Let’s start with a little fact that took me completely by surprise when I read it this week, except it totally didn’t.
“TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide for May 2021 with more than 80 million installs.”
Despite coming dangerously close to being CTRL ALT DELETE-D by the Trump administration in 2020, the app has penetrated the social zeitgeist to such a degree, even my technophobe mom has an account.
(she makes pasta, it’s awesome)
But like every new social fad that comes about, B2B marketers are left scratching their heads – torn between the camps of “my brand wouldn’t fit there” and “that’s for kids, not our target buyers”.
Let me let you in on a little secret…
…there’s a damn good chance your buyers are on TikTok.
How do I know this? Just look at the math.
74% of 21-40 year-olds are involved in the buying decisions of their companies. And this group over-index on social media vs. other cohorts – over 70% say they use it every single day.
Look, I’ll give you that buyers probably aren’t on TikTok looking for a new supplier of industrial drilling equipment. But will they remember the brand that has an account of dropping random objects down really deep holes to see what noise it makes?
I know I would.
B2B brands on TikTok aren’t there to ‘get leads’ – it’s an awareness play. It’s about finding a reason to get in front of your customer and make them laugh when they start to unwind from the day. It’s about entertainment.
And this build brand affinity. And that allows you to create and nurture out-of-market demand for your product.
I couldn’t find a list of the best B2B organisations currently on TikTok, so I thought I’d go ahead and start making one myself.
Here you go! Prepare to be inspired.
What I Like: Nice mix client success stories, advice for would-be entrepreneurs and lessons on retail history – I never knew I knew so little about Capri Pants.
What I Like: Adobe do an *excellent* job bringing in influencers to create compelling TikTok posts e.g. bringing in filmmaker Eric Hinojosa to explain how he made his ‘squish’ video using PremierePro.
#3. Morning Brew
What I Like: Kinda like the Washington Post and Dave Jorgenson, MB taps into TikTok trends to explain the most relevant business and finance stories of the day.
#4. Oddio Studio
What I Like: This is one of those quirky channels you stumble on and four hours later you’re still with them, filling out an application to become a sound engineer. Proof that even niche disciplines can find an audience on the platform.
What I Like: Some of the most popular posts on Canva’s accounts are feature updates or power user hacks, which tells me the platform can be used as a channel to serve existing clients alongside new prospects.
What I Like: Sage has used TikTok to great effect through running it’s #BossIt2021 and #SageTellMe campaigns, offering cash prizes to businesses who create content using its official track and hashtag. One video got 27.7 million views!
What I Like: Similar to Sage, LinkTree is offering some serious cash prizes as part of it’s #PassionFund project, teaming up with some A-list celebs to promote the campaign to boot.
What I Like: While you may be scratching your head thinking why I’ve included eBay on this list, they have invested in creating content for the platform that thanks its small business customers. Worth checking out.
#9. Apex Motion Control
What I Like: AMC (no, not that one) builds robots for the food industry. It also expertly exploits TikTok trends and tracks to make hilarious clips that leave you equal parts laughing and drooling – seeing a machine assemble cakes to ‘Clap For ‘Em’ was a particular highlight.
What I Like: Sometimes simple is best. Square reposts TikToks from its client base (focussing specifically on small businesses) proving that you don’t need to kill yourself creating original content full-time when testing a concept.
What I Like: Microsoft 365 ASMR. I’ll leave it there.
What I Like: Another examples of a brand that’s executed well on working with platform influencers to create entertaining content. Check out the video it did with ‘Blob Ross’ to the tune of 43k views.
What I Like: Zoom uses TikTok to announce new product updates (it now allows you to add your pronouns, for example), dispel platform myths (no, your host can’t hear you when you’re on mute) and poke fun at some of the usual work-from-home tropes we’ve come to know and love over the last twelve months.