Can I Market My B2B Company on TikTok?

Molly Howe

It’s time for B2B marketing to shine on TikTok. While it may not seem like the most comfortable place for a B2B marketer to spend their time, it is essential that you consider TikTok as a viable option to increase your advertising reach. 

So lets get started (with the very basics)…

What is TikTok?

In comparison to other social media giants, TikTok is pretty new to the scene. It was launched in 2016 off the back of the failed app Musical.ly. The platform focuses on short-form video sharing, but also has the facilities for live streaming and photographic ‘stories’. The majority of videos shared on TikTok are music-focused, often featuring teens lipsynching to the new trending TikTok tune, but there are plenty more showcasing comedic sketches, educational insights, and even DIY hacks.

TikTok logo
TikTok logo

Why is TikTok great for B2C marketing?

TikTok draws a global usage of 1 billion people a month, from over 150 different countries. This makes it an immensely powerful marketing platform, particularly for B2C companies. 

Although not quite as popular as Instagram for B2C marketing, TikTok has cemented itself as a great place to build brand awareness and boost bottom-line sales, especially within a specifically targeted audience. If a B2C company is able to make informative, engaging, and easily digestible video content that catches the attention of its audience, then they are likely to see success. 

Through relatable, snackable videos, high audience engagement rates, and localisation tools, B2C companies like ASOS, Ryanair, Guess, and even much smaller businesses like Sparta Candle Co. have managed to draw mass attention to their brands.

Here are a few examples of their marketing videos produced for and promoted on TikTok: 

How do B2C companies use TikTok for marketing?

UGC

User-generated content, known as UGC, is any form of content that has been posted by users to online platforms. Think of it like the modern form of word-of-mouth marketing, where users are encouraged to share their personal brand experiences with their followers. This could, for example, be in the form of unboxing, testimonials, or review videos.

User-generated videos are one of the most effective forms of video marketing available, TikTok makes them so easy, and so entertaining! Up to 90% of people trust what a customer says about a business more than what a business says about itself. 

Celebrity/ influencer endorsements

Celebrity and influencer endorsements and collaborations, especially presented through video drive brand recognition and promote credibility. Around 15% of advertisements that run in America feature a celebrity.

Celebrities, by their very nature, demand attention – utilising celebrities in video marketing content can grab the attention of not only a target audience but potentially even the wider media. This can enrich your marketing strategy, shining a spotlight on your business, product, or service. 

Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing

In-feed ads

These are TikTok’s standard advert formats. In-feed ads are embedded videos that auto-play within a users ‘For-You’ feed. They can be anywhere from 15 seconds to a minute long, making in-feed ads the perfect place to showcase your snackable content.

Brand takeovers

Brand takeovers on TikTok are full-screen, high-impact, high-production-value advertisements. They are the first thing users see when they open the app and will be the only thing that users see as a brand takeover for the whole day. 

Branded challenges and effects

Branded effects and challenges are perfect for when a brand wants to embrace its playful side at the same time as gaining huge publicity across the worldwide TikTok platform. 

Free content marketing 

Marketing video content through TikTok’s paid advertising route can be hugely inaccessible to smaller businesses or start-ups that rely largely on in-house creation and word-of-mouth marketing. TikTok’s user-centered platform and ingenuous FYP algorithm allow marketing content creators the opportunity to go viral, or at the least, establish an online presence. 

For a more in-depth look at B2C marketing on TikTok, read this article.

Why do these methods not always work when advertising B2B?

TikTok is a great medium for online expression, and it gives businesses the opportunity to step outside of their marketing comfort zones. Whilst this is great for B2C companies, the same cannot always be said for B2B companies who want to refrain from casual, ‘unpolished’ advertising.

B2B video marketing is incredibly effective. In fact, 62% of B2B marketers rate video as the most important format that they use for content. This is far more than case studies, infographics, or even email! 

B2B video marketing can be used to:

  • Increase customer engagement
  • Improve knowledge retention rates
  • Support SEO
  • Draw customers into the sales funnel
  • Raise brand awareness

But is TikTok the place to promote this content?

Most often, B2B video marketing tends to be professional, corporate, and salesy. This is likely to deter TikTok audiences who use the platform to relax far away from their corporate lives.

For B2B businesses with niche clientele, advertising video content through TikTok is unlikely to be effective. That being said, if you are a B2B firm with a larger target audience and wider advertising aims, TikTok has the potential to be an impactful and innovative marketing tool.

Let’s take a look at how promoting your B2B business through TikTok can be beneficial.

How can TikTok be used as an effective B2B marketing tool?

Advertising to people, not businesses

It is easy to forget when advertising B2B that there are real people on the receiving end of marketing content, not machines. These people need to be enticed by and interested in the product or service you are selling them. In the modern digital world, traditional routes of advertising such as billboards and emails simply don’t cut it. Innovative forms of marketing have to be introduced to see high levels of success. 

Video marketing utilises various forms of video media to promote and market a business’s products and services. It aims to attract and educate audiences, retain their interest, and convert them into customers. Its highly shareable nature also contributes to the success of video as a marketing tool. A staggering 86% of businesses use video content as a marketing tool. This figure suggests that video, quite simply, works. It’s a long and ingeniously developed method to increase engagement, leading to a converted target audience.

It is important for B2B companies to ensure they are promoting their video content on the right platforms. It is easy to say that TikTok is the wrong platform for B2B marketing, but it is important to consider how innovative TikTok can be. The social media app allows you to become more creative and experimental with your content. This will likely excite current users and leave a lasting impression on potential new customers. Showing your B2B company is forward-thinking, current, and up-to-date with trends demonstrates to customers that it is a freely moving entity that can experience further innovation and development.

Gen Z are workers now!

Generation Z, making up 28% of the total population, ranges from 9 to 24 years old. This means that a fair proportion of their cohort are now college graduates, moving into their professional careers. Some members of this infamous generation make important business decisions, others even own their own businesses, or at least will do in the not-so-distant future! B2B marketing must realise and cater to this.  

According to new data, 35% of TikTok users are aged 19–29, so if you are wanting to target the younger corporate generation, it may just be the place. Demonstrate to the tech and social media-savvy younger generations that you are a proudly progressive business. 

Young B2B professionals
Young B2B professionals

It’s not all about lead generation

TikTok marketing is not all about lead generation like many other forms of marketing are. Video content promoted on TikTok should raise awareness of your brand by entertaining or interesting your audience. Hopefully your efforts will pay off and they will remember you the next time they are looking for the particular B2B product or service that you are providing.

Building brand affinity and authenticity can take time. TikTok marketing provides a solid foundation to nurture the relationship between your brand and the people behind the business you are selling to. 

How to make great B2B TikToks

UGC Testimonials

User-generated content, known as UGC, is any form of content that has been posted by users to online platforms. Think of it as the modern form of word-of-mouth marketing, where users are encouraged to share their personal brand experiences with their followers. This could, for example, be in the form of unboxing, testimonials, or review videos.

User-generated videos are one of the most effective forms of video marketing available, TikTok makes them so easy, and so entertaining! Up to 90% of people trust what a customer says about a business more than what a business says about itself.

Why not ask if a loyal B2B customer will create UGC regarding your product or service? It’s a wonderful low-cost, low-risk option for your first venture into TikTok marketing.

Product demonstrations

Product demos are short videos explaining and exemplifying how to use your product or service. They can have a hugely positive impact on B2B sales. 72% of B2B buyers do at least half of their research online before they buy anything. Consumers are busy; most don’t have time to research a product well enough to understand its purpose. Product demo videos allow potential customers to digest information surrounding your product quickly and are then able to decide to buy or not buy your product. TikTok is a great place to promote your product demonstration videos. 

Adjust your brand voice 

If your current marketing methods are not producing great results, perhaps it is time to adjust your brand voice. TikTok is the perfect social media platform to promote more authentic content. If you are willing to engage audiences on a more personal level, why not even ask your CEO to do a TikTok questionnaire (charismatic and inspiring leaders do amazingly on TikTok), or record some behind-the-scenes action at your office. Human-to-human communication does wonders for B2B brand engagement. 

Promote your innovation

For the B2B industry, TikTok is largely unchartered territory. By promoting your video content on the app, you are staying far ahead of industry trends. This offers a rare opportunity for your business to become an industry leader on the platform. 

Be patient!

Unless you create a viral video, it is unlikely that your B2B TikTok will garner mass attention quickly. Just like any social media platform, you need to wait for your audience and following to grow. The TikTok FYP algorithm will, however, speed things up by presenting users who are likely to be interested in your content with your page.

Time
Time

B2B TikTok examples:

Here’s a look at the most successful B2B companies marketing on TikTok today…

Adobe:

@adobevideo

@justjoshingvfx really pulled through with the BTS. 🔥 #PremiereIsHere | #PremierePro #AfterEffects #VideoEditing #behindthescenes

♬ original sound – adobevideo

 

Canva:

@canva

Canva is proud to partner with Brendan de la Hay as part of our sponsorship of @sydneymardigras this weekend – we can’t wait to share more with you soon! #sydneymardigras #unitedweshine #canvapride

♬ original sound – Canva – Canva

 

Sage:

@sageuki

@rob_hoad sparks up his candle biz by saving time using our shopify, ebay, amazon and etsy integration, helping him ship worldwide! #BossYourBusiness

♬ original sound – Sage

 

Oddio Studios:

@oddiostudio

Three Foley tracks: Footsteps, metal hinge, wood creaks. #143of366 #foleyartist #tv #oddio #audio #fyp #movie #sound #oddiostudio #2020

♬ original sound – Foley Artist – Oddio Studio

 

In Summary…

As a B2B business marketer, TikTok may seem like a scary place to be, but we promise you it’s not! The most important thing you can do to make the move to TikTok as smooth as possible is to invest your time. Spend hours on TikTok scrolling through your FYP, watching and engaging with content, and most importantly analysing other B2B efforts. This will ensure your content is trendy and engaging without being cringe-worthy to younger audiences.

If you would like to explore TikTok video marketing further, contact us at Kartoffel Films. We can make video work for you, not the other way around.