We all know that TikTok boomed when pandemic started and the platform spurred a new way to handle social media. However, only in 2021 did advertisers start using the channel exponentially. And of course, affiliate marketing found its place in the system. 

To be successful running affiliate offers on TikTok, you need to make sure you know how to track affiliate sales. 

Using our expertise as a tracking software with TikTok tracking and attribution functionality, we are going to reveal five ways to track affiliate sales, whether you choose to work with TikTok Ads or with influencers. 

How to use affiliate marketing on TikTok

As an affiliate marketer, you can make two major choices when going for advertising with TikTok. 

  1. Using TikTok Ads 
  2. Advertising through influencers

Both of those methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but this is not the topic we are going to discuss in this article. Here we are exploring how to track affiliate sales, whatever advertising way you pursue.

How to track affiliate sales if you advertise through TikTok Ads 

TikTok Ads is a similar advertising channel to Facebook Ads. 

You should already be familiar with how the platform looks and feels. Unlike with Facebook or Google, TikTok is not banning redirects for now, so you have two options for tracking TikTok Ads: 

  1. Redirect tracking 

Even though it still works in the case of TikTok, most likely in the near future, redirects won’t be allowed on TikTok as well. 

If you still follow the redirect path, you need to use your tracking software of choice and get the redirect tracking link. The rest works the same as in any other advertising channel. 

  1. No-redirect tracking 

We do recommend sticking to the no-redirect tracking pathway, as we expect TikTok to ban redirects (like Facebook or Google) in the near future. Therefore, you need to make sure that your ad tracking solution covers no redirect tracking links. 

Place your redirect or no-redirect tracking links under the CTA when running TikTok Ads and control the performance of your affiliate sales through tracking software you trust.

Make sure your tracking software has an API integration with TikTok in order to take the data about conversions from TikTok and deliver it to your dashboard for analysis. This way you will be able to track a full funnel. 

Tracking affiliate sales for influencer marketing on TikTok 

Another advertising tactic you can follow is through influencers. Since TikTok is a hypervisual platform where UGC (user-generated content) works the best way, native influencer ads can bring a lot of traffic to your offer. However, how do you track affiliate sales through influencers? 

There are three major ways to do that: 

  1. Issuing unique promo codes

This can be a confusing way to track sales for affiliate marketers, but it has one main advantage. Promo codes provide incentive for purchase as it usually means that the user has some kind of special offer. 

If you operate with promo codes you need to follow these steps: 

  • Make sure you can generate unique and human-readable promo codes
  • Make sure your tracking software supports coupon (promo code) tracking and attribution in order to track those sales according to the promo codes issued
  • Ideally, you have to make sure that you can compose a report where you see statistics on the performance of your offers by links and promo codes in one place. 
  1. Creating unique landing pages

Another option to track your sales is to create a separate landing page for each influencer you are working with. 

A more time-consuming way, but you can personalize your offer according to the target audience of each and every influencer and also use other engagement tactics when the user is already on the landing page. 

When the user caught the bait and ended up on the landing page, you will use your standard tracking links further on or you even can simply get away by using Google Analytics functionality (no need in additional tracking software). 

  1. Simple link tracking

Even though it’s the easiest way to track the performance of your influencer, bear in mind how easy it’s going to be for the user to click on this link in the description of the content. Sometimes, if there’s not enough incentive, this link can be missed. 

If you do use this tracking way, make sure to hide all the tracking parameters you need to identify: 

  • Which channel brought the conversion 
  • Which influencer brought the conversion
  • Which particular ad worked out best 

When using a tracking link with all the tracking parameters you want to hide in it, don’t forget to use a link shortener so it looks pretty. But beware, that many link shorteners break tracking links and tracking parameters won’t work anymore. So you have to double check that with your tracking software. 

What do you need from your tracking software to track affiliate sales from TikTok? 

Let’s summarise what kind of features you should be looking at in your ad tracking solution to make sure 100% of the affiliate sales are captured: 

  • TikTok API Integration: an absolute must-have if you want to receive an accurate tracking and attribution of your affiliate sales
  • Ability to add tracking parameters according to your needs. And don’t forget to make sure your tracking parameters won’t be damaged by link shorteners.
  • Coupon (promo code) tracking and attribution. It’s more of a bonus point, but a really nice one to have in your tracking software. 

If you have all of those features in your tracking software, you’ll be safe whichever advertising adventure you go on TikTok.