In an era where digital landscapes evolve at lightning speed, TikTok has skyrocketed as a pivotal force in social media marketing, redefining engagement and influence. A staggering statistic from the 2022 State of DTC Advertising report by Triple Whale highlights a 231% year-over-year growth in TikTok spending, underscoring the platform’s magnetic appeal and its burgeoning influence over consumer behavior. For brands, especially those emerging on the scene, this signifies a golden opportunity to leverage TikTok’s unique ecosystem, where the spotlight shines on the most relatable and genuine voices: the everyday influencers.
The Rise of Relatability: Beyond Celebrity Influence
Gone are the days when influence was solely measured by follower counts and celebrity status. TikTok has democratized fame, celebrating the authenticity and relatability of everyday creators who resonate deeply with the average viewer. These influencers, often starting as nano-influencers with followers as few as 5,000, embody the genuine spirit of their audiences, making them incredibly effective partners for brands. As these creators grow into micro-influencers, reaching up to 50,000 followers, their endorsements become gold, with 82% of consumers likely to trust their recommendations.
Decoding TikTok’s Algorithm: A Platform for Authentic Connection
TikTok’s For You page revolutionizes content discovery by personalizing feeds based on user preferences from the get-go. Upon creating an account, users select interests like pets or travel, guiding TikTok to craft initial feeds that evolve through interactions such as likes and comments. Uniquely, TikTok’s algorithm prioritizes content relevance over creator popularity, enabling lesser-known accounts to gain visibility alongside viral ones. This approach democratizes content creation, allowing so-called “everyday influencers” to gain traction by resonating with viewers on a personal level, much like a friend would.
With their authentic and relatable content, these everyday influencers redefine advertising on TikTok. Studies, such as one by DISQO, reveal users find TikTok ads “fun and engaging,” a stark contrast to the traditional ad experience on social media. This is largely due to the platform’s emphasis on genuine connections, where ads and endorsements feel more like personal recommendations than sales pitches. TikTok’s unique blend of personalized curation and authentic influencer relationships engages users and offers brands a novel avenue to connect with their audience meaningfully.
Why Brands Can’t Afford to Overlook Everyday Influencers
The appeal of everyday influencers lies in their ability to bridge the gap between brands and consumers, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty that celebrity endorsements simply can’t match. Reports from Bazaarvoice indicate that 56% of consumers prefer following everyday social media users, with 42% viewing these influencers as the most trustworthy sources of product information. For brands, this means prioritizing authenticity and relatability over sheer popularity.
Engaging with Everyday Influencers: A New Paradigm
Collaborating with everyday influencers necessitates a shift from traditional, scripted endorsements to partnerships grounded in authenticity and mutual respect. TikTok diverges from traditional models that favor macro- and mega-influencers, where brands typically hold creative sway, largely dictating content narratives and messaging. However, this paradigm shifts when engaging with everyday influencers, whose rapport with their audience is built on a foundation of trust and authenticity, qualities highly valued by consumers, notably Gen Z. A study highlighted that 92% of Gen Z places authenticity above all other values, underscoring the growing preference for genuine, relatable content over manufactured endorsements.
This shift mandates brands to adopt a more hands-off approach, allowing everyday influencers to maintain content ownership, thus preserving the authenticity that defines their appeal. Such a strategy involves leveraging UGC (user-generated content), where influencers share their real experiences with products or services, akin to fashion brand Zara’s successful TikTok unboxing campaigns. These collaborations, rooted in authenticity and mutual respect, not only empower influencers to engage with their audience on a personal level but also enable brands to connect with consumers through a lens of credibility and genuine endorsement, showcasing the evolving dynamics of influencer marketing on TikTok.
Unboxing Deep Dive: Zara
The fashion brand Zara has used this strategy extremely effectively, enticing everyday influencers to do unboxing videos of their Zara outfits and orders.
Unboxing videos are a popular trend where a creator opens a package from a brand on camera. They film their authentic reactions to a product, often adding footage of them using (or wearing) the item.
The fashion brand Zara has embraced this trend with enormous success. A quick search for “Zara unboxing” reveals content from dozens of everyday influencers — including Alicia, @alipeeee on TikTok, whose content has attracted 14.2K+ followers and more than 1.1M video likes. Alicia is one of the many creators whose Zara unboxings have attracted thousands or millions of viewers.
The trend has paid off in spades for Zara, now one of TikTok’s most recognizable fashion brands. Its hashtag has over 15 billion views, and dozens of Zara unboxing videos still post to TikTok daily.
Building Meaningful Connections: The Path Forward
As consumers pay more attention to the everyday influencer, brands need to change how they reach content creators. Instead of wooing celebrities with high payouts and perks, brands need to focus on creating authentic relationships.
By focusing on niche creators with highly engaged followers, brands can ensure their message resonates deeply with the intended audience. Moreover, prioritizing high-quality content over high follower counts will align brands with influencers whose authenticity and expertise shine. Influencers like Natalya Alisia and Karla Polcano exemplify this trend, selecting brand collaborations that align with their personal aesthetics and communication channels, including Instagram, email, and specialized apps.
The essence of successful collaborations on TikTok lies in understanding and respecting influencers’ symbiotic relationship with their audience. Brands should meticulously seek creators who have a history of engaging collaborations and those whose content ethos and audience demographics match their own. This means evaluating the types of brands influencers have previously endorsed and the quality of content they produce.
High-quality, authentic content speaks volumes and attracts engagement, transcending the need for big budgets or high follower counts. By prioritizing influencers who are committed to their craft and have a keen understanding of their audience’s preferences, brands can achieve a resonance that feels personal and genuine, ensuring their marketing efforts are seen and felt.
Beyond TikTok: The Expanding Universe of Everyday Influence
The phenomenon of everyday influencers is not confined to TikTok. Platforms like Instagram increasingly recognize the value of originality, creating more opportunities for authentic engagement. With Instagram now ranking for originality and offering product tags, there’s even more space for everyday influencers on both platforms. For brands, this means broadening their influencer marketing strategies to include various platforms and creators.
Unlocking Growth with Myosin: Harnessing TikTok and the Power of Authentic Influence
By embracing the era of the everyday influencer, brands have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with their audience on a deeper, more personal level. With its unique algorithm and community-driven content, TikTok offers a fertile ground for authentic engagement and brand growth. As we navigate this new frontier, the partnership between brands and everyday influencers will undoubtedly shape the future of social media marketing.
Partnering with a growth marketing accelerator like Myosin can catapult your brand to new heights. Specializing in crafting bespoke social media strategies and forging impactful influencer partnerships, Myosin is poised to help your brand harness the transformative power of TikTok and beyond. Connect with us today to explore how we can drive your brand’s growth through targeted, data-driven approaches and authentic storytelling.