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Why Jones Road is paying customers to post TikToks about its products

Some customers of Bobbi Brown’s makeup brand are receiving $1 for every 100 views of their TikTok videos about the products.

Why Jones Road is paying customers to post TikToks about its products
Jones Road What the Foundation tinted moisture balm [Photos: Jones Road]

In a video posted on May 2 to her TikTok account, Addie Neri raved to her followers about Jones Road Beauty’s What the Foundation tinted moisture balm. “I will be posting about this every single day,” she told her followers. “Love it even more than I did yesterday!”

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Neri’s TikTok bio describes her as a newlywed and a dog mom, her interests: beauty, fashion, family. By the app’s beauty influencer standards, Neri’s 16.1K follower count is comparatively modest. Yet she was able to make upward of $560 with that video. Another, in response to an infamous review of the same product by beauty influencer Meredith Duxbury, has earned Neri just over $1,300.

In total, Neri says, she’s made more than $3,000 posting about Jones Road products, all through Bounty, an app that allows shoppers to monetize reviews and recommendations on TikTok. 

@addingtoneri

Reply to @thhhmmhh please please review it again!!! @jonesroadbeauty #jonesroadbeauty #whatthefoundation

♬ original sound – Addie Neri

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In the age of social media marketing, authenticity is key. And for some brands, that means stepping away from the now-ubiquitous paid influencer partnerships and a turn to something a little different: incentivizing—and in some cases—flat-out paying customers for reviews and recommendations on social media. 

“A lot of influencer content . . . can feel very scripted. It can feel like you don’t know who to trust,” says Cody Plofker, Jones Road chief marketing officer. “Consumers are probably getting more skeptical of influencers.” 

The beauty brand founded by celebrity makeup artist Bobbi Brown, Plofker says, would rather see its real customers talking about the products they love—and have actually purchased. To that end, it has offered store credit and gift cards to customers for posting reviews via email campaigns. 

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Most notably, however, Jones Road is one of 16 brands participating in Bounty’s closed beta program. The app essentially allows verified customers to earn money by posting on TikTok about the products they have purchased. “This is a behavior that a lot of customers already do; they already share their purchases,” says Bounty founder and CEO Abraham Wolke. 

Upon checkout, customers who have purchased products from participating brands like Jones Road get an offer to sign up for Bounty. When they post about the products on TikTok, they can earn $1 per every 100 views their content receives. The price per view goes down as views go up, according to Wolke, but customers can earn even more cash if a brand opts to promote their videos. 

Brands pay Bounty a monthly fee—money that, Wolke says, might have typically gone to ad platforms on Facebook or TikTok—from which the app then pays creators. Wolke says the fee varies but can start as low as $49.

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“They set a target monthly budget,” he says. “We scale our service based on how much brands pay us, but we can’t make any guarantees [as to] how much of their budget will be spent, and they can license content delivered through the platform at will for additional cost, which is dependent on how much content customers are submitting to Bounty that the brand would like to license for ads or other marketing efforts.”

Wolke sees the app as disrupting and “democratizing” the influencer economy. “Usually, only influencers and professional creators were able to receive any sort of compensation,” he explains. “We’re giving paying customers the ability to be rewarded if their content is used by the brand and helps the brand grow.” 

It’s worth noting that Bounty does not instruct customers to tag or identify their posts as paid, so it’s unclear to users of TikTok whether posters have been paid for their product videos. The Federal Trade Commission requires influencers to identify paid endorsements as such. But Bounty argues it does not pay TikTokers to create content.

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“Oftentimes creators post multiple videos about a brand and neither they nor Bounty knows in advance which video they’re going to submit for compensation from Bounty because they’ll usually wait and submit the best one,” Wolke explains. 

He points out that TikTok doesn’t allow users to edit the captions on their videos, so there’s no way for customers to go back and identify the posts for which they’ve been paid. But Bounty, which Wolke describes as “still ironing out the kinks” in this beta phase, recently implemented an update requiring all videos submitted for payment to include the hashtag #bounty.   

The question remains: If viewers know that creators are even potentially earning money for their reviews, will they lose faith in them as they have with other sponsored content? Bounty does exert what Wolke calls “some editorial control” over what content can earn money; it discourages negative reviews on its FAQ page for creators, for example. But Wolke insists that critiques pointing out pros and cons are fair game. 

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For brands like Jones Road, the benefit is twofold, according to Plofker. “We try to do things scrappy,” he says. “We’re a new brand so we’re trying to be not only authentic, but economical. Influencers do sometimes charge a lot and you really have no idea whether a post is going to perform well or not. The cool thing about Bounty is that the customers get paid on a CPM basis. So it kind of limits the downside for the brands, but it also kind of incentivizes the customers to make good content.”

In the two months since Jones Road joined Bounty, Plofker says the brand has seen several hundred TikToks about its products. “I’d say about three or four of them have gotten over a million views. And those have been great to get the word out there and get people sharing the product and using the product and exposing their friends to [the brand].” 

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