You've likely heard the buzz around popular social media platform TikTok, which now has 500 million monthly active users and is the third-most downloaded app globally. While Gen-Z uses the platform to showcase their creative side, some brands on TikTok use the platform to build awareness, engage younger audiences and reveal a lighter side of themselves.
And, with its stellar growth, there is a large audience ready to be wooed by innovative and fast-thinking b2b brands. In fact, a 2021 Kantar report ranked TikTok in the number one spot for ad equity, surpassing Instagram, Google, and Twitter! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s find out if TikTok is the right fit for your b2b brand.
Can TikTok work for b2b marketing?
It’s a loaded question, that is often shut down by b2b marketers. And, we don’t blame them! Despite its worldwide success, TikTok for b2b marketing remains largely uncharted territory. But alas, we’re here to help break through all the noise; if you find yourself enthusiastically agreeing with the following four statements, TikTok could potentially be a good content marketing channel for you.1. You have the capacity to create unique, experimental content.
TikTok is very quirky by nature, so brands need to get creative in order to gain their audience's attention. A simple ad or sponsored post might not cut it on this fast-paced app. Succeeding on TikTok as a b2b brand relies on creating exciting content — so prepare to put your creative hat on and experiment with new formats. The more you experiment with the content you put out, the more you’ll learn what type of content is working and where you’ll need to double down.2. You want to reach a predominately younger audience.
There is no denying that TikTok is a Gen-Z dominated platform. According to Business of Apps, 35% of TikTok’s global audience is between the ages of 19 and 29, and 28% is under the age of 18. However, this shouldn’t deter b2b brands from entering the world of short video. Joining the platform offers you the opportunity to reach these younger audiences, and increase brand awareness among viewers who will (eventually) be looking for your business.3. You really want to humanise your brand.
Research from Linkedin recently suggested that b2b marketing strategies that appeal to an audience’s emotions are much more effective than those that take a rational approach. And TikTok is the perfect platform to give your b2b marketing content a more human touch since it’s inherently a very personal platform, built for one-to-one human interaction. This can be especially useful for ‘dry’ industries or companies that struggle with communicating a highly technical offering.4. You’re comfortable waiting a longer time for results.
Measuring ROI on social media platforms can be tricky, and TikTok is no exception. Remember, brands are primarily using the platform to increase brand awareness. Therefore, you’ll be mostly concerned with top-of-funnel metrics like video impressions, likes and shares. So, don’t expect your TikTok b2b marketing activity to generate leads, sales and conversions right off the bat. It’s a long term investment, so you need to be patient!
Some sweet tips for TikTok b2b marketing success
If you're raring to go on a TikTok strategy, here are a few tips and tricks that we've learnt from looking at the brands that are killing the game.
Leverage the algorithm
The key to success on any platform is figuring out how to get your posts in front of as many eyes as possible (don’t worry, we’ll tell you how). Once your video is posted, it will get shown to a tiny niche audience. TikTok then evaluates how the group responded, including how many people watched, how many liked, how many shared etc. If the video performs well to this small group, TikTok will slowly expand the audience.
It’s really that simple. Knowing this, b2b brands should focus on user interactions for the best results. This could be as simple as using trending hashtags and sounds. What’s even better, is that with a handful of followers you can spark millions of views on a great video. Gone are the days of spending countless hours trying to grow your following. (woohoo!)
Don’t overthink it
Unlike other popular b2b social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn, there aren't as many norms, best practices, or rules about what works and what doesn't. Creating great b2b content for TikTok isn’t about a perfectly curated feed or beautifully worded captions. It’s about creating genuine and authentic content that tells a story and takes viewers on a journey (cheesy, we know). And, given TikTok’s quirky nature, brands need to be creative to truly capture their audience’s attention.
Embracing a more personal tone, or ‘behind the scenes’ approach will make your company seem more relatable and trustworthy to potential customers. Oh, and don’t shy away from marketing your products, but make sure you do it in a creative way. Try your hand at tutorials, demos, and how-to content that showcase what your product or service is all about.
Create a schedule and stick to it
Like any social platform, it’s a good idea to create a content calendar for your TikTok account. You’ll be able to brainstorm cool ideas, and plan your videos in advance! But before you do, it’s a good idea to establish how often you want to be posting. TikTok rewards consistency, so it’s generally recommended that brands post 1-3 times a day to maximise engagement. This can seem like a lot, but remember that your videos don’t have to be award-winning masterpieces.
When you’re starting out, the most important thing is to create a cadence that works for your team. You don’t want to overload your audience with annoying content, but you also don’t want to leave them high and dry for weeks on end. It’s all about finding the right balance. Plus, there are a whole host of cool tools that let you schedule your videos, at a time that will maximise success. So easy!
Brands that are ticking the right boxes on TikTok:
The team at Adobe are racking up some serious numbers on TikTok. With over 2 million likes on the platform, it looks like they have cracked the code, and are providing their audience with some seriously good content. My favourite video of theirs is one asking people to tag a creative TikToker they should know about. Videos like this boost engagement and get you to the top of the algorithm!
Square have taken a really interesting approach to TikTok. They use their platform to showcase small businesses who use their product! This is a great way to build an online community and engage with existing (and potential) customers. The small businesses are getting exposure, and Square are getting to showcase a range of clients who love their product. It’s a win-win!
If TikTok has taught b2b marketers one thing, it's that experimenting with new platforms and thinking outside of the box can help you engage new audiences and boost brand awareness.
It represents an entirely new creative canvas for brands with a wealth of new marketing opportunities. So what are you waiting for?