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How to Start Affiliate Marketing on TikTok

Published on 08.06.2024 by Tracey Chizoba Fletcher

TikTok is one of the most popular social media sites, making it a great option for affiliate marketers and influencers. The video-driven platform allows you to promote your product and services through various simple but creative tools.

However, affiliate marketing on TikTok differs from other platforms as it has a different audience and unique features. This article will explain affiliate marketing on TikTok and how you can leverage the platform to ensure success.

What is Affiliate Marketing on TikTok?

Affiliate marketing involves promoting another company’s products for a commission. When you sign up for an affiliate program, you are given a unique link with a code that tracks the number of sales made using your link. When promoting the product, you will reference the link with a code in your videos on TikTok, hoping someone clicks on the link.

You are paid a commission every time a user buys a product using a link you share. When doing affiliate marketing, you must ensure you promote your products where your audience is. There are usually four parties in affiliate marketing, namely:

  • Merchant. The product owner promotes a product using the affiliate marketing model. The merchant could be the product manufacturer or a retailer who also decides to sell their inventory through the model.
  • The affiliate network is the intermediary between affiliate networks and marketers. The affiliate marketer promotes the merchant's product, sending the consumer to an affiliate network’s link. Sometimes, instead of dealing directly with affiliate marketers, merchants usually go through an affiliate network.
  • An affiliate marketer. This is someone who signs up with an affiliate network and commits to promoting the merchant's product in return for a commission.
  • Consumer. This is the party that will watch the TikTok videos created by the affiliate marketer and ultimately buy the product.

Why You Should Consider Affiliate Marketing on TikTok

With over a billion active monthly users watching over 167 million hours of video every minute, TikTok is a platform worth using to promote products or services. Besides, unlike what many think, TikTok users aren't afraid to spend money. In 2021, Sensor Tower reported that TikTok was the highest-grossing non-gaming app, with users spending over $110 million.

With an audience demographic younger than 30, TikTok is a place to share affiliate links for products targeting that niche and drive free traffic to your product. When doing so, the most important thing is to promote products that appeal to your TikTok audience. 

Don't just promote a product because it has a high commission. Instead, focus on a product with a higher chance of making a sale. There is no point in promoting a product or service targeting seniors when their numbers are negligible on the app.

Getting Started on TikTok Affiliate Marketing

Here are the steps to follow with affiliate marketing on TikTok:

Determine your niche

If you already have a large following on TikTok, you should go with the niche which you are already creating content on. However, if you are a beginner, you may need to begin by searching for a niche

This will determine the kind of content you will create and the target audience of your affiliate videos. For instance, if you plan to create videos about the latest gadgets, you may want to visit Amazon, Shopify, and TikTok to find if there are enough products to promote.

Create a TikTok business account 

A TikTok Business account is one of the requirements you need before starting affiliate marketing on TikTok. The reason is that it will give you access to the platform’s advertising tools. A business account is an excellent choice for creatively engaging people and it will give you access to a suite with tools such as Workspace, Analytics, Activity, and Support.

The Analytics will give you an overview of your account. The Workspace provides promotion tools in the TikTok app to enable more people to discover your content. These tools direct people to your link and increase your chances of getting followers.

To upgrade your account to a business account, tap your profile icon on the bottom left of your screen. This should be followed by Settings and Privacy, followed by Manage Account. You should finally click on “Switch to Business Account”.

Join an affiliate program

After setting up a business account, you must find a good affiliate program to join. Some of the most common affiliate marketing programs are Amazon, Shopify, and more. Here are the factors to consider when choosing a TikTok affiliate marketing program:

  • Goals and niche. We noted earlier that the products you promote will depend on your niche if you are already creating videos. When choosing a program, you should ensure its products align with your niche.
  • Product and services. Before joining an affiliate program, research the products you will be selling. Ensure that your product or service is of high quality.
  • Commission rate. Consider how much you will earn for every sale you make. Select a program with commissions that are worth the effort. Most affiliate programs have commissions that range from 5% to 50%. However, you should remember that higher commissions don't always mean high returns. Some programs will have slow-moving products. Others, like Amazon, have low commissions, but since the eCommerce store is a well-known brand, their products move faster. This means you make more sales.
  • Your audience. Consider your audience’s needs and whether they will find the products you promote relevant and useful. 
  • Consider the cookie duration. Cookies are small files stored on a user’s device after clicking an affiliate link. The cookie duration refers to when the cookie remains on the user’s device. A longer cookie duration means you will still be paid a commission if the user buys when the cookie is still active. You can, therefore, be paid a commission if the consumer purchases weeks after using your affiliate link.
  • Reputation. Consider also the reputation of the affiliate program. Take time to go through reviews of other affiliate marketers for the program. You don’t want a situation where you put a lot of effort into promoting a product but end up losing your commission to a scam affiliate program.
  • Consider promotional materials. What kind of promotional materials is the Affiliate marketing program offering you? Do they offer banners, affiliate links, and email templates to make marketing the products easier? Consider whether the quality of the materials is high and whether it will appeal to your audience. Ensure that the program has tracking codes for the promotional materials. This will make it easier for you to track your sales.

You can also contact brands directly, asking them to promote their products and services for a commission.

Steps to Do Affiliate Marketing on TitKok

To start doing affiliate marketing on TikTok, here are the steps you need to follow.

Driving organic traffic to your TikTok videos

When doing TikTok affiliate marketing, the most important part is driving traffic to the merchant’s page. To do that, you first need to build an audience to which you can market the merchant's products. But the best part with TikTok is that you don’t need a large audience for the platform to recommend your videos. Even if you have a few followers, the platform will still recommend your videos to people in your niche.

However, it's important to ensure that you understand the TikTok algorithm and the factors it uses to recommend videos to users. Here are a  few ways to make the social media site recommend your videos organically to get more views and impressions on TikTok.

Add hashtags to videos

In many social media sites, hashtags help categorize, tag, and search for content. On TikTok, hashtags also help to categorize your content and improve your view count. However, you need to be strategic when using hashtags on TikTok.

You must use popular hashtags that are highly relevant to your niche. This will help your videos reach a new audience. Here are a few tips you can use to find the right hashtags for your videos:

  • Research the hashtags that your competitors are using.
  • Type hashtags on your videos and let the platform suggest the rest.
  • Check for trending hashtags on the For You Page.
  • Use a tool like TikTok Hashtags.

You can read our guide on why hashtag performance affects Tiktok's success.

Create a series of videos

You can leverage previous content to create well-performing videos. If a video performs well, you can turn it into a series. With the TikTok playlist, it's easy for users to view all videos in a series.

Use popular and trending music

One element that holds the attention of TikTok viewers is the music. Listeners are often stuck to a video with trending music. The music keeps them hooked even when the video isn't fascinating.

Follow viral TikTok trends

TikTok Trends offers you an excellent opportunity to gain traction for your videos. The trend could be a challenge, dance, or meme. If you execute a challenge well, the chances of the video going viral increases, and, therefore, the visibility of your videos increases.

But how do you find viral trends on TikTok? The best way is to spend considerable time on the platform. Check your competitors' and brand's accounts to see the kind of content they create. By spending a bit of time scrolling on the platform, you can find the content that is going viral. Creating such content will help you increase your TikTok growth rate.

Understand your target audience

When you understand your target customers, you can focus on creating content they will love. If your audience loves your content, they are likely to engage with it, share it with their friends, and follow you.

To understand your target audience, begin by creating a customer persona. This is a profile of the kind of person you are trying to reach. It gives you a good understanding of the type of content each person is likely to consume.

Another measure you can take is to analyze your competitors. What are they posting? What kind of posts are receiving the highest engagement? Once you find out this information, consider what parts of their strategies you can incorporate.

Post at the right time

One factor that will affect your posts' visibility is the posting time. There have been several suggestions on the best time to post on TikTok. Here are the recommended times according to Sprout Social:

  • Tuesdays: 2-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 2-5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 3-5 p.m.

However, it's important to note that the posting time isn't set in stone and will depend on factors such as the industry and the brand.

Cross-promote your videos

Don't depend solely on TikTok to promote your videos. Instead, you should cross-promote your videos on other platforms. Some places where you can share your TikTok videos are Instagram stories, Instagram reels, or YouTube shorts. You can also share links to your TikTok videos on X.

Partner with influencers

Another great strategy for reaching an even bigger audience is partnering with a well-known influencer. When TikTok users see a famous face promoting a video, they are more likely to view it and even share it. You can also have the influencer create and post content for your brand in their account. Their viewers will likely tap over your profile and start watching some of your videos.

Create a lot of TikTok content

According to TikTok, you should post at least two to four times a day to maintain the momentum required to grow your TikTok account. A good idea would be to create your content in batches so that you have enough to share for a few days or weeks. This will help maintain the number of views your account receives. Besides, create a content calendar showing what to post and on which date.

How to Promote Your TikTok Affiliate Marketing Link

Most TikTok users are Generation Z, but the platform still has many Millennials and Generation Alpha. Therefore, when creating TikTok videos, you want to ensure they appeal to these generations. You need to establish a clear niche for your account and create videos that appeal to that niche.

For instance, there is no point in sharing your affiliate product links on car accessories in a channel that focuses on creating videos on teenage beauty. Again, GenZ doesn't like watching traditional advertising. Therefore, you need to find a way to naturally include links to the affiliate products in the video. That is easier when you choose products that your viewers are interested in.

Use the link in your bio

One of the drawbacks of affiliate marketing on TikTok is that it's impossible to include links to the affiliate products in the caption. Fortunately, you can get creative and add the link in your bio. A business account will enable you to add an affiliate link to your bio.

To do that, you should click on Profiles, followed by Add your link. Instead of adding your website link, you can add the unique affiliate link to the product you are promoting. To add an affiliate link in your bio:

  • Go to your profile page
  • Tap on Edit Profile 
  • When you get to the website, click to add your affiliate link

You can reference the link in your bio whenever you post a new video. Remember to update your affiliate link for each product you post. If you are promoting different products, you can add several links simultaneously. 

A good idea you can try is to create a link to a landing page in the bio. This will enable you to promote multiple products at the same time. There are many tools out there that can help create a landing page. One is Koji, which has a template that will enable you to sell more on TikTok.  

Use TikTok paid advertising

If you are struggling to get views on your TikTok videos and you don't have a sizable following, one option you can consider is to leverage paid traffic. However, even with a considerable following and your videos appearing in the For You section, you can reach a bigger audience using paid advertising.

On TikTok, paid advertising works similarly to Facebook and Instagram ads. For your ad to be shown to viewers, you place a bid. You can bid for the infeed ads if you want your video ad to appear in the For You Section. You can target certain viewers according to their demographics and psychographics. The amount you pay will depend on the bids for your preferred slots. Here are the different ad options to consider:

Top view ads

One ad that will quickly get the viewer's undivided attention is the Top-view ad. These ads consist of full-screen ads lasting a maximum of 30 seconds. They have an autoplay and sound feature. However, they are usually more expensive and may not bring a good return on your advertisement unless you are among the top affiliate marketers. Businesses such as eBay use this to reach their Genz audience.

In-feed ads

Infeed ads are a good option if you need an ad that provides a seamless advertising experience. The ad consists of videos of up to 60 seconds, allowing viewers to like, comment, and even share the video. This makes it a good choice for boosting TikTok engagement.

Branded takeover ads

These are usually full screen ads shown to viewers when they open the app. This type of ad can be in different formats, such as 3-second jpegs and 3 to 5-second videos. One benefit of these ads is that they are usually very interactive and encourage viewers to take specific action. They are, therefore, a good choice for asking your viewers to click on your affiliate link.

Branded hashtags

This involves inviting your audience to create content under your hashtags. The ads are a good choice for different advertising goals, such as:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Providing more exposure
  • User-generated content

The main goal is to turn your brand’s hashtag into a viral advertising campaign. When using the campaign strategy, you should share a video of a dance skill with a hashtag. You can then invite creators to recreate the video and share it using the same hashtag.

Users will likely take up the challenge if your video is original and eye-catching. You should reward the winning videos to attract more users and encourage more engagement.

When creating a branded hashtag campaign, follow these tips:

  • Stay natural. To add an organic taste, ensure that the campaign feels natural.
  • Understand the TikTok trend. Ensure you remain updated on the most popular trends and topics that align with your brand's image.
  • Stay original. There is nothing wrong with creating a challenge on a trending topic. However, you should recreate the content to make it unique. For instance, you can use unique music and choreography
  • Use humor. Humor sells on social media. Therefore, you should add an element of humor to your branded hashtags.
  • Maintain simplicity. If your challenge is too complex for those participating, it might discourage people from participating. Therefore, ensure that it's easy to enroll and participate. People should be able to join in the challenge from home without buying anything.

Branded effect

This ad type is a good choice for entertaining your audience and increasing brand engagement and awareness. You can create and share custom filters, stickers, and other special effects with this ad type.


As one of the fastest-growing social media sites, TikTok offers a unique opportunity for affiliate marketers. It is, therefore, one of the best platforms for marketing your affiliate links. However, since the platform is more about images and videos, sharing an affiliate link and driving traffic to your landing page can be tricky. Fortunately, reading our guide should make it easy to do so. We also recommend you read our article on TikTok metric guide.