How Brands Partner with TikTok Influencers

How Brands Can Partner with TikTok Influencers

With more than 50 million people calling themselves influencers these days, some say they are a dime a dozen, but I say they are one in a million. As the world’s top downloaded app, TikTok has 1 billion active monthly users, making it a critical platform to consider in reaching your audiences. 

An influencer marketing strategy offers many benefits for brands, including the all-important ability to measure meaningful results. Influencer relations often plays at the top of the well-known marketing funnel, in the awareness stage, which is absolutely important. It is also possible to leverage influencers to drive lower-funnel results, pushing critical audiences down from awareness (impressions) to interest and education (engagement, sentiment) to consideration (leads) and finally to conversion (sales). 

 

It Takes One to Know One 

Like the other 50 million creators out there, I too called myself an influencer. I curated my Instagram profile, captured aesthetically pleasing photos for my feed and negotiated brand deals for myself, amassing thousands of followers on social media. However, as I transitioned to the Jackson Spalding influencer relations team, I fully devoted my time to the brand side of influencer work.  

This past spring, the JS Orkin Residential team began work on a TikTok campaign. As our team researched influencers, negotiated with creators and developed contracts, it was easy to see why everyone was vying to call themselves an influencer. The freedom! The compensation! The perks! (There’s a reason the industry is worth $16.4 billion.)  

Seeing the opportunity that TikTok presented to its users through my professional lens at JS inspired me to jump back in as an influencer. This time, however, I was also gathering intel from the perspective of an influencer marketer on the brand side — relaying my experience and insights back to JS as we continue to expand our influencer relations services.  

 

What TikTok Influencers Look for in Partnerships 

Nine months and 30,000 followers later, I have learned the TikTok landscape inside and out, which has sharpened the work we do at JS and how we partner with influencers on the platform. Influencers are the new entrepreneurs and have the means to be selective in their partnerships. I found that, for influencers, compensation and long-term connection are the two most coveted elements of brand partnerships.  

Influencer Compensation 

First, marketers should always expect TikTokers to request compensation when partnering with brands. Influencer partnerships are more expensive on TikTok than on Instagram, so building ample compensation funds into TikTok campaign budgets is a necessity. (If you’re not sure how much to offer TikTok influencers for a brand deal, contact us; we’d be happy to offer some insights.) 

Long-Term Connection 

TikTok influencers seek out and prioritize partnerships that promise long-term relationships. From the brand’s perspective, repeat partnerships communicate trust in the brand to followers and are more impactful than a one-off post. ​Creators also seek agencies who support multiple brands. If an influencer performs well with one brand, it’s probable that the agency will tap them to partner with more of their clients. Win, win.  

 

The Power of Relationship 

At Jackson Spalding, our clients trust us to identify and cultivate synergy between an influencer’s personal brand and their company’s brand. At JS, we say “influencer relations” rather than “influencer marketing” because of how crucial the relationship is to a partnership’s success.  

At its core, influencer relations is the strategic practice of building a relationship — based on common values — between a brand and a digital influencer to create authentic testimonials, encourage engagement and impact behavior among the influencer and brand’s audience. Our team’s purpose is to pair the right influencers with the right brands to tell stories about which they’re both passionate.​  

Influencers selected for a campaign should share the same values as the brand. Better yet, try to pinpoint influencers who have previously shared about the brand and are natural fans already. From there, establish clear and concise campaign expectations with influencers, while also leaving plenty of room for influencers to be authentic and show their creativity. After all, they know their followers best! Throughout each campaign, be sure to foster relationships with influencers so you can establish mutual trust and tee up future opportunities.  

 

3 Ways Brands Can Partner with TikTok Influencers  

Once our team pinpoints the ideal creators for a brand, there are myriad ways to incorporate our clients’ products, services and messaging into the influencers’ content. From food and beverage to pest control and reusable drinkware, the power of influencers can be leveraged for just about anything. A few examples of JS influencer work include: 

Vlog- Style Content  

For food and beverage clients, an easy and captivating way to share new menu items is by tasking influencers with sharing a trendy “What I Eat in a Day” video. For Mendocino Farms, lifestyle influencer Claire Couv Smith shared her mealtime routine featuring Mendo’s new Chicken Parm Dip sandwich and spicy dijon potato salad. 

@clairecouvsmith

nothing beats @mendocinofarms spicy potato salad😋 #wieiadrealistic #wieiadhealthy #healthymeals #mendocinofarms #eathappy #mendovip2023 #mendopartner

♬ original sound – Claire Couv Smith

 

Surprise & Delights 

For nearly any client, a great way to leverage influencers is to keep up with the milestones in their lives and then create opportunities to pair the creators with your brand in organic ways. The JS Orkin Residential team created an authentic connection with mother-to-be Rachel Sullivan, by sending her a box of bug-themed baby goodies — plus tips for protecting her little one from pesky pests — which she shared on TikTok. 

@rachsullivan__

Is it the hormones talking or is this really really cute ??

♬ Sweet Creature – Harry Styles

Product Roundups 

For consumer products, a natural way to engage influencers is product roundups. I joined the company of Claire and Rachel on TikTok by sharing Reduce Drinkware’s Cold1 40oz Mug in a stocking stuffer roundup during the holidays.  

@lucyksmith

Holiday #giftguide No.2: Stocking Stuffers 🎄 #xmas #christmas #holidaygifts #stanleycup #christmascountdown #xmasshopping #christmasgiftideas @jcrew @Nordstrom @Williams Sonoma @Anthropologie

♬ original sound – Lucy Smith

Influencer Marketing Agency in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles 

Of course, the examples above barely scratch the surface when it comes to potential influencer partnerships. Jackson Spalding offers comprehensive influencer marketing services including research, strategy, outreach, negotiation, execution and reporting. If you need help brainstorming ideas or executing a plan to tap into this fast-growing industry, contact our influencer relations team; we’re ready to talk.