The Dos & Don’ts of Collaborating with TikTok Creators as a Business

✍🏻 Dominik Díaz

Published: Tuesday, Oct 03

The #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag has more than 8.1 billion views, so it’s no wonder businesses want to collaborate with content creators on TikTok. Your brand could start trending and bam! You’re sold out.

Or, so they say. But how do you get from blending in to standing out?

PagoYa! has you covered! We are going to deep dive into best practices and mistakes to avoid when collaborating with content creators on TikTok.

If you’re ready to take advantage of what TikTok has to offer, read on!

Why Collaborate with Creators on TikTok?

We bet you already know that TikTok is one of the biggest platforms, with 1.7 billion users worldwide. Nearly 50% of content creators are between the ages of 18 and 25, making them the largest age group of creators on the platform. If your target audience consists primarily of Gen Z and millennials, you definitely should consider utilizing TikTok as a place to show off your business through collaborations.

It’s not just that TikTok’s audience is huge; users also spend a lot of time on the platform. An average user spends around 23.3 hours per month using TikTok. The app is a great place to reach a new and highly engaged audience.

Plus, you may have already noticed (if you regularly use the app) that products go viral like memes and trending sounds. People use TikTok to get inspired, share their recommendations, and review products—which they probably bought after looking at someone else’s review video. For brands, that pays off—64% of TikTok users buy a product after watching a branded video by a creator.

To find the right creators, use TikTok Creator Marketplace. It is a platform that helps connect brands with the right influencers for their TikTok campaigns. You can set your targeting parameters, view profiles of potential creators to collaborate with, review videos submitted by creators… Basically, you manage everything related to running a collaboration on the Creator Marketplace.

The Dos & Don'ts of Collaborating with TikTok Creators
Look for creators using filters in TikTok Creator Marketplace

Now let’s take a look at the ins and outs of engaging with TikTok content creators.

Start with Researching TikTok Communities—And Go Deep

The best way to start your journey into TikTok collaborations is to do some research. You want to spend some time discovering which TikTok communities fit your brand.

TikTok users create niche communities around countless topics. You might be familiar with beauty vloggers or fashion influencers. On TikTok, it can narrow down to specific interests, like crocheting, plants, keto cooking, personal finance, passive income, gentle parenting—you name it, there’s a community about it.

The Dos & Don'ts of Collaborating with TikTok Creators
Use keywords related to your industry to search what communities post on TikTok

For each specific topic or interest, there are content creators with a following. Their followers typically trust their opinion—you want to collaborate with these kinds of trusted content creators. They know the lingo, inside jokes, and presentation that can help make your product more relatable for your desired audience.

Since there are practically endless communities, you have a number of creators to choose from. However, there is a catch: avoid randomly reaching out to a bunch of creators, even if they seem relatable to your niche. You want to narrow down your creator search and be intentional when choosing a collaborator.

For example, say you sell sustainable water bottles and lunch boxes. One of the obvious choices would be going for #fitnesstok and partnering with a fitness influencer, or #sustainabilitytok and collaborating with a sustainability advocate.

However, what other communities do you think you could tap into?

For example, you could collaborate with a creator from #parenttok, since parents prepare school lunch for their kids. While you’ll likely skip creators who make videos about homeschooling their kids (as they don’t need to pack lunch for school), you could find many influencers who are searching for an eco-friendly lunch box for their kids.

Another example: you could collaborate with a trusted content creator for #corporategirlies, since working women obviously drink water (though we could probably drink more) and potentially bring their lunch to work.

You have many options when it comes to choosing a community to focus your marketing on. While it can be overwhelming, doing research can help narrow down your search.

The Dos & Don'ts of Collaborating with TikTok Creators
The comments prove a gamer-furniture store collab could be perfect, even if #cozygaming community isn’t an obvious choice for furniture advertising

Additionally, do some research into what potential collaborators usually post. You don’t want to discover after setting up an agreement that their content is not something you would feel comfortable endorsing as a brand.

To sum up:

  • Don’t be afraid to narrow down your creator search and tap into not-so-obvious communities.
  • Do ensure you are comfortable with the creator’s posts and that they are actually relevant to your niche.

Give Creators the Control

Now that you’ve found your ideal content creators, it’s time to let them do their magic.

TikTok influencers know what works best on the platform. They have their own style of creating content, building interactions with viewers, and engaging an audience. Influencers therefore know how to make videos specific to your product or service with maximum efficiency and reach.

That’s why you should trust creators when it comes to creating content around your brand. All you have to do is provide them with all the information they need about your product or service, like its features or benefits. Let creators try your product and share their genuine feedback as they see fit. Avoid pressuring them into following a strict script.

The Dos & Don'ts of Collaborating with TikTok Creators
Maddy MacRae makes a video for Hinge sticking to her usual comic format

It’s okay to give recommendations on what you want to see in the video, but let the creator choose the format, language, sound, etc. To build trust with your potential customers, you want the creator to be knowledgeable and authentic. It’s hard to achieve that when the video fits your brand but not the creator’s style—it’ll make the whole video look insincere.

To sum up:

  • Don’t make the creator follow a ready-made script that doesn’t fit their style.
  • Do provide the creator with your product or service and all the necessary information about it.
  • Do let the creator make a video in their signature format, storytelling technique, language, and tone.

Go Easy on Selling—You Read That Right

The goal of any creator collaboration is to promote your brand—and ideally generate sales. However, remember that the audience isn’t there for a direct sell.

You might think that pushing your brand in the first few seconds of the video is a great idea, but it’s actually counterintuitive.

Remember that people come to TikTok to be entertained. If the video has too many call-to-actions, such as “Check out the product in my bio” or “Use my code to get a discount,” they might scroll away. Instead, put CTAs in captions to let interested viewers find them without feeling pressured.

Don’t be afraid to showcase your brand later on in the video if it makes sense for the storytelling. This can lead to better engagement rates, especially when compared to turning a video into an obvious ad.

The Dos & Don'ts of Collaborating with TikTok Creators
An example of a CTA in the caption

To sum up:

  • Don’t push your brand in the first seconds of the video.
  • Do put CTAs in video captions.
  • Do keep the video entertaining rather than promotional.

Make (Some) Trends Your Friends

TikTok trends can help you reach a wider audience—but use them wisely. You don’t want to get involved in a trend that doesn’t make any sense for your business or the creator you’re working with.

For example, the ASMR trend is one of the most popular on TikTok, but it doesn’t mean it’s great for every brand and creator. If a creator makes a video for your campaign but tries to target a trend they’re not familiar with, it might not seem genuine to viewers. Unsurprisingly, that can hurt your business.

Apart from being relevant, the video should be reusable. If the video turns out great, you might want to reuse it or boost it with paid advertising. So when partnering with creators, stick to “evergreen” trends that are not likely to disappear any time soon. For example, “A day in the life of …” or “Get ready with me” are constant staples of TikTok.

The Dos & Don'ts of Collaborating with TikTok Creators
An example of a Get Ready with Me video that features a product

To sum up:

  • Do ask creators to use trends they’re familiar with.
  • Don’t use trends that make no sense for your brand.
  • Do stick to longer-term trends so that you can reuse the video later.

If you sell online with PagoYa!, you can step up your TikTok marketing game by connecting your PagoYa! store to your TikTok for Business account. You can run different ad campaigns on TikTok that feature your products, including Spark Ads, which take a creator’s organic video about your product and boost it with paid advertising to get more reach.

More About Content Collaborations

By following the tips outlined in this article, you can find the right creators for your brand, set up successful and symbiotic collaborations, and create engaging video content that resonates with viewers.

If you’d like a deeper dive into collaborations, check out our podcasts:

  • Influencer Marketing Without the Guesswork. This is our podcast with Taylor Lagace, co-CEO of Kynship, an influencer marketing agency. He explains why the “pay-for-post” method of influencer partnership can be ineffective and offers a more beneficial approach.
  • Grow Your Audience Collaborating with Other Brands. Content creators are not the only option for collaborations. Other businesses can also make great partnerships. Learn how to connect with other brands and what you can do if you don’t have a significant audience yet.

Now it’s time for you to get started—good luck on your journey of leveraging the power of TikTok marketing through collaboration!

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