TikTok has become the fastest-growing social app in the world, with over one billion monthly active users spread across dozens of countries and languages! It even overtook Google to become the most popular website of 2021.
While TikTok might just seem like an app “for kids,” or like it’s just a creative outlet for having fun, there’s a LOT more to it than that. It’s safe to say that TikTok is now the go-to social platform for businesses and brands to interact with their audience and get discovered.
At the same time, affiliate marketing has rapidly grown in popularity over the last several years, making TikTok affiliate marketing a powerful combination.
Read on to find out how to use TikTok platform to generate affiliate sales! (And be sure to check out our brand-new TikTok course, How to Grow & Monetize on TikTok, taught by social media expert Rachel Pedersen!)
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What is TikTok Affiliate Marketing?
In case you haven’t noticed yet, TikTok is gaining incredible momentum! Just look at its worldwide growth trajectory:
- Sep 2017: TikTok international launch
- Jan 2018: 54,793,729 monthly users
- Dec 2018: 271,188,301 (394.9% increase)
- Dec 2019: 507,552,660 (87.2% increase)
- Jul 2020: 689,174,209 (35.8% increase)
- Sep 2021: more than 1 billion users (45.1% increase)
So, what is TikTok affiliate marketing, and what’s the hype about?
Like any other affiliate marketing approach, TikTok affiliate marketing involves using special tracking links to point viewers to a sales page, usually through an intermediary affiliate blog, webpage, or social platform like YouTube. The goal is to use your TikTok videos to grow an audience that you can monetize with affiliate sales.
This might sound like a typical affiliate program on any other social platform like Instagram affiliate marketing or Pinterest affiliate marketing. But what makes TikTok unique is that it’s new, having launched in 2016.
By comparison, Facebook has been around for 17 years, Twitter for 14 years, and Snapchat has been in the game for 10 years.
To the current generation, these are considered “boomer” platforms. The Gen Zs will avoid ANY social platform the older generation used!
TikTok affiliate marketing is ideal for building trust and loyalty, getting new customers, and increasing brand awareness. Today’s users love interacting with fun and personable brands, and TikTok rewards that kind of content. Given the effectiveness of digital mobile marketing, affiliate marketers can benefit from the diversity of demographics on TikTok to reach and engage new audiences.
Getting Started on TikTok
The first thing to know about TikTok is that, like Instagram, it doesn’t allow users to add affiliate links to videos – it only allows you to have a link in your bio.
The theory behind this is that TikTok doesn’t want users to leave the app. So, if you want to promote products and brands for a commission, create a regular TikTok account, then follow the steps below to work around this restriction.
1. Upgrade to a TikTok Business Account
Unlike some personal accounts on TikTok, a business account will always allow you to place a clickable link in your profile.
2. Add a Link to Your Bio
You are only allowed one link in your bio. For people to know you are acting as an affiliate, use the hashtag #linkinbio in your videos. To place the link in your profile, open your profile, tap “Edit Profile,” and add your link under “Website.”
Remember to update the link every time you post about a different product.
3. Create a Landing Page to Host Multiple Links
If you are working with only one brand or seller, this step isn’t necessary – but if you are working with multiple different sellers or affiliate offers, instead of changing the link you posted every time you post a different product, you can use third-party tools such as LinkTree. When a user clicks on the link on your profile, it will point them to a landing page that hosts all your links.
Or if you’re a bigger affiliate, you can direct users to your own blog or YouTube channel and promote multiple affiliate products in those places.
Tips for TikTok Success
For TikTok affiliate marketing to make you money, you need to get enough views on your videos. A few other factors are at play, but the most important is views. Here are a few tips on increasing your reach and succeeding in TikTok affiliate marketing!
1. Be Consistent With Your Content
The TikTok algorithm works on regularity. So, to increase your reach and gain the trust of your viewers, you need to post regularly.
Like written content, the proper approach is to create a consistent video publishing schedule and stick to it. Aim to post at least one video a day. However, if you post long-form content, 2 to 3 times per week will be sufficient.
2. Tap Into New Trends
Because you’re looking into affiliate marketing, you may feel like you need to find your own path and be unique. That’s an understandable impulse, but when creating TikTok content, you should suppress it and focus on popular trends.
Yes, you could theoretically create new trends yourself, but there is no guarantee that other people will jump in and make your content go viral. Besides, the TikTok algorithm prioritizes content based on popularity and the number of views. The more popular the trend, the more impressions your content will get.
So, analyze what is currently popular on the platform and tap into it. Trends may involve using a particular song, visual effect, or joke. However, the trends should still be related to your niche, because you are not marketing to everyone, and your goal is sales, not just views.
3. Find Your Ideal Niche
For your audience to trust you enough to buy the products you recommend, they need to feel you understand them.
That’s why you should only focus on a specific audience. Once you illustrate that you know what they need, they will trust your recommendations for different solutions.
You can research your target market on other social platforms and look for overlap on TikTok. Once you have identified them, take note of the type of content they engage with, then brainstorm ideas about the content you can create to draw them in.
If your videos aren’t attracting many viewers, it’s likely because you aren’t targeting the right audience with the right content.
4. Redirect Traffic Using a Call to Action
Having millions of views on TikTok is great.
But what if you found a way to make money from them by redirecting them to another monetized platform or your own website?
Your call to action (which you MUST have on every video – otherwise, it’s a dead-end) shouldn’t only direct them to the product or service; you can use it to redirect them.
“If you would like more tips, subscribe to my YouTube channel.”
A CTA as simple as that could bring in more passive income. You can also use the CTA to get your viewers to subscribe to your email list so you can convert them with affiliate email marketing.
TikTok Affiliate Monetization
We’ve touched on it already, but here’s an overview of the process you need to take to monetize your TikTok affiliate marketing efforts.
Build an Audience
TikTok considers the posting frequency of a potential influencer marketing affiliate when considering the number of users that will view a creator’s content. Frequent content creates better engagement rates and boosts followers.
Choose an Affiliate Program
As your account starts to grow a decent following in a chosen niche or for a certain audience demographic, you can use it for affiliate marketing.
As an affiliate, you can work with a direct advertiser or choose to join an affiliate network. If you want a quick way to get started, check out some of the best affiliate marketing niches on ClickBank.
(Optional) Use Lead Magnets to Capture Information
TikTok does not allow affiliates to include tracking links in their videos or in their bio. That means you need to create some kind of affiliate bridge page (aka a presell page) to route people from TikTok over to an affiliate offer you’re promoting.
One additional step, of course, is including an opt-in form on the bridge page to capture contact information for leads. These are email subscribers you can send new offers to over time.
As an affiliate marketer, think holistically: It’s not just about the content, or the page, or the email. You want the whole experience to work together and encourage users to go through each stage of your funnel and ultimately make a purchase, which leaves you with a commission on the sale.
TikTok Organic or Paid?
After you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided to try TikTok affiliate marketing, it’s time to focus on how to boost your affiliate marketing business.
Remember that most TikTok users are Gen Zs between 16-24 years of age, which is one of the most diverse populations yet. They possess both digital nativism and a high education level – in other words, they’re savvy.
If you want to succeed on TikTok, your chosen affiliate niche(s) absolutely MUST appeal to this demographic! Current users are likely to spend their disposable income on style, fashion, gadgets, deco, and consumer products.
Now, there are two primary ways to grow with TikTok: organic traffic and paid traffic. Let’s take a quick look at both!
Use Organic Traffic on TikTok
Any successful affiliate marketer must have multiple winning strategies. The best and most straightforward method is to leverage the organic traffic from your videos.
This approach works best when you already have regular viewers who engage with your videos.
As mentioned earlier, not all accounts have the option of adding affiliate links in their TikTok bio, and it’s not possible to embed clickable affiliate links in your TikTok videos.
But there are some ways to get around it and leverage your organic traffic for affiliate sales:
- Add a URL leading back to your other social profiles
- Link to a bridge page or landing page in your profile
- Promote promo or coupon codes in your videos
- Add a non-clickable affiliate URL in your content description
Organic traffic is one of the most important factors in the success of your TikTok affiliate campaigns. With high viewership, you can create lasting relationships with users, improve brand awareness and engagement, and seed your audience across a range of platforms and channels.
Use TikTok Paid Ads
While our focus in this post is on organic traffic, you can also leverage paid TikTok advertising for better affiliate marketing results across a wider audience.
We’ll cover this more in another article, but just know there are several advertising options on TikTok that brands use for their marketing goals:
Appears while viewers are scrolling the general feed.
A video is shown as a full-screen engaging and immersive ad, playing for about 6 seconds.
These are hybrid ads between in-feeds and takeover videos and usually play for 60 seconds.
This is a simple way of promoting UGC (user-generated content). You can post videos that encourage traffic using a custom hashtag.
Also called “branded scan,” branded augmented reality (AR) allows affiliates to create ads using branded stickers, lenses, 2D, 3D, and AR effects that viewers can later use in their content.
TikTok advertising allows more targeted delivery of a product or brand promotion, and it’s giving dominant ad platforms like Facebook and YouTube a serious run for their money.
Here are a few more tips to increase your TikTok affiliate marketing traffic.
- Be consistent and post frequently
- Create compelling and engaging content
- Engage with other content relevant to your affiliate niche by linking or commenting on related videos
- Invite followers from other social media platforms
- Stay current with the trends
- Use relevant and active hashtags
- Start a personal challenge or trend and invite your audience to join
- Join a team of other creators
- Build your list of email subscribers by creating useful lead magnets
Examples of Affiliate Marketing on TikTok
There is no doubt about the opportunities available on TikTok. It’s relatively new yet exciting, as the newest “wild west” of the internet.
TikTok affiliate marketing can be a key source of revenue, and there are tons of people doing it right now. To show you how possible it is to make money on TikTok, here are four real-life examples of TikTok affiliate marketers:
- Rachel Meaders – Rachel Meaders monetizes her 2.1 million followers through the Amazon Associates program. She posts short videos of “Things you didn’t know you needed off Amazon” and uses LinkTr.ee.
- Grace aka Littlemama – Grace Kalittlemama monetizes her 429k followers with various offers by redirecting them to her YouTube channel.
- Nadya Okamoto – Nadya has 1.7 million followers, and she keeps interested by posting educational content about women’s issues such as cramps. She promotes tampons, which are directly related to her content. She also has a YouTube channel that covers the same content, which she redirects to her followers.
- Tory Dunlap – Tory Dunlap, a content creator in the personal finance niche, started both her Instagram and TikTok accounts simultaneously. Her Instagram has only 390k followers, while TikTok has 2.1 million. This shows how affiliate marketer-friendly TikTok is compared to other popular platforms.
Want more? Go search TikTok to see how these BIG brands are crushing it on TikTok right now:
- Fenty Beauty
- Milk Bar
- San Diego Zoo
TikTok Affiliate Marketing Wrap-up
Do you think it’s a coincidence that the year TikTok became the most popular website, Facebook lost users for the first time EVER?
Coincidence or not, TikTok is still relatively new, so any growth it has achieved is nothing compared to what it can still become! That’s why the best time to start TikTok affiliate marketing is yesterday – and the second-best time is right now.
With the proper content, your audience will continue growing for the foreseeable future. So, even if you won’t get enough commissions for the first few weeks to a month, you have a great opportunity to start generating affiliate income in the near future.
Once you have grown your TikTok audience, the next step is to monetize it with affiliate marketing on ClickBank. ClickBank is a platform that empowers affiliates to grow, scale, and reach customers like never before.
And if you’re interested in learning about other popular sources of traffic for affiliate marketing, check out these popular posts:
Learn More About TikTok
Of course, if you are still just starting out as an affiliate, you should ALSO look at our brand-new TikTok course – How to Grow & Monetize on TikTok – with expert Rachel Pedersen, the Queen of Social Media!
Along with this excellent TikTok course, Spark By ClickBank offers more than 10 in-depth courses, powerful tools, and a thriving VIP community to help you hone your affiliate marketing skills and grow your business. Go check it out!