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  • April 22, 2024

A new study conducted at Google is showing that almost 40% of gen Z do not go to Google Search or Google Maps when they are looking for something. They are turning to TikTok or Instagram for all their search needs and as brand builders and content marketers it’s so important for us to keep up-to-date with these types of trends.

For as long as we can remember, Google was the king of search. When you need something, you go to a Google product to look for it, whether it’s Google Search or Google Maps or even YouTube, which is part of Google’s Search Empire, but that dynamic is changing and it’s changing fast. You may know TikTok and Instagram as this place where your friends share cat photos, but that’s changed drastically, nowadays, and especially among the younger audience, you go to TikTok and Instagram and specifically Instagram reels to find everything you need.

Me personally have completely switched to TikTok for restaurant recommendations. If someone’s visiting town and I’m looking for a cool restaurant to take them to in Vancouver, I go to TikTok for that or maybe you’re looking for a how-to video, how to build a wooden shelf, Instagram reels, TikTok, they’ve all got you covered. And let me break it down for you three main reasons why I think TikTok and Instagram reels is rapidly taking over Google as the search destination, especially among a younger audience.

Reason number one is that the search results are always interactive, it’s always entertaining. It’s in a video format. You don’t need to read anything, you’re absorbing information very rapidly. And this is in line with what we’ve known some time now, which is that there’s a rapid decrease in attention span, people want more information in less time and they want it to be impactful and memorable. And you can even think about how engaging a TikTok video is versus a Google search result. And really, video is the key here. It’s the reason I create videos every day, it’s the new form of communication, that’s how people like to learn and absorb information.

The second reason is that Instagram reels and TikTok search results are heavily relevant, it’s always timely, it’s videos that have been posted quite recently. Compare that to Google search results, where the first page ranking are fairly sets, these rankings don’t change from time to time all that often. Google strives to be the most reliable source of information and so the search results are fairly static and stagnant. For example, if you’re searching for things to do in Vancouver you’re probably always going to get the same thing from TripAdvisor that just shows you the same things. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram will always show you what’s happening right now, things that you need to know at this moment, this week this day.

And my third reason is how easy it is to use a mobile first experience to capture and produce content for these platforms. Just think about the amount of work of creating a Google search result, you need a website, you’re writing a blog post, and need to rank for that keyword. There’s a lot of work and skills involved in doing that but TikTok and Instagram reels are the ultimate form of crowdsourcing, you just launched their app, they make it super easy for you to record something, you upload it and then you’re live, getting hundreds or thousands of views right off the bat.

And the last thought I’ll leave you with is, don’t underestimate the the usage patterns of Gen Z, and like many B2B and content marketers, you might be thinking, well, the decision makers that we’re targeting are not gen Z, so why do we need to be on these platforms? But I want to remind you that as marketers, it’s so important for us to be ahead of the game. The Gen Z’s of today are the vp’s of tomorrow. And as the younger demographic enter the workforce, they’re bringing with them products and tools and software into the organization. So really, it’s more important than ever to think about video. Think about engaging content and think about how to build your brand beyond just the classic channels.

So here’s your reminder of the day. Are you posting video on LinkedIn on Facebook and Instagram? Are you on TikTok at all? And if not, what are you waiting for? Hopefully, you found this tid bit of information helpful and I’ll see you in the next video.