TikTok recently created a relationship with software firm CreatorIQ to help brands find the right influencers on TikTok. This news illustrates the growing importance of influencer marketing, a type of social media marketing that involves endorsements and product placements from influencers.
What Did TikTok Announce?
TikTok is adding software platform CreatorIQ as a new influencer marketing partner. The relationship will allow CreatorIQ’s clients to plan and execute TikTok creator marketing campaigns. CreatorIQ customers will use a dashboard to see creator and content metrics from the TikTok Creator Marketplace, which helps brands collaborate with creators based on their industry, budget, and business goals.
Why Is This News Significant?
The news underscores how sophisticated and measurable influencer marketing is becoming. Influencer marketing is a fast-growing $14 billion industry. With influencer marketing, a brand collaborates with someone deemed to have a desirable following among the brand’s customer base. Many casual watchers of this space associate influencer marketing with mega celebrities such as the Kardashian family, whom brands pay to promote their products via their high-profile social media followings. But few businesses have the budget to collaborate with celebrity influencers. Most brands work with micro-influencers, who possess followers based on shared interests and geographic locations.
Micro-influencers are big on TikTok. They build street cred by mastering TikTok’s viral short-form video format. Because their popularity is based on their TikTok videos, they are considered to be creator influencers – or people who create content. In fact, creators are so popular that brands are seeking them out to create TikToks for them. For example, TikTok influencer Bella Poarch has been tapped as an HP HyperX ambassador. Influencers are credited with spurring the rise of TikTok as a social commerce platform where people buy products. According to The New York Times, two-thirds of TikTok users have been inspired to shop, even if that wasn’t their original intent when accessing the app in the first place. The phenomenon has gained enough attention that it even has a hashtag: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has garnered more than 8 billion views on the app.
Brands are getting more sophisticated about finding influencers that work best for their own needs. Not every TikTok superstar is the right fit for every brand. In some ways they are like any other kind of product “endorser” – a brand needs to feel comfortable that their personalities and style are a good fit for the brand’s own image, and they need to understand each influencer’s audience. In Chicago alone, there are many influencers who may or may not be a great fit depending on a brand’s needs and audience (here are some of them).
TikTok understands that for the app to become Influencer Central, TikTok needs to make influencer marketing more of a measurable science. Few brands will dive into any marketing/advertising campaign without understanding return on ad spend. That’s why TikTok launched the Creator Marketplace and is partnering with businesses such as CreatorIQ to make the process of launching and measuring an influencer outreach campaign a measurable process.
Creator Influencers Are Having a Moment
The rise of creators on TikTok is part of a bigger trend toward brands and creator influencers collaborating. In our 2022 advertising and marketing predictions, we predicted that creator influencers will have a huge year, and not just because of TikTok. Another factor: collaboration networks are proliferating. These networks give creators an all-in-one platform to create communities and build influence. In addition, gaming sites such as Roblox and Twitch offer creators opportunities to monetize their work with potential partnerships with brands, and crypto currency sites such as Rally.io make it possible for creators to mint their own currency. The big social networks such as Meta are responding by making themselves more attractive to creators. More businesses will tap into niche networks to partner with emerging creators who are lesser-known but possess tremendous street cred. Big-name partnerships with stars will still thrive, but the social media icons will need to make room for the new kids in town.
What Brands Should Do
Does collaborating with an influencer on TikTok make sense for your brand? Some thoughts before you proceed:
- Make sure you already have a strong TikTok following. Brand ambassadors won’t stick around if they don’t have an audience. Alternatively, partner with a personality that comes with their own built-in following.
- Mix it up. A strong creator class is made up of diverse voices. Putting together an influencer team that looks at your brand from different angles can help you reach a new, wider audience.
- Choose creators aligned with your brand. Passion for your company will translate into authentic messaging. Take time to understand who a creator is — and whether they are the right fit — before bringing them on board.
Contact True Interactive
Hoping to explore what TikTok and other social platforms have to offer? Contact us. We can help.