How Much Does TikTok Pay Content Creators and Influencers?

How Much Does TikTok Pay Content Creators and Influencers?

If you don’t know what TikTok is, chances are, you’re so out of the loop. Or you live under a rock. Or don’t have access to mobile phones. Because, let’s face it, daily, TikTok has been changing how we use social media. 

TikTok isn’t just a social platform anymore. It has become the trend leader, marketing avenue, social connectivity, and revenue generator for many of its users.

Wait. Run that back. You can earn money on TikTok?

As with any social media platform, the popularity of social networking sites has expanded into marketing and selling mainly because of their unprecedented reach to the general public. More than half of the world’s population uses social media, and the focus on content marketing and revenue generation has shifted from traditional methods to digital ones.

So yes, you can get paid through TikTok—and one of them is becoming a content creator or influencer.

What is TikTok?

TikTok originated in Beijing, China (locally called Douyin) in September 2016 until it was launched internationally under the name TikTok in 2017. TikTok allows users to create short-form videos in real time, with different features like filters, edits, time-lapse, voiceovers, and green screens, to name a few.

In 2020, TikTok amassed over 2 billion downloads, a whopping number just three years after its release in the international market. 

We can attribute the popularity of TikTok to a lot of factors: its straightforward interface, introducing scroll-to-view video function, intelligent pattern algorithm, and fun and easy-to-use features. 

These features make any content fun and less intimidating on the app that you even see Microsoft Excel tips, creating a compelling resume, and even someone’s last day at work becomes a trend on TikTok. By modifying any content with the features that TikTok has, you’ll pull the attention of the avid users of the app—the younger generation.

Take for example this yoga video that’s been garnering attention in TikTok among people looking to increase physical activity outside of workouts:

@trainwithkickoff

How to get into downward dog the right way #fyp #yoga #downwarddog

♬ pink plus white – ✿

What is influencer marketing? The magic of content creation and influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a new marketing method that engages the services of popular influencers for marketing and product placement of someone’s products or services. 

Influencers vary from platform to platform. One influencer in one app may not be as famous in another, so brands must find influencers that match their brand voice in the platform they want to market.

TikTok influencer marketing has been increasingly popular in recent years because brands want to reach out to the younger generation. Nothing is infuriating to the younger generation than to be marketed right into their faces—this means traditional text or email spam. They have a very short attention span, and nothing excites them more than fun, engaging content (and quite literally, at that), and TikTok does that best. 

When the younger generation content creators of TikTok speak to same-aged users, it resonates better, engages them better, and convinces them better. 

In terms of engagement rates, TikTok takes the cake among its competitors. This can be attributed to its fool-proof algorithm that filters and studies user behavior to recommend similar content, making influencer marketing a less daunting task on the platform.

@2co0lforschool

The girls really went crazy with this trend 😭 #fyp#foryoupage#foryou

♬ happier – Olivia Rodrigo

TikTok is a trend leader, and that is not an exaggeration. From challenges to filters to music, TikTok has propelled some of the most underrated stars and music to popularity just because of the platform alone. 

For example, Gayle’s Abcdefu song propelled to number three on Billboard US.S. Hot 100, months after it was released because it was used as a TikTok trend left and right in 2022. It now has 2.2 million uses as of writing, with a hundred thousand uses for its other TikTok remixes. According to Billboard editors, the song is perfect for a 15-second viral video (TikTok only allows 15-second videos at its initial run) with its catchy hook that is loved by many TikTok users.

Highest-paid content creators and influencers on TikTok

So how much does TikTok pay content creators and influencers? According to Forbes, the highest-paid influencers on the platform made $55.5 million U.S. dollars in 2021, which is a 200% increase from what they made in 2020.

While many on the list of the highest-paid content creators and influencers have already branched out of TikTok (i.e., having their own TV shows, brand deals, acting, and music careers), it is estimated that 30% to 50% of their earnings still come from TikTok brand sponsorships.

  1. Charli D’ Amelio: $17.5M with 133 million followers
  2. Dixie D’ Amelio: $10M with 57 million followers
  3. Addison Rae: $8.5M with 86 million followers
  4. Bella Poarch: $5M with 87 million followers
  5. Josh Richards: $5M with 26 million followers
  6. Kris Collins: $4.75M with 42 million followers
  7. Avani Gregg: $4.75M with 39 million followers

How and how much does TikTok pay creators and influencers?

TikTok has ushered in a new way of revenue generation from people who are passionate about content creation and influencer marketing. If you think there’s only one way to earn from making TikTok content, think again. Jakey Boehm, an Australian content creator who earned $34,000 by sleeping, says that TikTok is a “life-changing money.”

Creator fund payout

TikTok pays creative content creators on the platform through creator funds. By meeting specific eligibility requirements, creators are paid based on their engagement, views, and adherence to Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. This creator fund aims to support content creators and encourage more users to use the app. 

However, there have been many complaints regarding the meagre payout of TikTok’s creator fund system, with an average of $0.02 to $0.03 per thousand views. Personal finance influencer Preston Seo said he earns between $9 to $38 daily with his content through the fund.

A glance will make you think that this is a pretty bad payout for producing content, but money is money, and those who create content for fun will be pretty satisfied with a $40 daily payout. However, if you’re looking to invest time and energy into making TikTok content and earning from it, you need to master the TikTok game to make a good buck out of the creator fund.

A downside, however, is that TikTok’s creator fund payout is limited to the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Nonetheless, there are other ways to make money through TikTok, which we will discuss next.

Branded content

Branded content may be one of the most popular ways to get paid by doing TikTok. Macro influencers and micro-influencers benefit from making branded content by getting sent products to use for TikTok content in return for something valuable from a third party.

While macro-influencers (celebrities or influencers with hundreds of thousands to millions of followers) may be the obvious best choice for branded content, one should not discount the marketing power of micro-influencers. 

There are many benefits to working with micro-influencers as brand partners, especially when a brand wants to target a specific demographic. Micro-influencers are more affordable yet target a particular niche of audiences. Local brands and small businesses will often turn to micro-influencers as their best marketing tool.

Below is an example of how a website that shares restaurant recommendations does local restaurant reviews. For example, in this TikTok, they are recommending a Chicago restaurant:

@restaurantclicks

Restaurant review. We’re your go-to guide to restaurants. Follow @restaurantclicks for restaurant recommendations. #pizza #pizzatiktok #restaurantreview #eatery #eateryrecipes #yummyfood #newyorkrestaurants #chicagorestaurants #restaurantguide #newyorkrestaurant

♬ original sound – Restaurant Clicks

Your earnings for branded content or sponsored posts depend on the contract and agreement with the third party, so it’s best to assess your value and reach well when making branded content. 

Affiliate Marketing

It’s easy to confuse brand content sponsorship and affiliate marketing. After all, they both deal with content creators using a brand’s products with the results of encouraging viewers to purchase the products.

The biggest and easiest difference between both could be how compensation is made to the influencer. While branded sponsorships are a matter of “compensating” an influencer, affiliate marketing often comes in a commission-based approach where the influencer gets a percentage or commission based on the sales made for a particular post. 

In TikTok, a commission is given by brands to influencers by using affiliate links and codes where each click or use is equivalent to a certain percentage or amount.

Live Gifts

Source

Another way influencers and content creators make money on TikTok is through Live Gifts. You can think of live gifts as a form of appreciation a fan or a live viewer sends the creator while doing live streams. These gifts can then be converted into money the creator can deposit into their bank account.

To give gifts, viewers must first purchase coins which they can use to send gifts in the form of stickers and animations during a live stream. These gifts will be converted into Diamonds, and TikTok will monetize these diamonds.

The animations and stickers sent by viewers all differ in value in coins. For example, when a viewer sends a Thumbs Up sticker worth five coins, this is equivalent to 2.5 diamonds (50% of the value of the sticker in the coin). A Diamond is worth 5 cents, so 2.5 Diamonds should give you $0.125, but TikTok cuts a 50% share, so you get a net pay of $0.0625 for the Thumbs Up sticker sent by a live viewer.

Like live gifts, viewers can give Video Gifts to the posts, and videos content creators make through the comments section.

TikTok Shop

shopify x tiktok for business
Source

Introduced recently, TikTok Shop is the platform’s recent efforts to bring shopping and entertainment into one platform. Like how Instagram Shopping works, TikTok viewers don’t need to go far and wide on another platform to purchase the product advertised in a specific TikTok video. 

If you’re familiar with the word Shoppertainment, TikTok shop brings together brands and creators into the app by shopping while scrolling for videos. And this is a desirable deal for sellers, creators, and consumers. While creators get money for brand ambassadorships, sellers make money by getting their products sold instantly. Consumers save time, effort, and worry in getting the exact item advertised in the TikTok video.

A study conducted by Adweek-Consult indicated that 49% of TikTok users buy the products advertised on the platform. In the survey, 15% of adults and 36% of Gen Z have been influenced by TikTok in purchasing decisions

What are the best-paying contents on TikTok?

The top paid TikTok celebrities and influencers earn as much as $500,000 per post, with an average of $100,000 to $250,000. While ordinary citizens are far from reaching that much (but possible, considering how these TikTok stars rose to fame overnight), there’s really no set formula for the best-paying content on TikTok. 

The only secret to getting paid on TikTok is to make content. It doesn’t matter if it’s educational, funny, or serious content—anything can blow up on TikTok in the blink of an eye. 

One tip, though—keep up with the trends. Use relevant hashtags on your posts and trending music, voiceovers, or audio edits. TikTok’s algorithm is set up so that people who view a certain trending audio multiple times will more likely see the content of people who have used the same audio even if they don’t follow them. 

Influencers and content creators utilize trending audio to make their content more visible to the community. More visibility equals more potential sales is an equation that TikTok has never failed any influencer on.

TikTok is one of the most profitable social media platforms.

The amount of money you can earn from TikTok vs. other social media platforms cannot be precisely quantified. Still, we cannot deny the power that TikTok has over people’s purchasing decisions. According to Time, TikTok “offers the most opportunities” among all social media platforms in 2022 at 29.2% of respondents. LinkedIn came second at 24.9% and Instagram at 17.4%.

TikTok has recently been the source of the most viral video and dance challenge trends. Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook users would reupload or repost TikTok content, which would still draw people back to TikTok. 

By statistics, Instagram has the most users and pays content creators the most. However, in terms of profitability, TikTok will give Instagram a run for its money.

Author Bio

Rachel Melegrito left her career as a university instructor to become a full-fledged content writer. She is also a licensed occupational therapist and a budding SEO strategist.

Hero photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

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