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TikTok Affiliate Marketing

Published on 01.07.2024 by Tracey Chizoba Fletcher

With over 2 billion uploads and 1.7 billion active users, TikTok has a large audience that brands and affiliate marketers can leverage. This is especially true for products targeting GenZs, as most TikTok users are between 16 and 30. Studies indicate that 29.1% of affiliate marketers use TikTok to drive traffic and promote their affiliate products.

However, before starting affiliate marketing on TikTok, you must understand how it's done. This is important as not all products are suitable for marketing on the platform. The most important thing is to ensure that the product is suited for TikTok's audience. Additionally, there are other things you need to know. This article will guide you on everything you need to know before starting affiliate marketing on Tiktok.


What is TikTok Affiliate Marketing?

TikTok affiliate marketing involves using TikTok videos to promote merchants' products or services in return for a commission. With its unique characteristics, TikTok has become a popular platform for affiliate marketing. First, the app focuses more on videos, creating a unique opportunity for users to create content such as product reviews, user guides, unboxing videos, and more.

To do affiliate marketing on TikTok, you must create videos your target audience will love. You can then insert affiliate links in your videos or on other external platforms. You should also find ways to drive traffic to the affiliate marketing site or landing page.

Experiencing success with TikTok affiliate marketing depends on your content creation strategy and audience size. Here are the steps to follow in TikTok affiliate marketing:

  1. Getting a merchant link. As an affiliate marketer on TikTok, you are provided with a dedicated URL or custom link identifying you as the creator. Sometimes, you might be provided coupons and other discount codes through an affiliate link.
  2. Brand promotion. The affiliate marketer will now promote the brand’s link on TikTok while encouraging the audience to buy the product using their affiliate link.
  3. Earn a commission. The merchant will pay you a commission every time the product users buy the product using your affiliate link.

As an affiliate marketer, you may not always deal directly with the merchant. In this case, you should register with a third-party network that acts as an agent between the merchant and the affiliate marketer. The networks will also connect you with merchants in your niche.

Why Consider TikTok For Affiliate Marketing

Are you wondering if affiliate marketing on TikTok is possible? Here are some reasons to consider it.

Ease of Going Viral

First, the TikTok algorithm is designed to show users the content they are more likely to interact with. That means no matter your number of followers, you can make your TikTok content go viral. With the algorithm prioritizing content that receives the highest number of likes, shares, and comments, there is no better place to reach a wider audience with your content than on TikTok.

Unique User Demographic

With most users on TikTok being younger people aged between 16 and 24, TikTok provides a unique opportunity to market products and services to users in this age group. However, in recent years, older age groups have joined TikTok in large numbers, making it possible to market products targeting them, too.

A Ready Audience

Studies indicate that 40% of TikTok users use the app for product research. Another 55% of TikTok users find products on the platform. Other statistics indicate that every 4 in 10 users buy products after discovering them on TikTok. With such a ready audience, TikTok is a goldmine for affiliate marketers. It means affiliate marketers have an opportunity to present the product buying links when the audience is ready to make a buying decision.

High Engagement Rate

Studies indicate that TikTok has a higher engagement rate than other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. According to one study, users spend an average of 52 minutes daily on TikTok. This means when you promote affiliate products on the app, there are higher chances of users seeing and acting on your affiliate products on TikTok than on other platforms.

Content Style

TikTok is popular for creating short and engaging content. One advantage of this kind of content is that it allows marketers to create short and engaging videos and discussions on products and services. The platform's emphasis on creativity and authenticity aligns well with the informal but more personal approach in affiliate marketing.

Wide Range of Niches

The TikTok communities are centered around certain topics and niches, providing an exceptional opportunity to market to them. No matter your niche, whether beauty, technology, or fitness, you can easily find a community to market products to, on TikTok. 

Ecommerce Integration Capabilities

Recently, TikTok has added features like the TikTok shop, enabling users to sell their products or services directly through the app. If you promote affiliate products, you can now easily include product links and track your conversion data.

How TikTok Affiliate Marketing Works

When doing affiliate marketing on TikTok, you cannot afford to approach it in the same way you do on other platforms. TikTok users are looking for authentic content instead of traditional ads. You also need to adapt your affiliate marketing content to meet the viral type of content TikTok users are used to.

However, even when doing affiliate marketing on TikTok, there are still some traditional best practices you should follow. One of these is transparency and disclosure. When you receive a commission for promoting products or services, you must inform your audience. 

Steps to Doing TikTok Affiliate Marketing

For successful affiliate marketing on TikTok, follow these steps:

Choose Your Niche

Before starting affiliate marketing, you need to select a niche where you will create content and market your products and services. If you already have a large TikTok following, you may already have a niche in mind. But if you don’t, you need to consider the kind of TikTok content you want to upload and if there are products or services you can promote using an affiliate model. For instance, if your expertise is in technology, you can consider reviewing technology products.

Create a TikTok Business Account

You need a business account to add an affiliate link, as it's impossible with a TikTok personal account. Here are the steps for changing from a personal to a business account:

  1. In the TikTok app, click on Profile.
  2. Choose Menu followed by Settings & Privacy.
  3. Choose Manage Account.
  4. Tap Switch to Business Account.

Join an Affiliate Program

After determining a niche and creating a business account, the next step should be to find a good affiliate program to join. Some of the most popular programs include:

  • Amazon Associate.
  • eBay
  • ClickBank
  • Shopify
  • ShareASale

When looking for an affiliate program, search for products that fit your niche. Ensure that the program has great products that you have used before. Consider also the commissions offered by the program. 

Promoting and Adding Affiliate Links to TikTok

When doing affiliate marketing on TikTok, choosing a method for promoting the affiliate links is the most important. There are several ways to promote your affiliate link on TikTok effectively. These are:

Leverage Organic Traffic

The most obvious way to promote your affiliate links is to your followers. After spending months or years growing your TikTok account and probably garnering thousands of followers, you should now leverage this traffic to promote affiliate links. This marketing method is free and offers a long-term ROI.

As noted earlier, TikTok is also a great platform for getting followers because your content will still reach several people, even as a new creator. However, if you are just starting TikTok, you should be patient, as growing an account organically is a long-term process. Here are a few ways of leveraging organic traffic on TikTok affiliate marketing:

Use links to a landing page

One of the challenges you are likely to face when doing affiliate marketing on TikTok is where to place your affiliate links, as it's impossible to add clickable links to videos. Unlike other platforms like Facebook, TikTok doesn’t allow creators to add affiliate links to the comments section.

Even if you decide to type the affiliate link manually, nobody will be ready to do so. You might get a few clicks if you have a short and clear link, but generally, people copying links won't give you the best results compared to users simply clicking on your affiliate link. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid this hassle, such as having an easy-to-click link. 

After upgrading from a personal to a business account, you can use these steps to add a clickable link to your account:

  1. Click on the Me icon at the bottom right corner of your account.
  2. Tap on Edit Profile
  3. You will see an option to add a link to your website. You can input the link to your site, affiliate link, or landing page.

If you have several links, you must choose the most important one, as adding more than one link is impossible. Alternatively, you can create a landing page where you promote multiple products. No matter your method, you can make the most of your links by shortening them.

Connect other social media profiles

While adding multiple links to your TikTok account is impossible, the platform makes adding links to your other social media accounts easier. To do that, you should follow the same process explained above. However, after you click the Me icon, you should scroll down to the section dedicated to adding the social media links.

While you can only add Instagram and YouTube links, these social media sites can offer an opportunity to market your affiliate links. The links will appear as social buttons on the platform.

Add a URL in video descriptions

We mentioned earlier that this method is difficult because TikTok doesn't allow you to add the link in the description or comment section. Therefore, your only option will be to type the link in the description. However, many affiliate marketers are still using it, and there is no harm in trying it.

Mention URLs in videos

Even if you cannot add clickable links to your video description, that doesn't mean you cannot mention them in your videos. You can then ask your audience to type them manually into their favorite browser. You can add the link in the caption to make it even easier for them. If you are promoting products that add value to viewers, there is no reason they shouldn't type the link.

Add links to TikTok stories

TikTok stories are short videos you can add to your profiles to disappear within 24 hours. If you have more than 10,000 followers, you can add clickable affiliate links to your Instagram stories. To add the link, choose Sticker>Link. From the link option provided, enter the URL you want to add.

Give Discount Codes

With many TikTok users looking for deals, one way to lure them to purchase products using your link is to give them discount codes. After all, many people are likely to purchase a product if they feel they are saving considerably. The good thing is that many merchants usually provide discount codes to affiliate marketers.

You can provide the discount codes to your audience by mentioning them in your videos or adding them in your captions. However, you should be transparent when providing the captions so that the audience knows what is in them and the expiration dates of the captions.

Use TikTok Paid Marketing Methods

If you have just started affiliate marketing on TikTok, you will not likely have many followers. That means if you rely on organic traffic, your video may not receive as many views as you would like. 

Therefore, the only option would be to rely on TikTok paid marketing. This involves using ads and other promotion methods to share your TikTok affiliate links. The amount you pay for TikTok ads depends on your bid, promotional methods, and the competition level in your niche.

There are several types of ads you can use on TikTok. These include:

  • Top view ads. The ad appears on the full screen when you open the TikTok ad and is, therefore, a good choice for getting the user's undivided attention. In one of their campaigns, eBay used this kind of ad to reach young people in the UK. Reports indicate they were able to reach over 17 million people.
  • Brand takeover. These full-screen ads are shown to TikTok users immediately after they open the app screen.
  • Branded effects. If you need an ad that engages your audience, consider branded effects. The ad enables the creation and sharing of custom filters, special effects, and filters.
  • In-feed ads. You can embed your videos with these ads in the For You feed. That means users can like, comment, and share your video, making the ad a good option for boosting engagement.
  • Branded hashtags. These ads involve inviting your followers to make UGC using your branded hashtag, which makes them suitable for getting more exposure and making your brands more popular. You can read our guide on why hashtags are key to TikTok's success.

Tips for Success with TikTok Affiliate Marketing

You need to follow several tips to increase your chances of success as a TikTok affiliate marketer. These are:

  • Create videos consistently. As noted earlier, TikTok videos are usually short, with a maximum of 60 seconds. Therefore, ensure you keep uploading content regularly for the best results. This will keep your brand in the minds of your audience.
  • Use video hashtags. Use at least two to three trending hashtags in every video you create.
  • Stay real with your audience. GenZs are the majority on TikTok, and they hate fake videos. They will easily call you out if you don't stay authentic in your videos. Therefore, when reviewing products, provide a true and honest picture.
  • Select affiliate products carefully. Your choice of products will affect your results in TikTok affiliate marketing. For the best results, promote high-quality products with many positive reviews. Since younger people are the most TikTok users, promoting products that target these users is also important.
  • Test different strategies. It is hard to say whether organic traffic or paid ads will give you the best results. You must test different strategies to see what works best for your product.
  • Use appealing visuals. TikTok is a highly visual platform. If you want your videos to get noticed, you need to create videos using high-quality visuals. Stay updated with the latest video and audio trends and incorporate them into your videos.

How to Do Affiliate Marketing on TikTok as a Seller

For sellers, the affiliate marketing model has several benefits. One of these is that the program requires minimal investment. If you are a seller trying to do affiliate marketing on TikTok, there are several steps you need to follow.

Create an Affiliate Offer

You should start by considering the product you plan to sell using the affiliate product model. Then, you must decide whether this TikTok marketing method will be for one product or your entire store.

Develop a Program

You can set up an affiliate marketing program using an affiliate management app. Alternatively, you can join an affiliate network that connects you with TikTok content creators. One advantage of joining an affiliate network is that it can handle most of the handwork, such as recruiting affiliates and even running the programs. Its main downside is that it will cost you more.

Most networks usually charge a setup fee and a commission on each sale. If you don’t have the time and resources to set up an affiliate program, you should work with an affiliate program. But on the other hand, you should consider the number of sales you need to make to recoup your initial investment.

Recruit Affiliate Partners 

If you are working with an affiliate program, you don’t need to recruit partners as they join through the platform. However, if you run the program yourself, you will recruit affiliate partners. One way of doing that is by advertising the program on your social media sites and other platforms, such as email lists. 

You can also send target messages to creators in your niche on TikTok. When searching for creators, make sure they are popular with your target audience and their brand aligns with yours. They should also create high-quality TikTok videos relevant to your product or services.

Manage Affiliate Partners

After you have recruited affiliate partners, familiarize them with your products and services. If your budget allows it, you should provide sample products for them to use in your videos. You should also provide them with all the necessary resources, such as product banners, visual assets, and other marketing products. Ensure that your affiliates are creating high-quality content that can easily drive sales.

Final Thoughts

As a relatively new app, TikTok offers an unmatched opportunity for TikTok affiliate marketing. However, before running your campaign on the platform, you should remember that it has a very young audience, and some products may prove irrelevant to them. You must also be creative when adding affiliate links since the app focuses more on the younger demographic. If you are new to TikTok affiliate marketing, our guide will help you get started.