How to use TikTok Influencer Marketing to Grow your Brand

What are TikTok influencers?

TikTok is still a fairly new application and social media platform, compared to the likes of Instagram and Twitter. Influencer marketing is becoming a much loved and used feature for many businesses, and the new rise of TikTok influencers is no different.

However, due to it being a new platform, many of the influencers are either celebrities or influencers from other platforms, for example an Instagram influencer.

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This is because they would download TikTok, tell all their Instagram followers that they now have TikTok, and their followers would then follow them on TikTok too. This means that it is harder to become just a TikTok influencer instead of multi social platform influencer.

Despite the challenge, it can be done, and people do become TikTok influencers without being an influencer on another platform. They do this by posting good quality content and engaging videos and build up a following from nothing.

As a business, working with these people with lots of followers means that your business can be promoted on a larger scale. Influencers have a status and key impact over their followers, and are seen as reliable and trustworthy people.

This is especially true, with regards to TikTok. As most of the videos are personal, this makes it easier to feel more connected and bonds are made between the user and the influencer. Having this status can be extremely helpful when promoting products, as people buy into the influencer and the products will essentially sell themselves.

How do you work with TikTok influencers?

Influencer marketing is a very simple yet easily misunderstood concept. Therefore, there are a few things a business needs to be aware of especially with TikTok. One of the main things to pay attention to would be how many likes, comments and followers a potential influencer has.

If the average number of likes and comments are reasonably high in comparison to the number of followers then you know that influencer has a high engagement level and their followers are active on their page.

As a business knowing your target audience is important, especially when branching out to get involvement from an influencer. If they already have a target audience it should be clear from the content they post. Make sure this aligns and matches your own target audience as this will mean getting promotional support from the influencer will be a lot easier.

Knowing what sort of people follow the influencer is really important as they are your essentially the new clients, if these are not the people you want to be reaching out to then it will be a waste of time and money using that influencer.

Make sure that there is a mutual understanding of what sort of content should be posted and how often it should be posted. For example, using ads in their videos that go directly to the website would be a good idea as long as it is relevant to the time and nature of the video.

Don’t jump straight into paying a lot of money to an influencer as it might not work out as originally planned. Paying small amounts to start with before building up the contract is a great idea for influencers of this style.

This is also a great idea as it allows the business time to see if influencer marketing is something that they can benefit the brand more, than other types of promotion. If after some time you believe that it is working, then you can look into hiring more influencers that potentially have a slightly different target audience opening the brand up further.

On the other hand, if you don’t think it’s working you can stop without loosing out on too much. Influencer marketing on TikTok is a very easy and potentially cheap way to get top quality marketing with other great benefits as well. Any business can easily do the necessary research and get in contact with influencers to start up their own promotional content.

 Do TikTok Influencers make a difference and is it worth it?

The main role of the influencer is to reach an audience that the brand has not got access to. Furthermore, the influencer can help promote the brand and its product to potential customers who have not previously heard of the brand and were not aware of them.

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By getting involved in influencer marketing it can help to promote the influencers as well as the other way around, especially if the brand is well known. The best mix is when both the brand and the influencer are equally as well known as each other, or when the influencer is so trusted and respected that they can promote a not so popular brand.

The only time this really happens is with small brands or new business’s. Influencers help to raise awareness for brands. However, the business also needs to be able to help the influencer promotion by supporting them with great content and interesting videos.

This is to guide and push the influencer, so that they can then carry on promoting the brand themselves, whilst sticking to your guidelines and identity. Having discount codes for the influencer is a great way to help them promote products.

This is because its normally a very easy link that’s simple to remember, that way even if they haven’t heard of the brand they can trust the influencer to use the same products that they have recommended and got a discount for.

Discount codes also help you measure the effectiveness of the influencer. If lots of sales are achieved using the promoted code, you can be certain that lots of your customers are seeing the influencers posts and buying the products as a result.

If your business isn’t currently using TikTok, and haven’t looked in to TikTok influencer marketing then certainly take a look and find out more. Influencer marketing could be an excellent tool for your company, and help you grow your brand.

If this is something you are interested in, check out our latest Amazon book the ultimate guide to marketing GEN Z.

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TikTok was the Most Downloaded App at the Start of 2020: How Can it Help Market Your Brand?

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a newer style of social networking application available for most mobile devices. The main function of TikTok is uploading and sharing home made videos either for 15 or 60 seconds. The videos can be of anything, however, there are a lot of users who use the app to lip-sync to popular songs or memes.

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While using TikTok you can also create videos where you talk about your day or make games to play with other people. An example of this could be the ‘never have I ever’ game. This is used to interact with other people who follow you so they can create the same video ‘using your sound’.

Using someone else’s sound is when you create your own video with the same background as the original person, normally this is how videos go viral. TikTok is a huge platform with more than 800 million user’s active per month, the reason it has become so big is because it is so easy to use and fun be involved in.

Another reason it has become so popular in recent months is because many people share a common goal to become TikTok famous. TikTok famous means you have a lot of followers, and get thousands, sometimes millions of views on your videos, almost like an Instagram influencer.

Why a business should use TikTok?

TikTok is a growing platform, and the application will be around for a long time to come as it already has such a large active user group, that will only get bigger. The numbers show that Instagram took six years to get the same number of active users that TikTok currently has.

If your business has a demographic of the younger age groups from around 10-18 years old, then this app is perfect. The majority of users are within that age group, as this app has become huge amongst younger people due to its playful and silly manor.

However, that is not to say older people aren’t using the app, it is just less likely to reach the same numbers of people in older age groups, as there is a smaller percentage of over 18’s actively using the app. Using TikTok to promote a business has become a lot more popular over the last few months.

The developers have noticed this, so they have made it that one bit easier for businesses by adding a couple more functions on top of the originals. These have been made to help brands increase their promotion.

From a business’s point of view, it is a cheap and fun way to promote their products without having to pay too much, and they also can have the enjoyment of making videos and watching the content. The best thing about this app is that it is so easy to make videos and new trends that have the potential of going viral.

Creative, viral content!

The most important way to market your brand on TikTok is to be creative and develop popular and hopefully viral content. Anything that people feel they can replicate or get involved in, then they will. For example, if you replicate a dance or a scene from a meme, users on TikTok will love it and be quick to jump onto trending content.

do something great

Anything with grand movements or funny jokes will grab the attention of TikTok users, most of the viral content are video that people can tag along on, for example an easy lip-sync or a couple movements to a song that are related to your brand would be the best thing to put in the video. An example would be a catchy slogan.

Using the different effects and filters that TikTok has to offer can help boost the amount of views you get; certain effects and filters can help represent the brand. Your business can also pay a charge to have their own filter, which could then be made into a challenge and get others to share it and use it. Before you know it, many users will have got involved, and you will be going TikTok viral.

Important things to know and check before you start

Before promoting your brand on TikTok, remember that the demographic is children and teenagers so if that’s not the target audience on your product then TikTok might not be the right platform for you.

Another thing to do before making any videos is to make sure that what you are going to post shows the brand in a fun and interesting way without making it too unprofessional. The middle ground is perfect for this, however can sometimes be challenging to achieve. Make sure that you are watching other people’s content so that you are aware of what sort of videos are trending at the moment.

Also, it is important to make sure that your idea is an original idea. TikTok hasn’t been around for as long as most other large social media platforms, however, having such large numbers of active users trying to find original content is very difficult. Look into all the potential effects and filters that TikTok has to offer but also make sure that you are familiar with the most commonly used and popular filters and effects.

Checking the most viewed videos to see how they were created and also the effects that are on these videos will be helpful, and give you an idea of where to start. This will also help you to make sure that the promotional content your brand makes is in keeping of the theme of TikTok at that specific time. Trends are always changing and improving as TikTok releases new features and better functions.

If your business isn’t currently using TikTok then certainly create an account and check it out. TikTok could be a great marketing tool for your company, if you approach it and use it properly.

If this is something you are interested in, check out the ultimate guide to marketing GEN Z on TikTok.

tiktok marketing to gen z

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What is an Instagram influencer, and how can influencer marketing benefit my brand? You don’t need Kylie Jenner

What is an Instagram influencer?

An Instagram influencer is someone who has a large following on the social media platform (Instagram) and has built up a large fan base by engaging and encouraging others to get involved on their page. An Instagram influencer has a virtual group of people who watch their videos and like their posts regularly. These followers trust the influencer’s opinion and are often strongly influenced by their decisions, hence the term ‘influencer’.

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For many influencers, this is their full-time job and can make a large amount of money doing so. Due to their large and loyal following, they promote and sell various products.

Influencers can work for lots of different companies or brands, and get paid to promote certain products. A key way this is done is through the use of discount codes, and the influencer will then receive a proportion from the sales generated.

In the last five years, there has been an increase in the number of people that have taken up the influencer lifestyle. Influencer marketing is on track to become an £8 billion industry by the end of 2020. Due to the increase in online activity, there are now different categories of influencers, and they go up in stages based on how many followers they have.

People with 1,000 – 10,000 followers are called Nano-influencers. The next level up is the people with 10,000 – 100,000, who are called micro-influencers, and lastly, the people with way over 100,000 and into the millions are called mega-influencers.

It is really important to know the difference when it comes to influencer marketing and looking at how your business can benefit.

How can influencer marketing help my business?

Whether you own a small business or a multimillion-pound business, Instagram influencer marketing is a great way to spread awareness for your products. Having an influencer with a large following to promote your products and give them a good review, increases the opportunity for others who have never heard of your business before to buy your products and follow your brand.

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When you are choosing which influencer to contact, try to find someone who already supports similar products to yours. This can act as a key advantage, as they will already have a following that is already interested in that specific area or market.

An example of this could be vegan food. If an influencer has made it clear they are vegan and on their profile, they promote vegan bars, they are very likely to have a large vegan following. This would be a really useful boost if you were running a vegan business or sell vegan products.

If you’re just starting up a business, giving free samples to nano-influencers or micro-influencers could increase sales. This is because they have the highest engagement rate of all the categories.

This means even though they have the least amount of followers, the followers they do have are normally more loyal and active on the account. You are more likely to reach a higher percentage of active followers from ten posts on a micro-influencers account than with one post on a mega-influencers account.

It also means that you won’t have to pay them to sample and review your products, as they are less likely to require payment over some of the bigger influencer names such as Molly-Mae Hague or Bretman Rock. There are a lot of people on Instagram as it is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world.

If you can get your products posted on multiple pages then it’s going to gain a lot more traction. The more times people and potential customers see your product the more times they will look into it and think about purchasing it.

The key is to make your business as big and as spread out across as many different groups of followers as you can, this gives the illusion to people your product is being used and promoted everywhere.

Things to know before getting involved in influencer marketing

Before getting involved in influencer marketing there are a few things you need to be aware of; for example, not all influencers will be willing to give reviews for certain products. Therefore, to avoid wasting time, do lots of research into their page before asking them to partner with or promote your brand.

One of the main things to look into is how many likes and comments they get, this is to see if they have a high engagement level on their page. Another thing to look into is to see what kind of following they have and if they have a specific target audience. If their target audience is clear make sure that it matches the audience your product is designed for.

This could be any group from those who enjoy reading and love cats, to teenagers passionate about make-up and concerts. More factors to consider include: do the influences have the image that you are looking, do they speak the language that is important for you, are they the right age, the right gender and do they live in the right location.

These are all factors to think about before deciding. The influencer you chose will then be the face for your product and brand, so making sure that person is what you want is important.

One of the things that businesses must do before deciding who they are going to ask, is to look into how many other promotions they have done and see if they were successful.

Reading the comments is so important as it allows you to see if their followers still trust their opinion and if their following is also actively buying the products.

This also allows you to see if the influencer is positive and active at answering the questions people may ask them, as that could help increase sales as lots of more information could be given.

Once you’ve found the influencer or influencers who you believe could help increase interest and raise the sales of your products the last step to take is making sure that if you agree to pay them, you are paying a fair price for the service they can provide.

Having an agreement such as posting one promotion every month can allow for you to see how much you are gaining from having an influencer marketing your products. Therefore, you can see if its working and then you can look into hiring another person.

However, if you don’t think it’s working and benefiting your business, you can stop. It’s a very easy and potentially cheaper type of marketing, that you can get into and benefit from.

If you are interested in Instagram influencer marketing check out our Insta Business book on Amazon for more guidance and tips to making it on Instagram.

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Do people really believe the 5G coronavirus (COVID-19) conspiracy theory?

As social distancing continues and covid-19 patients self-isolate, there are many coronavirus conspiracy theories which have been spreading on social media platforms. One of them has been falsely claiming that 5g technology has been responsible for the spread of the virus.

Other conspiracy theories have traced the origin of the virus to the Chinese government as a biological weapon. Australia hit back at the United States for the link that put a connection between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and COVID-19, and the New York Times noted that China Lab rejected the claims.

Fact checking has been more important than ever as there are other 10 current conspiracy theories, for instance, see this article COVID: Top 10 current conspiracy theories and one of them involves Bill Gates as a scapegoat. The World Health organisation has noted that during the coronavirus pandemic a battle against false information has also been taking place. Fact-checking has been more important than ever during the covid-19 pandemic. As conspiracy theorists run rampant across the digital landscape.

It has become more important to rapidly analyse content from social media platforms to understand the drivers of false news and to develop strategies to fight misinformation. In our latest studies published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) entitled COVID-19 and the 5G Conspiracy Theory: Social Network Analysis of Twitter Data we analyse the 5G Covid-19 conspiracy theory. More specifically, we set out to investigate which Twitter users and Web sources were influential.

We found that Infowars and other fake news websites were influential and Twitter users linked to YouTube videos which argued for the link between 5G and COVID-19. We also found that an individual account was set up to spread the conspiracy theory which should have been taken down by Twitter much sooner.

Overall we found that only a handful of users truly believed the conspiracy theory (35%), and others users inadvertently raised its profile to make it a trending topic on Twitter. We recommend that other Twitter users report such misinformation rather than engage and/or amplify it.

Our paper full paper can be read here: https://www.jmir.org/2020/5/e19458/

Dangerous Messages or Satire? Analysing the Conspiracy Theory Linking 5G to COVID-19 through Social Network Analysis

Our pre-peer review preprint is now online for Journal of Medical Internet Research:

(https://www.jmir.org/preprint/19458)

ABSTRACT

Background:

Since the beginning of December 2019 COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the world which has led to increased discussions across online platforms. These conversations have also included various conspiracies shared by social media users. Amongst them a popular theory has linked 5G to the spread of COVID-19 leading to misinformation and the burning of 5G towers in the United Kingdom. The understanding of the drivers of fake news and quick policies oriented to isolate and rebate misinformation are key to combating it.

Objective:

To develop an understanding of the drivers of the 5G COVID-19 conspiracy theory and strategies to deal with such misinformation

Methods:

This paper performs a Social Network Analysis and Content Analysis of Twitter data from a 7-day period in which the #5GCoronavirus hashtag was trending on Twitter. Influential users are analyzed through social network graph clusters. The size of the nodes is ranked by their betweenness centrality score and the graph’s vertices are grouped by cluster using the Clauset-Newman-Moore algorithm. Topics and Web sources utilized by users are examined.

Results:

Social Network Analysis identified that the two largest network structures consisted of an isolates group and a broadcast group. The analysis also reveals that there was a lack of authority figure who was actively combating such misinformation. Content analysis reveals that only 35% of individual tweets contained views that 5G and COVID-19 were linked whereas 32% denounced the conspiracy theory and 33% were general tweets not expressing any personal views or opinions. Thus, 65% of tweets derived from non-conspiracy theory supporters which suggests that although the topic attracted high volume only a handful of users genuinely believed the conspiracy. This paper also shows that fake news websites were the most popular Web-source shared by users although YouTube videos were also shared. The study also identified an account whose sole aim was to spread the conspiracy theory on Twitter.

Conclusions:

The combination of quick targeted interventions oriented to delegitimize the sources of fake information are key to reducing their impact. Those users voicing their views against the conspiracy theory, link-baiting, or sharing humorous tweets inadvertently raised the profile of the topic, suggesting that policymakers should insist in the efforts of isolating opinions which are based on fake news. Many social media platforms provide users with the ability to report inappropriate content. This study is the first to analyse the 5G conspiracy theory in the context of COVID-19 on Twitter offering practical guidance to health authorities in how, in the context of a pandemic, rumors may be combated in the future.

Find the preprint here: https://www.jmir.org/preprint/19458

The Constellation of Joe Wicks

Dr Wasim Ahmed, University of Newcastle, UK; Dr Opeoluwa Aiyenitaju, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK; Professor Simon Chadwick, Emlyon Business School, France; Dr Alex Fenton, University of Salford, UK.

Joe Wicks, the British fitness coach who initially shot to prominence on Instagram, is continuing to engage children and fitness fanatics across the world. With many people either social isolating or locked down, Wicks’ daily P.E. workouts delivered via YouTube have become a staple of household routines.

In an earlier article, we noted how Wicks’ workouts have driven the development of a huge social media communications network. This includes via platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. We are still monitoring Wicks and his influence in a research project that uses mixed methods research.

The questions underpinning our analysis are: What is the nature of the health and well-being content being generated by this influencer? How is it moving through social media networks? And what is user sentiment towards this content?

Following our latest analysis of communications posted by and about Joe Wicks, we have identified that they appear in a form that is something akin to a constellation (Figure 1). In this pattern of communications, Wicks is the big influencer star, although he is surrounded by a host of other influencer stars albeit ones that shine less brightly in this context.

Figure 1: The Joe Wicks social media constellation

A closer examination of the constellation (which we refer to as the #Wicksophere) reveals the identities of other influencer stars in the constellation. Among these are television personality and journalist Piers Morgan, and writer and journalist Caitlin Moran (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Star influencers in the Joe Wicks constellation

This observation is consistent with our earlier findings that Wicks constitutes the focal node in a broadcast network form, but that content about him is in turn driven by a series of other high profile, often famous personalities and influencers.

However, in this iteration of our study we employed a measure of betweenness centrality — a measure of the ‘influence of a vertex over the flow of information between every pair of vertices under the assumption that information primarily flows over the shortest paths between them’.

This revealed a significant influencer over the last week or so has been an individual tweeting via the account @fliceverett (see Figure 3). This person is neither famous nor an established social media influencer. Instead, she impacted upon the flow of communications about Joe Wicks following a posting set in the context of peoples’ Covid-19 coping strategies (see Figure 4).

Figure 3: Flic Everett as a social media influencer
Figure 4: Flic Everett’s influencer posting on Twitter

Nevertheless, when we switched the nodes and labels associated with Wicks’ constellation to rank by number of followers rather than betweenness centrality, perhaps a slightly more stable view of the universe emerged (see Figure 5).

It is interesting to note that in this version of the constellation, planets such as comedian Stephen Fry and footballer Sergio Aguero are orbiting the suns of YouTube, CNN and Instagram. One can still see the space dust trajectory around Joe Wicks and Flic Everett, but one needs a more powerful telescope to zoom in and see them.

Figure 5: Wicks’ constellation with nodes ranked by number of followers

Our work examining Joe Wicks, social influencers and public health policy continues. Hence, we will be reporting again soon via this and our other digital channels. For the time-being, we nevertheless conclude that Wicks continues to be a significant public health influencer during this period when schools and other institutions are in lockdown.

We also note the space dust glitterati of influencers congregated around Wicks. However, we now also note that the meteor shower of influencers from within the general population may also periodically shoot through social media constellations.

Furthermore, it is clear from our initial work here that how one employs techniques of social network analysis also influences how collectively we view people such as Joe Wicks, Flic Everett and Piers Morgan.

This blog was originally posted on Professor Simon Chadwick’s Medium blog