Posted on

Unlocking Success: The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Influencer Marketing Mastery

TikTok influencer marketing lets you access a hyper-engaged audience, go viral on a budget, and connect with ever-elusive Gen-Z shoppers. However, collaborating with creators based solely on their large follower counts is not a sure path to success. In today's market, brands need a sophisticated and well-informed strategy to tap into TikTok's potential for a campaign that builds brand awareness and drives profits.

TikTok logo
TikTok logo

Key Takeaways

  • Leverage deep engagement: Users engage deeply on TikTok, with the average UK user spending over 49 hours a month on the platform. This intense engagement, coupled with the loyalty of its users, presents a prime opportunity for brands to connect with a highly active audience.
  • TikTok remains unique: TikTok's features make it a powerful tool for influencer marketing. It allows brands to go viral on a budget, engage deeply with target audiences, especially the elusive Gen Z, and build authentic relationships, establishing a strong presence in niche markets.
  • TikTok Collaborations: Accessing the right influencers on TikTok involves more than just knowing follower counts; it requires a strategic approach to pinpoint creators who can genuinely connect with and engage your target audience.

What is TikTok?

You're likely already familiar with TikTok. It's a short-form video platform that has redefined social media consumption since its UK launch in 2017. This newer short video platform married Instagram's photo sharing with YouTube's long-form videos.

In the early days, TikTok videos had a maximum length of one minute, which increased to three minutes in 2021. Despite TikTok now allowing videos up to 10 minutes, content averages around 42 seconds.

While that may not seem like enough time to engage viewers, TikTok creators pack information into their videos and lead with authenticity. They often create videos with two points of interest, such as a creator showing their makeup routine while giving tips on how to run a small business.

The platform is so powerful that Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook followed its lead by launching short video features in addition to their typical content.

TikTok has now established itself as a formidable force in the social media world, and it has been embraced by over 15 million people in the UK.

What is influencer marketing on TikTok?

Influencer marketing on TikTok involves partnerships between brands and TikTok creators to publicise products or services. It allows brands to leverage the reach and influence of these content creators to deliver brand messages.

Why choose a TikTok influencer marketing strategy?

There's a lot of misinformation about TikTok influencer marketing. Some stats suggest an average of 11 times ROI or that 40% of Gen Z use TikTok instead of Google as a search engine.

Simply put, these statistics are flagrantly taken out of context. For example, the latter statistic also includes Instagram and the former is based on one highly successful campaign, not an average.

Nevertheless, even the real data is highly positive. Let's explore it.

Firstly, the TikTok engagement rate is more than three times higher than that of Instagram, which is already twice as engaging as YouTube and Facebook.

Let's break that down.

Social Insider's study investigated various platforms' per-follower engagement rates, which is the percentage of an account's followers who interact with its content. This metric is deeply valuable because it shows how many of an account's followers actually watch and interact with their content.

The per-follower engagement rate on TikTok is 2.67%, and on Instagram, it's 0.70%. That means accounts with 100,000 followers will have 700 people engage with a post on Instagram and 2,670 on TikTok.

This engagement is also reflected in how much time users spend on TikTok. Every month, the average UK TikTok user spends over 49 hours–1.5 hours every day–on the platform, compared to just 19 hours on Instagram. Unsurprisingly, 90% of its users also feel loyal to the brand.

In addition, the platform is also more trusted now, and 52% of weekly TikTok users are interested in shopping through TikTok over the next three months.

Despite all these positives, research shows that these high engagement rates have been trending downward since 2021–once being over 5%. It suggests that as TikTok becomes more established, it loses some trust.

For brands, this is one of the best times to enter the market while engagement rates are still high and more people are on the platform.

Thinking of starting your TikTok influencer marketing campaign right away but unsure of the logistics? Kolsquare's influencer marketing platform can streamline your TikTok campaign end-to-end.

It saves hours of your time and ensures you hit–and exceed–targets with AI-driven influencer search, influencer relationship management tools, and no-hassle reports.

There's no need to commit to a subscription–book a demo for free today.

Why Is TikTok so effective for influencer marketing?

TikTok can help brands achieve many goals, such as:

  • boosting sales
  • enhancing brand awareness
  • engaging target audiences
  • maintaining relevance in key conversations
  • building social proof
  • establishing dominance within a niche

But why is this platform so much more engaging than others?

Targeted Algorithm

TikTok's sophisticated algorithm quickly adapts to user preferences, creating an engrossing content stream that drives constant engagement. This hyper-personalised experience keeps users returning to the platform, making it an ideal venue for influencer campaigns.

Go Viral on a Budget

The platform promotes videos that users comment on and like rather than content from accounts with large followings. This means brands can achieve viral status without a hefty budget.

Building Relatability

TikTok influencers have highly engaged followers, which positions them as similar to friends rather than strangers. This connection is powerful in influencing consumer behaviour, especially when an influencer shares the user's interests and is considered a credible source within that niche.

Boosting Brand Authenticity

Influencers who are selective about their partnerships and promote products genuinely aligned with their lifestyle and values resonate better with their audiences. By creating content that doesn't feel promotional, TikTok influencers can enhance a brand's credibility and authenticity.

Accessing Younger Demographics

Gen Z, nicknamed the "TikTok generation", is a demographic known for being difficult to reach via traditional marketing channels. Most of the platform's users are under 35, with 36% being 18 to 24-year-olds and 32% being 24 to 35-year-olds.

These younger audiences are tech-savvy and often tune out conventional advertising efforts. Instead, they respond to innovative, authentic content on platforms they favour, like TikTok.

For example, lingerie brand Aerie collaborated with TikTok megastar Charli D'Amelio on a body positivity campaign aimed at reaching Gen Z audiences. While the initial collaboration post on Aerie's account received 12,800 likes and 84 comments, the real power was in the user-generated content it inspired.

Aerie launched the campaign with the hashtag #AerieRealPositivity, which snowballed to 377,400 users sharing posts featuring the hashtag and, therefore, Aerie's brand name. Overall, the campaign boosted brand awareness in target demographics, created a strong brand narrative, and resulted in Aerie having over 247,500 TikTok followers.

How to access the TikTok creator marketplace

While TikTok is an authentic, engaging platform, not all creators hold the same power.

Understanding basic data like follower counts is helpful, but it isn't sufficient to identify which influencers can bring value.

Brands must also ensure their audience demographic matches the influencer. In addition, they must collaborate with creators capable of delivering genuine content featuring your brand to an attentive and active audience.

Here's a roadmap to pinpointing the right influencers for collaborations:

Determine your niche

Influencer marketing is about genuinely reaching your target audience. To do that, you have to understand who they are. Ask yourself:

  • Who is the target audience?
  • Who is the ideal customer?
  • Which creators are they following on TikTok?
  • What types of content grab their attention?

These questions lay the groundwork for your campaign and will ensure that its reach is in the right area.

Above all, be specific. Determining a precise niche will prevent your campaign from becoming diluted.

Review trending hashtags and comments

Work with influencers who believe in your brand and products to develop genuine partnerships that feel natural. It will also make it more likely that they are highly committed to campaigns and create fantastic content.

You can find these supporters by tracking your branded hashtags and scanning your social media comments.

Search for specific topics

Complete a rigorous analysis of the available influencers by searching topics in your niche. A social listening tool can help here. Social listening tunes you into the conversations happening in your industry. It teaches you what competitors are doing, which TikTok channels they are collaborating with, and how you can learn from–or even steal–their successful ideas.

What is a TikTok influencer marketing hub?

A TikTok influencer marketing hub, like Kolsquare, is a comprehensive platform designed to streamline finding and collaborating with the right influencers for your TikTok campaigns.

These platforms use advanced AI technology to filter through thousands of profiles, helping you identify content creators who align with your brand's values and reach your target audience effectively.

By leveraging a platform like Kolsquare, you can quickly assess influencer metrics such as engagement rates, follower demographics, and content relevance. This makes choosing highly engaging and credible influencers capable of providing a strong ROI easy. Try a demo today for free.

Work with TikTok influencer marketing agencies

Influencer marketing agencies work like any other agency by connecting you with the right influencers.

In influencer marketing, these services aid brands daunted by the prospect of influencer marketing. Many agencies will take on an entire campaign end-to-end, from creating content ideas to developing reports.

How do you promote influencer content on TikTok?

Promoting influencer content on TikTok effectively involves leveraging the strengths and audience insights of key opinion leaders (KOLs) who are creative influencers with deep impact in their niches.

These influencers have a nuanced understanding of their followers, crafting content that genuinely resonates with their audience.

As CEO of the Marketoonist, Tom Fishbourne, said, "The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing."

Instead, it's perceived as entertaining content that belongs on your audience's feeds. Here are a few ways to spark those connections:

  • Product Reviews: After you send a free product, influencers can showcase it, sharing honest feedback and personal experiences that impact purchasing decisions.
  • Tutorials: These step-by-step guides, in which influencers demonstrate how to use a product, are a great way to provide practical value by showing the product's real-life applications.
  • Hashtag Challenges: These campaigns encourage the influencer's audience to create their own content around a branded hashtag, helping you dominate online conversation.
  • Brand Takeovers: An influencer takes over your TikTok account for a set period to draw in new followers and inject the influencer's personality into your content.
  • Live Streams: Influencers can use TikTok's live streaming feature to showcase products, host Q&A sessions, or conduct live tutorials, adding an interactive element to the campaign and upping engagement.
  • Co-created Content: Work with influencers to create bespoke content that fits both the brand's and the influencer's style and message, enhancing authenticity.
  • Exclusive Offers: Influencers can promote unique promo codes or special offers to their followers, enabling you to track which influencers led to clicks and conversions.
  • Long-Term Partnerships: By committing to a long-term strategy, you enhance the authenticity of the collaboration and signal to influencers and their followers that you value genuine partnerships. Long-term collaborations with the right influencer will mean that your brand remains a consistent presence on users' feeds, resulting in a more memorable brand image, which can lead to higher conversion rates over time.

Tips for a target-smashing TikTok influencer marketing campaign

TikTok campaigns are complex, but following best practices will help marketers launch effective campaigns.

Set clear goals

TikTok influencer marketing campaigns need direction. Knowing precisely what you want to achieve and which key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to hit will help you decide who to work with and how.

Consider all goals, from an increase in followers, brand awareness, website traffic, mentions, or direct sales.

Set up your business account

If you don't already have a business account on TikTok, setting one up is a crucial step. A business account enhances your brand's legitimacy and allows you to access TikTok's rich suite of marketing tools and analytics.

For example, TikTok offers a Creator Marketplace to help brands match with influencers.

TikTok influencer marketing cost- How much do TikTok influencers make?

A successful collaboration will feature an influencer with high engagement yet enough reach for your budget. The following numbers are a guide rather than a set cost, as influencer rates are up for negotiation.

  • Nano-influencer: 0K – 5K
    • Average engagement rate: 17.81%
    • Average cost: £10 – £100 per post.
  • Micro-influencer: 5K-100K
    • Average engagement rate: 5.82%
    • Average cost: £100 – £500 per post.
  • Macro-influencer: 100K – 1M
    • Average engagement rate: 4.10%
    • Average cost: £500 - £5,000 per post.
  • Mega-influencer: 1m+
    • Average engagement rate: 2.93%
    • Average cost: £500 - £5,000 per post.

Generally, smaller influencers provide better engagement, while big names will increase prestige.

That said, you must collaborate with creators who believe in your business to ensure the content is authentic. TikTok is all about genuine and highly engaging content.

Define your Budget & ROI

Budgeting and ROI are critical aspects to consider when planning an influencer marketing campaign due to the variable costs associated with different types of influencers and campaign strategies.

Decide whether you want to work with a range of nano-influencers or a few macro-influencers. The complexity and duration of the campaign also impact the budget. A simple one-off post will cost less than a comprehensive campaign involving multiple posts, stories, or additional content like videos or live sessions.

Measure your influencer ads with KPIs

Measuring the effectiveness of your influencer ads is crucial to determine the success of your campaigns and to identify the most impactful influencers. Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) allows you to quantify the performance and adjust strategies accordingly. Here's how you can effectively measure your influencer ads using important metrics, such as:

  • Engagement Rate: This is one of the primary metrics for assessing influencer effectiveness. High engagement rates typically indicate that the content is resonating well with the audience.
  • Reach and Impressions: These metrics help gauge the spread and visibility of your influencer campaigns.
  • Hashtag Tracking: If you're using a branded hashtag in your campaign, monitoring its performance can provide insights into its spread and adoption.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR): If your influencer ads include links (to a landing page, product page, etc.), tracking the click-through rate is essential. CTR measures how effectively the content drives traffic to your intended destination.
  • Conversion Rate: For campaigns with specific actions in mind, such as purchases, sign-ups, or downloads, measuring the conversion rate is a vital assessment.
  • Cost Per Action (CPA): If conversions are your goal, calculate the cost-effectiveness of the campaign by dividing the total campaign cost by the number of conversions. This KPI helps determine the financial impact of the influencer partnership and whether it's delivering a good return on investment.
  • ROI: Ultimately, calculating the ROI by comparing the profit generated from the campaign against the cost can highlight the campaign's overall effectiveness.
  • Audience Growth: An uptick in your brand's social media followers can indicate a successful influencer campaign, especially if new follower acquisition aligns with campaign timings.

While direct gains like conversions are key, keep in mind that growth in brand awareness and sentiment are also key.

TikTok influencer platform vs a TikTok influencer marketing agency to boost ROI

Brands often struggle to launch effective campaigns without becoming bogged down in messages and hashtags.

To avoid grunt work taking over–with endless spreadsheets and emails–brands can onboard these third-party tools.

One option is agencies. Agencies can help you find influencers with whom to collaborate or manage your entire campaign from start to finish.

These companies tend to specialise and focus on influencers on a single platform or industry. This can limit growth, as many specialise in targeting a single niche, demographic, or social media platform.

However, they are still a good choice for brands seeking hands-on assistance with their influencer marketing. However, that does come at higher price tags.

On the other hand, influencer marketing platforms are tools that combine all of a brand's influencer marketing requirements in one hub.

Marketers may not find that a single-influencer collaboration may not become operationally complex, but a multi-influencer campaign will.

Imagine streamlining every stage of your campaign with features that provide:

  • Actionable insights into trends and the conversations happening on social networks.
  • A wealth of data about every TikTok influencer with over 5,000 followers, including analytics to assess their reach, credibility, engagement, and potential fit for specific campaigns.
  • AI-driven searches that make finding best-fit influencers as easy as a Google search.
  • A hub for all influencer communications and outreach, with immediate access to influencer's contact details.
  • AI-created reports about how a campaign is progressing that you can understand and act on in minutes.

Above all, platforms strip the operational complexity from campaigns, saving time and money and increasing the likelihood that you'll launch profitable campaigns.

Wondering if this could benefit you? Sample a platform cost-free by booking a Kolsquare demo today.

TikTok influencer marketing campaign example

Pretty Little Thing #PLTHaul and Collaboration with TikTok Stars

PrettyLittleThing (PLT), a fast-fashion retailer known for its trendy styles and affordable prices, leveraged the power of TikTok influencer marketing to launch a highly successful "haul" campaign.

Campaign Goals: PLT wanted to Increase brand awareness among Gen Z audiences, drive traffic to the PLT website and app, and boost sales.

Strategy: PLT encouraged user-centric content with the hashtag #PLTHaul. It also partnered with a range of influencers.

The campaign focused on the popular "haul" video format, where influencers unbox, try on, and review a selection of PLT clothing. This format provided viewers with an interactive and relatable shopping experience.

Encouraging User-Generated Content (UGC): PLT used branded hashtags like #PLTHaul and #PrettyLittleThing to enable viewers to create their own haul videos. This strategy increased brand engagement and spread virality.

In addition, PLT hosts events, such as its UK Christmas party, in which it invites UK TikTok influencers, such as Grace Keeling (@gkbarry) with 3.5M followers. Her post about the party resulted in 110,000 likes.  

It also launches ads with TikTok accounts like @ab61e, who has 328.3K followers, to show off shopping hauls.

Impact: The campaign generated a significant amount of user-generated content with the branded hashtag #PLTHaul, garnering millions of views. In addition, many of their influencer marketing posts result in hundreds of thousands of views, making them a go-to fashion brand.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

Influencer Marketing Newsletter

Don't miss a thing!