There is always a temptation for B2B businesses to take a cautious approach when investing in new social platforms. There are a few reasons why B2B CMOs might resist TikTok: the audience is too young, it's a platform for entertainment and personal branding, it's too new, and we don't know how it will deliver business results. Furthermore, there is a certain level of uncertainty around the future of TikTok in some countries, as it has been banned in some countries and is facing legal challenges in others, making it a risky choice to invest in.
However, it's hard to ignore the success of TikTok. Its growth has been tremendous, as has its ability to reach and influence audiences. Brands have seen huge returns and now invest significant resources in the platform, and the numbers speak for themselves - TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2022 across both iOS and Android app stores, with downloads now topping three billion and over one billion active users. Its user base skews younger than other platforms like Facebook, with a quarter of its users under 19. In 2020, 24% of all 15-25 year olds were using TikTok. That's a hard set of statistics to ignore.
While the stats are impressive, many brands have failed to understand how audiences use TikTok and the portrait video format in general, which has led to missteps. So, how do you know if your business is right for TikTok, and how should you approach it?
The first question to ask yourself is, 'Who is your existing and potential audience? What's the demographic? What do they engage with? What do they need? How do they speak?' (This is something Buzz Radar specializes in answering). It's one of the most vital things you can ever learn about your company, and it's absolutely essential before committing resources to expanding marketing and presence onto a new platform, especially one as unique as TikTok.
For certain types of businesses and for certain types of audiences, TikTok can be a valuable tool that can help establish a brand. As the platform grows, so does the range of brands that can benefit from it. We're now seeing B2B brands having real success that a year or two ago likely wouldn't have happened.
For example, a Finnish roof insulation company, with a little inspiration, has gained over several million likes and interactions that have provided it with the far the biggest brand exposure in its 50-year history. It's even created a new line of business for them in merchandising.
It's also important to think about the type of content that a platform requires. TikTok, like Reels on Instagram, runs on short portrait video, where authenticity rules. It isn't well-suited to cross-posting content from other channels. Are you set up to deliver that kind of informal video content, and can your brand guidelines fit that style? Do you understand the tone and culture of the platform, or are you at least confident that you're working with an agency that does? TikTok thrives on user-generated, authentic content. If you're producing shiny, professional, expensive-looking video, it is unlikely to set the platform alight, and not every brand is a good fit for the tone of voice that works best in that area. A good content strategy needs to be well-balanced and flexible - it's about the right tool for the right job. In this case, you might be using the wrong tool for a job that didn't need doing in the first place.
If it all sounds daunting, you don't have to automatically go down the route of starting a channel and generating your own content. Success can be found through thought-out paid media and influencer campaigns, something that TikTok has started to make easier recently with its Creator Marketplace.
TikTok is an undeniably powerful platform that can yield fantastic results, but serious thought needs to be put into the strategy to ensure a good fit with your brand. As important as audience fit is the brand's ability to embrace the style, tone, and format of TikTok in order to make the best of it.
TLDR: B2B businesses may be hesitant to invest in TikTok due to the platform's focus on entertainment and personal branding, its young audience, and uncertainty about its future in some countries. However, TikTok's tremendous growth and ability to reach and influence audiences make it hard to ignore. Brands have seen significant returns from investing in the platform, which was the most downloaded app of 2022 with over one billion active users. To determine if TikTok is right for a business, it is essential to understand the audience and how they engage with the platform. B2B brands can also see success by using paid media and influencer campaigns, as well as embracing the platform's style and tone in their content strategy.
Published on 2023-02-27 14:45:33