TikTok Influencer Marketing: An A to Z Guide for Brands (2024)

Alex Fedorenko
Alex Fedorenko
Managing Partner & Co-Founder at Insense

Brands are constantly looking for effective marketing methods to promote themselves and influencer marketing has proven to be one of the most popular ones.

Despite the fact that the leading social media platform for influencer marketing campaigns is Instagram, TikTok is rapidly becoming a primary choice for marketers worldwide.

In the following guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about TikTok influencer marketing, including:

  • What TikTok influencer marketing is
  • Why you should use it
  • What the best strategies to use are

Plus, we've got some examples of brands leveraging TikTok content creators for you to get inspired.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What is TikTok Influencer Marketing?

TikTok influencer marketing is when businesses collaborate with TikTok content creators in order to upload content to the platform that will drive sales, build customer relationships, and improve overall brand awareness.

With TikTok recently reaching 1 billion monthly active users and the social network facilitating a wide range of audiences from different demographics, TikTok marketing is constantly being taken advantage of by brands.

tiktok users chart
Image Source: Business of Apps

It’s worth noting that the content used in TikTok influencer marketing campaigns is for more than just the purposes of organic reach.

It does indeed provide brands with a great amount of awareness and high engagement rates, but the content generated can also be used in paid ads.

This means that a brand can source user-generated content (UGC) in order to promote it through paid social ads.

Whichever of the two approaches you go for, the sure thing is that TikTok will allow you to take your influencer marketing efforts to the next level.

Let’s see why that is exactly.

Why Should You Use TikTok for Influencer Marketing?

As we briefly noted earlier, TikTok has seen an immense amount of growth over the last few years.

It's used by so many people across the globe that your target audience is bound to be on the platform.

Here are a few facts you’ll find useful as a brand looking to use TikTok for influencer marketing purposes:

From the statistics above, you get a good idea of the benefits TikTok content can bring to brands.

Another great advantage of the platform is the fact that it offers a wide range of ad formats to choose from, all of which will appear in users’ feeds.

This means that the TikTok videos your content creators will make and that you’ll promote as paid ads, will seem more authentic and genuine.

All in all, TikTok is one of the go-to places for partnering up with content creators and social media marketing in general so we highly recommend investing in it in order to attract new audiences.

Let’s now dive deeper into the how and why behind TikTok influencer marketing.

Does TikTok Influencer Marketing Work?

Taking into consideration the facts and metrics we've just looked at, it’s clear that TikTok influencer marketing works.

This doesn’t mean that any campaign will go as planned - since there are many aspects to consider like finding the right influencers and types of content - but TikTok provides solid ground for brands to benefit from its wide variety of creators and users.

One great thing that makes TikTok unique is the fact that it drives word-of-mouth recognition for brands more easily than other social media platforms.

That’s because users can share a TikTok post to many other platforms, such as WhatsApp; that way virality can easily be built for branded content.

Campaigns can be incredibly well targeted through TikTok’s algorithm and tools. 

For instance, Everlane, which is an eCommerce clothing retailer, collaborated with content creators for paid ads:

TikTok analytics
Image Source: TikTok

Just the sponsored content above received almost 200 shares and 10K likes, with the campaign’s objective being conversions.

To sum up, the short answer is that TikTok influencer marketing works and can provide many benefits for you as a brand.

Let’s now have a look at the best TikTok influencer marketing strategy.

What is the Best TikTok Influencer Marketing Strategy?

There are many case studies of large businesses out there that use TikTok’s short-form videos to raise awareness and drive sales.

Chipotle, Puma, and Adobe are just some of them, but there’s also a plethora of small to medium-sized businesses that leverage TikTok influencer campaigns.

Whatever category you fall into, what remains the same is the fact that you need a solid strategy in place.

Such a strategy can be finding the right content creators and collaborating with them for both organic posting and paid ads, like TikTok Spark Ads for instance.

Let’s assume we’re a small eCommerce company in the food industry and we want to use TikTok for the first time to find the right content creators to work with.

The tools we’ll use are our own platform Insense to source creators and TikTok’s ad manager to set up the campaign.

Let’s start.

Step #1: Come up with a strategy

In order to nail your TikTok influencer marketing campaign you need to have a solid strategy in place.

The main use cases include sourcing content:

  • For organic posting
  • For paid advertising

Of course you can target both, but you need to have a plan in mind about how you’ll gather user-generated content and the ways it’ll be utilized.

What’s more, we strongly recommend coming up with objectives.

What goals do you want to achieve?

It could be to increase sales by X%, increase your engagement rate by Y%, or simply to raise awareness.

Whatever it is, objectives should be a core part of your strategy.

For instance, Glow Recipe - a renowned beauty brand - used TikTok ads in order to drive discovery and enable users to complete purchases with ease. With that in mind it actually saw a 600% increase in daily sales.

TikTok glowrecipe ad
Image Source: TikTok

All in all, TikTok is a great place for leveraging content in various ways.

After you’ve gathered the right creatives, set objectives and decided on the ad formats (such as Spark ads, In-feed ads, and Top-view ads), you’ll have a solid strategy in place ready to begin!

Since the stage of identifying the right content creators to collaborate with can be tricky, let’s have a look at how you can do that with the help of our own tool, Insese.

Step #2: Find relevant content creators

Once logged into Insense, you have to create a new campaign by selecting Fill out a brief.

new campaign and creator marketplace buttons on Insense

Alternatively, you can click on Find creators to browse our creator marketplace and shortlist relevant content creators to collaborate with.

Author’s Note: Keep in mind that the marketplace is accessible for three days when you sign up for free and is fully available on Insense’s paid plans.

After adding your brand and a few details about it, you need to create an influencer brief in order to source users who want to work with you.

This entails inputting your campaign’s basic information, like so:

Insense's brief page

This is where you include your name, privacy, and cover photo.

Remember to give your campaign a descriptive and attractive title that'll entice creators to join.

In our case, it can be something along the lines of “Food Creators Needed for TikTok Campaign”.

You also need to add other details like the campaign type, the platform - which in our case is TikTok - and the objective, i.e.traffic, reach, engagement, or brand awareness.

Author’s Note: When it comes to the campaign type, influencer partnerships are for organic ad publication and whitelisting while custom content creation is for content made independently for any purpose.

Insense's brief page

Next up, it's important to add a payment method - which can be money or product - to define how our creators will be paid; let’s assume that in our case it’s money and add a hypothetical price cap per creator.

This is the maximum price a creator can request, but we also need to add the range of creators we want to work with.

The number will affect how many requests we receive.

Insense's brief page

Moving on, it’s time to define our campaign’s timeline - the start and end date - and also how our product will be shipped to creators if needed.

Also, don’t forget to add a description of your product so creators can fully understand what it’s all about. 

After all, they’re the ones promoting it, right?

Insense's brief page

Don’t forget about your audiences’ demographics further on, both that of the creators you’re looking for and that of their followers, plus their category - which in our case is Food.

Insense's brief page

Author’s Note: With every step you take, you can see your campaign’s progress from a user’s point of view on the screen on your right.

The last step is to add details about your campaign’s creative assets.

This will help creators who see your brief understand what you’re looking for and whether they’re a good fit or not.

To begin, you need to choose whether posting on TikTok is required or not, the content’s format, e.g. vertical video/image, and its placement, e.g. in-feed.

Insense's brief page

Plus, you should include instructions about the things creators should and shouldn’t do when submitting their TikTok post to you, as well as some important technical requirements of the post.

Insense's brief page

In short, that’s the way you can find relevant creators for your TikTok influencer marketing campaign with the help of Insense.

As we said earlier, you can also browse the creator marketplace and add criteria to specify what you’re looking for.

For example, you can filter creators based on their platform, location, demographics, as well as their range of followers.

For the sake of example, let’s search for creators based on TikTok, ages between 18-34, who are female and that have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers.

Insense's creator marketplace

We can check out valuable insights about each creator’s profile and impact, in order to make better decisions.

Available data included their audience’s demographics:

Creators' audience demographic on Insense

You also see the creators' account analytics.

Insense's creators account analytics

All in all, in order to create a successful TikTok influencer marketing campaign, you need to find the right creators and then utilize their content into various formats; both for organic and paid purposes.

For the latter, simply create a TikTok for Business account, set up your campaign and you’ll be ready to utilize the platform's capabilities for TikTok influencer marketing!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, let’s check out some brands that have used TikTok for their own influencer marketing campaigns.

Inspiring Examples of 5 Brands Using TikTok Influencer Marketing to Grow

In this part of our guide we’re going to show you how five brands have taken advantage of TikTok influencer marketing.

We’ll feature brands from a wide range of industries so they're as relatable as possible.

Let’s start.

Example #1: Curology

The first brand we’ll feature is Curology.

curology's website
Image Source: Curology

Since it’s a beauty and wellness brand, it’s typically pretty easy to find creators to collaborate with for campaigns, which is exactly why TikTok marketing has been a big part of the company’s marketing strategy.

To be precise, it's managed to gather more than 40,000 followers and 480,000 likes across its TikTok posts, both through branded and user-generated content.

curology's tiktok video feat ardnasgonz
Image Source: TikTok

What we want to highlight, however, is the fact that Curology also combines influencer marketing with its paid TikTok ads.

Tiktok video analytics
Image Source: TikTok

From the data provided, we can see that the brand’s TikTok influencer marketing campaign has managed to gather over 9,500 likes, 105 comments, and 31 shares so far, from only one post.

Author’s Tip: It’s worth noting that the TikTok app also allows you to add caption keywords, which play a role in the algorithm showing the post to the right people.

In this case, “custom skincare” and “1-step skincare” have been used in the campaign.

All in all, Curology is a good example of a brand in the beauty niche that takes advantage of TikTok influencer marketing the right way.

Let’s continue.

Example #2: Smart Sweets

Smart Sweets is a DTC brand sending sugar-free candies direct to its customers’ doors.

smartsweets website
Image Source: Smart Sweets

Having taken advantage of other major social networks too, TikTok couldn’t be missing from the brand’s strategy.

Its account is heavily focused on user-generated content and creating videos based on the latest trends and TikTok ads are also in the mix.

smartsweets' tiktok analytics
Image Source: TikTok

While we don’t have access to the account’s TikTok analytics to see data like the budget and target audience - Gen Z, Millennials, etc. - we can still get a good idea of the overall campaign.

The paid TikTok ads mainly consist of content made by creators and uploaded to the brand’s accounts, but content uploaded by the creators themselves on their own accounts is also a thing.

matt_and_abby tiktok video promoting smartsweets
Image Source: TikTok

In fact, the hashtag #KickSugar, which has been used in a TikTok campaign by the brand, has amassed over 6.5 million views from a wide range of user-generated posts.

All in all, partnering up with TikTok creators and amplifying its efforts with TikTok ads plays a major role in Smart Sweets’ online presence.

Moving on

Example #3: BLANQI

BLANQI is an online retailer selling clothes specifically for people before, during, and after pregnancy.

BLANQI's website
Image Source: Blanqi

Having leveraged other platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn, TikTok is also an integral part of the company’s marketing strategy.

By partnering with pregnant people near or during their pregnancy, it manages to promote its products through authentic content and even use it in paid ads.

TikTok post analytics
Image Source: TikTok

What’s also impressive is the fact that, by prompting users to upload content and use the hashtag #BlanqiGirls, it's raised a great amount of awareness by generating 10.6 million views.

BLANQI is a great example of how an eCommerce brand can partner with targeted creators in its niche and generate high-quality content for both organic and paid purposes.

Moving on to the next example.

Example #4: Shapermint

Shapermint is another clothing brand, only this time it focuses on the women’s underwear niche.

shapermint's holiday sale on website
Image Source: Shapermint

Offering bras, underwear, and leggings that are more comfortable and flexible than traditional ones, the brand has managed to amass a large following of loyal customers on its social media profiles.

TikTok is one of them, with over 4,000 followers and a wide range of user-generated content promoting the products.

Of course, TikTok influencer marketing has played a key role, with many of the posts being leveraged for paid advertising purposes.

TikTok post analytics
Image Source: TikTok

Shapermint is just one of the many brands taking advantage of TikTok creators to raise awareness and drive sales.

Let’s continue.

Example #5: Halara

Halara is a clothing brand focusing on pet hair-resistant materials.

Halara's christmas promotion on website
Image Source: Halara

One of the many online marketing actions it has taken is TikTok marketing - TikTok influencer marketing to be precise.

By partnering with relevant creators to raise awareness about its products, it has managed to gather more than 300,000 followers and 1.2 million likes on its account.

Many of the user-generated content pieces it sources have also been used as paid means of advertising:

TikTok post analytics
Image Source: TikTok

This means it’s a technique that works for the brand.

Just by looking at the TikTok ad above, we can see that it has gathered over 8,000 likes, 73 comments, and 364 shares.

We can’t say for sure how those numbers have converted to purchases, but the sure thing is that the brand awareness raised has been great.

Overall, TikTok can be a great place for businesses to promote themselves effectively.

Let’s wrap things up with some final words.

Now Over to You

There you have it.

That was our complete guide to TikTok influencer marketing.

Whether you’re using an influencer marketing platform, a marketing agency, or simply have the know-how to use TikTok marketing, we hope that you gained some valuable knowledge for your next campaign.

Feel like you need a little more help finding the right creators to collaborate with? 

Don’t hesitate to book a free demo with Insense and we’ll guide you step-by-step to make your own TikTok influencer marketing campaign.

Thanks for reading.

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Alex Fedorenko

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