Influencer Marketing and TikTok: What You Need to Know
There’s no brand that can survive without some type of marketing. And the most basic requirement of effective marketing is to target the people who are likely to become customers. Otherwise, you’ll waste time and money reaching people who are never going to become customers, no matter how great your marketing campaigns are.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, you have to think a little further into who you work with and who will be reached by the campaigns you run:
- The influencer you work with has to appeal to you. You have to like the content they post and have a satisfying professional relationship where you’re both happy with the deal you strike.
- That influencer also has to appeal to your target audience and they have to be effective at influencing the behaviors of their followers.
If your audience is on the younger side — 30 and under — TikTok is a prime place to advertise your brand, and influencer marketing is a worthwhile way to do so.
The Major Benefit of Influencer Marketing
The prime benefit of working with an influencer is that you can market your business in a way that’s not overly sales-y. Traditional advertisements essentially get ignored in 2021, especially by Generation Z. Influencer marketing is a workaround for this because you can promote your products or services in a way that audiences lap up. Influencers have fans because they love and want to hear what they have to say, which is just about the opposite reaction to a traditional ad.
Building an Audience With Influencer Marketing vs. Ads
There is definitely a way to market your business on TikTok without influencer marketing. And you may find that some of those non-influencer strategies really work for you. It’s possible that you’ll use only influencer marketing, only non-influencer ads, or a combination of strategies.
Where influencer marketing really shines in comparison to ads is in audience quality. Influencers have sizable, dedicated audiences. The marketing budget you spend on influencer marketing may have a better return-on-investment (ROI) than a traditional ad because there’s a more reliable and captive audience.
Also, while we’re definitely not saying that ads aren’t effective, they could work better for you if a user sees one after hearing about you through their favorite influencer.
Choosing Influencers to Work With
Influencer marketing will only work for your brand if you pick the right influencer (or influencers) to partner with. Here’s what you need to consider.
Do you both have the same audience?
Your core audience has to be on TikTok, and that audience has to share demographics with the influencer’s audience. That goes beyond age and into gender, interests, and even the actions they tend to take on content (commenting vs. clicking, for example).
For example, if an influencer gets a lot of comments but doesn’t often post links or coupon codes, you won’t want to work with them if you’re trying to drive traffic or sales (but you may want to work with them if you’re looking to increase brand awareness).
Does the influencer create the “right” types of videos?
This is relative because the “right type” of video is what’s right for your business — there are tons of video types that can work on TikTok, depending on the creator and audience.
Let’s say you’re in the beauty niche. You run a company that sells minimalist skincare and haircare products. You may want to work with an influencer who talks about wellness and how minimalist products factor into an overall healthy lifestyle.
You won’t necessarily want to work with a makeup vlogger who posts how-tos if your content is more lifestyle-focused and your audience is less concerned with makeup tips and tricks. There may be similarities in your audiences, but the type of content posted won’t necessarily appeal to your target customers.
Do they have an active and engaged audience?
Don’t fall into the trap of only working with the biggest and most popular influencers on the block. Smaller influencers have their perks, too. First, they often charge less (if they charge anything) than massive influencers, so if you have a tight budget, a micro-influencer may be your best option. Second, a small audience can still be a highly devoted one. You could get a lot of clicks, follows, and/or sales from a micro-influencer post if their viewers are loyal.
TLDR: Choose an influencer based on more than the follower count vanity metric.
The Number One Way to Encourage a Long-Term Relationship
Want to work with the influencer time and time again in the future? Give them a ton of creative control. Influencers get as popular as they do by honing their content to appeal to their audience. Long story short: They know what they’re doing, and they don’t need you to tell them how to create a great post.
Now, you can have some guidelines for the content — they’re marketing your company, after all. Maybe you want them to promote a specific product or service. Maybe you want them to include a coupon code or information about a limited-time sale. You may even want them to mention a certain word or phrase that’s in line with your branding. Otherwise, though, try not to flex too much control over the content they post.
Influencers don’t work for you; they work for themselves. You need the influencer more than the influencer needs you; popular marketers turn away offers all the time. In order for a brand and an influencer to have a beneficial relationship, both parties have to get something out of the deal. And if you’re micromanaging the content they create and post, they’re not even enjoying the best part of the process: creating.
Brian Meert is the CEO of AdvertiseMint, the #1 Hollywood-based digital advertising agency that specializes in helping successful companies advertise on Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Tiktok. AdvertiseMint has managed millions of dollars in digital ad spends in entertainment, fashion, finance, and software industries. Brian is the author of the best-selling, The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising, a contributor to Newsweek and Forbes, and a thought leader and speaker.