If you think your business isn’t right for TikTok, you may want to think again. If you’re like most businesspeople, TikTok is not 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’s 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 the TikTok audience is made up of 20-somethings and younger. Again, it’s not what you think!
Dennis Yu is the CEO of BlitzMetrics and co-author of The Definitive Guide to TikTok Advertising. Yu’s company has placed more than a billion dollars’ worth of ads for its clients on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google and others, using ads and algorithms to drive sales. And now he’s 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. It’s now the largest 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-length feature films.”
Yes, TikTok has more traffic than Google! In 2021, TikTok was ranked No. 7 on social media platforms. In 2022, just one year later, it is now ranked No. 1. In Q1 2022, TikTok became the most downloaded app in the world.
According to the Search Engine Journal, TikTok is becoming a search engine. SEJ staffer, 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 over Google. So, his question turned from “What if …?” to “What now …?”
The point is that as a business, you can’t ignore TikTok as a viable marketing and sales channel. TikTok does an amazing job of understanding what the user is watching and will quickly start serving up content that is exactly what the user is interested in. That means that as soon as 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, specifically social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, to ask for help or complain to a company. And more and more, they are turning to TikTok. “Whether you are on TikTok or not, your customers are there talking about you on TikTok,” Yu said. “Remember the early days of Twitter when many brands said, ‘We’re not ready to be on Twitter?’ And then they think that somehow not being on Twitter means that 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 answers, not other customers. Your company must control the narrative even if customers are sharing correct information. You must be visible on this extremely popular channel. And you don’t need to spend a lot of money doing so. Posting simple, non-professionally edited videos are just as effective as highly produced videos.
Going beyond customer service and experience, whatever your company does or sells, B2B or B2C, just 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 watched in completion. The likelihood of someone watching a 30-second video to the end is much higher than a video that lasts four or five minutes. And while 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 movie Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come. I’ll quote a famous shoe and apparel manufacturer, Nike: Just do it!