Is there a role for TikTok in B2B marketing?

By Harriet A on 6 May 2021

Since its global launch in 2018, TikTok’s popularity has rapidly grown with an estimated 800 million active users worldwide and over 2 billion downloads on the App Store and Google Play. Not only has the platform successfully entertained us with engaging short form video content and viral #challenges, it has also proved an effective tool for marketers and brands across the globe.

As a relatively new platform, the business competition is much lower which has provided ample opportunities for brands to reach their target audiences. The versatile platform also offers brands a variety of creative ways to engage with users, including branded channels, influencer collaborations, paid advertising and hashtag challenges.

We’ve seen many B2C brands thrive on TikTok, with viral campaigns from the likes of EA games, NYX, and Netflix. However, we hear very little about the role TikTok has played for B2B businesses, and that’s because many have ruled it out as a platform. Below we explore why this is, and also consider the opportunities TikTok can provide for B2B brands.

The barriers and opportunities of TikTok for B2B brands:

 

TikTok’s users are drawn to the platform for its playful, fun and entertaining content. As B2B content is often more logical and more likely to include financial incentives, it’s difficult to see how the platform is relevant. In fact, a study by the B2B institute at Linkedin found that strategies that appeal to an audience’s emotion have a greater effect than those that appeal on a more rational level. B2B marketers need to consider how they can produce top-of-the-funnel content that resonates with their audience, connects with them on an emotional level, and enables them to stand out from the noise. TikTok is a great platform for short form content that tells a story and connects with users on an emotional level. In fact, there are already some B2B brands that have been using the platform to do just that. For example, BiGDUG, a leading UK shelving supplier, saw the opportunity during lockdown to target home-start up brands looking for simplified storage solutions. To create awareness of their brand they partnered with popular TikTok creator @TheP00lGuy (Miles) to produce authentic engaging videos using their products.

@thep00lguy

#ad#BiGDUG @bigdugltd  #thep00lguy#hollayaboy

♬ original sound - thepoolguyml

Also, Sage, one of the market leaders for cloud business management solutions launched a b2b ad campaign on TikTok to encourage interaction and participation from other businesses, and to show unity during what has arguably been a difficult year for many.

@sageuki

#Bossit2021

♬ original sound - Sage

With 86% of businesses now using video as a marketing tool, TikTok is a great solution for brands wanting to produce video marketing content at a lower cost. TikTok’s in-app editing tools allows users to easily add different effects and background music to their videos. The app also allows you to cross post your content on other social channels.

With nearly half of all users on TikTok between the ages of 18-24, B2B brands may also be sceptical about using the platform to target their key audience of business decision makers. If your target audience isn’t on the platform then there is really no point in jumping on the bandwagon. However, we are starting to see an increase in older generations using TikTok. As TikTok continues to diversify you should embrace it as a platform, particularly as it offers the opportunity to engage with either the current and next generation of B2B decision makers.

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