How to find influencers on TikTok for your marketing campaign
Influencer campaigns are now a staple of the modern marketing strategy, and no platform has had a bigger impact on this movement than TikTok.
The video-sharing app has quickly become a dominant force in the social media world, with over 1 billion active users globally. Plus, TikTok’s strangle-hold on the younger generation of consumers positions them for long-term dominance as the top advertising platform.
According to Statista, TikTok is now the channel for reaching young American consumers, with nearly 70% of 18-19 year olds, and nearly half of all people aged 20-39, regularly using the platform.
One of the reasons for TikTok's success is the substantial number of social media influencers who have embraced the platform. These creators amass millions of followers and are influential in shaping popular culture, driving trends, and influencing consumer behavior.
By partnering with TikTok influencers, brands like Amazon, GymShark, and Crocs reach a wider audience and establish a more authentic connection with their customers (more on that later).
However, it's not enough to simply partner with any influencer on the platform. To find the perfect TikTok influencer for your brand, you need to use audience analysis tools to identify the best creator for your specific audience. This strategy ensures that the influencer's content resonates with your target market and is more likely to drive engagement and conversions.
What is TikTok influencer marketing?
TikTok influencer marketing is a strategy where brands partner with popular TikTok creators to promote their products or services to new consumer segments. The size of the influencer’s audience can range—from celebrity brand ambassadors with millions of followers to micro and nano influencers with audience sizes in the 4-5 figure range.
The TikTok influencer creates content that showcases the brand's products or services in a creative and engaging way. They create industry- or niche-specific video content that can include sponsored posts, challenges, or collaborations. Influencers on TikTok often have a unique style that resonates with their followers, and by correctly identifying and partnering with them, brands can leverage that authenticity to promote their products in a more natural and organic way.
What’s most important is that the creator’s followers align with the target market of the brand.
The secret to conducting a successful influencer marketing campaign on TikTok: Audience analysis
Like any marketing endeavor, successfully conducting a TikTok influencer campaign involves following an important sequence of steps:
- Set clear campaign goals.
- Identify relevant and aligned influencers.
- Establish collaboration terms with the influencers.
- Provide a clear creative brief to the influencers.
- Monitor the influencer's content during the campaign.
- Measure the campaign's success using metrics like engagement rates, reach, and sales.
But the real secret to a successful influencer marketing campaign on the platform, and also the most challenging aspect of the process, is this:
Finding TikTok influencers who align with your brand and values to produce the biggest positive impact on your specific audience.
Many marketers make the mistake of falling for influencers based on the content they produce, without taking the time to vet their following with audience intelligence tools to identify how aligned they are with their own brand.
4 simple ways to find influencers on TikTok
While using audience analysis or social listening tools is a great way to identify potential influencers on any platform, TikTok also has built-in features that you can take advantage of to narrow down your list of creators.
1. Use TikTok’s Discover page
The TikTok Discover page is a valuable tool for you to identify the ideal influencer for your brand. The Discover page algorithm showcases popular and trending content on the platform.
Here are some ways that companies can use the TikTok Discover page to identify the perfect influencer for their brand:
- Topics and hashtags: Topics and hashtags let you see the most popular content and influencers in that particular area. For example, if a company sells beauty products, they can search for hashtags like #makeuptutorial or #beautyhacks to see the most popular content and influencers in that category.
- Look for popular sounds: TikTok shows you the trending songs and sounds that are used in popular videos. This can be an effective way to identify influencers that resonate with the company's target audience.
- Check out live streams: TikTok live streams let influencers talk to their audience in real-time, giving you a window into how these influencers create content off-the-cuff and how their audience reacts to it.
- Use TikTok Creator Marketplace: TikTok’s Creator Marketplace connects brands with TikTok influencers, letting you search for creators based on various criteria like location, audience demographics, and engagement rate.
The TikTok Discover page is a great way to generate a shortlist of potential influencers that you can further investigate with audience analysis tools to determine alignment.
2. Use the TikTok User Finder
The TikTok User Finder lets you search for users based on specific criteria—essentially functioning as a search engine for the platform. The different criteria you can filter with include:
For example, if a user is interested in fashion, they can use the User Finder to search for other users who are also interested in fashion. They can then follow these users to see their content and engage with them on the platform.
3. Search for TikTok influencers with Google
Google can be a powerful tool for finding TikTok influencers that align with your brand or niche. Here's how you can use Google to search for TikTok influencers:
- Start with a general search: Begin your search by using general keywords related to your niche or industry, such as "beauty influencers" or "fashion influencers." This will give you a broad range of search results to work with.
- Narrow down your search: Once you have a general list of influencers, you can narrow down your search by using more specific keywords. For example, if you are looking for beauty influencers on TikTok, you can use a search term like "top TikTok beauty creators" or "best beauty influencers on TikTok."
- Analyze the statistics: Once you have a list of potential influencers, it's essential to take a good look at the available statistics. This includes metrics like follower count, engagement rate, and average views per video. These statistics can give you an idea of the influencer's reach and the level of engagement they generate with their followers.
- Analyze the type of content: In addition to analyzing the statistics, it's also important to analyze the type of content shared by the influencers you find this way. Take a close look at their videos to see if the content aligns with your brand values and message.
4. See what your competitors are doing
Chances are you’re not the only company in your niche looking to leverage the power of TikTok to influence your audience—your competitors are likely developing their own influencer strategy.
You can apply the same audience analysis tactics that you use on your own consumer base, and the following of your potential influencers, to identify what your competitors are doing. Audience intelligence tools are particularly important, as they allow you to:
- Benchmark how your performance compares to others in your industry
- Gather in-depth statistics on your competitor’s audience
- Identify the subsegments of competitor audiences that overlap with your own
How do you get a TikTok influencer to work with you?
Once you’ve identified the ideal TikTok influencer to represent your brand, you need to start a dialogue with them. Here’s how you can reach out in a way that will set you up for a successful long-term relationship:
Be an excellent communicator: Specifically, you should be transparent and clear about the objectives, budget, and expectations of your influencer campaign. Be responsive to the influencer's questions and concerns and provide timely feedback throughout the collaboration.
Provide clear and concise briefing: Clearly including brand values, target audience, desired messaging, creative guidelines, and restrictions in your briefs will help your influencer create content that aligns with the brand's goals while still being authentic and engaging.
Let them be creative:TikTok influencers are experts at creating engaging content that resonates with their followers. Companies should allow influencers to be creative and express themselves freely in their videos. This helps to create authentic content that feels natural to the influencer's audience and drives engagement.
3 examples of successful TikTok influencer campaigns
The potential brand-influencer combinations for a successful TikTok influencer campaign are plenty—provided you do your due diligence and identify the profiles that overlap with your consumer segments.
Whether you're in the retail fashion industry or a cutting-edge software company, you can find success by partnering with the influencers that align with the goals for your brand and interests of your consumer segments.
Here are a few examples of TikTok influencer campaigns done right.
As a company that’s been around for over 20 years, Crocs are a great example of how established brands can revamp their product by leveraging influencers on TikTok. Their recent #GuessWhoCrocs campaign has helped them capture a younger audience segment by partnering with high-profile influencers like pro soccer player Kai Havertz.
The hashtag campaign now has over 11.4 million views on TikTok and is helping to revitalize the retail brand’s audience by leveraging the platform of high-profile Crocs fans across athletics, film, and music. The influencer campaign also has a compounding effect, with product enthusiasts reaching out to the company for a chance to represent the brand.
@crocs And our mystery athlete is… football phenom Kai Havertz! Did you get it correct in our #GuessWhoCrocs ♬ original sound - Crocs
Not all TikTok influencers need to be celebrities—in some cases partnering with niche figures who fit the every-day-person persona can be more effective for connecting with specific audience segments.
For example, Amazon recently partnered with tech influencer Jenna Ezarik to debut their home monitoring robot Astro. The campaign has been successful in introducing the product to specific tech consumer segments, with just two #livingwithastro videos gaining 1.6 million views on the platform.
@jennaezarik I've partnered with @amazonastro to show you a day in the life with my new best friend, Astro! It's almost like having a personal assistant and private security, but it's a cute household robot who also tells jokes and keeps the family safe and entertained! Follow the link in my bio to check it out for yourself! #LivingwithAstro #ad ♬ original sound - Jenna
As a brand established in the late 2010’s, GymShark has been able to grow alongside TikTok into one of the social platform’s most popular brands. They’ve grown their brand with challenges like Change Your Life, turning their own consumers into an army of micro and nano influencers.
This influencer strategy has been incredibly successful, with #gymshark earning a staggering 9.5 billion views and counting on TikTok. To continue building momentum on the platform, GymShark even launched a TikTok Creator Fund in 2022 to bring more creators into the fold and continue expanding their influence in the athletic apparel space across different consumer segments.
@gymshark bros a god fr #gymmotivation #gymtok #Gymshark @deven.fagan ♬ sonido original - phonkmusicl
With projections showing that 1-in-5 internet users will be on TikTok by 2025, it’s imperative your brand establish a presence on the platform. Partnering with one of the millions of talented influencers out there is a perfect way for you to reach audience segments that overlap with your own.
When finding TikTok influencers for your marketing campaign, you just need to follow these steps:
- Use the Discovery page to search for creators by topics, hashtags, sounds, and live content
- Search for creators based on specific criteria like location, age, or gender with the TikTok User Finder
- Look directly in the Google search pages by entering industry relevant terms and “TikTok influencer”
- Analyze the TikTok account of your competitors and related companies to identify the influencers they use
But, after this preliminary search, you need to thoroughly vet your candidates to ensure that their social following, values, and style aligns with the commercial objectives of your brand.
This is where consumer analysis and insight tools like Audiense are indispensable to any influencer marketing campaign. With Audiense, you can separate your customer base into specific segments based on their affinities, interests, and needs. Then you just need to perform a similar analysis on your roster of potential TikTok influencers, identifying the ones who align with your messaging style, values, and audience to drive conversions for your brand.
Sign-up for Audiense Insights today and identify the affinity- and interest-based segments of social followings so you can easily identify the TikTok influencers who align with your brand!