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TikTok Influencer Marketing [The Ultimate Guide]

TikTok is all over the place with its energetic dance videos, emerging celebrities, and many viral challenges.

With so much attention this platform is getting, as a digital marketing manager, business owner, or influencer marketing agency, you have probably thought about how brands can benefit from TikTok influencers and how you can include them in your content marketing strategy.

If that is the case, then our guide is exactly what you need, as we will cover everything from A-Z for you to be able to do influencer marketing on TikTok.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-sharing app with its origins in music and singing. It originated in China as two different apps – Douyin, a video hosting network, and, which had lip-sync functionality fans used to sing to their favorite songs.

At one point, these two merged into a single entity – the TikTok app. The service still carries its old name Douyin in China, though, and appears as a separate download in app stores.

TikTok focuses on short-form videos (they used to be limited to 60 seconds in the past, but TikTok soon lifted it) and gives its users a basic form of navigation by scrolling the video up or down for the next or previous one.

If you are wondering who the TikTok users are, let us break them down for you.

What is TikTok’s main demographic?

TikTok is quite young. ByteDance, its developer, launched the app in 2016, which is much later than other popular social media channels. For comparison, Facebook started in 2004, and YouTube went live in 2005.
Despite its young age, TikTok is massively popular, with 1.2 billion monthly active users, and even managed to dethrone Google from the 1st spot in domain traffic.

Here is what we have in terms of the TikTok demographic breakdown:

Being such a popular platform with a new audience this young, you can expect TikTok to be home to a certain type of content that resonates best with the younger viewers. Let’s see what these content types are in the following section.

What types of content perform well on TikTok?

Before exploring the popular types of videos on TikTok, let’s first understand its specificities.

TikTok is mostly about shorter videos, with the average one being somewhere between 20 and 30 seconds. Thus, we cannot expect to see any long-form content with complex narratives and storytelling, and TikTokers (that’s how the creators on TikTok call themselves) usually post content that is bite-sized and easy to fit in a short-form video.

Apart from the duration limitation, TikTok videos are also different from others with their aspect ratio and orientation, as all the content is vertical on this platform.

Now back to the well-performing content types, here are some of the most prominent ones:

  • Lip sync and music. That’s right, the platform still stays true to its origins, and singing is among the most popular categories there.
  • Lightweight tips and tricks. These tips can be anything, like how to use your credit card correctly or how to use a can opener. If you can fit any useful hack into a short video, it will be a great fit for TikTok.
  • Cooking. It is usually a sped-up montage of the creator making different types of food on camera.
  • Comedy and skits. This can include both lip syncs of comedy shows, along with original content.

Those were the popular types of content on TikTok. In reality, you can find pretty much any  content there, from sports actions and fashion tips to yoga classes.

Now that you know what TikTok is about, let us look at the marketing aspect of it.

What is Influencer Marketing on TikTok?

TikTok influencer marketing is the partnership between content creators on TikTok and influencer marketing teams to produce and post short-form videos on the creators’ channel that include a promotion of the products or the brand that the marketers are responsible for.

These promotions can have any form, including product reviews, unboxings, personal opinion sharing, and more.

Influencer marketing on TikTok looks very similar to the same process on YouTube or Instagram. So, why should you pick TikTok? We have your answer in the next section.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a TikTok Influencer?

Here’s a tl;dr answer to this question: apart from being a highly-popular platform with rapid growth, TikTok’s influencers also come with a high engagement for an audience (with over 18% engagement rate) and significant influence on consumers’ purchase decisions.

Now let us support our claims with numbers. In particular:

These numbers are hard to argue against, right? As we can see, TikTok has grown from a small singing application into a social media marketing giant that you need to take seriously and consider adding to your list of platforms to run influencer campaigns.

With your confidence high in the influencer marketing abilities of TikTok, your next question might be about the ways of finding and collaborating with the influencers on this platform. No worries, as we have you covered here too.

How to Find TikTok Influencers

If you have worked with influencers on other platforms, such as YouTube, LinkedIn, or Instagram, you might already have a solid grasp of different methods that influencer marketers use to identify the right creators for their campaigns, and this process will be a piece of cake for you.

However, if you are unfamiliar with these methods, the ways you search for the right influencers on TikTok are fairly simple too. Here are the most common ways.

ow to Find TikTok Influencers - Digital Marketer's World

Now let’s discuss each in more detail:

Make a Google search. You can start with an ordinary search on Google. The keyword to look up can be “TikTokers in” and the name of your niche or the area of interest.

Alternatively, you can search in TikTok itself using the “site” operator by typing “” and your niche or another keyword. TikTok has done an excellent search engine optimization of its content, and you can easily find anything posted there.

Do a TikTok search. Another tactic worth considering is the direct search inside TikTok itself.

This social network’s search can give you a list of both videos and users based on your keywords. Therefore, you can type in the niche or the names of relevant interests (e.g., smartphone reviews) in the search field and find niche influencers who have posted videos with content that matches your keywords.

Search using hashtags. If you are looking for a creator in a specific niche, you can also consider hunting for the hashtags they add to their video captions.

The TikTok algorithm is also capable of searching accounts and videos for hashtags. Thus, if you use the relevant hashtag challenge (e.g., #inmydenim), you will find the creators who have used it in their content.

Use TikTok’s Creator Marketplace. This is something that sets TikTok apart from other platforms. The Creator Marketplace, a part of the TikTok for Business ecosystem, brings all TikTok creators and sponsor brands into one platform where they can collaborate on influencer campaigns.

 The marketplace lets influencer marketing experts do the following:

  • Search for influencers based on various criteria, including their size, reach, topic
  • Outreach to the influencers of your choice.
  • Manage influencer relationships and campaigns.
  • Monitor the outcomes of your sponsored content campaigns with analytics and reporting tools.

The marketplace gives you access to creators who make content in 35 languages and are spread geographically over 150 countries.

Use an influencer marketing platform. Apart from TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, there are other influencer marketing platforms with matching functionality that you can take advantage of to find influencers on TikTok.

Two notable examples of such platforms are:

  • Upfluence, where you can discover influencers, manage affiliate campaigns, and even send product samples.
  • Insense, that can automatically suggest influencers to you based on your campaign brief.

One of the benefits of using 3rd party influencer marketing platforms is that they do not limit themselves to TikTok only. You will also see Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other channels included in the functionality of these tools. Therefore, you can manage campaigns on several social media platforms simultaneously.

Finding influencers is not as hard as you might have imagined. However, you should not start your campaign from the search; there are other important steps you need to take first.

How to Start a TikTok Influencer Marketing Campaign in 4 Steps

If you want to plan and run an influencer marketing campaign on TikTok, there aren’t too many steps that you need to take. In fact, you can use this lightweight process with these four  steps as a starting point:

How to Start a TikTok Influencer Marketing Campaign in 4 Steps - Digital Marketer's World

Now let’s break these steps down one-by-one.

Step #1: Define your target audience and niche

Before starting with anything, you need to make sure that you are confident in your knowledge of the needs, interests, demographics, and geographics of your target audience.

This process involves interviewing potential customers, analyzing your own data as well as gathering it from public sources. As a result of these activities, you can create your buyer’s persona and understand the niche they will be most interested in.

Step #2: Set your campaign goals

You already know who you want to target. Now you need to clarify your company’s business needs and set goals based on that. Do you want to earn more revenue by attracting leads? Do you care about building brand awareness more?
Your choice of goals will affect the next steps in the process, so make sure you have selected the ones your company needs the most.

Step #3: Search for niche-relevant influencers

As you have two of the prerequisite steps covered – your goals and targeting the right audience, you can start looking for influencers who operate in your niche of interest and who will be able to help you reach your goals.

You can take advantage of some of the methods for identifying influencers listed in the previous section.

Step #4: Reach out to influencers

Finally, you can contact the influencers and start negotiating and brainstorming around the content’s look, format, and other aspects. The prices and the way you collaborate with the influencer will depend on their size, niche, and other factors.

To sum up, these four steps will help you get a lightweight start on your influencer campaign. But if you want to improve an existing campaign, you can take advantage of the advanced tips we have for you coming up.

4 Tips for a Better Influencer Marketing Strategy on TikTok

Working with influencers on TikTok has its unique sides and specificities. For instance, each creator has their own unique style when making the content, and this is something that you need to take into consideration when adding promotions to their videos.

To manage all these specificities and get the most out of them, you can consider these four tips.

Tip #1: Track and measure your campaign

You can never understand if your campaign is a success or a failure unless you track and monitor your key KPIs. Some of the metrics you can consider are the view count of promoted content, number of followers, engagement rate, the number of clicks on your links in the content, number of users, and the conversion rate of the traffic coming from TikTok, and more.

Tip #2: Give them creative freedom

The creator you are collaborating with will most certainly know their followers much better than you do. Therefore, in your collaboration, trust their knowledge and intuition and let them promote your products in the way that they find most appropriate for their TikTok account and followers, including the best time and day to make their posts, how to get on the For You page, and how to make viral videos.

Tip #3:  Reach out to different TikTok content creators

In TikTok, diversification can be a beneficial tactic. You can work with influencer partners of different sizes and types and compare their KPIs to understand which group of influencers are the best for your products.

Tip #4: Check if there are influencers mentioning your brand

Sometimes influencers will talk about you without even you knowing about it (a.k.a. earned media). Therefore, you can search for your brand name on TikTok, find these creators, and collaborate with them.

With the process and tips behind us, let us put the cherry on the cake by giving you examples to get inspired by.

3 Great TikTok Influencer Marketing Examples to Inspire You

TikTok is full of bright, creative, and compelling examples of influencer marketing. We have three such cases for you here to help you get inspiration.

Example #1: Guess

We begin with the fashion brand Guess and their challenge #inmydenim.

Guess #inmydenim influencer marketing campaign on TikTok
Credit: TikTok

An influencer couple under the username Ourfire with 5.7 million followers took part in the Guess challenge that involves people changing from bad-looking clothes into stylish looks using the brand’s apparel.

Example #2: Athleta

Our second example comes from a sportswear brand Athleta.

Athleta TikTok influencer marketing campaign example
Credit: TikTok

Here we can see Britney Vest, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with around 230k followers who shows off Athleta’s tights in various real-life situations.

Example #3: Target

Finally, we have the eCommerce and offline supermarket chain Target.

Target TikTok influencer marketing campaign example
Credit: TikTok

The influencer in the video is Victoria Bachlet with 3.6 million followers, who presents shopping at Target as a way of coping with back-to-school stress.

In case these three were not enough, we have 12 more in a separate article we specially made for your inspiration.

Now Over to You

TikTok is a hot platform with a rapidly increasing user base and lots of influencers. The content on TikTok is engaging and entertaining, and you should definitely consider taking advantage of it to promote your products.

This guide was one among the many we have about influencer marketing. You can check out the rest on our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How much does it cost to hire a TikTok influencer?

The cost of hiring an influencer depends on their size and niche. You might get a sponsored post from a micro-influencer for as low as $100, while collaborating with celebrities can set you back by several hundreds of thousand dollars.

Q2. What should I pay attention to when choosing a TikTok influencer?

Among many factors to consider, the most important one is their niche and relevance to your brand. You want the followers of the influencer to have interests and needs that resonate with your brand and your products.

Q3. What are the best ways to use TikTok for marketing?

You can do TikTok ads using their ads network or partner up with TikTok influencers to make creative and great-looking promotional videos of your products or your brand.

Q4. Who are the Top TikTok Influencers?

Some of the most popular influencers on TikTok are:

  • Khaby Lame
  • Charli d’Amelio
  • Bella Poarch

You can find a more expanded list in the top 100 by SocialBlade.

Sona author profile pitcure

Sona Kalantaryan is a senior digital marketer with a creative past. Big fan of high cinema and well-optimized landing pages. She authors guides by sharing the best practices and does it the right way!