TikTok has evolved into the biggest social media platform in the world with over one billion monthly active users, as reported by TikTok Newsroom. Traditionally, B2C marketing favored social media platforms while B2B marketing focused more on established channels that supported a longer, more complex sales cycle.
Today, B2B buying behaviors have become more digitally dominant and TikTok offers an opportunity for businesses to access a sea of potential customers.Read on to understand why your business should be using TikTok for B2B marketing, how to leverage TikTok’s features to fill out your sales funnel, and see examples of who’s doing it right.
Why TikTok makes sense for B2B businesses
When it comes to assessing a B2B marketing strategy, there’s two questions to consider: “Is this going to support lead generation?” and “Is it going to do it fast?”. More leads means more paying customers and potentially more investor funding.
But there’s one piece of the puzzle that precedes lead generation and B2B businesses often overlook — a social media strategy to increase brand awareness. For B2B businesses to compete, TikTok offers a low-cost, high-impact platform to reach target audiences through multiple touch points.
TikTok knows your target audience better than you do
TikTok has revolutionized content sharing by showing content based on what you like instead of who you know. This is a huge opportunity for B2B businesses who are trying to cut through the noise and reach their ideal partner or customer.
In a recent TED Talk, TikTok CEO, Shou Zi Chew, broke down how the TikTok algorithm works, explaining that TikTok groups users together based on content they both watched and then recommends unique content from each person to that group. This means that whether you’re an individual, small business, or a B2B business, the algorithm is only going to show your TikTok content to audiences that are interested in it.
Reaching an ideal partner profile is at the foundation of any B2B partnerships strategy. This typically can take a significant amount of time, research, and may evolve into multiple iterations before it’s complete. To move faster, B2B businesses can leverage TikTok’s powerful algorithm to deliver their content to their ideal partner and customer profiles.
TikTok strategies for B2B businesses (plus examples)
Create genuine content with a strong brand voice
If you’ve researched strategies to succeed on any social media platforms, you’ve most likely come across the suggestion to create genuine content. While widely known, it is often poorly understood and executed.
Genuine content is honest, compelling and entertains or educates the audience in a way that forms a strong connection. On TikTok, this means creating videos that show the behind-the-scenes of your business while leveraging popular sounds, and trends. When B2B businesses approach content creation on TikTok like an individual user, they successfully build brand loyalty and awareness.
To see this in action, look no further than Notion’s TikTok content strategy. PartnerStack customer Notion does an excellent job of creating short form video content that is both entertaining and educational while still staying true to their brand voice.
For example, the company recently released a new calendar tool and have been creating TikTok videos to promote it. The videos feature popular sounds, trending GIFs and duets responding to user questions. Notion’s content strategy on TikTok successfully drives brand awareness for new products by encouraging users to engage with their content.
Use TikTok for B2B SEO marketing
An SEO strategy is often a core B2B marketing initiative. But SEO goes beyond Google, with almost 40% of Gen Z reporting that their go-to search engine is TikTok, as reported by the New York Times.
While B2B businesses have typically focused on Millennial buyers, Digital Commerce 360 shared that Gen Z have joined Millennials to collectively make up 64% of business buyers. To stay ahead of competition and access more potential leads, it’s critical that B2B brand accounts are creating content on TikTok that aligns with their SEO strategy.
A great example to reference is this TikTok video by Grammarly, a cloud-based grammar tool, sharing advice on crafting a cold email. TikTok ranks videos based on the description, hashtags, and even on-screen text. Grammarly does a great job of including relevant keywords in the description such as #coldoutreach, #coldemails, and #emailtips. They’ve transcribed the video and included subtitles to SEO-optimize their video content. Over time, this TikTok video will start ranking for these keywords and become an evergreen source of content.
Incorporate an influencer marketing strategy
Starting a TikTok and creating consistent content for a social media strategy requires a time commitment that not all B2B businesses have. An alternative for brands that want to test the waters or build trust quickly is an influencer marketing strategy.
Influencers are what make TikTok tick. Not only are they driving the popular sounds and trends on the platform, they also have deeply loyal audiences. For B2B brands, this means an opportunity to tap into these target audiences effectively by leveraging the trust creators have built with them.
Strategically planned influencer partnerships, is one in which a creator promotes your product and acts as a personal referral effectively driving leads. Not all influencer partnerships are created equal however, and it’s important to make sure that the influencer can speak authentically to your product. Take the time to review the creators content, brand voice and audience to ensure it aligns with your brand identity.
To see a knockout example, check out the influencer partnerships Adobe did with viral TikToker Emily Zugay.
Emily has multiple viral TikTok videos where she redesigns iconic brand logos in a comical way. Adobe reached out to Emily and got her to create a TikTok redesigning their own logo as a brand partnership. The TikTok quickly went viral and brought Adobe’s TikTok presence to millions of new users.
Combine user-generated content with a paid ad strategy
The B2B landscape wouldn’t exist today without user case studies. They are an integral part of any B2B business because they add validity and establish trust with prospective buyers. Whether it’s case studies on a blog, user quotes on landing pages or features in content, user case studies are an integral touchpoint in the sales cycle.
User case studies have existed on TikTok for a long time, where TikTok refers to them as user-generated content (UGC). UGC features products in TikTok videos from a specific brand but the content is created by users instead of the brand itself.
UGC content is normally uploaded first by the user, with brands re-uploading it to their account or using it for paid advertising. Typically, this post is created organically without request from the brand, although brands can facilitate UGC by offering free trials or discounts in exchange.
UGC content is extremely effective when combined with a paid ad strategy. NoGood, a growth marketing agency, reported that UGC content turned into paid ads typically have a four times higher CTR, with a 29% increase in web conversions.
To see an example of this in action, look no further than the campaign Up, a digital bank, ran with personal finance TikToker TashInvests.
TashInvests created user-generated content on her native TikTok profile talking about the benefits and features of Up bank for millennials and Gen Z audiences. Up turned this content into a paid ad and it drove over 1.5M impressions with 76 app installs, as reported by TikTok.
For B2B businesses, combining user-generated content and a paid ads marketing strategy is an effective way to apply the principles of traditional user case studies to a new social media strategy.
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Add TikTok to your B2B marketing strategy
Combined with a strong partnership strategy with great affiliate partners (tap into PartnerStack's Marketplace to start discovering your next partnership opportunities), TikTok presents a huge opportunity for B2B businesses to tap into their target audiences and drive brand awareness. Whether it’s a content strategy that shares your brand voice, an SEO strategy executed through TikTok videos, or a paid ads play with user-generated content, it’s time to tap into new audiences by adding TikTok to your B2B marketing roadmap.