3 Reasons to Allocate Budget for TikTok Creators

TikTok isn't going anywhere–and it's a must to reach new and younger audiences.

Maria Topor

by Maria Topor

· 13 min read
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If you’ve never worked with TikTok creators before, you might be wondering:

“Is it worth it?”

The answer will depend on your brand. (We’ll get to that in a minute).

But TikTok is here to stay. I’m not going to make bold statements like, “It’s the only social media platform you’ll ever need!” or “You’ll go viral overnight!” because chances are… It’s not, and you won’t.

But you can’t afford to ignore it as part of your social media strategy. Trust me, if you don’t start collaborating with TikTok creators now, your competitors will.

In this article, we’ll explain what to expect and how to approach your first TikTok collaborations. Plus, we'll give you an example of how to think about your budget. Let’s get started!

Why should brands dedicate budget to TikTok creators?

You might be tempted to allocate most of your budget to Facebook or Instagram either influencers or ads, especially if you had some sort of success with them there, right? Here’s why you shouldn’t sleep on TikTok creators:

New audiences

TikTok is the place to be if you want to reach younger audiences. They have over 1.5 billion monthly active users, most of whom are under 40. If you’re looking to go even younger than that, Comscore reported that “people aged 18-24 are 75% more likely to visit TikTok than the general mobile internet population.”

And they’re ready to buy–TikTok generated $2.7 billion in revenue last year–more than Facebook or Instagram! (Source)

So, when you tap into TikTok’s audience, you’ll increase your brand’s reach, which will also increase your brand awareness, engagement, and potential sales. TikTok encourages its users to engage (vs. other platforms that encourage them to watch passively), which is great for generating excitement about your brand.

This alone is a good enough reason to invest in TikTok creators. But it’s just the beginning!

Creative expression and viral potential

TikTok creators are known for their creativity. We can EASILY say they’re generally more creative than users on platforms like Instagram or YouTube. It takes a special kind of person to hop on trends and make a unique spin that also has the potential to go viral.

And that sort of creativity? It can bring a LOT of eyeballs to your brand’s products. You’ll also have a higher chance of going viral.

Besides building a creative reputation on TikTok, you can also use the content TikTok creators make for you as UGC for your other social media channels. Think about it: If you work with TikTok influencers and get top-notch UGC, you can also use those videos and photos in ads! There’s no reason just to leave them on TikTok!

Especially now that Meta relies exclusively on your creative for ad targeting, UGC is more important than ever…

…And TikTok creators know how to provide the sort of UGC that draws attention to your brand.

TikTok will be necessary if you want to stay relevant

If you only remember one thing from this article, make it this:

In the not-too-distant future, you’ll need a presence on TikTok to stay relevant as a brand. With the way TikTok is growing, its features, and the fact that, even with fewer users, it generated more revenue last year than any other social media platform…

Yeah. It will be around for a while, and it will only get better and more popular.

So, if you haven’t hopped on the TikTok train yet, it’s time. If you’re a new brand, it might even be worth it to make TikTok the first platform where you build a following–that’s up for debate, of course–but you could make a pretty strong case for it! Because TikTok’s users are super young, as they age this platform will be their default. You’re going to want to be there as their buying power increases.

Other features

We don't have enough time to discuss many other reasons for having your brand on TikTok, including advertising, influencers, TikTok Shop, and other features that can increase your brand’s visibility and sales.

Don’t underestimate TikTok creators or the platform itself. If you want to create longevity for your brand by connecting with a younger audience, you MUST be on TikTok. Period.

How much of my budget should I dedicate to TikTok?

Okay, let’s get down to the numbers: after all, you’re reading this article because you’re wondering why & how to allocate a budget for TikTok creators! The amount you should spend on TikTok will depend on your business needs–so let’s talk about what you need to consider when setting your budget.

First, it’s impossible to know how much to allocate without talking to the brand owners or C-suite executives (if you’re part of this group for your brand, congrats! This job just got a little easier!). You need to know the direction the company is headed in, what the priorities are for the marketing budget, and how leadership wants the brand to be perceived.

However, here’s what I’d personally do:

  • I’d dedicate a minimum of 10% of the marketing budget to TikTok.
  • Initially, I’d spend most of my TikTok budget working with TikTok creators (influencers) to see what works.
  • I’d make sure I had the proper licensing to use the UGC from influencers for any marketing channel I need in the future, such as running ads or posting organically on social media.
  • I’d try out TikTok Shop right now since there’s a lot of excitement around it. Thankfully, this doesn’t require extra money.

The good news is you don’t have to spend much money on TikTok to learn how it works and start honing your skills. Yes, there’s a learning curve to figuring out what works on TikTok, but working with TikTok creators can help you figure that out fast.

I wouldn’t start by running TikTok ads. First, I’d work with TikTok creators to get a feel for how TikTok culture tends to operate, and THEN I’d run ads. You can’t copy/paste your standard ad strategy onto TikTok–it won’t work.

But if you have your heart set on running TikTok ads too, I’d allocate more than 10% of your marketing budget for TikTok–you’re going to need at least a few hundred, but probably more like thousands, to spend each month to get enough data to make good decisions.

What should I expect when working with TikTok creators?

TikTok creators are a different breed of influencer–but there are many benefits to finding creators you love on the platform. Here are just a few:

Reaching more potential buyers

As mentioned, working with TikTok creators helps your brand reach new audiences.

Those new audiences equal more brand awareness and engagement, which creates more potential buyers.

We’re using the word “potential” a lot here–and that’s because it’s not going to happen overnight. When you start collaborating with TikTok creators, you won’t immediately have sales pouring in. You’ll need to structure your entry into TikTok in a way that allows you to be in the game for the long haul–make sure you don’t overspend your budget trying to get the most expensive influencers out there.

You need to be able to STAY on TikTok, increase your brand awareness, and find out what messages resonate best with your audience. Don’t work with a couple of influencers and then throw up your hands and say, “TikTok doesn’t work!” That’s not how social media marketing works. You’re not going to go viral overnight.

But if you’re smart about it, you can set yourself up to make a lot of sales in the future!

More creative UGC

How often have you felt like hitting your head against a wall trying to create content for your brand? Probably more times than you’d like to admit, right?

Coming up with content ideas is a constant chore. You feel like you run out of ideas super fast, and then developing new ones becomes a daunting task.

Well, guess what? If you outsource to TikTok creators, they will be way more creative when discussing your brand than you are. After all, this is what they do, and they haven’t had to come up with a zillion other ideas like you have.

Sure, it DOES cost some money to get UGC this way, but who said growing a brand is cheap? Not in 2024, it’s not!

Bonus–a cool TikTok profile!

If you work with TikTok creators, get the usage rights for the UGC they create for you so you can post it to your brand’s TikTok profile.

Building a nice profile with a constant presence on TikTok isn’t just for bragging rights or aesthetics. This WILL translate into sales later. But, as we said earlier, it doesn’t happen overnight.

Are gifted collaborations a thing on TikTok?

Yes! If you’re familiar with gifted collaborations on Instagram, they’re similar. You’ll need to work with smaller TikTok creators who are willing to accept gifted collaborations to start practicing making content for brands.

Luckily, on Social Cat, we have many TikTok influencers interested in gifted collaborations, which may be better for your brand. After all, smaller creators usually have more engaged audiences than more prominent influencers!

So, the short answer is absolutely–gifts for TikTok creators are a GREAT way to start working with influencers. Make sure you reach out to creators trying to get started–and be willing to pay them for later collaborations as your partnership and their influence grow!

Want to be on TikTok?

If you’re ready to get your brand on TikTok, here are a few great ways to find TikTok creators to collaborate with:

Social Cat

Hey! We happen to have a few thousand TikTok creators on our platform who are ready to collaborate. They work on all kinds of campaigns, including gifted, affiliate, and paid collaborations.

You don’t need other tools to kickstart your brand’s TikTok launch. You can manage the whole process right here on our platform. Find top TikTok creators, collaborate with them, communicate throughout the process, and even receive their content on Social Cat.

TikTok Creator Marketplace

While TikTok Creator Marketplace has a LOT of hype around it (especially when it launched), it has one big problem:

Only a few influencers respond to brands via the Creator Marketplace.

So, it’s a great way to discover the next hottest TikTok creators but not a great way to reach out to them and collaborate.

Manually

And now we come to the final option—manually reaching out! It’s free. It’s time-consuming. But does it work?

It only half works. Here’s why: on TikTok, in order to message people, you both have to follow each other.

So, imagine you find a super cool TikTok creator and say, “Yep, I want my brand to work with them.” Well, that's great. You follow them and send them a message.

However, they won’t see that message unless they follow you back. There are no “message requests” or similar folders where they *might* still see your message. It simply doesn’t exist.

Do you see the problem? 🤨

As you can see, manually reaching out on TikTok isn’t a great idea, especially since there are other, better ways of finding influencers. (We don’t advise using DMs on social media platforms for influencer outreach–it’s too much of a hassle.)

So, what do you think? Ready for TikTok?

You decide how much budget you give for TikTok campaigns and how you approach your brand’s TikTok strategy. However, make sure you have a plan for connecting with TikTok creators–you will need them!

Maria Topor

About Maria Topor

Maria is a Growth Marketeer specialising in Social Media and Ads at Social Cat. She's running our Instagram but also jumping on calls with brands to make sure they have a great experience.

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