My TikTok Journey: Sharing Experience and Useful Tips15.4.2020Reading Time: 5 minutes
Meet a new case study based on our affiliate’s experience with TikTok. He was aiming to get free traffic from this platform for AdCombo offers. Read about his TikTok journey and learn useful bits of advice.
Today in affiliate marketing everyone has heard about TikTok and how easy it is to create viral content with little effort there. I also heard these rumors and, thus, I decided to give it a try.
DISCLAIMER: The journey took me 1 month, I managed to grow my account from 0 users to 2600+. But, eventually, I was shadowbanned, so this is NOT A SUCCESS STORY. But, as they say, any experience is valuable, especially when we deal with such a new traffic source as TikTok.
A few words about the TikTok algorithm
Not many people know how the TikTok algorithm works, not even manual moderators have this information. So, everything, which we are going to discuss below, is based on the rumors and my own tests.
Everyone agrees the TikTok algorithm is one of the most advanced algorithms, certainly more advanced than the Facebook algorithm, and there are various factors that can affect the audience reach when you post a video. For example, one of the key factors is engagement rate – how many users have actually watched a video from the beginning until the very end. So, ideally, videos should be short and have a lot of action within.
Also, it is known that the algorithm works like a funnel. The first video is shown to a small group of people (5-10), then based on the scores your video has received with this group, it is shown to a larger group (50-100) of users. And so on… until it gets viral.
Choosing a niche
Since the TikTok algorithm has elements of AI, every user is shown videos based on his interest. That’s why it is strongly advised to choose one niche per account and make it the topic of every video you create. As my topic, I have chosen a luxury lifestyle and car videos. Later I was hoping to do some affiliate marketing with iGaming offers.
I created my account and uploaded my first video on the 28th of February.
RUMOR ALERT: I have heard that videos, which are made directly using the device camera will receive a higher reach, because the algorithm will consider it as original content.
ACTUALLY: As my tests have shown later, it doesn’t really matter how you uploaded your videos.
So, imagine me recording my first video from the computer screen on my smartphone’s camera. Looked pretty dumb, I bet =)
The first video of a new account is always getting a boost. That’s why you should plan carefully what your first video will be about.
I was excited watching views and the number of subscribers grow fast.
The next day I uploaded another video (using the same method as before). This time the video didn’t receive many views. And I decided to delete it. Only after having done that, I read that deleting videos is not recommended, it’s better to hide them in private. I believe this is because an account can lose views, likes, and comments. Due to this, the account score will be decreased.
During the next few days, I performed other tests. I uploaded one video a day and a couple of videos at short time intervals between them. Also, I tried uploading long videos and short ones.
Based on these tests I made the following conclusions:
- Videos should be 8 to 10 seconds long
- And uploaded frequently. You should upload 3 to 5 videos each day.
I’ve been uploading videos from Instagram using the Media Helper extension for the Chrome browser and editing them using the InShot app on my phone.
I’d been using the above-mentioned strategy for the next couple of weeks until I received my first ban. My video was banned for Community Guideline violation. Apparently, my video was detected by the algorithm for copying original content, which violated guidelines about intellectual property.
Yes, I strongly advise you not to repeat my mistakes and to read Community Guidelines before starting TikTok account –>
My next couple of videos weren’t successful, but, nevertheless, everything came back to normal soon.
Hitting 1.5 million views
To be honest, there is nothing to tell, because I don’t know how that happened. There was one video that I counted as unpromising But it turned out to be the opposite. I haven’t used ANY hashtags or soundtracks for it: There was just a car roaring and cash flying out of its back pipes. It was 8.3 seconds long, and I posted it on the 10th of March.
And now, after one month I have stopped using TikTok actively, this video reached 1.5 million views, 6525 likes, and 132 comments. This also gave me a significant increase in subscribers, and I easily hit 1500 subscribers. The latter helped me to unlock a monetization feature. Due to this, now I am able to insert affiliate links in the account bio.
I should mention that, based on my TikTok knowledge and experience, not every country has this feature available.
After such a success, I have tried to repeat it one more time, but, unfortunately, with no luck.
This time, I posted a video with a gun, not even a functioning one. Now I know that it violates Community Guidelines about the sale or use of weapons. So I strongly encourage you to read Community Guidelines –> https://www.tiktok.com/community-guidelines?lang=sv
It took me more time to recover from it, but soon everything was okay.
This is what every TikToker scarped the most. For you to understand what it is, you need to know that most of the views to your videos are coming not from your subscribers, but from that funnel which I have mentioned in the beginning. The wider the funnel, the more views your video will get.
So, when TikTok decides to ban you, it just narrows your video traffic source to followers, your videos are literally shadowed for other TikTok users.
That what happened to me after the third ban. No matter how hard I tried, my next videos didn’t receive any views compared to what I had before. They didn’t even appear when I was searching them using hashtags.
1) Read community guidelines!
2) The TikTok algorithm is really tough recently regarding not original content. So, if you are posting not original content, edit it with filters before uploading to the platform.
3) It’s better to have one TikTok account and a sim card per each device you use. Since if one of your accounts is shadowbanned, your other accounts will not be affected.
I hope this information was useful to you. And if you know how to get out of shadow ban prison, please write below.