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It didn’t take long for TikTok to join the social media big leagues. In June of last year, TikTok’s total number of monthly active users in the U.S. reached 91 million. Pretty impressive for an app that has only been around since 2016.

Its creative approach to short-form video fuels the social media platform. Thanks to its user-friendly video editing tools, the barriers between imagination and production no longer exist. If you can think it, you can create it.

Along with TikTok’s success came the success of many content creators who used the platform. Virality seemed accessible to almost anyone, and perhaps this is part of its appeal. In its early days, the app was all the rage with the Gen Z crowd. As time goes on, older generations are starting to watch and even create content on the platform.

Is TikTok Right For Your Brand?

If you’re a marketer, TikTok has undoubtedly been on your radar for quite some time. Yet, many have held back from experimenting on the platform because of the nature of its content. It can be hard to connect with the demographic of TikTok users, especially if you aren’t up to speed with trending content.

Don’t let this challenge discourage your brand from using the platform. Innovation requires a bit of creativity and a healthy amount of risk-taking. That said, you must apply the right amount of time and resources to see results. TikTok works best for businesses that are:

  • Targeting an audience between ages 16-30
  • Looking to increase brand awareness
  • Dedicated to keeping up with TikTok trends
  • Able to consistently produce video content

For those still trying to wrap your head around the platform’s inner workings, we recommend taking a look at our Marketer’s Guide to TikTok to help get you on your feet.

Why Choose Influencer Marketing on TikTok?

This year, TikTok introduced the ability to run paid advertising campaigns, but since the platform caters to niche content, most marketers have their eyes set on tapping into its influencer marketing opportunities. Gen Z tends to be critical of paid advertising but is more likely to let their guard down if you creatively package your promotions into engaging video content. 

Influencer marketing is a great way to start gaining traction on the app. When you partner with a seasoned TikToker who is already well-versed in what types of content performs best on the platform, the possibilities are endless. Let’s use Walmart as an example. Maybe not the first brand that comes to mind when you think of Gen Z, but that didn’t stop the retailer from promoting their 2020 Black Friday deals on the app with the help of a few key influencers.

@jvke

@walmart ##WalmartSyncAlong To celebrate Black Friday, we're giving away $100 Walmart gift cards. Lip sync my track for a chance to win! ##Contest ##Ad

♬ #WalmartSyncAlong - JVKE

TikTok Hashtag Challenge Pro is an e-commerce feature that allows businesses to drive traffic to their website by using a branded hashtag. Walmart collaborated with TikToker JVKE to produce the lip sync challenge #WalmartSyncAlong. JVKE is known for producing TikTok sounds that have gone viral on the app. 7,000 user-generated videos used the branded song created by JVKE, and the hashtag racked up 2.1 billion views in just three days.

Finding an influencer in your niche gets you instant access to an engaged audience that’s ready to hear about your brand. So how does one begin developing a strategy and setting goals for an influencer campaign on TikTok? It’s all in the metrics.

Measuring Your Campaign’s Success

When drafting up an influencer marketing strategy for any social channel, you must set clear goals to understand what success means. Your goals are the outcomes you hope to achieve from your marketing initiatives (brand awareness, conversion, etc.) You want to focus on a handful of key performance indicators (KPI) to determine your goal’s performance.

For quite some time, calculating ROI seemed to be an elusive process on TikTok. Fortunately, the debut of TikTok Pro Accounts gave those who upgraded access to insights and analytics generated by their content. When you draft an agreement with an influencer, you’ll want to communicate your goals and KPIs so that they can report back to you with the in-app analytics produced by your branded content. You can also use influencer marketing tools to help you monitor your campaigns. 

Below are a few common goals marketers use and the TikTok metrics that correlate to each goal’s performance:

Brand Awareness: Familiarity With Your Brand

  • Total video views 
  • Total reach of a branded hashtag
  • Number of plays of a brand song

 

Engagement: Interactions With Your Brand

  • The total amount of likes (hearts)
  • Total number of comments
  • The total amount of shares

 

Virality: Stickiness of Your Content

  • Total number of user-generated videos using a branded hashtag
  • Total number of user-generated videos using a brand song

 

Conversion: Completion of a Desired Action

  • Total number of sales from TikTok traffic 
  • Total number of TikTok website referrals

If we refer back to Walmart’s Black Friday campaign, you’ll notice that most of the metrics above were in play. Conversions were clearly the target KPI, but you wouldn’t get the whole story if you only focused on tracking conversions alone. Walmart was counting on the virality of their lip sync video challenge to drive results. To measure performance, we would look at conversion, virality, and brand awareness metrics. 

In this case, a successful TikTok influencer campaign looked like partnering with a content creator to produce a hashtag challenge that was fun and worth participating in. Increased user-generated videos with the #WalmartSyncAlong hashtag and song resulted in a broader reach, which meant a greater chance for conversion.

The Future of Influencer Marketing on TikTok

TikTok’s recent partnership with Shopify has many wondering if the app will begin to follow a similar path as Instagram, adapting an entire suite of e-commerce friendly features. In April of last year, the app announced it was testing a “Shop Now” button, which would allow influencers to drive web traffic to their partnered brands directly from their TikTok videos. Clickable links for profile bios are also in beta testing among the platform’s top users.

If your brand has yet to make the dive head-first into the world of TikTok influencer marketing, now is the time to get started. The future looks bright for content creators and brands, as more and more features make influencer partnerships on TikTok an effortless experience. 

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