5 TikTok Creator Marketing Mistakes That Can Crush Your Campaigns

Nidhi Agarwal
Content Writer
November 16, 2022
min read
Share the article:

After Instagram, TikTok is the second most-used social media channel for influencer marketing today, where you can make real connections with your audience. According to TikTok's research, 76% of the platform's viewers agree they feel a deeper connection with the brands they see or engage with on TikTok. 

Such statistics are why brands jump at the chance to create a TikTok campaign and go viral instantly. In doing so, however, they misunderstand the goal of marketing on TikTok and make mistakes like following trends blindly, trusting the wrong creator, trying to control too much, or copy-pasting from Instagram, leading to failed TikTok creator marketing campaigns. 

To ensure you don't make the same mistakes, we have listed the common TikTok creator marketing mistakes that brands make and how to avoid them. The article will help you improve your campaign strategies and build true connections on the app.  

Let's dive right in! 

5 TikTok creator marketing mistakes that you might be making 

1. Partnering with the wrong TikTok influencer 

Brands often think partnering with just any TikTok influencer will get them the results as long as they create funny and entertaining content to go viral. But that's not how TikTok works. 

You can find numerous creators on TikTok who have thousands and millions of followers but don't know how to engage the audience. That's because these creators built a follower base due to their once-viral videos and all they do on the platform is create more viral content with the next trending music. Such creators don't care about the audience's preferences and may not be the perfect choice if you truly want to build an authentic presence. 

How to avoid this mistake? 

To engage your audience on TikTok, you need content that will resonate with them. That's where the right TikTok influencers (who know their audience and your brand) come into the picture. 

The right TikTok creators know how to engage the audience and win their trust. They have experience in creating content that keeps the audience hooked. 

They spend sufficient time on the platform to build a deeper connection with the audience and learn when to post, which music to use, and what type of content to create (long or short form). With rich content, the right creators build credibility, which allows them to shape the audience's buying behavior. 

Partnering with such creators is the real way to crack TikTok creator marketing and reach your target market. 

How to collaborate with the right TikTok creators? 

The right TikTok creators have an established niche audience on the app and know how to develop engaging content that matches the brand's story. As a brand, working with relevant TikTok creators can help expose the audience to your products. 

a. Identify your audience on TikTok 

The first essential step in picking relevant TikTok creators is to figure out what your audience likes and wants to see more of. To do so, note what age group your audience lies in, what TikTok accounts they follow and engage with, what content type they prefer (long-form content or byte-size videos), and more. 

The above insights will enable you to know which TikTok content creator can fit your brand's requirements and create exactly the type of content your target audience wants to see.  

b. Look for a suitable content creator

The next obvious step is to look for and vet influencers for your TikTok creator marketing campaign. 

Engagement rate is the best performance metric that most marketers look at to select creators. The metric shows how many followers of the creator like, share, and comment on the content, determining their influential power. Higher engagement rates show the influencer's ability to connect with the audience and convince them to buy your products. 

An influencer management platform such as affable.ai can help you look for suitable TikTok creators that fit your campaign strategy and can reach your audience. The platform lists vetted TikTok creators from its database of 6M+ influencers across 5 major social media channels – YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. You can access creator profiles and their performance metrics like audience insights like demographics, brand affinity, audience size, and more. 

Audience insights and engagement rate metrics on affable.ai help find experienced TikTok creators. 

Learn more about the right metrics for choosing TikTok creators: TikTok Analytics For Influencer Marketing

Pro tip:  Speed time to know your TikTok creator. Solid brand influencer relationships lead to the best type of collaborations and result in a more positive response for your product. If your creator knows and genuinely likes your brand, it will show in their content. 

2. Trying to imitate Instagram on TikTok

The biggest TikTok creator marketing mistake brands make is trying to do Instagram on TikTok. Several companies on the platform try to create a picture-perfect presence with an aesthetic feed similar to Instagram. They repost the influencer content from Instagram on TikTok in hopes that it will work just the same. 

Celina Blanche, one of the top TikTok creators, says in an interview with Cure Media, "Instagram is more about being picture perfect, and that worked because people wanted to see picture-perfect before Covid as they wanted to aspire to become that. But with Covid, everybody got to think about who I am, what I want to do, and what interests I have, and they got tired of the picture-perfect kind of aesthetics. They now want to view content from people who are passionate about something, which makes TikTok different from Instagram." 

People use TikTok to connect with real people and consume more authentic content, so your Instagram influencer marketing strategy is less likely to give you good results on TikTok. 

Blanche also says, "Instagram is more like a nurturing platform where you have to nurture your followers because the content you post is shown to them only and what you watch on your feed is from your followers. You won't find new stuff unless you go to look for new things. On the other hand, TikTok is an outreach platform, so your content won't be shown only to your followers but to people with the same interest."

When you collaborate with Instagram influencers, they create content specific to their followers. On the other hand, TikTok creator marketing enables you to generate higher engagement by reaching audiences interested in your content. So if you post Instagram content on TikTok, you will end up targeting no one. 

How to avoid this mistake? 

You already know the answer! Create TikTok-specific content strategies. 

Here's how to run an impactful TikTok creator marketing campaign: 

  • Spend time on TikTok to understand the platform and its audience 
  • Tune in to the latest trends and see how people are responding to them 
  • Follow popular creators for inspiration 
  • Try to understand how your target audience interacts with the channel

Once you have done your research, communicate that to your TikTok creators and start building your thumb-stopping content strategy. The strategy will become more authentic and appeal to your target segment on TikTok. 

NBA or the National Basketball Association knows how to specialize content for different social media platforms, including TikTok. They post news and updates on Twitter, and game highlights on Instagram. And for TikTok, they know viewers look for engaging byte-sized videos, so they post memes and jokes on the app. 

NBA on TikTok posts funny content to engage viewers.
NBA uses TikTok to post funny content to engage viewers.
Image source: TikTok

3. Having too much control over the influencer's content 

Interfering too much in the influencer's creative process is one of the best ways to kill the reach of your TikTok creator marketing campaign. 

You may think that controlling influencer content will help you align brand messaging, but when it comes to TikTok creator marketing, that's not how the campaign succeeds. 

Controlling the campaign too much leads to content that you think is interesting, not your audience. This not only hinders your reach and engagement but also weakens your relationship with the creator. 

"Being flexible is super important because I think that a campaign would absolutely flop if the brand would interfere too much. As an influencer, I know my audience best," says Blanche. 

How to avoid this mistake? 

a. Trust the creator  

Creators know their audience best. Since the creators spend so much time consuming content and connecting with other users on the app, they know what, when, and how to post on TikTok to capture the audience's attention and generate maximum engagement. They have all the information like what content people are drawn to, what makes the users hit the like button, what's trending, which brands are performing well, what products people are buying, etc.

So when it comes to TikTok creator marketing, you should go with a flexible content strategy to allow your creator to experiment and come up with relevant content. 

Trusting your creative partner doesn't mean you can't maintain your brand messaging. Instead, it means you can work with the influencer and create content that resonates with the audience and aligns with your brand story. Make sure the creator understands your branding technique and the product well before collaborating. 

b. Set shorter deadlines 

We have already noted that TikTok is different from other platforms. Social media channels like Instagram and YouTube allow you to have longer deadlines where you can ask your influencers to share a draft first and then work on the content. But due to the ever-changing trends, what works today may not work 2 weeks later. 

So to succeed with TikTok creator marketing, you'll have to set shorter deadlines and be flexible enough to let creators publish posts when they think it is the right time. 

"If the creator creates the video (content) two weeks before posting, they might make it to a specific sound, and after two weeks, that sound can be completely annoying or overused, so that's why short deadlines are probably the best deadline," says Wallin. 

Also, setting shorter deadlines brings a sense of spontaneity and raw feel in your content, which is a massive hit among TikTok viewers. 

4. Advertising products upfront 

TikTok users follow influencers for their exclusive niche content. Asking your influencers to advertise products upfront without giving the audience a chance to know your brand will throw them (audience) off and may not give the desired results, especially if you want to reach a younger demographic.

The younger audiences (Gen Z and millennials) run the other way if they see an advertisement. "Gen Z are so skeptical towards advertising that if they see something which is clearly an ad, they scroll through it, so the content needs to be really relevant and in line with what the audience wants and what their interests are," says Sanna Odmark, the marketing head at Cure Media. 

How to avoid this mistake?

a. Know your product well 

To avoid advertisement-like content for your brand, understand your product from the inside out. You need more than just knowing your product's features; you should know why your products appeal to your target audience and what problem it solves. Once you know the answer to these, you can convey that to your TikTok creators to churn out relatable content. 

In an article, What To Know About Influencer Marketing On TikTok, published by Forbes, the author states, "If you're selling to Gen Z, know why your products appeal to them, then communicate that with your influencer partners. Don't try to provide a laundry list of features; give them benefits that resonate so they can use them to generate attention and boost engagement."

Your TikTok creator marketing campaign may include content pieces like tutorial videos, explainer videos, real talk content, and more. 

You can go one step ahead and ask your TikTok influencers for advice on what type of content would work best to grab the attention of your target audience. Lovisa Wallin, famous social media influencer and TikTok star, says in the same interview, "The creator can be a part of the content strategy building process with the brand so they can get together and brainstorm on what they can do with the product that can match both the creator's TikTok content and the brand's message."

b. Start by educating your audience 

For a brand that's only getting started on TikTok, it's best to start by educating your audience before diving into inspirational and fun content. 

Educating the audience is the best practice brands adopt to connect with them and spread awareness on the app. Many think that TikTok features only funny content or dance videos, but that's not the case. 

Today's generation uses TikTok as a discovery tool to look for trending products and exciting brands. This means you can be easily discoverable on the app if you include educational content for your audience to help them know what you sell, what the product does, how it can benefit them, and why you're passionate about it. 

Blanche states, "Brands should be educational firsthand, create their own community, and then try to be entertaining and inspiring. They should educate people on how, when, and why to use the product and have content like that." 

Such content will help the audience know you and decide if they like you. After that, you can move to entertaining and inspirational content. 

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, a leading beauty brand on TikTok, is the best example when it comes to creating educational content that subtly exposes the audience to the product. Knowing that most of their audiences lie in the younger demographic, the brand leverages TikTok influencers to create makeup tutorials, demonstration videos, etc., without advertising products upfront. 

The beauty influencers’ quick byte-sized videos make for a lot of engaging content for makeup lovers, while educating them about the products’ benefits. In addition, the tutorials show the before and after results of the product, which makes it harder for the viewer to not buy it. 

Fenty Beauty content by Julie Piedra on TikTok.
Fenty Beauty product review posted by Julie Piedra on TikTok.
Image source: TikTok

Here are some content ideas you can pick:

  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • A day in the life of 
  • Before and after results of the product 
  • Influencer takeovers 
  • Tutorials 

5. Attempting to go viral by blindly jumping on trends

If you've used TikTok before, you might have come across branded content with trending sounds that do not match the content of the video. It's because they jump on trends to go viral and get more followers. They use the audio because they think it will get them more views and hence more followers. 

How to avoid this mistake? 

TikTok has a lot more benefits than making your content viral. With TikTok creator marketing, you can boost conversions by leveraging raw and authentic influencer content. 

a. Experiment with different types of content 

Once you've built a community for your brand using educational content, start experimenting with other content types to grow on TikTok. 

"Experimentation can give brand managers an opportunity to gauge the potential reach of the platform's influencers. At the same time, it's important to pair experimentation with a thoughtful content strategy to make a good digital first impression with platform users," says Forbes. 

Try inspirational content with long-form videos where the creators can talk to the audience or share your brand's story of how your product was created. You can also try to get funny and crack jokes specific to your product or industry. Many companies follow this approach by collaborating with funny TikTok influencers who can get the audience to listen. 

b. Ask your audience what they want to watch 

Once you have a few followers who like your brand and engage with your content, ask them what they want to see. Do they want brand challenges, jokes, or inspirational storytelling content, they'll tell you what they want. 

Communicate that to your influencers and ask them to create related content. The strategy will help you build deeper connections with the audience and boost engagement rates on Tiktok.

c. Collaborate with multiple TikTok creators 

The best way to attract a large portion of your audience is to collaborate with multiple influencers for one campaign because every creator might have different audiences and have a different way of engaging those followers. So you can appeal to more of your target audience and get more eyeballs on your brand. 

For example, Gymshark, an activewear apparel company, collaborates with multiple TikTok athletes and health and wellness influencers to expand its reach. They piggyback on the influencers' close relationship with the audience to encourage them to take part in Gymshark TikTok challenges. 

Gymshark partners with Wilking sisters for #Gymshark66 challenge.
Gymshark partners with Wilking sisters for #Gymshark66 challenge. Image source: TikTok

Also, if your brand is versatile enough to partner with different influencers like pets, gaming, or sustainability, then go for it! Take inspiration from Crocs, a leading footwear company that partnered with TikTok pet influencers like @jessethepompom and @jibbitz to engage a younger demographic. 

Crocs collaborated with Jesse Pom on TikTok.
Image source: TikTok

To conclude 

A successful influencer marketing campaign on TikTok requires effort. Although TikTok seems like a pretty easy social media channel to grow on, you need to be prepared before launching your campaigns. 

With the above TikTok creator marketing mistakes, you are all set to begin yielding campaigns on the app without making blunders. 

For detailed TikTok influencer marketing strategies check out: How to Leverage TikTok Influencer Marketing in 2022 for Your Brand

If you need help scaling your TikTok creator marketing campaigns, book a free trial with our experts now! 

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Click to Download
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Maximize Your Influencer Marketing Success!
‍Let affable.ai Do The Heavy Lifting

Latest From The Editorial Desk