As a business owner, you might not have considered using TikTok as part of your social media strategy. It might come across as more of a kids’ platform or a way for bored people to pass away too much time on their hands. However, according to Search Engine Journal, (SEJ), it ranked #5 for social media platforms in 2021.
It had 689 million followers and earned a surprising $35 billion in revenue. That puts it right in the middle of the top-ranking social media platforms. Perhaps it is worth your attention after all. Here we take a closer look at TikTok and help explain how you can use it for your B2B outreach strategy.
What is TikTok?
TikTok thinks of itself as “the leading destination for short-form mobile video.” It might only be going on six years old, but as a social media platform, it was already the fastest growing app worldwide into its first year. Two billion people downloaded it globally as of 2020 according to SEJ. One of the reasons many B2B companies don’t consider TikTok is because the platform predominantly attracts a very young crowd, and although 41% of their audience is young, that still leaves 59% across suitable demographics. With almost 8 million users in the U.S. that leaves you a fair-sized audience, you can tap into.
TikTok video continues to gain momentum
Because the video medium, in general, is so popular, it continues to gain momentum in the business world. TikTok is especially important if authenticity is at the heart of your brand. In fact, it is also the most engaging social media app with the average session lasting almost 11 minutes according to Statista. To put that into perspective, that is over twice the time of Pinterest, the second most engaging app on the list, and three times longer than Instagram.
Why is TikTok worth looking into for B2B marketers?
B2B marketing strategies are not traditionally focused on emotions. However, according to LinkedIn’s B2B Institute, B2B marketing strategies that are more emotional are more effective than “rational marketing” techniques. While your rational marketing on other social platforms tells people why they should use your brand, emotional marketing focuses on the who, building brand awareness. This helps create connections, something TikTok helps facilitate very well. Therefore, if you are looking for ways to attract more leads at the top of your sales funnel, TikTok can help.
1. Addressing Your Marketing Goals: When to Use TikTok for B2B Marketing
To build on rational and emotional marketing, you should have different goals for your marketing. As a result, you want to consider the platforms best positioned to help you meet those goals. TikTok is ideal for the following purposes:
2. Forming online connections through networking
Because TikTok is often associated with less than professional content like how to make pancakes or the latest dance moves, it isn’t the first place business professionals might go to connect. However, LinkedIn isn’t the only place to form those online connections with relevant business professionals. TikTok is becoming key to local networking efforts using hashtags to connect. The right hashtags are always a great “in” because you focus on local hashtags to create higher-quality leads. When you combine this with the right video trends aligned with your marketing goals, you make the right connections to increase conversions.
3. The emotion card
The informal nature of TikTok makes it a better place for you to play the emotion card. You have a chance to become more creative and connect with leads in less expected ways. This creates intrigue about your brand. What many B2B companies forget is that they really aren’t interacting with other businesses, but instead with the people employed by those businesses. So, while you have ideal businesses you need to attract, it is the people representing those businesses you need to make a strong connection with.
Always keeping your brand in mind, you can choose several approaches to your emotional content, talking about how your company was founded, featuring stories about your team, or sharing true stories about how you helped clients. These videos don’t come across quite as frivolous on TikTok as they might on LinkedIn. You have the opportunity for a more meaningful, personal delivery of your story to attract followers, get more shares and potentially increase leads.
4. More engagement
Social media allows you to interact with your audience. The more interesting your posts the higher chance there is you can make connections in meaningful ways. You can also get more shares, so you can increase brand awareness. You can use the Q&A comments function to interact with viewers personally. Your brand personality shines because you aren’t as caught up in business conventions using more traditional marketing tactics. When you become more relatable, you become more approachable giving you an edge over your more somber competition. Humor, or insights on trending topics can also make people more interested in what you do.
5. Expanding reach of existing content
If you have existing informative videos, you can leverage them using TikTok. Not only do you expand your reach, but you get a better ROI reusing content where all the work and effort is already complete. You can take longer videos you post on your website, blog, YouTube, and other social networks and condense your videos into digestible bites that focus on resolving specific problems. As a result, you establish yourself as a thought leader or share your industry expertise. Viewers who see the condensed version can also click through to the full video on your website generating a higher quality of traffic.
6. Collecting leads with information requests
TikTok videos also provide an opportunity to collect email addresses. With the right content, you pique viewers’ interest so they voluntarily share their contact information. This is your chance to share more valuable information to show them how you help resolve their issues.
How to get started on TikTok?
Unlike other social networks with varying demographics that are primarily geared toward advertising, TikTok takes a different approach. Familiarizing yourself with the platform as a user allows you to understand why TikTok is so popular. Who has made it big thanks to TikTok? How comfortable do you feel with the videos you are viewing? What are your competitors doing, or at least other leaders in your industry? There’s no point trying to use TikTok as a marketing tool if you don’t first understand its appeal. You can download and open the TikTok app to set up your account. Once your account is set up you can follow these TikTok best practices to start your B2B outreach strategy:
1. Optimize Your Profile
Like any other social media platform, you can set up your profile with a photo and your bio with links to your site, and then choose a Business Account with a category that suits your business. However, space is limited, so you need to make sure you optimize your TikTok profile. Choose a professional profile image that ties into your images across other channels and platforms.
This helps establish brand recognition. You have exactly 80 characters to tell your story, so consider what you want to say leaving enough characters for a simple call to action. To reduce word count, use emojis unless that is totally off-brand. You might consider creating a landing page for your TikTok link, depending on your marketing goals.
2. Consider Your Audience for Content
Consider your audience and make sure your content appeals to them while representing your brand well. There are some things all good TikTok videos have in common including:
- High-quality videos that are a pleasure to watch
- Avoiding audio interference
- Using TikTok trending tracks to overcome audio issues
- Using TikTok hashtags to engage the right audience
- A how-to educational approach to show off expertise
These tips help you create effective TikTok videos to establish your brand.
3. Create an organic audience
Use high-quality engaging content to grow your followers naturally. Keep track of what video content does well and use that as your criteria for new content for more shares and follows. Don’t be afraid to experiment with features such as polls and questions to learn more about your followers. Be sure to engage in other relevant accounts your ideal audience are likely to follow. Comment and like their posts to draw attention to yourself.
Social listening is very important on TikTok as it keeps you up to date on what’s trending in your community. However, the TikTok For Business Ads Manager platform also allows you to create TikTok advertising to reach your target audience. As a beginner, you can use the “Simplified” mode to create your ads with the help of TikTok’s algorithm.
4. Use analytics and tools
If you’re worried you won’t find the tools you need to reach your target and measure your success, don’t. You can measure ad performance, review metrics, and access demographic information on users directly within TikTok. They even provide free resources and tools to get you started. B2B advertisers can find valuable insights to improve their efforts, but also take advantage of management tools. For example, TikTok’s video scheduling tool allows for planning and timed video releases to coincide with your events, product launches, or campaigns. No one needs to be available to post at peak times outside your office hours.
You can take things a few steps further to develop partnerships with influencers. Their Creator Marketplace matches brands with “creators” based on various criteria such as industry, business goals, location or even budget. You can also add music to videos affordably using their royalty-free commercial music library. Simplicity and practicality at their best.
While TikTok might have started off as a social media platform for a younger audience, it’s caught on as a valuable marketing tool. Your company has a chance to leverage its popularity to ramp up your B2B outreach strategy before your competitors get there first.