Side Hustle

5 things you need to know to make money from brands as an influencer


Content creators on popular video-sharing app TikTok will now earn more than followers, fame and clicks when creating content from viral trends.

The company recently launched a feature, Spark Ads, that allows brands to sponsor already trending, organic user-generated content that speaks to their products.

This means content creators don’t have to start from scratch to create a new advert to promote the brand.

TimesLIVE caught up with Scott Thwaites, head of emerging markets at TikTok Global Business Solutions, and here are five things you need to know:

How will brands see me? 

Brands will browse through the posts and handpick the creators that resonate with them most. If the creator agrees to work with the brand, they will grant the brand permission to publish their video.

Will TikTok act as the middle man?

Thwaites said TikTok won’t be a middle man between the content creator and the brand. The content creator will have exclusive control over the content and its rates.

“Spark Ads actually removes the middle man, which would usually be a talent manager or the like. Spark Ads gives brands the opportunity to easily reach out to the influencers they’d like to work with and empowers them to strike up a deal directly and efficiently.”

What if I have only a few followers?

Businesses and influencers of all sizes can use the feature for collaborations, though some businesses will decide to work with influencers with the most views and following. Small businesses who are less familiar with the app are more likely to benefit from Spark Ads.

“We’ve seen time and again the value of nano and micro-influencers and Spark Ads is the perfect tool for businesses to use to interact and work with the creators that fit in with their brand and ethos, no matter how big or small their following,” Thwaites said.

Do I need to create new content from scratch?

There is no limit to which trend or video can go viral, and when jumping on that bandwagon, remember to make it your own and be authentic, as this is what brands will be drawn to.

“TikTok is made up of creators who are redefining the entertainment, starting trends and sharing with the world their take on popular products and services. Brands can tap into this plethora of creative, diverse content and connect with the creators who help bring these products and services to life,” explained Thwaites.

What are brands looking for?

Thwaites says Spark Ads, though new, has been well received by brands. One of the things that stand out about South Africans on the app is their diversity, which is likely to create enough opportunities for influencers.

“It’s a testament to the diversity of the region and the immense potential we see in this market,” he said.

Cebelihle Bhengu

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