Digital trends for 2023 show that video content will still be among the most consumed media formats in the coming year. And when it comes to videos, particularly short and highly engaging ones, TikTok is the platform that reigns supreme. So, it is not surprising at all that more and more brands are scrambling to boost their presence on the platform. This makes TikTok a lucrative platform as well for creators, influencers, and affiliates working with brands.
While there are some limitations when posting affiliate links and publishing sponsored posts, TikTok still offers affiliates a good venue for generating additional income. Here, we go through what makes TikTok great for affiliate marketing and the top strategies that’ll help you earn more through the platform.
What Makes TikTok a Good Platform for Affiliate Marketing
With a brand value of $59 billion, more than three billion app downloads, and over one billion active users monthly, TikTok is undoubtedly one of the largest social media platforms in the world today. It is also a free traffic source with potentially high returns that is often underutilized.
Probably one of the best features of TikTok that makes it great for affiliate marketing is its algorithm that enables anyone to make money regardless of the size of their follower base. Since the platform does not use follower count as a ranking signal, affiliates do not need to have millions of followers to appear on feeds. You just need to post the right content and reach the right audience who will be most likely inspired to make purchases using your affiliate links or coupon codes.
Being a free platform, it helps you increase organic reach without the extra cost. Tools and resources for creating video content are available in-app so you do not need specialized technical knowledge to create your own content. Trending challenges, music, and memes let you ride the hype and boost visibility even without much experience as a marketer. All you really need is a bit of creativity and imagination to make videos that have the potential to go viral.
To make the most of the platform and increase commissions from affiliate links, here are some of the best TikTok affiliate marketing strategies you can implement this coming year.
TikTok Affiliate Marketing Strategies for 2023
1. Choose a niche and focus on it.
Because TikTok delivers content that is highly personalized, you would want to keep within a specific niche to build a more solid reputation in a targeted segment. This gives you higher visibility and better recognition among your target audience within the platform.
When choosing a niche, focus on what people need and use on a regular basis. Consumer mass products such as clothing, makeup, food, electronic gadgets, and hobby supplies typically work best for affiliates as consumers often do not hesitate to purchase them. Also look for items that your audience will likely spend their disposable income on such as health equipment, online courses, and luxury items.
Once you have selected a niche, make the majority of your content focused on it. If you want to add variety to your content library, you may still want to stick to niches that are related to the one you are in. This keeps you within the same range of audiences.
2. Leverage emerging trends or create your own trend.
Trends are at the very core of TikTok. In fact, the platform’s meteoric rise is mostly due to viral content inspired by the latest trends. So if you want to get more impressions and increase your chances for virality, tap into the newest TikTok trends.
To know what’s trending, look for content clues in viral videos. What hashtags, sounds, patterns, or captions were used? Which of these elements do users mention most? Which challenges are getting the most views, likes, and shares?
Use trending music or sounds in your content and join challenges. Differentiate yourself from other users by bringing something new and unique to trending dance steps. Make better and improved versions of viral videos to ride the hype.
Better yet, strive to create unique content and start trends. Create videos with interesting content or highly engaging music. Make movements easy to replicate and dialogues simple to memorize. Inject witty humor and incorporate current events to increase the chances of making your video go viral. Start challenges that are fun and easy to do to initiate new trends.
3. Add a custom link in your TikTok bio.
One of the limitations of affiliate marketing on TikTok is the inability to place links in the videos or the captions. What you can do instead is to add an affiliate link in your bio, then reference it in your video. However, you need to have a business account to add a clickable link to your TikTok profile.
If you are just starting out and have less than one thousand followers, use a custom link that is easy to remember so viewers can simply type it on their search bars or look for it on voice search. You can also use a URL shortener to give your link a more streamlined look for your TikTok profile.
To check if you can add a clickable link to your bio, go to your Profile page and look for the section that asks you to add a URL. Insert the affiliate link, tap on Submit, then use your mobile phone to check if the link is clickable.
4. Ask affiliate brands for a dedicated URL.
Popular influencers are usually given URLs with their names or custom codes that are memorable. But many brands are more than willing to give their affiliates dedicated URLs regardless of their social clout. Ask your affiliate partners if they can give you one that is easy to remember.
A dedicated URL is marked uniquely for your account. Whenever someone uses your dedicated URL, it redirects them to the brand or product page. When they make a purchase, the sale is credited to you earning you a commission. Mention these dedicated URLs in your content or add them to your captions. Even if they are not clickable, they are easy to remember and type on the search bar.
5. Publish entertaining yet informative videos.
TikTok is mainly an entertainment platform so provide your audience with something they can enjoy watching. While humor is a given, try to give your audience informative content that inspires them to purchase affiliate products or services. But veer away from hard selling that turns viewers off.
Viewers must gain value from your videos that include promotional products or mention affiliate brands. Show how you use the items or highlight their benefits without sounding too hardsell. Instead of focusing solely on the products you are promoting, give useful tips and practical advice related to your niche. Then mention that links to the products you featured in your video are available in your bio.
6. Make an effort to strengthen engagement.
Higher engagement increases the potential for virality. Try to engage with as many comments on your profile as possible. Welcome new followers with a personal comment to establish a connection right away. Ask your followers what kind of content they want to see to show them that they matter to you and foster deeper relationships. As you build momentum in strengthening engagement, push traffic to your affiliate offers.
7. Use digital tools designed for affiliate marketing.
To optimize the use of a digital platform, you need advanced digital tools. Although TikTok has pretty much all the tools you need for content creation, you can boost your affiliate earnings by using tools designed for affiliate marketing. Look for affiliate marketing software built specifically for social media use. These are bound to have more features you can use to track and manage your links and enhance your TikTok affiliate marketing strategies.
8. Link to your other social media pages.
To increase engagement, you’d want to build your follower base. Fortunately, TikTok makes this easier to do by making it easy for users to link to their other social media accounts. Go to your Profile page and look for the specific fields for Instagram and YouTube. Add your links to direct users to those sites. The links show as social buttons on your profile generating traffic and building engagement across your social media network.
9. Share coupon codes and keep them current.
Aside from mentioning that affiliate links are in your bio, you can also share coupon codes to your viewers to motivate them further to make a purchase. Mention the coupon codes in your videos and add them in your captions. Make sure you have the latest coupon codes and tell your viewers their validity dates and limitations. No one wants to use a coupon code only to find that it is already expired or is no longer valid. So, be upfront with your viewers about the restrictions to the use of a code to avoid disappointments.
10. Join a marketplace for brands and affiliates.
Joining a marketplace is a good way to widen your affiliate network and get support for affiliate marketing. In-app, you can join TikTok Creator Marketplace, the official platform for brand and creator collaborations on TikTok. Outside the platform, you can create a Publisher profile at the Refersion Marketplace where you can establish direct relationships with brands and access more affiliate revenue opportunities in TikTok and beyond.
Consistency is the key to TikTok affiliate success
While TikTok is a good platform for widening organic reach and boosting site traffic, it requires a great deal of consistency to achieve success as an affiliate. The limited advertising options and monetization opportunities make sustaining affiliate income challenging but the vast market base and highly engaged users provide immense potential for higher earnings. What you need to do as an affiliate is to remain consistent in creating entertaining yet valuable content that influences your viewers to patronize your affiliate partners. Leverage tools and software to achieve affiliate marketing success.