As of this recording, TikTok is the fastest growing social media network for Gen Z and Millenials. Personally, I’ve completely ignored it but with more than one billion active monthly users, it has huge potential as a platform for affiliate marketing. Today, I’ll share how you can use leverage TikTok to boost your commissions and tap into the most popular global app of the past three years.

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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

How to Provide Great Swipe Copy for Your Affiliate Program

The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship: Overcoming Setbacks, Pain, Fatigue, and Failure

7 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Live Longer

Lessons Learned from a Multi-Million Dollar Affiliate Launch

How to Hire an Affiliate Manager

Affiliate Marketing and Podcasts: How to Make Money, Get Affiliates, and Build a Brand Through Podcasting

How to Use TikTok for Affiliate Marketing

As of this recording, TikTok is the fastest growing social media network for Gen Z and millennials. Now, personally, I’ve completely ignored it. 

But with more than 1 billion active monthly users, it has huge potential as a platform for affiliate marketing. 

Today, I’ll show you how you can leverage Tik Tok to boost your commissions and tap into the most popular global app of the past three years. 

So as I mentioned at the top of this episode, I don’t know a thing about TikTok, really. I just don’t. I feel like after I don’t use it, I’m going to yell at people and tell them to get off my lawn. But I have a lot of friends who do. 

In fact, some of them have huge platforms, and they’ve come to me asking for advice on how do I do affiliate marketing there? So I did some research and I worked with some experts, and I got some good information about this that I think qualifies me to help with this today for anybody who wants to know more about TikTok and affiliate marketing. 

The first question, of course, is, why in the heck would you even consider affiliate marketing on TikTok? For those of you who aren’t on there, look at these ridiculous stats. 

This is insane. This is just absolutely insane. More than 1 billion active monthly users. That means more than 1 billion with a B and an illion. People are active every month on TikTok. 

Tiktok users watch 167,000,000 hours of videos every minute. It’s been the most popular downloaded app globally in 2000 and 22,021. It’s the top-grossing non-gaming app. 

Over the past year. It’s got a young audience, 32. Almost a third of its US users are aged between ten and 19. About a third are between 20 and 29. 

Now, despite these stats, we, and I mean predominantly older people and me included. We still have people scratching their heads and wondering, what the heck is this TikTok craze? Like, what the heck is this all about? Right? 

It is well beyond crazed stages. Well beyond a fad stage, all right? It’s not a fad, guys. It’s going to be around just like the Internet. And I feel like I’m at the point where I’m like one of those people who probably I wasn’t. 

But like those people back in the early nineties, the Internet is just a fad. It’s crazy to even think about that. Cars are just a fad. Really. They stuck around. Tv is just a fad. No, it’s evolved, but it’s still the basic thing. There are pictures and sound coming out of a box. 

It’s not a fad. It’s going to be around for a while. The most popular downloaded or an app downloaded in 2000 and 22,021.00 That’s across both iOS and Android, by the way. All right, so we’re talking bigger than Facebook, bigger than Instagram, bigger than YouTube. 

It’s got higher engagement. And the thing is, like TikTok users, they’re young, but they’re not afraid to spend money. It was the top-grossing non-gaming app last year. We did over $110,000,000 just in February of 2021. 

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So it’s pretty intense, right? It’s pretty intense. It’s got a young audience as I said. But if you’ve got a popular Tik Tok account and you can carefully select some products, you have the potential to succeed as an affiliate marketer there.

A lot of marketers, myself included, have been slow to understand the potential of Tik Tok, but the potential affiliate market is huge and it’s very unsaturated. 

All right, so the first thing that you’ve got to consider, the most important consideration you need to make is just do my offers appeal to my Tik Tok audience. And this applies to all affiliate marketing, right? Don’t try to sell something just because you get a high Commission. 

That doesn’t work. The biggest question you have to ask is, does it appeal to my audience? So that’s going to be the biggest thing you consider. We got to start at the beginning. It’s a good place to start, right? 

How do you actually get traffic? How do you get traffic on TikTok? And then how do you leverage it for affiliate marketing? It’s all like, “Hey, I want to become an affiliate marketer, but how do I actually do it? How do I get anybody?” 

“Hey, man, I’ve got like four followers. How am I going to do any affiliate marketing?” Well, you got to get people first. The typical successful affiliate marketer on TikTok uses a few different methods. 

Number one most straightforward is to leverage organic traffic to your Tik Tok videos. Now, this assumes that you’ve got a reasonable number of people viewing and preferably engaging with your videos, right?

So if you don’t have a good level of organic traffic and you learn how to create videos, all this is algorithm-based, right? Just like Facebook, just like Instagram, it’s all algorithm-based. 

So you need to create videos that the TikTok algorithm is going to prioritize. You need to please the bots. In other words, the TikTok algorithm I’ve learned is very similar to the Instagram algorithm. 

Serious weight on how users interact on the platform. In other words, it looks at how you behave on the platform to understand what you might like. So who else might you like to follow? What other videos might you like to see? 

So it’s looking at things like, okay, what videos do you like? What videos do you share? What accounts do you follow? What content do you create? What does it have on that content? What are you commenting on? 

What videos do you favorite? Who are you hiding? What are you flagging is not interested in things like that. It also considers how much of the video you actually watched. So if you watch the whole video versus 5 seconds of it, well, clearly you’re more interested in that so it carries more weight in the algorithm. 

If you engage with creators, if somebody posts ten times this week and you engage with seven of those posts next week, actually let’s say they posted 20 times TikTok showed you ten and you engaged with seven they create 20. 

Next week they’re probably going to show you 15 of them and you engage with twelve. Then next week they’re going to show you all 20. If you just keep scrolling past stuff they’re not going to show you any of those videos. 

It also factors in the information on the videos like what keywords are in the captions that tells the algorithm what the content is about. Right? What hashtags are they using? What songs are they using? Are these songs that are similar? 

So let’s say that the algorithm initially shows you 20 songs or 20 videos and ten of them have hip hop songs and ten of them have like Disney movie soundtrack songs just as a simplistic version here.

And you engage with seven you like four of the hip hop videos and none of the Disney movie soundtracks and you comment on three of the hip hop ones and none of the Disney movie ones and you watch the whole video on all ten of the hip hop ones and you watch an average of 7 seconds on the Disney ones.

Then it’s going to use that information to show what the next 20 are and so it also looks at things like what kind of device you’re using and where you’re at your language preference, all these things and so these are the factors that TikTok is using to determine what it’s going to show you as a user. 

So what does that mean for you as a creator? Well, it means that you need to know this stuff so that you can use the algorithm to your advantage. So how do you make the Tik Tok algorithm work for you? 

Well, number one, you need to focus on a niche within a niche within a niche. The more specific you can create videos in that niche, the better your chances of showing up on the for you pages.

If you’re not in, like, marketing type thing, what’s the subculture? Right? It’s not just, well, it’s motorcycle stuff. 

No, it’s got to be very specific. It’s not just gardening, but it’s like organic farming. What happened to that existing community? There’s already a community out there. 

This is the thing with all audiences. No matter how niche down you are, or how big you are, there’s already an audience out there. You’ve got to find out what the audience wants. 

So think about Niching down as far as you can. You can do a couple and then mix it up a little bit. But make sure that your niche is down. Make sure it’s something that you’re feeling too. 

So your content is authentic. It’s something that you get excited to create content about. If you want to create content around a certain political issue, great, go for it. 

A certain religious issue. Go for it around a certain hobby, a certain skill, a certain sport, go for it. If that’s something that you’re passionate about. 

The second thing is you got to keep the video short. You would not have a video as they allow you 60 seconds, but 15 to 20 seconds seems to be the sweet spot. 

One of the reasons for that is the place a lot of weight in the algorithm on whether or not a video is watched to its entirety. Statistically, a 20-second video is probably twice as likely to be watched in its entirety as a 55 seconds video. 

And there’s just a lot that can happen in those 35 seconds. They’re on the subway and they just showed up right in the middle of your video. So they click swipe, and they’re done. Oh, man. You’re the video that just made them leave the app. 

When do you think the algorithm is going to think about that? But if you’re 20 seconds, it’s a lot less likely that’s going to happen. So keep them shorter. Keep them shorter. That doesn’t mean that you sacrifice the quality. 

Just keep them punching straight to the point. This is one of those things where, as I’m recording this, I sometimes would go off script and I’ll add Lib and what’s the word I’m looking for? I would never do that in a TikTok video. You got to be boom, boom, boom to the point. Get that engagement up. 

Third thing is to make those first few seconds count. If you’re going to get them to watch the whole video, you’ve got 3 seconds. You’ve got 3 seconds to hook them in and keep them watching people. Their attention spans are way too short today. 

I’ve already forgotten what I’m talking about. We’ve been talking about what we are talking about here? Right now, they’re going to scroll past the first few moments and count the first two to 3 seconds and can instantly hook your audience in for the rest of that video. So using things like the text overlay and just quality visuals, and quality audio cut out all the unnecessary stuff. 

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Hey, there. It’s Matt McQuilliams. Welcome. Nobody cares about your name. Nobody cares about your name. So why would you spend 2 seconds introducing yourself? Boring. Nobody cares about that. 

So get straight to the interesting part. If you want to put your name, put it at the end. You’ve done this whole thing. You made them do whatever. You made them laugh. You made them think. 

You made them excited. You go, guys. I’m Matt McWilliams from MattMcWilliams.com and blah, blah, blah, right?  You end with that. That’s what you do. You don’t start off with that stuff. 

Fourth, you got to leverage. Got to leverage the hashtags. We were talking about this the other day. My kids don’t know what a pound sign is. They don’t know what a pound sign is. 

They’re all hashtags. But leverage them, right? It’s a great way of making sure that your videos show up on those four pages for relevant users. The popular hashtags, they’re already getting engagement. They’re already getting engagement. 

So if you use them, you’re going to ride on the coattails of the hashtags, right? So go to the Discover tab, and look for the trending hashtags. See if there are any opportunities for you. Be on the lookout for those hashtag challenges that you can participate in those training challenges. Not only are they good for inspiration, but if you actually participate in them. 

Tiktok specifically said 61% of users like brands like accounts that participate in the TikTok challenge just don’t participate in the weird ones. The ones that are calling you to punch a teacher. That’s dumb. But pick some good ones, right? 

Number five, I talked about this a moment ago with audio. There are certain types of audio that are trending, so use trending audio. It’s not just about the hashtags, right? You can actually use audio. 

You can literally go to TikTok and do a search in the trending song section and find which songs are trending. Tiktok specifically reported, just blew me away. 68% of Tik Tok users remember an account better when it uses a song they like in its video. 58% feel more strongly connected, 62% are more curious to learn about the brand. All right, that’s the value of trending Audio. 

So go look and see what’s trending and then just use it. You get to hijack the hashtags, but you get to hijack the audio. I would imagine a couple of months ago and even still today would have been a great time to be a guy named Bruno on TikTok. 

If you’re listening to it this way in the future, there’s a movie I can’t even remember what it’s called, even though I’ve seen it like six times. 

But it’s a Disney movie in Condo. Yes, that’s what it’s called. There’s a movie in Conto, and there’s a song called We Don’t Talk About Bruno. And now all of you have that in your head and that’s great. 

But the idea is like if your name was Bruno and I would have written that pony for weeks. It was a trending song for weeks, not just on TikTok. I’m sure I wasn’t even on TikTok. And I’m pretty sure that was a trending song because it’s trending everywhere. 

Number six, when you get traffic, you’ve got to make your captions relevant and engaging. The algorithm uses captions. It uses captions. You can have a caption of up to at least as of this recording, up to 300 characters. 

That’s basically a tweet with 288 characters. Now you can write a caption that describes the video. Add some context, and put in good keywords. This is like SEO search engine optimization. Don’t just stuff it with random keywords. 

You’re not trying to game the algorithm here but use those keywords. Use them naturally to draw in viewers, and get them to engage with their videos. They can be funny, they can ask questions, they can prompt them to take some sort of action, whatever. 

The idea is to give some context for what this video is about. So that’s how you get the traffic. That’s how you get the views. You’ve got the audience, you’ve got the engagement, you’ve got some momentum. How do you actually market to them? How do you actually market to them? 

As I mentioned earlier, a third of TikTok’s users are still Generation Z, so they’re under 20. The other third are under 30. So two-thirds of their audience right now is under 30. Whenever these millennials are Generation Z, or Generation Alpha, we’re probably going to end up with Generation Omnicron. 

Basically, we’re just going to name the generations after variants of Covet at this point because of this, you’ve got to make sure that your videos are appealing to them. If your audience is like retirees, probably don’t even want to be on TikTok. I’m not saying there are none on there. You’re just not going to get enough traction on there. 

So the affiliate offers that you pick, they’ve got to appeal to those types of people, right? The generations we’re dealing with now, the younger generations, don’t really like traditional advertising. 

So you’ve got to be a little bit more natural. I wouldn’t even say my generation doesn’t like traditional advertising. Anybody likes traditional advertising, but we want to blend them into the content as much as possible. So we want to find products that they use and blend them in so they feel more organic. These are product placements, not just flat-out ads. 

So number one, make sure that you include a link in your bio. You can’t just place a link in the captions or in the video. They’ve experimented with this. But just include a link in your bio. This is the best way to drive traffic outside of Tik Tok so create that custom link. 

I would recommend a pretty link. So if you’re promoting something, MattMcWilliams.com, if you’re promoting the let’s say ClickFunnels – MattMcWilliams.com/ClickFunnels, right. Put that in your bio so you can reference it in the videos. 

Not everyone has that capability yet. So if you don’t, I recommend joining the TikTok tester program. Also, you got to make sure we’ll talk about this. Make sure you have a TikTok business account if you only have a personal one.

So you just go up and add it to your bio. Super easy. Another option is to create a landing page and just send everybody to that. So if it’s like I would send them to my toolbox page. If I’m going to recommend a product, let’s just say click funnels.

Like I just said, rather than promoting just click funnels, I’ll talk about click funnels in the video and say, hey, for more product recommendations, go to MattMcWilliams.com/toolbox and you can see all of my recommendations, including the link for ClickFunnels. 

That way the link is just always the same. That’s one way that you can do that. So you can then just mention that link. And that’s kind of a less, I don’t know, less of a hard sell. 

Another way is in TikTok, make sure you’re linking to your other social pages. They actually allow you to link to your other social accounts. So link to your other social accounts like your Facebook, your YouTube, and your Instagram. Then they can see your promotions there. That makes it super easy. 

The third way, use coupon codes. Ask the affiliate manager for a coupon code and use it. If they offer coupon codes, make sure you get one. And then it’s like, hey, it’s a second layer of tracking, but it’s also something that drives people to want to go to that URL. As I mentioned, make pretty links, make sure you’re using pretty links. 

So if you are promoting something directly and you say Mama williams.com influence to go get the book influence, then they’re going to go directly to that link. Don’t try to say go to whatever, I don’t know, let’s go ClickFunnels.

Like ClickFunnels.com/affiliate/question/Matt, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. No, just MattMcWilliams.com/ClickFunnels even something shorter. WhateverCF. The other thing you can do is use paid ads on TikTok. You can actually use paid TikTok ads to promote your affiliate offers. 

if you don’t have an audience right now, paid advertising is probably the only realistic way to promote affiliate products on Tik Tok, it is super cheap right now. It’s not going to be that way in three to five years. It’s going to go just like Facebook ads. They’re going to get very competitive, very expensive. 

Right now, The advertising process is very similar to Facebook and Instagram. If you’ve done that, you basically bid to have your ads appear on viewer screens. And so the same kind of thing. They’re going to show the ones that get the most engagement. 

They’re going to show the ones that have the most watch time. They’re going to show the ones that people finish. So running those paid ads is still kind of the same relevant stuff that we talked about earlier. As far as building an audience, it’s got to be relevant. 

You still want to use the right hashtags. You still want to use the right descriptions and captions. You still want to make sure they’re about 20 seconds long. You still want to have a great hook in the first 3 seconds or else they’re just going to skip it. 

You can go to I think it’s called the top few ads or something that you can go in there and actually see what people are running and see what’s working, see what are the kind of ads that are actually working for others, then kind of reverse engineer those. Like, oh, they’re using this hook at the beginning. Oh, they’re using this technique. 

This is why that ad is apparently so good and why it’s showing up so much because, well, it’s a popular ad and it’s using these techniques and you can begin to kind of hack, reverse hack those ads. 

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As we wrap up, I want to make sure you avoid the common affiliate mistakes on social media. I did a lesson a while back called the top ten Mistakes affiliates make on social media. All of these apply to TikTok as well. 

They apply to Facebook, they apply to Twitter, they apply to Instagram, LinkedIn, whatever. The next 17 social media networks are going to pop up over the next five years. The top ten mistakes that affiliates make on Social Media. I’m going to put a link in the show notes for that, and you can go read that it’s got those ten mistakes.

Or go watch that. Sorry, it’s actually a video. Watch that. So you can avoid those mistakes because they apply to TikTok as well. I hope this gives you a little bit of a primer on how to get started with affiliate marketing on TikTok. 

If you got questions about this or anything else, feel free to text me at 260-217-4619. And if you know someone they’re trying to get started on TikTok, they want to start doing affiliate marketing on TikTok. Maybe they already have like 50,000 followers on TikTok and they are not making a dime. Share this episode with them so they get this information. 

Make sure you subscribe and share, because next week well, in two weeks, actually, we’re going to talk about how to use Pinterest for affiliate marketing. But next week we’re going to switch gears and talk about ten ways to get your affiliates fired up before a launch or promo. And then, like I said, in two weeks, how to use Pinterest. 

So we’re talking about TikTok this week. Two weeks from now, we’ll talk about Pinterest. In the meantime, we’re going to talk about getting your affiliates pumped up because you need to do that. So make sure you hit subscribe and come back for that episode. I’ll see you then. 


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