It’s no secret that TikTok is the ‘next big thing’. The app has exploded in popularity over the last few years, and despite challenges to its ability to operate in the U.S., it appears that it’s here to stay. In a similar vein, affiliate marketing has also steadily grown in power and popularity recently, which means that savvy marketers will be looking for ways to use affiliate marketing on TikTok.

It turns out that the intimate nature of this social platform is ideal for encouraging affiliate sales since it helps to build trust and authority. Leveraging TikTok for product promotions is a sure way to grow your revenue – provided that you approach it correctly.

In this article, we’ll explore affiliate marketing and look at why TikTok works so well for it. Then we’ll explore four strategies you can use to help increase your affiliate sales through this video-sharing platform. Let’s get started!

📚 Table of contents:

An introduction to affiliate marketing

The concept of affiliate marketing is pretty simple: you promote a product or service, and then earn a commission on each sale you help drive. Earnings vary among industries and companies, but a common range is around 15–25 percent[1]. While individual commissions may not be much, at a high volume they can quickly add up.

Affiliate marketing has become extremely popular over the last several years. It’s currently one of the biggest advertising channels for many businesses and can be a fantastic source of passive income for skilled affiliates.

To emphasize how prominent it has become, consider the following statistics:

  • Analysts expect as much as $8.2 billion[2] to be spent on affiliate marketing in 2022 – and that’s just in the U.S.
  • Affiliate marketing is used by 81 percent of advertisers[3], making it one of the most common advertising methods.
  • Individual affiliates can make quite a bit of money: 35 percent of affiliates make over $20,000 per year[4] from affiliate sales, with nearly 10 percent reportedly making over $100,000.

It’s clear that both brands and affiliate marketers have a lot to gain in this area.

Why you should consider TikTok for affiliate marketing

TikTok is as close to an ideal platform for affiliate marketing as you’re likely to find. As we’ve established, it’s extremely popular, with as many as 80 million active users[5] in the U.S. alone. The large user base means you could potentially have your content viewed and shared by a wide and diverse audience.

The short video format of TikTok enables you to demonstrate products in real-time, or at the very least, visually showcase them. The brief recordings can be more impactful for viewers than simply reading about them in a blog post or watching a lengthy YouTube video. With that being said, you can also place your affiliate links in video descriptions (provided that you have a TikTok Business account) so that users get the same ease of access as a written format.

The loose, casual nature of TikTok’s short-form videos means that you can produce a large amount of content for a relatively small investment. All you need is your smartphone and a minute of your time. You can certainly get fancier with your setup and prep work. However, a professional environment and equipment aren’t necessary for a successful TikTok video.

You can find examples of affiliate marketing all over TikTok, especially when you know what to look for. Many content creators slip product mentions or showcases into their regular channels.

However, there are also channels built expressly for affiliate marketing. A popular example of this is Rachel Meaders’ account:

An example of a TikTok profile that focuses on affiliate marketing.

Her “Things You Didn’t Know You Needed Off Amazon” video series highlights useful or cool products that people may not have seen before. She uses these TikToks to show viewers how the products work and the benefits of using them.

In her bio, users can find a link that takes them directly to her Amazon storefront. There, they can explore all of the featured products. If one of the visitors purchases an item from her showcase, she’ll earn a commission.

It’s an incredibly smart use of affiliate marketing. Considering that Rachel’s videos have racked up millions of views, it’s clear the format works.

Strategies for effective affiliate marketing on TikTok

If you’ve decided to add TikTok to your affiliate marketing repertoire, the next step is figuring out where to start. Let’s take a look at four tips you can use to make the most of this platform.

1. Choose your affiliate marketing products carefully

Although TikTok boasts a wide variety of users with varied interests and lifestyles, the overall demographic skews young. In fact, over 60 percent of users[6] are under the age of 30 – and half of those users are under 20. It’s wise to consider these age groups when deciding which products to promote.

For best results, we recommend sticking to products that appeal to Millennials and Generation Z. Additionally, consider that these users may be less likely to have large amounts of disposable income.

College students also make up a big portion of the audience, so price-conscious products might be worthwhile. You may also find that setting your expectations for a larger number of small sales will work well.

2. Focus on building a strong TikTok channel

Affiliate marketing is largely a numbers game. It’s important to create strong content and present products appealingly. However, sales often come down to how many impressions you get on your videos. The more people who see them, the more opportunities you have to convert.

To get the views needed for an effective affiliate marketing campaign, it’s smart to focus on building your channel. We recommend:

  • Keeping up with and leveraging emerging trends
  • Using hashtags properly
  • Capitalizing on content that goes viral to build momentum

Whenever possible, encourage engagement on your videos and interact with your followers and viewers. As your account gains popularity, it will rise in the TikTok algorithm rankings, helping you reach an even larger audience.

TikTok’s live-streaming feature is also fantastic for building a loyal fan base. You need to have a minimum number of followers to enable live streaming on your account. However, once you reach that threshold, going live is an effective way to communicate with your followers directly.

3. Consider paying for TikTok ads

As with most social platforms, TikTok offers the option to pay for promoted content. Promoted content guarantees a certain number of impressions. While these impressions don’t necessarily mean you’ll see the results you want (more sales), they definitely increase the odds.

The TikTok for Business ads platform.

TikTok offers several different types of promoted content, including in-feed ads, branded hashtag challenges, and ‘Branded Takeovers’. The latter are ads that appear immediately when users open the app. Prices can vary considerably depending on which type you choose.

In fact, TikTok is among the most expensive social platforms to advertise on. While the company doesn’t officially publish its prices for most ad types, what we do know is that the standard in-feed ads require a minimum spend of $50 per campaign and $20 per ad group[7]. However, the more involved types, such as Brand Takeovers, are considerably more expensive.

In practice, the high price point means that most affiliate marketers and smaller brands are going to want to stick to basic in-feed ads – which is totally fine. The standard ads are an excellent option for increasing your reach and guaranteeing additional impressions for your content.

4. Work the product into your videos organically

If you spend any time on TikTok yourself, you’ll probably notice that many content creators feature branded products in their videos. Often, creators position the items quite prominently and sometimes don’t directly mention them. They’re simply in the frame of the video.

New TikTok users might not notice them right away, as the placement is meant to be somewhat organic and subtle. However, over time, it becomes easier to see certain brands and products pop up constantly in videos from diverse creators.

One of the best examples of this is the Coldest Water Bottle:

The Coldest Water TikTok account.

The water bottle often appears in entirely unrelated videos, sitting unassumingly on a desk or piece of furniture in the background. It’s rarely mentioned by name, if at all.

However, after seeing it many times, the product may pique your curiosity enough to want to learn more about it (or perhaps even buy one). This type of strategy can be helpful if your content doesn’t typically lend itself well to more straightforward affiliate marketing.

Conclusion

TikTok and affiliate marketing go together extremely well. Whether you already have a large following on TikTok and want to start earning income from it, or you’re an affiliate marketer looking for a new platform, you can’t go wrong by combining the two.

In this article, we discussed four strategies you can use to get started:

  1. Choose your products carefully and strategically.
  2. Focus on building a strong channel to increase affiliate sales organically.
  3. Consider paid advertising on TikTok to expand your reach.
  4. Work the product into videos naturally, rather than making it the sole focus.

What are your plans for affiliate marketing on TikTok? Let us know in the comments section below!

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By John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and a staff writer for WordCandy.co.

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