TikTok influencer marketing has gained significant traction since it’s founding but has truly skyrocketed in 2020. While the platform began as a music and dance video app for teenagers, it has grown recently, and now plenty of adults, brands, and businesses have a presence on the app too.
As a marketer, the thought of adding another social media platform to your radar may seem overwhelming, but it’s worth strongly considering creating a strategy to be on TikTok. Because the app has a unique algorithm for surfacing content, you have a fairly good shot at having a video go viral, or at the very least you can easily get your content in front of new people. Even if you don’t want to spend too much time creating TikTok content, creating a plan is a good idea.
1. TikTok Is Dominating The Social Media Game
People are absolutely loving TikTok for a number of reasons. First, it’s different and unique from the existing social media platforms; while other platforms include options for video, TikTok is solely video. Captions are short and sometimes unnecessary. Unlike YouTube, which is also video-centric, TikTok is designed for mobile devices, and the clips are short bursts of action compared to longer, drawn-out videos. Also, content created for TikTok is shared with anyone who wants to see it, for the most part. In a seemingly uncanny way that Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram have yet to fully emulate, TikTok’s algorithm for surfacing short-form videos often knows the user extremely well.
Part of TikTok’s popularity has likely come from the timing of the coronavirus pandemic. As many people, especially in the United States, were quarantined to their homes, they had more time to browse the Internet. The app was created to showcase dances and people creating their own takes on popular audio clips. During the pandemic, more people had time to practice and learn those dances, and then create their own versions to upload.
Influencers Are Huge On TikTok
Many influencers are finding that TikTok is a great platform for them to grow their following and connect with new people. The platform allows for links users’ bios to their YouTube channels or your Instagram accounts, so it’s easy for influencers who already have a following on these platforms to direct people who find them on TikTok back there.
Brands are beginning to take advantage of this and are creating TikTok influencer campaigns. In fact, there are so many different types of influencers on the app that any brand is sure to find the perfect one to partner with for a campaign. You can even do a TikTok search to find the best people to work with so you find someone in your niche and budget.
Some TikTok influencer marketing campaigns include creating challenges. Challenges are really popular on the app, as users are encouraged to create their own video based on a certain topic, audio clip, or even duplicating a particular dance. By creating a challenge around a particular product, brands can start off their campaign with influencer marketing but then see it grow among other users.
This ad for Coppertone’s Glow product was made by @dixiedamelio and received 15.1 million views. Working with popular influencers on the app is a great way to get your product and brand in front of more people.
Another way to create a strong TikTok influencer marketing campaign is by using the influencer’s strong suit and the types of videos they create. For example, @zachking partnered with Chipotle to create an ad, but he did so in his own way. Zach creates videos that are well-edited to look like magic. He brought that same technique and talent to this video, “jumping” into his spacesuit and then later making his bowl, chips, and money float in the air as if there was zero gravity. By working with influencers who have a distinct style, they can create impressive-looking videos that capture viewers’ attention.
2. You Can Quickly Become Popular on TikTok
Unlike most social media platforms, you don’t have to spend months and years on TikTok before you grow a large following. In fact, because of the way the algorithm is, you can get your videos in front of many people on day one. The algorithm shows someone videos that they’re probably going to like based on many factors, including videos they’ve liked, which audio clips they listen to, hashtags they follow, accounts they engage with, and more.
With the TikTok algorithm, the video creator’s statistics don’t play an impact on whether or not their video will be shown to someone (or many people). It doesn’t matter how many followers they have or if their previous videos did well. This means if you create a video that includes audio that many people like, and use well-chosen hashtags, your very first video has a chance at going viral.
This is a stark contrast to almost every other social media platform. Typically, the goal of a social platform is to grow your following so that you can get your content in front of more people and create brand awareness. While growing a following is still a worthy goal on TikTok, it’s not a prerequisite for creating a viral video. Instead, it’s a better idea to spend time watching TikTok trends, popular hashtags, and creating a video that fits with those popular elements.
This is one of the reasons there are plenty of influencers in a wide variety of niches on TikTok. As people begin to engage with content they like in a particular niche, they’re shown more videos like that. Users on TikTok typically post about their passions and things they enjoy, and it’s easy for them to connect with people who want to see that content. You’ll find your typical lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food influencers on TikTok, but you’ll also find more niched influencers, like calligraphy, corgis, or figure skating.
3. You Can Create An Authentic Connection With Your Audience
Influencers have become popular on TikTok because they’re quickly and easily able to create a real connection with the people who follow them or see their videos. The more people feel connected to someone, the more likely they are to trust them. Influencers can build up trust quickly and easily on TikTok, and their followers will be excited to see the brands and products they choose to share online. This is another reason why TikTok influencer marketing is a great investment. Once influencers introduce your brand to their audience, that audience is going to be far more likely to trust you, want to follow you, and try to learn more about your product.
Here, @zesty_ginger has a video teaching a tea recipe that can help people get better sleep. This kind of educational content is not only helpful, but she creates it in a casual, in-the-kitchen setting, that lets viewers feel like they’re listening to a friend.
Finally, @derekhough and @hghussar both use a song that can be found all over TikTok. Some people, like Derek, use the audio for this dance, while others, like Heath, use it for a workout routine. By choosing a popular audio like this one and making your own video to it, you can show a fun side of yourself to your followers. Chances are some of them have created their own video using the audio, so they’ll likely feel more connected to you since you’ve done the same thing.
The Power Of TikTok Influencer Marketing
Having a presence on TikTok is important for brands and businesses in 2020. Whether you’re looking to become famous on the platform or just to increase your brand awareness, it’s sure to help you meet your goals. By creating videos that use popular audio and adding trending hashtags, you’ll increase your chances of going viral. When you first create your account, make sure you’re strategic about the types of videos you choose to watch and interact with, as this will inform the algorithm about what they should show you. In order to get the most out of TikTok, it’s a good idea to find people in your niche or your ideal audience. By following them, you’ll know what’s resonating with them and how you can create content that matches what they’re already watching.
A great TikTok influencer marketing strategy has the power of getting your brand and product in front of a huge new audience, and tons of potential new customers. When you strategically pick your influencer partner you’ll be able to rest assured that the right audience members from your niche will see the video. TikTok is likely going to be a large part of the future of social media for consumers and brands, so the sooner you can create an account the more you’ll be able to learn.
Rafaella Aguiar is the Director of Marketing at Kicksta. She specializes in content and social media marketing. You can find more daily marketing tips from her at @kicksta.co.
This article originally appeared in the Pixlee blog and has been published here with permission.