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Why And How To Leverage TikTok For Influencer Marketing



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In 2020, TikTok rocked social media as users all around the world flocked to the novel video-sharing app for distraction and entertainment during the pandemic and user numbers increased.

So far in 2021, TikTok has continued its success, topping the download charts in quarter one.

RELATED: TikTok Picks Oracle As US Partner

Eight Reasons Why Marketers Should Consider Leveraging TikTok

1. TikTok has experienced massive user growth over the last few months and should continue to grow in 2021. The estimated number of users in July 2020 was over 689 million globally, and App Annie expects it to reach over 1.2 billion monthly active users in 2021.

2. The app has a truly global presence with users in over 150 countries, which allows brands to target multiple markets in one campaign. Despite the regulatory and legal issues that TikTok has faced in India and the U.S., I believe the platform will continue to conquer even more markets in 2021 and beyond.

3. A large portion (47%) of TikTok’s U.S. audience is between 10 and 29 years old, which covers parts of both the millennial and Gen Z generations. In fact, it is reportedly already one of the most popular apps for Gen Z.

4. App Annie (via Search Engine Journal) found that users spent over 20 hours per month on average using TikTok in 2020. Statista data shows that U.S. users spent 858 minutes per month on the app in March 2020. (And that doesn’t even take into account the time the users might spend interacting with TikTok content on other platforms.) I have to confirm that the app is, in fact, highly addictive, so it is quite easy to spend several hours per day using it.

5. TikTok’s average influencer engagement rate is impressive: It was nearly 18% in the U.S. in 2020, although it can vary based on geolocation and the total size of the influencer’s following. (Instagram’s influencer engagement rate is 5% or less, according to Later and Fohr and HypeAuditor data reported by Business Insider in 2021.)

6. There are many opportunities to link the functionalities of the platform to your marketing objectives. Many brands that are new to the platform use it to raise brand awareness. There are also plenty of ways to work toward consideration and conversion objectives with new functionalities like TikTok’s collaboration with Shopify and live shopping capabilities. 

7. On TikTok, brands can become a part of the community and conversation. Brands that showcase their creativity and take risks on the platform are often accepted and even celebrated. According to the 2020 Global Web Index social trends report, “TikTok app users are 1.8 times as likely as the average internet user to want brands to be ‘young,' as well as over-indexing for wanting brands to be ‘trendy/cool,' ‘exclusive' and ‘bold.'”

8. To illustrate the opportunities TikTok holds for brands, I would like to share a case study from one of our amazing clients who leveraged the power of influencer marketing on TikTok back in 2019.

Our automotive client took a completely new approach to communication by presenting itself with a campaign on the then pretty unknown social media platform to create a presence among younger target groups.

The campaign recruited well-known influencers to perform a set choreographed video and then challenge their followers to get creative as well.

The campaign inspired TikTok users to creatively engage with the company's new vehicle, generating more than 14 million online impressions and 1.9 million likes on the social video platform.

How To Leverage Influencer Marketing On TikTok

In the last few months, my company has created many successful campaigns on TikTok, so let me share some tips to boost your brand’s visibility:

Identifying established TikTok creators has been fairly easy since the launch of the TikTok Creator Marketplace, a platform to research influencers by parameters like follower count, content topics, or audience analytics.

So, make sure you validate any influencer profile you’re considering to secure the best fit with your brand values and marketing objectives.

Once you have selected the right talent, you should aim for the most striking and entertaining creative possible — not only because this is what I’ve found the TikTok audience expects from brands, but also because TikTok content can live in the feed of videos for a long time and accumulate potentially massive audience views.

To maximize content quality and campaign results, brands should stop micro-managing their influencers and provide them with the creative freedom to develop content that resonates with the audience and is a fit for the platform.

And last but not least, if you do have an abundant budget and really want to maximize your exposure, then a leaked TikTok pitch deck covered by AdAge (paywall) in 2019 says that you can officially partner with TikTok for a brand takeover or conduct a hashtag challenge on the platform.

The latter reportedly starts at $150,000 per day. To be honest, though, my opinion is that the ROI of this additional push isn’t always great, so it’s better to focus on the first tips.

Summary And Conclusion

I think TikTok is here to stay and can provide savvy marketers with great opportunities to engage with younger audiences.

Collaborating with influencers who produce top-level creative and entertaining videos is key for making branded content or hashtag challenges go viral.

So go and download the app yourself, create your first TikTok and brief your agency to start leveraging the platform in your media plan.

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