The beginners’ guide to TikTok influencer marketing strategy
The beginners’ guide to TikTok influencer marketing strategy

If your business isn’t harnessing the power of TikTok marketing, it might be missing a trick.

With over one billion monthly active users, the reach potential is astronomical. TikTok for business is now one of the most lucrative marketing tools out there. Businesses can leverage the platform to tap into new audiences, launch viral campaigns, and form deep connections with potential customers.

In an age where consumers crave connection, paid ads just don’t cut it anymore. Almost half of the TikTokers are buying products from the brands they see on the platform. What does this tell us about consumers? Gone are the days of perfectly styled ads. The raw, unedited style of TikTok videos resonates with consumers who are looking for authenticity above all else.

In this article, you’ll find out why your business needs a killer TikTok influencer marketing strategy and how to develop one. Let’s dive in. 

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What is TikTok influencer marketing?

Influencers aren’t exclusive to TikTok. You can find them on every social media platform, from Instagram to YouTube. Interestingly though, TikTok boasts a higher engagement rate for influencers than YouTube and Instagram put together

The reason behind this huge disparity seems to be the use of video content. TikTok is Gen Z’s platform of choice and, with 91% of Gen Z’ers preferring video content, it’s no surprise really that TikTok influencers engage them the most.

TikTok influencer marketing is based on trust. Influencers on the platform who have gained a strong following give their seal of approval on a brand’s product to encourage the loyal followers of the influencer to buy it. There are many ways to generate an influencer marketing campaign on TikTok. The more creative the better. From honest product reviews to viral hashtags to video skits, brands are always on the hunt for new ways to engage audiences on the platform.

Why your business needs a killer TikTok influencer marketing strategy 

A killer influencer marketing campaign can put the spotlight on your brand. Here are five reasons why your business needs a TikTok influencer marketing strategy.

TikTok influencer marketing drives sales

A strong influencer marketing campaign significantly boosts sales, even causing some brands to sell out. Take the Aerie cross-over waist flared leggings. When Aerie’s leggings caught the eye of some top TikTok influencers, the brand sold out in record time. 

TikTok influencers can even make longstanding classics go viral too. The iconic athleisure wear brand Lululemon has experienced significant attention on the platform, causing huge sales spikes. 

After famous TikTokers like @greta_rolli dubbed LuluLemons Define jacket as the equivalent of a Brazilian bum lift, it went viral. TikTokers raved about the sculpting effects of the jacket so much that it has garnered over four million views on TikTok and its own hashtag #lulubbljacket. Despite the Define jacket being around since 2012, TikTok influencers have given it a revival and driven sales for LuluLemon. 

Boost brand awareness for fledgling brands

In an age when creators hold the keys to the kingdom, TikTok influencer marketing can put a new or unknown brand on the map. This was the case for the cookie company, Crumbl cookies.

A few years ago, Crumbl cookies were virtually unknown. Starting off as a side hustle, the founders of the company began doing weekly drops of new flavors. Before they knew it, their TikTok was blowing up and business was booming. The company opened one hundred and forty-nine stores during the pandemic. Their weekly flavor drops prompted a wave of influencer reviews, with top TikTokers such as @nicole.ludwig getting three million views for her weekly Cookie Crumbl review.  

Want to know the best part? Cookie Crumbl doesn’t pay the influencers a penny. The owners pay close attention to the reviews and take the feedback on board, but the viral trend has a life of its own. 

TikTok influencer marketing has been behind some of the biggest viral trends on the platform. Positioning your brand as a trend starter has massive benefits; driving sales, awareness, and reach. The best way to reap these rewards is by jumping on or creating trending TikTok hashtags or starting your own TikTok challenge.

One viral trend that is causing some brands to win big is the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. With over three billion views, the hashtag encourages users to share products they love with their followers. Amazon was quick to jump on the trend. It created the Amazon Finds storefront to feature products that have gone viral thanks to the hashtag.

Tap into new audiences

One of the best things about TikTok is that, unlike other social media platforms, it prioritizes content from creators you don’t know. 

This is advantageous for your business for several reasons. Firstly, it means that any video has the possibility of going viral. This is especially good news if your business is relatively new to the TikTok game. Even if you don’t have a huge following, with the right video content your account could blow up overnight.

Secondly, it enables brands to reach new audiences that they may ordinarily never have crossed with. In particular, TikTok marketing enables your brand to reach Gen Z’ers. As older Gen Z’ers are graduating from college and entering the workforce, their spending power is on the rise. A recent Bloomberg report estimates Gen Z now has around $360 billion in disposable income.

Related article: How to monetize TikTok? Everything about TikTok Creator Fund

Perhaps one of the most talked-about influencer partnerships of the last year is the Hugo Boss and Khaby Lame collab.

In a bid to increase revenue from three billion to four and a half-billion dollars, Hugo Boss has rebranded. The brand split into two separate brands; Hugo and Boss, designed to reach a younger Gen Z audience. The brand enlisted the help of Khaby Lame. Creator of some of the most liked TikToks, Khaby has over one hundred and thirty-eight million followers on the platform.

The campaign plays on Khaby’s signature comedic videos and features behind-the-scenes skits that are already generating huge views. Since launching, the campaign (under the hashtag #BeYourOwnBOSS), has garnered millions of views and introduced younger audiences to the brand. 

@boss

We can all learn a thing or two from KhabyLame: go backstage at our #BeYourOwnBOSS shoot 📷 @khaby.lame

♬ original sound – BOSS

Start lucrative influencer partnerships

Collaborations between your brand and TikTok influencers can seriously boost your chances of going viral. One of the most unexpected partnerships on TikTok is surely the collaboration between Benefit Cosmetics and Crocs. The two brands (who have seemingly nothing in common) delighted us all with their hit campaign #benefitofcrocschallenge. Led by TikTok influencer Manny MUA, the brands challenged users to do their makeup and beauty routines wearing Crocs on their hands. 

The challenge fostered over six million views on TikTok and prompted the limited edition Crocs line to sell out. It may seem like an unlikely partnership, but Manny has close ties with both brands. The TikTok sensation was the glue that brought this powerful collaboration together.

TikTok influencer marketing - Start lucrative influencer partnerships
https://www.tiktok.com/search?q=benefitofcrocs&t=1652804801845 

A guide to running a thriving TikTok influencer marketing campaign

It may not happen overnight, but investing time and resources in creating a foolproof TikTok strategy will pay off for your business. 

To set yourself up for success, follow this step-by-step guide on TikTok influencer marketing. 

1. Research the landscape

The key to success is doing your homework. You need to know the lay of the land if you are going to blow up on TikTok. 

Start by defining your audience. Who are they? Where are they? What motivates them to buy? What stops them from buying? The more you know about who your audience is, the more you can tailor your content to resonate with them. 

Then, get to know your competition. Dive into a rabbit hole and analyze your competitors’ performance on TikTok. Focus on the type of content they post, engagement levels, and what their audience is responding too. That’s not to say you should copy. TikTokers value authentic content above all. However, it provides valuable insight into the direction you should take. 

Don’t stop the research train there. Dig a little deeper and research the content that is performing best on the platform. Get familiar with the trends and hashtags that are getting the most traction and jump onboard. 

This research will help your business to nail down a promotion strategy. 

2. Define campaign goals

Your influencer marketing campaign needs goals. Set a main goal, such as building brand awareness, reaching new audiences, or driving sales. Then, come up with mini-goals to help you achieve this.

When setting your goals, be detailed and realistic. Define a budget for the campaign based on the resources you need. 

3. Create a shortlist of influencers

Now you need to select influencers who would fit your campaign. Picking the right influencers is crucial. Always opt for creators who fit your brand values, audience, and campaign goals.

A pro tip when making a shortlist of potential influencers is to research who is already talking about your brand on the platform. Influencer marketing is based on trust and loyalty, so it makes sense to collaborate with people who are already devoted to your brand.

Another route is to use the research you conducted on your audience to see what type of influencers they are engaging with on the platform. 

4. Connect with TikTokers

Once you have solidified your shortlist, you will need to officially reach out to influencers and open a dialogue.

Transparency works best here. Outline the campaign idea and goals and be upfront about the budget. It is also highly beneficial to get to know who their audience is. This information should be included in the influencer’s media kit.

Rather than sliding into their DMs, check their bio to see if they list an official email address to send your offer to. This way, there is less chance of your message getting lost in the mix.

5. Nurture the collaboration

The most successful influencer marketing partnerships are long-term ones. For instance, the collaboration between Addison Rae and American Eagle.

The secret to a long-term collab is keeping it fresh. Creators are creators for a reason. They know how to go viral. Allowing them to get creative rather than just taking a few snaps with the product or doing a review will keep things exciting. Just think of the collaboration between Dunkin’ Donuts and viral TikToker Charli D’Amelio. The campaign focused on the content of Charli ordering from Dunkin’ and used the hashtag #CharliXDunkinContest. Charli has released two signature drinks, prompting a 45% increase in cold brew sales the day after the launch.

6. Measure results

The final piece of the puzzle is to measure how the TikTok influencer marketing strategy is performing. The best way to do this is by firstly ensuring your brand’s account has TikTok verification and a TikTok Pro account.

A pro account gives you access to a range of TikTok analytics that indicates the success of the campaign. Social media management tools can automate this process, offering your business a quick and easy way to compile valuable data and conduct a proper analysis.

Final thoughts

TikTok influencer marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools your business has to connect with new audiences, increase sales, and boost brand awareness. While it may not happen overnight, a strong influencer marketing strategy will give your business a competitive edge on the increasingly popular platform.

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Nicola Wylie

Nicola is a content writer and journalist with a SAAS focus. She harnesses data to tell compelling stories that inspire action :sparkles: You can usually find her researching the latest SaaS innovations and sharing her insights online 👩‍💻