In 2021, business software provider Sage taught the B2B world a lesson in social media marketing. They ran the #Bossit2021 challenge on TikTok and to date that campaign has 8.8 billion views (see for yourself).
It’s hard to imagine any other form of marketing communication with that kind of reach. Money simply cannot buy that level of exposure.
Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has had a total of 3.5 billion downloads making it the single most downloaded app of all time with over 30 million daily users.That’s an amazing achievement, and one that it has held for 3 years consecutively.
By any measure, it’s become a global phenomenon, and not just among younger generations. It’s nearly as popular with 40-49 year olds (20.3% of users) as it is with the 20-29 year old demographic (22.4%). The biggest user group remains young at 10-19 years, but with 25% of total users the division is not nearly as pronounced as you might imagine.
With stats like that, it’s no wonder marketers are sitting up and listening. For B2C communications the advantages are clear, but increasing numbers of B2B marketers are also using TikTok to great effect.
Show the human side of your brand
B2B brands can easily appear cold, or aloof. TikTok allows you to show the human side of your brand, which will build trust with your audience and help to strengthen customer relationships. By highlighting the people and the personalities behind scenes at your company you’ll appear more authentic, building trust and so develop brand loyalty.
If you’re offering complex or highly technical products, you can use TikTok to help explain or offer demonstrations. Showcase the people who designed or created your products, have them provide tips and tricks which viewers can share with their own networks. Make it fun, make it engaging, and it will become a great way to build brand awareness.
Short video content is also ideal for testimonials and quick case studies. You can directly show people using and enjoying your products. Demonstrate the features and benefits in action rather than simply describing them. Encourage your customers to create their own videos and share them on TikTok for even more authenticity.
Showcase your culture and creativity
TikTok’s hashtag challenges are another way to build awareness and show the human side of your brand. B2B purchasing decisions take time and company culture is an important consideration if you hope to build a long term business relationship. Purchasing managers want to choose suppliers whose culture aligns well to their own because they are much more likely to understand and meet their requirements.
TikTok gives you the perfect way to showcase your company culture in a creative and engaging way. If you can make content that demonstrates your company values, mission and vision in an interesting way it will help build your reputation and drive engagement with your audience.
It’s important to note at this point, your audience will also include your own employees. If they see their company being creative, transparent, open and engaging, they’ll probably share the content among their own networks.
Don’t forget that TikTok is a social media platform (emphasis on the word “social”). Your number one mission on TikTok is to engage with people and contribute to the conversations that are happening online right now. With 30 million daily users, you can guarantee there are people creating and sharing content relevant to your business. Your job is to find it and establish your organisation as a leader of the community, a source of truth and of useful information, even entertainment.
You are the expert in whatever industry or sector your business operates in, so make content that demonstrates your expertees and establish yourself as a thought leader. You should have a good understanding of the pain points your customers are experiencing. Use TikTok to show them that you understand, and even better, show them the solutions to those pain points.
TikTok prioritises content that generates engagement so you need to prioritise interaction and shareability. That’s why the hashtag challenges like the one used by Sage can be so successful, but creating a popular challenge is far from easy. You need to make it simple to participate, give it a catchy hashtag and make it engaging, fun and entertaining.
With the Sage example, participants were asked to share videos of how they “boss it” at work or at home. People started sharing videos of their success stories, of tips and tricks to make work life easier or more efficient. That content was interesting, useful and entertaining – exactly the sort of thing people would want to share. The hashtag “bossit” was catchy and memorable. On top of that, Sage offered prizes to encourage content submissions.
There are plenty of other examples of B2B organisations using TikTok as a powerful marketing channel. As with most types of social media, it allows you to show the human side of your organisation and your brand and showcase your creativity in new and engaging ways. It’s a low cost way to engage with a large number of people and one that B2B marketers should not ignore.
But what do you think? Now we want to hear from you. Do you use TikTok in your marketing campaigns? If so, how has it worked for you? Share this content on your social networks and let’s join the conversation online.