Discover how to use TikTok to promote any affiliate program. Learn both the free & paid TikTok advertising strategies backed with real-life case studies.
Affiliate marketing on Tiktok: An introduction to the TikTok Affiliate Program
TikTok is now one of the biggest traffic sources that affiliate marketers and advertisers use to promote their products, services and other affiliate programs. It has a large audience from various regions, including the US and even the CIS countries. With over one billion active users, TikTok is continuously growing and attracting more people with its short video concept. This makes TikTok an excellent source for affiliate marketing/ CPA marketing traffic.
Here are some statistics that compare the amount of time users spend on TikTok with other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp:
The diverse demography of TikTok users creates opportunities for affiliate marketers to test out new offers using both free and paid methods to capture traffic. Affiliate networks, on the other hand, actively include TikTok as one of the approved sources of traffic.
Geography of TikTok users
Affiliate marketing through TikTok: the main methods of acquiring traffic
As soon as TikTok gained popularity as a platform with easily digestible content, affiliates started looking for ways to generate traffic from this platform.
There are only two main methods for working with traffic on TikTok: Paid and Organic (Free).
Organic traffic on TikTok
Organic traffic, also known as free traffic, involves acquiring traffic with little or not investment at all by making use of the free features of the platform.
Method #1: Using the Recommendation Algorithm
The primary type of content on TikTok consists of short videos that are entertaining and educational. The platform itself promotes content creators' profiles using a special algorithm that showcases their videos to an audience with similar interests. This is done by featuring the videos of the TikTok creators on the "For You" page, which is the main section of the application.
To acquire organic traffic, affiliate marketers use multiple TikTok accounts and post a lot of videos on each of the accounts. This way, they increase the chance of their videos getting into the "For You" page. As soon as the content gets recommended, the profile starts to attract organic traffic, which can be monetized by directing users to the offer page using an affiliate link.
Method #2: Livestream traffic from TikTok
In addition to regular videos, TikTok offers a live broadcast feature. Affiliates have started using live broadcasts as a way to drive traffic to their affiliate marketing campaigns on TikTok. This method is particularly affiliated with gambling offers. However, streaming traffic on TikTok is more complex compared to the first method.
To begin streaming, you need to follow these steps:
Purchase an account with at least 1000 subscribers, as only such accounts can access the live broadcast feature.
Hire a host to conduct the live broadcast, or do it yourself.
Prepare an account layout.
Set up the main channel with relevant content.
Here's how it works: An affiliate or a hired presenter goes live on TikTok. During the live stream, they showcase a casino site on their computer screen without even revealing their face. After a win, they react emotionally and show a secondary TikTok account which has very few subscriptions and ask users to subscribe to it. They also inform the viewers that they can find the online casino link on the profile description of that secondary account.
Such streams usually do not last long. The TikTok algorithm quickly bans or blocks accounts that engage in such activities by disabling them from launching live broadcasts. Typically, these streams last for one to two hours, during which an affiliate on TikTok can attract an audience that will eventually transition to the secondary account. Although this method requires effort, it is still effective.
Affiliate marketing through TikTok paid ads
Currently, TikTok allows paid advertisements, but it is more tricky compared to methods of obtaining free traffic. The platform has strict guidelines for ads displayed in the feed and does not allow ads related to gambling or betting.
There are several ad formats available on TikTok:
In-Feed Native Video: These are video ads that appear in the user's feed.
TopView: This format displays a full-screen banner when users enter the application, including a video of up to 60 seconds.
Brand Takeover: When users open the app, they are greeted with a full-screen banner, either a 3-second image or a 3-5 second video.
Hashtag Challenge: This format includes a banner in the search section featuring a branded hashtag for a challenge.
Branded Effects: This includes masks, lenses, and stickers that users can apply to their videos.
Most affiliates prefer the "In-Feed Native Video" format for affiliate marketing on TikTok. These are short videos of up to 60 seconds, displayed in the user's feed, and can be set up with different payment models within the advertising account, such as impressions, views, clicks, or optimized clicks.
Here is an example of how the "In-Feed Native Video" ad format appears in the feed:
With Tiktok Ads, affiliates need to have a relatively large budget for advertising. The minimum budget to run an affiliate marketing campaign is $50, and for an ad group, it's $20. However, depending on the advertising format, it's recommended to allocate around $150 for testing a single campaign.
Affiliates can run ads on Tiktok by using ad accounts which they can sign up for at the TikTok For Business website. The "In-Feed Native Video" format is particularly the most suitable for affiliate marketers because it offers easier optimization and scaling compared to other TikTok ad formats.
Before starting to work with a TikTok ad account, there are a few important points to consider
You cannot promote personal or business pages on any other social network within the TikTok Ads without additional verification.TikTok's moderation team will not allow links to regular Instagram profiles, so you must use a landing page instead.
The geo-targeting options in TikTok ads are limited. While you can choose the country for your advertising campaign, you cannot select specific cities or pinpoint locations on a map.
If you run ads using a new ad account that you have registered by yourself, be aware that it may be easily subjected to bans due to strict moderation algorithms. It's better to use established ad accounts or agency accounts for a smoother experience.
Preparing for a successful TikTok advertising account launch
To prepare for launching advertising through a TikTok advertising account, the first step is to register an advertising account. You can do this on the TikTok for Business website.
After registration, you will be taken to the advertising account itself.
If you already have landing pages where you plan to send traffic, you can start setting up an advertising campaign:
TikTok Ad Campaign Setup Step by Step
Go to the "Campaign" tab and click the "Create" button.
Choose the goal of your advertising campaign. If you want to drive more clicks to your website, select the "Traffic" goal. If you're promoting a mobile app, choose "Mobile App Download." Keep in mind that different campaign goals have different payment models. For example, if you choose the "Traffic" goal, you'll pay per click (CPC).
Once you've selected the campaign goal, give your campaign a name and set a daily budget. The minimum budget for dollar accounts is $50.
During the campaign setup, you'll have the option to create an A/B test. This means creating two ad groups with the same creatives but different targets. It helps in testing the effectiveness of the campaign.
After creating the advertising campaign, proceed to set up an ad group.
Provide a name for the campaign.
Specify TikTok as the placement.
Add a name and upload a logo, which will be displayed alongside your creatives.
- Choose a category and write keywords to help TikTok's advertising algorithm select the right audience.
- Set up targeting for your audience. TikTok offers various targeting options, including gender, age, device language, geographic location, interest category, type of Internet connection, device operating system, and even the price of the device.
- When launching your first ad groups, disable Dynamic Creatives.
You can leave the rest of the settings unchanged.
Next, you need to set a budget for the ad group. For dollar accounts, the minimum budget for one ad group is $20. Also, here you can set the schedule for showing your ads.
Hot tip: During the testing stage, it's recommended to let the ads run 24/7.
Creating ad creatives for TikTok ads
There are several approaches to creating content for TikTok ads.
Create a video using images and videos in the TikTok Ads template. This method works well for promoting everyday affiliate products that are easily recognizable, such as smartphones, clothes, shoes, watches, and more.
Use the video editor within the TikTok app. The mobile application provides its video editor for creating videos. If you choose to use this option, make sure to remove any watermarks from the video before submission to pass moderation. There are several online services available that can help you remove watermarks from TikTok videos.
Upload a pre-made video to TikTok Ads. Another option is to prepare a video in advance and then upload it directly to TikTok Ads for promotion.
Choose the method that suits you, or try different ones.
Here are some tips for creating effective ad creatives for Tiktok Ads:
Grab attention from the start: Make sure your video catches the viewer's interest within the first few seconds. On TikTok, aim for a video length of about 10-15 seconds. Use this time to hook the user, introduce your affiliate product or offer, and highlight the main advantages and benefits using creative elements.
Include clear subtitles: Adding subtitles is important to draw the user's attention to key elements of your creative and convey information about your affiliate product or offer. Use subtitles that stand out and include a call to action.
Use a call to action: Creatives that include clear instructions on what the user should do tend to perform better. Show them where to click and what will happen next. This helps guide the viewer toward taking action.
Mind the safe zone: The safe zone refers to the area where your main message should be visible without any distortions or overlays. It's crucial to maintain the proper spacing for ads with one, two, or three lines of text. This ensures that your message is easily readable and impactful
Remember, in affiliate marketing, it's important to experiment with different approaches and find the methods that work best for you.
Safe zone and padding when creating ads in TikTok Ads
You can also use a method where you upload your own pre-made creative. You upload it through your advertising account and include a description and a call to action for the video.
Once you have completed all the necessary steps, you should click the "Submit" button to send your advertising campaign for moderation. If your ad gets disapproved, and you need an additional source of traffic, you can try using MyBid. This platform is compatible with most verticals that are banned on TikTok, so you won't encounter any restrictions or bans.
The best affiliate marketing niches that you can promote on TikTok
Since the TikTok audience is mostly young, it's important to choose niches accordingly. Here are some popular niches with the best affiliate programs for TikTok:
E-commerce: Promoting products like clothes, cosmetics, shoes, and kids' products is easy through both organic traffic and TikTok paid ads.
Dating: Dating offers are mainly promoted via organic traffic due to strict restrictions in the TikTok paid ads. However, such offers are always worth testing because they are easy to convert and pay a great commission rate.
Gambling and betting: Typically, these offers are promoted through organic traffic or live broadcasts. However, with the right approach, you can also promote them with paid ads.
At the moment, these are the most recommended niches to drive traffic from TikTok. The platform is actively developing its advertising tools and frequently updating affiliate rules, so in the future, there may be fewer restrictions and more opportunities to work with other niches.
Case Study: Generating a 1300% ROI with TikTok organic traffic for a dating affiliate offers
In this case study, the affiliate successfully used TikTok's organic traffic approach, to drive visitors to a dating offer, resulting in a 1300% return on investment (ROI).
100 automatically registered TikTok accounts
Video posting automation service
The total cost for these expenses was $32.
The affiliate selected a dating offer based on the popularity of dating-related hashtags on TikTok. Many people go onto TikTok to search for dating advice or search for a partner, just like in the early days of Facebook.
Once the accounts were purchased, the affiliate went on to register them as business accounts. Each account was given an avatar and a profile description. Then, the account status was changed to a business account, and a link to the dating offer was added to the profile description. All of these actions were performed manually for all 100 accounts.
The affiliate then began posting videos on these accounts at a frequency of 1.5-2 hours. The videos were accompanied by relevant dating hashtags and featured popular music from TikTok charts. The creative aspect of the videos involved a static photo of a girl and a name overlay.
Screenshot from video
By publishing videos across all 100 accounts, the affiliate increased the likelihood of appearing in TikTok's recommendations section.
"With proper scaling and automation of this process, this traffic generation method can bring up to $10 000 per month in affiliate revenue," the affiliate stated.
Here are the results achieved in 59 hours:
Conversion rate: 3%
If you choose to work in the dating niche, you can use both paid and free methods to promote affiliate links on TikTok. But if you are not ready to deal with bans and spend time stressing with ad accounts, then it is better to acquire traffic from platforms like MyBid, where such problems are less likely to occur.
Case Study: Making $590 in 3 Days with TikTok Ads
The TikTok and affiliate marketing scheme has already proven to be a profitable scheme for making money online. This case study will explore how (1) affiliate earned $1240 in affiliate income within just three days of promoting a beauty offer via TikTok ads. The affiliate targeted Kazakhstan geo with a total budget of $637 and was able to make a profit of $590 over the course of 3 days.
To reach the right audience, the affiliate focused on females aged 35 and above who were interested in the beauty industry. The following creatives were used for the campaign:
For each ad group, the affiliate allocated a budget of $177 and aimed for a cost per lead of $2.36. Each ad group consisted of five creatives. Once the most profitable campaign was identified, it was duplicated with a specific budget setup: one campaign, one ad group with a $23 budget (the lowest price), and one creative.
To maintain effectiveness, the ad creatives were regularly shuffled every 2-3 days.
The affiliate noted, "TikTok is 90% about working with creative content. When an ad creative burns out in 2-3 days, the cost per lead can increase by 100%-200%."
Over three days, the affiliate achieved the following results:
General expenses: $637
Return on Investment (ROI): 92%
The TikTok affiliate program
TikTok affiliate program offers a unique opportunity for individuals and businesses to earn income by partnering with TikTok. As a marketing affiliate, you can promote affiliate links on TikTok, leveraging the platform's immense reach and engaged audiences, including the highly solvent audiences from the USA.
To become a TikTok affiliate, there are specific requirements you need to meet to ensure that you adhere to TikTok's guidelines and maintain the quality of your content. Through TikTok, you can explore various avenues, including TikTok ads affiliate programs, where you earn TikTok affiliate commissions, based on the performance of ads displayed on the platform. The TikTok affiliate program provides a structured framework for affiliates to earn commissions through successful marketing campaigns.
With a growing community of TikTok affiliates, the platform has become a hub for affiliate marketing, offering opportunities for content creators, businesses, and individuals alike. Whether you're a TikTok creator or a business looking to expand your reach, TikTok's affiliate marketing programs, such as the TikTok for Business Affiliate Program or the TikTok Shop Affiliate Program, can help you capitalize on the platform's popularity and earn TikTok affiliate commission.
TikTok Shop affiliate marketing options are available worldwide, allowing you to tap into a global market. Start using TikTok now for affiliate marketing and explore the potential to earn income through creative promotions, engaging content, and strategic partnerships.
Of course, there may be some challenges when using TikTok for affiliate marketing, but once you overcome them, it can become your primary source of traffic. To make things easier, you can rely on the MyBid fully managed ad network. MyBid assigns you an account manager who will handle your advertising campaign work and assist you in selecting effective creatives and scaling successful campaigns.