How TikTok Is Shaking Up Everything You Thought You Knew About Influencer Marketing
For anyone who doubts the power of influencer TikTok marketing, allow us to entertain you with a short anecdote: We call her Chicken Cutlets Girl (and she loves us for that), but fans would know her as Deanna Giulietti. In the last 90 days, her channel has amassed 1 MILLION followers (+400% growth rate!).
Last November, Deanna posted a video on how she re-uses her sticky nipple covers (a.k.a. chicken cutlets). Her fans went wild, and the video saw:
- 100k engagements within 3 days (43% Engagement Rate at the time).
- Some 30% of the comments petitioned for more product info — where’s the link, D?
Here’s where it gets interesting…
Today, hyper-linking out from TikTok is limited to the single link bio option, which most creators use to optimize traffic to their other social platforms. Understandably, this makes many brands nervous to try TikTok marketing.
Bringing that Marie Kondo-slash-Virgo energy to the social game had fans responding in droves. For example: Nazjaa’s conversion rate has 3x’d QoQ, outperforming benchmark by 500% — yes, that’s real! Give the people what they want.
Now, back to those chicken cutlets. With limited resources, Deanna immediately answered her eager fans by dropping a MagicLink to her favorite cutlet pasties directly in the comments.
Links in TikTok comments appear as plain text, which means they are not clickable, nor are they copy and paste-able. So, for an interested party to follow the link, they would have to literally eyeball and type the short-form alphanumeric link into a browser.
When our data alerted us to the spike — 50,000+ clicks in under an hour from a single link — our minds were blown by the source (and trust, with a creatorverse of 21,000, we see our fair share of the unusual).
In this case, it was the viewers’ determination and careful actions to get to Deanna’s favorite washable nipple stickers that had us scratching our heads in delight. “…So, you’re telling me that 50,000 fast-swiping-non-committal-Millennial-Gen Z’s took the time to literally TYPE OUT the hyperlink into their web browser in order to shop the product?!”
Fantastic. How do we power more of this in TikTok marketing?
This was one of many aha! moments we’ve had over the last year that proves TikTok isn’t just a highly gratifying entertainment vehicle.
TikTok is your best friend, calling you on FaceTime, telling you that you absolutely need something that she just bought. Behold: 2021’s most engaged new customer segments. And they’re ready to buy what you’re selling.
This is where you go…. okay… and so…
- What does this mean for me as an eComm brand (big or small, blue chip or DTC)?
- How do I find my chicken cutlets girl outside of spending $100k a day on a #hashtag?
- What’s the magic marketing formula for blowing up on TikTok?
Allow us to boil down TikTok for brands strategy to 4 leading factors:
1. Start with well-defined KPIs.
We’re not baiting you here. It seems obvious, but a lot of brands we speak to tend to treat TikTok like a casino; investing and playing (perhaps overindulging in TikTok trends), with minimal research and focus on the business outcome.
Before you spend valuable hours and marketing dollars delving into the rabbit hole, however, be sure to have a crystal clear outline of your goals and a trusted source(s) to measure.
We suggest quarterly plans with mobility between months to fit the fast-changing environment. For this reason, here are some of the top KPIs MagicLinks thinks about for our clients:
- Engagements (comments, likes, shares)
- New Customers (clicks to site, sessions)
- Revenue (sales via code redemptions, shopping links in bio, Text2Shop™ opt-ins, Conversion Rate)
- Owned channel growth (suggest to couple with customer acquisition KPIs)
- Content Reusability (double down on sponsored content for compelling ads + paid media boost)
2. Be flexible with your brand image.
It’s ok to venture outside the lines a bit here. We encourage our clients to erase everything they know about every other social platform and realize that TikTok is its own thing.
It’s important to have clear communication and expectations with your influencer partners, but, in order to connect with this audience and see success, we strongly advise you to leave some slack on the reins of your brand.
We silently screamed, for example, when we saw Remi Bader, in all her hilarity, doing what she does best in this Free People roast.
And then we screamed again, saluting Free People for rolling with the TikTok marketing moment, inviting her to participate in a follow-on moment instead of coiling into a corner and pretending like it never happened. Bravo!
Tbh I can’t stop laughing .. link in bio if you want to shop for some reason 😂
3. Ride the wave.
TikTok is a rapid fire machine of trending themes determined by content creators. Reverse engineer your TikTok marketing approach by staying close to what’s trending this month (not last), and plugging in your brand when & where it makes sense.
Pro Tip: hire several talented college interns to help you out here.
And by the way, there is a special beauty in innovation to be had here as many TikTok creators are relatively green, growing fast, yet still getting the hang of it in the brand sponsorship realm.
Cut to Mikayla Noguiera, who 3 months ago was a relatively unknown beauty aficionado with a cutthroat attitude and thick Boston accent that could make Good Will Hunting’s Matt Damon cry.
We found her early (based on her organic success with the brand) and cast her for a series of e.l.f. Cosmetics campaigns. Initially, based on ‘brand safety’, this was a perceived risk but we collectively went for it.
Mikayla received 20,000 sign-ups via Text2Shop™ from just TWO videos featuring e.l.f., with a CTA to get the product links from her makeup looks. She then drove an average CTR of 36% (nearly 4x benchmark) to elfcosmetics.com. We don’t know about you, but we think that’s TikTok influencer marketing done RIGHT.
4. Choose the right partners.
None of this is easy. So importantly, you’ll want to choose the right partners to guide creative, choose the right talent, and measure performance.
Since day 1, MagicLinks has been hyper-focused on helping brands decode the value of influencers across all social video platforms, with conclusive sales metrics that will help your brand grow. If you’re interested in learning more, kindly reach out to us: https://www.magiclinks.com/brands/reach-out. We’re looking forward to it.
Reminder: The excitement of something new is constantly at our fingertips.
Director of Brands + The Creative Lab