As a B2B marketer, you might find yourself intrigued by the rising popularity of TikTok and the growing number of brands starting to use it. You might even ask yourself if your firm’s social strategy should include it. Whatever the case, the changing landscape of social media is an opportunity for B2B firms and marketers.
Taking advantage of trending social platforms to engage with your target audience can position you as a more forward-thinking and approachable company and help you reach more people.
TikTok is an excellent example of this. This social media platform is considered more authentic and down-to-earth than other social networking platforms like Facebook. TikTok is a platform that encourages creators to make short videos about a wide range of topics. Users can find videos about anything, including recipes, travel, humor, educational content, and more.
The short-form videos keep users scrolling and engaged by providing only the most relevant videos related to a user’s interests. Because of the nature of TikTok’s algorithm, your content is likely to reach your intended audience.
In short, yes. While the TikTok space is widely recognized as a Gen Z hangout, this isn’t entirely accurate. In fact, according to Search Engine Journal, TikTok’s fastest-growing age demographics are people ages 25-34 and 35+. From January 2021 to April 2021, the average number of 25- to 34-year-old active users grew from 22% to 24%, and those 35+ increased from 19% to 25%.
With over a billion users, the chances of your niche audience actively using the app are good.
Something else to keep in mind is that B2B brands aren’t using TikTok to generate leads; it’s more about awareness, engagement, and positioning. It’s a chance to get in front of your prospects and potential talent (who are not necessarily there to engage with B2B companies) to educate, inform, or give them a laugh at the end of their day when they reach for their phone to unwind.
Perhaps you think you need thousands of followers for your content to rank, but this isn’t true! Many videos go viral simply for jumping on the bandwagon of the latest challenge or music trending on TikTok.
You can have very few followers and still be discovered by people interested in your content. This is unique to the platform, as other social media platforms typically rank content based on a user’s popularity. The average user session on TikTok is 10 minutes long, and with most videos being 30 seconds or less, your audience will likely consume a lot of content in any given session.
Remember that your audience uses TikTok for entertainment. They don’t necessarily intend to buy anything. This means there’s an opportunity to optimize by providing relatable content. For instance, if your firm aims to attract talent, give your team the mic by creating videos that highlight the culture through your staff’s unique perspective.
One example of this is Strohmaier Construction. This Washington-based residential interior design and construction company produces fun videos highlighting their firm’s culture. They also post humorously about their trials and errors using the app and attract engagement from others in the field.
Did you know that content about financial advice is a massive hit on TikTok? Just check out John Eringman’s account, where he breaks down budgeting, how to save, how to invest, and other economic topics.
Another top financial account lies in the hands of Rory Douglas, a financial advisor and best-selling author leveraging TikTok to provide educational content to those looking for sound financial advice. A financial firm could benefit from the engagement that comes with posting this type of content on TikTok.
Discuss the history of why your company was started and the challenges or obstacles along the way. Use your business origin to inspire others and to give your audience a more engaging background of who you are and how you got your start.
The hashtag #architecture has 4.3 billion views on TikTok. This architecture firm took its TikTok efforts to another level by producing short videos that highlight architecture trends, how to create designs, advice for aspiring architects, and employment opportunities. With over 27k followers, they reach their audience daily, and they are consistently creating awareness around their brand.
Civil engineering is another topic that attracts an audience on TikTok. For example, this account educates users about infrastructure—a feat that attracts over 145k followers!
Humor is central to TikTok. When creating content designed to entertain your audience, there is a lot to learn from existing accounts that leverage their industry’s experiences to comically vent frustrations and everyday situations.
Just look through the hashtag #constructionhumor. The top videos here attract over 650k likes. For example, here’s a video of a construction worker making fun of having a younger apprentice.
And if you think a law firm can’t poke fun at their industry, think again. Morgan & Morgan went viral in 2021 for this video of their CEO.
Search Engine Journal makes a great point: “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.” Basically, this is referring to “sounds” that trend on TikTok. If you post a video using a trending sound in the background, it’s likely to get more views.
To find trends to build content around, simply look through the “Discover” tab to find popular sounds, hashtags, challenges, and topics. Think about how your company can bring its own perspective into it, and then use the appropriate hashtags with your content. You can also utilize relaxing or interesting sounds in your videos. For example, this account dedicated to construction equipment and processes attracts an audience of over 143k.
Looking at the success of B2C brands on TikTok, you can see that the market has been deeply influenced by the behaviors of creators on the platform. Content on TikTok is incredibly influential in buying decisions. The New York Times put it bluntly: “Anything can be the next big thing. The app always tells you what to watch next and has no problem telling you what to buy next, too.”
Due to the nature of the creator economy, marketing can be segmented via TikTok through the lens of people who use the products or services every day, and by the people who provide the product or service.
Every day your average user creates videos that show how a product or service works and how it will benefit you. “Users can go from discovery to action in a split second; they hear about a product in videos on their For You page, then engage with that content to visit a brand’s site to browse or make a purchase.”
Videos have influenced millions of people to buy a product or a service. They’ve caused supply chain issues and items to fly off the shelf, from vacuum cleaners to cleaning supplies, beauty products, and more. There could be a creative way for your B2B firm to curate content that leads to buyer awareness and potential leads. At the very least, it could bring humanity and personality to your brand.
If there is anything that history has shown, it is that B2B marketers should never say never when it comes to trends and tactics. The truth is, B2B marketing has historically (albeit slowly) followed B2C trends, often taking the general idea and making it work in B2B.
Recent examples of this include avenues like programmatic advertising, ad retargeting, CX initiatives, and the use of AI, to name a few. Believe it or not, there was a point in time when platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were dismissed as irrelevant for B2B firms, but they are now part of many B2B social media strategies.
With that perspective in mind, it is plausible that there are future opportunities for B2B firms to leverage TikTok that have been overlooked based on biases about the relevancy of the platform. Consider being one of the early firms to take advantage of this fast-growing and relevant platform.
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