TikTok has earned a reputation as a powerful B2C marketing tool, due to its visual nature and potential for collaboration with content creators.
But for most B2B companies, TikTok is likely at the bottom of their priorities for social media marketing.
However, more and more B2B companies are recognizing that TikTok can offer more than dance challenges and cute animal content.
TikTok is unique among social media platforms for its authenticity above all else.
Videos tend to be less professionally edited and curated than the likes of Instagram Reels and YouTube, appearing more pedestrian and down-to-earth.
Research from LinkedIn’s B2B Institute recently proved that marketing strategies that appeal to an audience’s emotions are much more effective than those that take a rational approach. Of course, both sides of the coin are important.
Rational marketing asks an individual to take action and tells them exactly why they should. Emotional marketing, on the other hand, builds brand awareness.
Individuals are more likely to purchase from a brand they know and have a connection to – which is exactly why TikTok is a valuable channel to add to the top of your sales funnel.
Benefits of TikTok for B2B Marketing
Networking is a core tactic in B2B marketing, with LinkedIn being designed around forming online connections with other business professionals.
But just because TikTok isn’t designed for professionals doesn’t mean it can’t be used to network effectively.
Locally specific hashtags can be used to connect with other local professionals and potential leads.
For example, the York-based marketing agency I work for tends to use #YorkshireBusiness and #SmallBusinessTikTokUK.
These hashtags have views in the thousands rather than the millions, meaning it is much easier for users to discover your video.
It’s the same as keyword selection for SEO – as a small business, you want to select hashtags or keywords that give you a good chance of being discovered.
Participating in audio trends that are a good fit for your brand, aims, and intended audience is another way to get discovered and network with potential leads.
But don’t participate in trends for the sake of it – be selective and choose those which will help you achieve your marketing goals.
When thinking of B2B marketing, the word “emotive” likely isn’t the first to spring to mind.
An informal platform like TikTok may seem too alien compared to the tone of your company’s blog or your Twitter and LinkedIn posts.
But as is the rule of thumb with marketing, the best ideas can come from throwing rules out of the window — by doing the creative and unexpected.
At the end of the day, potential clients aren’t all that different from B2C consumers. They are still looking for trust and authenticity in a product or service.
They are still human – so connect with them as one!
For example, you could use TikTok to share your business’ origin stories, talk about your business’ values and charity work, or simply put the spotlight on your office dog.
Sure, you could share these things in a LinkedIn post or a company blog.
But the video format and informal nature of TikTok can make for a more personal delivery and better ROI – video can add huge value to a social media strategy.
It’s proven to generate more shares and lead conversion than text and image content.
You don’t need a large following to achieve high engagement on TikTok, as your follower count and previous engagement do not factor into TikTok’s algorithm.
Instead, videos are ranked individually, independent of your profile.
Despite only being on the platform for two months and having just 21 followers, we generated over £600 of sales through TikTok marketing.
So, if you’re keen to test the waters with TikTok but are reluctant to invest a lot of time in it, you can rest assured that with the right strategy, you can achieve results fairly quickly.
Not Just for Young People
A common misconception is that TikTok is only useful for marketing to young people.
And while 41% of users are aged 16 to 24, this leaves 59% across other demographics.
When you consider that TikTok has over 1.1 billion active users worldwide, this gives you a sizable audience to target.
How to Do B2B Marketing With TikTok
Social media is all about bringing people together. Use TikTok to bring your target audience together, and form connections with them.
For example, the #BossIt2021 challenge invited small businesses to share how they were “bossing it” this year.
Beginning a campaign like this can help to increase brand awareness by getting your name out there, and encouraging viewers to find out more about you.
Business solutions company Sage created the #SageTellMe challenge, at once promoting their brand name while connecting with potential clients.
TikTok also has a Q&A comments function, which highlights comments which contain questions for the video creator, allowing for personal interactions even when you have dozens of comments.
Show Your Fun Side
B2B marketing gets its “boring” and serious reputation from its traditional, conventional methods.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Embracing your company’s fun and relatable side can improve your public image, and help you to stand out from your competitors.
Successful TikToks capitalize on humor and relatability. The ability to reuse audio tracks to participate in trends can provide baseline inspiration.
When viewing these videos, users will likely recognize the format of the audio trend, evoking curiosity in your take on it.
US law firm Morgan & Morgan is a great example of successful humorous B2B marketing, as TikTok is their second most successful social media platform, right behind Facebook.
Their most popular content includes their founder John Morgan sharing humorous tidbits on various topics (like this one on Oprah, Harry & Meghan), humanizing the face behind the brand.
Informative, educational videos are a great way to indirectly sell to potential leads. Likely, producing informative blog content is already an integral part of your B2B marketing strategy.
Recycling this content on TikTok comes with a host of benefits.
For one, you have already researched and created content that you know is of value to your audience.
Secondly, this method can add an extra source of potential leads into your sales funnel.
By condensing advice or guidance into bitesize tips, you demonstrate your business’ expertise and thought leadership, indirectly selling your services.
From a TikTok video, viewers can be encouraged to read the full story on your blog. From there, they may be encouraged to sign up to your mailing list to receive further resources from you.
Educational TikTok content can also help your current clients to get the most out of your products or services.
Popular graphic design platform Canva uses TikTok to provide tutorials on using certain features, helping users to get the most out of the platform.
TikTok has the potential to bridge the emotional gap that’s often left by traditional B2B marketing and can provide a valuable creative avenue for those looking to shake up their strategy and stand out from their competitors.
Ideally, B2B TikTok content should indirectly sell by showing off your company’s character and expertise, increasing brand awareness and encouraging viewers to move down your sales funnel.
If you still don’t feel like TikTok is suitable for your company’s image and aims, think again.
Like any other aspect of your marketing strategy, TikTok is about showing customers what makes you unique.
If you don’t like what you’ve seen from your competitors on TikTok, why not come up with a new take and show them how it’s done?
- TikTok Trend Report: Content Ideas For 2021
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