TikTok as a Traffic Source in Affiliate Marketing: How to Monetize TikTok

TikTok is a rich source of traffic. TikTok ad campaigns allow marketers to monetize almost any vertical. Nowadays, this list includes gambling, betting, nutra, dating, e-commerce, etc. In this section, you will find case studies, detailed guides, and reviews of affiliate tools that are useful for the optimization and automation of your ad campaigns. Stay tuned and subscribe to the ZorbasMedia newsletter!


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TikTok as a Traffic Source in Affiliate Marketing: How to Monetize TikTok

In an age dominated by short-form videos, TikTok stands as a front-runner, offering users a captivating space for creating and consuming content. With the TikTok-ification of social media platforms like Instagram Reels and YouTube shorts, the influence of this app is undeniable. In this article, we dive into the world of TikTok affiliate marketing, exploring its potential and strategies for success in 2023.

TikTok: a brief introduction

TikTok, a social media app, empowers users to craft and share 15 to 60-second videos enriched with filters, music, animations, special effects, and more. It spans a wide spectrum of content, from educational to artistic, dance, trends, and memes. TikTok’s search functionality and hashtag following system facilitate content discovery, making it a versatile and engaging platform for users.

The TikTok boom in 2023

TikTok has witnessed a meteoric rise, with over roughly 250 million quarterly downloads and users spending more time on the platform than on any other social media platform. In contrast, Facebook has experienced a 3% decline in user growth in 2023. TikTok’s rapid expansion provides marketers with a unique avenue to promote their brands, and it’s exemplified by the popular hashtag, #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.

According to a survey by Student Beans, 55% of TikTok users aged 16–24 have made purchases inspired by the platform, and 41% are open to direct in-app purchases. These statistics, combined with the prevalence of mobile traffic, offer marketers an exceptional opportunity to enhance brand visibility and drive product sales.

TikTok users: demographics and engagement

TikTok’s user base is predominantly Generation Z, born after 1996, who are known for their education levels and digital proficiency. While the platform is youth-centric, it’s steadily diversifying to include a more mature audience. As TikTok continues to evolve, it offers easier integration of in-app ads with less audience bias.

Celebrities and influencers, including Mark Zuckerberg, Will Smith, and Jimmy Fallon, are active on TikTok, alongside homegrown stars with tens of millions of followers. However, one of TikTok’s standout features is its staggering engagement rate, dwarfing other platforms. While YouTube micro-influencers average a 1.63% engagement rate and Instagram stands at 3.86%, TikTok boasts a remarkable 17.96% engagement rate.

The mechanics of TikTok

TikTok’s user-friendly interface simplifies video creation and uploading. Users enjoy a vast array of filters, effects, and a vast music library. Expressing creativity takes precedence, and TikTok creators often prioritize creativity over social factors when crafting content.

At the core of TikTok’s success lies its algorithm, which employs artificial intelligence for personalized content recommendations. Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok doesn’t rely solely on user interactions like comments or likes. Instead, it actively tests predictions by showcasing videos it believes users will find enjoyable. Geolocation-based video recommendations further enhance the user experience.

How to advertise on TikTok in 2023

TikTok affiliate marketing harnesses the platform’s immense user base to promote products or services in exchange for commissions or fees. It involves monetizing a TikTok publisher or content creator’s following to drive product promotion or brand awareness.

Affiliate marketing on TikTok can be executed organically through unpaid content or via paid advertising. Some affiliates and brands have successfully employed contests, challenges, and brand takeovers. For instance, Naked Sundays has strategically utilized TikTok to engage Millennials and Gen Z, finding it more effective for reaching these demographics compared to Facebook or Instagram Ads.

TikTok for Business: unleashing the marketing potential

TikTok for Business introduces a self-serve ad platform that empowers advertisers to interact with all of TikTok’s video formats, including in-feed videos, brand takeovers, TopView, branded lenses, and hashtag challenges. This shift opens the door to extensive brand promotion and affiliate marketing opportunities.

TikTok’s free platform amplifies organic reach, and it provides accessible tools for content creation. Trending challenges, music, and memes offer avenues for increased visibility, even for those new to marketing. What’s essential here is creativity; with a dash of imagination, your videos could go viral.

Ad formats on TikTok

TikTok offers a range of advertising packages, catering to various budget sizes, with a minimum investment starting at $500 and going up to $150,000 for the coveted Hashtag challenge. These ads can be tailored to specific localities and customized based on user preferences. Let’s dissect these advertising options.

In-feed videos In-feed videos seamlessly integrate into a user’s scrolling experience, blending naturally into the general feed. As a form of native advertising, these videos offer easy scrollability and straightforward performance tracking.
Brand takeover Brand takeover videos make a bold entrance, occupying the entire screen as immersive ads. Typically lasting for five to six seconds, they greet users when they open the app.
TopView TopView ads strike a balance between in-feed and brand takeover videos. They start playing immediately upon opening the app and typically last for 60 seconds, securing prime real estate for brand visibility.
Hashtag challenge Hashtag challenges are a potent way for brands to encourage user-generated content (UGC). By posting videos that inspire user submissions using a custom hashtag, brands can measure the challenge’s success based on user engagement and participation.
Branded AR (Augmented Reality) or “Branded Scan” Branded AR or Branded Scan empowers marketers to create ads enriched with branded lenses, stickers, 2D, 3D, and other custom AR effects that users can incorporate into their content.

Marketing strategies for TikTok

To harness TikTok’s full potential and boost your affiliate earnings, let’s explore some of the most effective TikTok affiliate marketing strategies for 2023.

Choose a niche and specialize

TikTok’s personalized content delivery thrives on niche-oriented content. To establish a strong reputation and target a specific audience effectively, focus on a particular niche. Consider products and services that cater to common needs or desires, such as clothing, makeup, gadgets, or hobby supplies. Additionally, items related to health, online courses, or luxury goods often yield positive results. Staying within or adjacent to your chosen niche maintains audience relevance.

Ride the trends or create your own

Trends are the lifeblood of TikTok. To maximize impressions and increase your chances of going viral, dive into the latest trends. Analyze viral videos for clues like hashtags, sounds, patterns, or captions. Use trending music and participate in challenges. Strive to add a unique twist to trending dance routines or create your trends to initiate new viral trends.

Request dedicated URLs

Reach out to your affiliate partners and ask for dedicated URLs, even if you’re not a top influencer. These unique links direct users to product pages, attributing sales to you and earning you a commission. Mention these dedicated URLs in your content or captions for easy access.

Blend entertainment with information

TikTok thrives on entertainment. Create enjoyable content that also provides value and encourages viewers to consider affiliate products or services. Avoid a hard sell approach; instead, demonstrate product usage or highlight benefits subtly. Offer practical advice related to your niche, subtly mentioning the availability of affiliate-linked products in your bio.

Strengthen engagement

Higher engagement increases the potential for virality. Respond to comments on your profile, warmly welcome new followers, and solicit input from your audience. Building a connection and engaging with your followers can drive traffic to your affiliate offers.

Utilize affiliate marketing tools

Enhance your TikTok affiliate marketing efforts by leveraging specialized affiliate marketing software tailored for social media use. These tools can provide advanced features for tracking and managing links, ultimately optimizing your strategies.

Cross-promote your social media

Boost your follower base by linking your TikTok profile to other social media accounts. TikTok facilitates this by allowing users to integrate Instagram and YouTube links, driving traffic and engagement across your social media network.

Share and update coupon codes

Incorporate coupon codes into your videos and captions to incentivize viewers to make purchases. Ensure your coupon codes are current and specify their validity dates and restrictions to avoid disappointment.

Join affiliate marketplaces

Explore affiliate marketplaces both on and off TikTok to expand your network. TikTok Creator Marketplace is an in-app platform for brand and creator collaborations. Additionally, platforms like Refersion Marketplace offer opportunities to establish direct relationships with brands, opening doors to more affiliate revenue opportunities.

Case studies

  • Running Gambling Offers on TikTok with a $7000 Profit

In a TikTok Ads campaign with a total cost of $3,280, the revenue generated was $10,493, resulting in a net profit of $7,212 and an impressive ROI of 219%. Accounts were registered using an automated tool, and the campaign utilized creative angles such as gameplay clips, influencer endorsements, and trending TikTok-style videos. Initially, app-bound accounts faced issues, but later, cloaking and pre-landers improved results. However, promoting gambling offers became challenging in late January, prompting a shift to sweepstakes.

  • How to Drive Traffic and Sales from TikTok

In a TikTok advertising campaign for the weight loss product Idealica in Spain, spanning six days from September 8 to September 13, with costs totaling $2,323, revenue reached $6,218, resulting in a profit of $3,893 and an impressive ROI of 167.5%. The campaign utilized TikTok Ads accounts and various targeting parameters to reach the 35+ age group, offering insights into TikTok’s advertising setup and advantages compared to other platforms. The approach also emphasized maintaining campaign compliance to ensure ad approval.

Articles and guides

  1. 12 TikTok Trends to Guide You in 2023
  2. Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing on TikTok In 2023
  3. TikTok Monetization: How to Make Money on TikTok
  4. A Guide to Making Money on TikTok
  5. How to Become a TikTok Affiliate

Forums and communities

Looking to delve into the world of native ads and explore strategies for monetizing platforms like TikTok? You’re in luck! There are several valuable resources available to help you navigate this dynamic landscape and maximize your affiliate marketing efforts.

  1. One fantastic resource is the Stack That Money (STM) Forum, an exclusive community of ads enthusiasts. Here, you can engage in deep conversations, delve into real-world case studies, and gain valuable insights into offers from native ads networks and traffic sources. It’s the perfect place to connect with like-minded individuals and stay updated on the latest trends and tactics.
  2. For dynamic discussions and powerful strategies in the realm of native ads, Warrior Forum is your ultimate hub. This platform provides a wealth of information and insights, making it an excellent starting point for affiliate marketers looking to excel in native advertising.
  3. If you prefer to absorb information through audio, don’t miss out on the Affiliate Marketing Podcast. This engaging resource offers a wide range of topics related to affiliate marketing, including native ads. Tune in to discover valuable strategies and stay updated on industry trends while on the go.
  4. Another vibrant community worth exploring is AffiliateFix, where affiliate marketers gather to exchange ideas on native ad strategies, affiliate networks, and promising ventures. Here, you can tap into the collective wisdom of fellow marketers, share your experiences, and collaborate on successful campaigns.
  5. Last but not least, Mobidea Academy provides a plethora of resources tailored to native ads. By leveraging these resources, you can open doors to lucrative opportunities in this niche. Additionally, Mobidea Academy offers insights into working with various advertising platforms beyond just Facebook, enhancing your overall expertise in traffic management.


TikTok has transformed into a powerhouse in the realm of affiliate marketing, offering an exceptionally dynamic platform for content creators and marketers to engage with a vast and highly active audience. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of TikTok in 2023, several key insights emerge.

Firstly, understanding TikTok’s primary user base, which largely comprises Generation Z, is crucial. Equally important is recognizing the platform’s astonishing 17.96% engagement rate, setting it apart from other social media platforms. These insights are fundamental for crafting effective affiliate marketing strategies that resonate with the audience.

Secondly, TikTok offers a diverse array of advertising options, including in-feed videos, brand takeovers, TopView, hashtag challenges, and branded AR (Augmented Reality). These versatile tools provide marketers with the flexibility needed to effectively reach and engage their target audience.

And lastly, success in TikTok affiliate marketing hinges on several key strategies. This includes selecting a niche and specializing in it, capitalizing on trending content, leveraging affiliate marketing tools, cross-promoting on other social media platforms, and sharing enticing coupon codes to incentivize purchases.

As TikTok continues to evolve and mature, those who adapt and innovate will undoubtedly reap the rewards of this vibrant and ever-expanding affiliate marketing landscape. Therefore, it is essential for marketers to dive in, explore, and position TikTok as a key component of their affiliate marketing success story in 2023 and beyond.

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