In this episode of TABS (Talking About Business Strategy), I talk with Ema Roloff from Naviant.
We discuss using TikTok as a strategy for B2B. We review why TikTok is an excellent platform for thought leadership and how to get started.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a social media platform that focuses on short-form videos. In 2021, it was the most downloaded app.
Ema noted that while it started gaining traction mostly with younger people, adult generations are coming to it in droves. It’s following a similar adoption path as Facebook and Instagram, beginning with college-aged users and evolving to older demographics.
How’s it different than other social media? Ema says TikTok’s benefit is that it’s informal. It’s far less curated and encourages a more personal aesthetic. From a sales/marketing perspective, this allows the content to be more “guerilla” and enables individuals to create a personal narrative/brand.
Is there a Business to Business use case?
Ema said that now is a great time to get in on the ground floor of TikTok. It’s still early in its evolution, and it’s an excellent opportunity to establish yourself in your industry.
Similar to Facebook in the late 2000s and early 2010s, TikTok currently provides an effective way to reach your audience organically. This means you can get in front of your audience without needing to run expensive paid ad campaigns.
For B2B professionals, TikTok provides an excellent platform for authentic thought leadership. Due to its informal nature, you can make your business more human and personal. And as Ema reminds us, people want to work with people.
TikTok is also flexible with how you create your content. You can do 5-second videos, or you can do 10-minute videos. Ema recommends trying different options and figuring out what feels natural for you and your audience.
What content has been most successful?
Ema said the most successful content she’s created so far has been acting out characterizations or specific situations that are relatable to her audience. Through this, she’s been able to give her customers tools and insights to help them solve problems in their business.
Reposting trending TikTok-style videos on LinkedIn has also worked well for her. Many of her top videos on LinkedIn have been TikToks that she’s downloaded and re-uploaded natively onto LinkedIn.
How do you recommend people get started with Tiktok for business?
Just start. It’s cliche, and everybody says it, but Ema said it’s the best way to get comfortable with creating this type of content.
Another tip is not to overthink it. TikTok is a very personal and authentic platform, so people will not expect your content to be perfect. They just expect it to be “you.”
Ema recommends to keep experimenting. The best way to generate new ideas is to create more videos. Flex the creative muscle! Over time, you’ll find new innovative ways to get your message across.
And as a final note, Ema reminded us that you will be much harder on yourself than anybody else. So don’t let your self-doubt stop you from getting started!
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