TikTok Influencers 101: The Questions You’re Too Embarrassed To Ask

It’s time to get serious about TikTok. Yes, the app has been around for a while, but it’s definitely been getting more attention than ever. And, as people are home bored during COVID-19, they are looking for new ways to occupy their time and attention. It makes sense if you feel overwhelmed by a new […]

Lena Young
June 30, 2020

It’s time to get serious about TikTok. Yes, the app has been around for a while, but it’s definitely been getting more attention than ever. And, as people are home bored during COVID-19, they are looking for new ways to occupy their time and attention.

It makes sense if you feel overwhelmed by a new platform. But, let’s not dismiss this as simply a platform for “kids”, Dame Judi Dench has even popped up on the Tok. Push your fears aside, and learn how TikTok can support your brand! 

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a short-form video app, by ByteDance. The length of a TikTok can be between 6 – 15 seconds, and four videos can be strung together for a total of 60 seconds. This is seriously short content. 

For many unfamiliar with TikTok, it is often mistaken for a lip-syncing content platform. While some content on TikTok is lip-syncing, content also includes acting, dancing, reactions, singing, and more. In fact, TikoTok content and the TikTok user experience is acting more comparable to the once-popular Vine (RIP). However, due to its lip-syncing notoriety, TikTok acquired Musical.ly in 2017 and the two app’s user-bases were merged


TikTok content has a distinct style that you may or may not get. For example, “Cringe Videos” are content aimed at making the viewer cringe or feel uncomfortable. This style of humor is not for everyone, but it is extremely popular on TikTok. Think back to the early 2010s when meme-culture was merging with sites like 9gag. For most millennials, this was peak humor. For people a few years older, not so much.

Still, just because you don’t get TikTok doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Figuring out how to integrate this app into your strategy is super beneficial if you’re trying to engage with a younger audience. 

Who Uses TikTok

TikTok is reported to be the 8th largest social media platform, with 800 million global active monthly users in January 2020. In fact, TikTok has more users than Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat. Still, a majority of these users are located in China. Making up 80% of total time spent in 2019. Still, global usage is soaring, and with that will come new markets and opportunities. 

A survey found that 41% of TikTok’s users are between 16-24, meaning most of the users you’ll find on TikTok are Gen Z. The last decade was all about Millenials, and now many brands and millennials are focusing their attention to Gen Z as they enter the workforce. 

source: https://www.engarde.net

Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with advanced technology, hence the name “digital native”. All of the technology Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and even The Great Generation had to learn (Facebook, texting, video editing, etc) are tools they have been accustomed to from early memory. It is believed that Gen Z influenced 93% of household purchases

Advertising to a new industry is always a challenge. Influencer marketing helps brands create authentic interactions with their audience. Yet, it can be hard to have a meaningful interaction with an audience you don’t really know. This means taking the time to understand Gen Z and understand what they like. Many established brands have pivoted to TikTok, and can be a great example of how to penetrate a new audience. 

How Do Brands Use TikTok

Remember when Facebook was just for college students. Now, grandparents are sharing Throwback Thursday posts. It took brands a while to adopt social strategies and those that were early adapters so huge benefits. Long story short; if your brand has a target audience under 35, you should be on TikTok. 

Many brands are already on TikTok, creating quick-from videos that promote a brand or a product in an informal way.

Chipotle:

@chipotle

Skills 💯 ##burrito ##chipotle ##foryou

♬ Satisfaction – Benny Benassi Pres. The Biz

The Washington Post:

@washingtonpost

Lookin good, everyone ##newspaper ##dogdad ##focused ##icandoit

♬ human – Christina Perri

DysonAir:

@madihajdhanani

Or do I 😬 ##dysonair ##hairtutorial ##beauty ##beautyhacks ##DecadesofHair ##fyp ##WerkItFromHome ##foryou ##xyzbca ##xyzcba ##desi ##tiktok ##killyourvibe

♬ idontneedtocurlmyhairtobepretty – livolson18

Quick Tips for Getting Started on TikTok:

  1. Create a personal TikTok account and begin exploring the platform 
  2. Check if your competitors are on TikTok and discover the type of content they are creating 
  3. Look to see if the influencer you have collaborated with in the past are on Instagram, and try to understand the type of content they create 

How Do Influencers Use TikTok

As mentioned before TikTok’s core userbase is Gen Z. Being naturally attuned to tech-cultural, Gen Z has an embedded understanding of digital-influence that may not come as naturally to older demographics. It’s also important to understand that different social platforms have different types of influencers. While Instagram influencers range from Micro to Celebrity, TikTok isn’t as partial to celebrity culture. 

Yet, influencer content definitely does exist on TikTok. What you tend to see is brands taking content-trends that are popular on TikTok, and have a TikTok user tag their brand and incorporate their product.

Example: How Nike Uses TikTok

Dancing is BIG on TikTok. Nike has TikTok users indirectly promote their products through dance videos which are fun and catchy. The brand also promotes social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic with a clever #stayhome hashtag. 

@charmladonna

Celebrating ##airmaxday in the house got me making up dances again. ##airmaxdaychallenge letsss goo🚀 ##fyp ##foryoupage ##stayhome @nike

♬ Whistle Sandwich – Take a Day Trip

TikTok is more about understanding what is trending rather than how to directly promote your brand. If you can create viral videos users will take notice, but they do not want to be directly marketed. 

How To Start an Influencer Campaign on TikTok 

If you’d like to do influencer marketing on TikTok, you must first identify an influencer with a strong TikTok presence. TikTok usernames can be added to any Klear profile, allowing for a complete analysis of an influencer’s social media presence. This will let you see a complete overview of an influencer’s TikTok persona. You will be able to view past content, as well as analyze TikTok reach and impression. 

You may be surprised to discover that some users have a much stronger presence on TikTok than other platforms. Meaning, different influencers are great for different platforms. Thought influencer marketing is a marketing “channel”, each social network is a “sub-channel” and each may require their own strategy. 

Moral of the story: TikTok is a world of its own but it is here to stay. And, if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. Integrating TikTok into your strategy will help you stay ahead of the game, and, if you’re a millennial like me, keep you young. 

Want to learn more about TikTok and influencer marketing? Schedule a call with one of our influencer marketing specialists.