TikTok highlights its value to brands and search experience

TikTok is positioning itself as a prime destination for search discovery, touting its community-driven approach as a key differentiator from traditional search engines.

New insights. TikTok released new insights emphasizing the platform’s role in driving discovery across the marketing funnel:

  • 61% of TikTok users discover new brands/products on the app, 1.5x more than other platforms.
  • 1 in 2 users go to TikTok to research products or brands.  
  • 91% of those inspired by the TikTok search followed through with an action.
  • TikTok users are 1.5x more likely to discover and immediately purchase something.

Why we care: As TikTok evolves into a lifestyle platform blending entertainment, community and commerce, its ability to facilitate discovery throughout the consumer journey makes it an increasingly effective touchpoint for digital marketing strategies that would leave a massive gap if TikTok were banned. 

Between the lines. TikTok is spotlighting three core “discovery modes” that power its search ecosystem:

  1. Swipe to Discover (the For You feed) 
  2. Tap to Discover (likes, follows, video details)
  3. Search to Discover (text-based queries)

TikTok claims its visual, community-driven approach delivers more entertaining (41%), authentic (28%) and concise (25%) search results than traditional engines.

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Why now. TikTok is not happy with the US government. TikTok and parent company ByteDance have filed a lawsuit challenging a new U.S. law that would ban the popular video-sharing app unless sold to an approved American buyer, arguing the law unfairly singles out TikTok and is an unconstitutional attack on free speech. 

The lawsuit asserts that the law vaguely portrays TikTok’s Chinese ownership as a national security threat without evidence and that requiring a complete sale and separation from ByteDance is technologically impossible. 

TikTok claims the law leaves no choice but a U.S. shutdown by January 2024 since it can’t operate independently from the global platform.

The big picture. As the fight to keep its current structure ensues, TikTok is vying for a central role in product discovery by showcasing how its community-powered recommendations can effectively inspire audiences and drive conversions across the entire funnel.

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About the author

Anu Adegbola

Anu Adegbola has been Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land since 2024. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media, video and more.

In 2008, Anu’s career started with

 delivering digital marketing campaigns (mostly but not exclusively Paid Search) by building strategies, maximising ROI, automating repetitive processes and bringing efficiency from every part of marketing departments through inspiring leadership both on agency, client and marketing tech side.

Outside editing Search Engine Land article she is the founder of PPC networking event – PPC Live, host of weekly podcast PPCChat Roundup, and brand evangelist at ClickTech. 
She is also an international speaker with some of the stages she has presented on being SMX (US), SMX (Munich), Friends of Search (Amsterdam), brightonSEO, The Marketing Meetup, HeroConf (PPC Hero), SearchLove, BiddableWorld, SESLondon, PPC Chat Live, AdWorld Experience (Bologna) and more.

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