In the past decade, social media platforms became an inseparable part of our marketing strategy as business owners, content creators, and influencers.
TikTok is a newer platform that was launched in 2016 and became the "new thing," especially in 2020 during the pandemic and quarantines. As of 2020, TikTok surpassed over 2 billion mobile downloads worldwide and over 200 million monthly active users, making it one of the top 10 most popular social networks on a global scale.
Many business owners and influencers joined the app to grow their audience reach and income streams.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, TikTok has thrived by offering a user-friendly experience to users seeking micro-entertainment.
You can record a 15-60 seconds long video, edit it, and reach trending posts based on geolocation and other preferences.
TikTok is a perfect platform for digital content creators who want to monetize and profit from their social reach. The app's algorithm is easier to understand, and there are many users that grew "viral" overnight.
This blog post is all about how you can develop a strategy for making money on TikTok with referrals, affiliate marketing, and digital commerce.
Who Are TikTok's Users?
32% of TikTok users are below the age of 19, and almost 30% are 20-29. That may raise an issue for marketers when it comes to considering their target audience.
However, TikTok is now attracting a wide range of people.
Since 2020, the numbers are slowly changing, and you can see more and more older audiences on the platform. In fact, nearly 38% of TikTok's users within the US are above 30.
TikTok for Entrepreneurs - Should You Be on TikTok as an Online Entrepreneur?
Considering the young age of users on the platform and the fact that it gained virality with genres like dance and comedy, you're probably thinking:
- My audience isn't on there.
- I may be too old for this.
- I can't even handle another social media platform.
- How on earth could this be considered a marketing tool?
- Could it really help my business?
We're here to tell you that this may be the best time to join TikTok while still growing.
Maybe because many business owners are still hesitant, the low competition presents a massive opportunity.
It allowed those who overcame their fears to reach many people quickly at a relatively low cost.
During 2020 TikTok had experienced the biggest growth compared to other social media platforms. Snapchat and Instagram saw minimal user growth in 2020, whereas TikTok user penetration surged from 17.3% to 31.1%. TikTok had become a great way to foster relationships with consumers who are spending more time online in search of something to entertain and inspire them.
You see, TikTok, like other social channels, can help you GROW:
- Audience reach
- Traffic back to your site and offers
- Number of clients
- Product sales.
Can You Make Money on TikTok?
Making money on TikTok is definitely possible.
However, like all social media platforms, the answer should be divided to how to make money on TikTok indirectly and directly.
- 1. Indirectly Making Money with TikTok -
Just like other social media marketing, growing your following isn’t your end goal. Still, it is a means to an end because increasing your social reach will impact brand awareness and ultimately grow leads and sales.
Take, for example, Gary Vaynerchuk @GaryVee. YouTube is a more obvious platform for his content, but he is not fighting the trend; he embraces it. So, he has grown his TikTok account to 5.6 million followers and gets tens of thousands of views on each video. And guess where he directs his TikTok audience to? You're right - his YouTube channel!
2. 2. Directly Making Money onTikTok -
As said, growing your following is excellent. Still, if you don't set up your content and strategy from a business perspective, it's worthless. So your content and process should be structured towards leads and conversion to sales!
There are a few income streams you can use to make money with TikTok:
1. 1. Commissions from referrals and affiliate marketing.
2. 2. Paid Sponsorships. You can run sponsored videos on your channel, but there’s no direct ongoing monetization program like the one on YouTube for example.
3. 3. Get Paid by TikTok Creators Fund. The company has announced in 2020 a new $200 million creators fund. It is not the first one, and it will keep growing.
"Through the TikTok Creator Fund, our creators will be able to realize additional earnings that reflect the time, care, and dedication they put into creatively connecting with an audience that’s inspired by their ideas,” Vanessa Pappas, general manager of TikTok, said in a blog post.
It’s a way for TikTok to remain competitive as its talent only becomes more popular.
There’s always the option to use TikTok ads platform and run a campaign to drive traffic and engagement that will help you make money on your other channels.
Growing Your Business with TikTok
If your target audience is (or soon will be) on TikTok, creating an account can be a smart move to reach new potential customers and grow your business. Short, easy to create videos that can give viewers a glimpse into your business is an opportunity!
How to Grow Your Business on TikTok:
- Open an account for your business
- Create short (15-60 seconds videos)
- Use the traffic gained to grow your business by sending your audience organically to a landing page with relevant links to your content and offers (service, products, partnerships).
The TikTok Monetization Process:
- Build an Audience - To do so, you need to implement a marketing strategy to grow on the platform. On TikTok, the key to success is being consistent and posting a lot.
- Create Quality Content - Now comes the fun part, creating content for TikTok! All you need to do is to create exciting videos in your niche.
Content for TikTok:
What's going to make you thrive (or not) on TikTok is the type of content you create and how you keep your audience curious and on your video for longer. Here are a few tips:
- Follow the trends, but remember that soon enough, there will be many others doing the same.
- Share something unique that has never been seen. The TikTok algorithm is very "smart" yet, more straightforward than Instagram's, so it'll know to spot cool, new content for showing it to millions.
- Think about what you can share besides lip-syncing and dancing that represents you and your business.
- Use popular songs.
- Post consistently.
- Use relevant hashtags and a short description of your video using descriptive keywords.
The first 5 seconds of your TikTok video is what's going to make people stay or leave. The more people stay to watch your video until the end, the better. Same for comments.
Creating exciting and quality content for TikTok and learning how to make people interested in your content will help you grow on the platform and eventually make money.
- Interact with Relevant Content - Since you can't share images or text posts on TikTok, you can leave comments and interact with content in your niche. It's a great way to increase the reach of your own content and get more eyes on your profile.
- Link to Instagram and YouTube - TikTok allows you to link straight from your bio area to Instagram and YouTube.
- Use your ONE link-in-bio to Connect Other Destinations - To grow traffic to your digital assets (website, blog, other social media accounts), you'll need to use a link-in-bio service. There is a variety of link-in-bio tools for Instagram. Many are built explicitly for Instagram, so make sure you choose the one that strategically meets your business needs on TikTok. Read more about how to add a link-in-bio tool to your TikTok profile here. [LINK-coming soon] Using the solution that integrates VENNDY and Canva link-in-bio might be the best option for TikTok. [LINK-coming soon].
How to Use TikTok for Affiliate Marketing
Let's get into the "real thing" - how do you make money on TikTok with affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing on TikTok is when you upload videos to monetize via affiliate links in your videos or on an external blog/website or other social media platforms.
The TikTok monetization process requires a few additional steps. That's because TikTok doesn't allow the placement of direct affiliate links on the platform or your ads.
You can still promote affiliate marketing products to users by driving followers and potential followers to an external landing page that contains your products or links.
Pros & Cons of Affiliate Marketing on TikTok:
- TikTok is the fastest-growing social platform at the moment.
- You can get a handful of engagement levels by creating these short videos.
- You don't need any video editing experience at all. It is straightforward to edit your videos with the TikTok video editor.
- You can grow your audience on other platforms by connecting them to TikTok.
- Questionable levels of commercial intent for affiliate marketers.
- TikTok has an uncertain future in Western markets.
- You can't add links to affiliate programs in video content.
- You only have one link to use in your bio.
How to Use the ONE link-in-bio on TikTok to Grow and Monetize Your Business
Like Instagram, TikTok also offers only one unique link on your TikTok profile that you can use to link to external websites.
Just as Instagram, you can't link videos to external links at all, and the only place where you can connect to an external link is in your bio.
You can also add a URL address to the video description, but they will not be clickable.
TikTok does it because they want their users to stay on the platform.
But, there is still a way around it. Basically, all you need to do is use an external linking service such as VENNDY or Linkte.ee, for example, and put it in your TikTok bio.
On your new landing page, you can link to anything you want from your Instagram account, blog, and even VENNDY account.
How to Integrate E-commerce to TikTok?
TikTok is changing and expanding, and like many others, is looking to integrate more e-commerce content.
One example is the TikTok Sales Channel on Shopify that was introduced in late 2020. It allows you to launch and run a TikTok campaign to promote your product and convert TikTok users into customers. Eventually, this partnership with Shopify will expand to include other in-app shopping features.
But what if you are an entrepreneur offering services or creating digital content and not a Shopify seller? You can still enjoy the flourishing of e-commerce and the fact that social commerce is a strong driver for sales and is here to stay.
Let's check how you can monetize your TikTok account by working with VENNDY and making more sales through the platform.
Let us introduce you to Declan. Declan owns his popular TikTok account - @Deccadome, where he shares his favorite/popular pop-punk music.
Declan has close to 40K followers on TikTok and gets thousands of views for every video he makes. He also has videos with a million views and is very popular on the platform.
This is how you too can use the one link on TikTok to drive traffic to external platforms such as Spotify playlists, VENNDY Shop Tab, landing pages, and more. It all depends on your business goals and monetization strategy.
How to Use VENNDY to Monetize Your Content on TikTok?
To make money with referrals using TikTok, start by identifying your niche and deciding on which products and affiliate programs are the best fit for your content. Think about what your audience would most likely search for and click through your content.
Using VENNDY to monetize your content on TikTok is a great way to grow your income and add another income stream to your business.
How to Use VENNDY For TikTok:
- Sign up to VENNDY - it's free and easy. You will also need to learn how to use the VENNDY LinkCollector.
- Start building your online collections of favorite and promoted products - Upload items you like and want to recommend to your audience by arranging items into VENNDY Stories. VENNDY Stories are collections of things that are built around your niche and expertise.
If you don't have a blog or don't want to talk too much on your TikTok video about the product, the VENNDY story is what you would have had in a blog post.
You don't have to add only affiliate products and affiliate links; you can also upload articles, products, places, and services with no affiliate partnerships. Your audience’s need should be your first priority. Just like @Deccadome
- Promote - Grow your TikTok account and monetize it by recommending your audience the products and services you love. Using the link-in-bio direct them to a shoppable destination, all arranged and categorized to match your TikTok content.
Your VENNDY Shop is basically a marketplace with reviews, experiences, and advice on any subject. That’s where you can invite followers from social media, including TikTok obviously, to shop your favorite products and services.
The same content you create for TikTok, blog, or other social platforms, is also the building blocks for creating a linkable and shoppable gallery for Instagram.
If you are new to using Instagram for growing your business, to help you along, we have created a free guide with 10 non-obvious Instagram Mistakes You're Probably Making, and How to Fix Them.
GRAB OUR FREE HOW TO FIX 10 NON-OBVIOUS INSTAGRAM MISTAKES AND START USING AFFILIATE MARKETING ON INSTAGRAM
TikTok Content Ideas for Monetizing Your Account:
Here are three examples of content ideas you can create and monetize that do well on TikTok:
- Fashion - For fashion videos, do a haul or a try-on clothing piece, and refer your audience to your VENNDY Shop through the in- link bio. Viewers can browse the collections and clothes you were wearing in the video and purchase straight from your shoppable gallery.
- Lifestyle - As a lifestyle influencer, you can recommend anything related to your audience's lifestyle and refer them to your VENNDY Shop. You can recommend beauty products, workout equipment, cooking essentials, and basically anything you want that is related to your lifestyle!
- Travel - The travel niche does very well on TikTok. As a travel blogger/influencer, you can recommend hotels, travel essentials, make videos about different attractions you've been to, and so much more. Monetization is done through sponsored posts or affiliate links.
There are more niches. Here are just some of the types of entrepreneurs going viral, growing hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok:
- Personal trainers
- Wellness couches
- Social media marketers
- Wedding industry professionals
- Arts & Crafts
- Real Estate
- Grammar experts
- Math tutors
And so many more!!
Ready to give it a try?