I’ll admit it. I did not want to get on TikTok. Mostly because I was intimidated by it, but also because I just didn’t get its appeal.

After being forced to dive in because my clients were asking for it, I realized there was a whole other depth to the platform. And it completely changed the way I thought about TikTok.

For travel brands, influencer campaigns on TikTok could be used to: 

  1. Build interest in your destination
  2. Give a behind-the-scenes peek at a hotel or tour
  3. Share informative facts or tips
  4. Show off your brand’s (or staff’s) expertise on a certain topic 

Most importantly, successful TikTok travel content doesn’t need to be in the form of a dance video, lip-sync, or skit and it doesn’t even have to be funny.

It just needs to be interesting and to the point.

If you’re a travel or tourism brand who’s also been intimated to give it a try, here are 7 things that might surprise you about TikTok influencer campaigns. I hope these also help you better navigate the platform.

Read next: How to Make Your Marketing Budget Work for Influencer Marketing

1. Your brand doesn’t need a profile. 

If it doesn’t make sense for your brand to be on TikTok, don’t force it. Your goal should be to raise awareness for a product or service, not grow a social following on a platform where you don’t belong. 

So find collaborators who share your brand values and trust them to give your brand the exposure you’re after.

person holding black android smartphone using TikTok
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

2. TikTok is way more affordable than Instagram. 

For the same number of followers on both platforms, you could pay less than half for a TikToker. And on TikTok, you’ll often find engagement numbers in the double digits, giving you even more bang for your buck.

3. There’s really informative content on TikTok. 

Really. There is so much expert insight-driven content, consolidating what would be a 5-10-minute video on YouTube down to 30-40 seconds. 

With attention spans on rapid decline, this makes TikTok a great platform to share tips, give a tour, or show a travel hack.

woman wearing white and pink hijab on her cell phone
Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

4. There’s a twist to hashtags. 

There are a few TikTok themes to keep in mind when searching for hashtags or keywords, which apply to virtually any vertical you’re looking for. 

Search for things like “Travel TikTok,” “Travel Challenge,” and “Travel Hacks.” This is a great way to see what’s trending and give you ideas of what would work well for your brand.

Read next: 9 Influencer Marketing Lessons Learned From Working With the White House

5. There’s a free, easy way to check engagement. 

Even if you use an expensive platform like IZEA or Tagger, they still don’t offer engagement rates for TikTokers. However, you can check any handle on any platform for engagement rates with this free calculator from Grin.

cheerful hiker taking photo of blooming flowers on smartphone
Photo by Vanessa Garcia on Pexels.com

6. Many TikTokers are collaboration newbies. 

For a lot of TikTok creators, they got onto the platform to share their craft or voice, not to make money. So when their skill gets noticed by a brand, they don’t always know how to price their services or even have a business relationship. 

They may need a little hand-holding, but that also makes them more open to returning the favor by helping you better navigate the platform!

7. The rules are different. 

Cursing, wild makeup, and strong opinions are all part of what makes TikTok what it is. So what may be a red flag on Instagram, doesn’t necessarily apply to TikTok. 

However, you can give a great deal of direction to collaborators; i.e. “product must be shown in slo-mo within the first 5 seconds of video and these 3 message points must be hit.” 

Don’t be afraid to get granular with your requirements, just don’t stifle creativity!

photo of a woman taking picture of banana trees
Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

Does my newfound understanding and respect make me a personal consumer of TikTok now? Definitely not. But I know a good marketing opportunity when I see one.

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