YouTube and Instagram have long been fertile soil for influencer marketing. But there’s a new promised land and brands who have sowed the seeds early are reaping the rewards.
We’re talking about TikTok and you know it. It’s fast becoming one of the biggest platforms for influencer marketing. As it grows exponentially, a new breed of influencers is coming out of this social network and their flair for funny, creative and viral pieces of content does wonders in promoting a wide range of products.
So if you’re interested in navigating the twists and turns of influencer marketing on TikTok as a marketer or a business owner, read this article and use it as your guide to success in 2023.
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What Is TikTok Influencer Marketing?
TikTok influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that is centered on promoting products or services through popular content creators on the platform. Usually done through challenges—dance, makeup, hashtags—this snowball marketing aims to gain participation from its audience that will create trends and generate numbers.
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TikTok Influencer Marketing In Figures
Still unsure if TikTok influencer marketing is what you need? Here are some facts and figures we’ve compiled that matter to you, whether you’re a marketer or a business owner:
- TikTok micro-influencers have an engagement rate of 18% as opposed to Instagram’s micro-influencer engagement rate of 3.86%.
- The difference between Instagram and TikTok’s mega influencers' engagement also shows quite a distance at 1.21% for Instagram and 35% for TikTok.
- There is an estimated projected growth of $16.4 billion for influencer marketing in 2022.
- In 2021, there was a 26% increase in influencer marketing-related companies and service providers.
- Influencer marketing gives 11x the ROI as opposed to more traditional banner ads
- 82% of consumers will follow an influencer recommendation.
- There are 78.7 million active users of TikTok in the United States.
- 90% of TikTok users open the application every day.
- 61% of TikTok users are women.
- In 2019, the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store is TikTok with 33 million downloads.
- 90% of the CTA on brand-sponsored videos on TikTok with influencers use tagging the brands in the caption along with the promo code.
- By 2026, the estimated value of social commerce sales will be $2.9 trillion.
How Does TikTok Influencer Marketing Work?
There are two sides to TikTok influencer marketing. One one side, you have the brand looking to connect with its target audience on the social platform. On the other, there’s the influencer or content creator. Let’s get a complete picture by looking at both sides to understand how influencer marketing really works.
Brands On TikTok
A feature-rich social media platform won’t be easy to navigate so here’s our guide to get started on influencer marketing.
1. Switch to a Business Account on TikTok
This allows you to get more insights which will allow you to learn more about your customers. With TikTok Analytics, you get data on your followers, content, and engagement, among others. You also get access to new business features and to a library of royalty-free sounds.
How to do it:
- Go to ‘Settings and privacy’
- Select ‘Manage account’
- Under ‘Account Control’, select ‘Switch to Business Account’
2. Establish your campaign goals
Have a cohesive marketing plan, clear deliverables, timetable, and goals for the campaign. Have a project sheet to help you stay on track, and make sure to include the following:
- Action plan
- Campaign details
- Timeframe and deadlines
- Estimated costs and budget
- Payment rates
- Contracts and guidelines
3. Identify which marketing campaign best suits your brand and goal
A marketing campaign with an influencer can be done in many ways. Have a look at this list of TikTok marketing campaigns to help you decide which campaign will deliver your brand’s goals.
Popular TikTok influencer marketing campaigns include:
- Hashtag challenges
- Profile takeover
- Product reviews
- Product tutorials
- Affiliate links
- Sponsored content
4. Clarify content repurposing rights
Repurposing influencer-generated content is an effective TikTok strategy to maximize the results of an effective marketing campaign.
You can repurpose TikTok content by using them in new formats such as still images, video snippets, and quotations that can be used in email marketing, social media, and your brand’s website.
While repurposing content isn’t new to influencer marketing, it’s very important that your repurposing rights as a brand are clearly stipulated in your contract and have been given the green light by its content creator.
5. Budget and ROI
The scale of your marketing campaign usually depends on the project budget. A business owner would try to find out how much they have to spend on influencer marketing to hit the expected deliverables. Here’s what we found:
- 17% of companies allot 50% of their total marketing budget to influencer marketing.
- In 2019, 19% of companies spent $1,000 - $10,000 on influencer marketing.
- In the same year, 36% of companies paid influencers with product samples.
- The most inexpensive influencer marketing campaign you can have is $5 for a TikTok video with a nano-influencer.
- The most expensive on the other hand starts at $2,500 per TikTok post for mega-influencers.
- The expected ROI for influencer marketing is $5.20 per $1.
Benefits of TikTok Influencer Marketing for brands
There’s a long list of benefits that brands can enjoy from partnering with influencers on TikTok. Here are some of them:
- Boost brand recognition quickly
- Build trust by connecting with your audience through TikTok content creators they follow, admire, and trust
- Grow the followers of your account faster
- Expose your products or services to a highly-engaged audience
Understanding TikTok Influencers
To better understand how an influencer marketing campaign on TikTok works, you also have to learn the details surrounding the other half of the collaboration—TikTok influencers.
Numbers that you should be aware of:
The rate of an influencer depends on which tier they belong to, and influencers are divided into tiers based on the number of followers they have:
Nano-influencers: 1,000–10,000 followers
Micro-influencers: 10,000–50,000 followers
Mid-tier influencers: 50,000–500,000 followers
Macro-influencers: 500,000–1,000,000 followers
Mega-influencers: 1,000,000+ followers
Another important thing to consider is the level of engagement that an influencer can generate. Here are the standard levels of influencer engagement on TikTok:
500,000–1 million: 4.88%
1–5 million: 4.99%
5–10 million: 3.35%
over 10 million: 3.07%.
These are typical rates of influencers on TikTok:
Nano-influencers: $5–$25 per post
Micro-influencers: $25–$125 per post
Mid-tier influencers: $125–$1,250 per post
Macro-influencers: $1,250–$2,500 per post
Mega-influencers: $2,500+ per post
Campaigns that TikTok influencers can offer
1. Hashtag challenges
Usually the heart of successful TikTok campaigns, branded hashtags urge TikTokers to create videos of their own while doing a challenge. TikTok Influencers kick-start this campaign by posing challenges for their followers. It may be in the form of dance, makeup, taste tests, or fit checks.
Examples of these campaigns include:
- #MakeMomSmile - Colgate’s campaign for Mother’s Day
- #GuacDance - Chipotle’s dance challenge
- #EyesLipsFace - by E.L.F cosmetics where TikTokers get to show their makeup looks
2. Product reviews, product tutorials, giveaways, affiliate links
These usually come hand-in-hand in TikTok campaigns. Although a lot more common for campaigns that feature makeup brands, a wide selection of products has also been promoted through these campaigns.
Influencers feature products, test them out, share their insights and ask their audience to comment or follow for a chance to win the same products. Affiliate links that may offer discounts are usually placed in their bios as well for those who are interested to purchase.
3. Sponsored content
Sponsored content comes in the form of product features centered on the influencer’s creativity. A lot of influencers have promoted sponsored products on their TikTok videos by adding their own flair and distinct style. It may be through a skit, an engaging story, or a video of them with the product.
Benefits of collaborations for influencers
Sponsored campaigns allow influencers to challenge their creativity and capitalize on their reputation and skills as well. Partnerships with brands will grant recognition to influencers as well as increase their value as campaigners.
How To Develop A TikTok Marketing Strategy
Now that you know what TikTok influencer marketing is and its relevance to your brand, let’s tackle some tactics that will strengthen your bid for a successful influencer marketing campaign on TikTok.
5 TikTok Influencer Marketing Tactics For 2023
1. Finding out what trends on TikTok
The most frequent videos on TikTok FYPs are those that are based on trends. These could be a trending song, hashtag, or challenge that everyone has been trying. Identifying what TikTokers gravitate towards and what the similarities are among trends will help you identify specific marketing strategies for your campaign.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the top 5 industries on TikTok in 2022 are the following:
- Home & Garden
- Food & Drinks
These industries have a combined total view of over 1 billion on the platform.
2. Matching your brand’s target demographic with the right influencer
The chances of getting your campaign out there rely heavily on user engagement. You have to get users to watch the entire TikTok video, interact, and share for it to pick up and gather more interactions.
That’s where identifying your influencer’s follower demographic comes in. Which age bracket and what type of followers is your brand targeting? Find an influencer whose audience matches your target customers to aid in securing a successful collaboration with satisfactory results. If you need help, there are a lot of integrated creative agencies that can help you reach your goals.
3. Advertising with information and entertainment
Unfortunately, a traditional advertisement may not give you the desired results. Most audiences tend to scroll away from an ad that appears to be too “salesy”.
So how do you sell your brand without selling it?
You create an organic connection with your audience by producing informational yet entertaining videos.
When you find a TikTok influencer and create a campaign with them, it shouldn’t be as simple as highlighting your brand. It should emphasize how your brand can be integrated into your audience’s lives, important information about your product, and how beneficial it is. Most importantly, it should appear natural.
This will provide their content with a more organic feel that will not only resonate with the target audience but get your brand’s message across as well.
4. Asking your influencer for ideas
Let’s be clear: Letting your TikTok influencer have creative freedom doesn’t mean you don’t get to give input. It’s a partnership after all.
But no one knows their audience better than the influencer themself—this is an advantage you won’t want to skip on.
Exchange ideas with them so you can build a campaign that both speaks of your brand’s mission and the influencer’s creative trademark.
5. Hiring a TikTok influencer Marketing Consultant
Hire a TikTok expert that will brainstorm with you to produce the next viral TikTok video that features your brand.
A TikTok consultant will not only plot content ideas with you, but will also help you develop strategy, run ads and, of course, assist with your influencer marketing campaigns.
The bottom line is: working with TikTok influencer marketing experts will help you save time and money so you can score huge wins without trial and error.
TikTok Influencer Marketing Success Stories
We won’t be wrapping up this guide without mentioning a few of the successful partnerships between brands and influencers that have hit impressive numbers on TikTok.
1. F’real Foods with HaueterFamily
In late 2019, American milkshake company F’real Foods partnered with HaueterFamily for a TikTok campaign.
Ran by Kara Haueter, the HaueterFamily account has millions of followers on the app who enjoy their funny TikTok videos about their day-to-day life as a family.
In the video in partnership with F’real Foods which currently has 1.5 million likes on the platform, they maintained the same humor and charisma that their content is known for.
This collaboration sealed its success with over 120 million impressions for the hashtags #freal and #frealmilkshake and massive growth of the brand’s following on the app.
2. Aerie with Charli D’amelio
One of the most successful campaigns on TikTok is from the collaboration of Aerie, a sub-brand of American Eagle Outfitters, and the most-followed TikTok star, Charli D’amelio.
According to Stacey McCormick, SVP of Aerie marketing, the campaign’s goal was to promote positivity and hope during the quarantine which is in line with the brand’s values.
The concept of the #AerieREAL Positivity challenge which was launched by Charli D’amelio on April 15, 2020, is to have TikTokers share three things they are grateful for during quarantine. Charli’s own TikTok video generated a staggering number of almost 4 million likes and over 20 million views.
Within two weeks of the campaign, Aerie’s TikTok account got over 17,000 new followers and another 16,000 on Instagram which is equivalent to a 1000% increase in the brand’s regular following growth.
#AerieREAL now has over 19 billion views on the platform, and at the peak of the campaign has brought an increase of 855% for Aerie’s in web traffic.
3. Pretty Little Thing
Another campaign that’s been dominating TikTok features the brand Pretty Little Thing, an online clothing store owned by British clothing company Boohoo Group PLC.
The #plt campaign on TikTok which focuses on user engagement has generated over 1 billion views where influencers and TikTokers do PLT hauls, challenges, and fit-checks with clothing from the brand.
Pretty Little Thing has worked with an extensive list of influencers like @sandydianabang and @avani. One of the many videos of the brand’s partnership with TikToker May Goodman has now reached over 370,000 views and 23,000 likes.
The brand’s TikTok account is now at 1.9 million followers and 36.7 million likes with content that boasts its trendy pieces.
Tapping Into TikTok's Influencer Marketing Potential
Engagement is the fuel that drives influencer marketing and TikTok has plenty. In fact, it is the most engaging social networking application with an average session length of 10.58 minutes. Add to that the fact that it now has over 1 billion monthly active users and you get the perfect landscape for massively successful influencer marketing campaigns.
So tap into the huge potential that TikTok influencer marketing brings and be one of the success stories other brands will soon draw inspiration from.