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Steps to Influencer Marketing on TikTok

Published on 30.06.2024 by Tracey Chizoba Fletcher

Most TikTok users are young people, between ages 14 and 30. This age group is averse to traditional advertisement, which means you must be creative to reach them. One option you should consider is influencer marketing.

Young people follow their favorite celebrities closely, and therefore, you can use this knowledge to your advantage. Instead of creating a traditional ad, you can use an influencer to promote your products or services on TikTok. This article will take you through everything you need to know about influencer marketing on TikTok.

What is Influencer Marketing on TikTok?

Before we define the term, it's important to understand who an influencer is. An influencer is a social media user with a large following. However, the following can range from nano influencers with 10k followers to mega influencers with millions of followers. 

Influencer marketing on TikTok involves collaborating with an influencer to market your brand, product, or services. In return, you can pay the influencer in monetary terms, products or services, or any other agreed compensation. The goal is to leverage their audience to market your brands to them. Partnering with an influencer can also help your brand to promote its products and services without appearing too salesy.

Before engaging the TikTok influencer, you must make a deal with them. For instance, you might agree on the number of videos they must post for the payment. You might also agree to pay them using an affiliate marketing model on TikTok.

Why Use Influencer Marketing on TikTok?

It can be expensive working with a TikTok influencer. However, there are also many good reasons to use influencer marketing on TikTok. These include:

Enhance TikTok Brand Engagement

There is a high chance that the influencer you want to engage with has a higher following than your brand. That can be attributed to the fact that nobody wants to follow a nonexistent person with a logo. On the other hand, influencers such as Ronaldo have already made a huge impact on and off social media, making many people follow them. 

Even smaller influencers often have a niche audience interested in their content. That means when influencers start talking about your products in their posts, it's easier for them to drive engagement than a brand represented by a logo. Therefore, when you use a TikTok influencer, more people will know about your brand and buy it.

Increase Brand Authenticity

One of the things that GenZs hate is brands that project fake images. Studies indicate that TikTok's authentic content is quite popular. This means authentic brands will likely gain customer trust, increasing loyalty and customer retention. When people see their favorite followers posting about your brand, they are more likely to view it as authentic. However, you need to ensure that you work with an influencer whose image is aligned with your brand.

Boost Sales

When you post about your brand, those following you are the only ones likely to see it. If possible, TikTok might recommend your post to others on the For You page, but that isn't guaranteed. On the other hand, when an influencer posts about your brand and tags you, your followers and theirs will see the post. That will expose your brand to more potential customers, thereby increasing your sales.

How to Do Influencer Marketing on TikTok

Here are the steps to follow when doing influencer marketing on TikTok:

Understand Your Audience

Before you search for an influencer, you need to know who you will be marketing to, and their interests and needs. To determine your audience demographics, you can go through your TikTok analytics. You can also use various third-party tools such as SproutSocial and Hootsuite to get insights into your audience. These tools will show you some key information, such as:

  • Age, gender, and location of your audience.
  • The time when they are online.

You can create a user persona to understand your audience better. Once you understand your audience, finding an influencer best suited for reaching such an audience will be easier.

Set Goals

Determine the exact goal you want to achieve with the influencer marketing campaign on TikTok. You can have one goal or several of them. Some of the goals that many brands usually have include:

  • Gain a particular number of TikTok followers.
  • Increase sales.
  • Brand awareness.
  • Increasing customer loyalty.
  • Hype a product launch, etc.

The more specific you are about your goal, the easier it will be to design your influencer marketing campaign and track results. Remember that some goals cannot be quantified. For instance, you might want to connect with their followers and build a rapport with them. You might also be seeking to build a rapport with the influencer.

Choosing an Influencer for Your Brand

This is one of the most important steps as it will determine the success or failure of your campaign. Therefore, we will dive deeper into it. So, how do you find the right influencer? There are several factors to consider. These are:

Subculture and Niche

We have mentioned the importance of choosing an influencer whose image aligns with yours. The first thing to consider when deciding whether they align with your brand is their niche. For instance, if you are a fashion brand aiming to expand into Australia, you should work with Australian fashion influencers.  

Remember that subcultures are an important part of TikTok; therefore, you should consider them, too, as they help users find the kind of content they are interested in. This refers to people who share a common interest and style and make content around that interest. Subcultures usually have their niche content and hashtags. Examples of popular TikTok subcultures are:

  • FoodTok is for people who create recipes.
  • BookTok is for people who love books.
  • FitTok is for fitness enthusiasts

You need to consider the subcultures in which your business best fits. To find your culture, you can look for a hashtag for that subculture, such as #Foodtok.

Do Competitor Analysis

An easy way of finding an influencer is by looking at who your competitors are working with. You can search for their brand name on the TikTok search bar and see the videos appearing in the search results. It might not be a good idea to approach the same influencer. However, it will hint at the influencers you should work with.

Use Keywords

Reports indicate that most GenZs use TikTok primarily as a search engine. That means they usually enter a keyword in the TikTok search bar to find content, sounds, hashtags, places, and more. You can also enter a keyword or hashtag related to your brand on the search bar to see if you can find an influencer.

Check Trending Hashtags

To find trends on TikTok, users search for trending hashtags. You can see some of the popular hashtags on the For You page. You can check the hashtags that are recurring most. When you find a popular hashtag, you will be shown some popular influencers using it. You can then click on them to see the kind of content being created around them. 

Again, you can use the search bar to find trending hashtags. You will see several topics under what you may like. These are some of the trending hashtags. Finally, you can visit the TikTok Ads CreativeCenter. Go to Trends followed by Hashtags to see some trending hashtags.

Leverage Influencer Marketing Tools and Marketplaces

Some tools such as Tagger and Collabstr are great places to assist you in getting an influencer. Besides finding an influencer, you can use such tools to manage influencers by completing other tasks, such as setting up TikTok campaigns and paying influencers.

The influencer agencies on TikTok can do away with the hard work of searching for an influencer on your behalf. They can help you find a good influencer, create a contract for both parties, and handle the campaign details. They, therefore, ensure a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship between you and the influencer. 

Some of the most popular influencer marketing agencies are Single Grain, The Shelf, and The Influence Agency. You can also leverage influencer agencies on TikTok, such as Upfluence and BrandWatch.

Cost of the Influencer

Remember that an influencer with many followers will charge more than another with fewer followers. However, if your influencer marketing budget is small, this doesn’t mean you cannot collaborate with an influencer. Instead, you can work with micro and nano influencers.

Remember that even a smaller influencer can provide great results. In fact, some studies indicate that a micro-influencer with a highly targeted audience can deliver better results than a large influencer with a large but general following. Therefore, you can consider partnering with several micro and nano influencers to increase your brand’s reach and engagement.

Vet Influencers

Before hiring an influencer, perform a background check to determine if their followers, content, and reputation will fit your brand well. Check their branding, number of followers, and content quality. Some of the questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Does the influencer get positive engagement? The number of likes, comments, and post shares an influencer receives will tell you how popular they are. At times, an influencer can get a lot of views and impressions on TikTok. However, if they get many negative comments, they may not fit your brand well. Similarly, if their videos receive a lot of views but no shares, it shows viewers don't like them.
  • Can they bring potential customers? Consider whether the influencer has the potential to bring potential customers. They may have millions of views, but if the viewers have no interest in your products or services, they may not be a good fit.
  • Their values and interests. Do these match your brand? Check their previous TikTok videos and their names on Google. If the creator contradicts your brand's value, they may not be the right choice to work with.

Discuss Your Expectations

Remember that disagreements are always real when two or more parties are involved. You need to avoid such in advance. To do that, you should be transparent with each other and ensure you have established a clear and measurable goal with the influencer.

On the other hand, be direct about the payment you want to make for the service. Ensure that you understand the type of content the influencer will create. If you expect them to deliver metrics showing the campaign's performance, be clear in advance. Also, clarify with them if you want to see and approve the content before it goes live. It is good to find examples of campaigns from other brands or influencers you love to give them an idea of your expectations.

As noted earlier, you should communicate your expectations to your influencers while giving them creative control of your videos. Remember that the influencer understands the TikTok platform better than you, so you should give them more freedom. Again, authenticity is important in TikTok advertising. If you want a polished video, you are better off going with a traditional ad.  

Additionally, if the influencer reads from a script, their dedicated followers will know. Therefore, do not remove the influencer’s creativity when making your videos more polished. Studies show that allowing a TikTok influencer the freedom to decide the content style creates better ad performance.

Therefore, when partnering with an influencer, you should limit yourself to:

  • Providing the main goal of a campaign and if there is an overarching message.
  • Key details of the campaign, product, or service and what should be mentioned or omitted.
  • Campaign timelines and content guidelines.
  • The tone of the message.
  • Do’s and don'ts.

A good brief should be informative and leave the influencer excited about working on the project. You will also negotiate the compensation and sign the contract during this step. However, aim for a mutually beneficial partnership that balances the influencer's efforts with their compensation.

During the onboarding process, remember also to create a contract stipulating the terms of engagement. The contract should set the foundation for a transparent and professional relationship and reduce any risks. When you agree and sign the contract, you can be assured that you and the TikTok influencer are on the same page.

Collaborate on Content Creation

An influencer is creative and should lead in the content creation for your brand. Otherwise, you are better off creating an ad if you only want their role to read a script. Providing them with guidelines on the kind of content you want is fine. However, when doing that, you should remember that they are also a brand, and their followers love them because of the kind of content they create.

The personality of the creator is an asset that your business should leverage. As you try to make your brand known, the content should promote the influencer’s brand. Some of the popular content types you can collaborate on are:

Trend Videos

These videos are usually very popular for a short time and are based on a popular hashtag, song, or topic. Creating trend videos encourages other users to join the trend with their unique angle. You can agree with the influencer on TikTok to join an existing trend video or create your trend.

Challenges are a type of trend video that is quite popular on TikTok. They usually encourage TikTok users to try out something and post their videos doing it, using particular hashtags. If you create a challenge and enough people are doing it, this can increase the chances of making your TikTok videos go viral.

Educational Videos

Many brands assume that TikTok is all about dancers and jokes with no serious content. However, this is not always the case, and helpful educational videos are also quite popular. Many users are seeking helpful information, from tax advice to those seeking how to make a pizza.

You can also partner with an expert influencer to create content for your niche. For instance, a toothpaste brand can partner with a dentist to educate people on how to brush their teeth. A blanket brand can also partner with a doctor to advise people how to sleep better. No matter your niche, the possibilities of collaborating with an expert are endless. 

Ongoing Content

One way of increasing engagement on your TikTok videos is by creating videos in the form of a series. Instead of standalone videos, you can create stories or a several-step guide. If you are in the gaming niche, you can partner with an influencer who tries out different games while narrating their experience. Other types of videos you can have the influencer create are:

  • Unboxing videos.
  • Sponsored influencer post.
  • Giveaway competition.
  • Product collaborations.
  • Affiliate marketing.
  • Brand ambassadorship.
  • Seasons campaign.

From the above options, ensure that you agree on the type of content the influencer will be making and their approach. Remember that the more diversity you have in your videos, the better your chances of success. The type of content you choose will also determine if you will achieve your goal.

Therefore, you can try different approaches if you are working with several micro-influencers. Before the influencer starts creating content, ensure they have everything they need for a successful campaign. These include product samples, content guidelines, promo codes, and affiliate links where necessary..

Amplifying Your Content

Once your influencer market campaign on TikTok is live, you must amplify the content during and after the campaign. You can share the videos on all your social media channels, not just TikTok. You can also share the videos on your websites or in your newsletter, either as they are or when repurposed. Doing that will get the campaign in most people's eyes.

You can also use paid campaigns to promote your TikTok videos and amplify the campaigns. This can include TikTok Promote and other forms of ads. However, if you are taking this direction, ensure you budget for this when considering your influencer marketing ad spend.

Measure Results

No marketing campaign should be completed without measuring results; this isn't different for influencer marketing on TikTok. After the campaign is live, the next step is to measure results. Check the TikTok metrics to see the influencer's impact on your campaign and whether it has reached its goal. This can also provide insights into the ROI.

When tracking KPIs, you should look at the metrics related to your campaign goals. Some of the common success indicators on TikTok are:

  • Brand awareness. To measure such, check video views and a branded hashtag’s reach.
  • Engagement. Check for video likes, comments, shares, and saves on TikTok.
  • Conversion. You can measure the traffic to your site using a trackable link or a promo code that the influencer shares on their site.

By looking at the analytics, you should figure out if the campaign worked or didn’t. You can then use the experience to decide whether to work with the influencer in the future and to make the next campaign even better. When you find great results by working with an influencer, you should nurture that relationship.

Remember that it can be hard to track the results of an influencer marketing campaign, and that’s why brands choose to use an influencer marketing platform. These platforms come with various tools, such as promo code generators, content measurements, and campaign dashboards, providing you with the necessary data. 

Final Thoughts

Influencer marketing on TikTok is a great and versatile advertising method. No matter the campaign, it can be adapted to fit your audience and industry and help you achieve your goal. However, each campaign is completely different, and therefore, there is no script to be followed in influencer marketing.

However, there are common steps that brands can use when finding, hiring, and working with an influencer marketer. We have listed those steps in this article. By following our guide, you can see success with your influencer marketing on TikTok.