Using TikTok for Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

TikTok logo in phone with pink background
TikTok logo in phone with pink background

Have you ever found yourself stuck in the endless loop of watching TikTok videos for hours on end? This TikTok time warp can be forgiven as there is no denying the limitless amount of content available online. Interestingly, people have also adopted the platform as their go-to source for news, entertainment and social updates.

Brands and organisations are recognising this and exploring opportunities on the addictive social media platform to amplify their messages. Play and entertainment company Hasbro recently hired its first Chief TikTok Officer to curate special content for its range of Nerf blasters. If you are finding a channel to launch your next influencer marketing campaign, then read on!

Table of Contents:

Reaching Out to the New Age Consumers

Consumer behaviours have evolved and reaching out to them requires innovative ways to get their attention. Mobile penetration rate is at the highest rate ever in the history of telecommunications as smartphones become much more affordable than ever before. And a large part of these users are Millennials and Gen Z consumers who are highly aware of what they want to experience. Many brands are understandably adapting their strategies to go mobile and apps such as TikTok are the way forward.

A McKinsey report highlighted that the newest generation of consumers - and spenders - are changing the ways how the retail industry innovate their interactions with them. Gen Z and millennials demand much more in their retail experience - they discern every choice that they make about the brand before proceeding -  and mobile apps such as TikTok give them the interaction that they want with the brands they follow. These changes in values and how Gen Z and millennials spend their money will ultimately affect how brands reach out to them and differ from traditional methods such as advertising.

And we have seen that shift from how brands are reaching out to consumers - people are no longer just consuming, but they want to participate in their experience. Many brands are adapting to include influencer marketing into their strategies and rolling out campaigns on TikTok to interact with their audiences. This shift is a growing trend that highlights that advertising needs a revamp. Brands are repositioning themselves to tap into the influencer marketing scene.

Hands holding mobile phones on orange background

Due to the tactile nature of mobile apps, consumers are instantly skipping ads on various platforms. The advent of ad blockers and the intrusive nature of ads in the mobile space further add to the problem. This method of using ads in the mobile space is not working as well as brands want due to the more discerning nature of consumers.

This changing attitude towards ads, reiterates the importance of influencer marketing. Ng Chew Wee, TikTok’s Head of Business Marketing (Southeast Asia), says social media has transitioned from the Age of Consumption to the Age of Participation. Consumers are no longer just consuming the content from brands on social media, but they want to participate and engage with them.

Why Brands Should Use TikTok for Influencer Marketing

TikTok is the hottest social app right now. With almost a billion downloads last year, the social media app has created thousands of influencers within their ranks -  from Charli D'Amelio to Michael Le to Khaby Lame - and this makes the platform perfect for brands to incorporate an influencer marketing campaign. Its short form video format as well as the collaborative nature of its creators on the platform foster communities and build connections. With more than 41% of users being in the Gen Z demographic, marketers looking to connect with the younger generation audience should not ignore TikTok.

For example, French cosmetics brand Avene have used a global influencer marketing campaign to generate awareness and interest in their brand. Using influencers on TikTok, the brand rolled out an awareness campaign on the company’s mantra of being eco-friendly and its action plan on protecting the environment in its production. Using #skinprotectoceanrespect, the brand enlisted influencers across the world to promote their products.

Influencers promoting Avene on TikTok

In Singapore, Avene enlisted the services of local influencers Naomi Yeo and her partner Benjamin Kheng to promote their new line of skincare products through TikTok. Weaving her own music into the video as well as a peek into their private lives, Yeo used comic relief to tell their experience of taking care of their skin on a daily basis. The global campaign amassed more than 216,000 views of influencer-related content and reinforced the brand’s messages on consumers within the TikTok audience. This campaign - and the impact that it can generate for your brand - highlights the importance of why brands should engage influencers to spread their message on TikTok. 

Influencers have the ability to persuade their fans or audiences to craft opinions on brands. However, consumers these days do not necessarily adore advertisements which are product-driven and curated branding. On TikTok, influencers and consumers love to engage with each other and this organically builds the relationship. Opinions can be shaped positively and subsequently develop a consumer behaviour which favours brands and their products. 

In a traditional marketing campaign, brands would engage an agency to create an advertisement and invest a substantial amount of their budgets to air them. This is still a viable and lucrative form of advertising, but influencer marketing campaigns on TikTok can also bring in returns which require a fraction of the budget.

Brands are actively engaging consumers as well as discovering influencers that resonate with their messaging and values. This trend is the definitive trait of influencer marketing and how brands and audiences collaborate to promote their products.

Logos of different social apps in a heap

The Difference between TikTok & Other Social Apps

Fundamentally, TikTok is the perfect platform for brands to collaborate with social influencers. Like any other social media platform, sharing experiences remains key to why people join the network. These experiences are the main driving force behind the content that becomes viral which in turn drives people to amplify them to their own networks. The organic nature of the content that influencers create is definitely a plus point for audiences. Users relate better with the untainted and natural feel of the videos.

TikTok’s Edge in Influencer Marketing

So what is the difference between TikTok and other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook? The audience on other platforms only reach out to friends and followers of your network. TikTok on the other hand caters to those networks and the wider audience of total strangers! Using algorithms and AI, influencers on TikTok reach out to various audiences on a larger scale.

Combining this aspect of a wider audience with the importance of influencers in changing consumer behaviours, this method boosts the brand’s name in the minds of the people watching the content. With this link between influencers, consumers and the brand is also another reason why brands should embark on influencer marketing. When brands have both influencers and the long reach of TikTok, messages are shared much more effectively and people grow attached to brands they develop an affinity for.

How are TikTok influencers Different?

But why are consumers more likely to watch raw, unedited content on TikTok than a slickly-curated one by professionals? The attractiveness of influencers being “flaw-some”. Slick, well-curated and flashy advertisements will still play an important role in marketing but content on TikTok plays to a different set of rules. Influencers and stars are celebrated for accepting their “imperfections” and consumers are more likely to relate to these “flaws”. 

This new generation of consumers have also produced their new generation of influencers. These influencers are everyday people who found fame on TikTok and this represents a form of relatability with consumers. Due to this relatability, Millennials and Gen Zs appreciate the authentic voices of influencers. 

Gen Z and millenials are highly conscious of narratives within content and express their thoughts by interacting with influencers and brands. The interactivity between the two sides transforms the relationship. This close relationship between influencers, brands and consumers translates into a form of “trust”. The more relatable the content of TikTok influencers is, the higher level of “trust” is established between brands and consumers. This is what makes influencer marketing in the TikTok world that extra edge. 

Animation of influencer producing content

Embarking on Your TikTok Influencer Marketing Campaign 

Now that you are interested in rolling out influencer marketing with TikTok, what should you be looking for to kick start your journey? Here are some general guidelines you should follow.

Using the TikTok Creator Marketplace

Going straight to the source will definitely give you the best native data sets on the performance of TikTok creators. TikTok can also promptly link you with influencers that you want to co-create as well as promote your content using their own internal marketing programmes.

Engage an agency

Alternatively, hiring an agency to set up an influencer marketing campaign for you will definitely save you a lot of time and coordination obstacles. However, if there are budget constraints, this might be less appealing to your brand. Furthermore, you know your customers best and this knowledge will provide a good platform for selecting influencers.

For a more robust influencer marketing campaign, you will want to have a direct line of communication to influencers. These days, brands also want more transparency as well as interaction with their influencers. Through this direct communication, brands are able to maintain the messaging of their campaign and keep goals aligned between them and their influencers.

Use a social influencer marketing tool

Marketers do not have the luxury of scrolling through thousands of videos and getting sucked into the TikTok time warp. They also cannot properly evaluate the influencers that they want to collaborate with because there are only vanity metrics, such as video views and likes, available for them to analyse.

In view of the situation, many marketers are relying on a social influencer tool - such as Meltwater’s - to ease the challenges of finding the right influencers for their campaigns. They require a tool that can analyse and monitor the performance of potential influencers that they want to collaborate with. With an in-house tool, they can also incorporate a multitude of campaigns including a micro influencer marketing campaign to promote a new product!

Tips to Find The Right TikTok Influencers

Find influencers by topics

Meltwater’s social influencer tool allows you to find influencers through specific topics such as body positivity or comedy. This simplifies the process of identifying profiles which have considerable influence on a specific subject and also resonate with your target audience.

Check out their content performance

Using a social influencer tool enables marketers to analyse the performance of potential influencers as well as check the content they are producing - all in a single platform. 

Assess brand endorsements of influencers

Ensure alignment by looking through the other brands that the influencers have represented and select the correct ones for your campaign.

With all that you need on influencer marketing in one platform, finding the right influencers for your brand has never been easier and faster. Find out more about our social influencer tool and how we can help you in finding the best micro influencers for your campaign by filling .

TikTok influencers in the Asia Pacific region

Touching on a range of topics here in the Asia Pacific region, we took a look at several TikTok influencers who would do great for your brand or industry.

Influencer scorecard for Alfy Saga

Mixing anecdotes of marriage life and parenthood, Indonesian Alfy Saga has a massive following on TikTok. He incorporates comedy and choreographed dance routines with his wife and documents his moments with his child. He has worked with e-commerce brands such as Lazada and Tokopedia for his content.

Influencer scorecard for Philmar Alipayo

Philmar is a professional surfer who uses TikTok profile to showcase the beautiful beaches of the Philippines. Apart from surfing, his funny and wholesome TikTok videos include moments with his family and friends. Philmar is the perfect influencer for the brands he has endorsed such as Vans and Slater Design surfboards.

Influencer scorecard for Mathilda Huang

From the island of Singapore, Mathilda uses TikTok to promote body image positivity and female empowerment. She has an ardent following of 40,000 and she uses the platform to promote her business Sage Soiree. Strong social advocacy and alignment to values have motivated brands such as FoodPanda and Asics to collaborate with Mathilda for her social media content.

Influencer scorecard for Zarul Imran

The boyish Zarul of Malaysia has more than 450,000 followers on TikTok. His content usually consists of inspirational quotes and espousing positivity. He also mixes in dance routines as well as cultural tributes. He has not worked with any brand so far, but undoubtedly his massive audience will attract future endorsements.

Influencer scorecard for Marty and Michael

Stunts, pranks and skits - this Australian comic duo will stop at nothing to make their audience laugh. With 2.5 million followers, their TikTok comedy fest has propelled them to collaborate with global brands such as Nitro Circus, McDonald’s and Sony Playstation!

Notable TikTok Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Khaby Lame & Barilla

TikTok influencer Khaby Lame celebrating Barilla Rigatoni Day

With 68 million followers worldwide and counting, Khaby Lame recently joined forces with Italian pasta company Barilla to promote a fictitious Rigatoni Day on 24 May. Khaby’s deadpan comedy on solving daily dilemmas has attracted almost a billion likes from around the world. This collaboration video garnered more than two million interactions. With a high estimated media value (EMV) of more than 12 million dollars per post, consumers will start to think of Barilla when they need their next bowl of pasta!

TikTok influencers doing the Menulog delivery dance

In Australia, food delivery app Menulog launched a campaign encouraging customers to create a dance to celebrate when they receive their orders. With the help of notable TikTok influencers in Australia such as Georgia Productions, the Rybka twins and Jamie Zhu, they gyrated to the famous beat of Snoop Dogg’s rap for the brand. The campaign received more than 23 million views. The campaign further enhanced its brand recognition and sets it apart from its competitors.

#trytheKFCsandwich campaign

TikTok influencers promoting KFC chicken sandwich

Fast food chain KFC also launched a nationwide campaign to promote its KFC sandwich and recruited septuagenarian social influencer Lili Hayes dressed as its ubiquitous Colonel Sanders. In her infamous ranting style, Hayes urged other influencers as well as fans on TikTok to recreate their own promo videos for the KFC sandwich.The campaign was undeniably a rousing success which generated more than 206 million views of TikTok videos!

Influencer marketing through TikTok should be part of your brand’s strategy to reach out to your audience. Consumers are more receptive to these organic relationships because they are tired with product placement advertisements. Interacting with consumers is definitely the way to go and TikTok influencers can build that bridge to connect with them. 

So, now that your brand knows more about influencer marketing and how TikTok can help boost that strategy, connect with us by filling and learn how Meltwater can help your brand find the best influencers with our Social Influencer Tool!.

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