All You Need to Know About TikTok Affiliate Marketing in 2024

All You Need to Know About TikTok Affiliate Marketing in 2024

TikTok is no longer just a “platform for kids and funny videos.” In many industries, it’s a potent advertising tool. And it’s definitely the place to be for influencer marketing and affiliate marketing. So, let’s take a look at how to do affiliate marketing on TikTok, and how it might work for you and your account.

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Why you should consider affiliate marketing on TikTok

Let’s start with some numbers – which might be surprising, especially to those who still consider TikTok a niche platform where Gen Z goes for entertainment. (As a TikTok-addicted Xennial, I can attest to the fact that it’s just a fraction of what goes on there. But that’s anecdotal proof, so let’s take a look at some serious research. ;))

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, there are now 1 billion active TikTok users who watch 167 million hours of videos every Internet minute. That’s already ahead of the global projections made by Statista:

TikTok Affiliate Marketing - tiktok users worldwide
Number of TikTok users worldwide from 2020 to 2025.

In fact, TikTok is now competing with the likes of Netflix or Disney for people’s attention. And it’s getting it. Instead of scrolling through Netflix to watch a show (and I mean, what do you do after you’ve watched pretty much all of them?), people now spend hours scrolling TikTok, watching all kinds of stuff – from funny videos to mental health and nutrition tips to makeup tutorials and comedy skits.

Now, popularity is one thing, but engagement is another. And here, again, TikTok wins, having the highest engagement rates per post both for micro-influencers (17.96%) and mega-influencers (4.96%), unbeatable in both cases.

And – guess what – an engaged audience served engaging content is the foundation of successful affiliate marketing.

How TikTok affiliate marketing works 

It works pretty much the same as on other social media platforms. Essentially, creators work with brands to promote their products and services and add (or mention) their affiliate links, earning commission for sales made via that link. Though TikTok makes it maybe a little bit harder than, for example, Instagram allowing you to place links directly in your Instagram stories. 

With TikTok, you can’t add a link in your video unless your account has 10,000 followers, so affiliate links are often placed in a creator’s bio. A TikToker can also get a unique discount code from a brand and mention it in their TikTok videos and its captions. Any sales made from that code earn them an agreed percentage.

You can also:
  • Have a landing page (like linktree or any other) with multiple affiliate links, linked in your profile bio.
  • Or mention a link (that’s easy enough to memorize – using a customizable link shortener is usually a must in this case) within your videos. 

Whatever you do, make sure you follow TikTok’s advertising guidelines, though, to not get your account in trouble.

How to get started with affiliate marketing on TikTok

Remember when you had to hit a certain follower threshold to add a clickable link to your Instagram stories? (Or what was then called the “swipe-up” link.) TikTok still does that, letting you add clickable links within your TikTok videos when you have more than 10,000 followers. Plus, to add a link in bio, you need a business account and a registered business on TikTok.

So that’s where you have to start, whether you already have a significant following on TikTok that you haven’t monetized yet, or are only just starting out on the platform altogether.

Let’s look at how to do that in both cases. 

When you already have a TikTok account and an audience

If you’ve already amassed a large following on your personal TikTok account, monetizing it using affiliate marketing might be a good idea. To do that – and be able to add a link in your bio and promote brands and products with it – you have to upgrade to a TikTok business account. Which, luckily, is surprisingly easy.

To do that, go to your profile, open the hamburger menu in the top right corner, and then go to Settings and privacy > Manage account > Switch to business account

TikTok Affiliate Marketing - tiktok hamburger menu
Click the hamburger menu in the top right corner.
TikTok Affiliate Marketing - tiktok settings and privacy
Select settings and privacy
TikTok Affiliate Marketing - tiktok switch to business account
Select Manage account and tap “Switch to Business Account”

Choose an accurate category for your account, depending on the industry you’re in. Then add your email address and bio. And that’s more or less it.

You’ll now see a new “Business suite” option in the hamburger menu that includes TikTok analytics for your videos and TikTok advertising options. You can also manage your branded content collaborations when you work with other creators to promote a brand. 

TikTok Affiliate Marketing - tiktok Business suite option
The added Business suite option for your new business account

From there, you can register your business via the “Business registration” option. Doing that (and getting the registration approved) will finally let you add the much coveted clickable link in your bio that’ll lead to the affiliate offers you promote, your landing page, or your website. 

That way, you can create your funnel for affiliate marketing on TikTok or add TikTok to your existing funnel you create using affiliate marketing tools on other channels.

TikTok Affiliate Marketing -  business registration
Access business registration from the new “Business suite” menu
TikTok Affiliate Marketing - business details
Then fill out your business details, including your website link

For the bio, make sure you’re adding something that makes people want to check out your link, encourages them to take action, and tells them something about the value they’re getting. Here’s a nice example:

TikTok Affiliate Marketing - Professorperfume tiktok
Professorperfume’s TikTok bio with a link to her linktree page

(Btw getting verified is also a good idea once you have a large following and an engaged community. Check out TikTok’s guidelines for getting your business account verified.)

When you’re only just starting out on TikTok

To be able to add a link in the bio and profit from affiliate marketing sales on TikTok, in addition to following all the steps above, you need an extra step – building an audience first. For TikTok affiliate marketing (and marketing in general), an engaged audience is a necessary element to be able to successfully promote affiliate links (or really, anything.) So, focus on that first. 

You can still convert your personal account to a business account, regardless of the number of followers you have, and have access to the promotional tools TikTok offers. But you won’t be able to add clickable links in your videos.

You can add a website link in your TikTok bio (or your affiliate link) when you register your business. And before you can do that, make sure you add links to your other social media accounts (Instagram and YouTube) in your account settings to redirect some of your traffic and build your following there, too. You can do that by tapping the “Edit profile” button on your profile page.

TikTok Affiliate Marketing - tiktok edit profile
To edit your profile information, click the “Edit profile” button

Of course, you should still have your bio filled out if you intend to build an engaged audience and actively post. (I’m just a lurker for now, hence no bio yet.) Use that space to let people know what they can expect from your account You can also add a call to action to follow you.

How to get the most out of organic traffic on TikTok

Whether you have an audience or only just building your TikTok presence, engaging people is key to getting them ready to take up your affiliate marketing offers. Here are some tips for doing that:

  • Find your unique format on TikTok. Something that’s going to be instantly recognized and that people will enjoy. You can get inspired by other creators, but – as the famous saying goes – you do you. Find something original that you feel comfortable doing, and that can become your trademark.
  • When you have it, you can still jump on TikTok trends – these might sometimes help you go viral if you do them right. Though, make sure you’re not just generically redoing stuff that’s been done thousands of times but instead putting some of your personality into it and using it in the context of your usual content. 
  • And how do you find what’s trending on TikTok? Go to the Creative Center to find trending hashtags and songs, popular creators, and TikTok videos. 
TikTok Affiliate Marketing - what's hot on tiktok
  • You can sometimes also jump on a trend by stitching someone else’s video in your TikTok. That’s how many TikTok trends start, anyway. Dueting is also a nice interactive option. 
  • Make sure that you match the affiliate offers to the crowd you’re attracting on TikTok. That’s an essential foundation of any successful marketing activity. So, if you’re talking about perfume, you will naturally attract people interested in the subject. And they’ll be more likely to buy your promoted products if they’re actually related to perfume and are not something completely random.
  • Plus, if you have a specific theme for your account, you’re more likely to end up on the For You Page for those TikTok users who engage with similar content. And that’s how you build your following on TikTok. 
  • The above is true, of course, if your content is worth somebody clicking the follow button and sticking with your account. So don’t forget to add value with your TikToks – even if it’s “just” entertainment and fun (many people look for precisely that on TikTok) or certain aesthetics (Gen Z is obsessed with aesthetics.)
  • Whatever you do, don’t copy other creators, even if they’re super successful. That’s not how you build engagement on TikTok – or any other social media platform. 

How to promote products or services to your TikTok audience

TikTok Affiliate Marketing - tiktok page

If you already have a large fan base and are ready to promote products or services to them, make sure they’re prepared to buy, too. And don’t forget about a couple of things first:

Create videos that resonate with your target audience 

If you’re TikTok-famous for a particular format of videos, you can stick to it but occasionally do a twist promoting products in them. So if you’re a beauty influencer doing makeup tutorials or get-ready-with-me videos, promoting some products within them with an affiliate link might be the most natural format for you – and your audience. 

Consider that also when you’re selecting the affiliate programs to join. Will you be able to create engaging, genuine affiliate marketing content that will hit the spot for your audience?

Show off your expert knowledge to support sales

If you’re an expert – on nutrition, beauty, or job searching – use your professional knowledge to back up your advertising claims. Of course, you should start with selecting a product or service that you know actually works and that you yourself trust and can genuinely recommend.

Remember that trust is a huge driver of engagement on social media. So don’t lose sight of it when monetizing your TikTok presence.

Don’t forget you’re on TikTok

A more “traditional” ad video every now and then might be fine, provided that that’s what your audience is okay with. Younger audiences are typically more wary of traditional ads, so you might need to get a bit more creative than that. 

A good rule of thumb when promoting your affiliate products on TikTok is to try not to turn your videos into infomercials and your account into a shopping channel. Know what your audience wants and likes, and see what works for them and gets the clicks. And adjust your promotional post to TikTok content in general – it’s what people come here for.

Key takeaways

TikTok is a great place to be if you’re an affiliate marketer (or planning to be one). It can help you quickly grow a following and an engaged audience for your affiliate offers. Under one condition: you’re providing something of value to your audience, too. 

If you’re not, with the tons of videos and thousands of creators you’re competing with for your audience’s attention, you just won’t win that race. So don’t forget, besides making TikTok a place you want to earn some affiliate commissions, make your profile a place people want to watch your content. That’s the only way to make this whole thing work. 

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