Updated: Apr 15
I had the pleasure of meeting Steven Pope when I was first getting started with Black Label Advisor. In fact, he was one of my first podcast appearances! Enjoy.
When most people think about TikTok, they roll their eyes at what they believe is just another fad. And who can blame them? It’s hard to escape the never-ending dance videos, trends and memes that don’t make a lick of sense unless you’ve spent a considerable amount of time on the app. However, TikTok is a huge opportunity for any ecommerce seller, especially if you’re Amazon. In this article I’ll be telling you not only why you should be marketing on TikTok, but also the best strategy of doing so. There are three ways to market on any social media platform: 1. Organic growth by creating your own account and posting original content.
2. PPC Ads, when you push content out to a targeted demographic and pay every time someone taps or clicks on it
3. Influencer Marketing
Each has its own pros and cons, but on TikTok, the answer, especially for an Amazon seller, is a combination of #2 and #3, with a HUGE emphasis on #3, influencer marketing. Creating an account and posting original content can provide great value if you’re ready to play the long game, but this is nearly a full-time commitment in and of itself. This requires posting multiple times a day, creating engaging videos that keep with the TikTok trends, and likely won’t see any results for at least 6 months to a year. For Amazon sellers who are looking to grow sales now, PPC and influencer marketing is the answer.
TikTok is not especially friendly when they get the sense that you’re trying to sell something, which is why influencers are so valuable. Their followers love to see what they’re doing, where they’re traveling, what they’re wearing, and what they’re consuming. Influencer marketing is by no means a new method of advertising, but on TikTok it is still brand new, and there is huge opportunity to find influencers who will make great videos for you for a fraction of the price you’d pay on Instagram. These influencers make it seem natural when they show of your product, and it’s easy for them to include the link to your Amazon page, which is built for conversions. In fact, we’ve seen clients regularly 3x-6x sales two to three days straight after the post, using influencers that only cost $50-$500. Not only does this help out with sales, but it also increases your page ranking. The large jump in sales is short lived, but the products advertised in these videos will jump to the first page for new keywords, and it’s not uncommon to see a slight but noticeable increase in sales over the long run. One downside of influencer videos on TikTok is that they are short lived, which is where PPC ads shine. You can run paid ads to new demographics for as long as you wish. Ads are not as sophisticated at optimizing for conversion on TikTok as they are on Instagram and Facebook, but if you know what you’re doing, especially with the content you use, they really can work. Plus they are very inexpensive right now. It is not uncommon to get clicks for less than $0.07. Now is truly the time to get in. TikTok is a strange place where only a certain type of video thrives. If your videos don’t meet the standards that viewers are looking for, they won’t perform well as ads. They need to be authentic, fast paced, include a hook that grabs the viewer’s attention in the first second, and have something in them that makes you want to watch again and again. So with all of those requirements, how do you make content that’s right for TikTok? That’s the easiest part… you have the influencer do it for you! When reaching out to the influencer, you should establish before moving forward on the deal that you’d like the rights to the content for your own ads, website, social media, etc. This can typically be done without raising the price. It can be helpful to agree with the influencer that you’ll tag him/her in the post, which basically means you’ll be paying to circulate a video with their name on it. It’s pretty much advertising for them, too! Then when you run the ad in TikTok, and it appears as an organic post. To the average viewer, they don’t even realize they’re watching a paid ad.
To find your influencer, you first need to become acquainted with TikTok. You don’t need to become a master, but go spend 30 minutes a day on the app for five days straight. You’ll start learning the intricacies of the interface and begin picking up on the trends. You’ll probably even enjoy yourself if you allow for it!
After you’re comfortable with it, utilize the search function and search for words in your niche or simply search #influencer or #ad. Look for videos with influencers you believe would resonate with your potential buyers. When you find these videos, make sure you take a look at their profile and note the trend of their last 10-20 videos. Are they consistently getting a lot of views? (50k average is a good starting point). Are their views increasing over time? Do they get a lot of comments on their videos?
Once you’ve found 10-20 influencers you like, use their profile that will likely either list their Instagram handle or email address. Do not DM them on TikTok. TikTok messaging is not built out yet and DMs can go under the radar.
In your Instagram message or email to them, communicate your mission and why you chose them as someone you’d like to have create content with them. From there, weed out the 1-5 influencers who are willing to work with you at the budget you are comfortable with, send them your product, and see what happens!
Once again, be sure to establish with the influencer that you’d like to use their content in an ad that they will be tagged in. Be sure you get the original video from them, as it’s not easy to download a video from TikTok once it’s been posted.
Now is the time to get on TikTok. It will only become more popular, and their optimization will only get better. But their ads will only get more expensive! Learn the ropes now and take advantage of being an early adopter. Good luck!
About the Author
Steven Pope runs My Amazon Guy, an 160+ client full service Amazon Agency in Atlanta, Georgia. We growth hack sales through traffic and conversion improvements. PPC, SEO, Design, Catalog Merchandising, and more all in house.