TikTok Creator Marketplace Connects Brands and Influencers

TikTok is pushing out its Creator Marketplace API, which allows partner firms to optimize campaigns using first-party data and platform integration. The Creator Marketplace aggregates TikTok’s influencers, sharing basic stats that helps them connect with brands that can then mount, manage, measure and track campaigns within the app. The new API takes this to a new level with features including demographic filtering and real-time campaign tracking. Formally debuted in June 2020, Creator Marketplace aggregates TikTok influencers with at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.

TikTok plans to officially unveil the API later this month and is teasing the launch by putting alpha partner Captiv8 front and center to discuss results. San Francisco-based Captiv8 tested TikTok’s Creator Marketplace API with a top 50 retailer that was using the video app for the first time, the goal being to launch its own channel and discover diverse creators with which to partner on new initiatives.

TechCrunch reports that Captiv8’s branded content for the retailer “received nearly 10 million views, and the campaign resulted in a ‘significant increase’ in several key metrics” including familiarity (+4 percent above average), affinity (+6 percent), purchase intent (+7 percent) and recommendation intent (+9 percent), according to a Nielsen branded-content effectiveness study.

Capitv8 — whose clients include Nordstrom, Verizon, L’Oreal, Kraft Heinz and Ocean Spray — is “now one of only a handful of third-party companies” that can export for its own use real-time Creator Marketplace metrics to monitor campaign performance, TechCrunch says, explaining that in addition to performance analysis, Captiv8 is using the API to slice-and-dice audience demographics, centralize influencer offers and activations, and boost branded content.

Alpha partner Influential (whose website claims it is “the largest influencer marketing company in the world,” with more than $100 million in campaigns) is using the API to help its Fortune 1000 clients (including DoorDash and McDonald’s) identify creators for traditional paid as well as native advertising.

TikTok in February announced a global partnership with British multinational WPP to provide its agencies early access to API integration and AR tools. The early alpha partners list also includes Whalar and Group M’s INCA.

“Marketers will be able to see real-time campaign metrics, as well as more detailed creator audience demographics,” Captiv8 co-founder and CEO Krishna Subramanian told PRWeek. “Without official integrations, brands are left scrambling and forced to estimate campaign results” and must rely on “surface-level influencer insights.”

In recent years, all the major social media platforms have launched creator marketplaces to facilitate influencer-driven marketing, and TechCrunch says it’s now “a standard way to advertise to online consumers, particularly the younger generation.” Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager also caters to Instagram. YouTube’s shingle is BrandConnect. Snapchat recently revealed plans for a marketplace for its popular Lens feature.

These in-house platforms offer brands a common ROI language that is considered more universally reliable than self-reported creator data, as well as conveniently centralizing the data. Creators like them because they turn influencers into earners.

Captiv8 partnered with fitness personality Devon Lévesque to create an influencer talent roster for brands, PRWeek reports, adding that the agency in June partnered with LiveRamp for first-party data access.

For those curious about categorizing the various influencer classes, Mavrck’s Three Types of Influencers All Marketers Should Know is informative and entertaining.