EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TIKTOK MARKETING
TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform in the world right now, and enjoys huge popularity with the under-30 crowd – in fact, 41% of users are aged 18-24 – so TikTok influencers and TikTok influencer marketing have very quickly become big business.
With that in mind, we’ve put this guide together to help you get the most out of your TikTok influencer marketing campaigns, so you can either hit the ground running or streamline and optimize your existing campaigns for the best possible results. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us, too – we’d love to help.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is a video platform that lets users create, upload and share videos up to 15 seconds long. It’s a deceptively simple premise that combines the features of a pure-video app like YouTube or Vine with social media features, and gives content creators access to a host of video editing tools to use. It enables anyone to be a creator, and gives existing creators a quick and easy platform to distribute their content, resulting in a constant stream of hilarious, touching, cringey, and most importantly, addictive videos.
Who’s Using TikTok?
As of July 2020, TikTok had over 800 million active users across the world, making it a more popular social networking site than Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Pinterest, despite only launching in 2016. The app has been downloaded over 2 billion times, and, as we mentioned above, 41% of those users are aged between 18 and 24. In the US, there’s an even stronger slant towards young users – this graph from Wallaroo Media shows over 60% of TikTok users are under the age of 30!
Safe to say, that’s a valuable demographic to target – but how can we reach them?
Why You Should Use TikTok for Influencer Marketing
TikTok’s young, trendy audience is a double-edged sword for advertisers on the platform –Generation Z are notoriously hostile to anything that looks like traditional marketing. This makes paid ads and straightforward marketing campaigns difficult, but that youth, creativity and trendiness gives marketers a fantastic workaround: influencer marketing.
No matter what platform your brand is using, influencer marketing campaigns work best when the influencer’s audience matches your target audience, so if your brand appeals to young people, creatives and followers of the latest trends, TikTok could be the perfect ground for a campaign. TikTok also happens to have a large population of successful and popular influencers at every level, from micro-influencers all the way up to mega influencers with followers in the millions, so you’ll be able to find influencers whose personal brands and follower interests mesh well with your brand.
It’s possible to market on TikTok without influencers if you want to go that way instead – but it’s much harder and more unreliable than on other platforms due to the demographic of TikTok users. Building a large enough audience for an official company account can be challenging and time-consuming, and the paid advertising placements may have trouble connecting with their audiences. By contrast, employing the right influencers essentially outsources your marketing to local experts, who already know their viewership, what works, and how to engage fully with their followers.
Using TikTok influencer marketing, you aren’t tied down to trying to build an audience, and don’t need to worry about coming across too “salesy”, like you would with native videos on an official brand account. In fact, as a general rule, the more open and authentic the partnership between brand and influencer, and the more creative freedom the influencer has, the better for the campaign.
As a quick tip, your team should keep an eye on your engagement metrics during and after the influencer marketing campaign – they’ll provide some great data on which audiences are worth retargeting to later.
How To Find The Right TikTok Influencers For Your Marketing Campaign
One rule we always go by is to know your audience, and always choose the right influencers for the brand. The first and most important question to ask before beginning a TikTok campaign is “is the target demographic even on TikTok?” Brands that sell to a young, stylish and possibly female-leaning audience are likely to do well in that calculation.
If your audience can be found on TikTok, you can then start to think about what sort of content they like. Music? Beauty tips? Fashion? Athletics? Lifestyle? Comedy? One of the advantages of TikTok’s short-form video format is variety, and there are influencers in every niche. Once you know what niches are most likely to equal marketing success, you can start looking for successful influencers to partner with. Always remember that relevance is more important than reach, and partner with the influencers whose audiences most closely match your target demographics!
The Four Rules Of Finding Great Influencers
Working with influencers has a lot of advantages, but there are potential downsides. Brands need to carefully vet their potential partners to avoid embarrassment or wasted budget, and the responsibility is entirely on them to do so. It’s also a partnership, and it needs to be treated like one to work, which is why it’s vital to find the right partners. We’ve put these four rules together to help provide a framework for success in finding influencers for your brand.
- Know What Will Impact With Your Audience
If your target audience is on TikTok, there will be influencers who resonate with them – not necessarily the influencers with the biggest followings, but those whose passions and creative direction makes them the most impactful for your target audience. Influencer marketing is about meaningful engagement, and influencing a viewer’s buying decisions – so a wide-reaching but shallow campaign won’t cut it.
- Do Some Influencer Research
TikTok is still a very new platform, and information about the top creators in certain niches changes all the time, but it’s still a good idea to do some detective work before you reach out to an influencer. Targeted Google searches can be a great way to gather preliminary data and get a feel for the current landscape of the TikTok influencer scene, and searching for specific niches like fitness or photography can narrow the options down enough to make more informed decisions about who to reach out to. Just make sure you’re reading the most up-to-date articles!
- Search Trending Hashtags On The Discover Page On TikTok
Use TikTok’s mobile app to more easily search for specific users, keywords or hashtags – on the Discover page, you can quickly search through any keywords or hashtags that you’re interested in, and you can even sort them by tabs including “Top”, “Users”, “Videos” and “Hashtags” for easier searching.
- Look For Existing Influencer Marketing Campaign Content On TikTok
Open and authentic partnerships between influencers and brands is very common on TikTok, and by searching for the hashtag “#ad”, you can very quickly find video content that’s been sponsored by brands. Use that tip to find existing influencer content, look at which influencers are most successful and most relevant to you, and get a much better idea of who to reach out to.
How To Work With TikTok Influencers: Things To Keep In Mind When Setting Up An Influencer Marketing Campaign
Once you’ve found the right influencers for your campaign, you can begin collaboration with them – here are a few things to keep in mind in order to get the best possible results from your influencer marketing campaign.
Influencers Need Freedom To Be Creative – TikTok influencers became influential in the first place thanks to their creative abilities and vision, and it doesn’t do any good to stifle that in a creator you’re working with. Sponsored content will resonate much more with their audiences when the creators are allowed to be creative, so trust their process and what’s worked for them and let them do their thing!
Ownership Clauses In The Influencer Contract – you may be helping the influencer create their content, but they’re the main creator and the one putting the content out into the world, so if you want to repurpose or reuse their content, make sure to explicitly state that in the initial agreement with the influencer or otherwise get their permission.
The Brand Messaging Directive – it might seem obvious, but it’s important to inform content creators of the main goals of a campaign, and the message you want them to convey. It’s worth clearly communicating this at the start, since it’ll save you time in the long run and prevent wasted effort and budget on both your side and the influencer’s.
Deliverables – what are you envisioning from the campaign? What talking points, key messages, visuals and format do you want from the creator? Establishing this helps make sure your expectations and the delivery line up, and the campaign actually goes the way you need it to go!
Set & Communicate Deadlines – Clear deadlines for the deliverables on the campaign mean you can schedule it properly, and it will run as planned. These deadlines can include the duration of the campaign itself, deadlines for content delivery, and the dates and times for the content to be shared, and make sure the campaign runs on time.
Exclusivity – You should outline a timeframe in which your influencers won’t also work with your competitors. The responsibility is on you to do this – making sure that the influencers don’t work with competing brands in the same timeframe helps keep their messaging effective and makes sure you don’t lose campaign momentum to a rival.
FTC Disclosure Rules – TikTok influencers have to clearly disclose that they’ve been sponsored to create a piece of content in order to comply with FTC guidelines. This usually means using the hashtag #ad, although other wordings may be necessary instead. Make sure you’ve talked about what your influencers need to be compliant with these guidelines.
How Can A TikTok Influencer Marketing Agency Help You?
Simply put, a TikTok influencer marketing agency can do all of the work outlined above for you, so you don’t have to! With existing databases and information on influencers, existing relationships with them and expertise in the creation and management of winning campaigns, a TikTok influencer marketing agency like Sociably can run much more efficient and cost-effective campaigns than your team could run in-house, freeing your staff up for other important work.
The information in this guide is a great start to running an influencer marketing campaign on TikTok, but it’s also just the tip of the iceberg – working with an established agency in the field means you’ve got access to their accumulated expertise and dedicated tools that otherwise wouldn’t be available, and it’s all focused on creating the best campaign outcomes for your brand.
Contact Sociably Today
If you’re interested in learning more about TikTok influencer marketing, and what a specialist influencer marketing agency like Sociably can do for you, get in touch with us today! We understand the nuances and subtleties that define the influencer landscape on TikTok and across many other platforms, and can handle every stage of the campaign from inception and planning to casting, content creation and campaign-end results.
You can reach us at any time on +44 (0)20 3488 1770, or by using the direct message form on our Contact Us page.