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TikTok is the next big thing that is already here. At first seen just as entertainment for Gen Z, this platform has become a lucrative business opportunity. Influencers like Addison Rae Easterling and Charli D’Amelio, among many others, figured out how to make money on TikTok and now earn millions of dollars per year.
The app reached a milestone of one billion global users in late September of 2021, keeping the constant growth trend despite challenges like the global COVID-19 pandemic and a looming U.S. ban in 2020 under the Trump administration.
The main question is no longer whether making money on TikTok is possible. Content creators and marketing professionals alike understand that the answer is a resounding yes, but the question of HOW to monetize TikTok is a different beast altogether—especially if you’re interested in using TikTok for your business.
While making money on TikTok is more straightforward for content creators, businesses have to work a bit harder. Good and relatable content, more followers, conversions, paid advertising, brand identity, return on investment—businesses have to consider all these aspects and plan their TikTok strategy carefully if they wish to see some dollar signs in the end.
Collaborations between brands and influencers on TikTok are beneficial to both sides—influencers get paid for sponsored posts, and brands get more exposure and more customers. Before we focus on the major ways brands can create profit from their TikTok presence, let’s see what content creators and small businesses can do to generate income on this platform.
How do TikTok creators make money? Creating viral content or becoming TikTok famous instantly may be the path for the lucky few, but most aspiring TikTok influencers rely on carefully developed strategies that involve growing their following first and reaching out to potential sponsors.
Before they reach global fame and start making money from top brand deals or branching out to entertainment, most TikTokers go for more down-to-earth methods—from applying for the TikTok Creator Fund to accepting gifts from their followers.
TikTok introduced the Creator Fund in 2020 as the means to reward its community and provide content creators with an opportunity to earn more and make a proper career out of their creative efforts.
While the fund is open to virtually anyone who meets the eligibility criteria and there are no caps on the number of eligible creators, TikTok clarifies that this is not a grant or an ad revenue sharing program.
Those who wish to make use of this funding opportunity on TikTok need to meet several eligibility criteria before they submit their applications. The Creator Fund is currently open to content creators who:
Creators who meet these requirements can submit an application by accessing Creator tools in account settings. If the application is not successful, it is possible to apply again in 30 days.
TikTokers who get in don’t have to worry about minimum or maximum earning amounts. TikTok plans to allocate around $300 million just for the U.S. creators in the next three years.
Those dollar signs sure are blinding, but the amount of money that a user can actually earn depends on several factors:
The daily earnings depend on the number of published videos within the community, and—as TikTok explains—no two creators or videos are the same.
So far, creators have reported different outcomes, with top rates ranging from two to four cents per 1,000 views. While most TikTokers still can’t earn enough from the Creator Fund to quit their day jobs, videos that reach hundreds of thousands (or millions) of views can bring a hefty sum on the yearly level.
Another way to make money is to partner with brands and get paid to post on TikTok, i.e., to become a TikTok influencer. Top-earning TikTokers now sign deals with major retail brands, which make up a significant portion of their income:
|TickToker||Yearly Revenue||No. of Followers||Brand Deals|
|Addison Rae Easterling||$5 million||85.9 million||
|Charli D’Amelio||$4 million||131.6 million||
|Dixie D’Amelio||$2.9 million||56.2 million||
|Loren Gray||$2.6 million||54.3 million||
Contrary to popular belief, brand deals are not exclusively targeting mega-influencers with millions of followers. Many brands prefer mid-tier (50,000–500,000 followers) or even micro-influencers (10,000–50,000 followers) due to better engagement rates and lower prices of their services.
Source: Charli D’Amelio
Still, focusing on growing the follower base should be the first step before reaching out to the brands the aspiring influencer wishes to collaborate with, and that requires some strategizing.
Budding TikTok creators need to think carefully about what they can bring to the table and where their interests lie, then pick a theme for their videos and be consistent. If they make TikToks that are interesting to niche users, the followers will flock to the channel, and the engagement rates will rise, making the aspiring influencer more valuable to future sponsors.
When creating content for their niche, they usually need to pay attention to the following:
Creating interesting content is not enough. To build a huge following, creators need to build a strong relationship with their audience. Increased engagement can mean liking and responding to comments on the videos, replying to DMs, and following other accounts in the niche.
Another great way to build a stronger following is to engage with the content of the followers or other TikTokers. Having fun with tools like Duet or Stitch or collaborating with other creators can usually do the trick.
While being proactive and reaching out to brands in their niche is a great way to start getting paid, creators can also use TikTok’s specialized platform called Creator Marketplace (available in 24 countries), where brands and sponsors can easily find the creator they want for their campaign.
Not all creators can automatically end up on the Creator Marketplace, though, and the eligibility criteria could be more transparent. TikTok only states factors like age, video content, engagement, and the number of followers without any details—but, according to some reports, creators who wish to apply and get more chances to work with different businesses now need to have at least 10,000 followers to qualify.
The amount of money that a TikToker can get for sponsored posts depends on several factors:
The income that users can generate as influencers on TikTok varies depending on their prices as well. If they’re new to the game, it would be wise to charge less for the first sponsored posts.
To get a more realistic view of per-post rates for different influencer tiers on TikTok, check out the following breakdown by InfluencerMarketingHub:
|Tier||Price per Post|
|Nano-influencer (1–10,000 followers)||$5–$25|
|Micro-influencer (10,000–50,000 followers)||$25–$125|
|Mid-tier influencer (50,000–500,000 followers)||$125–$1,250|
|Macro-influencer (500,000–1,000,000 followers)||$1,250–$2,500|
|Mega-influencer (more than 1,000,000 followers)||$2,500+|
While Instagram and YouTube content creators still earn more per post—with nano-influencers on these platforms charging $10–$100 or $20–$200, respectively—TikTok is right behind and proves to be an increasingly lucrative platform for social media influencers.
Similar to Twitch, TikTok creators who livestream have an opportunity to make more money on this platform by accepting in-app gifts and donations from their viewers and followers as a form of appreciation for their content.
When they turn on the LIVE Gifting option during livestreams, they can collect virtual gifts from the viewers and convert them into real money. TikTok users can buy coins via in-app purchases, then use these TikTok coins to buy different kinds of rewards and gift them to the creator if they like their content.
The received gifts turn to TikTok diamonds, which can be converted to dollars and withdrawn to the creator’s PayPal account.
The option of buying and withdrawing virtual currency is only available to users who are older than 18. While this option can be a nice way to show love to favorite TikTokers, content creators who don’t have a significant following don’t earn a lot of money due to the low diamond/dollar ratio. On top of that, TikTok takes 50% of actual earnings as a fee.
Users also have to earn at least $100 before they can withdraw money.
Still, top-tier creators whose livestreams regularly attract more than 100,000 viewers can get thousands of dollars worth of these virtual gifts.
Can you make money on TikTok as a small business? Yes, you can!
Influencers who sell their merchandise or small businesses who have their own products or services to sell can make more money on TikTok by using this platform as an extension of their social media marketing strategy or through direct sales.
The following tips can help you make better use of your TikTok account to generate more sales:
Approaching TikTok as an advertising platform can be a great way to extend your reach as well, but using all facets of this platform to their maximum potential may require a more in-depth strategy. Depending on the budget and scale of your business, you can always turn to a professional social media agency for the best results.
The sky’s the limit! The more buzz you create with your TikTok content, the more sales you can expect.
Making use of TikTok’s integration with Shopify is not the only way to make money as a business on this platform. While many brands still direct most of their marketing efforts toward Instagram or YouTube, the growing power of TikTok shouldn’t be underestimated.
Long perceived as an app only for teenagers, TikTok is now pulling the focus of marketers around the world as their target demographics start using the app more and more:
If something attracts the attention of both Gen Z and Millenials, businesses listen.
While this platform may work better for B2C brands in entertainment, fitness, fashion, food, and similar industries, it doesn’t have to mean it won’t work in other areas or even for B2B businesses if you approach your strategy right. Adobe started its TikTok account in April 2021 and has already managed to attract more than 264,000 followers.
The allure of TikTok lies in the fact that it’s fresh and fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Brands can connect with their audiences in a more direct and engaging way, like Chipotle with their Halloween-inspired #Boorito tag that generated more than four billion views overall. But even though it may seem casual, a TikTok marketing strategy still requires some thought and expertise.
After you explore the app for yourself, research how your competitors and other brands approach TikTok marketing, and set up your Business Account, it’s time to pump out some content. You can opt for original in-house videos, partner with influencers, or use a combination of both approaches to boost your exposure and engagement.
Think about who you’re creating your content for and what your goals are. Check out the latest trends and see if you can use them for your brand messaging. When you establish the basics, have some fun with your videos and try these approaches:
You don’t have to reach out to the likes of Brittany Broski, Zach King, or Avani to get good content. When choosing the right influencer for your campaign:
Striking a deal with a mega-influencer may sound like a dream come true, but keep in mind that partnering with creators with fewer followers can bring bigger results or be a better fit for specific stages of your campaign.
Creating more interest in your business via social media marketing is easier said than done. While there’s a lot of room to be creative and to connect with your audience more meaningfully, successful campaigns on the most popular social media platforms require numerous resources—time, money, and expertise.
Even when a company has a social media team, success is not guaranteed since executing a high-quality campaign usually takes a village of content creators, strategists, designers, video directors, and more.
Kubbco is a bold-thinking and all-encompassing social media agency made of experts who know what it takes to succeed on TikTok and other socials. We start by researching and ideating and move on to carefully defining your campaign and using the latest tools and technologies to create top-notch content that tells the story you want to tell. Then, we use both organic and paid media to reach your target audience while constantly monitoring the metrics and adjusting the approach to ensure results that go beyond your expectations.
By collaborating with Kubbco, you get:
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TikTok is undeniably the new black in digital marketing. Whether you want to increase the number of followers, your engagement rate, or purchase intent, Kubbco will help you reach your goals by developing a comprehensive strategy that will have TikTok users buzzing about your brand in no time.
Matas, Denmark’s biggest beauty, personal care, and health product retailer, approached Kubbco for help in tackling TikTok in the spring of 2021. Our creative team managed to whip up a campaign that, within only eight weeks, brought Matas:
Eight of our videos went viral, with the top three getting more than 600,000 views each.
We have already helped brands like essence cosmetics, NATURLI’ Foods, OLAPLEX, and True Gum to find their unique TikTok voice and style that keeps on giving—now, we can do the same for your business. Get in touch with our team of experts and learn how Kubbco can help your brand become more visible on TikTok.
Featured image: Alexander Mils