Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
As TikTok blasts off as the fastest-growing social media platform, TikTok influencer marketing opportunities are growing up left and right. Learn how to do influencer marketing right.
Influencer marketing has revolutionized how businesses connect with customers. This digital marketing strategy is the modern version of a celebrity testimonial and acts as a powerful form of social proof.
TikTok is a relatively new platform compared to the other social media marketing giants, most notably Instagram and Facebook. However, this burgeoning platform has rapidly adopted influencer culture with plenty of crossover from other platforms.
Here are ten effective tips for working with TikTok influencers to grow your business.
1. Set Clear Goals
Before engaging in influencer outreach, it's essential to figure out the goals of your influencer relationship. For some businesses, the overarching goal will be direct conversions. Product-based companies often work with an influencer to push sales as the main focus of a campaign. Conversely, you can also use an influencer relationship to build a larger audience or introduce qualified leads to the sales funnel.
Clarifying your goals will help narrow down which influencers are right for your campaign. Furthermore, it will help you create a framework for your influencer relationship and overall campaign.
2. Use an Existing Influencer Database
Many companies start their influencer marketing strategy with specific collaborations in mind. Others know that there's a tremendous opportunity to connect but have no idea where to start. While it's entirely possible to Google the top influencers, there's a better way.
If you aren't sure who you want to work with, consider browsing an influencer database like Julius or Fanbytes. You can also search for influencers based on your hashtag research, using the hashtags you want to rank for.
3. Consider Cross-Posting Capabilities
One of the bright spots of using TikTok is that it's easy to repurpose content and cross-post on various platforms. According to the experts at Celebian, this is one of the most effective strategies for rapid growth.
When vetting potential influencers, take a look at their presence on other platforms as well. Determine whether working with them guarantees cross-promotion across platforms and if they have the same fanbase to pull it off.
4. Search for Value-Aligned Influencers
Another critical consideration when vetting influencers is whether their values are in alignment with your business mission. Working with someone who holds similar beliefs is an important factor to keep in mind when assessing relevance.
For example, the influencer you choose might have an audience that fits your target demographic. However, if your company sells vegan food products, you wouldn't necessarily want to partner with an influencer who has posed in a fur coat. It's those subtle touches that lead to big problems down the road.
When you shortlist potential influencers, spend some time scrolling through their content to determine if there are any red flags regarding value alignment. It can also be helpful to have a list of exploratory questions when in discussion with potential influencers to get a better idea of their mission and values.
5. Consider a Micro Approach
Over the past two years, digital marketers have come to realize a fundamental fact. The number of followers isn't everything; engaged followers are the bread and butter of influencer marketing. When an influencer has taken the time to cultivate relationships and build customer trust, having 10,000 followers can be more profitable than having 100,000 followers.
Consider adding a few micro-influencers to your influencer marketing strategy. This approach is a fantastic way to try some A/B testing and determine whether a large-scale influencer or smaller, engaged community approach is best for your offering.
6. Allow For Creative Freedom
While working with micro-influencers is an opportunity, being a micro-manager is a recipe for disaster. Influencers are incredibly skilled at engaging their audience by showcasing their personality and unique flair. Rather than trying to oversee how they market your product or service, let them do what they do best.
Put protective guidelines in place, indicating if there are specific words to use or avoid, as well as some basic selling points. However, rather than crafting a script for them to follow, let your influencers communicate in an authentic, conversational tone. Keep in mind that Gen Z dominates TikTok, and they don't like being marketed to. This consumer behavior is one reason why influencer marketing has become so successful in recent years.
7. Set the Right Price
Many established influencers will have a pricing model in place for collaborations. However, where TikTok is a newer platform, many influencers are still open to negotiation.
Rather than offering a flat rate, consider outlining an affiliate or commission-based payment structure. This format encourages influencers to put in the work and guarantees that your marketing spend won't outpace your conversions.
8. Put a Contract in Place
While an email affirmation could hold up in court, it's best to have a legal document in place when starting an influencer relationship. This document ensures both the influencer and company are protected. Having this documentation in place is important for all platforms, but TikTok in particular as the company itself hasn't ironed out all of their cybersecurity and regulatory battles.
9. Understand the Regulatory Implications
Before engaging in an influencer relationship, it's critical to understand what's required in regards to regulatory and legalities with sponsored posts. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has mandated that all sponsored posts or paid relationships with affiliate ads must be identified as such. Influencers must indicate that they're receiving compensation or affiliate funds within the first line of their post or video.
In TikTok, this currently means adding "ad" or "paid partnership" in the caption. However, there is some discussion surrounding an audio disclosure as well, especially as video marketing is growing exponentially. Do your due diligence and ensure your company is up to date with the latest guidelines surrounding TikTok sponsorship disclosures as this opportunity develops.
10. Measure Success with Analytics
Finally, it's important to identify KPIs that align with your campaign goals and using analytics to determine whether your influencer partnership was effective. These insights are invaluable in determining whether you've partnered with the right person and whether this strategy is right for your business.
Set aside time to have a post-mortem after each campaign and determine what went well, what failed, and what lessons you'll carry forward.
With these ten tips, you can capitalize on the rising star that is TikTok influencer marketing. Outline clear goals, choose influencers who are relevant and aligned with your brand, and execute an effective marketing campaign with this unique social media platform.
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