According to a late 2021 article from TechCrunch, the social media platform TikTok is expected to achieve 755 million users per month in 2022. It’s a huge platform that you can utilize for smashing your affiliate marketing goals. How exactly do you use TikTok for affiliate marketing?
Here are my best TikTok tips for aspiring affiliate marketers:
- Build your TikTok audience
- Make a TikTok business account
- Use your videos for discount codes
- Rely on paid ads
- Put a URL in your profile
- Or your description
- Link out to your other socials
Even if you don’t yet have a TikTok account, or you made an account and haven’t touched it, I promise that by the time you’re done reading, you’ll have actionable strategies you can use to extend your affiliate marketing efforts on TikTok.
Let’s dive right in!
But Why TikTok?
All social media platforms have a reputation. TikTok’s reputation is largely for the kids, right?
Sure, if you’re a celebrity, then it’s fine if you’re over 18 and you’re still using TikTok. What about those of us who are in our 30s? Our 40s? Or even later?
Although TikTok is known for its younger audience, it’s not like there’s an upper age limit. You can be whatever age you want. As long as you’re over 13 years old, you can sign up for a free TikTok account today.
Okay, I’m sure you’re saying, but what about the audience I’m reaching out to? If it’s a bunch of kids, then they aren’t going to click on affiliate links.
Plus, even if they did, they wouldn’t have any buying power, right?
This chart from Statista shows an age breakdown of TikTok users as of January 2022. I think the information will surprise you.
Yes, the largest portion of users are younger, but they’re not kids like you thought. Up to 25 percent of users are between the ages of 18 and 24 years old.
At that age, a person doesn’t have too much disposable income, but they have some. Thus, they’re viable potential members of your affiliate marketing program.
The second-largest group of users is between the ages of 25 and 34 years old. That group is comprised of 13.6 percent male users and 17.6 percent female users.
People in their mid-20s to mid-30s are establishing themselves in their careers. They have plenty of disposable income and thus are a great affiliate marketing target.
The next largest group of TikTok users according to Statista is between 35 and 44 years old, then 45 and 54 years old, then 55+.
Sure, maybe TikTok doesn’t have as many adult users as Twitter and Facebook, but the thing about those social media platforms is that they’re each almost 20 years old.
They’re getting older all the time, and people are growing tired of them. TikTok, by comparison, is less than 10 years old. It’s something new for people to check out whether they’re bored, interested, or curious.
7 Tips for Harnessing the Power of TikTok in Affiliate Marketing
I hope I’ve successfully made the case for why affiliate marketers at any stage of their journey should consider adding TikTok to their list of social media channels they’re actively pursuing.
Per the intro, here are my best TikTok affiliate marketing tips.
Build Your TikTok Audience
I talked about this in my introductory post to affiliate marketing strategy, but you can’t successfully deploy an affiliate marketing campaign without an audience. You’ll be screaming into the void, and your message won’t go through to anyone.
If you haven’t already identified your target audience, that chart from the last section will be a big help.
For those who are already using TikTok, you can look into your analytics to determine who’s viewing your videos. Then use that information to determine your target audience.
You don’t necessarily have to start from zero with your TikTok audience. You can always encourage your Facebook or Twitter audience to follow you over to TikTok.
Not everyone will, but if enough do, you could have a few hundred to a few thousand TikTok followers right off the bat.
TikTok itself recommends these tips for growing your audience on their platform:
- Cross-post TikTok content to other social media platforms
- Aim to post videos at least three to five times per week every week (TikTok says this posting schedule “has proven to be successful for steady growth”)
- Join in on hashtag challenges that you think will resonate with your audience
- Collaborate with others, especially major TikTok influencers (once your platform grows a bit and has some clout)
If you’re already using different channels for affiliate marketing but you want to move to TikTok, I’d say it’s worth it to take your time and build your audience to a few thousand people. Then you can launch your campaign.
I’ll reiterate a point I made in another recent post on affiliate marketing. The bigger your audience is, the higher the chances of success you have when using affiliate marketing.
Make a TikTok Business Account
You may have an account on TikTok, but is it a business account? Unless it is, then you can’t add links to your bio.
This cuts you down at the knees when it comes to building your TikTok affiliate marketing presence.
Here’s how to set up a TikTok Business Account.
First, if you haven’t already, you need to download the TikTok app. Then start a new account.
You’ll get to choose your very own TikTok URL in the process. This is how you’ll represent yourself on TikTok, so think carefully about what your URL will be.
It’s best to use your name or the name of your affiliate marketing business.
Next, go into the app, and on the lower right-hand corner, tap the Me menu, then Edit Profile.
Now here is where you can fill in your bio (and eventually add links), link to your socials, and upload a profile photo.
Since you are a professional, I would tell you to choose a photo that represents that. Perhaps your photo is your company logo. You can also use a photo of yourself, but make sure it’s a headshot and not a selfie.
Then it’s time to fill out your bio. TikTok limits you to only 80 characters for the bio. If you’ll eventually add affiliate links, then that gives you even fewer characters to work with.
If you can convey your point in emojis, you’d really connect with today’s TikTok audience. Plus, you’d have plenty of characters available for affiliate links.
Once you’ve got your profile completed, on the upper righthand corner, tap the three dots, then tap Manage Account.
You should see an option that reads Switch to Pro Account. Select this.
Next, TikTok will ask you if you want to be a Creator or Business account. That’s your choice, and I would recommend you select whichever option best resonates with your brand.
After you pick your option, select Next. You’ll be asked to choose a category that your business fits into, including automotive and transportation, finance and investing, electronics, beauty, and many more.
Finally, add your contact email address and website to your profile and you officially have a TikTok Business Account.
Promote Discount Codes in Your Videos
Do you have a large audience on TikTok? Then the advertisers you’re working with might be willing to offer you discount or coupon codes to use on TikTok.
If you prefer, you can mention the code in your video and even show the code. You can also insert the code URL in your profile (more on how to do this in just a moment).
I’d advise you to do both if you can!
Use Paid Ads
Like every social media platform, TikTok allows those with deep pockets to pay for advertising.
You can choose to use paid ads in addition to the organic traffic you’re generating from your affiliate marketing efforts or just rely on paid advertising.
Here is the TikTok for Business page. According to that page, creating paid ads through TikTok requires only four steps.
First, you select your goals, such as lead gen, more website traffic, connecting with customers, or more.
After that, you should filter your audience. Based on your profile’s audience data, TikTok can automatically select the audience it thinks would be the most receptive to your advertising.
That’s a great time-saving measure, but you might not always get the results you want. That’s why TikTok also gives you the choice to manually select who will see your ads.
This takes longer but ensures that your campaign only gets in front of the eyes that you want it to.
If you haven’t already segmented your audience–or divided them into buckets based on geographics, demographics, and psychographics–that’s something you must do before you spend even a cent on social media advertising.
Otherwise, you’re just wasting your money, as your message won’t reach a receptive audience.
The fourth step of the TikTok paid advertising process is creating the ad itself. You can select from the following types of ads:
- TikTok Branded Effects ads: These ads allow you to make your very own filters that people across TikTok can add when producing content. The Branded Effects are only available for 10 days.
- TikTok Branded Hashtag ads: Do you have what it takes to create the next viral trend? Find out by purchasing a TikTok Branded Hashtag ad, where you challenge the TikTok masses to do something and then upload the content using your hashtag.
- TikTok TopView ads: A TopView ad on TikTok is an in-feed post that appears three seconds after a user accesses their feed. If your ad is a full-screen video, users can watch 60 seconds of it with sound and video. The video will autoplay.
- TikTok Brand Takeover ads: A Brand Takeover on TikTok shows up when a user opens the app. The ad will appear on the screen and then becomes an in-feed video. These ads may also appear on a user’s For You page in the form of clickable links, gifs, videos, or images.
- TikTok In-Feed ads: An In-Feed ad appears on a user’s native newsfeed, blending right in. Since these ads can be easily missed, you might want to make yours a full-screen ad so it doesn’t get ignored.
Put a URL in Your Profile
Okay, okay, so I’ve promised this long enough, and now I finally want to talk about inserting affiliate marketing links into your TikTok profile.
If it isn’t already, begin by opening your profile. Next, tap Edit Profile. There, you should see a section called Website. Paste your affiliate link in the Website section.
Voila! It’s that easy.
You do have to remember where your affiliate links are going. If you’re someone who’s marketing a lot of products and services to your audience, then you’ll have to update your affiliate link as often as necessary so it’s current.
You don’t want to accidentally redirect people to an outdated affiliate link. That’s not going to make your affiliate partner happy in the slightest.
I would also recommend you consider shortening your TikTok links. Unfortunately, TikTok doesn’t offer you the ability to do this through its platform.
You can always use a third-party link-shortening service like Rebrandly or Short.io. You can even use TikTok link-shortening extensions for Internet browsers such as Firefox.
A shorter link looks more appealing. Plus, it ensures your link fits into the TikTok character restrictions without you having to erase the rest of your bio.
Once you’ve got your nice, shortened link, be sure to promote your link in your bio and in your upcoming content!
And Your Video Description
On TikTok, you do what the influencers do. Many of them these days add their affiliate link to their video descriptions.
This will often require a user to have to copy and paste the link rather than click a hyperlink and be redirected automatically.
Yes, that’s not very convenient compared to clicking links, but if this method works well enough for major TikTok influencers, I’d say it’s worth emulating for your own affiliate marketing campaign.
Besides, it’s not like the video description is the only place where a user can see your affiliate link anyway. You’ll mention it in your video as well as in your bio, giving the user three places to find the link.
Link Out to Your Other Socials
Most of you who are reading this likely already have a significant audience on other social media sites. You’re just trying to branch into TikTok to grow your affiliate marketing business even more.
I mentioned earlier that you can invite your other social media audiences to your new TikTok profile so you’re not starting from scratch, but that’s not your only option.
TikTok also allows you to link your YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to your TikTok profile.
To do this, you’d tap the bottom right of the app to go to your profile. Next, tap Edit Profile, then Add YouTube to your profile, Add Instagram to your profile, or Add Twitter to your profile.
You’d log into one account to cross-link it to another.
Those are the only three social media accounts that TikTok allows you to directly link to at this time. Sorry, Facebook users!
Most affiliate marketers–nay, most adults–write off TikTok as a silly kid’s platform.
It turns out this silly kid’s platform has millions of monthly users and is poised to continue growing. A good chunk of TikTok’s userbase is people in their 20s or 30s, aka people with buying power and disposable income.
With the methods I recommended for you in today’s article, you can begin using TikTok to grow your affiliate marketing program. Although it can be a little embarrassing making TikTok videos at first, the affiliate income you can earn will negate all that. Good luck!