TikTok Collaboration: Tips and Ideas for a Successful Collab in 2023

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Collaborating with top creators on TikTok can provide immense value for brands in 2023. But standing out from the noise and identifying the RIGHT partners takes strategy.

In this complete guide, we’ll uncover everything you need to know to set up TikTok collaborations for success, including:

  • Key stats on the power of TikTok collab
  • A breakdown of collab benefits
  • Tips for finding best-fit creators
  • 7 creative collaboration formats
  • Real brand campaign examples
  • Key steps to activate partnerships

Let’s dive in!

Why Collaborate on TikTok?

67% of TikTok users say they discover new content while browsing the app (Statista).

This positions collaborations with creators as a prime way to place your brand in front of new audiences already actively discovering content daily.

Here are 5 key benefits TikTok influencer marketing provides:

1. Expand Your Reach Exponentially

Top creators on TikTok have spent years building loyal followings of tens or hundreds of thousands of true fans.

Collaborating provides direct and immediate access to an audience outside your current reach – primed for discovering new brands through creators they love.

In fact, TikTok reports 1 in 2 users discover new products via influencer partnerships (TalkShopLive).

Even nano or micro-influencers with "just" 25,000 followers expand your awareness exponentially.

2. Increased Brand Awareness

Well-structured collaborations present native opportunities to subtly showcase your product, service or brand identity.

From personalized discounts only the creator‘s audience receives access too…to product unboxings…to behind-the-scenes content – creative integrations boost awareness.

In fact, TikTok reports branded hashtag challenges increased brand favorability by an average of 15.1% (TalkShopLive).

Subtly spotlighting your business through voices audiences already trust pays dividends.

3. Higher Engagement Rates

On average, TikTok content drives engagement rates of 18-25% – crushing Instagram‘s 1-3% benchline (Influencer Marketing Hub).

Collaborations only amplify this even further through built-in audiences actively engaging.

The right influencers inspire viewers to like, comment, duet, stitch and share widely – engaging deeply with your messaging and branding long after the initial view.

4. More Authentic Connections

Modern audiences crave authenticity in messaging and building connections grounded in trust.

Blind advertising immediately raises guarded skepticism today – while voices speaking genuinely resonate.

That‘s why collaborations with creators forge authentic connections beyond faceless corporations. Messaging coming from real humans their audiences relate too – not aggressive sales pitches.

5. Drive Real Business Results

Most importantly, executed well TikTok influencer campaigns drive serious business results.

According to Instagram, the top 1% highest-performing creators on TikTok drive a 670% higher conversion rate than average.

Brands executing multiple pilot campaigns with nano to top-tier names reported immediate sales impact – from lifts between 15-25%+ from the affiliated content.

Now that the immense potential of TikTok influencer marketing is clear, let‘s break down finding the RIGHT collaboration partners to unlock this value.

How to Find the Best TikTok Collaborators

With top creators receiving literally thousands of collab requests per week, having a strategy to connect meaningfully is key.

Here is a step-by-step process to identify and activate perfect TikTok collaborator matches:

Step 1: Define Your Target Audience Parameters

As we explored above, TikTok creators carefully craft content for specific niches and viewer psychographics.

That‘s why getting extremely targeted on your ideal customer profile is critical. Outline:

  • Detailed Demographics: Age brackets, location, gender identity
  • Values + Interests: What motivates them? What‘s their lifestyle like?
  • Content Preferences: What tone and format resonates best?

Defining this in-depth allows matching with influencers ALREADY reaching your buyers organically.

Step 2: Set Clear Collaboration Goals

With your audience clearly defined, get targeted on what success looks like. Potential goals include:

  • Brand awareness lift %
  • Audience reach expansion #s
  • Engagement rate benchmarks
  • Conversion rate %
  • Sales impact goals

Having tangible metrics defined allows tracking performance and optimizing ongoing.

Step 3: Research Creator Audience Fit

Now it‘s time to identify influencer options where your target audience and their followers show strong overlap.

It‘s about quality over sheer quantity alone. A nano or micro-influencer driving REAL impact for past partners aligns better than a broad massive reach that doesn‘t convert.

Step 4: Vet Content Quality + Production Value

As you assess options, dig into their content archives to monitor:

  • Posting consistency
  • Production quality
  • Creativity
  • Engagement levels

Top partners post multiple times per week without quality or creativity dipping. This shows their commitment to nurturing their channel and community – not chasing a quick buck.

Step 5: Assess Compensation Expectations

Budget will always be a consideration when planning influencer campaigns.

That‘s why upfront clarity on compensation expectations is key. average earnings increase in line with follower count.

While nano influencers may promote for free gifted product, larger creators with expansive audiences and high production value video expect substantial compensation.

Discussing goals, audience value, and budget upfront sets clear expectations.

Step 6: Set Aligned Expectations

Finally, avoid leaving collaborators guessing what the scope entails by clearly defining:

  • Content style and format
  • Guidelines on brand integrations
  • Analytics reporting
  • Usage rights

Removing guesswork smooths securing that top talent.

Now let‘s explore highly creative ideation to inspire amazing TikTok collaborations.

7 Creative TikTok Collaboration Ideas with Influencers

The opportunities to showcase brands creatively on TikTok explode far beyond boring sponsored shouting outs.

Here are 7 inventive collaboration formats to build hype:

1. Launch Hashtag Competitions

User-generated content inspired by hashtag challenges you define expands reach exponentially.

The influencer outlines contest rules in their style. Followers create co-branded content for prizes you sponsor. Everyone shares across both networks driving visibility.

According to TikTok, branded hashtag challenges lift favorability by ~15% on average.

2. Product Tease Reveals

Generate excitement by collaborating around the launch reveal of a new product, service or initiative.

Guide creators in building anticipation across multiple videos – before finally unveiling the offering to their engaged viewers.

3. Behind the Scenes Content

Give collaborators exclusive behind-the-scenes access to an intriguing element of your brand or product creation process.

Letting audiences peek behind the curtain builds intrigue and showcases your focus on quality.

4. Limited Edition Discounts

Provide creators exclusive discount codes or special offers only available to their loyal followers. Positioning access as exclusive and limited inspires action.

5. Style Tip Integration

For eComm brands, send creators samples to style and integrate organically while sharing related fashion advice.

Showcasing curated outfits layered with helpful guidance inspires viewers to recreate the looks – boosting product discovery.

6. Encourage Ratings + Reviews

Expand social proof by providing free samples of new products in exchange for organic feedback and ratings after testing.

Real reviews build trust beyond polished marketing claims alone.

7. Interactive Brand Trivia

Finally, collaborators could host a high-energy brand trivia battle for prizes or gift cards that educates audiences on key brand basics while keeping them highly engaged.

Let‘s check out examples of brands creatively activating these tactics in the real-world.

4 Brand Campaign Examples Crushing TikTok Collab

Still doubting the power of TikTok influencer marketing?

Here are 4 powerful examples of brands across industries creatively executing winning partnerships:

Example 1: e.l.f Cosmetics EyesLipsFace Hashtag Challenge

Iconic Gen Z beauty brand e.l.f Cosmetics launched their viral #eyeslipsface hashtag challenge across TikTok and Instagram – integrating the brand name creatively.

They recruited influencers like @jessicawu, @charlidamelio, and @avani to kickstart momentum with their own themed beauty looks.

The accessible call-to-create generated over 4 billion TikTok video views – making it one of the platforms most viral brand campaigns ever.

e.l.f saw record sales, selling 1 million of their $6 lipsticks in just 6 days. TikTok collab at its finest.

Example 2: American Eagle‘s #aejeansmademedoit Challenge

Retail giant American Eagle wanted to promote their new customizable jeans line to younger audiences.

They launched the #aejeansmademedoit challenge – inviting creators and users to dance creatively in their new jeans for prizes.

Well-known TikTok dancers like @noenestar and @renegadejade kicked it off strong, inspiring entries from followers scoring nearly 300 million views. Driving serious product discovery!

Example 3: Gymshark Partners with 10 creators for leak reveal

Athletic apparel retailer @Gymshark partnered with 10 influential fitness creators to tease an exclusive first look at their upcoming 2023 clothing launch.

Each influencer provided sneak peeks building anticipation across days – before finally unveiling the full collection.

This strategy nabbed nearly 2 million likes collectively while expanding their reach by 65% almost overnight!

Example 4: Kroger Recipes + Restock Motivation from Creators

National grocery provider Kroger wanted to inspire customers to keep pantries freshly stocked amidst inflation, while also promoting their products through recipe inspiration from influencers.

They sent popular food creators like @iliveforketo friendly ingredients baskets for them to craft homemade recipes from in their own style – integrating subtle product shots.

The co-branded recipe videos inspired viewers to re-create the meal plans and #stockthecart – driving fresh purchasers into Kroger food and staples categories.

As you can see, creative execution drives amazing results! Now let‘s pull this all together.

Make TikTok Collab Work For You: Key Takeaways

The influencer marketing potential on TikTok is immense thanks to optimized formats and engagement blowing other platforms out of the water.

But activating partnerships strategically based on audience alignment and creative format takes forethought.

Here are the key takeaways to set your influencer collabs up to drive REAL impact:

  • Get extremely targeted on your ideal buyer demographic and psychographic profile before prospecting creators
  • Vet influencers rigorously based on audience match, ENGAGED community size, creativity, production levels and professionalism
  • Set super clear expectations on goals, content formats, measurement and compensation upfront
  • Explore highly inventive content styles like launch contests, behind the scenes, special offers beyond boring shouting outs
  • Resource co-creation adequately providing production support, ample free product, prizes, discounts, etc for influencer integration consideration

Get focused. Get strategic. And unlock partnerships poised to expand your brand reach, awareness, engagement and conversion power exponentially in 2023!

The opportunity awaits – will you claim it?


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.