TikTok for B2B companies: how to do it right
TikTok’s meteoric rise as a social network is matched by its reputation as a B2C marketing channel. But B2B companies are making big things happen on the platform, too, says Vertical Leap’s Chantelle Riley.
TikTok can help B2Bs appear more human / John Towner
As we’ll see from the examples coming up, TikTok is highly-effective for B2B marketing – if you do it right. It is the perfect place to build brand awareness among younger audiences – but its user base is getting older every year, and with 84% of users saying TikTok is a source for discovering or learning something new, it will help you reach a wider audience.
With hashtags like #corporate, you can see what your target audience is complaining about. It is also great for promoting products, services and features if you find the right tone and mix it in with non-promotional content. TikTok’s informal tone is the perfect way to show the human characteristics behind a B2B brand.
Even if your main target audience isn’t on TikTok, they will be soon – or on platforms like it. TikTok is already filling the role of search engines for much of Gen Z and this trend will only continue.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking TikTok is for kids, though. Yes, 25% of its user base is aged 10-19 but 64.4% is aged 20-49 years old.
How the top B2B brands win on TikTok
The B2B companies winning on TikTok understand they have to take a different approach to the platform. This is no place for corporate talk. You need to develop an informal voice that connects with TikTok users as people first, not customers.
Keep it light
This is crucial for maximizing reach and brand awareness on TikTok. People want to be entertained, inspired or informed on this platform and Semrush research finds funny TikToks are most likely to go viral.
Semrush’s TikTok strategy is a good example of this insight in action.
The company takes a light-hearted tone to everything it publishes. Some of its most popular posts poke fun at digital marketers and marketing cliches.
@semrush Welcome to the literal marketing agency #digitalmarketing #skit #semrush #literalmarketing #marketing #humor ♬ original sound - Semrush
You can learn a lot from Semrush’s TikTok strategy. Above all, be fun. Don’t shy away from poking fun at yourself or the problems your audience faces – especially the ones you’re good at solving.
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Show the human side of your business
Your customers are people, and your products/services solve people problems, too. Humanizing your brand is one of the biggest benefits of TikTok marketing, especially for B2B companies. This starts with the people behind your brand, talking directly to the camera.
Canva knows nothing is more relatable right now than staff members working from home. Its TikTok strategy is a mix of staff members uploading content from the office and the confines of their homes.
Put the shine on your customers
Put your customers in the frame as much as possible. Celebrate their successes, show them overcoming problems and, where relevant, show them using your products/services. Adobe’s TikTok strategy centers around showcasing the creatives that use its software – and how they use it.
Deliver quick snippets of value
We’ve seen how Canva shows the human side of its business but the company also excels at delivering quick snippets of value.
@canva Donut worry - Magic Write can help you write all your social media captions within minutes #socialmediagenerator #canvahack #aitextgenerator ♬ original sound - Canva
Quick tip videos showcase the possibilities of its software to potential customers and help existing ones get more out of it. And don’t worry about pets entering the frame – what’s more relatable than dog interruptions?
Mix it up
Mix it up with fun facts, jokes and tips with a good balance of subtle promotion and non-promotional posts. Microsoft is about as corporate as a company gets but it knows how to mix things up on its TikTok profile. Experiment with different types of posts and test results and find what works. You can always refine results over time and develop a more focussed strategy.
This is bigger than TikTok
Engaging, short videos are at the heart of the TikTok experience, and every major network is implementing its version of video shorts. This is the future of social and content marketing so companies need to adapt their approach.
The TikTok strategy you develop now will carry over to Instagram, YouTube and most of the other major networks. More importantly, it will set you up for the content format social users care about the most – and engage with the most.
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