How to Drive Full-Funnel Results With Influencer Marketing on TikTok

Catherine Kulke
Catherine Kulke
Oct 18, 2022

It’s hardly an overstatement to say that TikTok is disrupting the creator economy. Over the last few years, the short-form video platform has captivated multiple generations of consumers, inspiring more downloads than any other app in 2021. Marketers’ interest in TikTok has only been amplified by the platform’s proven impact on e-commerce: the popular hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has accrued more than 25B views to date, while 2022 data from the platform reveals that over 60% of users have engaged in shopping behavior on the app. 

Creators are the lifeblood of TikTok, which means that influencer marketing is the fastest way for brands to reach consumers on the platform. The pace at which brands are investing in partnerships with TikTok creators is accelerating rapidly: according to CreatorIQ data, the total number of creator-led TikTok campaigns has surged 294% year-over-over over the past 12 months, while the volume of branded creator videos has increased 205%. However, many teams still have questions about the most effective ways to activate TikTokers, particularly when it comes to conversion-focused initiatives. 

To help marketers better understand how to partner with creators to drive full-funnel growth, CreatorIQ recently teamed up with TikTok to host an educational webinar. Titled “Succeed on TikTok With Creator-Led Campaigns: Mobilize Consumers Throughout the Funnel,” the session featured expert insights from: 

  • Esteban Ribero, Global Research Leader at TikTok
  • Sam Kimmel, Creator Partnerships at TikTok
  • Tim Sovay, Chief Business Development & Partnerships Officer at CreatorIQ

We’ve rounded up several key takeaways from the event below, but be sure to watch the full webinar for an in-depth look at TikTok’s first party research on creators’ impact, along with best practices for creating effective TikTok campaigns and brand success stories. 

Watch the Webinar

A TikTok creator breakdancing on pavement, by Joseph Frank via Unsplash.

Earn Consumers’ Trust by Prioritizing Authenticity Over Aspiration 

One of the most monumental shifts that TikTok has brought about in the creator economy is the increased importance of authenticity to successful influencer marketing campaigns. As Kimmel noted during our webinar, there have always been influencers, or individuals with the capacity to influence popular opinion. However, this influence was historically reserved for traditional celebrities, like athletes and actors, who partnered with brands on initiatives built around larger-than-life, aspirational ideals. 

TikTok has given rise to a new type of creator: individuals who have inspired passionate followings by sharing unpolished, relatable content. According to research by TikTok, 68% of users say creators feel “approachable,” while three in four users say creator videos are “believable.” The deep trust that TikTokers command from their audiences renders them particularly valuable partners for brands. However, in order to tap into this success,  marketers have to abandon their traditional, polished standards for campaign content, and fully embrace TikTok’s lo-fi, DIY aesthetic. 

“[The creator economy] is no longer that aspirational, untouchable space—it’s the idea of creators being authentic, and people we can touch.”

Sam Kimmel, Creator Partnerships, TikTok

A TikTok creator wearing colorful eyeshadow immersed in rainbow beads, by Isi Parente via Unsplash.

To Drive E-Commerce Sales, Entertain Audiences—Don’t Interrupt Them

There’s no question that TikTok content impacts consumers’ purchasing decisions. In fact, the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend, responsible for selling out viral products practically overnight, has only continued to snowball in popularity as TikTok’s user base grows. Recent research by CreatorIQ identified a 164% year-over-year growth in the total volume of #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt videos over the past 12 months, as well as a 95% YoY increase in the number of creators participating in the trend. In other words, commerce is only playing a more central role in TikTok conversations. Additionally, a 2021 TikTok study found that one in three users had purchased a product based on a creator’s recommendation. 

“If brands are leaning into the entertainment value and joy that people come to TikTok for, the conversions will follow.”

Sam Kimmel, Creator Partnerships, TikTok 

TikTok’s emerging status as a commerce hub can be partly attributed to creators’ reliability in the eyes of consumers, as well as the platform’s highly participatory dynamic. According to Kimmel, users who miss shopping with friends and family are turning to the platform to discover and share products in an interactive, social forum. 

In order to capitalize on TikTok users’ enthusiasm for shopping, it’s imperative that brands add to, rather than interrupt, viewers’ experiences. Audiences on TikTok crave genuine and entertaining videos, and will quickly skip content that resembles a traditional ad. For that reason, Ribero encourages brands to lean on creators’ expertise to develop content that reflects the platform’s unpolished, immersive, “sound-on” format. Ultimately, successful campaign videos don’t simply demonstrate the value of a product—they enhance the viewing experiences of users, just like any other creator post that’s worth watching in full.  

“When you tailor content to TikTok, you see people getting pulled into the story—they want to see more, they want to engage more…you see a much stronger emotional response with tailor-made TikTok content.”

Esteban Ribero, Global Research Leader, TikTok 

A smartphone open to the TikTok app in front of a plant, by Collabstr via Unsplash.

Invest in Long-Term Creator Relationships to Build Brand Equity 

For marketers used to carefully curating their brand’s story, embracing TikTok’s raw creativity can require a leap of faith. TikTok creators may be experts on the types of messaging that resonate with their followers, but how can brands ensure that their partners’ work aligns with their own identity and vision? 

In Kimmel’s experience, the best way to navigate this challenge is to develop lasting, meaningful relationships with creators, and bring them into the fold of your brand’s family. By educating TikTokers on your brand’s history and values, and fostering holistic connections that transcend business partnerships, you can trust creators to produce content that is authentic not only to their own voices, but also to your brand’s. 

“We always tell brands, the best and fastest way to find your TikTok style is to partner with a creator. They have learned by trial and error what works for their audience, and it builds authenticity.”

Esteban Ribero, Global Research Leader, TikTok 

TikTok isn’t just transforming today’s social and entertainment ecosystems—it’s revolutionizing marketing and commerce as a whole. In order to remain ahead of competitors, brands need to meet their audiences on the platform, and put creators at the center of their strategy. 

CreatorIQ is proud to be TikTok’s first SaaS-only influencer marketing partner. Our aplatform’s API integration enables brands to build and refine their creator strategy based on exclusive, first-party TikTok insights. To learn more about how CreatorIQ can help your team excel on TikTok, use the link below. 

Start planning your team's TikTok takeover. 

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