How To Use TikTok Influencer Marketing To Increase Sales

three rows of repeating cubes, some of which have the TikTok logo on them: tiktok influencer marketing

TikTok has more than a billion monthly active users globally, which makes it a powerful tool for brands. TikTok influencer marketing can be a particularly effective way to leverage this power. Here’s how the strategy works and how businesses of all sizes can leverage influencer partnerships to reach their goals. 

How does TikTok influencer marketing work?

TikTok influencer marketing is a social media marketing tactic in which brands partner with TikTok creators to promote their products to TikTok users. Typically, brands pay influencers who are popular with their target demographics to create and publish branded content on the influencers’ own TikTok accounts.

How can brands benefit from TikTok influencer marketing?

There are many reasons to integrate influencers into your TikTok marketing campaigns. Here’s an overview of the benefits:

Increased brand awareness and trust 

Influencer-generated content can increase brand awareness and also build trust with a brand’s existing customer base. Research shows that while only 38% of consumers trust branded social media content, 61% trust influencer recommendations. 

Access to specific target audiences

Influencer marketing can enable precise audience targeting. If you want to increase brand awareness among fans of adaptive skateboarding, for example, you can partner with an influencer in this space for direct access to their niche audience. 

Increased sales 

TikTok’s link-in-bio feature can drive traffic to your ecommerce store and boost digital sales. Research shows influencer marketing is particularly effective in driving sales among TikTok’s audience base, which tends to skew younger than other social media. One recent HubSpot study found 33% of Gen Z responders purchased a product based on an influencer recommendation. 

Shopify merchant Peace Out Skincare partners with TikTok influencers to promote its products and drive sales. For a new product launch the brand gave products to a number of TikTok influencers. Two influencers collaborated on a video, which went viral on TikTok and earned more than 2.4 million likes, 60,000 shares, and 12 million views. The result was $15,000 in product sales in just one day. 

On top of the initial sales success, the video continued to trend for months, driving more and more sales. 

How to get started with TikTok influencer marketing

  1. Set goals
  2. Determine your budget
  3. Find TikTok influencers
  4. Choose the right influencers
  5. Approach potential partners
  6. Create a contract
  7. Measure results

Successful TikTok campaigns pair the right company with the right influencer in pursuit of clearly defined, attainable marketing goals. Here’s how to find influencers and start your own campaign:

1. Set goals

Like all marketing initiatives, TikTok influencer marketing campaigns start with goal setting. Evaluate your existing business and marketing goals and set focused TikTok marketing goals that support those larger objectives. For example, if one of your marketing goals is to increase traffic to your website by 20%, you might set the TikTok influencer marketing goal of earning 1,000 click-throughs to your site over a three-week period.

2. Determine your budget

Revisit your digital marketing budget and determine how much you can afford to spend on your TikTok influencer campaign. Influencer pricing varies, and TikTok influencer costs can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000 per video, depending on the size of the influencer’s following. Micro-influencers, for example, typically have between 50,000 and 150,000 followers and charge an average of $1,500 per post. 

If your budget is limited, keep in mind that you can always start small and adjust later. In most cases, a starting budget of around $2,000 is enough to effectively test an influencer marketing strategy. 

3. Find TikTok influencers

The next step is to find suitable influencers for your TikTok campaign. You can conduct primary research on the TikTok social platform by searching for keywords or hashtags relevant to your niche. If you sell gardening products, you might search for the keyword “gardening” and the hashtag #gardeningtips. TikTok will display the top posts for each.

You can use these posts to identify relevant influencers and other popular hashtags. TikTok also maintains an analytics tool called TikTok Creator Marketplace. Businesses can register for an account and use the tool to find influencers on the platform. 

You can also find influencers through a third-party influencer marketing platform or by using a search engine. Keep in mind that search engine queries are more likely to surface macro and celebrity influencers than influencers with smaller followings. 

If you are interested in having TikTok influencers join your affiliate marketing program, you can use Shopify Collabs to find them. The influencer marketing software is built right into Shopify, so you can recruit, manage and pay commissions to TikTok influencers within your shop.

4. Choose the right influencers

Once you’ve identified a list of potential influencer partners, it’s time to choose influencers for your campaign. Here are a few factors to consider:

Content quality

TikTok’s algorithm prioritizes entertaining content over a user’s follower count to a greater degree than other social media networks. This means selecting an influencer with a large number of followers is less important than finding a partner who consistently creates engaging content. 

Brand identity

Your influencer partner will represent your brand and company, so look for a partner with an aligned brand identity and value set. 

Audience niche

Businesses can leverage influencer marketing tactics to target precise subsets of their overall target audiences. For example, if you sell high-quality interior paints, you might look for an influencer in the DIY home improvement space who creates videos on coordinating interior color schemes.

Engagement rates

High engagement rates signal an influencer is consistently posting high-quality TikTok videos. You can see engagement rates in TikTok Creator Marketplace. 

Here, beauty brand Glossier partnered with TikTok beauty and makeup influencer Michaela to promote their new fluid foundation. Michaela produces high quality videos and has more than 200,000 followers who trust their product reviews and tutorials. This makes them an engaging and effective influencer for Glossier to work with.

@yhkayla @Glossier casually just made my dream foundation😍 Stretch Fluid Foundation is top 2 not number 2✨ #glossierpartner AD #stretchfluidfoundation #newfoundationalert ♬ Kawaii Aesthetic - LoES

5. Approach potential partners

Once you’ve built a list of potential partners, you’re ready to approach potential partners. You can send a cold email, a DM, or a message through an influencer platform. Include how your brand aligns with theirs, your goals, content requests, and proposed compensation. 

Here’s a sample pitch:

Hi TomatoPrincess! I’m writing to inquire about a paid influencer partnership with my company, Heirloom Direct. I’m a big fan of your DIY gardening tips, and I think your audience might be interested in some of our rare heirloom tomato varieties. Our audience is home gardeners with an interest in heritage seeds and sustainable living. Our campaign goal is to increase awareness of our brand and boost traffic to our website. We can offer $1,000 for a video posted to your account, plus a link in bio live for 72 hours after the post.

I’d love to connect with you about campaign specifics. Are you available for a quick call later this week?

I look forward to connecting with you soon!

6. Create a contract

Once you make contact, you can negotiate the terms of your agreement and create a formal contract. Putting your expectations in writing can ensure both you and your influencer partner understand the specifics of your deal. It can also help you strike a balance between providing creative freedom for your partner and ensuring your business requirements are met. 

Include specifics about number of videos, length, timing, subject matter, and compensation. You can also use your contract to outline the content creation process, including whether you’ll require an editorial review of videos prior to publication. 

7. Measure results

After the campaign is complete, return to your goals and measure the results. Determine what worked and what you’d like to improve for your next campaign, and how TikTok influencer marketing fits into your digital marketing strategy going forward.

Be sure to follow up with the influencer and thank them for their participation, especially if you’d like to work with them in the future.

Find TikTok influencers to drive sales with Shopify Collabs

Shopify Collabs makes it easy to partner with creators, promote your products, reach new customers, grow your sales, and track affiliate campaign performance all from Shopify admin.

Discover Shopify Collabs

TikTok influencer marketing FAQ

How much does it cost to work with TikTok influencers?

TikTok influencers can charge anywhere from $800 to more than $10,000 per video, depending on the number of followers they have on the platform.

Are there risks associated with TikTok influencer marketing?

TikTok influencer marketing is relatively low-risk, but brands typically monitor an influencer’s public activities to be aware of any actions that could potentially damage their company’s reputation.

Is it possible to measure the ROI of TikTok influencer marketing campaigns?

Yes. You can measure traffic from TikTok to your online store and monitor overall changes in key performance metrics after implementing an influencer marketing campaign.