The complete guide to TikTok influencer marketing

Nov 10, 2023
The complete guide to TikTok influencer marketing
There are over 100,000 TikTok influencers in the United States across a number of different niches. This means that no matter what your business is promoting, there’s likely a slew of influencers available to work with and get your brand name out there.

And why would you want to work with TikTok influencers? Influencer marketing is a powerful marketing strategy that helps you increase brand awareness, build trust in your audience and generate more sales.

Throughout this article, we’re going to discuss how the TikTok platform can be incorporated into your influencer marketing strategy. Let’s dig in.

What is TikTok influencer marketing?
TikTok influencer marketing is the act of working with influencers to promote your products and/or services on TikTok. Working with TikTok influencers can help you build your brand and reach an even wider audience.

With TikTok influencer marketing, your influencer partners are the ones creating and sharing the content. This differs widely from traditional TikTok marketing strategies as those revolve around your brand and social media team creating and sharing its own content on your brand account.

While many brands do share the influencer videos on their own accounts as well, the goal of influencer marketing on TikTok is to spread the word about your brand by introducing it to your influencer partners’ audiences.

Why use TikTok influencer marketing?
Why should you incorporate influencer marketing into your TikTok strategy? Working with influencers can get expensive and it takes a lot of time to coordinate. But the influencer marketing ROI can be worth it. Here are three reasons to consider TikTok influencer marketing.

Improve brand engagement on TikTok
Influencers tend to have a much more engaged audience than brands do. It’s the nature of the beast when someone feels like they’re interacting with a person instead of a logo.

However, if an influencer is talking about your product, their followers are likely to start talking about your product in the comments. This can then lead to them finding your brand on TikTok and interacting with your brand’s content—and of course, hopefully making a purchase. Which leads us to our next point.

Increase sales
Influencer marketing can also increase sales. Influencer marketing is a form of social proof, showing potential customers that other people use and enjoy your product. This increases the likelihood that people will be interested in your product, due to a sort of mob mentality.

Plus, TikTok and TikTok Shop make it easy for influencers to lead customers to purchase your products. And with #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt being such a popular meme, TikTok users expect to be influenced. Their wallets are already partially open every time they scroll. And seeing your product on one of their favorite influencers’ feeds can be just the push they need to buy it.

Boost your brand’s authenticity on TikTok
Brand authenticity refers to how genuine or authentic customers believe your brand is. And the influencers you partner with and the content they create surrounding your product or service can help boost your brand’s own authenticity.

Brand authenticity helps potential customers feel closer to a brand, fueling loyalty and retention. Keep this in mind when choosing your influencer partners so that you work with people whose messaging aligns with your brand mission.

How to find the right TikTok influencers for your brand
We just mentioned how important it is to find the right influencers for brand authenticity—but it matters for more than that, too. You need to work with influencers whose audience matches yours and who make sense to promote your brand.

Here are a few ways to help you discover the right TikTok influencers for your brand.

Determine your niche
What niche or industry is your business in? Determining your niche will be a major factor in finding the right influencers. But on TikTok, it comes down to more than that—you also need to determine your subculture.

Subcultures are a major TikTok trend and help users find content they’re interested in. Subcultures tend to have their own hashtag and niche content, like #BookTok (for book lovers), #FoodTok (for recipe creators), #FitTok (for fitness enthusiasts) or #MomsofTikTok (for parents).

If your business fits into one of those, peruse those hashtags and look for influencers within those subcultures. They could be the perfect people to consider working with.

Search for specific topics using keywords
For Gen Z, TikTok doubles as a search engine. In fact, 51% of Gen Z women head to TikTok over Google to make a search. TikTok’s search feature is that sophisticated. Easily input keywords or topics into TikTok’s search to find videos, users, sounds, TikTok Shops, live videos, places and hashtags related to those keywords.

Look at the videos and users that pop up to see if you can find any new influencers. Add them to your list to reach out to.

Review trending hashtags
TikTok hashtags can also be a great way to discover trends. Discover popular hashtags to find influencers hopping on those trends. There are a few different ways to discover new hashtags.

First, keep an eye on your For You page. This is the best place to discover new content. Take a look at the hashtags that are being used and pay attention to recurring tags. Click on them to view even more content using those hashtags.

You can also tap the Search icon in your TikTok app. Find it at the top right corner of your screen. This is where you can search for your keywords we mentioned in the last point, but it’s also where you can see some trending topics.

Click on different topics under the “You may like” heading to see what types of videos are posted, the hashtags they’re using and if any influencers related to your business are talking about those topics.

Another option is to check out the TikTok Ads Creative Center. Here, you can head to Trends > Hashtags to see the top trending hashtags in your area, or globally.
Get info like the number of posts that have been made using that hashtag, the number of views the hashtag has gotten and a simple line chart showing how the hashtag is trending.

Use an influencer marketing tool
Influencer marketing tools can be extremely helpful for finding, reaching out to and partnering with influencers. Upfluence and Collabstr are two influencer marketplaces designed to help brands find the best influencers to work with. Many such marketplaces also offer additional features that enable companies to reach out to these influencers, pay them and set up campaigns all through their marketplace.

If you really want to revolutionize your influencer marketing with data-powered social intelligence, check out Tagger by Sprout Social. Tagger by Sprout Social empowers marketers to drive impactful influencer marketing strategies, enabling you to grow brand presence authentically, engage with new targeted audiences and generate revenue faster.

Check out influencers your competitors are partnering with
Look at the influencers who are working with your competitors. Do this by searching their brand name in the TikTok search feature and checking out the videos that appear in search results.

While you might not want to work with the exact same influencers—unless it’s clear the partnership is over—this can still give you a good idea of the type of influencer who would work well for your campaign.

Work with an agency
Finally, consider working with an agency. TikTok influencer marketing agencies can fully take over the entire process, finding the best influencers (because they’ve worked with them before), drawing up a contract that works for both parties, handling asset creative and campaign details and putting together the final report with campaign results.

Examples of brands using TikTok influencer marketing
Now that you know how to find the right influencers, let’s go over a few real-life TikTok influencer marketing examples. These can show you the type of end video you should expect from working with your influencers.

1. Aerie
Aerie is a clothing brand focusing on undergarments, loungewear and activewear. But their biggest focus is on inclusivity, ensuring people of all shapes and sizes have access to comfortable and well-fitting clothes.

Even clothes that are possible to put on one-handed, as we see in this influencer video below. Influencer Gemma Adby created a video showcasing how easy it is to put on this Aerie-designed bra with just one hand.

This particular video was actually created specifically for Aerie’s TikTok page. And while that’s one way to manage your influencer marketing, you may also want your influencers to share the content on their page to reach their own audiences.

2. Supergoop
Supergoop is an SPF/sunscreen-based skincare brand. This video below shows an influencer using one of their products while she gets ready.

And yes, while this does also live on the Supergoop website (why not turn your influencer content into user-generated content?), it originated on the influencer’s profile.

Here’s a more traditional example of an influencer post from paint company BEHR. TikTok influencer Laura Whaley creates skits detailing the different people and personalities that work in a corporate office setting. Because that’s the kind of content that her audience expects from her, it makes sense to work an influencer post in with the same type of skit.

Here, we have a conversation between two of the characters in Laura’s skits where one character tells another the details about a BEHR sweepstakes, causing the other character to envision herself painting her house—using BEHR paint, of course.

This video fits seamlessly in with Laura’s regularly scheduled content, making it a great example of influencer content.

4. Lulus
Lulus is an online clothing company that worked with TikTok influencer Madison Humphrey to create a humorous video about going out. Lulus typically sells dresses and other more formal wear for events or nights out, so this piece of content fits perfectly.

Plus, they’ve also turned this video into an ad to reach an even wider audience on the platform.

5. Pair Eyewear
Pair Eyewear is an innovative glasses company that have created a pair of magnetic glasses so customers can easily snap on different glasses designs and change up their look. If you’re on TikTok, you likely have heard of Pair Eyewear, because their influencer marketing and advertising campaigns are extensive.

Here’s an example of a humorous video from one of their influencers, Dad Chats.