Similar to other social media platforms, TikTok influencers are an important (and “influential”) part of the ecosystem. Working with influencers – or “creators,” as they prefer to be called on TikTok – is an effective, relatively low-risk and low-investment entry point for brands into the platform. And TikTok influencers are significantly more affordable than those on other platforms, due to the relatively small number of brands who have started to tap them.
Executing an influencer campaign on TikTok is structurally similar to running influencer campaigns on other platforms, but creatively it’s quite different. So is the talent pool. Because of the platform’s relative infancy, TikTok influencers are usually newer to their fame and are still genuinely enthusiastic to be approached by brands.
Since TikTok influencers tend to be greener when working with brands, you can expect a bit more coaching to be required. So build in a little more time than you would on other platforms. Consider these strategies to build a successful TikTok influencer campaign:
Engage with TikTok-first influencers: We often see brands inclined to work with their go-to Instagram or YouTube influencers on TikTok. Generally speaking, these influencers have less engaging TikTok content than TikTok-first influencers. They also have much higher pay expectations, carried over from more mature platforms. Consider instead working with influencers who grew up on TikTok and deeply understand how to drive engagement on the platform. TikTok-native creators generally have a better handle on viral, engaging content. A good starting point to locate creators is TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, although the majority of creators are not included in that database.
Consistency matters: TikTok’s algorithm leads to much greater volatility than other social platforms. Not only are posts extremely “hit and miss,” they also may start to trend as much as a week or two after the initial post. To achieve great results, you’ll need to keep creating new content. Even the best influencers can’t predict or guarantee that any given post will perform well.
Give creative freedom: Brands must familiarize themselves with the types of content that perform well on TikTok. Content suitable for YouTube or Instagram typically won’t perform well on TikTok. Therefore, you’ll have the strongest results by providing your influencers with some room to tailor the content to what they know works well for them.
Experiment with influencer selection: We encourage brands to experiment with leaving traditional influencer lanes. TikTok offers a plethora of influencer types: from dancers and artists to magicians and athletes. A food brand, for example, could consider hiring a dance influencer to create highly engaging content that seamlessly fits on TikTok. Such unconventional partnerships often make for the greatest hits. For e.l.f. Cosmetics’ famous #eyeslipsface campaign, they engaged a few dance influencers to be part of the headline team, which helped propel the campaign to billions of views.
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