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  • Writer's pictureKayJay McDonald-Ferguson

Understanding TikTok's Influence on Influencer Marketing

The world of influencer marketing has experienced a massive shift with the emergence of TikTok. Sebastian Wulff, Director of Influence at Brandwatch, engaged in an eye-opening Brandwatch Spark Summit session featuring Esther Goos, the CEO of Scooperz, to delve into the role of TikTok within influencer marketing.


One of the most crucial aspects they discussed was TikTok's For You algorithm. The algorithm tailors the user experience, creating a space where individuals need not follow specific accounts or brands. This transformation has fundamentally altered the landscape of influencer marketing.


In the past, an influencer's worth was often equated with the size of their follower base. But TikTok has rewritten the rules. Now, the focus has shifted to valuing reach and engagement over numbers. Brands are challenged to identify and tap into new, smaller communities on the platform as consumers are grouped into diverse, fragmented segments.


A snapshot on the influencer marketing Brandwatch talk delivered by 2 professionals

TikTok creators hold significant influence, yet they operate differently from traditional heroes consumers follow across various platforms. The rapid interaction and consumption pace on TikTok has led to creators being known more for what they create rather than their personal identity. They are more like online friends. Their content can often be found on other platforms rooted in the unique TikTok format. The shift hasn’t been seamless for established influencers. The transition to TikTok has posed challenges, primarily due to the algorithm's emphasis on reach and engagement instead of follower counts. This change is forcing established influencers to reevaluate their strategies.


One new addition that is being seen as beneficial for influencer marketing is Spark Ads. They involve using a native ad format that enables you to leverage organic TikTok post and their features in advertising. The ability for someone else to promote content is a significant advantage in this space.


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Key Insights for TikTok Success for Influencer Marketing

  1. Everything on TikTok thrives within a niche, this encourages marketers to embrace the unique, smaller communities rather than aiming for a universal appeal.

  2. TikTok revolves around trends - using and understanding them can be key to content success.

  3. The algorithm is programmed for localisation, this prompts a need for region-specific strategies and content.

To conclude, TikTok has revolutionised the influencer marketing landscape, challenging conventional norms. Understanding the platform's unique dynamics and leveraging its algorithmic strengths is the key to unlocking opportunities in this influencer marketing world.

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