Four Steps To Successful Performance Marketing On TikTok

Mar 8, 2022
Four Steps To Successful Performance Marketing On TikTok

TikTok is a social platform of enormous potential for marketers, particularly those interested in driving performance-based business outcomes beyond brand awareness. But realizing this opportunity takes a different approach than many brands have grown accustomed to from other social platforms. 

On TikTok, it’s all about the content first. The platform is uniquely suited to surfacing whatever is gaining traction across the platform on any given day, regardless of how many followers the creator has. That content changes fast, nearly daily. There’s no telling who’s going to create it, or how users will respond. 

For brands accustomed to conducting influencer marketing campaigns with creators based on their audience size and interests, working with TikTok clearly requires a slightly different approach. It’s about speed and volume. Large production budgets and long-lasting campaigns with well-known influencers are taking a back seat to quickly posted, organic content aligned to the trends of the day by creators who often boast very few followers. 

Perhaps that’s why brands have less of a direct presence on TikTok. While nearly all have Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook profiles and create their own content for those platforms, relatively fewer brands have established a direct presence on TikTok, or make their own TikTok videos. According to our 2021 Influencer Marketing Trends Report, only 45% of brands surveyed regularly use TikTok, compared to 96% who regularly use Instagram Stories. 

Instead, brands are leaning on TikTok creators to establish their presence on the platform, using lots of creators to post lots of content. That’s all well and good for brand awareness campaigns, but at first blush it may seem like a daunting challenge for performance marketing efforts. 

In fact, it's a massive opportunity. 

Creators on TikTok are measured by the success of the content they create, not the size of their followers. As such, many are eager to prove themselves and their ability to create engaging content. This opens the door to incorporating standard performance marketing tactics like affiliate links, coupon codes, and other tools that measure bottom-of-funnel results. 

That brings us back to the speed and volume question. TikTok requires casting a wide net of both creators and content. It requires testing, monitoring, and iterating quickly, and at scale. Attempting this with any legacy manual processes still used by many brands in their social marketing efforts will quickly prove overwhelming. 

In performance marketing, success is determined by how you set up the program, configuring the attribution, and using a platform that allows you to iterate on the results. A successful performance marketing effort on TikTok requires the following steps: Find. Test. Measure. Act. 

Let’s break that down a bit…


It starts at the top funnel of the workflow: finding the right creators to work with. On TikTok, that could mean dozens of creators. To start, brands will want to choose a wide variety of voices and narrow them down based on performance over time. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be smart about how they cast that net. 

Obviously, it’s important to find creators who are interested in a brand's product and mission, and with followers that align with the customers brands seek. But there’s more to the discovery process. With millions of creators to choose from, brands will also want to filter by those with a proven ability to produce content that engages and converts new followers. 

CreatorIQ’s discovery tools offer brands the ability to do both: find a pool of potential creators who are most aligned with a given brand or product, and sort them by their history of producing content that drives engagement, conversions, and sales. As an official Tiktok Marketing Partner, CreatorIQ customers receive access to key TikTok creator and content metrics available in the TikTok Creator Marketplace through the CreatorIQ dashboard. This means brands have direct access to TikTok’s exclusive first-party insights on audience demographics, growth trends, best-performing videos, and more to help them identify the best creators to work with. CreatorIQ customers can also now plan and execute end-to-end TikTok creator marketing campaigns within CreatorIQ’s Intelligence Cloud.



In performance marketing, you’re never right your first time. Your first effort is designed to tell you what you’re doing wrong. The more tests you conduct, the more information you receive, and the better your campaigns become. 

A one-off with a single creator doesn’t provide the volume of data needed to make informed, confident decisions. Proper creator marketing efforts require many campaigns with many creators—and, as we’ve shown with TikTok, all this must be done with rapid turnaround. 

That’s a lot to keep track of. Successful brands will use a platform capable of converting their formerly manual process of managing creators and campaigns into automatic processes capable of scaling to dozens or even hundreds of creators and campaigns. 



Conducting many tests is one thing—measuring them all is another. And while there are many ways to measure performance marketing on TikTok, social commerce tactics like affiliate links and discount codes is perhaps the most telling. It very quickly informs which creators and what content are delivering bottom-line results. 

When brands conduct their own social commerce activities on social media, tracking is rather straightforward—after all, it’s their content and their profile. Doing the same with the content posted on their behalf by multiple creators takes more sophistication, as the attribution and benchmarking effort is affected by a degree of removal. 

Performance marketers have a lot invested in existing attribution models and platforms. Any influencer marketing management platform they use must have the ability to integrate and work with those systems to be useful. The last thing a performance marketer wants is to modify their existing attribution models or worse…use something new. 

CreatorIQ’s platform allows brands to continue using their attribution engine of choice. This allows them to add a creator marketing layer to their efforts, all while maintaining a single source of truth for commission based payouts. 



All this testing and measuring provides the data and insights needed to strengthen the campaigns that follow. Which creators from the initial discovery pool created the content that generated the best results? What kind of content drove the most engagement and conversions?

The answers to those questions will dictate which creators and what kind of content brands focus on for the next round of campaigns. Remember: on TikTok, these decisions might be made on a daily basis across hundreds of campaigns and creators. It’s not possible to ingest and decipher that volume of data manually. 

Automation and machine learning enables scale. And scale is the name of the game in marketing. Isn’t that why TV still gets the ad dollars it gets despite all the talk of streaming taking over? It’s scale. 

But scaling influencer marketing involves more than increasing the volume and frequency of campaigns and the number of creators managed; it’s also about scaling workflow through smarter automation and management. CreatorIQ creates the value-exchange needed to bring performance-driven marketers and creators together on a common platform designed to deliver the scale and measurability both need to succeed. 

Clearly, TikTok is a unique beast, but the tools are there to tame it. CreatorIQ is the first Saas influencer marketing platform partner of TikTok, and offers the ability to provide brands integrated access to the TikTok Creator Marketplace. This integration delivers both creator and content metrics from TikTok directly into the CreatorIQ dashboard, giving brands direct access to first-party demographics, growth trends, performance metrics, and more. 

To learn more about how to use CreatorIQ to plan, execute, and track your TikTok performance marketing campaigns, schedule a demo today.