In 2021, TikTok hit the one billion milestone of monthly active users, capitalizing on its early fame as people gravitated toward its light, short-form content. This surge in popularity means TikTok is ripe with revenue opportunities, especially considering around 37% of TikTok users in the US earn $100,000 or more yearly.
From the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend to devoted subcultures like #BookTok, brands are finding creative and authentic ways to position and sell their products or services directly to TikTok audiences. You can too, by making engaging and helpful short videos that speak directly to your audience’s interests.
But where do you begin? In this article, we break down 10 strategies for how to make money on TikTok.
1. Run TikTok ads
About 43% of TikTok users are between 18 and 24 years old. This makes TikTok a strong advertising choice for brands wanting to market their products to Gen Z. TikTok ads come with simple, powerful tools to help you advertise to millions of users. Ad formats vary by region, but all let you personalize your targeting by age, location, interest and other factors. You can select one or a few formats that work best for your brand.
The most popular types of TikTok ads include:
In-feed video: Appear on the For You Page of TikTok users who meet your targeting parameters.
Brand takeover: This lets your ad expand to the width of the whole screen for a few seconds. Then it becomes an in-feed video ad.
Hashtag challenges: Create appealing challenges that encourage user-generated content. These challenges appear in the Discovery section on TikTok. This option is only available to managed brands that work in collaboration with TikTok sales representatives.
There are several more types of TikTok ads you can experiment with, but note that some are only available to certain types of accounts.
2. Collect tips or donations
TikTok has introduced a tipping feature that allows select creators to earn money from tips and donations. Fans can use this feature to show gratitude to the creators they love.
Video gifts let viewers send creators virtual gifts and coins. Some creators can collect gifts during a live stream. Gifts can be redeemed for Diamonds—TikTok’s digital currency.
When you save up enough Diamonds, you can trade them for real cash.
Creators can also use tipping platforms to earn money. Tipeee, Ko-fi and Buy Me a Coffee can be connected to your TikTok account to function as a tip jar.
3. Collaborate with a creator
The latest Sprout Social Index™ shows that 33% of Gen Z and 28% of Millennials value brand/creator content collaborations. TikTok’s thriving community of content creators makes it an excellent channel for collaborating with influential people with highly engaged communities.
The key is to collaborate with the right creators who can authentically position your brand to their audience, as creator-made branded content has 83% higher engagement rates.
TikTok’s Creator Marketplace is where you can connect with content creators on the network. In a few steps, you can find influencers and run campaigns with them. Locate creators based on business goals, budget and industry, and find comprehensive performance and audience metrics for data-driven decision-making.
TikTok has some eligibility requirements for the Creator Marketplace, so only select creators can join. This assures marketers that creators they partner with are some of TikTok’s top influencers.
4. Try affiliate marketing
Through affiliate marketing programs, creators and other businesses can promote and sell another company’s products or services for a commission.
To be a successful affiliate marketer, you need to generate sales online. Focus on promoting products that best align with your target audience. Create engaging videos that present affiliate products, showcasing the value and why you recommend purchasing them. Try promoting brands you like and trust, sharing affiliate links or codes to track purchases influenced by your account.
If a follower makes a purchase through the link or code provided, then you will receive a commission from the brand for that sale. TikTok doesn’t allow personal accounts to place clickable links within video descriptions. But you can ask followers to copy and paste links into their browsers, or enter special codes at checkout. Sites like Beacons allow you to create a free webpage containing affiliate links and details for products being promoted. If you have a business account, you can add a link in your bio.
If you’re an in-house marketer, create an affiliate marketing program with clear guidelines and instructions on how to participate. Invite TikTokers who align with your brand values and target audience to participate. Encourage affiliates to promote the products or services that best align with your goals and shared audience. And most importantly, implement a tracking system so you can monitor affiliate performance and commission payments.
5. Grow and sell TikTok accounts
Organically growing a TikTok account could take months. However, you can buy an established account to get an instant boost of followers.
To successfully make money selling TikTok accounts, creators should focus on niche topics that can be sustained by the buyer. This will make it easier for the buyer to continue posting similar content and maintain follower engagement.
Brands considering buying an established account should perform due diligence. An account with a lot of followers but low engagement may not provide the return you’re looking for. Also, ensure the account serves an audience you target and the content aligns with your brand and goals.
For smaller activations, brands can sponsor posts that live directly on creators’ profiles. Similar to creator collaborations, these campaigns allow brands to pay content creators to promote their products in organic posts. Sponsor single posts or create a series. If it starts trending, you can boost the post to expand its reach even further.
7. Create a Patreon account
A Patreon account lets creators generate revenue from fans through memberships that allow exclusive access to content. Use TikTok to promote membership sign-ups.
Try to keep your subscription costs low to encourage subscribers and consider rewarding new subscribers. For example, giving away merchandise or exclusive content access to your most loyal followers. Add the link to your Patreon page in your videos or add it to your bio to make it easy for followers to subscribe whenever they are ready.
8. Sell your products and merchandise
Merchandise, merchandise, merchandise. This tried-and-true strategy applies to TikTok as well. Turn original artwork, quotes or your brand’s logo into merch and promote it on TikTok. Feature your existing products in tutorials or showcase your product alongside a trend.
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Listen to your audience if you are unsure what to sell. Create polls or ask them directly to learn what they might buy.
If you have a personal account, create an ecommerce website to process sales transactions and promote it on your TikTok account. Add the store to your videos, and encourage your followers to check out your products.
If you have a TikTok Business account, you can connect platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Square Online and Ecwid store to your account.
9. Set up a TikTok shop
TikTok partnered with Shopify to launch the TikTok Shopping feature. Brands and creators can become official TikTok merchants and sell directly in the app.
By creating a TikTok Shop, you can showcase products on in-feed videos, lives and product showcase tabs. If eligible for this feature, you can signup to become a seller in the TikTok Seller Center, where you can manage inventory, orders, creator partnerships, promotions and more. However, the seller center is only available in select regions.
10. Join the TikTok Creator Fund
Users with a creator account can monetize their profiles through the TikTok Creator Fund. Creators need to hit some prerequisites to join the program and begin receiving money from the platform. Creator Fund members earn money based on the number of engagements they get on their content.
How to make money on TikTok FAQ
Still curious about TikTok monetization? Here are answers to a couple frequently asked questions.
How many followers do you need on TikTok to make money?
For some of the features mentioned in the monetization strategies above, you must hit a minimum follower count on TikTok. For example, the Creator Fund requires at least 10,000 followers to join.
On the other hand, you need only 1,000 followers to receive virtual gifts on TikTok Live. But to receive tips and gifts from other types of videos, you must have at least 100,000 followers.
How many views do you need on TikTok to make money?
To join the Creator Fund, you must have received a minimum of 100,000 views on your videos within 30 days. Otherwise, you don’t need to have a certain amount of views to share links to your products in videos or your bio.
Learn more about TikTok for business
These strategies can elevate your TikTok game and put you on a clear path to making money on the app. If you’re ready to take your TikTok strategy to the next level, check out our TikTok for business guide to learn how to effectively grow your business on the network.