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How to Use TikTok for B2B Marketing (With Todd Clouser)

TikTok. It’s just a place for making up dances and having some fun, right?

Well, yes, that does happen on TikTok, but it’s also a growing place for B2B marketers to get in front of their audience and create demand.

The thing is, the TikTok app has seen a whopping 3.5 billion downloads!

An even more impressive stat is that TikTok has over a billion monthly active users, making it one of the biggest social media platforms, quickly catching up with Instagram. 

The average TikTok user opens the app 19 times a day, too. Talk about a highly engaged audience!

So why wouldn’t marketers use TikTok for B2B? They’d be missing a trick if they ignored the vast amount of opportunity the platform offers.

In fact, here are some B2B companies already making TikTok a part of their marketing strategy:

We spoke to B2B content-creating aficionado Todd Clouser on how he uses TikTok for B2B.

Keep reading to get his insights! 👇

Creating demand with TikTok

Creating demand, as it sounds, is the process of creating an interest, need or desire - in other words, demand - for your product or service.

The idea being that you need to fuel the funnel with enough demand at the top meaning there’s a flow of ready customers for you to capture at the bottom.

Many B2B companies might assume that their audience isn’t on TikTok. That they don’t use it for a relevant purpose. And they wouldn’t be interested in viewing B2B-related content on that app.

But a few B2B companies that were watching the growth of the platform closely realised its potential. And some of those early adopters have had huge successes on the platform.

Those organisations had realised that B2B buying behaviour has changed.

Buyers aren’t making decisions based on speaking with salespeople anymore. Instead, they’re finding their information out for themselves online or through peers.

TikTok is just one other channel where buyers are looking for reviews, insights and entertaining content. The companies using TikTok understand the importance of getting in front of them in a place where they hang out.

Todd says:

“When I started experimenting with TikTok, I knew people would respond by saying, ‘TikTok is just for dancing’. Because that’s what people did with YouTube before that became popular for businesses. They said YouTube was for cat videos.”

“It was going to be the same slow adoption process for TikTok, but I was confident that B2B audiences would grow there.”

TikTok 101

For those less familiar with TikTok, here’s a quick rundown.

TikTok is an app where users can create and share short-form videos (from a few seconds up to 10 minutes). It's a place where creativity is allowed to flourish.

TikTok’ers can use the platform’s wide range of growing capabilities, including:

    • Background music options.
    • Sound effects and voice filters.
    • Voiceover options.
    • Duet (allows users to play another creator’s video alongside their own).
    • Stitch (allows users to play another creator’s video at the start of their own).
    • Live-streaming.

These features allow users to create their own masterpieces or contribute to other viral trends.

You might be thinking, that sounds like a lot of work… 

But TikTok has perfected the process of simple video creation.

Users can film their ‘daily routine in the office’ on their phones and post it instantly with little to no editing required.

TikTok also offers lots of opportunities for B2B technology companies. For example, they can:

  • Create easily digestible, entertaining or informative content. 
  • Build a recognisable brand image, personality or style.
  • Launch hashtags or challenges.
  • Partner with influencers.
  • Run ads.
  • Link to products in their TikTok shop.

With tremendous creative capabilities, a wide-ranging audience and a relatively light lift for marketers… why wouldn’t you give TikTok for B2B a go?!

TikTok for B2B marketing

Just because TikTok wasn’t designed for professional use doesn’t mean that professionals don’t use it in their downtime. Yes! CEOs, CMOs and VPs exist outside of work!

Remember Gong’s famous B2B Super Bowl ad? That was a roaring success, but the Super Bowl isn’t a ‘B2B audience’.

TikTok gives B2B businesses another channel to network with their target audience, build brand awareness and share their campaign messaging.

And if you’re confident your audience doesn’t exist on TikTok yet, then never fear. Todd has some advice.

He says:

“I realised I could use the videos I created for TikTok on LinkedIn. This way, I could prove that the ‘TikTok style’ content would appeal to my audience.”

“The goal was to create this entertaining and educational video content and LinkedIn was green pastures for sharing more fun content.”

Todd found this route to be very successful. His LinkedIn followers jumped from 1,500 to 10,000 in a matter of months.

Not only that, but this encouraged more of Todd’s target audience to join him on TikTok. They enjoyed his content and wanted more of it.

Once Todd had a more established audience on TikTok, his strategy changed a little. While fun, entertaining content is unusual on LinkedIn, that was TikTok’s bread and butter. So Todd found that his talking head-style videos would often perform better on TikTok.

It’s all about standing out from the crowd! TikTok has infinite scrolling opportunities, so you need to catch your viewers’ eye.

Todd adds:

“There’s a huge opportunity to use TikTok for B2B. There are only a dozen or so good B2B content creators on the app.”

“And you don’t need to do much work either. Go back and audit your last six months’ worth of LinkedIn content and film it for TikTok.”

How do you know if your B2B TikTok channel is working?

As with most social media channels, evaluating your success is both an art and a science.

There are the obvious B2B marketing metrics to keep an eye on, such as:

  • Follower count.
  • The number of likes.
  • Comments.
  • The number of shares.

These metrics can indicate how well your content is resonating. And equally, driving improvements in these metrics will likely help to boost your content through the TikTok algorithm.

TikTok also offers in-app analytics that allows you to delve deeper, for example:

  • Weekly and monthly growth.
  • Total video play time.
  • Information and demographics about who is watching.

However, there are also qualitative ways to understand how well your TikTok for B2B marketing is working.

Todd says:

“How many conversations are you starting with people in your target market? Who is commenting or DM’ing you about how they like the content or asking for more information?”

“I even got asked to come on a few podcasts off the back of my TikTok content. So I knew it was being received well, and I was getting more exposure by being on these podcasts.”

“And then after a while, when TikTok was more established, we started to see people naming TikTokin in self-reported attribution.”

Tips for using TikTok for B2B

1. Start strong

Okay, this might not be what you want to hear. Especially because most people starting on a new channel like to test and experiment to find their groove.

But unfortunately, TikTok is a go-hard or go-home kind of app.

Todd says:

“The first 6-10 videos you put out can be critical in TikTok figuring out who to share your content with.”

The algorithm uses a recommendation system that determines which videos appear on your ‘For You’ page. No two people’s ‘For You’ pages are the same; they’re fluid, based on viewing preferences on the day.

This recommendation system goes through a learning process, especially in the early days of a new account. TikTok wants to determine who will be interested in your content to serve up a personalised experience.

And if people don’t engage with your content, then the algorithm learns to prioritise other content over yours, meaning it gets less reach.

Todd says:

“I used to run a company’s TikTok account. We had around 200 followers and would get around 200 views per video on average.”

“The sixth post I put out on that account blew up. It got around 10 million views. Within a week, we got 10,000 followers.”

“And for every post we shared after that, we’d have a minimum of 10,000 views. Every third or fourth video we’d post, we’d get around 250,000 views which would bump up our follower count again.”

“The beginning is super important.”

2. Do your research

Don’t forget, TikTok will serve your ICP with content that’s personal to them. Just as your own feed serves you content that TikTok thinks you will like.

So avoid liking or commenting on things that are irrelevant to your business. This way, you’re more likely to see content that you can learn from.

Todd says:

“When you come across TikTok creators or videos that hold your attention, spend some time on their page and try to figure out what they’re doing to keep your attention.”

“Is it the voiceover? The choice of audio? Something about the visuals? And could you do something of a similar nature?”

By auditing other people’s videos, you can create a list of things you can test by plugging it into your content.

3. Repurpose your content

If you’re not sure if your audience is on TikTok yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t repost your content elsewhere to raise awareness of your account.

You can post it on your LinkedIn, as we mentioned earlier. You could also post it to Instagram Reels. Or, as Todd recommends, you could repurpose it for YouTube Shorts.

He says:

“So many other platforms are trying to replicate the success that TikTok has had with short-form, vertical content. Which means you can repurpose TikTok content all over the place.”

“And YouTube is rewarding creators who are using YouTube Shorts. It’s somewhere you can get a lot of visibility at the moment. But the longer you wait, the more saturated that channel will become.”

“If you ever intend to build an audience on YouTube, invest in Shorts now.”

4. Don’t be afraid of showing personality

Yes, B2B tends to be more formal and professional… but how boring, right?

You’re marketing to people, after all. And people enjoy a bit of entertainment and humour. Especially in an industry or market where entertainment is sparse.

Learn something from B2C and create content that people would spend their free time watching.

TikTok is bursting at the seams with trending video ideas you can adapt for your own narrative, or you can get more creative by coming up with your own.

That’s not to say they can’t be informative and educational. Todd found a lot of success by creating educational, value-adding talking head-style videos.

But the bottom line is:

You're not likely to get very far on TikTok if you’re reposting snippets of webinars. 😴

5. Use TikTok to test ideas

If you’ve got ideas for marketing campaigns or long-form articles, or you want to test a new style, TikTok is a great place to validate them.

Todd says:

“Say you’ve got a YouTube channel and you’ve got an idea for a new video, but you’re not sure if it’s of interest to your audience.”

“Rather than spending time creating a story arc, writing a script, setting up high-quality camera equipment (because let's be real, YouTube is a much heavier lift in terms of quality expectations!), plus recording and editing a long-form piece of content…”

“Instead, put together a quick short-form video for TikTok.”

In other words, use TikTok’s strengths to your advantage. Create quick, insightful, value-adding short-form videos to reach an audience immediately.

And if the signs look good, then you'll have the B2B data to back up your decision to invest in the topic long-term.

To ensure your B2B content is always up-to-date and resonates with your TikTok audience, you can use TikTok Creative Center. It’s a space for marketers to develop and optimise their messaging and campaigns.

TikTok and B2B marketing: the last word

B2B marketers should always be on the lookout for new, innovative ways to reach their target audiences.

With that in mind, why not try TikTok for B2B?

It’s a quick and easy way to breathe life into any B2B marketing strategy. It provides a perfect place to engage with potential customers when they’re off guard and looking for entertainment.

Admit it - that will be much more memorable than any e-book download offer, right?

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