Smaller, Yet Better: TikTok’s Creators With Mid-level Reach Are Showing More Results For Brands Partnerships

Working with big influencers is not a guarantee for great results. In fact, it can be better for your brand to think about mid-level reach creators (especially when we’re talking about TikTok).

tik tok creators

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The concept of Influencer Marketing has changed over the years. 

During the TV era, the most common methods included using a well-known celebrity working as a social proof for a product or a brand. This worked well back “then” because there was no accountability and very little ability to measure the impact of that celebrity on society. 

Now, there are modern mechanisms such as followers, video views or likes to quantify influence. Marketers have various channels with their own numbers to use when adding influencer marketing to our strategy.

A recent study promoted by RealEyes revealed that brands that worked with creators with around 540,000 followers on TikTok received the best levels of attention when compared to influencers with 50+ million followers. 

This study is one of many that shows the main challenge when using an influencer to reach our target audience: it’s not about the size of a creator’s fanbase, but how engaged that professional is with its audience and how a brand can talk to that audience through that influencer.

It can be applied not only for TikTok, but also for social networks in general, especially video content platforms like YouTube Gaming, Twitch and Facebook Gaming (check out this article from Stream Hatchet).

Your brand doesn’t necessarily need a superstar to reach great results working with creators

One of the main changes in how Influencer Marketing is done is evolving from a unilateral way of speaking (from TV, Movies and Radio) to a dialogue format where both influencers and audiences are now senders and receivers of the message

It’s important to consider why smaller influencers might work better for your brand. 

Here’s my analysis: Mid-tier Influencers usually give more voice to the audience which creates a feeling of importance and trust.

But how does it affect Influencer Marketing and why should a brand consider promoting itself with a Mid-tier Influencer instead of a Mega-Influencer?

Keep in mind that your audience needs to believe and trust in what you’re trying to sell, and with that, here are some good reasons why using Mid-tier influencers in your strategy can brings better results:

Quality over quantity

“While reach is an important dimension, the data underscores that all reach is not equal. This is especially true for outcomes of attention and emotional engagement. Companies can always pay for reach. But for those who care about creative effectiveness and business outcomes, they can find it with the right creators on TikTok (or any other social platform) and the right partner,” said RealEyes in its survey.

Summarizing the quote in a practical way: it’s not about speaking to millions anymore, but actually creating a dialogue with your audience, and that may result in a greater conversion rate when selling your product or brand.

Reach a better target audience

When we talk about the cost of using a Mega Influencer (50+ Million followers), we also need to think about the audience we’re reaching. 

And for that, here’s a tip: depending on the creator and the engagement of that audience, remember that a great part of that might not be interested in your product or service. 

If you don’t believe in me, just take a look on the survey results: the most popular TikTok creators analyzed by RealEyes (all with more than 50M followers) did not perform as highly in key metrics as those in the 1M-10M and 10M-50M follower range.

With that in mind, we could say that having the most followers does not guarantee a high emotional response to content. 

With the same budget, it could be a better choice to use smaller creators and talk to different audiences that match your persona’s goals.

Trust is the key to success

Trust is the most valuable good that users have to offer. An user usually doesn’t appreciate a brand only for quality or just status, they have to identify themselves with the brand’s purpose. That’s why you should choose a creator that is also aligned with that.

Since we’re talking about engagement and trust, Mid-tier influencers usually have a closer relationship with their audience, which creates a natural trust feeling about a product or service promoted and also shows that a real person, closer to their reality, is representing that brand.

Create an organic promotion flow

If you’re planning to use a creator to promote your product, take in consideration that they know the best way to talk to the audience. 

Check for little adjustments if needed, but remember that if a message is too artificial or forced, it might not get positive feedback from the followers. 

In fact, regardless if you’re working with creators or not, you need to keep in mind that the way we make social ads has changed. Marketers need to be more creative, because consumers are wiser when it comes to advertising. 

Social platforms are seeing that, too. 

TikTok’s brand-facing wing operates on the tagline “Don’t Make Ads. Make TikToks.” 

Pinterest’s call to action for advertisers is “Stop interrupting. Start inspiring.”

Brands that want to stand out in 2022 will work harder to create advertising that mirrors and enriches people’s experiences of the social networks (and yes, Influencer Marketing is a good strategy to achieve that).

Also pay attention to how the product is displayed or mentioned in the content promoted by the influencer as shown in Best Practices for Successful Brand Immersion.

According to RealEyes independent study, video view rates at the 25% and 50% quartiles were seven to eight times more effective for micro-influencers when compared to an A-list celebrity leveraged for a recent product reveal. 

The right influencer in the right channel

Since the world is filled with social media channels, it is common to see an influencer that has an engaged audience in a specific network. That creator knows how to talk to the audience and use all the channel’s characteristics in the brand’s favor, but that doesn’t mean that it will work in other channels. 

If your plan includes bringing an influencer from one channel to another, you need to research how the audience you want to reach would possibly react to that migration.

And remember to insert the promotion in the right place or for a specific time period of the video to make it more organic and acceptable for the targeted audience.

In general, users are getting more impatient about abrupt and inconvenient ads when consuming content from an influencer. That’s where choosing the right influencers makes the difference. 

They’ll know how to talk to their audience, when to talk about a product and especially, how to answer and engage their audience, turning an AD into a great content experience and making it easier to create a great first contact between a brand and a specific audience.

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