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Q&A: How Brands Are Approaching TikTok Influencer Marketing

By: Sophie Maerowitz

May 27, 2020

As TikTok continues to grow in popularity—particularly among millennials, per a recent Adweek report, brand marketers are eager to jump on board. However, advertising on the platform is expensive: Branded TikTok challenges (widely shared participatory activities like dances, dares, and lip-synching) requiring a budget well above six figures, and individual ads are also pricey. Influencer marketing, however, may provide a more flexible and impactful inroads for brands of all sizes to grow a following and drive engagement on TikTok.

Lindsay Nead, Founder & CEO, Parker Management

To get an inside look at working with influencers on TikTok, we spoke to Lindsay Nead, founder and CEO of Parker Management, a talent agency specializing in travel, home, lifestyle and wellness that bridges the gap between influencers and brands on social media.

What are the first steps organizations need to take to grow their TikTok audiences?
A brand or organization should have a clear idea of who they are targeting, and how they want to show up on the platform. Once that is established, just like on any other platform, consistency in posting content is key to growth. Putting a brand-related twist on a few TikTok trends is a great way to get started on the platform.

What does measurement look like for TikTok influencer campaigns?
We first identify the brand’s key goals. If a brand wants to increase sales, we use affiliate links and influencers’ personalized discount codes to track which sales were a direct result of their posts. TikTok has back-end analytics just like Instagram does, so we always look at those when measuring a campaign’s success.

How are TikTok influencers adjusting their messaging during the pandemic?
The quick and light tone of TikTok makes it the perfect platform for a bit of escapism. Because of this, we haven’t seen a very different strategy on TikTok during this time like we have on other longer format platforms. The biggest adjustment on TikTok is the “at home” theme most brands are now aiming for.

Any advice for attracting an influencer to your cause or brand mission, or finding an influencer that would be the right match?
Working with an influencer agency is [ideal]. To find the right TikTok influencer on your own, you can search by hashtags relevant to your brand and filter to “top” videos. Make sure that they didn’t just have one post that went viral, but that they have many posts with high engagement as well as a solid following. I also recommend cross-referencing Instagram and YouTube to find influencers that share a large following on both platforms.

In a time when resources are tight, what’s a ballpark budget for working with a TikTok influencer who can legitimately drive sales?
Right now, we are seeing TikTok users with 300,000+ followers receive around $2,000 per video. As this is a new avenue for brands, offers for influencers on TikTok are much lower than what we see on other platforms, making it a great platform for brands with smaller budgets to dip their toes into.

Lindsay Nead is the founder and CEO of Parker Management, a talent agency specializing in the travel, home, lifestyle and wellness spaces. Lindsay’s talent roster boasts more than 20 million followers spanning digital creators, influencers, models, lifestyle and wellness experts. Her client base includes Disney, Amazon Prime, Hyundai, Samsung, Columbia Sportswear, New Balance, among others. Lindsay and her husband were recently featured on HGTV’s popular “House Hunters” program, when the couple was shopping for a new home in Portland.

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