5 Steps for B2C Brands That Want to Use Tik-Tok (2023)

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Short-form videos are one of the top content marketing trends for 2023. Ninety percent of marketers who leveraged this type of content in 2022 plan to continue using it. And 21 percent of marketers who didn’t use it in 2022 will work it into their strategies this year.

You know you need to leverage this medium if you’re not already. But where does this content need to live?

Consider TikTok. It was the most-downloaded app in the U.S. in 2019, 2020, and 2021. While TikTok is most popular with Gen Z (beating out Insta), its popularity is growing with Millennials and Gen Xers. About a third of the adult users are over 30. Worldwide, the app has over 1 billion monthly active users. While that’s still fewer than Facebook or Instagram, many brands see it as a great place to connect with their audience.

TikTok has unique benefits that separate it from Instagram.

TikTok is not just the go-to place for entertaining content. It’s a place to unwind and decompress and has evolved into a place to learn and grow. I follow accounts that teach me how to have fun with watercolors, take care of my plants, be a better leader, and manage a PR crisis. I’m even using the app to plan a trip to Scotland for my fiftieth birthday.

As you consider your content for Tiktok, it’s important to note that, while the platform is often compared to Instagram (and many believe the Zuck is changing IG to better compete with TikTok), it’s not the same. The biggest difference between the two is how audiences interact with the content.

Instagram is well-known for its curated imagery. It works well for creators who focus on aspirational content and have audiences who want to live their ideal life. Think: any of the Kardashian clan.

(Video) How to Use TikTok for Business in 2022

However, the TikTok crowd seems to favor content that appears more real. Even when creators use filters, they add an element of fun, and their use is transparent—viewers know they’re in play. The comments section also plays a key role on TikTok. Some of the best interactions happen there. Some accounts even highlight the hilarity in the comments as a major content input.

TikTok is also where many popular memes and trends begin. All those funny videos you see on Insta Reels? Yeah. They were popular months earlier on TikTok.

If you’re thinking of dipping your toe into the clock app, here are five things you need to consider to help you connect with your demographic and grow your audience.

1. Don’t jump right in.

The biggest mistake you can make is assuming your audience will interact in the same way as they do on other social media platforms.

Consider BuzzFeed. It dominates on YouTube (20 million followers) and IG (6 million followers), but it’s not doing as well on TikTok (1.4 million followers). Surprising? Not when you look at the content. For one, BuzzFeed reposted a lot of its IG content straight to TikTok, which has a completely different vibe. (Tip: If you’re going to repurpose content, you’re better off creating content first for TikTok and reusing it on Instagram.)

One of its worst-performing videos (77 likes and 7 comments) didn’t use the transitions well and addressed a topic no one cared about (should you call it NYE 2019 or 2020?). They missed by not connecting with current trends on the app and by not understanding the vibe of the TikTok community in order to effectively engage in a conversation.

If you don’t have a personal account yet, set one up and start listening. Watch content by other brands in your space or even those that are “space adjacent.” Look at how consumers interact with content. What content does well? Start following creators who interest you to gather inspiration.

Take the time (at least a couple of weeks) to explore the app and get a feel for the community that lives there.

2. Stay true to your brand’s voice.

Don’t leave your brand’s voice behind as you plan and create your content. It’s important to stay authentic to who you are as a company. If you’ve established a cheeky, irreverent voice, keep it. If you’re a little more “middle of the road,” stay there. Now is not the time to change who you are to fit what you think the platform requires. You can still have fun on the platform, but sincerity is key.

The Washington Post, which has been around for almost 150 years, has 1.5 million followers on its account.

(Video) 5 tips for using TikTok as a business

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There is literally room for everyone on the platform.

3. Use the trends to your advantage.

One of the elements that sets TikTok apart from other social media apps is the trends—these are sounds and music clips, hashtags, filters, hot topics, and even duets and stitches. When looking for content, users will often search by a sound or filter (not just by the hashtags) to see how creators put their spin on a trend.

Here are three examples from different brands using the same trending sound:

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Let’s talk about duets and stitches. A stitch is where you start a video with a five-second clip of someone else’s content, then you add your commentary to the remainder of the video (i.e., you digitally “stitch” the two together). Stitching allows users to answer a question or comment and expand on something another creator did.

Netflix uses the stitch feature to promote new television series and movies. When launching the docuseries, The Tinder Swindler, Netflix created the hashtag #wildthingsforlove and asked viewers to stitch their video and share some of the craziest things they did for love. The hashtag has almost 11 million views as of January 2023.

5 Steps for B2C Brands That Want to Use Tik-Tok (5)

Duets show two creators side-by-side. In some cases, the creator you’re following will provide commentary on an original video by another creator. That “commentary” is sometimes verbal, but other duets show the commentator silently making facial or hand gestures or just sitting while the other creator talks.

Andy Dooley, a fitness coach, dueted this video shared by ESPN:

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(Video) What B2B Startups Need to Know about TikTok | PLG123 | Episode #90 🤑

Both stitches and duets leverage the platform and ideas of other creators. The original creator is automatically credited in the video. While there are entire accounts dedicated to duets, brands that want to build an engaged audience should duet sparingly. Think of them as a garnish to your TikTok strategy. Use them too much, and people will wonder if you have anything original to say.

4. Leverage influencers.

If you are looking for influencers to partner with and raise visibility for your products or services, TikTok is a great place to find them.

Big names like the Kardashians or Ryan Reynolds often come to mind when we think of influencers. But they represent only part of the influencer universe. Micro-influencers, or creators with ten to fifty thousand followers, may have a highly engaged audience primed and ready to connect with you.

Before you reach out, identify a few (five to 10) influencers you think might be a good fit, and follow them “silently” (meaning, visit their profiles without clicking the follow button). Watch how often they post, what kind of content they post, and how their audience engages. You may find that they’re already fans of your brand.

After a few weeks, smash that follow button on your top faves. Like some of their content and consider commenting. Then, reach out to your number one and two and see if they’d be interested in partnering with you.

SweetV Jewelry, a company that has become internet-famous for crowns and tiaras, partners with several TikTok creators. They send the creators crowns, or the creators purchase the crowns themselves and share the love. Authors, comedians, and “regular” fans of the brand wear the crowns in their videos. SweetV reposts many unboxing videos, taking advantage of user-generated content.

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5. Search is important.

Even Google (which has a TikTok account) is watching the clock app. Gen Z users are flocking there to find restaurant and product reviews, answers to questions, and more. TikTok is becoming the new Google.

Think of your account not only as a social platform but as a search engine.

It provides an ideal platform for answering common customer questions and highlighting features or new releases. Showcase testimonials. And, if it fits, you could explain popular trends relevant to your brand. (Like, what is the Croissant Army, and does it mean I’ll get a never-ending supply of buttery, flaky goodness if I join?)

(Video) How The Biggest Brands Are Marketing On TikTok

TikTok gives you an opportunity to leverage your expertise and become a trusted source for your audience. With the right mix of creativity, partnership, and timely insight into trends and topics, you may find yourself building a highly engaged community.

To stay informed on all things content, subscribe to The Content Strategist for more insight on the latest news on digital transformation, content marketing strategy, and rising tech trends.

Image by alexander shatov

Tags: tiktok strategy

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FAQs

Is TikTok a B2C? ›

As a B2C business or marketer, TikTok could be the best next step for your business. It all depends on your customer base, vision, goals, and imagination.

How do you market brands on TikTok? ›

To work with influencers in your own TikTok marketing strategy, scout influencers on the platform to see who resonates with your industry and audience. Reach out through messages directly on the platform and send free products in exchange for a video of their experience and honest feedback.

Is TikTok B2B or B2C? ›

TikTok is both B2B and B2C and it offers advertising tools for both B2B and B2C businesses.

What is B2C social media? ›

The term B2C (business-to-consumer) represents the process in which a business sells products or services directly to consumers, who are the end-users. It's a type of commerce transaction. The companies that sell products or services directly to consumers are called B2C companies.

Why would a business use TikTok? ›

What makes TikTok for business different from other social media platforms is that it's great for increasing brand awareness. There's less of an emphasis on generating traffic or leads. It's more about posting funny videos and participating in challenges than promoting a specific product or service.

Why do brands want to advertise on TikTok? ›

TikTok Trends Maximize Exposure Potential

Anyone, including brands, can start trends and go viral on TikTok. Businesses can make use of branded hashtag challenges and brand takeovers to encourage participation and enjoy a wider reach.

What is a B2C company example? ›

This stands in contrast to business-to-business (B2B), or companies whose primary clients are other businesses. B2C companies operate on the internet and sell products to customers online. Amazon, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Walmart are some examples of B2C companies.

What type of ecommerce is TikTok? ›

TikTok ecommerce is the use of the popular video app to buy or sell a product or service. There are several TikTok commerce tools for sellers that make it easy for users to view and buy products in a matter of seconds.

How do I use TikTok for eCommerce marketing? ›

Make sure your eCommerce brand domain is compatible with the type of platform and the content you are planning to offer. TikTok offers an individual Brand Channel for every brand to showcase their content among their prospects and other user networks outside the board.

What is B2C strategy? ›

Business-to-consumer marketing, or B2C marketing, refers to the tactics and strategies in which a company promotes its products and services to individual people — creating, advertising, and selling products for customers to use in their everyday lives.

Which social media is best for B2C? ›

As per results of a January 2022 survey of global marketers, 27 percent of B2C and 19 percent of B2B respondents stated Instagram was the most important social platform for their business. Facebook remained the leading most important platform at that time.

What makes a good B2C social media platform? ›

Consistency is key to a great B2C social media strategy, so you should post regularly to stay at front-of-mind with your customers. Episodic content is a great way to keep people engaged and wanting more and it's worth taking time to think about unique content series' that your customers will love.

Why is TikTok better for marketing than Instagram? ›

TikTok advertising costs are generally lower than Instagram. TikTok has a younger demographic, with the 13-24-year-old segments representing 69% of the app's user base. Videos audio play, so it is easier for brands to get seen when users are scrolling through content.

Do brands need to consider TikTok seriously? ›

No biggie. With TikTok in the headlines so frequently, many brands and businesses have considered the app for their social media marketing mix, and some have successfully leveraged it to reach consumers and grow sales.

Which one is biggest example of B2C? ›

Amazon is the biggest ecommerce site in the world and is also considered as one of the four biggest tech companies in the world. Amazon's own products, Amazon Prime, and Amazon Originals (Amazon funded media) are all great examples of the B2C nature of the business.

What is B2C target audience? ›

Business-to-consumer marketing, or B2C marketing, focuses on advertising directly to customers rather than to other companies. Small businesses and large corporations alike make use of plenty of business-to-consumer marketing tactics.

How TikTok is used in digital marketing? ›

TikTok marketing is the practice of using TikTok to promote a brand, product or service. It can include different tactics, like influencer marketing, TikTok advertising and creating organic viral content. TikTok marketing can help businesses: Increase brand awareness.

Is TikTok a good marketing platform? ›

Yes, TikTok is good for marketing as it is now one of the most popular social media channels. The platform is growing rapidly with 1 billion monthly active users as of September 2021 making it a good place for engagement and reaching out to a large audience.

What type of business is TikTok? ›

TikTok primarily makes money through advertising, and it generated $4.6 billion in advertising revenues in 2021, thus making it among the most popular attention-based business models or attention merchants. Who owns TikTok?

What type of marketing does TikTok use? ›

TikTok marketing is the process of promoting a brand, products and or services to consumers on TikTok. Common TikTok marketing strategies include the creation of trend-driven organic content, using popular hashtags, and incorporating TikTok influencers into promotional campaigns.

Is TikTok suitable for B2B? ›

Ultimately, TikTok can be a difficult platform to do well for B2B marketing — it takes a bit of creativity and experimentation to succeed. However, the app is constantly evolving and attracting new people. It offers marketers the unique opportunity to get their brand known quickly and in a creative way.

Who is TikTok's target audience? ›

TikTok Statistics – Updated Jan 2023. TikTok is available in over 150 countries, has over 1 billion users, and has been downloaded over 210 million times in the United States alone. If your brand's target audience includes anyone between the age 13 and 60, you should be on TikTok right now.

Is TikTok a good marketing strategy? ›

Is TikTok good for marketing? Yes, TikTok is good for marketing as it is now one of the most popular social media channels. The platform is growing rapidly with 1 billion monthly active users as of September 2021 making it a good place for engagement and reaching out to a large audience.

What is B2C sales examples? ›

What is B2C Sales? The definition of business-to-consumer sales refers to a sales model in which business target individual consumers. Examples of B2C sales reps would be sales reps selling cars, gym memberships, or stereo systems. While some B2C goods are at a high price point (real estate, cars, boats, etc.)

Is Instagram a B2C? ›

For too long, marketers have thought of Instagram as strictly B2C turf. It's time to put this misconception to rest. The truth is, Instagram is a B2B goldmine. It can help distinguish your brand, build your audience and promote customer loyalty.

Is Netflix a B2C? ›

With a monthly subscription, consumers gain access to a wide range of movies, documentaries, and television series. The company also produces original content for consumers. By offering curated and self-produced content to viewers, Netflix is performing a B2C transaction.

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