TikTok Influencer Marketing: The Ultimate Handbook

TikTok influencer marketing is a surefire way to boost your brand with Gen Z. We’ve put together the ultimate guide with everything you need to get started.
Fanbytes | TikTok influencer marketing

In 30 seconds:

  • On Gen Z’s favourite social media platform, Influencer marketing is proving an extremely successful marketing technique for brands.
  • Partnering with the right influencer can increase brand reach, brand sentiment, and practically guarantee the attention of your target audience.
  • If you’re ready to make the most of the thriving communities on TikTok, we’ve got everything you need to get started with influencer marketing right here.

With over a billion monthly active users, TikTok is a marketer’s dream. 

That is – if you can guarantee that a good slice of those users engage with your content. 

How to do that? By partnering with a TikTok influencer, of course! TikTok has a thriving creator platform, and content creators on the app specialise in creating short-form videos across a whole range of subjects: from fitness to beauty, luxury items to veganism

One reason that TikTok is becoming increasingly important to brands is due to its majority Gen Z user base. This sought-after demographic of users now wield a collective $140 billion in spending power – but they’re not always easy to pin-down. 

That’s because they distrust traditional advertising, have a tendency to avoid ads altogether. 

Luckily, TikTok influencer marketing may just provide a solution to those problems. 

What is TikTok Influencer Marketing?

A TikTok influencer is a content creator who has gained a strong presence on the platform, a loyal base of followers, and has therefore become a kind of ‘celebrity’. They’re recognisable names and faces, platform experts, and trusted voices when it comes to recommending products and brands. 

The use of influencers in marketing campaigns can be seen across every social media platform. Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are all popular platforms for influencers, whose accounts are a mix of organic content and paid-for promotions. 

But it’s TikTok influencers who are leading the pack. TikTok has a higher engagement rate for influencers than Instagram and Youtube combined; something that’s especially impressive given Gen Zers’ famous 8 second attention span. What is it that’s making them take notice?

Part of the success is down to TikTok’s video-first nature. 91% of Gen Z prefers video content above other forms of marketing, and they already spend over an hour a day watching videos online.

Influencer marketing campaigns do not disrupt the flow of the user experience. Their TikTok video content integrates with organic native TikTok content – meaning they don’t feel like an ad. Instead, they feel like the rest of the content Gen Z loves on the platform.

It’s also down to trust. 53% of TikTok users say they trust others to be their natural selves on TikTok, which drives high engagement. Both brands and influencers can leverage this to form a deeper connection with their followers. 

How does influencer marketing work on TikTok?

54% of Gen Z list social media as their number one buying influence; they’re more likely to buy a product based on a recommendation from an influencer.

And influencers are popular: 76% follow at least one influencer on social media, and 45% follow over 10. 

That means there’s plenty of opportunity for brands to engage with Gen Z through influencer collaborations, and the potential benefits are evident. Here’s how to get started.

How to find TikTok influencers

We’ve dished out some social media marketing insider tips on how to find TikTok influencers for your campaigns here, but if you want the summary, it’s this: before you start googling how to reach out to TikTok creators at the top of every online listicle, consider whether they’re going to be the right fit for *your* brand. 

That is: are they creating content in your brand niche currently? How are their engagement stats looking? And how are they interacting with brands?

Answering these questions can help you perfect your influencer marketing strategy, and make sure that any potential content creation you execute with influencer partners will land well amongst your target audience

After all, one of the reasons TikTok marketing is so successful is the prevalence of authentic content. 64% of users say they can be their true selves on the platform – and they trust that others are doing the same. 

Organising an authentic, tailored campaign is more important than just scoring the biggest creator possible. 

If you need help finding the right influencers to collaborate on your campaigns, Fanbytes provides insights informed by our knowledge of the space and our Bytesights tool. It uses a variety of data metrics to quickly and simply pull the best TikTok accounts in any sector, so we can always find the right influencers – and create the right influencer content -for any campaign. Find out more here. 

TikTok micro influencers

Content creators come in every shape and size, but you’d be wrong to automatically assume that a bigger audience always equals a better result when it comes to TikTok influencer marketing campaigns

Micro influencers – that is, an influencer whose audience numbers 50k to 150k followers – are incredibly smart choices for marketing campaigns with a niche target audience. Their smaller audiences often result in higher engagement rates than occur with regular influencers, as their followers feel more connected to the creator – and to their sponsored content

We’ve written before about how using micro influencers in your brand campaign can help boost campaign success on TikTok. 

How to work with an influencer

Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok does not have an in-app messaging feature for accounts who do not follow one another. But never fear! Most influencers will list their other social media accounts or contact details in their bio. 

Once you’ve armed yourself with as much information as possible about your desired influencer, you can hop into their DMs and email to get started working out a partnership. We talk about how brands can master their influencer outreach here

TikTok influencer marketing examples

Influencer marketing campaigns can be as varied as any content posted on the platform. From simple product reviews to skits, brands are constantly finding new ways to use TikTok and engage influencers in their marketing strategies

As experts in Gen Z marketing, we’ve previously outlined the anatomy of a perfect influencer campaign. But if you need inspiration for your next influencer marketing campaign, here are some of our favourites, which all use influencers on TikTok’s platform in slightly different ways:

Alive! - Hashtag Challenge

Hashtag challenges are a great way for brands to generate buzz on TikTok. A hashtag challenge gives TikTok users a prompt, and collects all responses under whichever hashtag the brand creates – meaning that every submission becomes branded. 

Fun hashtag challenges can endear your business to Gen Z, 65% of whom report going to the internet primarily for entertainment.

It’s a method we employed for Alive! The company wanted to increase brand awareness and consideration for Alive! Teen Gummies on TikTok amongst Gen Z, and drive traffic to their site. We created the #catchgoodvibes hashtag challenge, working with influencers to show them opening their bottle of gummies and catching the health treat in their mouths in a creative and unique way. 

@cameroncanete Duet and try and catch the gummy in your mouth! Link in bio to get yours #catchgoodvibes @alive_multivitamins #ad ♬ Catch Good Vibes with Alive - Nature’s Way Brands

The use of influencers encouraged TikTok users to get involved and create their own organic videos for the challenge. Ultimately, the campaign resulted in 2.8+ million views with a 14.5% engagement rate, and drove an impressive 78,400+ clicks to the brand’s site.

SLG Brands - Product Review

Cutting right to the heart of an influencer recommendation, product reviews are an effective way ecommerce brands can leverage an influencer partnership. 

It’s a tactic used a lot by beauty companies, like SLG Brands – the creator, maker and distributor of some of the high street’s most fashionable beauty brands including Colab, Amie and Skinny Dip and S19. We’ve worked with them across a number of TikTok influencer marketing campaigns, including the launch of S19’s Super FX Body Makeup.

We worked with diverse and credible influencers to create short videos showing themselves using the product in a way that achieved the brand’s core goal: to align the products with luxury. The campaign earned over 1.4 million views and 95,900+ likes, as well as lots of positive sentiment and comments on the social network

@atifaarshad_ ad | summer and tanned skin all year round thanks to @s19lab ! find at @bootsuk currently 25% off and S19lab.com #s19lab #bodymakeup #summerskin ♬ No guidance or safety net - Alex Chapman

Another beauty brand doing this well is Philosophy. The skincare brand partnered with well known beauty TikTokkers to launch their “Hope in a Jar” moisturiser. The campaign took a different approach, with a more “straight up” discussion about the product’s skin benefits.

@mireyarios I love this smooth-glow multi-tasking moisturizer! NEW cleaned up formula by @philosophy #boostofhope #philosophypartner ♬ original sound - Mireya Rios

This form of influencer product review feels frank, like a conversation with a knowledgeable friend. Influencers listed ingredients and showed closeups of the effects on their skin. The result? A glowing facial *and* recommendation from half a dozen trusted voices in #SkinTok, and a series of videos with highly engaged audiences. 

Gymshark - Tutorial

The sports clothing brand Gymshark has an extremely active TikTok account, where they often highlight and repost user-generated content (UGC) that promotes their gym wear. The mix of educational and amusing videos featured by the brand has garnered them over 3.5 million TikTok followers. 

When searching out new audiences, the brand worked with influencers to showcase the multiple scenarios in which their clothing range could be worn, in the form of tutorials. Working with fitness influencers meant the campaign was successfully targeted at fitness fans – the most likely demographic to purchase Gymshark wear.  

@leanadeeb Some of my favorites🤍 @gymshark sale is live now, up to 70% off! #AD ♬ Pose (feat. Lil Uzi Vert) - Yo Gotti

Tutorials are a great use of TikTok influencer campaigns for any brand, as they bridge the gap between product and consumer. Since influencers are just “like you”, it’s a great way of inviting users to imagine the products in their own lives. 

ACCA - relatable advocacy

TikTok influencers know how to engage their audience and capture their interest – that’s exactly how they came to have such large online audiences in the first place. This makes them an incredibly effective method for pitching brands that may seem less exciting at first glance.

We worked with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to change perceptions around accountancy amongst Gen Z audiences. Rather than “dull, boring and elitist”, we worked with 40 diverse influencers to package it as exciting, impactful and relevant.

@sketchy_bambi event is open all people so head to my bio to secure ur place ACCA #ad ♬ original sound - Bambi

The campaign encouraged Gen Z to complete their survey, and drove signups to ACCA’s Guardian event. The influencers knew innately the kind of messaging that would resonate with their audience, and created content that was engaging – and drew results. The end result was over 3 million views, 365,000+ likes, a 13.5% engagement rate – and the most signups ever to a virtual Guardian event.

We’ve listed 4 ways brands can work with TikTok influencers, but the reality is that TikTok influencer marketing is incredibly versatile, and it’s adapting all the time. As an influencer marketing platform, TikTok is constantly introducing new updates and providing new outlets for creativity – and TikTok influencers themselves are a creative bunch, seeking out new types of content and inventive ways to inspire their audiences.

As your Gen Z partner, Fanbytes has a natural understanding of TikTok audiences and Gen Z in general. We’re always on top of the latest developments in influencer marketing, and constantly pushing the field forward with innovative ways for brands to reach Gen Z. We work closely with our social listening tool, Bitesights, our in-house TikTok influencer talent and our wider TikTok influencer network to create campaigns that everyone talks about. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help your brand, get in touch.

TikTok influencer marketing is key to brand success

When it comes to engaging with branded content, Gen Z are often a hard audience to pin down. Traditional forms of advertising don’t work with them, and they’re more likely to scroll away than engage with your ads.

But not when it comes to influencers. 

TikTok influencer marketing is a great opportunity for brands. It’s capturing Gen Z’s interest, it’s earning their trust, and it’s compelling them to act – be it signing up for events, trying out new products, or thinking differently about brands. As a marketing method, it neatly sidesteps the issues Gen Z has with traditional marketing, and offers brands a whole new way of engaging meaningfully with them. 

If you’d like to learn more about how Fanbytes can employ TikTok influencer marketing to capture the heart of Gen Z, get in touch. We’d love to talk about how we’ll make your brand shine.

Want to know more about how to reach Gen Z with influencer marketing? Check out our TikTok insights below, from algorithm advice to finding the best content creators for your marketing efforts:

Let's Talk

To find out how Fanbytes can help you connect with a Gen Z Audience fill in the form to get in touch!