TikTok’s What’s Next Trend Report Reveals Key Marketing Insights for 2024 in MENA
TikTok has released its annual What’s Next Trend Report, providing valuable insights for marketers aiming to enhance their presence on the platform and meet their business objectives in 2024 in the MENA region. Inspired by the transformative mindset within the TikTok community, the report introduces the concept of Creative Bravery, driven by three actionable trends: Curiosity Peaked, Storytelling Unhinged, and Bridging the Trust Gap.
Throughout 2023, we have seen the TikTok community in the MENA region celebrate authenticity and share diverse talents, ideas, knowledge, and memorable moments. The platform has developed into a digital fusion hub, connecting users with various backgrounds and cultures globally, while offering businesses, regardless of size or industry, to break through the noise and thrive through innovation, creativity, and talent.
To empower marketeers with insights into the latest preferences of the TikTok community and support them in shaping their strategies for the coming year, TikTok has introduced its fourth annual trend forecast – the TikTok What’s Next Report 2024. The report introduces the concept of Creative Bravery as the guiding mindset to be embraced by the TikTok community in 2024. Brands showcasing Creative Bravery on TikTok, characterized by a blend of curiosity, imagination, vulnerability, and courage, will create deeper connections within the community. Succeeding on TikTok requires a shift from occasional displays of Creative Bravery to incorporating it into everyday behaviours and strategies. Brands that consistently capture global curiosities, reimagine traditional storytelling, and build trust with their audiences will see the most success.
Shadi Kandil, General Manager, Global Business Solutions, Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Central and South Asia, TikTok said:“This past year, we have seen so many creative minds push the boundaries of what it means to create engaging content. Because of the talent we see on the platform and across the regional creative ecosystem, communities on TikTok are redefining traditional storytelling, fueled by a blend of curiosity, imagination, vulnerability and courage. For brands, this presents a huge opportunity to embrace creative bravery, build deeper community connections and engage with relevant audiences.”
The report spotlights the most practical and long-lasting trends, defined as Trend Signals. Trend Signals are recurring content patterns that show emerging behaviours and interests, providing brands with insights to shape their more extended content strategies. These Trend Signals can be categorized into three groups:
People come to TikTok looking for far more than a single ‘right answer.’ Every curiosity and interest lead to relevant perspectives, uncharted discovery, and IRL action thanks to the perfect blend of discovery and an active mindset. In fact, TikTok users in KSA are 1.3x more likely to agree that TikTok introduces them to new topics they didn’t even know they liked (1). One of the key trends, highlighted by TikTok’s What’s Next Trend Report – Curiosity Peaked – reveals that users flock to TikTok out of curiosity about their world, popular culture, trends, and brands.
There have never been more options to discover new ideas or things, but it’s also never been more taxing to find relevant answers. For brands, this means creating hyper-relevant, delightful, and useful content that piques every curiosity, even the ones communities didn’t know they had.
The ends of stories start first, multiple story arcs can happen at once. Communities are making up fictional celebrities and narratives. Against the backdrop of what’s often felt like an overwhelming reality, TikTok users have embraced a shared community of what’s been dubbed #delulu or delusional comfort. Rooted in fandom culture, #delulu is a blend of fantasy and manifestation – adopting a fake-it-til-you-make-it persona for audiences to tap into, fantasizing about their hopes, dreams or self-defined delusional realities.
From co-created content to ‘staying true to #delulu’ on TikTok, the shift where everyone can have a voice has unleashed creativity for all – where diverse voices, collaborative formats, and subject matters are flipping everything we know about traditional storytelling on its head.
What brands need to keep in mind is that it’s the most intriguing narrative structures that guide viewers past the first few seconds and deeper into the story. In the UAE and KSA, TikTok ads intended to make users curious are proven to keep them watching 1.4x longer (2).
Bridging the Trust Gap
There continues to be a growing trust gap between consumers and brands, igniting audiences to seek engagement beyond a one-time sale. They’re also looking for brands to lead positive societal change and transparency. Establishing clear brand trust and values are non-negotiable. On TikTok, brands have an open line of communication with their consumers and community.
For brands, it’s key to consider each campaign and organic piece of content as an opportunity to share, listen, and learn, building brand trust and values together to generate deeper loyalty on and off-platform. After seeing an ad on TikTok, viewers in KSA trust the brand 24% more, are 42% more likely to be loyal to the brand, and are 33% more likely to say the brand is a good fit for who they are as a person (vs. before seeing ads on TikTok). This is driving action IRL, as well as on the platform (3).
What’s Next Methodology
This report is heavily supported by data from the Global TikTok Marketing Science team gathered across multiple third-party commissioned research studies utilizing mixed methods approaches often including quantitative online surveys, exposure to stimuli in a mock TikTok environment, and/or advanced analytics. The report focuses on studies from 2022 and 2023, which are most relevant and innovative and speaks to the larger trend forces at play in 2023 and 2024.