Checking out the app’s highest earners could be a good starting point, with the most popular TikTok stars earning millions of dollars based on their trending content in the app.
Of course, many of the biggest TikTok creators have now become celebrities in a broader sense, and generate income beyond the platform alone, but Forbes’ latest listing of the biggest earning TikTok stars provides a good overview of where you should be looking.
Statista has compiled the Forbes list into the below visual.
Charli D’Amelio was the biggest earner in 2021, raking in $17.5 million via endorsements, TV show deals, and a clothing line, among other projects.
And while D’Amelio has been branching out with new forms of content, her dance videos remain the most popular of her clips, and regularly see view counts above 40m.
D’Amelio’s sister Dixie also maintained her popularity in the app – though her most viewed clip of the year was actually a video of her sister.
That clip generated 73m views and counting.
Whatever it is the D’Amelio’s are doing, they’re obviously doing something right, and while some have questioned the impact that TikTok fame has had on their lifestyle, after seeing it portrayed in ‘The D’Amelio Show’ TV series, their popularity has endured for another year of the app.
Addison Rae, who made the jump to film acting for Netflix this year, came in at third on the Forbes list.
That video has exceeded 96 million views. Make of that what you will.
Bella Poarch also expanded her off-TikTok presence, with her singing career reaching new heights, while Josh Richards is the only male to make the TikTok top earners list.
Okay, maybe you can’t make the same types of clips as the top stars and generate the same levels of interest, but it is interesting to note how these creators are seeing success on the platform, and what types of clips resonate with the TikTok audience.
The biggest general trend on TikTok is participatory meme content. For years, memes have been a key means of communication and connection online, and TikTok has provided an easier link for anyone to contribute to those trends, with their own takes on trending content formats and styles, allowing more interaction around the same.
The best example here is Josh Richards’ clip, and from a planning standpoint, that may be the best way to create, aligning your TikTok content with related trends, or by creating content that fits the same type of presentation style – simple, to the point, showing products in use, etc.
Building native, platform-specific TikTok content is the best way to drive success, and while you may not be able to use trending dances necessarily, there is a lot that can be gleaned from how these top creators are generating interest.