TikTok: TikTok Shop Affliates 101 with Amelia Tranter, FordeBaker (episode 180)

by April Buencamino-dy

Amelia Tranter is an account strategist at FordeBaker, helping beauty and fashion brands increase their sales on Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and TikTok Shop. Managing over 12,000 products, and with annual sales revenue of $43 million, Amelia and the FordeBaker team know marketplace selling.

Amelia Tranter FordeBaker TikTok

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Dive in:

[03:06] TikTok addiction led to business opportunities.
[07:19] Finding relevant videos and engaging creators.
[12:53] Potential abuse of TikTok button and brand control.
[14:57] Directly send invites to promote products.
[19:45] TikTok offers opportunities for direct purchasing.
[24:37] Platform changes and competitive brands.

Getting Into TikTok

During the 2020 lockdown, Amelia downloaded TikTok and got into it quickly. Today, it’s her favorite platform for entertainment as well as product recommendations and shopping.

Amelia shares that TikTok approached FordeBaker to see if clients were interested in the platform. This led her to explore TikTok with beauty and fashion clients. As a novice, she’s excited about the evolving and dynamic nature of TikTok. The diverse audiences and unique user behaviors make it a good space for exploration of eCommerce brands.

Finding and Collaborating with Creators

TikTok has a unique feature where almost anyone can share and reach a large audience. Because of this, brands can leverage creators for driving sales. The key is authenticity and honesty in creators’ content, focusing on genuine product experiences.

TikTok’s system allows anyone on the platform to become an affiliate of TikTok shops. This eliminates barriers for merchants. When looking for creators for your brand, you can use the Creator Marketplace. You can also search hashtags and engage with niche communities to find creators.

Despite the helpful algorithm, finding the right affiliates can be labor-intensive. But to succeed on TikTok, you have to build long-term, high-value relationships with authentic creators.

Affiliate Marketing Options

To start a conversation with potential creators, you can use the platform’s affiliate marketing form. Everything from reaching out to sending free samples can be done through TikTok’s streamlined process.

Automated methods exist, but make creators feel valued by communicating with them beforehand. As more brands join TikTok, standing out will require a personalized approach and more attractive commissions.

The Cost of Working with Creators

TikTok recommends commission rates ranging from 10% to 20% based on the product category. This approach offers flexibility without significant upfront costs for brands. However, you can attract more well-known creators with higher commissions.

Amelia prioritizes targeted engagement with creators before establishing any commission relationship. This is especially true for niche products with specific audience appeal.

There’s also the necessity of budgeting for sample products. Still, Amelia says its usefulness depends on how much control a brand wants over who discusses its products.

Types of Affiliate Relationships

Amelia explains the different types of affiliate relationships on TikTok Shop. 

  • The “Targeted” approach involves selecting specific creators, products, and commission rates.
  • The “Shop Plan” allows creators to approach the brand, request free samples, and showcase products in their shop.
  • The “Open Plan” is where the entire product catalog is available for promotion, with a commission rate set for all products. Amelia suggests keeping a low commission rate for the open plan.

At FordeBaker, they have mainly focused on the targeted approach due to familiarity. Still, they are interested in using the Shop Plan, especially for products with mass appeal.

Early Opportunities

TikTok presents a significant opportunity for brands already selling on other marketplaces. Its combination of product discoverability and direct purchase capabilities can be good for brands looking for a new sales channel.

Amelia says you have to stay open-minded when using TikTok. Try strategies unique to the platform. Embrace a degree of brand control relinquishment in exchange for authentic content. Build brand awareness on the platform. Doing these will contribute to a comprehensive eCommerce strategy.

Insider Tips

Newbie advice: If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

Be open-minded. Find your target audience within relevant communities on TikTok. Familiarize yourself with the platform’s content production style. 

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! What’s your favourite way to improve performance?

Leverage TikTok’s transparent data to track performance and make informed decisions. Don’t rely solely on views; instead, analyze sales attribution to gauge the success of a campaign.

Monitoring data allows you to identify successful tactics for continued improvement.

If someone listening wants to learn more about this is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

For Amelia, it’s LinkedIn. Follow relevant hashtags, as well as people working with TikTok. One person in particular that Amelia mentions is Barney Brown. 

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for?

TikTok is going to become more saturated with brands. With this, Amelia foresees a shift towards a marketplace model where SEO and advertising will play crucial roles. To grow on the platform, brands will have to dedicate resources to TikTok, generate unique content, and focus on SEO research. Doing these will optimise product visibility in the changing landscape.

Amelia adds that the introduction of the shop tab and the increasing importance of product searches within TikTok will be key trends to watch.

Interview Links

Amelia on Social media:

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