If you think your business isn’t right for TikTok, you might want to think again. If you’re like most business people, TikTok isn’t what you think. It’s not just 20- to 30-second videos of kids dancing, dogs doing tricks, and influencers showing off the latest fashions. It has become a serious contender for online/digital advertising dollars from all types of businesses, both B2C and B2B.
Most of you reading may still believe that TikTok’s audience consists of 20-year-olds and younger. Again, it’s not what you think!
Dennis Yu is CEO of BlitzMetrics and co-author of The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Advertising. Yu’s company has placed more than a billion dollars in advertising for its clients on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and others, using advertising and algorithms to drive sales. And now he is focusing his efforts on TikTok.
I had the chance to interview Yu on Amazing Business Radio, where he said, “TikTok in 2022 is Facebook in 2007. Now it’s the biggest property on the Internet. It has more traffic than Google. It has a higher average watch time than Facebook or Netflix. People are spending more time watching short 15 to 30 second videos than two hour long feature films.
Yes, TikTok has more traffic than Google! In 2021, TikTok was ranked seventh among social media platforms. In 2022, just one year later, it is now ranked number one. In the first quarter of 2022, TikTok became the most downloaded app in the world.
According to Search Engine Journal, TikTok is becoming a search engine. SEJ employee Matt Southern posed the question, “What if people started using TikTok as a search engine?” In his research, he found people treating the app as a search provider, some even preferring it to Google. So his question turned from “What if …?” to “What now…?”
The point is, as a business, you can’t ignore TikTok as a viable marketing and sales channel. TikTok does a great job of understanding what the user is looking at and will quickly start offering content that is exactly what the user is interested in. This means that once a customer watches a company’s TikTok video, the platform will start serving up more of the company’s content for the user to enjoy.
I asked Yu how businesses can use TikTok. Knowing that the podcast focuses on customer service and experience, he related his first tip to digital customer care. Today’s customers turn to the Internet, especially social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, to seek help or complain to a company. And increasingly, they’re turning to TikTok. “Whether you’re on TikTok or not, your customers are out there talking about you on TikTok,” Yu said. “Remember the early days of Twitter, when a lot of brands said, ‘We’re not ready to be on Twitter?’ And then they think that not being on Twitter means people can’t talk about them.”
As more customers turn to TikTok for customer care, it’s imperative that you (your company or brand) be the one posting the responses, not other customers. Your company needs to control the narrative even if customers are sharing accurate information. You should be visible on this extremely popular channel. And you don’t need to spend a lot of money to do it. Posting simple, unprofessionally edited videos are just as effective as heavily produced videos.
Going beyond customer service and experience, whatever your company makes or sells, B2B or B2C, simply create a short video with tips and ideas that would interest your customers. Shorter is better. Keep it under a minute – even 30 seconds. TikTok rewards you for videos that are viewed at the end. The likelihood that someone will watch a 30-second video to the end is far greater than a video that lasts four or five minutes. And while it’s not necessary, if you can make it funny or entertaining, that’s always a bonus.
Yu’s advice is simple. Just create content. Then let TikTok’s algorithm do its job and find people (your customers and potential customers) interested in whatever you’re posting. Yu quoted the famous line by Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) from the film Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come. I will quote a famous shoe and clothing manufacturer, Nike: Just do it!