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What B2B Organizations Can Learn From TikTok

Some of the most iconic songs, phrases or fashion trends have been born on TikTok. Although only recently out of the social media stable, it has captured the attention of the whole world there. According to last year’s report from Forbes, the app in the U.S. alone has grown five-fold in the last 18 months and now counts 500 million active users worldwide. Undoubtedly, this social channel has a massive impact on the B2C industry and its influencers. Nonetheless, B2B organizations should pay attention too!

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TikTok might seem as a social platform for entertainment that is unrelated to B2B organizations, but Daniela Sale Head of Industry Telco, eComm & Finance, Global Business Solutions at TikTok explains “TikTok is fast emerging as a mighty destination for B2B brands willing to borrow from the B2C marketing rulebook and becoming an unofficial channel of choice for the next generation of entrepreneurs.” Sage, one of the largest SME financial technology organizations, has been using the platform to bring attention-grabbing news and updates to the entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses that rely on its accounting solutions. 

Studies show B2B buyers’ decisions aren’t as logically driven as we might originally believe, so no channel should be dismissed out of hand. Associating TikTok for only B2C purposes could mean some businesses are missing out. So, bearing in mind the global influence of TikTok, let’s have a closer look on how it is possible to position B2B brands on this platform and what business can do to make it work.

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TikTok has wider age scope than perhaps you thought 

TikTok is synonymous with Gen Z and millennials with many older generations discarding the platform. However, looking at the statistics of TikTok users and those who influence buying choices from the Pew Research Center shows 48% of its users are 18-29 and 22% are 30-49 – a much wider net than perhaps you initially thought! Add to this, 74% of 21-40 year olds are involved in making buying decisions for their companies and are already driving a digital approach to B2B selling. Getting in on the ground floor with a younger generation has its advantages – never forget, Meta (known as Facebook) started out for a younger audience and has grown to be what it is now. 

By looking at these numbers, it clearly shows there’s a lot of scope for B2B marketing to hit the more mature user – and just because the platform isn’t brimming with B2B marketers in the beginning, doesn’t mean it will continue that way. Starting now to increase your B2B marketing efforts on TikTok will only widen the scope as more companies do the same, sparking user engagement, eyeballs and, over time, an increase in brand awareness.  

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Emotions are a powerful tool – feel the message

The Medium is the Message – and always has been since Marshall McLuhan wrote his book in 1964. When it comes to TikTok – and any other social media platform for that matter – content for that medium is crucial. In terms of B2B content creation on TikTok, it needs to differ from more corporate social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Looking to connect to the audience through emotion is a powerful tool for all B2B marketers. A recent LinkedIn study found when you connect to an audience’s emotions, you’re 7x more likely to drive business. To grow your account, you should start to engage with other users interested in your content. A simple comment, like or repost can increase your visibility and build stronger relations. According to TikTok, 21% of users feel more connected to brands that comment on other people’s posts. An additional 61% like it when brands participate in a trend. 

With TikTok’s USP being short videos, some B2B marketers may question how they can use the platform to their advantage. Don’t d******* the importance of consumer-facing social channels to authentically market environmental, social and governance messages—even for the most corporate of B2B organizations. Also never forget the B2B customer’s customer is a consumer – B2B TikTok messages can resonate through the customer chain.

Make different connections for B2B marketing

Despite other social media platforms favoring those accounts with millions of followers, TikTok makes it easier for new users to gain followers and views from the ground up. Unlike other platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, TikTok following can be determined from a range of qualities: music choice, location, hashtag relevance, and more. 

This puts B2B marketing in a prime spot on TikTok. Being able to organically grow your outreach to a relevant audience and drive engagement on a platform which is so diverse means B2B marketers can quickly connect with young, digital-savvy and interested prospects. 

Are you an early adopter? There’s no time to wait

As time goes by, more B2B firms may decide to implement TikTok in their business strategy in some way. Such a wide audience outreach potential should encourage B2B marketers to join the most popular online platform and choose messages that may be appropriate for that audience – think employee spotlights, customer references and more. The app is growing, and the age demographic pool increasing, so there should be no concern if your B2B organization should enter the TikTok platform. According to a recent Hootsuite blog, globally, on average 79% of users feel TikTok content is “unique” and “different”, even when it comes to advertising. So, get your foot in the TikTok door, create a different connection with the audience and show off a new side of your brand. 


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