It’s everywhere. In fact, you’ve probably just stopped scrolling through your TikTok feed to read this blog. It has rapidly grown in popularity and become a major player in the social media landscape over the last few years. And additionally, it’s become a logical place to advertise.
While it may seem like a platform primarily geared towards consumer-facing brands, TikTok can be an effective advertising tool for B2B companies to reach new audiences. According to Business Insider, “Nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers using TikTok and Instagram for search over Google, according to Google’s internal data.”
Know your audience
TikTok has a diverse user base, but the majority “(60%) of consumers [are] between the ages of 16 and 24.” (Brandastic 2021 in Shu-Chuan Chu, Tao Deng & Juan Mundel (2022): The impact of personalization on viral behaviour intentions on TikTok: The role of perceived creativity, authenticity, and need for uniqueness, Journal of Marketing Communications.) Understand the demographics of your target audience and see if they align with TikTok’s user base. As well as advertising actual products, you’ll find that a lot of TikTok’s most popular marketing content tends to fall under the educational or problem-solving bracket. Short-form videos from the B2B sphere can appeal to younger content-consumers. For example, Mondaydotcom has innovated their B2B content and advertising to suit the interests of their target audience – they’ve done this through implementing “trending sounds” (social insider).
Get creative with your content
TikTok is all about creativity and entertainment. Instead of pushing a sales pitch, focus on creating engaging and informative content that will educate your target audience about your product or service. As above, introducing the faces behind your company and providing some “tutorial”-like content can help make B2B accessible. Or, look at it from the perspective of someone wanting to enter the B2B workforce; you could unpack skillsets like ‘Tips for Writing Kick-Ass Press Releases’ or ‘How to Master WordPress.’ For example, Adobevideo uses TikTok to create tutorials featuring their suite of products, and have since seen upwards of “300K followers and 1M likes.” You could even consider making a series of TikToks, which brings us onto the power of hashtags…
Hashtags are a powerful tool on TikTok, and they can help you reach a wider audience. They group your TikToks with related content, thereby programming the algorithm to frequently boost your posts to appear on the ‘For You Page’ and the FYP of others with similar interests. You might be able to ‘respond to’ or ‘duet’ with other TikTok artists to broaden your reach. Research relevant hashtags that are related to your industry by following other industry professionals and include them in your post captions. For example, Up is a digital bank which uses the hashtags “#FinTok, #PersonalFinance and #MoneyTok” to boost their posts alongside the Spark Ads function.
Use influencer marketing
Influencer presence and promotion is the new offshoot of celebrity endorsement. TikTok reports that “67% of TikTok users agree that the platform inspired them to shop even when they weren’t looking to do so.” Influencers tend to project a lifestyle or career that people want to echo – on a very general level. Getting influencer endorsement or partnership on TikTok can be a great way to reach a wider audience and build trust with prospective customers – or employees! Partner with influencers in your industry to create sponsored content that showcases the value of your product or service. Or consider utilising influencers to create educational content that isn’t outwardly “advertising heavy.” According to TikTok’s TikTok Marketing Science US Holiday Shopping Behavior Custom Research “2020 74% of TikTok users say that TikTok has inspired them to find out more about a product or brand online.”
Take advantage of TikTok’s ad formats
TikTok offers a wide variety of ad formats, such as brand takeovers, in-feed videos, and branded hashtag challenges/trends. Experiment with different ad formats to see which one works best for your business. The good thing about TikTok is that trial and error is your best friend; you can save drafts and come back to them later, so you can always change things up. If you’re using “in-feed” advertisements, there are plenty of ad-formats to choose from, including: “branded effects (sharable stickers and filters), and branded hashtag challenges” (TikTok, in Shu-Chuan Chu, Tao Deng & Juan Mundel) For example, B2B company Social Dot uses Spark Ads in partnership with TikTok to promote digital business and their product. According to TikTok, Social Dot has seen a “44% increase in followers…1.7M Video Views.”
Measuring your ROI
TikTok’s analytics tool can help you track the performance of your ads and understand how they are impacting your business. Make sure to track your ROI and adjust your strategy accordingly. You can view engagement insights such as the amount of views, likes, shares and saves within the analytics tab of each TikTok, and then deduce what kinds of content are most engaging for your target audience. For example, TaxDown, located in Spain and assisting income tax in tax returns, used Spark Ads’ “interest segmentation for audience targeting…they saw that +35ys were converting at higher rates than Gen Z which helped them increase and scale out accordingly.audience n to track their conversion rates.”
Keep TikTok’s advertising policies in mind
TikTok has strict policies for advertising, so make sure to familiarise yourself with them before running any ads. This will help you to avoid any potential violations. You can view TikTok’s advertising terms and conditions here.
By understanding the unique features and capabilities of TikTok and utilising them effectively, B2B companies can use the platform to reach a younger, tech-savvy audience.
There’s a steady shift toward hiring a wide range of generational experience in both B2B and B2C content-marketing because diverse perspectives drive meaningful business results. Mastering TikTok could unlock quality lead generation opportunities as well as lots of potential hires!