How to Find TikTok Influencers: 5 Simple Tips
TikTok, the app which skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic years, has become an essential stitch in the fabric of the social media landscape. It boasts over 3.5 billion global downloads and holds the top spot as the most downloaded app in the world for three years running.
Initially gaining its reputation as a platform for dance videos and pranks – primarily targeted towards a Gen Z audience – the app has expanded to include users of all ages, consuming and creating content on every niche including fashion, beauty, food, business, tech, and finance.
One quality that hasn’t changed however – the app’s authenticity. Unlike the polished and aesthetic feeds of Instagram, TikTok is home to super-authentic or ‘lo-fi’ content, which users can connect to as if they were engaging with content from friends or family.
The biggest benefit for brands? They can engage with their target customers in a more genuine way. The con? Polished branded content isn’t going to make the cut.
While some brands have excelled at adopting the platform’s authenticity-first content style – Chipotle is a great example – others are seeing tremendous success by partnering with TikTok influencers and creators, who are already experts in creating highly-engaging and entertaining content, perfectly tuned to their target audience and niche.
Coined influencer-generated content, this high-converting content brings many benefits for brands, such as reaching new audiences, communicating brand values, driving sales, and powering paid ads.
While Chipotle is an expert at crafting highly-authentic branded content and inspiring mouth-watering UGC, it also partners strategically with TikTok food influencers to expand its reach and popularity. Most recently it partnered with @yungfoodbeast to promote its new plant-base burrito – achieving over 500,000 likes and 13,000 saves on one video.
So where can brands find these top-quality creators? Read on to discover how to find TikTok influencers with 5 simple tips.
How to find TikTok influencers
TikTok’s ‘For You’ Page
The first and most obvious place to start when looking for TikTok influencers is TikTok’s ‘For You’ Page (FYP). The app’s infamous and highly-addictive feed curates personalized recommendations based on your interests, searches, location, and scrolling patterns. So, if you already have a branded account, this may be the perfect place to discover TikTok influencers and creators who are operating in your niche.
Existing brand partners
This one may sound obvious, but if you’re already running influencer marketing programs across other social media platforms, it might be worth looking at the influencers already on your roster. Do any of your existing partners have a growing presence on TikTok?
While this can be a great way to capitalize on existing influencer partnerships and cross-pollinate content to new platforms, it’s worth cross-checking the influencer’s audience and engagement rates on TikTok, as you would if you were scouting out any new influencer. A creator’s audience and reach can vary across different apps, so it’s important to double check if this new activity will still align with your wider influencer marketing goals.
TikTok search and hashtags
Next, TikTok’s search function can be a great place to discover creators. Searching keywords relevant to your industry can offer up trending videos, hashtags, and accounts to help assist your search.
Top tip: Searching #ad can be useful to see the creators who are already creating sponsored posts in partnership with brands. While you’ll likely want to avoid partnering with influencers who are working with your direct competitors, this can be an effective way to scope industry trends, and learn more about what is performing well for other brands in your space.
Influencer marketing platforms
While the options we’ve already covered can be a strong starting point, they are often time-intensive, and, without any data on the creators’ engagement rate or audience demographics, can feel like walking in the dark.
That’s why many savvy brands instead turn to influencer marketing platforms. With a variety of avenues to discover new influencers, marketers can browse huge creator databases, and filter by qualities such as location, engagement rate, follower count, audience demographics and more, to find the perfect TikTok influencers for their brand.
And, as these platforms continue to grow, so too are the capabilities for discovering TikTok talent. For example, Aspire now has five ways to discover new influencers, including a Shopify Integration which allows brands to connect with and send free products to influential customers, and a Creator Marketplace, where marketers can post upcoming campaigns and let top-quality creators come to them.
Ask the experts
If the process of leveraging industry-leading tools to discover new talent still feels like a step too much, then going straight to the experts might be the solution for you.
Influencer marketing agencies typically have a pool of pre-established influencer relationships that they can tap into on behalf of brands. Like influencer marketing platforms, they will have some data on the influencer’s follower count and engagement rate, but typically less detailed analytics on the influencer’s audience demographics.
That’s where it can be useful to look at a combination of the two – a strategic team of experts, backed by the robust data of an influencer marketing platform. This is what Aspire’s Curated Creator Plus service offers – hand-picked influencers specifically tailored to your campaign and goals.
This method can help ensure you’re partnering with the best TikTok influencers for your brand, while saving time for your team to work on smashing your wider influencer marketing strategies.
5 tips for working with TikTok influencers
Of course, finding the right TikTok influencers for your brand is only the first piece of the puzzle. Here are our tried-and-true tips for achieving long-term success through partnerships with TikTok influencers.
- Personalize your outreach. Nobody likes a blanket email with a generic message – that includes influencers. When first reaching out to creators, make sure to keep it personal. Address them by their first name, and let them know why you feel they’d be a great fit for your brand. This is also your chance to lay out your goals and vision for the campaign, so the influencer can effectively judge whether it’s an opportunity for them.
- Compensate fairly. Influencers have the skills, platform, and reach to generate serious results for your brand. Make sure to compensate fairly. Our guide, How Much to Pay Influencers, is a good place to start.
- Give creative freedom. While it’s important to share your brand guidelines and give your TikTok influencers an idea of your vision and goals for the campaign, it’s crucial that you give them the creative freedom to do what they do best. They know exactly the kind of content their followers are looking for from their account, and what will generate the best performance. Remember, TikTok is authenticity-first, and stifling the creativity of your creators is the best way to fall at the first hurdle.
- Follow trends. While TikTok has evolved to include lots of different types of content from a variety of niches, it is still first and foremost a platform for entertainment. From its initial days of dance trends and lip sync videos, the platform is highly centered around trends, which change weekly. A great way to tap into TikTok virality is to jump on these trends in a clever or novel way – brainstorm with your chosen creators to find the best angle. For example, beauty brand IPSY partnered with beauty mega-influencer @lenkalul to promote its BoxyCharm subscription makeup boxes. Together, they jumped on the TikTok #barbiechallenge trend, recreating the classic ‘Barbie’ makeup and then transitioning to a more natural makeup look. In just under a week, the video garnered over 80,000 likes and 4,000 shares.
5. Always align to strategy. Last but not least, it’s crucial to align to your core influencer marketing strategy. While it can be tempting to jump on the latest app or trend, you must make sure any new activity will support your overarching influencer marketing goals.
To find out more about influencer marketing on TikTok, and determine whether it is the right platform for your brand, explore our guide: TikTok influencer marketing: What it is and how brands can get started.
Find TikTok influencers with ease
So, you’re ready to embark on your TikTok journey and discover a swoll of TikTok influencers to help you drive success on the platform. To explore Aspire’s full suite of discovery tools, or talk to one of our experts, get in touch.
To learn how to go viral on TikTok, check out our Product Overview: Create Your Own #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt Moment with Aspire.