A TikTok Influencer Marketing Masterclass

Unlock TikTok's marketing power with expert tips.

October 25, 2022

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Here's a fact for you. A lot of people use TikTok. I mean a ton of people - currently, over 1.39 billion users worldwide.

It allows users to perform short-duration music videos interconnected by lip-syncing, dancing or doing a series of other trendy (yet potentially dangerous) challenges.

And for brands, marketers, and advertisers alike, it's the next big thing. It lets you reach a large, young audience that only uses mobile phone apps for entertainment.

Wondering how you can get TikTok creators to promote your brand? Then this article is for you.

1. How to find the best TikTok creators for your brand

TikTok is a great place for brands to find influencers who can help promote their products or services.

However, there are many different types of creators on TikTok, so it's important to consider what type of creator you want to work with and what kind of content they will be able to create for you.

Here are some things to think about:

  • What kind of content are you looking for?
    s it a UGC ad, a conversion-focused campaign, or something else? What kind of media is the creator going to use? Are there specific colors or themes?
  • Look at their previous work.
    If you're looking for a specific type of video, look at the kind of videos they've created in the past. For example, if you're trying to find someone who creates beauty tutorials, then look at their profile and see how many beauty tutorials they've done in the past. You can get a sense of what kind of videos they like creating and how they might naturally integrate your product into their content.
  • How much budget do you have available for this campaign?
    Do you want to pay for this work up front, or do you want creators to be paid based on views or other metrics?
    You can check out these creator incentive models to come up with what works best for your brand.
  • Find out if they have done any brand collaborations before
    If they have done successful TikTok campaigns, they will likely be a good fit for yours. This way, you don’t have to spend time and effort looking for new people who may not be suitable.

    The best way to gauge this is to see the likes and comments under older sponsored posts, are they good? See how well their audience receives brand collaborations, as that indicates how successful your partnership would be with them.

Here's an expert advice we got from Lindsey Bond, who runs Pluto Ventures. It is a consultancy firm that specialises in TikTok. She spent 4 years working at TikTok where she specifically helped fast growing and venture backed companies use TikTok to scale. Here's what she had to say about working with influencers on TikTok:

The biggest thing to keep in mind when working with influencers, or on TikTok "creators," is that the typical influencer looks different on TikTok than it does on instagram.
To start, TikTok has three kinds of creators: UGC creators, traditional creators/ influencers, and in-house creators.
With UGC creators, I recommend being very specific about the kind of content you want filmed. I also recommend thinking about these video assets in three parts: hook, body, call to action. Rather than having them film one video, I recommend three individual videos. ~ Lindsey Bond

But where do you find people willing to collaborate with your brand? How do you know if they're a good fit? And how do you make sure that they will deliver quality content?

Here are some ways:

Look for Hashtags

Search hashtags on social media to find people who have already created relevant content related to your brand. For example, search for hashtags like "healthy" or "vegan" to find influencers if you're launching a new food product.

Here are 7 ways you can predictably find creators for your brand.

Searching Within the App – TikTok Creator Marketplace

TikTok has a creator marketplace that's a great place to look for influencers. The marketplace is a directory of creators looking to collaborate with brands on campaigns.

You can browse based on region, niche, reach, average views, and more to find creators who fit your needs. Once you've found someone whose style matches what you're looking for, just click on their profile to know more before finally reaching out to them directly.

Seth Newman, Director of marketing and advertising at Sporting Smiles, shares his experience with TikTok Marketplace,

“TikTok Marketplace is excellent as it shows you all kinds of stats from the creator's average video view, the demographics of their audience, where they are located, and how authentic their audience is.

Some TikTokers may buy views or followers, but TikTok Marketplace cuts through that and shows you the real stats of each content creator. It comes with an easy outreach tool and sorting features, and you can offer deals right on the platform that goes through TikTok. Great platform for businesses looking for brand ambassadors!"

Work with an agency

Get in touch with an influencer marketing agency about working together on a TikTok campaign. This is especially true if they already run influencer marketing campaigns regularly — they've likely built relationships with some of the best creators in your niche! They can help you find the right people to partner with and give tips on what works best.

We don’t recommend this long-term, though, as relationships with creators are meant to be yours. But agencies can definitely help get you up to speed. Here are some agencies we recommend.

To build your relationships in-house, consider using an influencer marketing platform like SARAL, where you find and manage influencers and creators without spending too much time looking for them.

Here’s how it works:

2. How to reach out to TikTok Influencers

Once you’ve found the creators that match your values and brand, there are many ways to reach out to them for your TikTok campaign.

Here are some of them:

  • Use the direct messaging feature in the TikTok app
  • DM (direct message) on different social media platforms.
  • Do some research and send them a personalized email.
  • Use influencer marketing platforms like SARAL to find, send emails to, and manage relationships.
  • Get referrals from creators who are already promoting you.

While reaching out, send them a personalized email that explains why you think they'd be a good fit for your campaign and why they should work with you over other brands/companies (including any incentives).

Have a look at this template, for instance:


Keep it short and sweet, add a human element, and tell them how their posts resonate with your brand.

Pro Tip:

Brenton Thomas, CEO of Twibi Digital Marketing Agency, suggests,

“Don't just settle for massive influencers; go for those with the audiences that suit your goals. This means that if you sell clothing, makeup, tech, and snacks, influencer marketing is a good choice, but if you sell tools or insurance, then it won't be a good investment."

It’s also a good idea to use influencer marketing platforms like SARAL to find authentic, high-quality influencers for your brand.

Sneak peek into SARAL's bulk creator discovery

3. Negotiation and communication with Tiktok creators

Once you've found an influencer that fits your brand's needs, begin the negotiation process.

TikTok influencers are usually paid per video or view. The price can vary widely depending on the influencer's following and the type of content they create. You may also find that some influencers charge more for certain types of content, such as product reviews or tutorials (where they show how to use your product).

According to a report, mid-influencers (75k-250k) on TikTok may charge anything between $1,250–$3,500, while macro-influencers (250k–1m followers) charge about $3,500–$12,000.

Use SARAL’s fair fee metric to make wise decisions about this and refrain from doing pay-per-post deals when you start. Here are more ways to incentivize creators.

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Nevertheless, it's important to negotiate with creators before you start working with them on an ongoing basis. This will help you understand what type of content they produce, how much it costs, and how much work goes into making each piece of content.

When negotiating with a creator, consider asking about:

  • What’s the fee they usually charge upfront for brand partnerships? If you're looking for specific types of videos (such as product reviews), this can help you find someone who fits your budget.
  • How long does it take them to make each video? If they're only able to make one video every few months, that might not be a good fit for your campaign. Remember, you want to work with someone who posts about you consistently for a long period of time.
  • While you have already researched their audience demographics, confirm with them again. What kind of people are watching? Where do they live? How old are they? What kinds of things do they like to watch? This information can help you tailor your message for maximum impact.
  • Their schedule for posting videos. Are there certain days or times when they have more free time? Making sure that their schedule aligns with yours can help ensure that all parties involved are happy with the arrangement.
  • Research their past work firsthand. Take a look at the videos they've posted over the last few months or years to make sure that they align with your expectations. You should do this before you reach out, but it’s worth doing a final check before you proceed!

Don’t forget to tell them what’s important to you. If it's clicks, conversions, impressions, or anything else, tell them your campaign's goal and what you will measure to determine its success. This allows them to tailor their efforts to make sure they are hitting those targets.

Here’s a dealmaking cheat sheet that will help you sign creators for no money upfront.

4. Shipping products to Tiktok Creators

When you work with creators, it's important to ensure they have everything they need to get started. This includes product samples, marketing materials, and other items that will help them create content for your brand.

In order to make sure that your campaign goes smoothly, these are some of the things you should consider shipping to an influencer:

  • If you send samples to your influencers, ensure they have everything they need. For example, if you're sending cosmetics samples, include an eyeliner or lipstick pencil so they can create a makeup look. This will give their viewers a better idea of how well it works in real life as well.
  • Make sure you include any marketing materials that might help create content around your brand or products. This could be anything from posters and banners to pens and notebooks.
  • If there are any instructions or special requirements for using your product, include these in your package so that they know what they should do with the item when they receive it.
  • Try including a personalized video or note with it to really blow them away with the unboxing experience. Don’t make it a simple cardboard box 📦

5. How to track the performance of your Tiktok influencer campaign

There are many metrics that you can use to measure the performance of your campaign. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Reach – How many people saw the post?
  • Engagement Rate – How many people took action (bought your product, for instance) after seeing the post?
  • Cost per conversion — This is the holy grail. How many sales did the creator get you, and how much did each sale cost?

But how do you really track these metrics?

You might want to use a tracking tool, but don’t do that when you start. Just create discount codes and special UTM links inside SARAL and track your ROI directly inside your Shopify dashboard. Once you mature, you can also use tools such as Refersion to generate cookie-based affiliate links and implement more advanced tracking.

Here’s more on how to track the performance of your influencer marketing campaigns.

6. Building long-term relationships with Tiktok creators

The key is creating an authentic and human connection with your influencers, so they're comfortable working with you. You can do this by being friendly and responsive when they reach out and offering new ideas or suggestions when appropriate.

If you want to build a stronger relationship with a creator, here are some things you can do:

  • Respond quickly when they reach out - This shows that you're interested in their work and invested in their career growth. You can track your emails and get notified inside SARAL when they email you, so you’re on top of things.
  • Have open communication - This will allow both parties to understand what needs to be done for everyone involved to succeed!
  • Be honest - Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to building strong relationships with others!
  • Make them your brand ambassadors - Partner with influencers who share your values, and then make those partnerships permanent by offering them full-time roles as brand ambassadors.
  • Do special things for them - Send them an unreleased product, invite them to a factory tour, send them a gift for their kid’s birthday, and so on. Be creative. Treat them like a friend, and you’ll build a food relationship without overthinking it!

That’s where Influencer relationship management tools again come in handy. They not only make it easy to find the best influencers for any campaign, but they also help you manage all interactions from one place.

You can use them to maintain and track relationships, email conversations, store media kits, tasks, and more… all in one place.

How your relationships would look inside SARAL

Over to You!

If you are looking to reach GenZ and Millenials, capturing their interest with TikTok might be the perfect way to capture their attention.

In this guide, we've explored the ins and outs of TikTok influencer marketing. It’s your turn to reach out to influencers and ask if they'd be willing to post about your brand on TikTok.

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