We’ve all heard of TikTok and let’s face it everyone is on TikTok these days, even the ones who say they aren’t. It is just a matter of time when it will take over since after all, it is one of the fastest-growing apps atm. It is even stealing key user demographics from Youtube, and for sure, it is disrupting the market.
The videos are mostly funny, entertaining, and short, the interface is quite simple, and the app is easy to use.
Being one of the most popular apps, it is slowly becoming a good base for businesses and it is drawing the attention of advertisers to promote their products/services.
At the start of this year only, TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app, surpassing Facebook and WhatsApp. It is interesting to mention that TikTok was heavily invested in the user experience over monetisation. According to Apptopia, back in January, TikTok’s saw its in-app purchase revenue rise 310% on a year-on-year basis. Making its platform more brand accessible will help it continue this growth (source: thedrum.com).
Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks, They Say
Some say that TikTok is “Just For Kids” – don’t trust this, it is not the full picture. There are around 80+ million TikTok app users in the US only and the overall audience is 16-24 years of age for now. The screen time for TikTok is around 50 minutes per day! The duration of the video is from 15-60 seconds and there are several ways you can create content. Our recommendation is to consume, consume, consume as much material as possible so you get into the TikTok atmosphere first.
But first, you need to evaluate the verticals you are going to promote and ensure that the chance of converting is high with younger users and that the budget is equivalent to a younger person’s budget possibilities and get as much traffic as possible to start your TikTok affiliate journey. Once you get enough followers and likes, it’s time to start.
Posting TikTok videos will help you with building your audience. Remember, you need to have a plan on how to get more followers. Algorithms are ruling social networks as we all know, so frequency plays a great role – the more you post the better the following. Don’t be overwhelmed with this information since it is really simple to create videos due to the app’s intuitive video design. You will also find advice on how to do creative storytelling and ways to meaningfully engage with the TikTok community. You, as an affiliate marketer will be able to access tools that will help you figure out how to be discovered on TikTok. It will also help you connect with communities on the app.
TikTok For Affiliates
Affiliate marketing on TikTok can be done through unpaid content (organic) or paid advertising. If you decide to go for TikTok ads, you are also in luck since they are affordable at the moment (a bit higher than similar platforms), and it is isn’t as competitive as other platforms, but you are having access to an audience that hasn’t been bombed with ads so the chances of a conversion are higher than ever. Prices range between 10$ per 1k views or 100$ for a brand takeover video (this also varies depending on the total advertising package). The pricing policy is not transparent yet but you need to count that you will be spending at least 50$ per day.
By the middle of 2020, they were pretty strict on which companies can join their affiliate program to promote their services, but since June 2020, things have changed and they have opened up its marketing features which allowed marketers to start their campaigs.
There are 5 different formats:
- In-Feed Video Ads
- Top View
- Brand Takeover
- Branded Hashtag Challenge
- Branded Effects
As for optimising the campaigns – you need to use a third-party tracker to monitor the overall performance of the campaign since TikTok offers basic click and conversion tracking. You may use good old Google Analytics and AppMetrica, but besides this do some research, and check out: Appsflyer, Adjust, Bravo Analytics, Adapty, Voluum, and many more. You can always contact TikTok support team to learn about what options you have. Ad tracking is highly important since you know that you are losing time and money if you don’t know what is working for you more. You will get a clearer insight into your target audience, choose better options when you are doing a/b testing, and more.
The difference between TikTok and other platforms is that TikTok doesn’t allow direct affiliate links on the ads, so you need to promote your offers by sending users to a landing page that contains your affiliate links, a bit tricky but integrating a pixel in the landing page could capture that user and you may use this for remarketing later. Also, make sure you capture contact information within this landing page.
In-Feed Video Ads
This is a form of native advertising and each ad fits the general feed. Besides not being annoying it is easily scrollable and performance tracking is simple. In-feed video ads are pretty similar to what you get on other social media networks.
In-feed video ads allow you to embed a video ad that autoplays when the user is scrolling their For You feed. This ad can be up to 60 seconds long (make it shorter) and with a good sound because it will look more native.
It can be used for a variety of campaign objectives, and they have a CTA which is clickable and can be used to drive traffic towards external landing pages. Optimise your video for mobile (of course) and don’t distract from your key visual elements.
This type of TikTok ad is a video ad that starts playing when someone opens/launches TikTok. It is a hybrid between in-feed video and brand takeover. This ad type can be seen when launching the app but this usually fits the users’ feed, so it is not that noticeable.
Top View takes over the whole screen and the promoted content is the only thing that the user can focus on. It is perfect for brand awareness objectives and the reach will be extremely high. Brands should use this ad format by using a highly engaging video that should be interesting to the TikTok audience and leave an impact.
This is an ad that takes over the full screen of the app and the most invasive ad type on TikTok. It is usually shown in the first few seconds upon opening TikTok. Unlike other ad types, this can be a single image, gif, or video. It auto-plays and overtakes the entire screen.
Brand Takeover ad types are created for mass awareness and guarantee extremely high reach and great performance. This is because the whole screen is clickable so you do not have to worry much about where to put the CTA button (if you want to put it at all).
It typically lasts between 3-5 seconds and the user won’t see any more Brand Takeover ads on the day for example your ad has been shown.
Branded Hashtag Challenge
Hashtags are in use since forever and videos with some hashtags are more popular than others, which encourages users to create content and attach that same hashtag to the content/topic. The user may create paid videos that promote using a hashtag.
The brand needs to create a video with a distinct element, such as a special dance or audio, and tag it with a branded hashtag. The next step is to sponsor this content directly on TikTok and encourage users to create variations of the original video. The whole performance is being measured by how well it will be received by the audience.
Note that there is a featured banner on the Discover page which is directing traffic to another page – Hashtag Challenge, and this is the central hub of the challenge. Videos from around the world can be found there, with the same goal/purpose – to show the category Hashtag Challenge.
Filters are a thing everywhere. TikTok content creators use special filters on their videos and these can be used for advertising, for example, the filters can contain brand-specific information. These effects can be used in campaigns or integrated in the Branded Hashtag Challenge and the experience will be even richer.
Branded effects are also called branded lenses or effect filters and can be seen on Snapchat as well. This ad type helps with raising brand awareness for the product and most big brands invest in the development of custom brand-related lenses and effects which users can use to create their own content.
Similar to Hashtag Challenges, these formats are not just ads – you are engaging with your audience, they become immersed and involved. This is how the level of engagement increases.
Products That Fit Well
Let’s get to the point and say that if you have products related to fashion, lifestyle, gadgets, or customer products are a huge hit on TikTok as well as life hacks and spiritual topics, tips and tricks, and skincare and makeup products and routines. And as you are an affiliate (you’ve made it to this blog post right?) you should focus on these types of products and create content for them.
Comparing to other video formats the duration of the video is not longer than 60 seconds which means that complex products are not fit for this type of ad format – or if it is a BOMB product – there should at least be a tease for a part 2 (having in mind that it has to be interactive and engaging with the user).
As advertising on TikTok is a bit higher than on other platforms due to being relatively ad-free, don’t go with high payout offers in the beginning, so start slowly and stuck to your niche. Later when you consume enough material and get some experience with TikTok ads you may proceed to developing large-scale campaigns.
Video Ads vs. Static Ads
As video advertising is on the rise, and it is not the TopShop videos we are talking about, but it’s the pranks and funny cat videos, and other material kids are mostly interested in. People enjoy videos that are short, funny, and videos that don’t “make their brain hurt”, and many companies are willing to pay more for ads that will appear next to those types of videos.
Some sources report that by 2023, more than 209 million US video viewers are expected to use smartphones (source: Voluum) and that is why it is better to invest in mobile video ads – so start now. Make sure that your landing pages are 100% mobile optimized.
There is no option to share images or text posts, but the comment section is a great place to trigger conversations. Go to your competitors or similar TikTok accounts and interact with the users in the comment section.
One thing you need to do is invest in the quality of your content. Make sure you have your gadgets in order to create HQ material for your potential audience. Video materials of higher quality help with increasing engagement.
Some more advice
Make sure to add a social link to your profile. This could be a link to your YT channel or any account that you use for promotion (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.). Make sure you encourage your audience to follow you on your other social networks, and this will help with directing your audience to your affiliate links (connected to your other social accounts).
Besides this, use promo codes in your videos (if you don’t have a promo code, make sure you get one from your affiliate manager/network to give you one so you can share this code on your TikTok videos (try getting a unique code for your TikTok account).
Remain flexible, since the policies and advertisement options can change at any time since it is a relatively new feature. Invest a certain period of time for learning and being flexible.
Some of the brands which are using TikTok the right way for advertising are: Fenty Beauty, Vessi, Jassmine RDH, Washington Post, Leanne Ward Nutrition, Chipotle, Calvin Klein, and more. Make sure you check out their content and see if you can find inspiration for your own.
Before starting anything make sure your profile is upgraded to a business account since personal accounts don’t allow you to place a clickable link in your profile.
Remember, creating a new trend is possible but it takes a lot of time and effort. Consume TikTok material, analyze users’ behavior, keep track of the trends and see what can get used for your niche.
Bonus: don’t go crazy with hashtags as you did with those Instagram posts 😉. Keep it simple with 2 to 3 hashtags per video.
Posted on March 7, 2021