TikTok became a preferred platform for users to share and watch short entertaining video content during the worldwide lockdown and it continues to be the best-performing app in 2023.
TikTok, similar to Instagram in the early days is a platform especially populated by content creators rather than brands, where creativity is the reigning demand.
Given this, it makes sense why brands would want to use TikTok influencer marketing. Influencers on TikTok can help brands in creating more authentic content, increasing exposure, and gaining the trust of their audience.
Let's see together how TikTok influencer marketing really works.
TikTok influencer marketing: everything you need to know
The benefits of leveraging TikTok influencer marketing for your brand
3.1. TikTok influencer marketing can simplify content creation
3.2. TikTok influencer marketing can make the UX less disruptive
3.3. TikTok influencer marketing can help increase sales
How to plan a TikTok influencer marketing campaign?
4.1. Set your TikTok influencer marketing campaign goals and budget
4.2. Find the right TikTok influencers for your campaign
4.3. Reach out to TikTok influencers and brief them about your campaign
4.4. Ship out your products and approve of the created content
4.5. Measure your TikTok influencer marketing campaign’s success
What to consider when planning a TikTok influencer marketing campaign?
6.1. Focus on building long-term relationships with TikTok influencers
6.2. Manage your expectations
6.3. Don’t be afraid to experiment with TikTok influencer content
1. Digital marketing on TikTok vs. TikTok influencer marketing: what is the difference?
TikTok influencer marketing uses well-established social media profiles to advertise a brand's products and services to its engaged TikTok followers.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, involves a brand promoting itself on TikTok or its other channels.
That being said, which strategy should your brand leverage?
There isn't really a right or wrong response to this question.
Suppose you already have a well-established social media presence. In that case, you should consider dipping your toe into the TikTok influencer marketing industry to enhance your brand's online profile and attract new clients.
If you're new to TikTok or other platforms, it would be good to build an online presence first. Otherwise, influencers won't have anything to base their promotion on or anything to link back to.
Ultimately, your brand will experience constant success if you can strike the ideal mix between using influencer marketing and digital marketing.
2. Does TikTok influencer marketing work?
Brands frequently publish branded content or sponsored ads on their own TikTok accounts. Although this is a good strategy, influencer-generated content typically receives more interaction.
And with an average engagement rate by views of 6.72%, TikTok is currently the highest performing social media app in 2022 and, without a doubt, the best platform to use for influencer marketing.
But how does TikTok influencer marketing work?
Influencers provide native content, and by integrating them into your TikTok marketing plan, you can leverage them to produce additional native content that appeals to your target audience, increasing brand awareness and, ultimately, sales.
Influencers on TikTok are also well-versed in the main topics of conversation on the platform and can help you understand what matters to your target audience.
3. The benefits of leveraging TikTok influencer marketing for your brand
If you’re looking to boost your digital marketing efforts and reach new clients and niches, you may want to consider the advantages that TikTok influencer marketing can have for your brand:
3.1 TikTok influencer marketing can simplify content creation
Influencers work hard to build their communities.
Influencers are best aware of what their audience responds to. And because of this, they will probably want to create and publish content that is consistent with their personal brand—with your consent, of course.
By allowing key opinion leaders (KOLs) to create engaging content themselves, your team will be able to unwind a little more from content creation and focus on other aspects of your campaign.
3.2 TikTok influencer marketing can make the UX less disruptive
Even marketers acknowledge that scrolling through our feeds and being overwhelmed by ads is not a pleasant experience.
Luckily, TikTok might just be the best app to leverage influencers on.
TikTok influencer marketing can embed these advertisements within organic content that flow naturally, making their presence less obvious.
3.3 TikTok influencer marketing can help increase sales
Research shows that influencers can have an overall impact on a customer's choice to make a purchase.
People respect and trust the opinions of their favorite influencers, which makes them more receptive to advertising from brands.
According to DMI Blog data, 49% of respondents said they have purchased things based on recommendations from influencers.
4. How to plan a TikTok influencer marketing campaign?
Branded content that feels like an overt advertisement is frequently not well received by social media audiences, especially on TikTok—which is all about being authentic.
Being social media natives themselves, TikTok influencers have an advantage over companies. They know exactly how to connect with and appeal to their target audience.
With that in mind, take a look at these easy steps for creating a TikTok influencer marketing campaign:
4.1 Set your TikTok influencer marketing campaign goals and budget
Before starting to contact TikTok influencers for partnerships, you’ll have to consider a number of factors that will dictate the direction of your TikTok influencer marketing campaign.
Start by considering what you want your campaign to achieve, the message you want to deliver, the budget you have, the length of time you want the campaign to run, and the number of influencers you need to engage.
- How to estimate the costs of a TikTok influencer marketing campaign?
TikTok works similarly to most social media networks.
If a creator becomes popular enough, businesses will start to take notice and approach them, asking them to participate in influencer marketing campaigns.
But how much should you pay for TikTok influencers?
The size of the influencer you want to leverage is the factor that decisively influences the campaign costs.
Based on the size of an influencer’s community, Influencer Marketing Hub affirms that the budget may look something like this:
Keep in mind that the price may rise depending on how far you want to push TikTok influencer marketing.
Asking your influencers for exclusivity or paying for the ability to promote and repurpose their videos can all impact final costs.
4.2 Find the right TikTok influencers for your marketing campaign
As a social media manager, there are many methods you can use to select the ideal KOLs for your TikTok influencer marketing campaign.
You can either spend time scrolling on TikTok, look at who your target audience is already engaging with, or use dedicated tools to find talent.
When choosing your TikTok influencers, conduct a marketing background check to determine whether their followers, reputation, and content are a good fit for your brand.
An influencer's likes, comments, and shares might reveal a lot about them. Even though they may receive a lot of views on TikTok, if people discuss their brand negatively in the comments, they might not be the right fit for your brand.
Thus, you must verify if they receive positive engagement on TikTok, have a similar target audience, and share your brand's beliefs and interests.
4.3 Reach out to TikTok influencers and brief them about your campaign
Now that you have chosen your influencers, you can start reaching out to them and informing them of the campaign's message and what the deliverables are.
Make sure you put in some effort into writing your influencer outreach message. A potential relationship might be made or broken by your initial communication with a creator.
You only get one opportunity to leave a good impression. This is why it is crucial to be transparent, introduce yourself, describe the campaign concept, and ask for the usual influencer rates.
4.4 Ship out your products and approve of the created content
If your campaign includes products that need to be shipped out, ensure the products influencers are using in your campaign get to them 1-2 weeks before publishing dates. This will ensure they have enough time to prepare their content.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that you might not have total control over the message.
The content on TikTok is intended to be spontaneous and user-controlled.
Successful TikTok campaigns may involve influencers running with your idea, hashtag, or filter instead of pushing a specific brand message and expecting only certain forms of engagement.
And although you must set clear instructions, you should be cautious about placing too many restrictions on the KOLs.
It would be best if you gave them the creative freedom to make this branded content appealing to their fans. Ultimately, they know best what works for their audience.
Due to their desire to have strict control over their identity and the message they want to convey, many brands may struggle with this element of TikTok.
After receiving the content, you must assess it to see if it satisfies the requirements—before allowing them to post it to their channels.
It's crucial that you get in touch with the influencers in advance and let them know when the best time to post is.
4.5 Measure your TikTok influencer marketing campaign’s success
To determine the effectiveness of your TikTok influencer marketing campaign, you should track TikTok metrics such as reach, views, and engagement such as likes, comments, shares, and saves.
The complexity of implementing and evaluating campaigns with several influencers at once is the top metric hurdle for marketers.
TikTok analytics tools might be helpful in this area as they automatically gather, analyze, and show your data comprehensively.
But—as you’re dealing with more creators at the same time—some data will need to be collected manually.
TikTok creators can also add profile links to drive website traffic and point followers toward retail locations.
At the end of your TikTok influencer marketing campaign, you’ll have to request data regarding the number of link clicks from each influencer.
To determine what type of content worked, track how your budget was allocated, and plan your subsequent efforts, you’ll eventually have to compile all the data into a TikTok analytics report.
5. How to find the suitable influencers for your brand
When you want to design an elaborate marketing strategy that could really propel you in your industry, you know that you’ll need the help of a superhero.
And, in this case, the superhero is an influencer (or more, depending on your needs and budget).
However, finding the right influencers to work for your brand is not always easy. You have to first find out who are the ones who activate in your industry.
Then, you have to check if they are macro, micro or nano-influencers, depending on their number of followers.
You should know that their cost depends on how famous they are and how big their audience is.
If they have a larger follower count and more eyes lie on them, then more and more users will be tempted to learn about your brand.
Usually macro-influencers are used for building brand awareness, showing everyone that your products and services are so trustworthy and the quality of your products is guaranteed by big names.
A specialised tool can help you find out more about an influencer, helping you decide whether collaborating with them it’s the right decision or not.
Let’s take a look at how you could use Socialinsider to “stalk” the influencers you want to work with for your future influencer marketing campaign.
5.1 How to find the best influencers for your brand with Socialinsider
As an example of a macro-influencer, we’ll look at Kylie Jenner’s TikTok profile on Socialinsider, checking all the metrics.
Probably everyone has heard about Kylie Jenner, one of the Kardashian sisters who proclaims herself as a self-made billionaire.
That also reflects in her social media follower count. On Instagram, she has over 386 million followers and on TikTok she has an audience of over 52 million followers.
In the last 12 months, her follower count grew with 52 million followers on TikTok.
Her engagement rate per post increased with 11.4%, the total plays reached new highs, passing over 2 billions.
Then you can see the Posts Evolution, showcasing that she was most active between August 2022 and April 2023.
Her top three posts indicate an engagement rate growth over 18%.
In her posts, she mostly advertises the cosmetics products from her own brand, Kylie Cosmetics.
The macro-influencer is part of the marketing campaigns of the most prestigious brands, from clothing brands to cosmetics and jewelry ones.
She posed and advertised numerous products for Dolce & Gabbana campaigns, Maison Margiela, Jean Paul Gaultier, Schiaparelli, Mugler and many more.
One of the top hashtags she used was #drinkglow since she is currently advertising for a brand named Glow who have these sparkling water drinks with different tastes that also feature health benefits.
Under Followers, you can look at this macro-influencers’ follower growth in the time span you selected in the tool.
The engagement evolution is sky-rocketing, reaching its peak in September 2022 and February 2023.
The metrics that wow in her case it’s the average engagement per day and the engagement per plays rate.
These numbers convince any luxury brand sign a contract with her.
By looking at the time she posted, there are a few time-frames that prove to be the best time to post.
The hour with the most average engagement is 00:00 while the day of the week with the highest engagement is Thursday.
The analysis in our tool also shows the evolution for likes, comments, shares and plays on TikTok.
This data is helpful for brands who are in search for influencers to learn how much their audience likes to interact with them.
Engagement, plays and interactions are some of the most important metrics a brand looks like when analysing an influencer’s TikTok profile to make sure they have higher success rates.
Knowing for sure that your campaign will not fail, but bloom if you choose a certain influencer is a relief for the marketing team.
We also decided to analyse the TikTok profile of a nano-influencer like Kendy Cruzo using Socialinsider.
I entered her TikTok URL here and added her profile in order to analyse it.
The nano-influencer has a little over 5K followers on TikTok, but she signed a contract with a big sports brand, Nike.
During the last 12 months, the average engagement rate per post reached 3.9% while the number of total plays for her videos is 56K.
This nano-influencer uses almost 9 hashtags for every post and it seems to be helpful.
She advertises mostly sports items and shoes from Nike, but also Adidas. Since she is a fitness coach, she actively attends to events dedicated to sports and sport brands.
For her top three posts, the engagement rate starts at 2.6%. Then, in the hashtags section, you can see all the hashtags she used and which were the most engaging ones.
Unfortunately, during the last 12 months, Kendy did not register follower growth.
For a brand who researches an influencer, the Engagement section is the most important one. Here you can see the engagement evolution by month.
It seems that the values of TikTok engagement topped in October 2022 for this account. The best time to post for Kendy is 17:00 while the day with the most engagement is Thursday.
Next, you can see the evolution for all interactions like likes, comments, shares and plays. These are other important metrics that can help you figure out how engaging this influencer’s posts are and how their audience interacts with the posts they see.
6. What to consider when planning a TikTok influencer marketing campaign?
Even though many brands have decided to leverage TikTok influencer marketing as part of their overall social media strategy, they are unsure about what to do.
To ensure the success of your TikTok influencer campaign, make sure you follow the advice below.
6.1 Focus on building long-term relationships with TikTok influencers
Your communication with the TikTok influencer must clarify from the very first outreach message that you value long-term partnerships as a brand.
Building solid relationships with the people you collaborate with can help you get better influencer content, a more enjoyable experience for the audience, and ultimately higher engagement and ROI for the brand.
Since influencers are actual people, developing loyalty and trust is essential to any successful relationship.
The tone and quality of an influencer's content will immediately reflect how they feel about the companies and goods they promote.
When an influencer repeatedly supports a particular company, their audience grows accustomed to seeing that brand in their daily lives and routinely consuming that brand's content.
By being a natural part of their life, building long-term relationships with influencers can assist you in converting those same audiences into devoted consumers.
6.2 Manage your expectations
It is crucial you manage the expectations of your TikTok influencer marketing campaign.
Once you decide how many influencers you need to collaborate with, contact at least twice as many. Some won't necessarily want to collaborate with you, and some won't even reply.
6.3 Don’t be afraid to experiment with TikTok influencer content
Once you've secured the partnerships, it's time you let the TikTok influencers get to work and create the desired content.
On TikTok, your content can look very different from the one on other social media channels.
When influencers eventually share their content, it may not be 100% what was agreed. Remember that influencers should have some creative flexibility when working on your projects.
Experiment and think outside the box.
7. Examples of brands that are leveraging TikTok influencer marketing
Are you wondering how other brands manage to plan effective TikTok influencers marketing campaigns?
Let's explore two of the most successful examples of brands that are leveraging TikTok influencer marketing.
One of the most creative businesses marketing online is Red Bull, which has established the standard for viral videos and shown best practices for managing its own social media pages and video channels.
The brand collaborates with influencers on several platforms.
On TikTok, Red Bull recently collaborated with influencer @keeoh on a campaign on which he posted a video on TikTok that stated he would use Red Bull in a magic show. This allowed the brand to use illusions and captivating graphics to sell its products efficiently.
Aerie is a brilliant example of a brand using TikTok influencer marketing to expand its reach and start TikTok trends.
Aerie employed collaborations with influential TikTok users in one campaign using the hashtag #AerieReal to boost digital sales by 75% in a single quarter.
The brand has also worked with TikTok influencer Charli D'Amelio to launch a sponsored hashtag challenge with the hashtag #AerieRealPositivity.
With over 51 million followers on her account at that time, the influencer earned more than 3 million likes and almost 22 million views on her campaign video.
Most Aerie influencer campaigns inspired TikTok users to engage by uploading a video, using the branded hashtag, and identifying themselves as community members.
Marketers find Gen Z notoriously challenging to engage because of their complete scorn for anything resembling traditional advertising.
This is why social media managers leverage TikTok influencer marketing to avoid being too pushy while selling on TikTok.
With studies suggesting that viewers are more likely to convert based on word of mouth, TikTok influencer marketing is a segment of the marketing sector that is constantly expanding.
Hopefully, you found this article helpful and now feel more confident to go into the world of influencer marketing on TikTok.
Are you ready to give TikTok influencer marketing a try?