May 2023 estimate predicts that 71.1% of Gen Z will be using TikTok next year.

Some current trends on TikTok and what we may learn from them are listed below.

1. Genuineness, genuineness, genuineness

The “no makeup makeup look” is all the rage on TikTok, with over 200 million views. Rejecting the heavier looks that were prevalent in previous years, the trend concentrated on light-coverage makeup. In videos, TikTokers show off the goods they use and walk viewers through their simple beauty processes.

One thing we can learn about Gen Zers from their TikTok habits is that they value being genuine. Not only does this style highlight effortless makeup, but it also reveals the real-life tricks used to get the look.

Sephora and Bobbi Brown are just two examples of how skincare and makeup companies have jumped on the bandwagon. Beyond the realm of beauty, though, this trend is applicable to any brand that, by collaborating with appropriate producers, can embrace authenticity on the platform.

2. Keep it simple

Rather than the highly edited photos and images that have been popular on Instagram, the trending content on TikTok is more raw and unfiltered. One maker’s popular film highlights this point by making fun of the lazy way that brands like Burger King obtain views in their videos.

The moral of the story is: Don’t make too much content. In terms of audiovisual innovation, Gen Z isn’t interested in seeing lavish brand displays. Quick, immediate, and simple material, particularly on social media, has the potential to go viral with Gen Z. A real Burger King account’s TikTok contains a narration over a rapid banana drawing, reflecting this shift away from less manufactured content.

3. Sobering truth

Slideshows of apparently AI-generated memes that are completely absurd are currently trending on TikTok, which is one of the most bizarre viral trends of late. On TikTok, the video titled “AI-generated meme” has 1.6 billion views. AI has always played a role in meme production, but these pictures are meaningless as they can’t be made to mean anything.

Gen Zers are showing mixed feelings about generative AI, which is a key takeaway. They are at ease with the technology and see it as inevitable, but they aren’t giving generative AI their full attention. Gen Zers may reassert their claim to the dizzying pace of technological progress that has come to characterize their generation by embracing generative AI to an outrageous degree.

Brands can employ AI as a marketing gimmick in creative campaigns, such as the “Create Real Magic” AI art contest by The Coca-Cola Co. As a corollary, this suggests that brands targeting Generation Z shouldn’t be afraid to be ridiculous. An example of how whimsical advertising can be effective is the viral boot partnership between MSCHF and Crocs.

4. Cost is an important factor

Although it’s not a new trend on TikTok, the pursuit of dupes (cheaper versions of costly things) is here to stay. The TikTok video “#Dupes” has 3.5 billion views.

This generation’s value is in affordable, high-quality goods. Whether it’s through exclusive deals, free delivery, or discounts, Gen Zers will buy more from firms that show they’re giving them value.

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