TIKTOK

The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Influencer Marketing

Daniel Cruz

By Daniel Cruz
11 min READ | Oct 1 2022

TikTok influencer marketing is gaining more ground as both this social platform and influencer marketing expand. The two are seemingly made for each other because both thrive on authenticity, creativity, and viral content.

There's a reason why everyone is racing to be on TikTok - the platform has more than 750 million users at the moment of writing this article.

And let’s face it; if the Washington Post is ravaging TikTok with its comedy skits, your brand can do it too.

Washington Post's TikTok account
Washington Post's TikTok account

You just need to find out where to start. This ultimate guide to TikTok influencer marketing will tell you how to leverage TikTok in your next campaign. We’ll take you through all the steps, show you examples, and discuss strategy.

Is TikTok Good for Influencer Marketing?

Most people associate TikTok with a teen demographic, but that’s not entirely true.

According to Comscore, the 20-39 generation represents 46% of the social network's user base, while teens represent 32.5%.

That means TikTok has hundreds of millions of users with significant purchasing power.

Another advantage is that those people make purchase decisions according to influencers’ recommendations.

There’s another thing to consider:

Those younger generations will soon grow up to have significant purchasing power too. According to Forbes, this generation will shortly amount to 40% of all consumers.

And Gen Z hates traditional advertising.

Warning: The worst mistake your company can ever make on TikTok is to post ads that look traditional, like they came out of a print ad or a TV advert.

That’s why influencer marketing is best for TikTok. Content creators on this platform:

  • Are outstanding at storytelling
  • Keep your brand messages authentic
  • Address a broad and loyal base of followers

Sure, you can try creating a TikTok business account and promoting your brand in the traditional way. However, you won't have the same success as a personal influencer account.

That brings us to the following question:


How Does Influencer Marketing Work on TikTok?

Let’s see how TikTok influencer marketing works and how you can use it - with some practical examples.

Who Is Your Audience?

A white board with arrows pointing to the word "Audience".
Before anything, determine your target audience on TikTok. (Image source)

The key with any TikTok influencer marketing campaign is to understand your audience and their needs, including:

  • The products they like
  • The messages they prefer
  • The content they look at
  • Their problems
  • Their needs
  • Their wants

These factors are essential because you can’t simply list your product features in TikTok ads. Instead, you have to focus on the benefits for your target audience - what do they gain? It's not about what you think you solve.

The thing is that each segment of that audience is interested in distinct advantages. At the same time, they all dislike traditional ads.


Here’s the solution.

Allow more flexibility and independence to your influencer partners. Remember that these content creators have broad, captive audiences that listen to them for a reason.

So, use their credibility, charisma, and expertise to your advantage.

Pro tip: Let go of the script, but don’t give up total control of your messages:

  • Establish ground rules with your content creators. Be specific about elements you want to include in their messages and the details you absolutely don’t want to see, as well as the ones that have to be included.
  • Think of all worst-case scenarios that can happen after starting your TikTok campaign. Next, think of different solutions that you can apply during these crises - because they just might happen.
  • Ask your influencers for feedback. Even before outlining your campaign, ask these content creators about their audience’s preferences, patterns, and so forth. Make sure you keep an open mind, even if it’s something you don’t want to hear.

How Do You Find Influencers?

Finding suitable influencers isn’t always easy, even though TikTok is full of them. To find TikTok influencers, you could try to:

  • Search for influencers by keywords or popular hashtags. You know your company’s industry, right? Let’s say you’re making/selling ergonomic pillows. Input specific keywords in TikTok’s Discovery Page, such as “sleep,” “home-sweet-home,” or “bed.”
  • Analyze TikTok’s lists of top active users. Check out the Top 100 Users list if you have a large company. Otherwise, look at the Top 5000 database to see if you find a match with your brand.
  • Search for location-based relevant hashtags. If you run that pillow business locally, you want people coming into your store and touching your products. The tactile experience is paramount when buying ergonomic products. Use the TikTok search function to input your city’s name or the name of a local influencer you Googled previously.
  • Use search engines. Type what you’re interested in into Google and see what pops up.

Warning: These methods above work well, but they take a lot of time. The problem is, after short-listing a few influencers, you’ll have to check their audiences to ensure they fit your target. Next, you’ll have to send them messages to see if these content creators want to work with you. Then, you’ll want to agree on a budget.

There’s a quicker solution, though:

You can try an influencer platform such as inBeat. inBeat, for example, reunites many content creators from different fields. These professionals have captive audiences and know how to use social media for marketing. And of course, our search engine is very intuitive; all you have to do is input your search criteria to narrow down on your choices.

A screenshot of inBeat fast influencer search tool.
An influencer search tool is a quick way to navigate through a network of influencers.

Besides, inBeat’s influencer database is completely free.

Try it now, and you can get the right influencers in minutes.

How to Drive ROI

That’s probably the most important question because you’re not advertising on TikTok for the sake of advertising. You want to increase your gains and expand your company.

Here’s how you do it.

First, ask yourself what types of content work well on TikTok. Your best performance indicator is share-ability. The TikTok videos that people—your people—share the most are the ones they resonate with. These clips can be:

Two young women recording themselves doing a dance.
The right type of content on TikTok can drive ROI. (Image source)

It’s essential to know your target audience first to create appealing content those people will engage with.

Below is a rundown of TikTok content that works the best for a variety of different audiences. You can use these ads in combination with your influencer campaigns:

  • In-feed ads are short-form video ads that fit into TikTok’s format. You can adapt these ads to your target based on primary demographic factors like age, location, and gender. These ads cost $10/impression, so you need about $6,000 to start your campaign.
  • Brand takeover ads. These ads are the most actionable and get users to your landing pages directly, but they’re also the most expensive. Prepare a $50,000 budget/day.
  • Challenge ads. These ads work like regular challenges on TikTok, with one difference: they promote your branded hashtags. As a result, you’ll raise awareness and receive tons of user-generated content that you can repurpose. Don’t forget to send users to a page with precise instructions for a successful UGC strategy on TikTok.
  • Shoppable ads. These ads give your challenges a shoppable dimension because people can click on the Explore tab after visiting your hashtag-challenge page. This tab has a “Shop Now” feature that sends people to your website’s landing page.

Influencer marketing ads should take the center stage in your campaign, though.

This video content should generate:

  • A high level of engagement: measured particularly in the quality of the comments you receive and the number of shares. Likes and views take second place.
  • Positive brand sentiment: measured by the number and quality of brand mentions and the user-generated content that becomes viral.
  • Conversions: measured in the number of sales, sign-ups to your newsletter, or downloads.

Pro tip: If you want to achieve these results, make sure the content created and distributed by your influencer is:

  • Authentic
  • Relevant
  • Relatable
  • Inspirational
  • Original

This type of content will soon become viral, which means your brand will become a trendsetter.

Start with your audience’s needs, beliefs, and problems to get it right!

TikTok Influencer Marketing Strategy

Your influencer marketing strategy on TikTok will be very similar to your other campaign strategies. Here are the six steps to take.

Research

This preliminary step will set the tone for your entire campaign. It’s also the cornerstone that will establish your success, so:

  • Understand your brand’s values, personality, and history
  • Figure out your audience, what they care about, and how they address those problems. Your audience’s language is equally important because you’ll have to speak in terms that appeal to these people when you craft your messages.
  • Learn about your competitors. You want to see how they’re performing and what strategies they’re adopting. Try to find an unoccupied niche in your consumers’ minds, meaning a problem that’s left unaddressed. That will help you come up with your unique selling proposition.
  • Learn about TikTok. If this channel is entirely new for you, research it to see what content performs best.

Goals

Set specific and realistic goals that fit your business objectives. For instance, you can:

  • Drive more UGC
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Encourage more downloads
  • Improve sales

These goals should be based on a precise sales funnel. One example is the Awareness-Consideration-Action model.

In the first step, you attract attention to your brand by using relevant influencers. In the second step, consideration, you have to engage your potential customers. The people that become loyal to your brand at this step will be genuinely interested in your products. Finally, the third and final step gets people to decide.

Don’t forget to set clear KPIs that tell you if you’ve reached those goals.

Influencers

Research different types of influencers in terms of their:

  • Track record
  • Previous content
  • Engagement (you can use an engagement rate calculator)
  • Relationship with your audience
  • Shared values and interests

Warning: You may think the number of followers is an important metric, but it’s not as relevant as the factors above. While it is something to consider, a content creator’s following count alone does not indicate their quality as a potential business partner for an influencer campaign.

A screenshot of inBeat TikTok engagement rate calculator, a great tool for influencer marketing.
A high engagement rate is a great indicator of an influencer’s relationship with their audience.

Message

Set clear guidelines regarding the posts you want these influencers to create and allow them enough creative freedom to sound authentic. You can highlight these details in your Influencer creative brief. Remember that your messages should:

  • Speak your audience’s language.
  • Create a connection between you and your potential customers.
  • Make you number one in people’s minds, without your brand becoming too intrusive or too evident in the actual message.

Gymshark’s 66 Days: Change Your Life Challenge is one of the best examples. TikTok users had to pick a fitness goal and document their before-and-after progress. This challenge worked because:

  • Gymshark chose six popular influencers that together had a sizeable audience of 19.8 million people.
  • TikTok users had a precise task with an obvious goal.
  • It motivated people because they felt like being part of a community. They also wanted to show off their hard work and bask in their peers’ success.
  • Gymshark used a tangible motivation, too: one year’s worth of Gymshark supplies.

The results speak for themselves, as Gymshark got:

  • 45.5 million views
  • 2 million likes
  • An engagement rate of 11%

Warning: Make sure these messages are FTC-compliant to avoid any legal issues.


Channels

Although TikTok takes center stage in this strategy, you can repurpose the content created for this social media platform. To maximize your UGC marketing efforts, you can repost user-generated content on other social media channels or business emails. You can mention your influencers on your website, or you can congratulate a specific customer at an in-person event.

A smartphone with various social media apps, such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.
You can repurpose TikTok content on other social media channels. (Image source)

The world is your oyster, so remember to leverage that content you’ve already created to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Target a larger audience
  • Reinforce connections between certain keywords/concepts and your brand
  • Remind people of your products
  • Snowball specific ideas that help your brand become viral

As a result, you will become top-of-mind in your customers’ minds, reinforcing people’s purchase decisions. That means your loyal fans will always choose your brand instead of the competition.

Measure Results

It’s essential to measure any campaign’s results to see if you have reached your desired objectives. That way, you can continually optimize your strategies and improve success.

Honing your methods and your partnerships is essential, so remember to stay flexible and objective.

To simplify the process of tracking your campaign, you can use an online tool, such as the Pulse tracking software.

A screenshot of inBeat Pulse tracking software.
inBeat’s Pulse tracking software is an enormous time-saver.

In Conclusion : How to Slay TikTok Influencer Marketing

TikTok is one of the best channels to create engagement and become viral. It’s also a fantastic short-form video platform to funnel users into becoming loyal customers.

However, you have to know how the channel operates and understand your fans. That’s the only way to pick relatable and suitable influencers to address your target.

That’s challenging if you’re just beginning your TikTok journey. To ensure your campaign runs smoothly, you can reach out to an established micro-influencer platform, such as inBeat.

Plus, our comprehensive influencer database is free. You can try it today, and we can also schedule a no-cost call to discuss specifics about your influencer marketing strategy.

Try inBeat.

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