TikTok – whether you’re on it or not, you’ve either seen some the videos, heard some iconic songs/phrases or even seen some of the fashion trends on the high-street. With videos being short, sharp and structured, it’s hard to stop the endless scrolling we catch ourselves doing. This has inevitably meant B2C influencing has already found its way on to the app, but begs the question – does TikTok have any credence in B2B marketing?
Selfie and influencer culture is everywhere and there’s no denying the impact it has on us all – marketing included. With television shows such as Love Island even filtering into B2B influencer marketing – covered by our very own Georgia Harris in a recent blog, and Instagram now becoming the huge platform we now know it to be, there’s no escaping the growth of the social media culture.
But what about the younger, better-looking platform TikTok, which has exploded onto our screen in 2021? A recent report from Forbes, reported that the app in the U.S. alone has grown five-fold in the last 18-months, and now counts 500 million active users worldwide.
Some B2B field leaders already TikTok’ing
Typically, B2B influencing doesn’t exactly spring to mind when you think of TikTok, yet there’s a growing number of companies who are using the social media and B2B influencer marketing in their strategies. A recent post on global marketing site WARC from Daniela Sale Head of Industry Telco, eComm & Finance, Global Business Solutions at TikTok explains “TikTok is fast emerging as a mighty destination for B2B brands willing to borrow from the B2C marketing rulebook and becoming an unofficial channel of choice for the next generation of entrepreneurs.” Sage, one of the UK’s largest technology organizations has been using the platform to spotlight the entrepreneurs using its accounting software.
With all of this in mind, let’s get straight into it with these three tips on understand B2B marketing’s position on TikTok and how to make it work for your business:
Age is nothing but a number! Get in on the ground floor
TikTok is synonymous with Gen Z and millennials with many older generations discarding the platform. However, looking at the statistics of TikTok users and those who influence buying choices from the Pew Research Center shows 48% of its users are 18-29 and 22% are 30-49 – a much wider net than perhaps you initially thought! In addition to this, 74% of 21-40 year olds are involved in making buying decisions for their companies and are already driving a digital approach to B2B selling. Getting in on the ground floor with a younger generation has its advantages just look at Facebook, it started out for a younger audience and has grown to be what it is now.
When you look at these numbers, it only shows there’s a lot of scope for B2B marketing to hit the mature users – just because the platform isn’t brimming with B2B marketers in the beginning, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Starting now to increase your B2B marketing efforts on TikTok will only widen the scope as more companies to do the same, sparking user engagement, eyeballs and, over time, an increase in brand awareness – winner, winner!
Messages let the emotions come out!
The Medium is the Message – and always has been since Marshall McLuhan wrote his book in 1964. When it comes to TikTok – and any other social media platform for that matter – content for that medium is crucial. In terms of B2B content creation on TikTok, it needs to differ from more corporate social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Looking to connect to the audience through emotion is a powerful tool for all B2B marketers. A recent LinkedIn study found when you connect to an audience’s emotions, you’re 7x more likely to drive business.
With TikTok’s USP being short videos, some B2B marketers may question how they can use the platform to their advantage. Those organizations at the consumer end of the B2B market may find most use from TikTok, but don’t discount the importance of consumer-facing social channels to authentically market environmental, social and governance messages—even for the most corporate of B2B organizations.
B2B marketing sitting front and center – Tik Tok is there for you to exploit
Despite other social media platforms favouring those accounts with millions of followers, TikTok makes it a lot easier for new users to gain followers and views from the ground up. Unlike other platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, TikTok following can be determined from a range of qualities: music choice, location, what relevant hashtags you use and more.
This puts B2B marketing in a prime spot on TikTok. Being able to organically grow your outreach to a relevant audience and drive and engagement on a platform which is so diverse means B2B marketers can quickly connect with young, digital-savvy and interested prospects.
So get your foot in the TikTok door!
With the platform having a wide audience outreach and such diverse content, B2B marketers shouldn’t be shy to use TikTok in their strategy. The app is only continuing to grow day-by-day, and the age demographic pool becomes increasingly, there’s no reason to say your B2B organization can’t get up to speed with the Gen Z’s and millennials – even if you still can’t perfect that dance routine!
Lois Unsworth is a PR Account Executive at IBA International.