TikTok’s impact on search and the power of the Creator Economy

With almost 40% of Gen Z now using TikTok and Instagram as their primary search engine, the power of social – and creators – on search is growing. 

The golden days of the early noughties may be gone, however the creator marketing industry has come a long way since the early days of influencers. 

The way consumers are searching for information and  products is changing, search is going social, and the creator economy is a key part of this evolution.

Since 2016 TikTok has glowed-up. It now has 168bn monthly views in the UK alone, and we’ve seen the democratisation of content. Yes, dance trends still exist, but we also see a variety of videos, including traditionally taboo subjects, with creators openly discussing their salaries, how much they pay on rent, sex and  relationship advice. Absolutely no topic is off limits. 

Because of this, we’re seeing a shift in how consumers are using social. Last year, Google revealed that almost 40% of Gen Z are using TikTok and Instagram for search. With combined social usage across all age cohorts increasing, social’s impact on the way people are searching for information can’t be ignored. 

#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has over 8bn views. Its influence was demonstrated with supermarkets selling out of tomatoes and feta, following a simple recipe going viral.  The power of social – particularly TikTok – no longer just lives online. So how can we leverage what we know about consumer’s search habits and where do creators fit in? 


Three tips for success: 

  1. Nail your TikTok SEO to get your content in front of the relevant audience
  • Build a strong keyword strategy and  utilise them correctly in your content
  • This will help serve your content to a relevant audience and encourage engagement
  • Ultimately more engagement signals mean your content will be served to more people


2. Content is king so work with the experts 

  • From UGC and content creators to influencers and celebrities, the Creator Economy is filled with users who live and breathe the latest trends. They are experts at producing high-value content that captures user’s attention within the first few seconds
  • 62% of consumers are more likely to click on content that features creators over content created by brands
  • Nail your creator briefs, to build engaging content and put your brand or product front of mind


3. Set yourself up for success by speaking the same language across teams 

  • Incorporate creator marketing into your full paid strategy
  • Measure for success, look beyond typical reach and engagement metrics, and consider:
    • Attributing any traffic driven to site from creator content (UTM links)
    • Impact on wider organic metrics; use a clear CTA to search for a brand name or product, monitor the correlation between creator content & things like search query impressions and CTRs
    • Content usage: leverage the content being produced by creators across brands’ digital ecosystem


Will people start saying ‘TikTok It’ instead of ‘Google it’… probably not. But, social, particularly TikTok’s impact on the way people are searching for information, can’t be ignored. 

Creator content may not have a direct impact on SEO ranking, but leveraging TikTok and people’s search habits together, using creators as the vehicle for generating engaging content can increase brand exposure, improve online visibility and drive traffic to site.