Influencer marketing makes a personal connection with consumers like no other marketing tactic can. It’s a perfect fit for lifestyle brands in the consumer packaged goods and direct-to-consumer markets. Over the past decade influencer marketing has steadily gained in importance. Today’s consumer responds more favorably to marketing that’s subtle, personalized, and that radiates authenticity. Think about it. Aren’t you more eager to purchase a product when someone who shares your interests, personality, or values tells you they found it helpful?
TikTok is the trendiest of the big time social media platforms today, featuring products recommended by all types of individuals who have talent for creating content that resonates with their audiences. Want to learn how to set up a successful influencer marketing campaign on this hot new social platform? In this post I’ll share some tips on how to best optimize an influencer marketing campaign on TikTok.
Why TikTok for Influencer Marketing?
TikTok is one of the newest, fastest growing, viral social media platforms. It’s popularity has exploded with Gen Z and Millennials. Recently in the past year we are seeing Gen X quickly adopting the platform as well.
The Drum posted an article outlining reasons this optimal channel for influencer marketing is taking off. It’s perfect for creators who make informative, creative, and entertaining video snippets. Incorporating soft sell promotions in a way that captures attention is similar to the strategy of TV commercials with TikTok it comes off in a much more authentic way.
Pros and cons of influencer marketing on TikTok vs other social platforms
- Less competition for user attention – Other social media platforms have been around for some time and are cluttered with a wide variety of brand promotions. It’s easier (and cheaper!) to capture the attention of your target audience on a newer platform like TikTok.
- Higher engagement rates – TikTok users pay attention and get involved with what they see because the short-form, snackable video content is viral and attention grabbing.
- Realism and a natural demeanor is expected and preferred – audiences are not expecting a perfect presentation.
- There is a wide range of products and content on TikTok – but less competition from similar brands in any one field at the present.
- Influencer rates on Tik Tok are less expensive compared to other social platforms. TikTok brands have partnered with popular influencers who reach more users and cost way less per view than Instagram influencers.
- Long term sustainability has yet to be proven, but TikTok continues growing rapidly. After surviving last year’s public scrutiny around user privacy concerns, the app’s future looks very promising.
- Click to buy feature isn’t there, yet, but engagement levels of viewers bode well for conversions and TikTok is constantly adding new features to keep up with the other big platforms.
- The platform’s popularity began with young people with less purchasing power, but the platform’s following is quickly expanding from Gen Z to Millennials and beyond. There are now more than enough working professionals with purchasing power on TikTok getting influenced by brands who are willing to work with influencers to put out quality content.
Guidelines for TikTok Influencer Marketing
Post content consistently
Your brand should be posting content consistently to its TikTok account if you’re working with influencers. And working with influencers is essential. Post every day if possible on your brand’s channel. The key to videos going viral on any social channel and TikTok especially is to post creatively and frequently.
If people like what you post, that means they want more. Don’t let your followers down. Don’t make them wait. You may miss your chance at captivating them for the long term if they become distracted by videos from other competing brands and their influencer networks.
It’s not just about your influencer’s content. Your audience wants to see that your brand participates on TikTok too. When a new lead learns about your product from an influencer, the next logical step for them is to checkout your brand’s content to see if they resonate with your brand attributes and voice. Don’t leave them hanging with an empty channel lacking content or they are likely to exit your funnel at the top.
Differentiate your brand with video and music
Reap big benefits with video in all of your marketing. It serves as a differentiator, since most brands aren’t posting videos to social platforms to promote their products. TikTok specializes in featuring short video clips. You want to have your brand’s own channel if you’re considering working with influencers, and you want to ensure your channel is putting out consistent content.
Posting consistently and using influencer marketing wisely as detailed in this Forbes post are the keys to success in promoting your brand on TikTok. The best content uses viral songs in combination with creative and entertaining video content. What other content types matter on TikTok? Read on:
Paid ads on TikTok
TikTok offers several options for paid advertising. But only in-feed video ads are currently available to self-service advertising customers.
In-feed video ads
This standard ad format allows a video to be embedded that auto-plays within a user’s” For You,” feed. The ad can be up to 60 seconds in length – though optimal time is around 15+ seconds. The video plays with sound activated. It looks and feels like native content, since the same user interface is used as that for organic posts.
These are videos that appear on the For You page news feed of a user. Somewhat resembling native TikToks, they blend well into the feed. Craftily-designed in-feed video ads are a great way to build your brand. A great strategy is to take your top performing influencer content and amplify it through ads.
Branded hashtag challenges
A means to promote your brand by asking TikTok users to videotape themselves in a specified situation. After creating the video, they are directed to post it and label it with a designated hashtag.
Hashtags should be chosen carefully. The focus of the challenge should somehow subtly showcase the brand. The ads are placed near the top of the Discovery page. Clicking on the hashtag transports visitors to a TikTok collection featuring the same challenge.
Challenges are great because they promote maximum engagement and have the potential to go viral if the creative behind the challenge is top tier.
Trending hashtag challenges
A type of hashtag challenge focusing on a trending topic – which occurs when a brand asks people to tag their posts, in which they perform a specific task using a special hashtag. These challenges can go viral, if you follow some tips for creating and launching a successful challenge. Just remember to always feature your brand.
Full-screen, three to five-second videos, these ads appear when the app is opened by a user. They also show up in the For You feed. A clickable hashtag or website can be included.
Top View ads
These ads are displayed on the full screen. They can be 60 seconds and are on delayed play, they don’t begin with an app startup.
These are custom stickers. Pre-prepared video can be enhanced with AR filters and lenses. Something resembling Instagram’s AR filters, each new branded app is available for 10 days.
(Video) Highlights from the Voyager electric vehicles campaign on TikTok and YouTube
Must-haves on TikTok
Continuous advertising will help people remember your brand. That’s why it’s important to amplify your YouTube influencer campaign to gain even more brand and product awareness.
Do your research on what’s trending, create a share worthy hashtag, remember to keep a subtle focus on your brand or product. A memorable and entertaining presentation with the right audio, clear guidelines and properly promoted can be picked up by the TikTok algorithm which will work wonders for brand awareness.
Use a hashtag
Hashtags send cool messages between users, and the TikTok algorithm revolves around them. Create the coolest and catchiest hashtags you can think of.
Make highly sharable content
Sharing is free advertising. Why not take advantage by making sharing simple?
Use trending music
A trending song at the right time can really bump up your views. The analytics tab in a TikTok pro account can be a source of valuable information regarding what’s trending. Not only the trending tunes from an overview of all TikTok users, but the tunes people who follow your brand listen to, can be accessed via this tab.
Be sure you have the rights to any music that you use for advertising and that includes music that your influencers use. There are free music libraries available or you can purchase the licensing rights to use trending music.
Find creators whose main focus is TikTok
TikTok is a specialized site. The best results will be obtained for your influencer dollars by choosing influencers and creators whose focus is posting on TikTok.
Always make authenticity a priority
You don’t want your ads to seem artificial. Whatever makes your influencer’s happy, that should be your priority. TikTok is all about being real, authentic. Users appreciate sincerity and innocence.
Give creators flexibility on content
Creators who know TikTok and current trends may have a better idea of how to best represent your brand. In the end, you are in charge of the content for which you are paying. But your artists, if they are true specialists, must have free rein to create.
TikTok Wrap Up
Since TikTok is relatively new to the scene, many influencer marketing software platforms haven’t caught up yet and can’t capture results. It takes a specialist in influencer marketing to help you get the most out of your influencer campaign on TikTok. Contact us to discuss how to get the most out of your influencer marketing program.
About the Author: Kristina Coughlin
Kristina is an influencer marketing expert with a focus on direct-to-consumer brands. She’s the Founder and Operations Director at Get Hyped, the leading influencer marketing agency connecting lifestyle brands with their target audience. Check out her LinkedIn content for more influencer marketing best practices and tips. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinacoughlin/