Is TikTok Serious Enough for B2B?

31 August 2021

With its reputation as the hot social network for Gen Z, you may not think of TikTok as a growing opportunity for B2B marketing. However, the platform’s strengths can be helpful for companies looking to connect. While B2C brands are often looking to make informative content entertaining, B2B brands work the other way around and lead with education. The short-form video format allows brands to explain their business solutions quickly and concisely. Tutorials are popular, and users are eager to contribute examples. Interactive content is also more effective than static for educating buyers. TikTok has become the go-to platform for content that is a mix of entertainment and education, which lends itself well to making B2B content more engaging.

But why would TikTok have any pull with decision-makers? Firstly, the platform’s demographics are widening.  TikTok is expected to experience the most user growth amongst social platforms this year, per eMarketer. More importantly, it’s still important for brands to humanize themselves and connect with B2B decision makers emotionally. B2B buyers spend more time than consumers do considering a purchase because the decision has bigger consequences for the business. Attempting to sell products in dry, technical ways could be holding back B2B marketers, according to Contently. Most business decision makers, 62%, rely on gut feelings to make a choice, according to a study from Gyro UK.

Hashtags and influencers help B2B brands harness niche audiences. Intuit Quickbooks utilized a group of small business influencers in addition to celebrities such as Gordon Ramsay, Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Alba for its “Journey to Success” campaign. Quickbooks’ efforts show the power of hashtags on the platform. While QuickBooks’ TikTok account has only around 200 followers, #QuickBooks has over 2 million views, and its campaign hashtag #QuickBooksVictoryPose now has more than 7 billion views. B2B brands may not need to tap influencers with massive followings the way consumer brands do. Often, micro influencers resonate well with a brand’s core audience. Canva worked with a series of micro influencers to promote #WithCanvaYouCan to showcase its design capabilities and generate more user content. The hashtag has now attracted over 130 million views. In addition to campaigns and brand shout-outs, hashtags can serve as live focus groups. They don’t just piggyback off of trends, they can help brands understand them.

Creative brands like Canva and Adobe are able to showcase user-generated content that has been created with its products that support services like video editing and digital art. These are great examples of what B2B brands should be doing on TikTok, focusing on audiences that already identify with its services, rather than forcing themselves onto a platform that doesn’t feel like a fit.

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