Wait… TikTok for B2B brands?
TikTok, TikTok, TikTok… I’ve always been hesitant about joining TikTok as I felt I would be bombarded with videos of teenagers dancing simultaneously to the latest Bieber song. However, I feel like that is me showing my age as over the last years or so it has developed into a vast social platform with the content being made for everything. I was surprised to see that there is a TikTok for everyone. The algorithm quickly adapted to my interests showing TikTok’s of photography tutorials, movie reviews, and design tips.
After ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok brought the Musical.ly app in 2017, it has gained enormous amounts of users in the west. TikTok had 1.2 billion active users a month in Q4 2021, making short-form video content more mainstream with other social platforms pursuing similar formats with Instagram Reels & Youtube shorts. The platform has become a great channel for B2C brands, according to AdWeek the average organic reach is around 118% for brands (AdWeek) when you compare that to Facebook’s 5.2% (HubSpot) reach you can see why marketers are excited about Tiktok.
However, you typically wouldn’t assume TikTok to be in the mix for B2B brands. To my surprise, the accounting platform Sage launched the first B2B marketing campaign on TikTok last year, with their #BOSSIT2021 challenge. They tapped into the SME community on the platform – getting participants to share creatively how they were thriving in the year despite the challenging times of covid restrictions. Since then they have crafted other campaigns within the community such as #SageTellMe, where entrepreneurs and SMEs describe how they are a business owner without saying they are a business owner.
@sageuki Tell us you are a small business owner without telling us you are a small business owner! #SageTellMe ♬ original sound – Sage
Authenticity is key for B2B brands to thrive on TikTok
Users on Tiktok are on the platform to be entertained and aren’t looking to get sold to (like every social platform). TikTok’s are easily engaging and are also a great way to tell stories, which your viewers can connect with. This helps drive brand awareness – which is great for B2B considering the longer sale cycle. Some great examples of brands on TikTok are Canva, Microsoft 365, and Sage. If you are looking to get ahead of the curve, here are some tips we’ve distilled from them.
The platform gives you a new way to foster a community and build a deeper connection with your clients. The key to using TikTok is to not just do it as part of a social campaign but to instead make TikTok a part of your content strategy. The charm from these short videos is that they aren’t polished like what you would see perhaps on Youtube or LinkedIn. For example, TikTok is a great way to show customers how you get work done. For instance, if you’re in a professional services firm, you can post a video of how your team collaborates and gives feedback on projects. You could do an office tour, talk about your values and such. Another way you can use TikTok is to showcase your team’s talent and skills.
If you’re in a B2B business that sells a software product, then TikTok is a great way to show some of the great things your product can do. This is what Canva does really well. One of their recent Tiktoks is a short video about keyboard shortcuts you can do on their platform. Canva also makes use of trending hashtags in their Tiktok content. For example, they used the #dayinthelife trend to post about a day in the life of one of their customers who use the platform. So utilizing your community is a great way to get started on TikTok. Much like what both Sage and Canva do.
@canva Check out a #dayinthelife of @tianaxday, activist and founder of the nonprofit Youth Advocates for Change #canva #canvadesign #fypシ ♬ original sound – Canva
Another way is to create a mixture of funny and informative videos to which your audience can connect. Combine humor with relevant information and you will see a significant increase in engagement. A great example of a brand that has leaned into this is Microsoft’s 365. They post a selection of comedic tutorials and entertaining videos:
@microsoft365 #stitch with @tegaalexander Thanks in advance for not using “thanks in advance.” #FreeAdvice #EmailEtiquette #fyp #JobTok ♬ original sound – Microsoft 365
And another one for good measure…
@microsoft365 Reply to @zena.fr Do y’all still think we’re fake? #HiddenText #HiddenMessage #fyp ♬ original sound – Microsoft 365
Additionally, Quickbooks has also hit the ground running with TikTok with a series of business tips featuring DJ Khaled which are informative, slightly weird, and pretty funny.
@quickbooks Did you catch @djkhaled drop the first key? Here’s #SMALLBIZKEYS 🔑 NO. 2 coming at you: remember: your business ain’t minor. #mailchimp ♬ original sound – QuickBooks
I’ve also started to notice an increase in TikTok style content on platforms such as LinkedIn and Youtube shorts, so it may be a good way to repurpose your TikTok content. Anyway, to wrap up, here are some high-level tips if you want to start creating content for TikTok:
Here are some quick tips:
- Use humor, educate & entertain
- Be authentic; share your values and processes
- Feature your community, employees & customers
- Lean into current trends using hashtags & trending music
It’s worth being said, not all of your clients are going to be on TikTok at the moment. However, as time goes on this will change. Why not jump in now and get a head start whilst the organic growth is of TikTok outweighs other platforms – as I imagine it won’t be long until it dampens much like what happened with Facebook where now you have to pay-to-play. Additionally, it’s also a good recruitment channel to attract talent and inform them about your brand.
If you are looking to improve your content game, we have another blog post here about our top SaaS platforms to help make content faster.