TikTok has come a long way from its humble lip-synching origins. In just five years, the app has gone from obscurity to 8.9 million active users in the UK alone. TikTok has come a long way from its humble lip-synching origins. In just five years, the app has gone from obscurity to 8.9 million active users in the UK alone. Its addictive, endless-scroll format has made it some strong rivals; there’s data to suggest that Youtube is losing its grip on younger audiences to TikTok and a Google executive revealed that they’re losing users as well.
The app has shown great potential for B2B social media marketing. TikTok users have positively responded to brands with an established presence on the platform. If you haven’t already, it’s time you get acquainted with Tik Tok. In order to make your mark on the app, you need an extensive understanding of the app and how it works. You also need to build a TikTok presence, using your understanding and your brand to make users remember your business.
Let’s discuss why you should include TikTok in your social media marketing strategy and provide examples of successful B2B brands on TikTok.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a short-form video-sharing platform that allows users to create and share content on any topic. From magic tricks to lip-sync videos, as long as it was short-form, it is on TikTok’s radar. Initially, TikTok videos could only last up to fifteen seconds. However, updates mean that the maximum video length is now three minutes.
Prior to 2018, TikTok was known by another name entirely – musical.ly. Like its successor, musical.ly focused on short-form video content. Users could choose from a plethora of music or dialogue snippets to lip-sync and entertaining content.
Musical.ly was bought by ByteDance in 2018, who transferred all of musical.ly’s accounts and content over to TikTok. Like musical.ly, TikTok focused on short-form videos but had a broader scope in the type of videos they wanted. This was reflected in the app’s use of special effects, filters, and the option to post videos directly from your phone. TikTok now houses a wider variety of video content from dance challenges to tutorials.
Benefits of using TikTok for social media marketing
TikTok may not be the most professional platform, but it has plenty of opportunities for you to expand your network. Here, hashtags act like keywords in SEO, guiding users towards creators with specialised content in the areas they’re searching for. So, using TikTok hashtags will allow users interested in your service easier access to your brand. It will also allow you to build your presence in communities that use the hashtags you’re interested in.
You can search for locally specific hashtags like #SmallBizUK or #BristolBusiness to connect with other local professionals or potential leads. You can even use industry-specific hashtags to connect with peers in your industry or find inspiration for your own content. As long as you use relevant hashtags in all your posts, you’ll invite peers and potential customers to your profile.
While apps like Twitter and Instagram make you steadily cultivate a large following to help your content to go viral. But one TikTok video could be the difference between relative obscurity and TikTok fame. You don’t need to be an established brand to go viral, meaning that even the smallest B2Bs can make their mark.
TikTok’s algorithm ranks videos individually, meaning that you don’t need a large following or high engagement to go viral. The content you post is more likely to lead to higher levels of interaction. It also means your videos are more likely to reach more potential customers than they would on other platforms. These chances only increase when you post more, so post consistently and frequently to best make use of the algorithm.
An active audience
TikTok’s video-centric nature means that its user base is an active one. Videos are an immersive experience, and the mix of sound and visuals means you cannot watch them passively. Unlike platforms that primarily use text or images, users must direct their attention to the content that TikTok provides. This means a higher possibility of more users actively engaging with your brand.
How to use TikTok
Interact and be present
It seems obvious, but to maintain a strong presence on TikTok, you need to show that you’re on TikTok. Maintaining a regular posting schedule can help you reach more users, but it’s not enough. Users need to know that you’re aware of the trends and user sentiments and are tailoring your content accordingly. This could lead to an increase in brand exposure amongst users, and more traffic toward your other content.
You need to interact with users in the comment sections of your videos or take part in (relevant) challenges. Providing a medium for users to communicate with your brand will cement them as a loyal audience. Keeping an eye out for challenges shows that you’ve got your ear to the ground. Audiences will see that you’re up-to-date with TikTok trends and will be more open to interacting with you.
Recycle the content you already have
On TikTok, you’re not just interacting with your existing consumer base, but an even bigger user base full of prospective customers. So, just as with other platforms, you need your content to serve as a snapshot of your brand. The most successful businesses on TikTok balance an understanding of TikTok with one of their own brand. It might help to read our blog post on defining your B2B brand and finding your voice on social media.
When starting out on TikTok, it might help you repurpose content you’ve already used on other platforms. Using content you know has the potential to succeed online can help position your brand at an advantage. However, this needs to be balanced with content that works with what’s trending on the app.
TikTok stands out from its competition because of its prioritisation of user-generated content. Businesses have the opportunity to experiment with different styles of content on TikTok and see what works best for them because the app rewards creativity. Users feel closer to your brand, and you’ll also seem ‘cooler’, more down-to-earth and available to interact with your audience, which will help build trust in your brand on TikTok. Encouraging your social media team to get in front of the camera is one sure-fire way to connect with users this way.
As you embark on your TikTok journey, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Finding your fit in terms of content style will mean you try formats or content you’ve never considered for your brand before. Let your audience in on this journey, as it will show your authenticity in releasing content for the brand and pique brand interest. A creative approach to this process might also mean your content gets boosted and your brand could go viral, albeit not for your services.
Different content approaches
One way you can develop your content is by taking inspiration from your brand. Blending between what works with TikTok audiences and key features of your brand image messaging will help you stand out to users. It will also allow your existing clients and customers to identify you, and keep up with your content. Read our blog post on developing a successful social media content strategy as a B2B company for further pointers.
Embracing your company’s fun and relatable side will help you build brand awareness – as we’ve established, TikTok rewards content that keeps users engaged, and funny videos are a surefire way to do that. Whether you take part in viral challenges or use funny sounds or skits, a lighthearted approach is sure to resonate with your audience and pique interest in your brand. Make sure to show awareness both of your brand and TikTok itself, as this can resonate with audiences and keep them looking forward to your content.
However, while a strictly-for-fun approach to TikTok may be appealing, simply following the latest trends and using skits doesn’t showcase your brand. The success of tutorials and other forms of industry-specific content show that audiences on the app aren’t just looking for things to laugh at. Showing passion for your industry or craft through your content will lead to your audience trusting your brand. If you’re looking for an audience to be confident in your brand, create content that’s specific to your industry or niche.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to creating TikTok content, so you really need to consider what direction you want your videos to take. You could focus on creating fun content or videos that are more ‘serious’, but most brands are a mix of both. If you need help determining what balance your business might need, take inspiration from these B2B’s.
Square, a fintech company that provides businesses with digital payment software, is one B2B company that has seen TikTok success. Their TikTok content strategy focuses more on their success stories than their brand, so their content consists primarily of reposts from satisfied clients and occasional memes. However, this works for their brand because it focuses on the versatility and reliability of their products. As a result of this strategy, audiences, particularly potential clients, will see their content and be more inclined to use their products.
Grammarly, the online writing tool, is another company that has mastered the TikTok content formula. Although they are well-known outside of TikTok, their lighthearted approach to content creation revitalises their brand and sparks user interest. They don’t just make funny videos, though, their content also includes writing tips and service updates. Overall, their balanced approach to content creation means that their content not only keeps users engaged but also portrays them as a trustworthy brand.
Apex Motion Control
Apex Motion Control, a food machinery supplier, is another B2B company that has done well on TikTok. Their content pulls back the curtain to show audiences the day-to-day operations at their offices, as well as how their products work. This, combined with the funnier trends they take part in and a regular posting schedule, allows users to really get familiar with their brand. This approach to content creation has made them very successful on the app, with many of their videos going viral.
Your business on TikTok
Now is the best time to get on TikTok and start developing your content. Ongoing updates mean that even TikTok themselves haven’t uncovered the marketing potential they hold. 2022 is set to be the Year of the Video, so you’ll even get to work on your video content. Strike whilst the iron is hot, and you’ll get to showcase your brand to a whole new audience.
Any business, regardless of industry, has the potential to succeed on TikTok with the right social media strategy. Our social media marketing services are perfect for helping your business grow its online profile and attract new audiences. Find out more about our services here, and book a half an hour call to help us, help you, navigate your social media strategy at [email protected].