3 key takeaways from new reports that show TikTok's rise as an influencer-marketing platform and its hold on Gen-Z and millennial consumers

Apr 17, 2023
3 key takeaways from new reports that show TikTok's rise as an influencer-marketing platform and its hold on Gen-Z and millennial consumers

TikTok's influence on shopping is growing among young people, according to new data from two reports. Influencer-marketing company IZEA found in a 2022 survey that Gen-Z and millennial consumers viewed TikTok as the best platform to promote a product through an influencer, ahead of Instagram and YouTube.

In a November survey of 1,000 US TikTok users by coupon-code site CouponFollow, more respondents also said they trusted influencers on TikTok most, compared with those on other platforms.

The findings come as TikTok tests its "shop" product in the US, and recently started allowing creators to earn a commission for driving sales through the app.

IZEA's report shows brands that are looking to reach younger demographics, such as those on TikTok, need to make influencer marketing a priority, the company's founder and CEO Ted Murphy said.

"It's not something you can kind of consider as an afterthought anymore," Murphy said. "As part of your marketing strategy, it really needs to be something that you're leading with and making a meaningful investment and moving forward."

Here are three key takeaways from these reports:

Gen Z and millennials think TikTok is better for promoting products than other platforms

In IZEA's second annual influencer-marketing survey, which polled in December 2022 over 1,200 US consumers, 31% of respondents aged 18 to 29 said TikTok was the best platform for influencers to promote products. That was a jump from the 19% of respondents who felt that way in 2021.

On the other hand, Instagram and YouTube, which were the young cohort's preferred platforms for influencing in 2021, fell out of favor year over year, with 24% of respondents selecting Instagram and 26% choosing YouTube.

In a breakdown of social-media use among the different age groups surveyed, TikTok came in third as the most regularly used platform among the 18-to-29-year-old respondents. Instagram came in second and YouTube was first.

About half of the respondents in the 2022 survey said they had purchased a product after seeing it used by a social-media influencer.

Young people are influenced more by TikTok than word of mouth, while YouTube holds steady as a shopping platform for consumers of all ages

While 25% of the young respondents to IZEA's survey said they would ask family and friends about a product before making a big purchase, 42% percent said they'd search TikTok, and 40% said they'd use YouTube.

The findings were in line with a February survey by Jungle Scout that found more Gen Z consumers — 43% — started their online product searches on TikTok than on Google or another search engine.

The data underscores how TikTok has taken hold as a search engine for Gen Z.

Researching products on TikTok was not as popular among the other age groups, but YouTube was a consistent resource for respondents across the board, according to the IZEA survey.

Murphy said YouTube, which has also introduced shopping features into its short-video product shorts, could challenge TikTok in influencer marketing, but would need to get creators on its side. YouTube recently shutdown a shopping program it was testing with influencers, which had been an incentive for them to promote products on the platform.

"They're really going to have to get much more aggressive on recruiting creators to make YouTube the primary source of content creation," Murphy said, pointing to repurposed TikTok content he'd seen on shorts.

TikTok users are actively buying products they see on app

CouponFollow reported that 88% of respondents, who were all US based and used TikTok, felt more connected with brands they discovered on TikTok than those found elsewhere. In the last year, the respondents bought an average of four items after seeing them TikTok and spent an average of $150.

"TikTok is known for its short-form video content, which is highly engaging, creative, and often features user-generated content," CouponFollow founder Marc Mezzacca told Insider. "This type of content allows brands to showcase their products or services in a more authentic and relatable way."

Source: businessinsider