Short-Form Marketing, Long-Term Success: How D2C Brands Can Leverage TikTok to Hit Their Goals

TikTok has quickly become one of the top social media platforms. People all over the world helped the app hit a staggering 315 million downloads in early 2020. That said, it’s no surprise that many direct-to-consumer brands develop TikTok ad campaigns to reach their audiences.

These brands can use TikTok to increase engagement in a number of ways, but all of them require authenticity. That’s why so many use TikTok creator partnerships (aka influencer marketing) to make sure they meet that standard. Once a brand creates an account on TikTok, it’s important that it partner with the right creators to form genuine connections with consumers — and engage with the audiences of those creators to maximize ROI.

Joining Forces With the Right Creators

Brands should first and foremost set metrics for influencer marketing for their TikTok ad campaigns. When evaluating creators, brands should prioritize following and viewership. If only 5,000 people follow an account, for instance, but the creator has consistently high viewership, then it’s likely the creator produces engaging content. If an account has a large following but doesn’t consistently reach a lot of people, the following doesn’t mean anything when it’s time to measure results.

Brands should always choose creators who tell their stories in the most compelling way. The real secret to connecting with audiences, though, requires trusting creators to do what they do best: create. The best campaigns come from creators with big imaginations and ideas — and the brands that let them soar.

For this to work out, brands have to hand over the artistic reins. This starts by giving creators a few core brand tenets to focus on, whether that’s communicating that they should represent your brand as carefree, sell inexpensive products, prioritize environmental safety, or support social movements like Black Lives Matter. Then, brands should explain their general vision for the content — we typically recommend that a brand focuses on up to five bullets that creators can expand upon. After that? Give the creators control to do their thing and make some magic.

Connect With Audience Members and Increase Influencer Marketing Engagement

In our current environment, consumers use social media to connect with real people. Part of connecting is engaging. Here are some great ways to do that:

  • Respond to comments about your brand on the creator’s content. If someone comments and asks where to purchase your product, you might respond and answer the same question for other users simultaneously.
  • Like every comment. People want to feel valued. Every “like” is a touchpoint that shows consumers you see and hear them. Plus, engagement boosts the overall performance of a post, so it’s a win-win scenario.
  • Set up promotions that encourage people to DM your accounts and follow your brand. Let’s say a creator is promoting your product, and someone asks a question. Respond with the answer and something like, “DM and follow us, and you’ll receive 10% off your purchase.” This creates another touchpoint. Lush Cosmetics nailed this strategy and encouraged fans to submit their own content directly to Lush with a specific hashtag. The brand now features all of its user-generated content on one page.

All of these strategies create positive touchpoints and increase the virality of your content, enabling your post to reach a wider audience and capture the attention of future customers.

Position Your TikTok Account for Success

The success of your TikTok ad campaign also depends on the look and feel of your actual TikTok account. A few things will keep your page consistent and appealing to TikTok users.

First, make sure you have a clear profile image that matches your brand materials. You’ll also want to link to your website and track traffic from this link as a business account. Speaking of links, TikTok allows you to include a link to either YouTube or Instagram. Link to the platform that matches your brand goals. Whichever channels don’t make that cut can be included in your bio to drive traffic to your other social accounts. Some of the biggest influencers on Instagram built their following first on (now TikTok) and used this feature to supercharge their Instagram accounts.

Finally, repurpose the content that creators share. Repost, tag them, and prompt others to follow their accounts. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Say something like, “This post was originally created by X. We’re so excited to partner with them!” You’ll engage your consumers by encouraging them to engage with the creators telling your brand story. One thing to note: TikTok won’t send the exact same video viral twice, so you shouldn’t feel discouraged if the same content that went viral once doesn’t go viral on your own page.

Use Off-the-Shelf Software

Last but not least, take advantage of off-the-shelf software to schedule posts on TikTok easily. Here are four TikTok scheduling tools to get you started:


Loomly allows brands to manage all of their social media content on a single platform. Loomly also offers ideas for future posts, best practices, and more.


SocialPilot automates social media management for professionals and businesses.

TikTok Scheduler

As its name might lead you to believe, TikTok Scheduler specifically schedules TikTok posts.


Crowdfire helps brands create content and schedule posts through a single platform.

Forming creator partnerships gives you unique opportunities to engage consumers and make an impact. Now is the time to get started and take your D2C brand engagement to the next level.