Why brands pay a big premium for sponsored TikTok live videos

  • Sponsored TikTok Live videos can be more expensive and valuable than static posts.
  • Marketing agencies say it’s like recreating an in-person sale or “authentic review” of a product.
  • Brands pay top influencers up to three times more for going live than for a static post.

Businesses are investing more in sponsored TikTok Live videos than ever before.

In fact, some top brands are paying up to three times as much for top-billed TikTok influencers to sell their wares in a live video on a static post, according to industry insiders.

Two reps

influencer marketing

Agencies told Insider that over the past year, demand for TikTok Live campaigns has grown, with more money coming from consumer packaged goods brands investing in them. Digital marketing agency Viral Nation said it facilitated a deal worth more than half a million dollars for a single sponsored stream, though it declined to disclose the client and the talent.

Influencer marketing firm NeoReach told Insider that brands are now prioritizing an active and engaged audience and are willing to pay many times more for live video than for evergreen video.

“For example, a company like Shein will sponsor a TikTok Live and that will be a haul of all Shein apparel,” a NeoReach spokesperson said.

“A lot of brands are thinking about integrating their content into commerce – it’s live selling, it’s the ‘seen on TV’ world,” said Joe Gagliese, CEO of Viral Nation.

He also likened it to walking into a mall and having a real person sell a product and then getting immediate consumer feedback.

“It’s fan engagement that you can’t find anywhere other than in-store at a mall, like a Sephora,” Gagliese added. “When you’re walking through a mall and someone says ‘let me show you’, now you’re using the influencer to show the customer what it’s like.”

In addition, many consumer packaged products, such as makeup or a gadget, benefit from this demonstration. And the fact that influencers can go live and show fans also creates the illusion of an “authentic review,” Gagliese said, akin to a YouTube haul or explainer video.

It’s valuable, and companies pay top TikTok influencers more, like Charli D’Amelio or Addison Rae. Instead of spending 15 minutes of their time creating a post that lives on their main feed, companies are competing for 15 minutes of their time to engage with fans live.

With regard to disclosure, according to FTC guidelines, influencers should say periodically throughout their live that it was paid for. Gagliese said influencers typically disclose sponsorship at the top, middle, and end of the video.

Brands are also interested in micro-influencers, but their remuneration grid is radically different

TikTok Live marketing doesn’t just target the platform’s top stars.

Micro-influencers, or those with less than 100,000 followers, are also sought after. But the strategy is different.

“It’s almost an appearance fee,” Gagliese said of top influencers. “For small influencers, it’s more about bringing them to life at the same time.”

It also means a pay difference.

Even if a micro-influencer has a relatively engaged live audience, top TikTokers’ rates are inflated due to the scarcity of their time. The agencies both told Insider that brands are willing to pay extra to lock in a specific time for big influencers to go live.

For a micro influencer, that’s less than a pay day. Depending on a micro-influencer’s metrics, they can be paid the same as a static sponsored post, or sometimes 30% less than a static post, Gagliese said.

Market moves after surge in TikTok live streaming last year

TikTok saw a Dramatic increase in its top live users last year, both in frequency and duration of their live events.

According to a 2021 report from mobile analytics company App Annie, 548 billion hours were spent live, with TikTok being one of the most popular platforms for this. The report also showed that more users were using TikTok Lives than live streaming on YouTube.

Due to the surge, Gagliese told Insider that in the summer of last year, he and his team saw an influx of interest from brands interested in TikTok Live marketing.

The stats around the live stream started to “go crazy”, as he put it.

“Users were growing and a lot of live stuff was growing in the summer of 2021,” he said. “The number of influencers


… the numbers were only increasing.”


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