We have all had a video blow up on TikTok, right? No? Just me? Whether your video blows up or not, I’m going to tell you why you should consider TikTok Affiliate Marketing.
What is TikTok?
TikTok launched in September of 2016; however, the app did not get big until it acquired the app “Musical.ly” in 2017. Musical.ly was initially an app for lip-syncing and dancing to popular music. Its demographic was primarily teenagers. This is how TikTok got its heavy bias of being “for kids.” However, research published in April by the Pew Research Center shows that 48% of U.S. adults between 18-29-years-old use TikTok. The figure drops to 20% in the 30-49-year-old age group, 14% among 50-64-year-olds, and 4% for those 65 and up. If your audience skews younger, then TikTok is a great platform to try, but older generations are also hopping on the app.
TikTok is navigated mostly through its homepage known as the “For You Page,” or FYP for short. The FYP utilizes a powerful algorithm to drive relevant audiences to videos they would be interested in. The algorithm considers who you follow, but it mostly brings you to creators’ videos that match your interests, whether you follow them or not. This algorithm is what allows people to blow up overnight. When the video that I linked above blew up, I had 0 followers on TikTok. I used three simple hashtags, and the FYP took it and ran with it. Before I knew it, thousands of people were watching my video! With affiliate links, I could have made that money rain on my peak of fame!
You may be asking why TikTok has become so popular, especially since YouTube has been the original video-sharing media. My guess is this is tied to the shrinking attention span of the smartphone generation. Studies show that attention spans are shrinking. The average attention span is now 8 seconds and has been shrinking by 25% every year. Shorter videos are outperforming longer ones, and if you don’t believe me, why has YouTube invested in this trend and dumped 100M dollars into their YouTube Shorts Fund? Whether you’re a casual social media user or a creator, there is no doubt that there are huge opportunities in these short-form videos.
How do I make money on TikTok?
Alright, now that we understand how TikTok works, let’s cover making money on TikTok. It’s very similar to making money on YouTube. Many creators are not fully capitalizing on their earnings on both platforms. Let’s change that!
The TikTok Creator Fund
Something unique to TikTok is the TikTok Creator Fund. The TikTok Creator Fund pays creators by views and engagement. The fund incentivizes people to “blow up” on TikTok and has fostered the virality of the app. There is a rumor that by joining the TikTok Creator Fund, TikTok suppresses your views to pay you less. Utilizing affiliate and sponsorship can be high-earning ways to make money to diversify if this fund rumor is true.
Sponsorship on TikTok
Hundreds of brands have built their social media strategy around sponsorship on TikTok. Namely, the brand Celcius. Many popular creators are paid by the brand to show them enjoying the drink in their videos. Typically brands pay content creators a flat fee for showing their product in their videos. In some cases, brands can sponsor TikTok creator’s videos as an ad, and the creator will be paid on a per-view basis.
@thatpineapplegirlShould I drop a headstand surf tutorial next? @celsiusofficial ##celsiusbrandpartner ##celsiuslivefit ##fyp ##surf ##summer ##SpotlightAPI♬ How Deep Is Your Love – Calvin Harris & Disciples
Brands reach out to content creators to sponsor them most of the time. However, if your audience really suits a brand, reaching out to them is never a bad idea. In most cases, brands have an ambassador program that you can also apply to.
TikTok Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is already very popular on TikTok. The Amazon Associates Program is the most popular program to link to in my experience, so reading up on Amazon Associates is a great place to start. With the power of the FYP, Amazon product reviews are put in front of relevant shoppers every day. I have bought a pair of Lululemon dupes off of a TikTok review. That review had 300k+ likes, and the comments were filled with people saying they bought the leggings.
Similar to Instagram, TikTok only allows you to have a link in your bio. Many tools have subverted the headache of only being allowed to have a single link in one’s bio. LinkinProfile is a popular tool for this. Another alternative is Kit.co. Kit allows you to share the products you use for a particular activity through affiliated links. Kit not only allows you to earn from Amazon but other big-name affiliate programs such as Walmart and Target, which are also very popular within the TikTok affiliate marketing community. It should be noted that any link that takes you off the TikTok app, whether it be for TikTok affiliate marketing or just to a website, will come with a security warning from TikTok that they do not know the link. The theory behind this is TikTok does not want users leaving the app.
Additionally, it is prudent to read up on affiliate programs’ rules for affiliate disclaimers before you post a product. Amazon has specific guidelines for disclaimers that require you to notify shoppers that you are earning from their purchase. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also patrols affiliate links to ensure fair play. While posting your affiliate disclaimer in the video description seems to work for now on TikTok, keep an eye out for updates so you don’t end up in hot water with Amazon or the FTC. With our Choice Pages Tool, we have a disclaimer built into the link that fulfills Amazon and the FTC’s disclaimer requirements. If you are unsure if you can keep up with posted requirements for disclaimers, we are happy to do the heavy lifting for you.
Something that I want to point out is that TikTok’s very nature routes people from all over the world to videos of their interest. Making sure the affiliate links that you share are globally aware is of utmost importance for your earnings. For example, I end up on videos from UK creators daily, and if they are using Amazon Affiliate links, I cannot buy from their link. This is because the UK has a different Amazon store than the US. That’s where Geniuslink comes in.
TikTok Affiliate Marketing and Geniuslink
When you use Geniuslink to generate your Amazon Affiliate links, we use Your Amazon ID and a process called localization to route your global audience to their correct Amazon storefront. On average, clients see an ROI of 8.7x when they use Geniuslink, so it’s worth a look! Additionally, Geniuslink will let you know when the item you’re linking to sells out, so when you natively get TikTok famous and sell out Amazon, we got your back.
There is no doubt of the opportunity that exists on TikTok. It’s exciting and still relatively new. It’s like the wild west of the internet. My best advice for getting a video to blow up on any media is to understand your niche and leverage that to your advantage. TikTok affiliate marketing is no different, and there are tons of people out there waiting for videos like yours.