TikTok Influencer Marketing | The Ultimate Guide To TikTok Influencers

TikTok influencer marketing

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Your competition is on TikTok. And not only are they having tons of fun making videos, but they’re also probably raking in the dough. Here’s why:

  • It’s a short-form video platform
  • It’s among the world’s top social media giants
  • It’s the ultimate influencer marketing tool

Seriously, if you’re not on TikTok, it’s time. Especially if your target audience is Gen Z because wow, have they got money to burn. Plus, it’s one of the best places to earn brand awareness, kick up your sales, and reach your target audience.

  1. How does TikTok work?
  2. TikTok influencer marketing vs. Facebook and Instagram
  3. Best-kept secrets behind the best-performing TikTok content
  4. Why you should use TikTok influencer marketing to promote your brand
  5. Influencer marketing on TikTok (step by step)
  6. Examples of successful TikTok influencer campaigns

How does TikTok work?

TikTok is a social media platform, like Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. But there are a few things that make TikTok extra special.

Short-form video

Yes, every social media platform supports video. But TikTok is only video, and it’s only short-form video. We’re talking like 15-second to 60-second videos, people. TikTok is short, sweet, and to the point.

And, nearly every TikTok is set to music or some kind of soundbite. So it’s both highly visual and highly auditory.

The “For You” page

You know how Instagram has a Discover page that’s got lots of content you can scroll through? That’s basically what TikTok’s For You page is. It’s a bunch of scrollable videos based on your preferences and behaviors on the app as a user.

In other words, it’s a collection of videos specifically for you based on other videos you like. But what makes the For You feed stand out is …

The TikTok algorithm

Behold, the TikTok algorithm.

This is what gives TikTok that je ne sais quoi, that umami flavor, that little extra. 

Real quick, a social media algorithm is a bunch of math and computer science stuff that organizes content. It takes in things like device type, location, age, likes, shares, and so on. And it spits out things like the TikTok For You feed or Instagram’s Discover page.

What sets TikTok’s algorithm apart from other platforms though is how detailed it is. It sucks in a lot more information about users to deliver a highly-personalized experience.

TikTok influencer marketing vs. Facebook and Instagram

TikTok is like the Beyonce concert of social media. It’s trendy, it’s immersive, it’s packed with people. And when you’re there, you’re 100% engaged.

Look, no shade to Facebook and Instagram and all the other platforms. They’re at the center of influencer marketing right next to TikTok. We’re just saying that TikTok is its own marketing beast. And that’s because the platform has mastered the art of creating viral trends.

Influencer marketing on IG and FB is all about showing your products and offering a deal. But the influencer marketing model on TikTok is way different. It’s about engaging with audiences and convincing them to participate alongside you.

So keep in mind that it’s not about which platform trumps all platforms. It’s about which platform is best for your brand, your audience, and your campaign. Here’s a comparison guide to help you decide:






Gen Z


Gen X

Average Time Spent Per Day

45 minutes*

28 minutes*

33 minutes*

Active Users





Short-form videos

Photos, videos

Photos, videos, articles, text, links, and more

Influencer Style





Still growing






Best-kept secrets behind the best-performing TikTok content

It’s easier to go viral on TikTok than it is on Instagram, YouTube, and other places. It can literally happen overnight on TikTok. But on Instagram, it takes months, sometimes even years. Same for Facebook. Same for YouTube. But whyyyyyy?

The reason TikTokers can catch fast followers is that the app doesn’t use a traditional social graph. Apps like IG and FB do use a traditional social graph.

Traditional Social Graph 💡

In oversimplified terms, you see content based on who you follow.


TikTok shows users the content they’re most likely to love. This is regardless of how popular that content is or who posted it. In this way, content becomes highly discoverable.

This new model is literally changing the influencer marketing game. Instead of ranking content based on followers, now it’s based on how valuable or entertaining it is. And that’s where the challenge lies for brands.

As a marketer (or agency or brand), you have to stay on top of what’s trending. Know what the latest TikTok hashtag challenges are. Then lean into it and have some fun. This helps your marketing campaign along and gets you more followers. And it also helps you source new ideas for better, more engaging content.

TikTok Pro Tip 💡

The secret to TikTok influencer marketing success is content. You gotta create entertaining content that keeps up with in-app trends.


Why you should use TikTok influencer marketing to promote your brand

If you’re a new brand in the market, TikTok is the best way to quickly get the word out.

If you’ve already got a spot in the market, TikTok is the best way to remind people about your brand.

☝️ This is because TikTok has reach and engagement like you wouldn’t believe. It’s actually higher than Instagram’s but you didn’t hear that from us!

☝️ And that’s why it’s a really, really, really good idea to build relationships with TikTok influencers. Include them in your campaign process. Ask them to brainstorm with you. And let them do what they do best — create.

Plus, lots of TikTok creators are influencers somewhere else like YouTube or IG. They’ve got experience and a strong following that’ll go with them across platforms. Lastly, they understand your audience like nobody’s business.

Negotiating Pro Tip 💡

Let an influencer’s experience on other platforms guide the “money talk.” Chances are the more experience they have, the more they’ll receive in compensation.


And don’t forget that TikTok’s algorithms are sensitive. So if you partner with the right creator, your content will reach the right people. Plus, TikTok currently supports a few different types of ads:

  1. Brand takeovers
  2. Native video ads
  3. Hashtag challenges
  4. Branded lenses (AR)

You can use these ad tools and collab with influencers to start sharing your brand message on TikTok. Next up is how to do just that with a smart TikTok influencer campaign.

Influencer marketing on TikTok (step by step)

Get ready to take notes folks because we’re giving you a step-by-step on how to launch a TikTok campaign. Or just bookmark this page so you can reference it again later, it’s totally up to you.

#1: Know your audience

If you’re looking for Gen X or Millennials, IG or FB might be better for your brand. But if you’ve got something for Gen Z, you’re in the right spot. Here’s a breakdown of TikTok users by age for reference (spoiler alert: almost half are Gen Z):

Age Range

Share of Users

10 – 19


20 – 29


30 – 39


40 – 49





#2: Define your campaign goals

Next up, let’s talk about influencer marketing campaign goals. This is what you want your campaign to accomplish, or the results you want to be delivered. Here are some common examples:

Brand awareness

This is also called image promotion or building a reputation. It’s for brands who are in it for the long haul and want to foster a strong connection with their target audience.

Sales, sales, sales

Also known as making it rain, sales is another common TikTok influencer campaign goal. First, you tee up engaging content to grab your audience’s attention. Then, you use that time wisely to tell them about your products and services.

Social presence

This is all about building your social media following. Your metrics here are likes, comments, shares, and follows.

No matter what your goals are, always track them with key performance indicators (KPIs). And before you launch the campaign, figure out a way to track them. We recommend an influencer marketing platform to do this automatically for you.

#3: Find relevant influencers

The third step is finding the right TikTok influencers to partner with. It’s an important step because it’s the key to communicating with your audience. You gotta find someone who:

  • Knows your audience
  • Creates great content
  • Matches your brand

And there are two ways to do this:

TikTok Creator Marketplace

This is the official TikTok influencer discovery platform. Brands can invite influencers to collaborate and view insights during/after campaigns.

But before you can join, TikTok has to vet you. And when you’re approved, you can search for influencers based on stats like:

  • Reach
  • Location
  • Topic
  • Views

Traditional influencer search

Not every influencer is in the TikTok Creator Marketplace. So you can expand your search with other traditional methods like:

  • Google search
  • Hashtag search
  • Sponsored content search
  • Specialized tool search
  • And others

To learn more, check out our guide to finding relevant TikTok influencers for your brand.

#4: Stick to the rules!

This is more of a general reminder than a step but it’s important nonetheless. Sponsored collabs on TikTok aren’t as easy to spot compared to other platforms. You’ll notice a little hashtag in the TikTok description (#ad or #sponsored), and that’s pretty much it.

But! It’s on you and the creator to make it super clear that the content is indeed sponsored. This includes clear and visible messaging. Otherwise, you or your creator could face penalties for breaking endorsement rules.

As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry — even on TikTok.

#5: Make content with your creator

Alright, this is where the magic happens. And with the right creator, the sky’s the limit 🚀

Start by brainstorming content ideas with your influencer. The goal here is to think of clever ways to:

  • Develop a new TikTok challenge
  • Come up with a new TikTok trend
  • Integrate your product with a current trend or challenge

Try searching for trending hashtags to get the creativity wheel spinning. Hashtags can help generate tons of engagement and maybe even make you go viral.

But remember, stick to hashtags that make sense for your brand, product, or industry. If you come up with a new hashtag, keep it simple and easy to remember.

And no matter what, your content has to be shareworthy. If it’s not entertaining or valuable, it won’t get the attention you’re looking for. This is where it’s best to let your influencer get creative with your content. After all, they understand the platform, and your audience, better than you do.

TikTok Ads Pro Tip 💡

TikTok launched an ads library called Top Ads. You can search high-performing TikTok ads for inspo and see what your competitors are up to.


#6: Measure campaign results

Last but not least, it’s time to find out if your campaign measured up. Remember those campaign KPIs from Step #2?

Pull up those analytics and compare them to your benchmarks. Or, compare your campaign expectations to actual campaign results. This way, you’ll know whether you achieved your marketing goals.

Lastly, for ongoing campaigns, set up monthly or quarterly reports. This helps keep you in check with campaign performance and make adjustments as you go.

Examples of successful TikTok influencer campaigns

Wanna see TikTok influencer marketing at its finest? Check out these two stunning examples of how brands are making it work.

Too Faced Cosmetics

Six years after Too Faced released Lip Injection Extreme, it went viral on TikTok. Without them even knowing about it. Turns out, the lip gloss inspired a viral challenge showing the before and after of using the product.

So they decided to launch a campaign introducing Damn Girl mascara. Too Faced pushed
the hashtag #TFDamnGirl, partnered with TikTokers, and used the same before/after format.

And you know what the heck happened for Too Faced? They earned 820M+ views.


Crocs example

Crocs made legit waves in 2019 with their
#ThousandDollarCrocs campaign. Fun fact, it was inspired by Post Malone lyrics. And Crocs worked with about ten different influencers to launch the next-level campaign.

The challenge inspired TikTokers to show off what their version of $1k Crocs would look like. And the brand offered to award the winning TikToker an actual pair of #1k Crocs 🔥

In just 24 hours, Crocs saw an 18% increase in followers. And within a week of creating their TikTok profile, they earned 100k+ followers. Now THAT’S what we call building an online presence, people.

Final thoughts on TikTok influencer marketing

TikTok influencer marketing is, to put it simply, really friggin’ awesome. It’s a fast way to get in touch with your target audience. It’s a great way to build an online following. And it’s a smart way to earn more sales. So here’s a quick summary of exactly how to achieve your marketing goals with TikTok:

  1. Know who your audience is
  2. Define your campaign goals (and KPIs)
  3. Find TikTok influencers that make sense for your brand
  4. Always disclose sponsored partnerships
  5. Make shareworthy content (use hashtags!)
  6. Track and measure your results

Get even more insider influencer info by checking out the Humanz blog. We keep it updated with helpful marketing resources, hot tips, updates, and more.

Unleash the power of Valuable Creators.

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