Getting Started with TikTok Influencer Marketing

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In recent years TikTok has taken social media by storm. Today TikTok is available in over 150 countries, has over 1 billion users, and has been downloaded over 200 million times in the United States alone.  Similar to YouTube, TikTok’s social media platform’s most appealing draw is its capability to share videos. TikTok is all about user-generated content, and besides sharing videos TikTok’s social media platform has evolved into a marketing channel for brands where they use the platform to connect with consumers between the ages of 13 and 60.

If you own a business, TikTok marketing can be a great medium for your brand to connect with your customers. With TikTok marketing, you can use TikTok to promote your brand, product, or service by employing different tactics, like influencer marketing, TikTok advertising, and creating organic viral content. In this article, we offer a step-by-step guide on how to start TikTok influencer marketing.

What is TikTok Influencer Marketing?

TikTok marketing can help your business: to increase your brand awareness; engage with customers; sell products and services; get feedback from customers, and advertise products and services to target audiences. With TikTok marketing, you can use TikTok’s social media platform to directly connect with customers but can also use the power of influencers to promote your brand and products.

A TikTok media personality or influencer not only comes with social proof to give your brand credibility but also offers access to your target audience(s), which makes your customer acquisition process easy. Because of the exponential growth of TikTok users, companies cannot risk not considering TikTok as a marketing vehicle, especially if their brands cater to Millennials, Generation Zs, and beyond.

TikTok allows users to shoot, edit and upload videos up to one minute long. In recent times it has evolved from a Gen Z dominant video-sharing app into a mass social media platform with powerful potential for businesses to market their brand to new audiences. Brands like Zara, BMW, Levi’s, and others have already created successful influencer campaigns on TikTok.



How Does Influencer Marketing Work on TikTok?

An Influencer is an individual with a significant following on social media who is paid by brands to promote their products to their followers through free products or cash payment for promotional posts. The idea here is to persuade followers to purchase products through popular social media such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. Influencers have the power to affect purchase-making decisions because of their authority, knowledge, or relationships with their audience acting as a form of social proof.

In recent years TikTok influencers are winning over the Internet with their work and presence. Their opinions can generate a powerful impact on people, especially younger generations. More and more people are following influencers so that they do not miss out on their content. Brands and businesses are recruiting influencers for mentions, reviews, and recommendations. Even though influencer marketing is relatively new, it continues to be a viable solution for businesses who are willing to look for nifty marketing opportunities while building relationships with their target market.

In today’s global marketplace more and more consumers trust the recommendations made by their favorite influencers. Global influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $16.4 billion in 2022  up from $ 13.8 billion in 2021. Because influencers can promote products they can help businesses attract potential customers and encourage them to make purchases.

Influencer marketing can be hugely successful when done correctly. Through their large following, influencers and unique content acumen can create some great buzz around your brand or products and can be a valuable marketing tool. Particularly if your business targets Generation Zs (between 6 and 24 years old), then influencers can help market your products and services. Successful collaborations between influencers and brands on TikTok have succeeded in bringing about a mass appeal for products and services.

TikTok Users and Demographics

TikTok is set to become among the most important social network for marketing to a younger audience. According to the influencer marketing hub in September, TikTok surpassed the 1 billion monthly active users mark many of whom are young. Some 28% of TikTok users are under 18 years of age, and 35% are 19-29 years old.

Interestingly enough it has a female skew, with 59% of TikTok’s users being female, compared to 39% male (with 2% identifying as “other”). The only social apps with more users are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, and WeChat. TikTok app reached 3 billion downloads in June 2021 and was the seventh-most downloaded app of the 2010s. TikTok demographics sway towards younger audiences, which makes it a great opportunity to connect with a younger audience.



Why You Should Consider TikTok Influencer Marketing

TikTok advertising and advertising on other social media platforms can help boost your reach with target groups. You can complement your efforts by also considering Titok influencer marketing.TikTok influencers’ appeal comes from the fact that they can inspire, encourage, and motivate their audiences. With TikTok influencer marketing you get the opportunity to promote your brand and product by creating a trendy vibe. Because popular TikTok videos are liked and shared and could go viral they can exponentially increase your reach. Some reasons to consider TikTok influencer marketing include:

  • They are savvy creatives: because TikTok influencers come with their engaging and authentic content creation skills they offer organic content. This can help your brand opportunities to unlock the best ways to engage and influence their followers through their TikTok videos.
  • Reach the right audience: Because influencers have their captive audience you can easily reach your target customers with little fanfare.
  • Cut your costs: Influencer marketing can be relatively cheaper compared to traditional advertising. You can also offer free products and access to events instead of money.
  • Boost your search rankings: By opting for sponsored posts, guest posts and brand mentions can help you gain quality backlinks. These can help you to boost your web traffic and search engine rankings.

Creating a TikTok Marketing Strategy

Top influencers on TikTok have millions of followers, they can help grow your small business by getting started with TikTok influencer marketing to reach them. However, before you start negotiating with TikTok influencers you will need to develop your TikTok marketing strategy. If you are considering TikTok marketing for your business here are some tips on creating a Tiktok marketing strategy include:

  • Get a better feel of Tiktok: TikTok marketing is like any other social media marketing strategy that comes with its unique traits, features, and user behaviors. As such you will need to familiarize yourself with the TikTop app, what is trending, and understand its ranking system.
  • Define your target customer: Before signing on an influencer make sure that the influencer’s content format is aligned with your target audience in terms of interests and the type of content that you want to engage with them.
  • Set measurable goals and plans: Your influencer marketing strategy should include a S.M.A.R.T. goal framework meaning your strategic goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). You will need to create an engagement plan and make sure that you content you create aligns with your brand voice, values, and personality.
  • Employ TikTok ad resources to boost reach and engagement: For you to have an effective TikTok marketing strategy you will need to incorporate different types of TikTok ads for greater impact. You could use in-feed ads which are ads that you make yourself and can include image ads and video ads. You can also use spark ads to boost the content on your TikTok account or those by TikTok influencers. Other options include branded takeover ads which are full-screen ads that are displayed when users first open Tik Tok. You can also boost engagement through branded hashtag challenges by encouraging the use of stickers and filters.

Using the TikTok Creator Marketplace

One great tool available for influencer marketing campaigns is TikTok’s Marketplace. TikTok’s marketplace offers partnership opportunities for brands to collaborate with brands. By signing up with the TikTok Creator Marketplace platform, businesses can access a wide range of TikTok creators who can produce videos for their products and services. After setting up your account the TikTok Creator Marketplace homepage can let you decide on choosing creators based on location and category, and even browse available creators based on their number of views, followers, or reach.

Selecting the Right Influencer for Your TikTok Videos and Ads

With literally thousands of TikTok influencers out there you may be hard-pressed on how to choose an influencer that is a right fit for your brand. Below are some tips for choosing the right influencer for your TikTok Videos and ads:

  1. Analyze their audience: Make sure that the TikTok influencer’s audience is aligned with your target audience. You will have to evaluate their followers by age, location, gender, and other parameters.
  2. Explore their content: Review the content the TikTok influencer shares and ask whether the content regularly gets viral and how frequently is content created. Ask whether the type of content that they produce is aligned with your brand and industry.  Is the influencer knowledgeable about your industry? Does the influencer create their content in their promotional messages? The right influencer for your brand comes across as a relatable person sharing information about their favorite products instead of a salesperson.
  3. Suitability for working with brands: Most importantly check to see if the influencer has experience working with brands, what content they produced for them, and how they performed.
  4. That there is no conflict of interest:  Equally important to align messaging with your brand make sure that the influencer in question does not work with your competition. Also, make sure that the influencer is not marred in controversies and does not promote ideas that are counter to your values and ideals.
  5. Engagement rates: You will need to take a look at how audiences engage with these influencers. Also, ask if their audience engages with the kind of content, you’re interested in creating? Do they like, comment on, and share the kind of relevant videos you want to make? Do they engage with sponsored content?

Other Ways to Find Influencers on TikTok

Besides using TikTok’s marketplaces below are some other ways to find influencers.

Approach Influencers Directly

You could also opt to approach influencers directly is through using the TikTok platform itself. TikTok’s algorithm is designed to help users discover new content creators, based on what is trending content creators, keywords, trending hashtags, or the ‘For You’ page.

Use an Influencer Platform

Yet another way to scout influencers is through influencer platforms, Influencer platforms like Grin, CreatorIQ help brands, and Mavrck help businesses in managing and working with influencers. Essentially they are software solutions designed to assist brands with their influencer marketing Campaigns by offering discovery tools that include offering searchable databases of potential influencers using algorithms.



Tik Tok Marketing Agencies

TikTok marketing agencies work with brands and influencers to run influencer campaigns. Agencies like Moburst, Ubiqitous, and ApexDrop help you do most do the heavy lifting when it comes to your influencer marketing activities. These include devising strategies and managing the entire influencer campaign that includes developing creative briefs, influencer sourcing, and scheduling, influencer contracting, reporting, and insights.

Working with TikTok Influencers Effectively

Now that you have found your ideal influencer for your brand here are some rules of thumb to follow when working with influencers in your TikTok marketing campaigns:

Understand how TikTok works: Before you start make sure that you have a working knowledge of TikTok to make the most of your campaign. By knowing the various options available you can tweak your campaign for maximum effect.

Set a clear goal: before launching your campaign, you should make sure that you have a goal. You will need to address issues like why you want to use TikTok as a marketing platform? Is it to push awareness for new products or services? Is it to convert more sales? Your set goal will influence your influencer marketing campaign.

Know your target audience: For you to make an impact you will need to know in terms of their preferences, location, when they’re on the platform, what kind of content appeals to them, and, more. A great way to achieve this is by identifying the buyer persona that will help you identify some important characteristics about your audience and what you need to do to connect with them.

Allow the influencer’s creative juice to flow: TikTok is all about creativity try to allow room for the TikTok creator to use his niche towards developing the messaging from the creative brief. Being heavy-handed with your corporate messaging could be counterproductive and come off as inauthentic and could feel more like a basic ad campaign putting customers off.



Is TikTok a good marketing strategy?

Like other social media platforms, TikTok marketing can be a good marketing strategy if your business targets younger generations. Over the years the number of users on TikTok has gradually grown, and several companies have begun to use TikTok for marketing purposes. Now might be the perfect time to start using TikTok marketing for your business and start reaping the rewards right away.

Image: Depositphotos

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Samson Haileyesus Samson Haileyesus is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 5 years. He has several years of progressive experience in media, communication and PR working with government, NGOs and private sector.