**Originally published April 8th, 2020. Updated May 12th, 2021** 

TikTok was launched back in 2016 as a video platform where users could share and edit quirky videos. In its infancy, the content mostly centered around comedy skits and lip-syncs, but since then, it has created a more-than-impressive following and is currently one of the most popular apps on the planet.

Right now, TikTok’s demographic predominantly leans towards the younger generations. But as the app grows in popularity, users of all ages are getting in on the action and seeing what the hype is about. The social platform has been downloaded over 2.5 billion times on the App Store and Google Play store,  according to Sensor Tower (Dec 2020). TikTok reached the 1.5 billion download milestone just 5 months ago in April 2020 and was the most downloaded app of 2020 according to App Annie.

As TikTok continues its surge in popularity, many brands find themselves observing the ways the platform is shaping pop culture and online conversations. And frankly, they want to get in on the action. TikTok dubs itself as “a platform that brings joy to millions” through its highly addictive short-form videos. But can influencer marketing on TikTok also bring some much-needed engagement and vitality to your brand? The answer to that question is an emphatic YES!

To gain insight as to why so many marketers and influencers are taking on the world of TikTok, it’s important to understand what makes influencer marketing effective on the platform. Here are some best practices for TikTok influencer marketing in 2021.

tiktok logo against graph-like backdrop


Best Practices for TikTik Influencer Marketing in 2021

As a result of TikTok’s seemingly meteoric rise, it’s natural for companies to be eager to experiment and use the platform to engage with the often hard-to-reach but extremely valuable Gen-Z demographic. Experimentation allows brand managers to gauge the potential reach of TikTok influencers. At the same time, it’s important to pair experimentation with a thoughtful content strategy to make a good digital first impression with platform users.

We recently put together an extensive guide to influencer marketing on TikTok, and we highly suggest you take a look at it if your brand is looking to activate an influencer campaign on the platform. But we also wanted to take the opportunity to provide additional insights around tactics to maximize the ROI of your campaign.


Know Your Demographic

Successful influencer marketing on TikTok hinges on your understanding of which consumers are interested in your products or services, and where they typically spend their time on social media. If your brand is looking to sell to Gen Z’ers, know exactly what it is about your product or service that appeals to them. From there, effectively communicate these points to your influencer partners during the content creation phase.

Now, this doesn’t mean provide a laundry list of features to incorporate into your influencers’ content; outline the benefits that resonate strongly with your target audience so they can use that information to produce content that generates both attention and engagement.


Analyze The Metrics

Measuring views, engagements (which, on TikTok, translates to hearts, comments, and shares), and reach is paramount to the success of a campaign. TikTok has begun allowing users to add profile links, meaning businesses can now drive traffic directly to their websites from within the app and direct followers to their desired shopping destinations.

The most challenging obstacle we’re seeing right now with brands attempting to measure the metrics of influencer marketing on TikTok is the difficulty in executing and assessing campaigns with a group of multiple influencers simultaneously. Collecting this data manually can be an arduous and often challenging undertaking, but it is an absolute necessity if you wish to determine the true impact your campaign is having online.

Influencer marketing platforms like Influsoft can be helpful in this regard, because they systematically collect and analyze your data, presenting it in a much more digestible manner. This allows you to focus on other organizational tasks and roadmap your future influencer efforts.


Don’t Try To Control The Message Too Much

As marketers, the beauty of TikTok content is that it’s designed to be both lightning-quick and controlled by the user base. As is the case with other platforms, pushing an ultra-specific brand message and expecting a specific type of engagement is not a recipe for success. In fact, most successful TikTok campaigns involve influencers and users taking your idea, hashtag challenge, or filter and doing their own thing with it.

This aspect is something many brands may struggle with. Some businesses wish to maintain tight control and oversight of their brand messaging. This is why we suggest that before launching a campaign, your brand considers a best and worst-case scenario around empowering your influencer to have creative control of the content they produce for your campaign. Remember, you shouldn’t be afraid to show a human side of your brand, because that’s where the authentic relationships with influencers come into play and convey an organic message to your target audience.


Keep Your Pricing Structure in Mind

While influencer marketing is thriving on TikTok, a standard influencer pricing structure hasn’t yet fully developed on the platform. Working with an influencer marketing agency or an influencer platform may help you define best practices based on their experiences with the app. Again, platforms like Influsoft can assist you in pricing and reaching out to influencers to establish a more accurate and refined pricing structure for influencers on TikTok, and every other social platform as well.


Be Aware Of Regulatory Guidelines

TikTok is a fast-paced platform by nature, which makes sponsored influencer posts more difficult to spot on TikTok compared to other social media networks. But don’t forget, the same regulations still apply. As most organizations are already aware, the FTC requires all paid posts to include a clear and visible disclosure that the content is an advertisement or a sponsored post. Brands should make it a priority to keep a close eye on the ever-evolving guidelines to make sure your organization is in compliance.


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