Should you be using TikTok for B2B marketing?

Ever heard the phrase “TikTok made me buy it”?

As part of our series of deep dives into social media platforms and B2B marketing strategies, we’re now looking at TikTok. TikTok is a platform that’s all about short-form viral videos.

Now, you might think of it as a platform for teenagers. But that doesn’t mean there is no potential for using TikTok for B2B marketing. If nothing else, it’s got a huge user base, with app downloads of over 3 billion.

Who are those users? Let’s take a closer look.

Who’s using TikTok?

If you’re thinking that TikTok is for a younger audience, then you’d be right. Most users are between the ages of 18 to 24. In total, nearly 93% are under 34.[ref1]   

Now, that might not sound promising for B2B. After all, your target audience are ultimately people who can buy on behalf of businesses. Younger people are less likely to be in that position.

Is that too young for B2B?

So, should we forget about TikTok? Well, not necessarily. First off, despite their age, plenty of TikTok users will be B2B buyers. That means it might be a promising platform for you right now.

Second, things change. That user base will get older. More of them will get promotions or start their own businesses. The user profile may change. Look at Facebook. Its user base has aged as teenagers move to other platforms. Will that happen with TikTok?

Here’s what we’re getting at … Even if TikTok isn’t right for your business now, that could change. For that reason, it’s really worth keeping an eye on those trends. You don’t want to be left behind if it does grow as a B2B platform.

What about using it now? To know if your business could benefit from using it, you need to know what you can do on there. That’s what we’re looking at next.

What can you do on TikTok?

TikTok is an informal platform for short videos. Users aim to create content that becomes viral – in a good way.

Users upload videos with the intention to be entertaining or helpful. Videos tend to be short to keep users engaged. There are options to add sound, effects, ask questions, and do duets with other users – as seen in the hugely popular sea shanty trend.

What’s the point of TikTok for a B2B business?

The goal with TikTok is to engage users – so forget about being aggressive with the sales pitch. TikTok is about engaging the audience and bringing users back. As a B2B business, it’s an opportunity to build brand identity and provide a more personal image to your company.

Thinking of giving TikTok a try? Let’s take a look at how to approach it as a B2B business.

Best B2B marketing practice on TikTok

TikTok is a new frontier for B2B marketing. Lots of businesses avoid it altogether, for reasons we’ve discussed. But that lack of competition could be an advantage if you’ve got the right kind of content. There are some good examples of B2B content on TikTok. Here are some tips to help you make the best use of the platform.

Marketing strategies: Look at the B2B marketing strategies you already have in place. Use TikTok to add value to this. Short form videos are often the most engaging. It’s also worth remembering that TikTok isn’t the only place you can post them. You can still post your videos on YouTube, and on your website – which is an SEO boost. Reusing content is always good practice.

Trends: Tap into the trends by watching videos to get an understanding of what is popular. When videos are trending, could they be relevant to your sector?

Make it fun: Don’t be afraid to relax and show a fun side. Do you find some of the challenges and trends on TikTok entertaining? You might have staff on your team willing to get in front of the camera. Showing a human side is great for personalising your brand.

Adjust to the style: Most viral videos on TikTok speak to the camera. Look at what is popular and try to film in the same style.

Industry specific: B2B brands will use videos to ask industry related questions and act out the answer in a funny way. B2B customers are human and appreciate entertaining content. Producing this type of content could make you the go-to for information in your industry.

No sale: Avoid videos which are just a sales pitch. It’s about getting the audience to form a bond with your brand.

Post, post, post: One video isn’t enough

With it being almost impossible to overwhelm an audience with content. Posting one video isn’t enough, creating a campaign with a high volume of content is more beneficial.

So, who are the B2B businesses already using the site? Read on to find out about brands using TikTok as a marketing tool.

Who should I look at?

You’ve set up an account. Next you need to search for and follow any connections from your sector. Observe what they are doing, engage and respond to their content and start building relationships.

Even though there is a high B2C presence on TikTok, there are B2B businesses carving out their own styles.

Sage – As you probably know, Sage specialise in accounting software – which doesn’t sound very promising for TikTok content. But they make great use of it to show their expertise with a bit of humour. This type of content humanises their brand. Although the users are young now, exposing them to your brand early could stay with them in the future.

Microsoft – With no focus on sales, Microsoft are using TikTok to keep their brand fresh. Their content includes videos of archived products for their nostalgia value, as well as team members doing TikTok trends.

What does this achieve? Well, it keeps the brand present and widens its audience by trying to appeal to the younger generation.

To connect or not to connect…

TikTok might not achieve your immediate objectives. However, it shouldn’t be completely discounted, and whether you use it now or watch and wait, it could work for your business at some point. We hope you found this article useful.

Keep an eye out for the next blog in the series. If you’d like help with your social media strategy, we’d be happy to help.